and new fuel lines, and new spark plug, the chainsaw doesn’t start. It has plenty spark, it has plenty fuel. A compression test indicates that it is lacking in suck and squeeze. So I yank the engine expecting to discover that when I had loaned it to a friend some time back he’d run it without mix and toasted it.

To my surprise, the cylinder is still smooth and scratch free, and there is one scratch on the skirt of the piston, where a piece of ring broke off.

The piece of ring bounced around in the cylinder a few times making some tiny marks in the piston which I have deburred, and I hope to have a new ring on friday. Three bucks for the ring and nine for shipping! Sheesh. Still, if it works it will be better than a new saw. I have been looking at the new offerings by Stihl and Husqvarna, and the “Consumer” quality stuff is just not very impressive; my cheap Craftsman (Poulan) saw has run for a long time with no appreciable trouble until now, ten some years later.

Looking at the Poulan and Stihl and Husky websites, I came to the conclusion that very little separates the ‘Consumer” model Stihl and husky machines with the Poulan, these days. Seems they still both make excellent high end stuff which I cannot afford.

A friend has a Dolmar, which is an amazing saw, when it runs. It’s a prick to get started, but it will idle nicely all bloody day- we once spent a day wandering around cutting wood and never turned the saw off, it would idle in the back of the truck for as much as ten minutes between us running into some deadwood to cut, and it never even acted like it wanted to die, and it was smooth as silk to use. They sell them at a local place that I trust, and there doesn’t seem to be a separation between the ‘Pro” and “Consumer” models. The 18″ bar one is $350. I hope that the Craftsman has a good year left in it after I replace the broken ring.