Safety chaps testing - Saw Damage?

  
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dougtrr2

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I personally could not in good conscience give someone a piece of safety equipment that I did not think was safe for myself. So it is to the trash with them.

Doug in SW IA
 

ArlyA

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Chaps and Kevlar tops are cheap, compared to legs and arms. For those who like statistics, 50% of saw cuts are above your belt.
NCT clearing saw chips (DL).jpg
 

John_Mc

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Why dont you give to a young guy that may need some saw chaps? Even if yours have a little damage, still better than none.

I personally could not in good conscience give someone a piece of safety equipment that I did not think was safe for myself. So it is to the trash with them.

Doug in SW IA

Glad to hear that, Doug. Chaps are not "forever" safety equipment. THey work by snagging long fibers and pulling them out to jam the saw. If you'd done some damage to them and severed some of the fibers, they become significantly less effective. Likewise, years of spills of gas and oil on them will weaken the fibers, often resulting in them breaking, rather than pulling out and clogging the saw properly. If you really want to do a favor for a young guy, convince him to buy himself some chaps. Don't give him a false sense of security by giving him chaps of questionable effectiveness.

I have a pair I'm getting ready to retire myself. They'll either get demoted to "brush guard" duty or go in the trash. I"m just trying to decide whether to replace them with another pair of chaps or spring for some of the higher end chainsaw pants.
 

yomax4

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Chaps are a little stiff and heavy. I often think about just not wearing them for short sessions. I'm not sure how efficient they are at stopping the chain but I know 1st hand what happens to your leg when you don't wear them and a fatigue caused accident happens.
 

Jstpssng

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Chaps are a little stiff and heavy. I often think about just not wearing them for short sessions. I'm not sure how efficient they are at stopping the chain but I know 1st hand what happens to your leg when you don't wear them and a fatigue caused accident happens.
EVERY stupid thing that I've done with a saw as well as many other things start with "I was tired".
 

Richard

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Chaps are a little stiff and heavy. I often think about just not wearing them for short sessions.

I totally understand this logic....."but"....

My wife once wanted me to cut some cedar slabs. The cedar tree was already down. All I had to do (and what I did) was to literally pinch the log with my backhoe bucket. Make about 4 cuts to straighten the first slab.... then cut a couple slabs off so she could make her (forget, either steps through garden or "chargers" to put under dinner plates.

None the less....no awkward angles, easy and clear access.... very strong holder so the log isn't moving. I cut several slabs off.

Don't you know that this was the first (of what is now maybe three?) times EVER where my chain jumped the bar. I was cutting a slab when the chain jumped. The chain catcher happened to catch it from underneith which halted the rotation of the chain BUT, it suddenly lengthened and "slapped" me right in the kneecap.

Guess who decided to NOT wear any protection "since I was only going to make 3-4 cuts???

Turned saw off....looked at knee, just waiting for the pants leg to turn red. I didn't feel anything but, I'm presuming this is just the initial shock of it happening....

Still, no blood....

(all this happened in seconds)

Set saw down, touched area with the sliced pants....no evident pain....no sudden blood. I finally pull pants down to look at damage.

Hardly a scratch. The chain essentially "slapped" me in the leg, I don't know what sliced the pants (blue jeans) but that was enough to absorb the final energy from the chain.

I counted this as one of my lucky days, looked up and said 'thank you'. I've tried to be more attentive on wearing my chaps since then AND at same time, even more aware of leg angles, chain angles blah blah blah.

So far, (knocking on wood) been lucky since.
 

ruffdog

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EVERY stupid thing that I've done with a saw as well as many other things start with "I was tired".
As I am getting older and weaker, taking extra breaks and spreading the job over a longer time period is a big safety item.
 

s219

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I wear chaps almost all the time now, except in really hot summer weather when a greater risk is heat/dehydration. Actually, I try to minimize tree work in hot weather period, since it takes a toll on my body in the heat.

One time I was making a quick cut and didn't put chaps on. I put the saw down too soon after a cut. Chain was still moving and caught my pants above the knee, enough to do a number on the fabric and give me some scratches. I call that a gentle reminder from above not to be stupid and wear the chaps even for quick cuts. I don't always get those types of reminders, sometimes I go straight from stupid to the ER....
 

John_Mc

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EVERY stupid thing that I've done with a saw as well as many other things start with "I was tired".
Yep. I almost lost the end of my left index finger about 10 years ago: I was splitting firewood in the woods a few miles from home. I'd been at most of the day, that day and for a couple of days before. I had the good sense to at least stop using the chain saw a couple of hours earlier, so was just running my hydraulic splitter at that point.

I was exhausted and probably dehydrated (I had water, but had not been drinking enough of it). I figured I should stop, but only had one more row to go to completely fill my trailer for the ride home. I decided to fill the trailer, despite being tired. It was not all that much splitting... what could go wrong?

A log started to roll off the platform. I grabbed it and pulled it back on. Unfortunately, I did not release the control lever, and my finger ended up between the end of the log and the anvil. I didn't feel much at first, but when I turned my hand around to look at the other side of the finger, I would see that it was crushed and burst open from the end joint to the tip. The ER doc said I was lucky: another 1/8" of travel and I would likely be looking at amputating the end of the finger, or at best multiple visits to a hand surgeon. As it is, it healed up mostly OK. Lost a bit of range of motion, and it gets cold a lot more easily than my other fingers. On the upside, I can predict when a big storm is coming by how much the finger aches.
 

DieselBound

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This thread reminds me that I need to purchase a new pair of chaps: have one cut, and they're really old and crusty now. It's stated that oil-stained chaps should also be replaced: read it somewhere but cannot recall where.

I bought my first pair of chaps just after cutting a pair of pants with my saw. I'd let off the trigger and flung the saw and before the chain had stopped moving I managed to brush the inside of my thigh. Only a surface scratch (little blood). Now EVERY time I go to operate a saw I wear EVERYTHING. My wife makes it clear that she doesn't want a dead husband!

I've run a saw above my waist, but that is very rare: small saw, cutting away blackberries. Not sure how the "50%' injuries above the waist are happening.

On my "one day I'm going to" list is to buy a pair of safety-toe boots. Not only have I managed to smash toes, but recently I scratched the top of one of my boots with my saw (it was like it was saying to me: "hey! did you forget that you were going to buy safety-toe boots?").
 
 
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