This is a story presented to you all to enjoy by a feller goes by the name "Two Blankets" And please respect his copyright and don't take any or all of his story thanks and enjoy!
THE Chainsaw Revisited
A more or less academic approach to remedying the various
recalcitrant labor saving devices, lame shootin irons, and other such
To begin with, ya gotta understand there are people in this world
nothin better to do with their time than solve other people's problems. Not
with practical experience, nor with usable examples no sir, these sorts
just spend their dadblamed life thinkin up solutions. Sometimes they even
have to invent a problem to fit their solution.
A spell ago. it came to the attention of some, that there
was a serious problem at hand, in the form of unreliable chainsaws.
Evidently quite a commotion was set up by the ladies whose husbands had
thoughtfully provided them with these costly labor saving devices. Now
that's gratitude for ya! But come to think on it, probly would be an
advantage to fix this problem. so's to have a bigger woodpile for the
winter. Might not have to send her out to cut before next spring if she
lays up nough now. So with the idea of savin you fellers some
inconvenience (remember -someone has to fetch the
mail in and stoke the stove while she's out in the woodlot all day), we
fiqured to turn the problem over to the committee. for the past few months
they worried it over, and I'm just pleased as a hound with his belly in
tickle grass to announce that a solution has been found.
Now here in this neck of the brush, we have a gathering of people
collectively referred to as a Shootin Club. Nice enough folks, although
they do tend to use howitzers that load through the front end. And they
occasionally go about saddled down with dead animal skins 'stead of reglar
clothes. But for the most part they seem a pretty tame bunch. Within this
group, there exist several specialized types of shooters. The account
you're about to read deals with the fine folks I hang out with; Bench
Understand now - we're Bench Shooters. I don't rightly want
anyone to mistake us for bench Rest shooters. Them bench Rest shooters are
wierd.They favor guns that takes three men and a stout young mule to carry.
They spend their lives trying to put five balls into one little bitty tight
group, or hole, out around 75-100 yards or so. Personally, I think they most
usually put two balls in the target and then put the rest into the dirt. But
to hear them tell it, they got all of 'em through that one raggedy hole...
leastways that's what they always tell the scoremaster. They do tend to
carry around a lot of fancy gadgets too. Things that tell the wind, and the
time of day, and how fur away the target is : all sorts of stuff. On a
personal level, they tend to be a perculiar sort of animal. Mostly they
don't amount to much of nothin in perticlar. 'Bout the only thing they
seem good at is getin elected to public office or attending them TV preacher
Now a real Bench Shooter is a whole nuther breed of cat.
professionals within their area of business, skilled craftsmen, that sort of
thing. We don't favor much gear. Look, if you unpack it and carry it away
from the truck ya just gotta carry it back later! Right? 'Bout all a
bench shooter needs is a shade tree and at least one other bench shooter; or
a greenhorn. And it's a right smart idea to carry along at least one woman
to fetch stuff and keep the fire stoked. Our rules are right simple -You
don't interrupt the shooter who's talking more than twice, 'less he's a good
deal smaller, or unarmed! And we don't reckon we need to put a time limit
on our relays, 'cause necessary trips to the hooter pretty well takes care
of those who would tie up our range all day. And we don't pay much
attention to the regulated "positions" used to shoot most matches. We
figure squatin, sittin, laying down or leaning against a pickup door ought
to be up to the good sense of the shooter - and his relative sobriety - not
some goldanged rules committee.
Over a time, this perticlar gathering has come to be known as
"The Loose Group". Before ya get the idea that the Loose Group is just a
bunch of derelicts, let me tell you; we got some real fine civilized people
among us. Just as a sample fer instance we got us a surgeon, an officer
of the court, and a leader and elder of a native american group Lots of
right smart thinkin power there. Naturally enough, with all that unused
intelligence just layin around, people tend to hand off problems
to the group. And occasionally, we do hook one of our own choice; tho maybe
not exactly waitin to be asked.
Ole Doc Farqstartter is usually the one who brings new problems to the
attention of the general membership. He can read, and he's some nosey I
guess. Anyway, he comes up with some dillys. Now we all calls him "Doc"
cause he says he does surgury for some fancy hospital down in the big city.
There has been some doubt cast on that tale. 'Bout a year back, Ole Doc
done Cloyd a bad turn. Made a promise to Cloyd and then backed out on it.
I hear Cloyd came up to Doc in an awful dither. "Doc, I need you to do
somethin about that female of mine." "I got too dammed many
kids". "They're just overrunin my place, eatin ever thing in sight, and I
can't afford to feed any more!" So Ole Doc says, "No problem Cloyd, you
just bring her on up to the city hospital next Tuesday, and I'll sterilize
her." "Won't take hardly no time at all." So Cloyd chews on that idea
for a bit, and allows as how he
figures a bit of cleanin up and a bath might not hurt her: "But what I
really need Doc, is
for you to fix her so's she don't raise no more of them kids"
Well, the time come, and Cloyd hauled his female clear up to the
city hospital. But there and then Ole Doc done him a bad turn. Seems Doc
not only refused to operate on her, but got downright bristled up at Cloyd.
Just my own personal opinion ya know, but I hold it was Cloyd's fault. He
oughta known better than to haul that old Nannygoat clear up to the city in
a rainstorm without a tarp over her. Now if you ain't had the experience of
smellin a wet nannygoat, you may have trouble figurin the whole thing out:
but you'll just have to trust me on this one - no doubt about it - it was
the rain that caused Ole Doc to act a fool like that. . Anyways , there are
some who sort of take Doc 's qualifications with a grain of salt after that
little dustup. Probly violated his hippocritic oath to boot...
Now I got to explain a bit about our legal council; Al Capon.
And be sure to get the name right. He's right sensitive about it. Seems he
had the "e" dropped years ago all legal and proper. Well Al don't amount to
much at all as far as shootin irons go, and to tell the truth - he's a
little strange around the edges - that earring bothers me some I reckon;
but we need him. Or I guess we do; he keeps tellin us we do. Besides, he
can write, so's we let him hang around just in case we feel the need to fire
a letter up to the statehouse now an agin. Folks don't let him get in the
shootin matches much. He's right fond of that there Eyetalin pasty, and
lordamighty he can put away a bunch of it. Why, his belly is out so fer it's
a natural rest for his squirrel gun... some folks object to that as bein a
artifical violation of the Off Hand rules. Al's been lawyerin for most all
his life I guess. Must be right good at it too. He's got a purtnear new
third-hand Buick with this year's license, and most of the lights work!
Even got a fancy business card. One of them that has ten or so phone numbers
on it. Bad thing about that, is that you gotta call near't ever one of em
sometimes to catch up with him. And lotta times it's blamed hard to get
someone to answer one of them payphones...
I wouldn't usually mention Chief Bear Ash, but he figgers
prominently in the
solution we come up with, so I guess he deserves an introduction. Bear Ash
is a full-blood Fugowee and hereditary Chief of their reservation. Most of
us let him hang around simply because he's a mechanical injuneer, so we let
him sort out problems with shootin irons when it comes to measurin and
cuttin and such. Bear Ash was the one who came up with the idea of sendin
off fer a goverment grant to fund a study of this chainsaw problem. Seems
the people up at the statehouse, and clear on up to Washington D&C, have
hard money to give away to folks who study on problems! What with Bear Ash
being a token minority an all, we figured as how our problem study was a
leadpipe cinch to get some of that money. Wish we had a known about that
years ago. I had me a cousin once't that did a lot of studyin on problems.
Most all his life I guess He shoulda got one of them grants. Of course, I
spect all that goverment money would have probly made him quit studyin,
cause he never did hold much with havin a reglar job.
I'd ought to mention that Bear Ash don't have no real sheepskin
degree, so's I reckon the moniker of Mechanical Injuneer is sort of an
honorary degree, kinda like
one of them Doctorate of Humanities things: big differance is, Bear Ash
earned his. Seems the Fugowee have quite a spread over near Seaport Kansas.
They got a hunnerd or so acres of scrub brush and trailers. Ground won't
grow nothin but rocks, so they're a mite poor. Figurin to increase the
tribal larder, several of the ones that been to school decided to take on
the goverment folks a few years ago. They come up with some old treaties
that says Washington promised them a reservation boundary a mite further
west than the one marked nowadays. They figured if they could get The Great
White Father to honor his treaty, then they would have a few hundred
thousand more acres to raise goats and potatoes on. I reckon things were
comin along nicely until that local bureaucrat got all bristled up at 'em.
Guess that governor feller made it plain that he weren't about to give up
Topeka without they come up with some real impressive trade goods... Hell,
that ground they got now is real poor. It'd take them wimen forever and
tarnation to trap enough groundhogs and pelt 'em! Since that deal fell
through; Bear Ash got together with some more of the boys and decided the
thing to do was to get into the railroad business, in order to raise some
Seems like a sound idy to me, seem as how several of them Right
coast fellers had made a pile of money runnin railroads, and then sellin 'em
back to the government. So, Bear Ash and the boys eventually procured a
steamtrain from the Goverment Department of Surplus Commodities and Used
Postholes. On the big day, they all piled into the car that started, and
set off to the railhead 'bout thirty miles down the crick. Well, everthing
went fine cause they by chance had brought along a youngin who could sign
his name. Once they had the bill of lading all signed up, the Fugowee Short
Line was in business. Now Bear Ash, seem as how he was the one who knew
how to drive, figured he would just naturally enough drive this steamtrain.
They got her fired up right off although there was a mite of excitement for
a short time. Skunk Breath figured this thing was about the biggest danged
woodstove he had ever lit a fire in, so he really dosed her with a big
charge of that toxic waste the Fugowee make for drinkin likker. After they
spread out and found the firebox door and got her wired back on, it did
finally settle down some. By the time Bear Ash got her backed down off the
blind siding, all present were properly impressed with his skill and mastery
of the white man technology, so they figured he earned the Mechanical
It pains me some to report that the Fugowee Short Line didn't pan
out though. Seems those injuns Just got no luck a'tall. It was bad enough
that Bear Ash used up most of the day gettin that steamtrain turned around
in the parking lot but then he missed the proper off-ramp and ended up on
one of them six chute cement trails headed West. Afore things got too out
of hand, they decided to stop and ask directions. Right smart thing to do
under the circumstances. Unfortunately when Skunk Breath pulled the big
lever back thinkin to set the handbrake, everyone disembarked leaving the
old gal all to herself. Of course even with the throttle pulled clear back
into flight gear, it takes a steamtrain a sight of time to gather up any
real speed. They run after her a couple of miles or so and finally give it
up as a bad deal as she was gamin steadily on 'em.
After a mite of rest and a smoke, they reached the conclusion that
most likely the thing would run out of gas about twenty miles or so down the
road, so they would Just lay a camp and go round her up next mornin. Their
plans sorta took another turn though. Come sunup, the early edition of The
Seaport Lookin Glass had a front page AP wire story about this mighty
peculiar accident over in Pagosa Springs Colorado. Seems some steamtrain
come down off the pass and exceeded the posted residential speed limits by a
considerable bunch of knots. What really set their noses out of Joint
though, was the fact that it fetched up and died right on top of the mayor's
outhouse. Guess there was some talk of Federal Warrents and such. Somethin
havin to do with air quality or ozone depletion or some such nonsense.
The semi-permenant temporary appointed Pagosa Town Marshal
Rendevoos Organizer allowed as how he would not rest until he had the guilty
as sin vandals behind bars; just as soon as he evicted that herd of hippies
he'd been keepin for a spell. After all, you just can't sweep it under the
rug when someone desecrates the town memorial: especially when it was up for
consideration to be classified a County
Historical Monument and Photo Opportunity Site.
These Fugowee could see the handwriting on the wall. (and one
or two could
read it) ... So discretion won over. They decided they probably didn't want
to claim the wayward engine after all, and anyway it probably would'a just
got stuck on some of the reservation's dirt roads. Then there was the
problem of building another still so's they would have enough extra elixer
to light her off ever mornin. Just one fool thing after another, until it
began to look like it was more trouble than it was worth. I understand they
eventually sold her back to the Federals; and did finally come up with a
sum of hard money, by tackin on several pages of cost overruns and research
and development fees. Come to think of it, I believe Al was in on that.
Someone got it all haywired anyhow, and that sounds like Al. Heard the Feds
screamed like a mashed cat when they were forced to call in a bunch of them
toxic waste cleanup fellers so's they could retrieve their steamtrain. Al
had a bit of trouble divertin that Treasury check too. Nobody could locate
the Fugowee Research and Development Installation
account for the Pagosa Springs branch...
What with all that experience in things mechanical, we pretty
quick figured Bear Ash might be handy to have at hand when such problems
came up. So we let him hang around. Mostly we decided that, after Al said
we had to keep him. Federal Goverment says so. Him bein a minority an all.
Don't make no difference if he don't contribute a dern thing, they say we
gotta keep em. Besides, when we can tap off a little bit from the Jug, that
stuff he carries around makes right fine borecleaner. Just don't want to
leave her sit too long unless you figure to start shootin in the smoothbore
Now a little spell ago, an assortment of these fine specimens
around the stove at my place. The gathering of The Loose Group had been
called because of a problem what needed some study. Come to recollect, it
might'a been called cause Slack Jaw come across a real buy on some recently
discontinued Grain Belt that didn't have hardly no rust on the cans.
Howsomever, we were gathered up and lookin over Slack Jaw's old
He'd recently struck up again a problem with this thing shootin strange.
Seems about ever other shot, the roundball would keyhole. Well, with
shootin iron problems, there has always been an orderly progression when it
comes to identifying the cause of problems with accuracy and function. In
order of most likely causes you have. " Worked fine until I let that
dimblasted gunsmith touch it"... Then; "Must be them German Silver sights.
Whatinhell the Germans know about gunsights anyhow? You'd think they'd had
sense enough to make em able to adjust with a reglar ballpeen." And so on
down the list. Somewhere near the bottom you find "Operator Error", but
so far as is known, no one has failed to solve a gun problem before reachin
that far down the list.
Necessarily, we commenced to work on the most likely cause of the
but shortly had to admit that since Slack Jaw had had that run in with the
gunsmith over five years ago, maybe it might take further consideration
after all. Old Slack Jaw hasn't had much use for them gun mechanics since
that one over in Tequila Flats refused to doctor his favorite frontstuffer.
When it was right new, Slack Jaw took her to the range to set the sights.
Turns out she shot a bit low. Now it's a bunch easier to adjust the
elevation by dumpin in a smidge more powder, as opposed to whittlin on the
sights That course of action did bring her up some, but after a time that
target paper looked like a handgrenade went off in front of it. One of them
Bench Rest Shooters come wanderin over and allowed as how the ball weren't
patched tight enough and was probably undersize anyway. "If you want it to
shoot right, you gotta pack her tight so's the pressure can come up" "gotta
use a hard cast ball too"......
Upon returning home, Slack Jaw rooted around in the shed and come
up with some not too badly rusted wheel bearing. Had a fair bunch of'em:
Farmall, Nash, Binder, a resonable good selection of sizes. Figured they
was about the hardest cast ball he ever tangled with. Took em all down to
the basement, selected a large enough hammer and a good screwdriver and
proceeded to chisel the cages off. By trial and error he come up with a 49
Cadillac ball bearing that was just about plumb close to right. Next week at
the range, Slack Jaw came up to the line all smiles and full of good cheer
(no doubt due in part to the Rosey O'Grady he soaks that Redman leaf in).
He sets out to take that Bench Rester's advice. Figuring that the bearings
bein so hard and such, maybe he'd ought to allow for that and increase the
powder charge just a mite more than what that feller suggested. So he
proceeds to employ that age old scientific method of makin up a load. Just
hold the ball in you palm and pour powder over it until it covers the ball.
Some say it works ever time. Course Slack has some mighty awful big hands,
so the pile of powder had a good deal of space to spread out in before it
covered the ball... Having dumped the handful of powder down the hole, he
then realized that piller tick was all he had aboard for patchin. Well if
it has to be tight, he guessed maybe a hunk of that doubled up ought to be
about right. After some amount of struggle he did get the ball started down
the hole, but broke a couple of ramrods trying to get her rammed home. So
taking a cue from the Bench Rest feller, he hunted up some rebar and a fair
to middlin large hammer. Worked real slick. Of course since he hadn't had
the chance to mark the new ramrod, it was kinda hard to tell if the ball was
seated or not. Just to be on the safe side, he gave her another lick or
two. He said, ·"Figured it was seated cause it sounded kinda like when you
finally get a bearin race seated into a hub, you know." "Had a nice ring
Old Slack walks up to the line, caps her, and takes a mighty
fine bead on that target. He takes a deep breath, checks the wind, hitches
up his pants, scratches a tick bite and yanks smartly on that front trigger.
The cap went off right good, but nothin else happened. Leastways, for a
time. You know it takes that gunpowder a bit of time to build up a head of
steam when you really pack her tight, or so they say. 'Bout three seconds
later it finally did light off. Made a godawful noise. Cows went dry in
two counties, broke windows in Omaha I guess, - even woke up the range
master? Had a good deal of kick too. Didn't turn out too bad though, for
Slack Jaw fetched up
against the loadin bench behind him, thereby avoided landing in the crick
just behind the hooters. After near thirty minutes, the smoke had cleared
enough to see the 25 yard target stakes, and Slack allowed as how she did
seem to shoot a mite high, but that was probably Just as well since he
always wanted to try those 200 yard bulls
anyway. Thing of it is, he had to retire for that day. About four inches
ahead of the breech, that gun barrel was swole up like a snakebit dog. 'Bout
the size of a tennis ball. Now I don't mean that little bitty thing them
oriental fellers knock around a table. I mean the kind you see used where
them real strange people run around in their underwear and knock the devil
out of a seine net hung strung up across a pasture . Howsomever , that
swelled up part - it was a dandy, but since Slack couldn't see the
sights over top of it, he had to quit for the day. Allowed as how his arm
needed a bit of restin too.
But anyway, we hear that gunsmith was downright uppity to Old
Slack. I guess some people Just don't need the business. Sounded like a
plumb simple Job to me. Slack Just asked him to file a bit off the top of
the swellin so's he could see the sights... I hear some harsh words were
said to our boy, and he ended up with a poor regard for gun mechanics in
general. The gun did get fixed though. After due consideration we had
Bear Ash heat her up in the coal stove till she was Just about red; took her
over to the anvil and beat the top of that knot down near level with what it
used to be. Not wanting to waste the heat, Bear rolled her over and smacked
the other side a bit too. Just enough so's it wasn't so hard to get out of
Must've been a purty good job. Old Slack has shot her ever since
with fair results. Course he did have to adjust the load. Since 49 Caddy
bearings are some hard to come by, he has to make do with regular lead
balls, although they got to be about a hair and a half oversize to get that
tight fit. And since they won't go down no further than where we hammered on
the swellin, he had to figure out a powder charge that would take up the
excess space under the ball. But all things considered, he's happy with the
way it shoots.
Only problem I can see, is that we no longer can have matches
Slack says that the rhuematiz in his shoulder takes right at two days to
settle down after he shoots her, and he has to go to work on Mondays Doc
allows as how it's nothing to be concerned about as we all get those little
twinges as we get up in years, and he should just learn to live with it.
Bein as how the only other sensible thing to do, is to go in there and
replace a bunch of stuff with .49 cents worth of plastic and a dab of roofin
tar; for which he can cut Slack a deal, if he decides to have it done before
the end of the hospital's fiscal year. Or before Doc's malpractice insurance
premium is due. Either way, to me, it sounds like a deal too good to pass
But, to get back to the problem that started all this: that
chainsaw. Like I said, a lot of highpowered thinkin had been done
concerning this design error. One member of The Loose Group even going so
far as to suggest we might consider reading up on the subject. Of course
that suggestion was hooted down right off. If a fix had been printed, then
someone would've already fixed the danged thing. But as the evening
progressed, we were no nearer to solving Slack's keyhole problem, and were
beginnin to see a tolerble bunch of daylight around the cans that were left;
so as a last resort we conceded the need to consult "the Book". Now there
is The Book, and then there's "the Book". Not wanting to encumber the
purpose of The Loose Group, we're reasonable carefull to keep religion out
of the deal. But we have a great reverence for the Book. Actually, it's two
books. Guess if you put them all in one it would be too hard to hold when
yer're sittin in the hooter or somethin. They are called "Gunsmith Kinks",
in two parts, compiled and written by a gentleman named Bob Brownell.
(copyright 1969,F. Brownell & Son Pub.) Let me hasten to add, I refer to
Bob as a gentleman simply for the propriety of this account. Now he is a gun
mechanic, and I
suspect a Yankee sympathizer, so we generally concede terms other than
"gentleman" are more in order. Be that as it may, he's just fuller'n a tick
of all sorts of ways to operate on shootin irons.
So we got down my pair of well-thumbed greasy copies of
Couldn't a been a minute before Old Slack Jaw up and let his chaw of Redman
fall out by accident. Never one to waste a hardly used chaw, he made a dive
to retrieve the mess off the floor, and in the process managed to knock one
volume of the Book slap off the table. 0£ course that jerked my chain
somewhat, for I set great store by those books. You ever try to scrape off
a mess of used Redman? I sure didn't want that chaw to eat a hole in my
bookt 'Specially since I got such a good deal on them Traded Ole
Squint out of 'em. Cost me a whole bag of them fancy new alunium pistol
shells; and them emptys only been shot once. Worked out good for Squint
though, since Squint can't read worth a dern anyhow. He had picked them
books up down in the big city at one of those pornographic stores. Guy
had'em in a plain gray cover. Told Squint they's full of stuff and pictures
about kinky gunsmiths. Ole Squint thought that'd be alright, so he trades
some hard money for em and goes back home with a big grin on his mug. He's
a fair bit disappointed to find out they's not many pictures in 'em; and he
couldn't make heads nor tails out of what they were anyhow, and they weren't
a dadblamed one of 'em havin to do with nekked wimen!! Needless to say he
jumped on my offer to trade. Even apologized later for takin some advantage
of me. Went so far as to offer me a share of his reloaded pistol shells,
but out of good conscience I felt obligated to turn him down. Wouldn't want
to take advantage of a man.
Anyways, providence sure does work in some strange ways. As I made
a stab at keepin that chaw from eatin my book, it fell open. I believe
luck had so~ethin to do with
it, but however you cut it - there she was. Page 408 of Volumne II... The
original patent drawing for the Ladies Model Chainsaw. And since it was
upside down to where we was lookin from, the solution was immediately
apparent to all. Whoever printed up that book originally is responsible for
the wimen doin a heap of extra work all these years. And of course he's also
guilty for inakin all of us listen to them complain all these years.
You see, he "flopped" the golderned drawing, so's the thing ain't right when
you look at it. THE CHAIN IS DRAWN UPSIDE DOWN... No damn wonder the
thing wouldn't cut but a cord a day.
Now lookie here; do your woman a favor, take her saw and take the
inclosed revised drawin down to the local machine and weldin shop. Give the
feller a day or so anyway to study on it, and I bet he can have her saw
runnin just fine in no time at all.
Probly get her up to two cords a day, and plus you won't have to put up with
her crankin about fixin that dammed saw ever again.
If you really want to go to all the extra expense, on page 410
there's a patent drawing of the saw with an add-on electrical do-dad. But
that seems to be kinda too fancy fer most the female sorts. Sides, you'd
have to buy a passel of extension cord
to reach the recharger way out in the woodlot. Appears that the chain is
drawn upside down on this picture too, so take care to allow for that.
Now I know you all are Just grateful as the dickins over this
wonderous solution we come up with. But we don't want nothin for it. Just
proud to have The Loose Group be of service to our fellowman. But next
winter, as you sit by that roaring fire, sippin that belly warmer and
thinkin about all that wood the woman has put up for you: ya might offer a
toast and a bit of thanks to Old Al, Doc, Bear Ash, Slack Jaw and Two