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Used fryer peanut oil as chainsaw bar oil?

 
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I was about to buy a gallon of toxic bar oil when I discovered that some folks are using regular old vegetable oil for the purpose. I have a good supply of spent peanut oil, well filtered, just sitting around. So between the money savings and the desire not to spray petroleum on my land, this is a very appealing idea.

But of course I don't want to destroy my chainsaws or otherwise screw anything up.

Does anyone have experience doing this?
 
gardener
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I have no first hand experience. The concern is that more oil flings off the chain as the oil goes around the pulley at top of bar. I think it's worth trying. I don't think you are risking the chainsaw, maybe the chain itself. I think plenty of people use oils other than bar oil.
 
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You might get uncontrollable cravings for peanut butter!  🙃

(Sorry, my fingers typed this by themselves). 😇
 
pollinator
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Let me share my experience: I used locally abundant peanut oil for a compressed block press. It worked well for awhile, but after a few months it got gummy and sticky.
 
Joshua Frank
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@wayne: I don't mind losing more oil, since it's just waste oil anyway. Better more peanut oil in the woods than less petrochemicals.
@amy: Ha, although if anything, it smells like fried chicken.
 
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Hi Joshua;  
I have lived with and used chainsaws all my life.    
Yes, you can use any oil you like.  
Here's what will happen if you do not use real bar oil.
Your $50 chain and your $50 bar will quickly go bad.   If you replace just the chain and not the bar, your time will be spent putting the chain back on ... not cutting wood.
If you replace both, then your golden for a while... until its time to spend another $100 replacing them again.

Will this happen if you are just a home owner who uses their saw for a few minutes, a few times a year?  Not for a very long time.
Will it happen sooner if you try to cut 5-10 cords of wood every year?   YES, it will.

Real bar oil  (not the cheap junk)  has additives that stick to and cool and lube your bar and chain. The cheap stuff is plain oil.   They work and are worth the extra $ you pay to buy quality bar oil.
When working steadily in the woods, my chain can be used up in less than a month, I expect my bar to last 3-5 years...
 
Joshua Frank
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@nathanael: Is that stickiness something you can clean, or does it really screw up the machine?
 
Joshua Frank
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@thomas: Thanks for the detailed information. I am just a homeowner, not a logger or arborist, although I use it more than a few times a year, because trees fall in my woods and I do maybe 1 or 2 cords of firewood a year.

I didn't quite follow your explanation about the chain and bar. Do you mean that if you replace the chain without also replacing the bar, the chain will fall off a lot? And do you really wear out a chain in a month? You must cut a LOT of wood!

How to I tell the difference between good bar oil and cheap junk? And is there a non-toxic version of the stuff, so I'm not spraying badness on my property?

 
pollinator
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That stickiness is oil polymerization (curing). You need to clean it before that happens.  If it happens in the little parts that meter the oil onto the bar, very bad things happen.
 
Joshua Frank
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@R Scott: How do you clean the inside of a chainsaw engine, and how often would you need to do it to prevent the very bad things?
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Joshua Frank wrote:@nathanael: Is that stickiness something you can clean, or does it really screw up the machine?



Warm water and soap would get it off. But it's also a pain.
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Joshua Frank wrote:

How to I tell the difference between good bar oil and cheap junk? And is there a non-toxic version of the stuff, so I'm not spraying badness on my property?



I do know that ricin oil (a plant) was the original airplane engine oil. You could order some of that I assume.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Josh;  
I was working with the forest service ,  cutting right of way on new construction logging road's, before the heavy equipment moves in. Steep terrain with lots of rocks and dirt cutting brush.
Sharpening my chain happened multiple times or more a day. You can wear out a chain really quickly that way.
Just falling and bucking clean trees, a chain can last several months or more.

Bars wear over time, the gap enlarges, the channel the chain run in gets worn down. The rolling sprocket on the tip gets worn.
Soon your chain is jumping off... a real pain when your trying to make production. Just a regular pain if your a home owner. Using poor oil will rush that wear.
I buy Husqvarna bar oil and I buy their fuel mix as well.

As a limited use home owner you can probably use what ever you like.
There may be a non toxic true bar oil out there, I have never looked.
Myself ,the small amount of oil flinging off the bar is nothing I'm worried about.

Working around sawmills , oil refinery's and heavy construction,  I have seen pollution happening at a large scale...  the 1/4 pint of oil flinging in little droplets off of my bar is just not enough for me to lose sleep over.


 
pollinator
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Nathanael Szobody wrote:I do know that ricin oil (a plant) was the original airplane engine oil. You could order some of that I assume.



Wouldn't that just be castor oil? One can find small containers at the pharmacy. I do not know if it would gum up a machine.
 
Nathanael Szobody
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:

Nathanael Szobody wrote:I do know that ricin oil (a plant) was the original airplane engine oil. You could order some of that I assume.



Wouldn't that just be castor oil? One can find small containers at the pharmacy. I do not know if it would gum up a machine.



Right, castor oil.
 
wayne fajkus
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Joshua Frank wrote:@wayne: I don't mind losing more oil, since it's just waste oil anyway. Better more peanut oil in the woods than less petrochemicals.
@amy: Ha, although if anything, it smells like fried chicken.



Its flinging off before it can do its job. Bar oil is stringy/bindy. Made to stay together to minimize the flinging at that sharp turn. So it's not doing the job that others mentioned. It can't cool or lubricate if it is not there.

I think chainsaw mills allow veggie oils,  or at least people use it in that application. The chainsaw is turned sideways and there is an optional kit for oiling. It drops the oil after the sharp turn so it will not fling away.

There is a display at many parts stores for lucas oil additive. Its 2 oils and a handcrank wirh gears. One was treated with lucas. As you turn the gears, the normal oil stays put while the gear spins in it. The one with lucas is different. You can see the oil stick snd travel up with the gear. That display explained it good for me me as i could see it happening. This is the sticky/binding reference i made. Will lucas turn veggie oil into bar oil? Is it as icky as using bar oil? I don't know the answer.
 
pollinator
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wayne fajkus wrote:Its flinging off before it can do its job. Bar oil is stringy/bindy. Made to stay together to minimize the flinging at that sharp turn. So it's not doing the job that others mentioned. It can't cool or lubricate if it is not there.



From my understanding the reason bar oil exists is exactly this, it has the right amount of stringiness and slipperiness. All other options just don't perform the same.

That said the Forest Service did do a paper on how to use vegetable oil in sensitive areas. https://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/html/98511316/98511316.html

You might want to read this and use that info to do peanut oil. Personally the more natural options the better.
 
Devin Lavign
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BTW here are some threads here at permies on this subject

https://permies.com/t/17736/toxic-Chainsaw-Bar-Oil

https://permies.com/t/131086/experience-Bar-Chain-oil-alternatives

https://permies.com/t/123576/petrolium-bar-chain-oil
 
pollinator
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This is intriguing. I think bar oil is not super bad. Just use the right oil. If you're worried about it, lay down some tarps in the splash zone. Or make fungi more active. Oyster mushrooms can break down all kinds of toxic hydrocarbons, and it is not a unique trait to just Oyster mushrooms.


https://fungi.com/blogs/articles/the-petroleum-problem
 
R Scott
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Joshua Frank wrote:@R Scott: How do you clean the inside of a chainsaw engine, and how often would you need to do it to prevent the very bad things?



It isn't the engine, just the bar oiler.  But there isn't a good way that doesn't involve toxic gick.  Citrus oil will clean bars and chain, but will melt the plastic parts in the oiler.

Fungi perfecti sells a veggie based bar oil will mushroom spores mixed in so you inoculate the stumps as you cut.  Maybe you can figure out their oil mix.
 
pollinator
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Stihl make a biodegradable natural based bar chain oil. If you are concerned with the effect of bar oil on your land that is what I would use. If its money the cost and environmental impact of burning through chains and bars is worse then petroleum oil. I've tried the stihl biodegradable and it works great only problem is it does not come in summer and winter weight just summer. Here I had to special order it from a dealer...
 
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Maybe something like canola oil that does well at high heat.  This was originally used on steam engines before it was considered food.
 
R Scott
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David Baillie wrote:Stihl make a biodegradable natural based bar chain oil. If you are concerned with the effect of bar oil on your land that is what I would use. If its money the cost and environmental impact of burning through chains and bars is worse then petroleum oil. I've tried the stihl biodegradable and it works great only problem is it does not come in summer and winter weight just summer. Here I had to special order it from a dealer...



Should have known.  Menzi, either German or Swiss excavator company, has biodegradable hydraulic fluid and engine oil for working in protected areas.
 
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This topic seems to be a popular one on several threads at the moment. I have been using canola oil as bar and chain oil for 7 years. I cut Firewood for home heating and maple syrup production. I haven't noticed any difference in performance. The only side effect is I am not spraying petrochemicals all over nature.
 
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experiment with the peanut oil on a craftsmen or old beater chainsaw?I've used vegetable oil in a pinch it works it just burns faster then regular chainsaw oil.Biodegradable  stuff works well.They even make one with a mushroom inoculant.
gift
 
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