V8 Chainsaw Cuts Wood Like a Hot Knife Through Butter
It’s not everyday that a classic 253 ci Holden V8 gets strapped directly to a 1000 mm harvester bar. But that’s exactly what the mad geniuses at Whitlands Engineering in Australia did for a demonstration of their line of Superaxes. The Superaxe is the middle ground between using a chainsaw to cut logs and using a wood processing unit that rolls the logs through a conveyor belt. For small applications, the Superaxe is surely a great answer – but is a Holden V8 what actually gets offered?
Chainsaws Worst Nightmare – The Peppermint Gum Tree
There’s no doubting it – a 1:1 ratio with a right-angle driver from the engine to the blade can produce some staggeringly powerful cuts. That’s part of the Whitland Engineering team’s intent when designing this rig. It’s meant to cooperate closely with log splitters and other tools to make the time it takes to process a lot of wood significantly easier. This isn’t, however, the chainsaw someone would likely use to cut down a tree.
This particular Peppermint Gum had a diameter of about two feet and this beast cut through that hardwood tree in about 2.4 seconds. For reference, the Peppermint gum trees can grow to heights of up to 210 feet with diameter at breast height (dbh) of 7 to 10 feet. It’s an extremely dense, heavy hardwood with average densities around 53 pounds per foot cubed (lbs/ft3). For reference, the eastern white oak (Quercus alba) has an average estimated density of 46 lbs/ft3… So it’s nothing the average chainsaw would scoff at.
Whitlands Engineering is one of the leading innovators in producing wood cutting equipment in Australia. The Superaxe lineup definitely features some great capabilities useful fo
Not Your Average Superaxe
Whitlands Engineering is one of the leading innovators in producing wood cutting equipment in Australia. The Superaxe lineup definitely features some great capabilities useful for cleaving through everything from green to seasoned hardwoods. However, the average Superaxe does not come with a 253 ci Holden V8. Most of their options include between 9 and 18 hp. The engine shown here, the 253 ci Holden V8 is an overhead valve eight cylinder engine used in the Australian General Motors line of Commodores between 1969 and 2000. It is a powerful whopper of an engine at that. When it was last seen in the GM Commodores, it produced 237 hp – not too shabby. So, when hooked up to a 1000 mm wood harvester bar with a relatively wide 3/4” pitch harvester chain – the Superaxe is a serious force to be reckoned with. It was slicing through that Peppermint Gum tree like a hot knife through butter or a sharp knife through a block of cheese. In reality, however, a 16 hp diesel engine wouldn’t likely have the same performance specs as a 237 hp 5.0 liter engine – would it?
To give the Whitlands team a bit of credit, they at least designed a practical V8 powered super chainsaw that could actually be used. In this other one, we’ll see an impractical version. Requiring a two man crew simply to operate, we see one of the crew members fall to his knees to the extremely heavy weight of the rig. Powered by a V8 engine? Yes. Able to slice wood like a hot knife through butter? Also yes. Horribly impractical and potentially life threatening? Yes, yes, and yes. So we can quickly see that if a company is going to put on a production to show how their product would work with a high performance car engine – at least this one Aussie team stuck to what’s practical.