Carving out a Career with ECHO chainsaws -CS-360WES
After Tracey Johnson ‘s husband bought a chainsaw home four years ago, Tracey decided to give chainsaw carving a go. Tracey talks to us about how she’s carved out a successful career in chainsaw carving and how important the right tools are to do a great job.
Tracey Johnson started her chainsaw carving career over four years ago when her husband brought home a chainsaw one weekend. Being a creative person, she was interested in seeing if she could use a chainsaw to make wood carvings. She started with a small mushroom and her first attempt had no real definition and looked very boxy. After continuous practising and many more mushrooms later, she began carving more intricate sculptures specifically birds and animals. As her confidence and ability grew Tracey was getting more and more sculpture commissions, many of them more challenging than the previous and she found that her carvings were getting bigger and a higher level of intricate detail was required. Her largest, most challenging sculpture to-date is 3 bears climbing a tree up to a beehive complete with wire bees. This reached 20ft and was completed in 100hours! In our interview, Tracey constantly stresses how important using the right tools are for her carvings; often she is carving for 7-8 hours at a time and therefore needs a chainsaw that starts first time, is lightweight and compact with low vibration levels that she can use for most of the day. When asked what advice she had for anyone interested in chainsaw carving – “Have a go! I never thought I’d be where I am today. Start small, keep practising and use the right saw!”.
“As a chainsaw sculptor I put a high demand on my saws, they are used in a way that is outside of the normal expectations of a chainsaw. I have tried other brands but they just don’t feel right, my go to saw is the ECHO CS-360WES. This saw is compact, powerful and fits well in the hand. If you’ve ever carved you will understand how crucial being able to manoeuvre a chainsaw is to get the intricate detail I need. I’ve carved sculptures out of 20ft pieces of wood which have needed a scaffolding tower to be erected to get to it and therefore a saw that’s a good weight and balance is essential. ECHO saws feel reassuringly solid and well built, some other higher profile brands I have used feel clumsy and flimsy. I have my ECHO CS-360WES setup with ¼ pitch carving chain and a 12” dime tip carving bar and quite often the saw can be in constant use for up to 7 hours at a time. This saw is used for everything from deep plunge cuts to fine detailing and it never lets me down.
With chainsaw carving you don’t always need high amounts of power but what you do need is control over the throttle. Some saw brands don’t seem to like low speeds and they seem to be all or nothing, whereas the ECHO CS-360WES is comfortable being used right through the entire rev range.
I currently have 4 ECHO saws; my carvings range in size and intricate detail required so therefore I use different saws to achieve the different dimensions needed to ensure my commissioned pieces are the best they can be. I wouldn’t be without my ECHO saws. As a professional these saws need to work for me all-day, every-day. The two-year professional warranty gives me that added confidence in the tools.
In short, I find that the ECHO saws work well for me and the commission pieces I do, they are easy to work with and I can depend on them when I need to.”
You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer, by visiting www.echo-tools.co.uk or calling 0800 597 7777 for more information.