Talk shop over the World’s oldest chainsaws, repair and conviviality. Chainsaw friends meet up once a month at Carsten Lemke’s in Germany for a chainsaw evening.
Chainsaw collectors evening – the traveling dutchman
The dutchman Fritz van der Born travels around a lot as manager of the lumber department at a sawmilling industry. Recently he was traveling in Belgium and the Netherlands. Such business trips are often combined with his hobby as a collector of chainsaws – Husqvarna is his specialty.
So far, his collection contains some 150 chainsaws. Some newly purchased saws and a box full of brochures, catalogs and spare parts is what he brought to the monthly collectors meeting at Carsten Lemke’s this time.
It starts in the parking lot
Carstens court looks as usual on the chainsaw evenings. Quite a few cars are parked at the entrance with open trunks, fully loaded with chainsaws and accessories. Rare models are admired and commented on. Exchanged saws are reloaded into the trunks. Some saws are immediately started, and the sound commented on.
“It´s like stamp collecting” smiles Carsten Lemke, “but our hobby is more modern.”
Carstens workshop is perfectly equipped for this event. Between four working spaces, piles of special tools including files and lubrication, are lying around. If Carsten ever would clean the workshop up, he would get another two working spaces.
Compressed air is of course available, just like spare parts for many brands, all sorted in boxes. Over 100 chains representing as good as all sizes and saw bars, also with rare connections, are hanging in the chainsaw stuffed workshop. Carstens’s collection of chainsaws contains over 800 saws. Compared to other collections, this is an average one, according to him.
On this occasion, he receives a new item to his collection. Fritz van der Born has brought him an Oleo Mac 272 that he trades for Husqvarna spare parts.
Public events, social media and new participants
The approximately 40 collectors in this chainsaw community from Germany, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and other countries, meets on regular basis at public events to show their chainsaws. They have a Whats-App group where technical problems and solutions are discussed. Also, missing spare parts and saws for sale are informed about here, and warnings about unserious sellers.
The monthly chainsaw evening complements the exchange now for five years. Every time there are new collectors coming such as Sven Rohrssen who has specialized in McCulloch saws, the Echo fan Jens Kracke, Ralf Papke who collects “everything he doesn´t have”, Carsten Detert that also collects single-axle machines, as well as Ole Panzer and his father Heiko Pfuhl that brought a Dolmar 144 with a clogged oil pump.
“Organic chain oil is a problem for collectors,” says Carsten Lemke when looking at the removed oil pump. “We quite often receive saws that haven´t been started in a long time. Then the organic oil is like chewing gum” he adds. The only thing that helps is a complete bath in WD-40 oil or a hot air dryer.
Saws with surprises
Jan Matthiesen brought a Crecent 06 that doesn´t give any spark. “This model is quite rare” claims the forester who received the Crecent from a Swedish fellow collector. Crecent manufactured a number of chainsaws and boat engines in the 60’s. At that time, Husqvarna started their chainsaw production. Cooperation between the two started, in which Husqvarna took over the chainsaw patents from Crecent.
“The Crecent 06 was in production for one year, then it became the as good as similar Husqvarna F70.” knows Jan Matthiesen, who runs a Husqvarna museum in Ascheberg in northern Germany.
To get to the ignition coil, the fan wheel is blocking the way. It can´t be removed other than with a special tool, a tool that not even Carsten Lemke’s excellent workshop can offer. Missing special tools is a common problem at the chainsaw evenings, old-timers are often full of surprises.
“Many models were only sold in specific countries or were manufactured for a very long time. The design and technology can therefore be quite different”, explains Carsten Lemke.
Stihl’s “birthday service”
The best example is the Stihl 08 that has been produced in different versions since 1963, nowadays as a drilling machine. When it comes to the 08-history, Tobias is the specialist among the chainsaw friends. His collection contains 21 saws from the model series 1108, type 08, 085 and S10. He is also the owner of the oldest Stihl 08 in this group, built in 1963. How could he know?
Well, to decide the manufacturing year for older chainsaws Stihl offers a unique service – The exact manufacturing date can through the serial number of the saw be decided by the Stihl customer service. With this “birthday customer service” for chainsaws, Stihl can follow up the manufacturing dates back to the 50’s.
If you can´t buy it – make it
Back to Jan Matthiesen and his “impossible” fan wheel. He simply has to make his own special tool for the task. He cuts the head of a 19 mm bolt with an angle grinder so that only two tips are left. These fit exactly into the intake of the fan wheel, which finally comes loose.
Now the reason for the ignition problem is obvious. The insulation on a cable has been worn out and caused a short circuit. Jan starts working with the wiring but is distracted …
This particular chainsaw evening has two special guests, Mathias Lukas and Marcus Raatz. The last-mentioned works at the development department at Makita in Hamburg-Jenfeld in northern Germany, where the Dolmar chainsaws are manufactured. The engineer is squeezed like a lemon by the chainsaw friends this evening. They want to know everything. He tells them a lot about the development of chainsaws and answers probing questions but – no trade secrets!
One theme is the Dolmar 500V, the only 4-stroke chainsaw that has been built in the last decades. Despite the fact that they officially never left the factory, 14 of those are to be found at collectors. Some 100 test saws were sent to loggers and dealers in 2006, not all of them came back …
The Dolmar engineer has brought a gift to Carsten Lemke; an intersection model of the 500 V with moving engine parts, built for education. This model left the Dolmar factory as scrap.
The World’s oldest chainsaw
The other guest, Mathias Lukas, traveled 550 kilometers to get to the chainsaw evening. The retired vocational teacher runs a public chainsaw museum in Lauterecken in south Germany. In his possession, he has the first petrol-powered chainsaw in the World – a Sector. This is the only known Sector in the World. The two-man saw was developed by a Swedish engineer in 1912 and manufactured in Lübeck (Northern Germany). Its history is adventurous …
About 10 years ago Mathias Lukas received a photo from an acquaintance. The photo showed an engine with the Sector logo. The acquaintance had bought the engine cheap from a scrap dealer and collector of stationary engines. At this point, Lukas only knew about the Sector-saw from stories. He wanted to buy the engine, but the acquaintances’ wife already put an ad for it on “chainsawcollectors.com”. Collectors from all over the World knew immediately what this was and the bids, especially from the USA, went high.
Mathias and other founder members of the chainsaw community of interests were unified: “That saw must stay in Germany! One of us has to sacrifice himself!” The sacrifice cost Lukas a four-digit amount (EURO), for which he also, one year later, became the original starter crank.
Based on old drawings and photos, Lukas restored the complete saw. In 500 working hours, he manufactured 178 components. However, the saw has so far never been started. “I don´t trust myself” reveals Lukas. The saw has of course a spark, its 5 hp is delivered from the 500-cc engine.
It´s started with a crank, but if the engine kicks back “it will break my arm”, fears Lukas. Other collectors urge him to finally start the Sector. The time will come: “I strive to fulfill their wish.”
Storytelling, repairs, good food and good friendship
Stories like this are told during the chainsaw evening. Carsten Lemke’s wife, Manuela, provides energy through delicious food. Suddenly it´s close to midnight, and Jan Matthiesen still works on his Crecent. After soldering the ignition cable, the saw has a spark again and starts, but stops again. Jan continues by switching the membrane in the carburetor and the fuel hose. Now, the old-timer works and after a test cut Jan pleased says: “She has more power than I thought”.
Translation: Per Jonsson
Photos: Max Riemann