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New member, looking for Stihl 500i saw builder

Single_handed

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Hello,
I’m a greenhorn to the forum. I’m not a fan of general yard work, but I like 2 stroke engines, horse power and turning large pieces of wood into chips so chainsaws have always intrigued me. I inherited my first two saws a few years ago. A 2008 MS390 w/ 20” bar and a 2010 MS391 w/ 25” bar. They’re both pretty tired and didn’t run when I got them. But I rebuilt the carbs and cleaned them best I could.
Some family run a horse rescue of sorts and ran into personal issues so I offered to get firewood for them. Help with the chores. I’m also offering fuel wood to elderly and disabled Veterans locally as I am a Disabled Vet myself. I lost my right hand to an IED in Iraq.
I’ve been falling small-mid sized (by PNW standards Anyway) Jeffery and Ponderosa Pines near Reno, NV. I have dead/down permits so mostly beetle kill averaging 22” diameter and 75’ tall. The MS390/1 were having a heck of a time bucking these 22” diameter stems. Because of this and the desire to have a full wrap handle I purchased a new MS500i R last week. With a 28” ES bar. So much faster and easier for me to manipulate (I use 12” runners looped around the handle and slide my stump through to hold the saw in the safest manner available to me given my available “equipment”). Really wish my dealer would have had an ES LIGHT bar though and a full skip chain. Might have to scrape together the $$ to order one. Try to shave as much weight as I can as.

I’m looking for a solid saw builder. I’d like to get the saw ported and polished. Nothing super crazy like a race build. kind of a full “reliability/longevity build with the byproduct of more horsepower”. I ordered a WCS bark box, Al clutch cover (I’m a Gun mechanic/machinist so a billet cover was 100% mandatory for me ;-) lol.) and an air filter from max flow. I’d like to use a builder here on the left coast if at all possible. But it isn’t a deal breaker if I have to ship it across the continent. Money is a concern as all this fuelwood work is a charity of sorts and I live on my army pension/disability. The 500i covered most of a months pay, lol. I’m also looking to rebuild or replace the 390‘s. but the more I think about rebuilding the more I think I may just try to sell them for a few bucks and help buy a new backup/bucking saw since the timber i have available to me is a bit large for the 390’s. Would really like to get a husky 592xp or MS462. The stocker 500i bucks easily twice as fast as the 391. So I’d really like to have around 6hp in my back up saw. My Grandfather and Father were loggers and then ran Log trucks up and down the Oregon Coast in the 70’s and 80’s. Then moved to NV for the Gold Mines just before I was born. they taught me a lot about falling large trees, but being born and raised in NV it was mostly just fundamentals. I really enjoy falling trees. The bigger the better, even though I know loading and splitting it is going to be a bear. But listening to that 2 stroke sing, feeling the saw bite into the wood and lying a tree down in exactly the spot you wanted is right up there with a well executed long range rifle shot, which is my first true love and passion. I think I’d have enjoyed being a sawyer or arborist if I had my hand back. But, as my wife says. “If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.”

Thank you in advance!
Respectfully,
Single_Handed
 

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Hinerman

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Hello,
I’m a greenhorn to the forum. I’m not a fan of general yard work, but I like 2 stroke engines, horse power and turning large pieces of wood into chips so chainsaws have always intrigued me. I inherited my first two saws a few years ago. A 2008 MS390 w/ 20” bar and a 2010 MS391 w/ 25” bar. They’re both pretty tired and didn’t run when I got them. But I rebuilt the carbs and cleaned them best I could.
Some family run a horse rescue of sorts and ran into personal issues so I offered to get firewood for them. Help with the chores. I’m also offering fuel wood to elderly and disabled Veterans locally as I am a Disabled Vet myself. I lost my right hand to an IED in Iraq.
I’ve been falling small-mid sized (by PNW standards Anyway) Jeffery and Ponderosa Pines near Reno, NV. I have dead/down permits so mostly beetle kill averaging 22” diameter and 75’ tall. The MS390/1 were having a heck of a time bucking these 22” diameter stems. Because of this and the desire to have a full wrap handle I purchased a new MS500i R last week. With a 28” ES bar. So much faster and easier for me to manipulate (I use 12” runners looped around the handle and slide my stump through to hold the saw in the safest manner available to me given my available “equipment”). Really wish my dealer would have had an ES LIGHT bar though and a full skip chain. Might have to scrape together the $$ to order one. Try to shave as much weight as I can as.

I’m looking for a solid saw builder. I’d like to get the saw ported and polished. Nothing super crazy like a race build. kind of a full “reliability/longevity build with the byproduct of more horsepower”. I ordered a WCS bark box, Al clutch cover (I’m a Gun mechanic/machinist so a billet cover was 100% mandatory for me ;-) lol.) and an air filter from max flow. I’d like to use a builder here on the left coast if at all possible. But it isn’t a deal breaker if I have to ship it across the continent. Money is a concern as all this fuelwood work is a charity of sorts and I live on my army pension/disability. The 500i covered most of a months pay, lol. I’m also looking to rebuild or replace the 390‘s. but the more I think about rebuilding the more I think I may just try to sell them for a few bucks and help buy a new backup/bucking saw since the timber i have available to me is a bit large for the 390’s. Would really like to get a husky 592xp or MS462. The stocker 500i bucks easily twice as fast as the 391. So I’d really like to have around 6hp in my back up saw. My Grandfather and Father were loggers and then ran Log trucks up and down the Oregon Coast in the 70’s and 80’s. Then moved to NV for the Gold Mines just before I was born. they taught me a lot about falling large trees, but being born and raised in NV it was mostly just fundamentals. I really enjoy falling trees. The bigger the better, even though I know loading and splitting it is going to be a bear. But listening to that 2 stroke sing, feeling the saw bite into the wood and lying a tree down in exactly the spot you wanted is right up there with a well executed long range rifle shot, which is my first true love and passion. I think I’d have enjoyed being a sawyer or arborist if I had my hand back. But, as my wife says. “If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.”

Thank you in advance!
Respectfully,
Single_Handed
There are some very good builders here. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I love the screen name :)
 

Michael500i

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I, too, own a 500i-R and have a 28” light bar and full skip chains as well as 25” light and 20” standard. I have the same parts from WCS plus their suspension package. The suspension package really makes the saw feel less sloppy with the 28” and I've been told even.more so if using a 32” bar. When I got those parts I ordered the bark box, chain catcher, and all cover as a kit. That way I got a 10% discount on those parts and included their chain catcher (which I think is better on the chain if it snaps than the metal catcher on the saw. The metal one on the saw is removed. Last I chose to replace the dogs with WCS 3 point ones.
Currently, I have not added a Maxflow, because Gordie is working on a high-flow system himself that I want to see when completed. IMHO I feel you might want to help your financial situation and just run the saw. It gets better and better with use. The full skip chain and light bar make a world of difference in how it cuts and the balance. If after adding the suspension kit and bar/chain combo you still feel you want to port it, you can do it at any time down the road. Rushing into the work, you will void your!
Best wishes regardless of what you choose to do or not.
 

Single_handed

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I, too, own a 500i-R and have a 28” light bar and full skip chains as well as 25” light and 20” standard. I have the same parts from WCS plus their suspension package. The suspension package really makes the saw feel less sloppy with the 28” and I've been told even.more so if using a 32” bar. When I got those parts I ordered the bark box, chain catcher, and all cover as a kit. That way I got a 10% discount on those parts and included their chain catcher (which I think is better on the chain if it snaps than the metal catcher on the saw. The metal one on the saw is removed. Last I chose to replace the dogs with WCS 3 point ones.
Currently, I have not added a Maxflow, because Gordie is working on a high-flow system himself that I want to see when completed. IMHO I feel you might want to help your financial situation and just run the saw. It gets better and better with use. The full skip chain and light bar make a world of difference in how it cuts and the balance. If after adding the suspension kit and bar/chain combo you still feel you want to port it, you can do it at any time down the road. Rushing into the work, you will void your!
Best wishes regardless of what you choose to do or not.
That’s why I said I’m just looking for someone at the moment, because I don’t want to void the warranty (2 year, because I’m just joe singlehanded schmo). I need the saw to work at the moment, so having a backlog for a builder is a nonissue for me. Just kind of “kicking tires” at the moment. As I know no one in the field. Once the saw is out of warranty (or close to) I’d like to do it as she’ll probably be due for a top end anyway.
As a sidebar, possible warranty Issue, I think the decompression release on my saw is faulty. It won’t kick when the saw fires. It starts, stumbles and dies. If I can get on the throttle soon enough i can nurse it through. But that’s not very easy to do with one hand. So I usually just yank it with the decomp closed. But the closer it gets to being broken in the valve seems like it might be loosening up And seems to want to start a bit easier (I like to use it when I start the saw standing, with the rear grip between my legs, otherwise I get quite a bruise on the inside of my thighs and my voice goes up an octave for a while).
 

Single_handed

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Thanks.

Happy to do it if you’re not in a hurry. I’m about 6 months out on port work right now.
Sir,
I am not in any hurry. In fact, I’d rather do it a bit later so that I don’t void what warranty I’ve got (2 year). I don’t know anyone in this field so I joined the forum to see if I couldn’t learn about some reputable builders. I rebuilt 2 stroke bikes and quads when I was younger for an uncle that owned a bike shop. But we rarely did any porting as there was such a fine line between success, mediocrity and failure. We usually sent jugs off to trinity racing for port work. The closest logging ops that I know of are in the Susanville, CA area so I wasn’t sure if there were builders somewhere between here and Eugene, or (I have family there). But honestly, if I’m going to ship the saw anywhere then distance really makes zero difference wether it’s left coast or not.
 

davidwyby

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I have a few XS (kevin) saws and recommend him, but I also think you probably can't go wrong with any of the porters on this forum. If you're really stuck west coast, jason Egan is good. I'm SW of you, might be passin thru shortly.
 

1Snowcat

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Or buy 2 saws use one and port one then sell used 500i after you get new ported one back (however long it takes) and know the difference first hand!
 

Duce

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Or buy 2 saws use one and port one then sell used 500i after you get new ported one back (however long it takes) and know the difference first hand!
Great idea! Warranty, what? Never used or heard of that.
 
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