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Community and Q&A

Chainsaw retrofit: a time-lapse video on YouTube

Martin Holladay | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I recently received an e-mail from superinsulation pioneer Harold Orr. The e-mail included a link to a YouTube video showing time-lapse photography of the first day of work on a chainsaw retrofit in Saskatoon.

The video is a lot of fun to watch. As far as I can tell, they actually used a chainsaw to cut off the roof overhangs. (It looks like a Poulan chainsaw.)

Here’s the link:

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  1. John Brooks | | #1
  2. John Brooks | | #2

    "Chainsaw" was the inspiration for this detail that I have been considering
    Image 2

  3. Riversong | | #3


    I see your details include a metal tie plate for uplift resistance, but don't include any tension connector for out-thrust resistance which is necessary whenever the rafters and ceiling joists don't side lap. Toe nails into a rafter plate are insufficient to resist lateral thrust.

  4. Riversong | | #4

    Nevermind retrofits. I lived for a year in the woods of Maine with a (former) nun who built with a chainsaw in one hand and a hammer in the other (so to speak). We were a mile off the main road (and nearest electricity) and the only battery power we had was the car battery she would haul in on a plastic sled to run her TV.

    We had to haul our water a quarter mile in 5-gallon buckets from Whiskey Spring. And I remember waking up one winter morning to find my water bucket, just a couple feet from the woodstove, with a thick skin of ice on top.

    I could have used a deep energy retrofit of that barn-top apartment!

  5. Harold Orr | | #5

    Yes, that is a Poulan chainsaw and it works much better than a skill saw or a recip saw. We are having another bee to put the framing in for the insulation package on Saturday the Oct 2. and will try to do another time lapse.

  6. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #6

    Glad you stopped by. One thing I've learned after living for 35 years in rural Vermont: how to spot a neighbor's chainsaw brand at 100 yards....

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