2010 - Volume #34, Issue #5, Page #44[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Chainsaw Poles Showcase Collection
What started as a way to display his collection and get the saws out from underfoot has turned into an artistic, historical display showing the evolution of chainsaws.
It's a natural fit for a man who has made much of his living logging, chainsaw carving and restoring or building log buildings.
The collection started about 14 years ago, when Lekies buried the long bar of an old McCulloch saw in the wood pole supporting his mailbox.
He liked the way it looked so he started acquiring cheap telephone poles to construct a forest of chainsaw poles - some as tall as 35 ft. Lekies cuts the slots to hold the chainsaw bars when the pole is on the ground, making a spiral pattern. Once the pole is up, he uses a climbing portable deer stand to work his way to the top. A friend hands up saws with a pulley system.
Lekies picked up many of the saws cheap at auction sales. Once he bought 11 for $2.50. Since salvage prices have gone up, he hasn't found deals quite that good. But he bought 80 saws from another collector, and occasionally receives free saws from people who know what he's doing.
"About 20 to 25 percent of the saws were given to me. That's the most fun, when there's a saw laying at the end of the driveway," Lekies says. "People like to contribute to the cause."
About a fourth of the saws would run (with some work), but they have all seen their best days. Many are McCullough and Homelite chainsaws from the 50's. Lekies notes that in the past he bought saws because they were cheap. Now he's more interested in strange, more unusual saws.
He likes the fact that his collection makes people smile and reminisce. He's heard many conversations about "That was the worst saw" or "My dad cut wood with that one."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gordy Lekies, W8743 Co. Rd. M., Medford, Wis. 54451 (ph 715 785-7362; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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