The Phoenix

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
Mar 6, 2005
Northern Ohio
Not really just an 038 Mag I saved .Originally bought from Rocky as a parts saw several months back. When I really looked it over I thought myself,self I said this one can live again .Live again it does most likely faster than it ever was before .

I did a rather unconventional type of port job in the fact I cut the piston rather than raise the ports. The piston/head clreance was originall 53 thou.This was lowered to 21 thou and 30 thou was cut of the edge of the piston .

Some argue this piston trimming is not the best way to do things and some say it is fine.Who knows but it does work .

The ports where all hogged out a tad and polished to almost mirror brightness.Again some say to let them rough and some say polish.Who knows?

The exhaust was widden just a tad and of course the muffler reworked a bit.As it is now,a factory dual poert,All I did was gut it and widden the cover port slightly.As soon as the engine has some running time I will hog it out more.No sense pushing it too soon . I'll try and find the pictures in order as the work was done .


  • 038 cylinder 004.jpg
    038 cylinder 004.jpg
    48.1 KB · Views: 177
  • 038 cylinder 006.jpg
    038 cylinder 006.jpg
    46.1 KB · Views: 177
  • Rocky 038 001.jpg
    Rocky 038 001.jpg
    50.6 KB · Views: 175
  • Rocky 038 002.jpg
    Rocky 038 002.jpg
    54.1 KB · Views: 175
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
More pics .


  • Rocky 038 003.jpg
    Rocky 038 003.jpg
    48.6 KB · Views: 172
  • Rocky 038 007.jpg
    Rocky 038 007.jpg
    47.1 KB · Views: 174
  • Rocky 038 006.jpg
    Rocky 038 006.jpg
    49.6 KB · Views: 175
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Couple more .The last is cutting oak "cookies" most people use poplar,ha .:D


  • Rocky 038 008.jpg
    Rocky 038 008.jpg
    53.6 KB · Views: 173
  • Rocky 038 009.jpg
    Rocky 038 009.jpg
    55.1 KB · Views: 173
Well done Al!
What's the Koper-shield stuff on the bolts do?
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Well done Al!
What's the Koper-shield stuff on the bolts do?
Keeps them from galling up.When you screw a steel bolts into an aluminum housing there is the possibility of electrolysis or galvanic action because of dissimilar metals .

The metals kind of act like a little battery of sorts .The one acting as the neg. will get "plated " by the other and become impossible to remove . After a while,for example,it's nearly impossible to remove the anti-vib mounts that have been on forever and a day from a saw unless some type of anti-seize was used .Grease is better than nothing but there is better stuff than Koper-shield , I was just too lazy to find it at the moment .
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
My 046 is in the mail Al.
Oh heavens I must have had 50 offers to tweek and twitter saws but I made up my mind years ago I would never do that over the net .

Just general conversation,too many times somebody would bitch about it or somebody else would comment about how stupidly it was done.It's just a hobby for me .I'll tell you how to do it but I won't do it .

Then on that subject too,some smart a$$ would swear to God you "stole" the idea from somebody .Nothng usually could be further from the truth .Well,it's just the net,you can't take things too seriously I guess:)

Is the saw a regular 038 or a 38 Mag??

Does that piston have a slight dish in the middle of it?? I have never seen a piston from a chainsaw look like that one.

I am glad you posted about the way you cut the piston down. I have heard people doing that to them also but from the way it was explained to me was that only the part of the piston that was cut was the top of the piston that faced the exhaust port. That didn't seem quite kosher to me to do it that way. To me it would throw the piston a little out of balance. The same with cutting the skirt on the intake side like I have seen done. The way you did it keeps the piston in balance.

Oh, I sent you a pm for some Mac parts if you them.
1956 or '57 Monarch 10" EE toolmakers lathe .

Izzat yours?

A gem of a machine.......:|:

I am a Toolmaker and have to make due with substandard equipment, working for people who could give a crap.:big-sad2:

The way you did it keeps the piston in balance.

Keeps the piston in balance, but throws the rest of the saw out of balance. To do it properly you should collect the chips removed fron the piston and weigh them. Then remove a like amount of weight from the crank weights to re balance the entire assembly.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
Long winded post,hang on.

It's an 038 Mag,made in Brazil ,not an AV model .

The cut piston method is very controversial.Some like it,some do not.Who is correct is anybodies call.

That dome is 30 thou above the rest of the piston and dead center so the balance in theory won't be thrown off .The piston of course is a tad lighter in weight .

Now my theory because no body else really comments on it is this dome does or should do two things.First spread the flame front easier.Secondly the piston is cut with angle close to the angle of the transfer roof.If my theory is correct this in turn will sweep the rear of the cylinder in a better form than a flat top piston .The slight downward slope should also help exacuate the cylinder on exhaust .

Now is this true,don't really know.The auto industry started using domed pistons for production run engines about 10-12 years ago so there must be something to it .

How it runs.Spools up instantly.After about a fraction of a second in the wood it goes bonkers about like comming into resonance on a tuned pipe.I've never seen anything like nor can I explain it .Another guy had a 750 Homelite that did the same thing.He couldn't explain it either .

Not bragging,I've ran a whole bunch of 038 Mags and this one is a cut above.I don't know if it's the piston,a combination of things or just blind luck .

As soon as the rings seat I'm going to take a comp reading and measurements on the ports and time/area and turn it over a mathematical wizard on another site to see if he can make any sense of it because I can't .That said,I'm tickled pink it turned out as well as it appears to be .:D
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Izzat yours?

A gem of a machine.......:|:

I am a Toolmaker and have to make due with substandard equipment, working for people who could give a crap.:big-sa
Really .Hmm I figured just about any toolroom set up had either a EE or a Hardinge ,at least one if not several . Show's how much I know,duh .
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #21

The Phoenix is done,right down to the decal . I'll bet it doesn't hardly resemble it's former self,should have taken a before and after .;)


  • Pheonix 002.jpg
    Pheonix 002.jpg
    55.1 KB · Views: 74
very cool Al.

Besides removing the spark arrester from my 020, I couldn't modify my way outta a paperbag. I can disassemble anything, just don't ask me to put it back together.............I guess thats why I'm a tree guy:)
That saw looks really super sharp AL , you did a good job.

Did you paint it, the body that is???

How about the covers??? Did you polish or buff them somehow to get that next to new look????