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Company providing free sharpening for tool critical to SWFL disaster recovery effort

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Oregon Tool
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Special to WGCU
An Oregon Tool worker sharpens a chain saw chain at the company's disaster response trailer at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fort Myers. The company, based in Portland, Oregon, and established in 1947, manufactures saw chains, bars and other equipment for the forestry, agriculture, and construction industries, and provides free chain saw sharpening services at disaster sites. The company has been providing the disaster service for about eight to 10 years.

A chainsaw is likely going to be a valuable tool in Southwest Florida in coming days to cleanup the tree limbs, branches, bushes and other wood debris left by Hurricane Ian.

But when those chainsaw chains go dull, where are you going to go to get them sharpened quickly?

One company is doing something about that.

Oregon Tool, based in Portland, Oregon, and established in 1947, manufactures saw chains, bars and other equipment for the forestry, agriculture, and construction industries, and provides free chain saw sharpening services at disaster sites. The company has been providing the disaster service for about eight to 10 years.

"We actually have three trailers across the U.S.," Brett Beddow, Oregon Tool's North American sales manager said. "We have one that's east coast, one that's central, and one that's west coast. Any time that there's a storm, we deploy to the storm and we spend anywhere from seven to 14 days."

Beddow said the self-contained trailers have their own generators, three different chain-saw sharpening systems, and trained staffers and will sharpen any and all chains, regardless of make, model or brand.

He said the type, cost, or style of chainsaw isn't an issue.

"We don't care, we have the tools and the know-how to take care of it," he said. "We will sharpen it for you while you wait. If you have a bucket of chains we might ask you to go have a cup of coffee and come back. But, you can certainly wait."

He said in cases where someone may have broken or otherwise made their chains unusable, Oregon Tool will just give them a chain. Free.

Beddow said there are no qualifications. "We do it for everyone," he said.

IAN 10.2 image 7.jpg
Oregon Tool
/
Special to WGCU
An Oregon Tool worker sharpens a chain saw chain at the company's disaster response trailer at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center, 3903 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fort Myers. The company, based in Portland, Oregon, and established in 1947, manufactures saw chains, bars and other equipment for the forestry, agriculture, and construction industries, and provides free chain saw sharpening services at disaster sites. The company has been providing the disaster service for about eight to 10 years.

He said sometimes the big tree care companies will arrive with five-gallon buckets of chains.
"We'll do them," he said. "But we'll tell them to wait until the end of the day."

Beddow and the Oregon Tool trailer is set up for operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for at least the next 10 days at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard just past the Fleamasters Fleamarket grounds.

"As bad as this is I would feel comfortable saying 10 days, "he said. "We tried to find a spot that's easy to find."

Beddow said, in most cases, the sharpening services handles anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 chains per disaster, around 400 per day on average.

The workers handling the sharpening duties aren't just hired for the event, he said.

"The people that are on-site, probably between the thee of them ... have 80 years of experience," he said. "They are some of the best. One worker has been with Oregon Tool for 40 years."

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