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Author Topic: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening  (Read 1114 times)

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Offline Classic1

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Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« on: November 25, 2016, 08:37:28 PM »
I've got a Lucas DSM-23 dedicated slabber and I'd like to hear from anyone that has found the easiest way to sharpen the chains.  We are running the oregon 27rx chains.   We've currently been hand filing them on the bar.  Thats not an issue for me, although as the mill gets low to the ground it become pretty uncomfortable.

My main problem is, the guys that help run the mill can't file a chain to save their lives.  I've tried showing them how to do it but it just takes practice and we don't have the luxury of time since we don't mill that often. 

Any "foolproof" methods to simplify or speed this up?  I've seen a "timberline" sharpening jig online that looked pretty simple, but it doesn't look like the angles adjust.  Not sure if they are correct for this chain.
Lucas dsm23
Norwood hd36

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 08:45:08 PM »
Classic1, congrats on the Lucas slabber.  Not sure who now, likely an ff member, taught me to take several sharp chains on the job and just change them out when they get dull.  Sharpen them at home when you have more
time.  There may be better solutions.
Built my own band mill with the help of Forestry Forum. 
Lucas 618 with 50" slabber
WoodmizerLT-40 Super Hydraulic
Deere 5065E mfwd w/553 loader

The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. --Tom A. Edison

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2016, 06:37:39 AM »
I sharpen them at home on a grinder (currently I use 15/60 degree top/side angles).  Care to keep track of cutter length being the same and depth gauge height around 0.050".  Very minimal amount of tooth length is ground off each time not more than a thousandth or two if not damaged.  Take about 15 chains with me on a job sometimes use most of them in a day. Changing the chain takes only several minutes if not in a cut.

I never tried sharpening on the bar I suppose one could adjust the height of the mill and sharpen from a single position, to be comfortable. But then would have to advance the chain by hand , seems this would be hard to do.   But I can see the advantage especially if one needed to sharpen it part way through a cut. 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

Offline Seaman

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2016, 07:21:57 AM »
I sharpen using the Lucas clamp on gig. Absolutely the best $300 I have spent on the mill. The gig will make it much easier to teach others also. To sharpen in the shop, I clamp one of the rail extensions to my work table. Please do not try to save money by using dull files, throw it away and get a new one, keep a new three pack with your gear.
Frank
Lucas dedicated slabber
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Offline Classic1

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2016, 09:56:58 AM »
Terrific timbers:  What grinder do you use?  I've never used one, so I am unfamiliar with brands, types, etc.   Assuming its pretty easy to teach someone how yo use it? 

I looked at the lucas attachment and it just seemed kinda crazy at $300 and still have to file by hand.  Figured I could make one for a lot less than that if I was sticking with hand filing.  Automation seems like it would be better to me. 

Consistency will be my main issue as I might now always have the same guy sharpening a chain.   
Lucas dsm23
Norwood hd36

Offline Bluejay27

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2016, 02:28:21 PM »
I've been using an Oregon 620-120 (hydraulic clamping, $400) and can do a 250 link chain in 20-25 minutes (granberg style, so full comp). All I did was add a foot pedal that pulls the indexing pal forward to help advance the chain. And I'm using a $100 cbn wheel so I never have to dress it, and use the AO wheels to grind the rakers.

It does blue the cutters if I have to fix some metal damage, but a quick touch up is easy and consistent, although you might find that it isn't really a "self-centering" vise and needs a slight adjustment on depth from one side to the other.

I tried the timberline sharpener for a while and it is a pain in the wrist. Plus the carbide sharpeners don't take abuse well, meaning a heavy handed employee will cost you. I even tried to be gentle on it but save my wrist using a cordless drill, but it snapped the carbide after a few chains.
'98 Wood-Mizer LT40HDD42 Super, '08 LT40HDG28, '15 LT70HDD55-RW, '93 Clark GPX25 Forklift, '99 Ford F550

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2016, 05:56:26 PM »
Terrific timbers:  What grinder do you use?  I've never used one, so I am unfamiliar with brands, types, etc.   Assuming its pretty easy to teach someone how yo use it? 

I looked at the lucas attachment and it just seemed kinda crazy at $300 and still have to file by hand.  Figured I could make one for a lot less than that if I was sticking with hand filing.  Automation seems like it would be better to me. 

Consistency will be my main issue as I might now always have the same guy sharpening a chain.
Mine is Efco brand, it was what Bailey's was selling around 1990, not sure but think it was for a little less than $200. It is Italian.  It uses a 5-3/4" diameter wheel.  I believe similar grinders in the Oregon brand are around $350 now.  One can still find a similar Efco grinder but it appears to have the Stens name on it and for whatever reason is around $700-$800, don't know why.  There is nothing automatic about it nor is that needed for slabber chain sharpening. My slabber chains have 14 pairs of cutters and don't take very long to sharpen.   Of course speed, ease, and reproducibility of sharpening are valuable and would pay off if one also sharpens a lot of chainsaw chains especially if they're long ones.

Here's an Efco, mine is orange:  https://rotarycorp.com/product/4250
A selection of similar styled grinders from Bailey's https://www.baileysonline.com/Chainsaw-Chain/Chain-Grinders-Wheels/Bench-Mounted-Chain-Grinders/
The Tecomec ones say they're  Italian, the $529 one has hydraulic clamping and might be the one Bluejay27 uses.   

I have an ABN 4 mm wheel from Bailey's (Dinasaw cyclone was the brand), highly recommend this as the wheel doesn't change profile. I paid $250 for mine and expect it to outlast me.  I don't see that they sell the 5-3/4 diameter any more.  Probably need to find it in ABN, CBN, or diamond somewhere else.


Besides having all the necessary adjustments I would also very highly value in a new grinder, one that gives exactly the same tooth length when you go from cutter on one side to the other.  The grinder is either going to do this or not. I'm sure they're all supposed to do this but .......  I don't know how one could find this in advance except to get a reference from someone who has the same one can give a readout as to this level of detail.   These grinders are not complicated, the head has the side angle and grinding depth setting, and the vise has the top plate angle and can also be straight up and down or tilt the chain in or out 10 degrees as well.  Precision in reproducibility and holding the settings and tightly clamping the chain are important.

P.S.   I usually take my grinder to slabbing jobs with me, esp. ones far from home.   When I've used it, I clamp it to the top of a short step ladder.  If the customer doesn't have power near the log, I've plugged it into an inverter hooked to my truck battery.  Don't always use it but insurance against running out of sharp chains.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker, hydraulics everywhere), Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2016, 06:32:36 PM »
I used to carry not less then 3 sharp chains onto every job.

I had the Lucas chain sharpening jig, which I'd modified to fit to the side of my truck as well as the mill rail. That way I could cut till a chain needed sharpening, change it out, keep cutting, and have any old idiot that could hold a file sharpening the dull chain for me. Thats the beauty of the Lucas jig... the angle is marked and its pretty hard to get it that wrong that it wont cut so long as they could hold a file level.

If needed, at the end of each day I'd put the chains back over the bench grinder to sort them out, as well as touching up the rakers myself. As with all things chainsaw chain, while given a jig most can get it right enough to cut... they also get it wrong enough that its not right, if you know what i mean. I dislike grinders, prefer hand filed chains... but its a quick way to take everything back to a set point when you need to.

The Lucas jig pretty much lives on the side of my chainsaw bench now... I dont slab no more. But its just the best thing for filing rakers down that I use it for all my sawchains. Mine came with the slabbing bar I think, cant remember paying extra for it anyway. Dunno whether I'd consider it worth $300 USD though - seems expensive for what it is - but they designed it and they deserve some kudos and dollars for that I guess.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline nomad

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2016, 07:12:13 PM »
     The Lucas sharpening jig is kinda pricey, but lets you do a really nice job with minimal time lost and minimal metal removal.  Well worth the time to take the chain off to use it.  Sharpening on the bar is a major PITA.  I set mine up to mount on the tailgate of my truck.
     Like most of the others, I generally bring enough chains to just swap 'em out and worry about sharpening back at the shop.  I carry the jig in case of "worst case scenario."
     At home I use an expensive Italian sharpener.  I think I would've been just as well served with an Oregon sharpener.  The key is taking the lightest grind possible, and paying attention to the raker height. 
Buying a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter
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Offline Classic1

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 09:52:14 PM »
Thanks for all the helpful info.  I'll be looking into everyones suggestions and I'll repost as to what I end up getting.
Lucas dsm23
Norwood hd36

Offline Seaman

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Re: Lucas Mill slabber chain sharpening
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 06:52:32 AM »
IMHO, if you get a grinder, and let your help use it , they will RUIN EVERY CHAIN.
Did I mention they will ruin all your chains? First sharpening, guaranteed!
I have tried it all, go with the Lucas gig.
Lucas dedicated slabber
Woodmizer LT40HD
John Deere 5310 W/ FEL
Semper Fi


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