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Author Topic: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline samandothers

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2018, 11:34:45 AM »
Sharpening takes practice or time.  Do it after each tank or at least When you break midday and end of. I think next sharpener I値l try is the 2 in 1 Teakwood talked about.  This will get the links and drag teeth in one go.  Ok, I知 lazy!

Online Skeans1

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2018, 10:49:12 PM »
Take this for what it痴 worth typically I値l bring enough chains to run all day say 6 or 8 but this is for production falling work. If you池e doing any production or even considering production work filing would be out of the question, you can swap the chain, clean the rails, and open up the Oiler before you file both sides of a 20 full comp round chain.

Offline teakwood

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2018, 08:24:13 AM »
I have tried both of the sharpers in that pic from John MC

The one on the left works fine but doesn't indicate the angle very well, the one on the right i find just bad and it's so tiny that you can loose it easy.
the 2in1 is way better than both those sharpers, IMO
I generally use the first one pictured. I have no problems maintaining angles, since they are stamped in the metal of the holder. I just line the marks up with the bar up at the beginning of the stroke, and maintain that angle through the stroke. The wedge holster on my tool belt has a slot for a file - it's a snug fit, but I can fit the guide with file into that file slot.
I get very good results with the second one (the "roller guide"), though I don't use it much. It is easier to lose, but the fact that it is small is one of the reasons I tried it. It can ride in the bottom of the wedge pocket on my chaps or in the wedge holster of my tool belt, so it's handy whenever I need it. While I don't carry it much, I do lend it out to friends from time to time. It's handy for those who have problems with rocking their file up and down while filing (for some reason, lots of people new to sharpening tend to push down on the handle as they make the stroke): I just tell them to make sure it stays in contact with both rollers. Once they've used it a bit, they get the muscle memory to use other guides without dropping the handle during the stroke.
I do like the "Stihl 2 in 1" / "Pferd Chain Sharp CS-X". I get good results when I use it, and it's certainly faster than filing the teeth and the depth gauges separately. My main problem with it is that I don't have a good way to carry it with me. My other beef is with how it handles the depth gauges: It does not "customize" the depth gauge height to the associated tooth the way some other depth gauge tools do (including the one with the roller guide). This means you have to keep all the tooth lengths equal - by eyeballing or by counting strokes. With a depth gauge tool that works like the one on the roller guide (or on the old Carlton "File-o-plate" guides), each depth gauge is matched with the tooth that follows it, so there is no need (within reason) to keep all the teeth the same. If I damage a couple of teeth, or all the teeth on one side, I can take just those teeth down further to get them sharp (and hope the next time I hit something it will be with the teeth on the other side). That style of depth gauge tool also does a better job of adjusting the gauge as the tooth gets filed way back, IMO. The differences may not matter to some, and as I said, the Stihl/Pferd sharpener does do a good job
Well said John!
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2018, 07:44:02 AM »
Well. I decided to go cut up some aspen yesterday so I could mill some stickers. instead of changing to a new chain I thought I would try my luck at sharpening the original one. 

I had round 3/16 file without a guide or handle and just kinda used the teeth as a guide. I managed to get it sharpened and it cut just like before I hit the rock. Maybe I have a chance at hand sharpening after all?
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2018, 08:24:12 AM »
It's not hard to learn, it just takes some practice. The key is to practice it right. Practicing poor technique can form habits that are hard to break. It does not take much to sharpen a chain so it works better than after it hit a rock. The goal is to get it cutting better than it did when it was new.

One thing that helps some people getting started with hand sharpening is to do 2 or 3 sharpenings on the chain themselves, then take it to someone who really knows their stuff to either hand sharpen or sharpen on a grinder to bring all the angles back into spec. (NOTE: It's easy to wreck a chain on a grinder if you don't know what you are doing. The kid at the local hardware store is unlikely to be any good at operating their chain grinder. He's probably had 15 minutes of training.)

In my opinion, a fair amount of new chain may be sharp, but it's not right, and thus is not hard to beat when you resharpen. One major chain manufacturer who prides themselves on "sharp out of the box", packages chain that does not meet their own specifications for sharpening: Their teeth have too much hook to them, resulting in a chain that can be rather "grabby". They try to counter this by leaving the depth gauges too high, reducing the bite that each tooth takes. It cuts fairly well when brand new, but the sharp hook does not hold up well. After just a bit of normal use in hardwoods, you are left with a slightly dull chain making chips that are too small.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline teakwood

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2018, 08:31:10 AM »
It's not hard to learn, it just takes some practice. The key is to practice it right. Practicing poor technique can form habits that are hard to break. It does not take much to sharpen a chain so it works better than after it hit a rock. The goal is to get it cutting better than it did when it was new.


Absolutely right!! don't learn it the wrong way!
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline btulloh

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2018, 03:51:56 PM »
I had round 3/16 file without a guide or handle and just kinda used the teeth as a guide. I managed to get it sharpened and it cut just like before I hit the rock. Maybe I have a chance at hand sharpening after all?


With your background it's not surprising that you can pick up sharpening pretty quick.  Main thing is to keep the pressure on the file to toward the head and not down otherwise you'll end up with too much hook.  You're right - the profile shows you where to hold the file.  Keep the depth gauges at the right height or you'll have a sharp chain that won't cut.  Nothing like fixing a chain to get you to watch out for rocks.  And dirt, and everything else.  

That 261 is a good little saw with a big heart.  
HM126

Offline kalevan

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2018, 12:37:42 AM »

Ouch... cutting stones is the pits. 

It seems to me a .063 gauge chain in 325 pitch is an odd combination. 
The world seems standardized on .050 gauge 3/8" pitch for medium powered saws. 

If cutting stumps and really dirty wood, consider a buying a Carbide chain (like the emergency rescue people use and stump removers) for just the dirty jobs.  
You can get them on Ebay for $30 to $300 each. 
If you don't abuse it it'll last a lifetime.  It may not hold up that well to sawing a bolder...
If you need to sharpen a carbide chain, it'll take a specialist with the right kind of grinder,
or you may be able to touch it up with a diamond round-file. 

Consider identifying one of the less expensive carbide chains... then purchase the (0.050 gauge) bar, and drive component (3/8" spur clutch, or rim-sprocket) to match it.  The package may be less costly than a carbide chain in your 81x0.325x0.063 size. 

Offline John Mc

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2018, 08:25:19 AM »
It seems to me a .063 gauge chain in 325 pitch is an odd combination. The world seems standardized on .050 gauge 3/8" pitch for medium powered saws.
 

.063" is a common Stihl guage.

Other common gauges are .050" and .058" (Stihl also uses .050 on some saws. To my knowledge, they do not use .058.) Smaller saws or some narrow kerf offerings sometimes show up with .043".

"Standardization" on either .050" or .058" for non-Stihl saws seems to be a regional thing. Here in New England most of the saws I see (other than Stihl) are wearing an .058" chain. The only time I see .050 is on some big-box store saws, or on a saw owned by someone from out of the area.

Out west, .050" seems to be more popular. I'm not sure about other areas of the country.

I've never understood how it is that different areas came to favor different gauges.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2018, 09:28:14 AM »
Thanks for all the comments everyone. This has been a huge help for me understanding what I got myself into. 

New baby just arrived so I am not sure how much time I am going to have to play with it but I will try to make time. Still have some good trees that came down that need to get drug out before they start to rot.

I been playing a bunch with the sawmill really look forward to cutting some nice logs and not the junk I been practicing on.
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Offline kalevan

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2018, 03:42:04 AM »
As for sharpening with a file... ALWAYS use the right diameter file. 
When hand-sharpening, match the "hook" profile of the cutter to that of a new chain.
The flat (Stihl or Oregon) filing guides help a lot. They have angle markings, and help get the depth right.

Notice the "witness-marks" on the back-end of most chain cutters. 
Match your filing angle to the angle of the witness-mark (the leading edge of the cutter should
be parallel to the witness mark). 

If you don't use enough downward pressure on the file, the cutters get flatter across the front (square) and won't have enough "bite."  When cutters are too flat,  you compensate by applying too much downward pressure, and the excess pressure prematurely wears out and overheats the bar. 

Discard the chain when you file down to the witness mark for any of the cutters, 
or discard the chain when you run out of adjustment range in the bar (i.e. too much stretch or wear in the pins). 
 Don't run the chain too loose!  
Don't over-tighten the chain; it's hard on the drive sprocket, the bar, and the drive side motor bearing.  
Follow the chain tension guidelines of the owner's manual!!! 

Online HolmenTree

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2018, 11:39:06 AM »
Well. I received 6 chains and 2 files yesterday. Thanks left coast!

Now I just need to find some time to use them :) Hopefully tomorrow I can spend some time Milling the spalted maple I prepped over the weekend.

I really need to get some paint on the sawmill. I am paranoid of getting rained on and having everything rust.
Crusarius, you should have bought a box of a dozen files with those 6 loops of chains.
Biggest mistake amatuer hand filers make is cheapening out trying to use a worn out file. Nothing kills the motivation and technique of hand filing more then trying to file with a dull file.
Best way to learn is lay a file without a guide of any sort in the cutter gullet of a new chain and give it a light touch up.
With the saw sitting level in a bench vise or stump vise on a waist high stump, hold the file level and push straight forward with out too much pressure. Better to have the file handle lower then higher into the stroke of the cutter. Too high and you'll get a uneven not straight cutting edge. No pressure on the file in the return stroke is very important, dulls the file quickly and puts a wobble into your stroke.
Just do a light touchup on this new chain and through normal use of the chain without  cutting into a stone periodically touch it up.
When you do hit a stone and see there is lots of damaged cutter material to file off it is much easier to file the cutter at a square 0 degree angle eliminating the rounded off corner and then proceed to file in the correct 25 to 35 degree angle.
After filing if you see no light reflecting off the top plate cutting edge your chain is sharp. Also all cutters don't need to be perfectly the same length. Put a caliper on a new chains cutters and you will see different lengths right from the factory and it will cut just fine. Just make sure the different cutter lengths average out on both left hand and right side of the chain
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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2018, 11:54:25 AM »
Another thing to add as you progressivily file the cutters over time you may be not putting enough downwards pressure on the file. In this case you're putting more backward pressure then down. I call this lazy filing or trying to file with a dull file.

You need to put a even pressure in both downwards and backwards direction in your stroke. (In a diagonal angle into the gullet.) If you don't the side plate angle will turn into a back slope which makes a very poor cutting chain.
Now you can concentrate on lowering the depth gauges after you have filed some of the cutter length off.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2018, 12:08:58 PM »
Holmentree thanx for the info. Next time I get a chance to do some playing I will try those techniques.

Thankyou everyone for your help you are all amazing.

Since I have a new ummmm toy? at home it may take a while to get back to doing things. He was born July 6 and has already turned my world upside down. This is #2.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2018, 02:16:20 PM »
I know you will spend time with that new one more than the one that requires gas to play with. The one that don't need gas will remember it too.  :)
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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2018, 03:28:58 PM »
Since I have a new ummmm toy? at home it may take a while to get back to doing things. He was born July 6 and has already turned my world upside down. This is #2.
Congratulations - Hope everyone is Happy and Healthy!

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2018, 11:31:06 PM »
Congratulations I知 in the same boat mine showed up May 29th the first couple weeks are the worst.

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Re: Can anyone help me decipher the marking on the bar of my MS261cm?
« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2018, 09:46:36 AM »
My twins were born 11 years ago, challenging but I did ok for a 50 year old dad :D 
Making a living with a saw since age 16.


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