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Author Topic: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?  (Read 829 times)

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Offline lxskllr

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Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« on: August 24, 2018, 04:46:48 PM »
I got a bar for my Poulan, and it was a bit of a challenge finding the correctly sized chain. The local hardware store makes their own, and rather than go with my educated guess, I got one off the shelf that's 61dl instead of the 60dl I suspected. Well, I'm 95% certain I need a 60, and while they'd make one for me, I'd just as soon do it myself.

I've read that some guys do it in the field with manual tools. File the rivet off, then use a hammer to set the new straps. Any pointers on the type of gear I can get to do that? I don't need anything fancy cause I don't expect it's something I'll often have the need for, but it is a skill I'd like to learn. I'd like to keep it cheap and simple, but it doesn't have to be the easiest method.

Side note, why does Poulan use such a narrow bar by default? That's always bothered me. It works ok I guess, but looks and feels cheesy. I'm guessing it's to keep the chains shorter for a bar that's going on too long for the motor. Does that sound right?

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 07:04:08 PM »
following
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2018, 09:12:46 PM »
I don't to it in the " Field" per say but in my garage .I have a spinner used from flea bay on the cheap that I can do 3/8" and .404 .For the few 1/2" I have and 3/8" lo pro and .325 I have concave punches I made from grade 8 bolts .Peening requires some practice but the end results are just as good as spinning .I can do it with a small ball peen hammer like the old timers but it takes a steady hand and patience .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2018, 09:16:47 PM »
I might further add you can find the drivers,pre sets,cutters,tie straps on line .Stihl you about have to go to a dealer who will sell them to you .Some won't With the exception of my two 0200Ts all my Stihl chains were salvaged from the tool boxes of my friends bucket truck that were damaged and I repaired .

Online sawguy21

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2018, 09:20:46 PM »
He has a Poulan which will have Oregon chain. This tool works well
GRANBERG BREAK N MEND CHAINSAW CHAIN BREAKER SPINNER PLIER. BreakNMend. [152075680017] - .00 : Inexpensive Top Building & Hardware Shop For Your Favorites!With High Quality And Fast Shipping!
but how do you plan to purchase chain? It comes in 25' and 100' rolls.
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2018, 10:11:05 PM »
He has a Poulan which will have Oregon chain. This tool works well
GRANBERG BREAK N MEND CHAINSAW CHAIN BREAKER SPINNER PLIER. BreakNMend. [152075680017] - .00 : Inexpensive Top Building & Hardware Shop For Your Favorites!With High Quality And Fast Shipping!
but how do you plan to purchase chain? It comes in 25' and 100' rolls.
I saw that. It's a little fancier than I had in mind, but that's more inline with what I'm looking for as opposed to a full bench system.
Right now, I just want adjust a single new loop I bought. I already took one back, and I'd feel really stupid having a custom loop made, then have to take that back and have another link removed  :^D  But going forward, knowing how to work with chains opens up options. I could find a great deal on a box of used 18" Stihl loops. My two bars are 20" and 25". That's not an issue if I can break and splice chains. I'm also open to buying rolls, but the savings would have to be significant. I'm just a dummy with a saw, so even Stihl prices are reasonable for my uses. It's not like I'm going through tons of chain like a pro. I really just want the ability to be self sufficient.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2018, 10:47:02 PM »
For what it's worth I usually just buy a packet of repair links, carefully cut the damaged link off with an angle grinder, insert the new one, rest the chain on a chunk of steel and flatten the stud with a hammer.  I have done this with chainsaw chain and harvester 3/4" chain .The links have a shelf so it's rather obvious when it's secure. 

Watch to be sure you don't over flatten the stud. Is the result pretty? No. Has one ever failed? No. Has anyone ever asked me who on Earth fixed my chain? No. 

It just works.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2018, 11:53:30 PM »
What model saw is it ? Most new saws by them are small cc saws running 3/8 lp chain  the 18" 3/8 lp is 62 drive link, 60 drive link is a 16" stihl 3/8 p size for a 3003 mount bar. I think some other old saws ran that size too. I think I have seen some 16" 3/8 stihl chain in 33rs on a shelf or to as well. Baileys online has a good effective way to find things too, you can click on there chainsaw bar selector plug in your make, model of saw, bar size, pitch and it will give you your available bar options for your saw with drive link count.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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WD-40, DUCT TAPE, 024, 026, 362c-m, 041, homelite xl, JD 2510

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2018, 02:23:13 AM »
Or are you looking for something more low tech like this Amazon.com: GLOGLOW Pocket Chainsaw Bar Chain Breaker Punch,Professional Chain Link Repair Kit for 1/4", 3/8''LP.325, 3/8" and .404" pitch chain: Garden & Outdoor
That's exactly what I want! That's what I had in mind anyway. I'll mull over that and the granberg, and figure out which I think'll be best.
As to the bar... It's not a stock configuration. It's a 16" Oregon DoubleGuard bar on a PoulanPro 4218(18" bar stock). I found somewhere I can't remember a reference that indicated 60dl. I also found references that said 56dl(probably stock Poulan bar). 61dl "fits" with the bar maxed out, but the chain couldn't stretch a single mm and still work.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2018, 06:54:39 PM »

That's exactly what I want! That's what I had in mind anyway. I'll mull over that and the granberg, and figure out which I think'll be best.
As to the bar... It's not a stock configuration. It's a 16" Oregon DoubleGuard bar on a PoulanPro 4218(18" bar stock). I found somewhere I can't remember a reference that indicated 60dl. I also found references that said 56dl(probably stock Poulan bar). 61dl "fits" with the bar maxed out, but the chain couldn't stretch a single mm and still work.


Found this video...



Clear enough. I think I'm gonna go for the block and punch. Looks like it's exactly what I'm looking for.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 06:09:37 PM »
I ended up going with the Sunbelt breaker. Said it was made in USA, but I saw no proof on the product...

Amazon.com: Chain Saw Pocket Chain Breaker for 1/4", .325", 3/8", .404", 1/2" pitch: Industrial & Scientific

Shortened my chain tonight, and it went ok aside from doing it twice. I thought removing one link would be sufficient, but I had to take another one out. 59dl if the box was labeled right. It wasn't as effotless as I imagined it. Another hand would be useful, but it seems to be the way with everything. If people had 3 arms they'd still manage to need 4 all the time  :^D

Reading reviews, it seems chipping and deformation is an issue with the strikers on these. I filed the rivets down first to take some of the strain off the tool. Removal was easier than installing a new preset. You have to keep everything together, and keep your fingers away from the hammer when installing. It's a decent setup for portable and/or infrequent use, but someone needing to spin chain all the time would do better with a bench system. I'm pleased with the purchase. It's exactly what I was looking for.

Online sawguy21

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2018, 07:11:09 PM »
I have used those, fine for the occasional repair in the field. Make sure the driver is fully supported and the punch is perfectly centered but you have probably already discovered that. Order a spare punch, it will break.
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Online HolmenTree

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Re: Making/Repairing chains, Cheap Gear?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2018, 08:45:18 PM »
Back in the early '80s logging in rocky ground I went through alot of chain.
Different size b/c for sawlogs or pulpwood.
Had many loops hanging on the lunch shack wall so I always had a pocket anvil and punch on hand to make up loops in a emergency.

With enough practice you don't need to file off the rivet heads which allows extra metal for the punched out preset to be reused mushrooming a new rivet head.

I'd lay the pocket anvil on top of the meaty part of the skidder blade and with the punch centered perfectly on the rivet heads I"d drive them both out cleanly with a small hammer or sometimes a 3 lb axe. :D
Then with a scrench and hammer tap the side strap back on to the used preset while set joining the loop back together.
Mushroom new rivet heads and I'm good to go.

I could shorten, repair or lengthen loops for years like this without new
presets and never had a reused link come apart.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.


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