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Author Topic: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide  (Read 14130 times)

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Offline tstex

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hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:51:06 PM »
Guys,

Happy New Yr to all.

Hit the archives and found a nice video on sharpening a chain via a grinder, and some other good info, but was looking for something that shows how to sharpen a chain with a file and guide?  Can you pls direct me to any links or something?

It seems that when currenty sharpening a chain, "the big chippen" just doesn't last long.  Reading your posts, I have learned:

1) Put bar/chain in a vice [not too tight to edges] for making it level and steady
2) Make sure i have the appropriate size file, it is good and cleaned when done
3) Practice, practice and more practice.

The guide give me the proper angle when looking down on the chain.bar, but not when looking from the side to view the bar straight-on [does this make sense?].

Your help would be greatly appreciated and thank you very much.

PS - i have a Stilh 029 with 18" bar, 023 with 14" and a Stilh extention chain saw...mostly cut live oak and native cedar

Best regards,
tstex


Offline Rocky_J

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 06:15:31 PM »
I just uploaded this picture a couple weeks ago, it might help.



If your chain is sharp at first but dulls quickly then you need to quit cutting dirt. ;D

Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 07:39:02 PM »
Thx Rocky_J,

I appreciate your follow-up, but I am having a bit of difficulty getting the perspective from the diagram...I am sure if i saw someone sharpen the chain, I would be both good to go and understand the pictures perspectives - thx, tstex

Offline downeast

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 07:44:17 PM »
With some species you can't help but "hit dirt", or the wood is naturally "gritty" such as Walnut. Eastern oaks for example, will suck ( osmosis for you ) sand, dirt, or grit into the cambium just under the bark that easily dulls chains. Can't be helped with our northeastern trees.

We've used the PFERD ChainSharp or SharpForce system of hand filing for years that does the edge and raker in one pass. Super tool sold at pro dealers for Husky or Stihl. Look it up, or ask. Simple, easy to use, sharpen in the field with a stump vise.


Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 04:09:43 PM »
Hey Guys,

I did a simply Google query and received a couple of video's on sharpening a chain via a rattail file, but got two diff versions on one angle.  Here is my only question if you can pls help me?

To confirm, I use the guide [until i get better] to get the angle when looking down on top of the chain to sharpen...to confirm, the angle looks like a 10 oclock to 4 oclock movement that the file is to the chain and bar.  However, does the file angle down, up or even?  Meaning, if I am now looking and I see the bar from the side and see someone sharpening, what angle, if any, would the file be?

I hope his make sense and sorry for asking such a basic question...thanks, tstex

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 05:54:14 PM »
Now you have to pay attention to make sure you know what chain you are sharpening .For example most Stihl chain and Carlton sharpen at 90 degrees or straight across the top while some Oregon uses a 10 degree up . If you get them them confused it makes a world of difference how they cut .

If in doubt my suggestion is to go to whatever chain manufacturers web site and check it out to make sure .

I have some arbor pro I got from Baileys that I thought had a 10 degree up then found out it didn't .The first time I filed it with a compound angle it wouldn't cut hot butter .Made me mad as a wet hen .Then a kindly gent from Canada told me the error of my ways . :-[

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 06:03:27 PM »
tstex

What chain and which guide?

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 07:59:40 PM »
I get the best results keeping the file level with the top plate of the chain. I usually don't buy Oregon chain but even with their chain I still file it level instead of their cockamamie 10 degree angle stuff. Angling it makes the cutting edge too blunt and the tooth doesn't have enough of a hook to cut fast.

Offline gemniii

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 08:10:48 PM »
Also make sure you keep your rakers down.

Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 08:17:15 PM »
tstex

What chain and which guide?

Thanks guys...Kevin, here you go: I have a Stilh 029 with 18" bar, Stihl 023 with 14" and a Stilh extention chain saw...mostly cut live oak and native cedar.

The guide is a device I bought from a Stilh dealer and you put the rattail file in it and tighten down two knobs to bind the r-tail file to the guide...then guide has some diagonal lines on it that when you align these lines with the top of the bar and the chain while the file is in one of the cutting teeth, it looks like the file is about a 30-40 angle...does this make sense?  I have no problem with this, but just if i put either a down, flat/even or up angle while moving the file?

Thank you gentlemen,
tstex

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 09:49:07 PM »

Offline donny hochstetler

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 10:03:35 PM »
files are cheep use a good one.  I see a lot of people trying to file with junk files oily ,rusty ,ect filing with a dull file is like trying to cut wood with a dull saw  >:( play around  and pay close attention to your different angles, ect on frozen hardwood I file almost strait across, not as sharp but will hold an edge longer, poplar in summer more of an angle, if you know your tooth is sharp and you think it should cut better, shave your rakers till your satisfied 8)proper filing is an art only learned from axperiance ,once mastered you will take pride in it ,your freinds will envy your skills :)and you will no longer be loaning your very sharp saw to your dirtcutting neighbor :o

Offline Ed

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 11:09:47 PM »
I get the best results keeping the file level with the top plate of the chain. I usually don't buy Oregon chain but even with their chain I still file it level instead of their cockamamie 10 degree angle stuff. Angling it makes the cutting edge too blunt and the tooth doesn't have enough of a hook to cut fast.

I'm with Rocky on this one. File straight across, the 10 deg angle is more of a pita then anything else.

Ed


Offline bandmiller2

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 07:30:37 AM »
Very important is how you handle a file,straight full strokes,with enough pressure so a sharp file bites.Short stroking and worse rocking the file will tend to give you a rounded edge.Files are the most underated and abused machine tool.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 08:16:58 AM »
Guys,

Thank you very much.  I think you have answered all my questions and provided me with some additional tips - I look forward to learning well and passing on the info to future cs-users.

The files I purchased were from a Stihl Dealer [i bought two types:  ones for my 029 and ones that would service both my 023 and my extension saw].  Are there better files [brand name & type] that you guys would recommend to get better results?

Here is what I am taking from this post:

* Use guide at this point to get the top angle, use full strokes [only one way from left to right] and perform the same number of strokes per link
* Keep file clean from oil, grease, dirt, i-filings and other debris
* Keep the file flat to the top and forget the 10degree angle
* Sharpen before every use and do not wait until the chips turn to dust
* Keep the bar level secure while using file
* File rakers to spec if/when required
* Take chain to shop every 3-4 uses to resurface/level all the links - toss old chains
* Be more mindfull of not dipping chain into the dirt
* Post here to get good feedback from great guys. :D

Thanks again and be safe,
tstex

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2010, 11:09:23 AM »
I'm a firm believer that you follow the manufacturers engineered recommendations.
If you don't know what chain you have then you're off to a bad start.

Offline Rocky_J

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2010, 12:49:19 PM »
Speaking of handling files, something else that never gets mentioned is that files cut in one direction only. You can't run them back and forth like a scrub brush. Pressure on the push stroke then lift up on the return stroke. Otherwise you round over the teeth on the file and it quits filing very quickly.

Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2010, 01:30:33 PM »
I'm a firm believer that you follow the manufacturers engineered recommendations.
If you don't know what chain you have then you're off to a bad start.

Kevin,

Sure, I agree 100% - when I bought the files, the Stihl dealer and I matched the file size to the spec's of the stilh chain...thx, tstex

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2010, 02:17:22 PM »
I know but you still don't know what chain you're using so there's really no way to know how it should be filed.
Store clerks make mistakes, if what you know and what they tell you matches then you know it's right.
Don't depend on anyone else for the right answers when it comes to buying parts for your saw, know the answer and match it to their answer.
Can you look at those links I supplied and identify your chain?

Offline jteneyck

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 02:19:30 PM »
Nothing makes a saw perform more poorly than a dull or improperly sharpened chain.  Many people claim they can sharpen a chain correctly with nothing more than a file, but few actually can.  Chains are pretty cheap, and not too expensive to have sharpened by a saw shop, so one good strategy is to buy several chains and drop off half of them at the saw shop when they get dull.  You'll always be using a sharp chain and you avoid the frustrations of learning how to sharpen.  If you want to learn to sharpen then get yourself a good guide and quality files.  I like the Granberg file guide since it allows you to set all the angles necessary to match the chain manufacturer's specs..  And once set up correctly, sharpening is pretty much guaranteed to be successful.  I think Pferd and others make similar guides, and Stihl sells a similar one.  There are probably many good file makers, but Pferd are certainly top quality.  A small step up in cost over the Granberg file guide is their 12V stone grinder.  I think I paid about $70.  It, too, attaches to the bar and all the angles are adjustable.  The big benefit is that the chain is much sharper from the stone grinder than when filed.  This little machine also allows you to set the depth gauges.  The stones cost about the same amount as a file, and probably last a little longer, long enough to sharpen a 20 inch loop about 5 - 6 times anyway.  If you've got a little more money, you could buy the chain grinder from northern tool Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company for around $120 and sharpen just like the saw shop.  


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