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Author Topic: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide  (Read 14132 times)

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Offline Rocky_J

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2010, 02:33:52 PM »
I disagree with a couple points made by the last poster. Most (all) saw shops around here can NOT grind a chain anywhere near as well as I can freehand file without any guide whatsoever. The majority of them make the 'new kid' grind chains because they consider it a lowly task akin to sweeping the floor. They invariably grind too much, overheat the chain and reduce the temper, never ever touch the rakers and charge too much for grinding off half your chain. But then if you can't file by hand then I guess that's your best option, huh? Keep practicing, you'll get it one day. But in the meantime  the kid at the saw shop whacking on your chain with the grinder won't result in a superior sharpening than proper hand filing.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2010, 03:03:53 PM »
Rocky brings up a good point poor grinding is hard on a chain.I grind and file if a chain is ground properly and filed between grindings everything is kept even.If I get too frisky with the grinder I can tell when I file it next time you get hard spots.If you waite to take the chains to town you'll be running dull chains.Its not hard to learn to file correctly,file a little and often.Everytime you fuel up is about right unless your using your saw for a ditch witch.You can tell a professional by how sharp he keeps his chain.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline beenthere

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2010, 03:07:55 PM »
jteneyck
I could agree with your first sentence.
From that point on, I don't agree.  8)

And Rocky and bandmiller covered the points well.

But jteneyck, you can take your chains in to have them ground up, that be fine with me. I only do that when a chain has been rocked or I hit some metal or something else.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline jteneyck

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2010, 03:53:38 PM »
Gee, sorry Rocky, but I expected at least one person to jump on me.  I did't say no one could sharpen a chain correctly with only a file; I said only a few can.  You must be one of those rare few.  Congratulations.  And how long did it take you to learn?  And how many times can you sharpen it before several of the teeth are different lengths, or do you measure each with a set of calipers to make sure they are the same?  I was trying to make the point that there are file guides and grinders out there that make sharpening a routine task that is easily and quickly learned and not an art form.  That being said, any tool is only as good as the guy running it.  Fortunately, the saw shop I go to does an excellent job of grinding chains, factory fresh or better.  (The shop you mentioned must not value their customers much.)  Still, I grind my own because I'm cheap and because I can adjust angles to see how it affects cutting in some particular wood or another. 

Offline Reddog

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2010, 04:08:31 PM »
And how long did it take you to learn?

About a half hour or less.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2010, 04:21:37 PM »
First of all I'm not getting on anyones case .However there are certain things that everybody should know about chainsaws and one of the first is how to file a chain .

Oregon has made a file guide for decades that works well and cost a whole 8 bucks .

It comes with a file and the instructions with pictures even .Anyone that can read and follow directions should be able to use it properly .

An inexperianced person should be able to file a chain with that guide in 10 minutes on say a 20 inch loop of 3/8" chain .I can do it in 5 with or without the guide and with or without a compound angle .

If your going to operate a saw learn how to do the whole thing .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2010, 04:32:06 PM »
--and another thing .It's best if every tooth is exactly the same length .However if you kiss the ground,hit a rock or generally damage a tooth you will find that being off 20 thou really has little effect on how the chain cuts .

Now having a 25 degree top plate on one,35 on another and 20 on the third will have a great effect .Really screw it up and it cuts in a circle  :D Neat trick,try it some time to impress your friends .

Offline moonhill

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2010, 05:41:03 PM »
I must be in the few category.   Even after grounding the chain I hand file with no guide.  I count the strokes of the file to keep the cutters about the same length, usually 5 strokes/cutter, 10-12 if it is in trouble.   Use a good file as pointed out.  I tap the file on the bar to clean the filings, I think it helps, on almost every cutter.

Tim 
This is a test, please stand by...

Offline beenthere

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2010, 06:17:45 PM »
.........  And how long did it take you to learn?  And how many times can you sharpen it before several of the teeth are different lengths, or do you measure each with a set of calipers to make sure they are the same?  ...........

Not long to learn, and the last several chains never saw the chain grinder - - only my file. And they were cutting as good or better than new, when I retired them.

Giving others the impression that sharpening a chain as good or better than a grinder is just not correct, IMO, and is misleading to any newbie that is interested in chainsaw work. It is not rocket science.

There are reasons for taking chains in for grinder work, but that doesn't mean that most cannot do it easily themselves.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline WildDog

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2010, 07:03:02 PM »
I don't like grinders each to his own, I use a plain file and raker guide. In the field I may touch up the chain up to half a dozen times in a day and the rakers once. I prefer to do it often and only 2 to 3 passes per tooth, I tend to rotate my file in the guide regularly. I am a scrooge "my son says thrill seeker" and get the most out of my chains....I am not perfect, towards the end, the teeth I sharpen from the off side are slightly shorter than the near side. Recently I have been cutting around the house and have had the luxury of my blacksmithing post vice at waste level that I can walk around. I have just about gone through my 1st chain and without getting the calipers out all the teeth look the same length.
If you start feeling "Blue" ...breath    JD 5510 86hp 4WD loader Lucas 827, Pair of Husky's 372xp, 261 & Stihl 029

Offline downeast

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2010, 07:07:19 PM »
Rocky and others are correct: HAND FILE. For the cost of a couple of store grindings you can buy any one of many high quality hand grinding guides.....or, do it freehand. It is not rocket science ( nor is rocket science rocket science  :P ). Hand file: in the field ( get a stump vise !), in the shop. The time and $$$$ spent setting up the grinder, buying the sized wheels to fit the chain, you could be doing by hand.

Learn to do it, it is not hard especially if I and Rocky have figured it out.  ;D . Most chains including Oregon and Stihl have "witness" lines on the top of the chain showing the correct angle of the file. Easy.

Remember, you don't need to get every chain exactly the same---1 RCH is enough.  :D

I'm partial to the PFERD system since it is the lazy way of also doing the rakers which most rarely bother with INCLUDING shop filers. PFERD ( no, I don't have a piece of the action  :( )
And, even rocking or dirting the chain, 10-15 strokes will get to back to work.

PFERD, better than silicone.  8)

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2010, 07:12:59 PM »
I'll use a grinder to bring back a rocked out chain, I keep a wet rag handy and lay it on the tooth to cool it but you still can't take too much at once.
The new chain came in for my 262 but I filed the old chain twice then ran it through the ginder when it wouldn't cut and it's still not quite where it should be.
I filed it again after using it the other day so we'll see how it goes next time.
For someone new to sharpening they might think they can't sharpen but sometimes the chain is too bad to bring back with even several strokes from a file.

Offline jteneyck

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2010, 07:24:34 PM »
You may get good results with only a file.  Hats off to those of you who can do it.  I too thought I was pretty good until I started milling lumber.  Any differences in your cutters will show up quickly.  What's acceptable when bucking logs no longer is when milling lumber, at least not for me.  So why not use the technology that's readily available especially when you are just starting out, which was the source of the original question?  The more accurately you can control the angles, and cutter length, the better the results will be.  File guides, grinders, etc. enable you to control angles consistently.  This is true regardless of cutter profile, but especially if you are using square cutter chain, and even more so if you are using square grind square chain.  Check out Madsen's website for more if you are interested.  My cutting got a lot more enjoyable once I could consistenly sharpen chains.  Whatever works for you is the way to go.  To say that a you have to learn how to sharpen with only a file misses the point.  It's the result,  not the route, that matters. 

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2010, 07:49:53 PM »
Here I go again rambling on that will fall on deaf ears but here goes it .

It's a natural thing to file more heavily on one side of a chain than the other.Left handed,right handed .Some people flip the saw over to compenstate for this .

Now,the old logger way .File right over the top leaning over the back of the saw towards the front .Awkward as all get out at first but works perfect--once you perfect it .Play on words .File left right left all the way around the thing. Easy as falling off the log you are sitting on .

Now on that milling chain,a standard round chisel will out cut a fancy milling chain any day of the week .You are going to plane it any way if it's to be for fine trim work etc .Even if not a chain is certainly smoother than a circle blade any way .Those things wrote the book on rough .

Offline Kevin

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2010, 08:50:56 PM »
Oregon RD was the best milling chain out of the box, I had poor results with any chain that was reground from stock chain.

Offline jteneyck

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2010, 08:55:23 PM »
Hi Al,  Not sure what you mean by "fancing milling chain" but I've tried several.  If you mean Granberg's ripping chain, I agree, it doesn't cut too well other than it does cut smoothly.  It also is rather a pain to sharpen.  At the moment I like Oregon RD ripping chain best.  It is full complement with a round chisel profile and has already been ground to 10 or 15 deg. (can't remember), which saves you from having to grind down a regular chain.  I've filed these by hand, which would please many of you I see, but filing 92 teeth after about every 100 ft gets tedious and pretty soon the cut quality started to get poor.  I tried using the simple file cards, but things didn't improve.  Guess I'm not up to the capability you guys have.  But after switching to Granberg's bar grinder I've been able to maintain consistent cut quality.  Not surprisingly, my crosscut chains run real well now, too.  The thing is so quick and easy to use I doubt I'll ever go back to filing except when I can't get near a 12V battery. 

Offline tstex

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2010, 11:02:47 PM »
Guys,

Thank you very much for all your input...

I am going to hit the woods tomorrow morning with both my c-saw and my files/guide.  After I burn some considerable hydrocarbons, I am going for the field-sharpening...I will post back and let you know how it goes.   :D

When I get the big chips again for a long time, well... 8)

Thanks again,
tstex

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2010, 11:50:27 PM »
Hi Al,  Not sure what you mean by "fancing milling chain" but I've tried several.  If you mean Granberg's ripping chain, I agree, it doesn't cut too well other than it does cut smoothly.    

















 
I have copied them all ,Granberg ,Oregon .Nothing cuts as fast as just plain good old chisel .However nothing cuts as slow as cutting straight across grain .

If you can get say 30 degrees of slant going into a rip cut you wouldn't believe how much faster it is .Chainsaw milling is just about as slow as it gets considering more modern ways  of salvaging wood  that would normally end up in a wood stove .

It's an option and I commend anyone who takes the time to do it .However a more easy way of course is with a bandmill .That however has nothing to do with the most basic thing of a chainsaw which is the chain------as much as I ramble on . ;)

Offline ickirby

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2010, 12:53:40 AM »
For someone new to sharpening they might think they can't sharpen but sometimes the chain is too bad to bring back with even several strokes from a file.

That's an excellent point Kevin.  When I'm teaching people to sharpen I think starting with a chain that is wayyy over dull causes 90% of their difficulties.

As far as sharpening yourself versus taking it in to the shop.  I was at a new Husky dealer in Winnipeg the other day and they were charging $8 per loop to sharpen :o... and they had a huge backlog of chains to sharpen for people. 

At $8 per sharpening even if I was buying a new set of files and guides (~$15) everyday I'd still be ahead $25/day.

I totally agree with everyone else it is not a pain to learn at all.  You can be doing a decent enough job of it if you know someone who can coach you 3-4 times properly.  After that you can practice and practice... as soon as I do one absolutely perfectly I'll let you know.  I've only been at it part time for about a decade.   

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: hand-sharpening w/ file & guide
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2010, 07:52:36 AM »
Filing is a rite of passage for being a wood cutter.Its surprising how many people don't know how to take the chain off the bar,they take the whole saw to be sharpened.Should be manditory to use a bucksaw for a year then you get a power saw and you'd be DanG sure to maintain it.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece


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