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Author Topic: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??  (Read 6985 times)

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Offline opticsguy

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Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:54:06 AM »
I have a great performing small Stihl Chainsaw with about a 12" or 14" bar.  Always a great performer for smaller tasks.  Not sure why but after a resharpening by hand the saw cuts very sharply to the left.  I have a larger Stihl (027) I have hand sharpened for years with good results but the little saw cuts to the left after I sharpen it.  So, what am I doing wrong?

What do you think of the electric chain sharpeners  (Harbour freight? or others??) 
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline MHineman

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 02:07:22 AM »
  I've got a little MS210 as well as an 039 and 460.  I put the bar in a vise (or stump vise in the field), set the chain break and sharpen away.
  I have good luck with the big saws too, but not so good with the little guy.  I've always assumed that being a cheaper saw and bar, that the movement of the chain while sharpening was causing the problems. 
  I sharpen them up to 10 times with the file and then take the chain to a local guy that trues them up on his grinder to get the angle perfect and the length of cutters all the same.  I also have him set all the depths at the same time. 
1999 WM LT40, 40 hp 4WD tractor, homemade forks, grapple, Walenstein FX90 skidding winch, Stihl 460 039 saws,  homebuilt kiln, ......

Offline Ianab

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 03:16:59 AM »
Possibly you are filing better, or at least at a better angle, with one hand than the other. Most people's right hand is stronger and more accurate than their left.

So you get a better edge on one side than the other.

Go back and examine the cutters with a magnifying glass and see if you can see a difference in the cutting edge, and try and correct that.

Also, check the bar isn't getting worn unevenly. If you take it off the saw and stand it on edge it should balance upright. If it keeps falling over, the rails have worn unevenly and the bar needs to be "dressed" (Ground down even again)

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 09:26:33 AM »
You will overcome that,keep at it. I hand file and I know it sound odd,but I always take an extra swipe when the motor is on the right side. I guess I can get at the chain better when the motor is on the left out of the way. It keeps that chain nice and sharp and saw straight. I must be doing something right.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline markd

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 11:33:23 AM »
Sounds like a worn bar, check how sloppy is the chain in the bar groove, try flipping the bar over see if that's better, is the bar old? How many miles on it? Is it flared out on the edges?
markd

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 12:57:20 PM »
Take a close look you'll see your left hand cutters are sharp and the right hand cutters are dull.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline downeast

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 05:33:04 PM »
Possibly you are filing better, or at least at a better angle, with one hand than the other. Most people's right hand is stronger and more accurate than their left.
So you get a better edge on one side than the other.
Go back and examine the cutters with a magnifying glass and see if you can see a difference in the cutting edge, and try and correct that.
Also, check the bar isn't getting worn unevenly. If you take it off the saw and stand it on edge it should balance upright. If it keeps falling over, the rails have worn unevenly and the bar needs to be "dressed" (Ground down even again)
Ian[/quote

That's about it.

And what my Chesterville neighbor said: "it comes with practice"

I rotate the bar after every sharpening, run a file over the tops and sides of the bar, and check the rakers. The PFERD filing tool (  8) )does the rakers with each pass of the round file; handy thing for the field and hand sharpening.

When I "rock" the chain--kissing rounds, barbed wire, the ground, or rock   :'(--the tooth needs filing back to solid steel. Measured so that all the other teeth will be filed to the same length. Carry an extra sharpened chain or 2 to save time, though a stump vise is handy .

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 07:33:25 PM »
Lean over your saw, look at the cutters, if you see a shinny edge on the cutters its dull.
You have to file on till the shinny edge is gone, give it a try. just keep on filing you''l learn. you have to know what to look for.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 10:08:56 PM »
Ian nailed it we tend to file one way better than the outher.I put the saw  in a vice sharpen one side then turn it around.Measure the legnth of the cutters and even them out. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 03:31:04 AM »
  Not sure why but after a resharpening by hand the saw cuts very sharply to the left. So, what am I doing wrong?
Quote
Cutting to the left means your right hand cutters are overcutting or are sharper then the lefts, which is odd because most hand filers can naturally file the left hand cutters easier then the rights.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline opticsguy

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 11:00:40 AM »
Because I am left handed?

Actually I use the same hand for filing both sides, I just simply turn the saw around to sharpen the other side.  Today I will take a serious look at my sharpening procedures and also the condition of the bar and all the recommendations on this list.

Thank you!!
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 04:34:42 PM »
Because I am left handed?


Who would have known :D
Your 12-14' guide bar will be laminated which probably has a fair amount of hours on it and the rails are spread, causing lots of slop in the chain while cutting. If one side of cutters are sharpened differently like too much hook in the side plate for example the chain will cut in a curve due to the spread bar rails, especially bad when the cutters are filed back small.

Laminated bars are throw away when the rails spread lots because they can't be sucessfully retightened. 

Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline CTYank

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 03:27:52 PM »
Not knowing exactly how you're sharpening, I suspect either free-hand or simple file-holder. Some say they can get good results that way; there's room for doubt.

I've found, long back, that the Granberg guide that clamps on the bar works best for me: couple strokes makes cutters into razors again, removes minimal metal, very consistent. Never had use for grinder. Can do precision setting of depth gauges. Relatively speaking, other guides, and grinders are way sub-optimum IMHO, because of poor results, complexity, cost, excessive metal removal.

Pretty easy with a finger-tip to tell is a cutter is properly sharp. Seems to me that uneven sharpening has led to uneven bar wear. It's easy to check with machinist's square, and easy to true up with a bench-grinder. Just set the rest so the bar is precisely radial to the wheel, and take light passes where one side stands proud. Some slight grinder-marks help retain oil.

Good luck.
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Offline opticsguy

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 05:35:01 PM »
This morning, went out and went did maintenance on my "bigger" saw an 026.

Found the bar to be in poor shape with fairly deep grooves and flared edges on the bar.  Set up and ground all that away and then hand filed away any left over burrs.  The balde is exactly perpendicular to the abrasive wheel, then reinstalled and filed the chain, both side consistently and carefully. 

Had a 28" diameter tree to cut this morning and went out there proud of my sharp saw.  Well, I could probably cut the tree down faster with a dull butter knife. 

I am getting fine dust, not shavings and the saw seems to bog down easily after about 2" inside the tree.  The same saw and bad and blade on a 6" diameter tree cuts like butter.   So, I am "stumped".  what to do?

 
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline ladylake

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 06:20:48 PM »
 With sharp cutters making dust your rakers are too high.   Steve
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Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 09:53:00 PM »
It shouldn't be throwing sawdust even with high rakers if the chain is sharp. I would recommend to put a new chain on so you know where your at with it.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline markd

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2012, 11:33:23 PM »
Maybe your file is worn out, filing with a dull file is like sawing with a dull saw.
markd

Offline downeast

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 12:08:23 AM »
It shouldn't be throwing sawdust even with high rakers if the chain is sharp. I would recommend to put a new chain on so you know where your at with it.

That's it. Life is too short to cut with a @#%& chain.  8)

Offline opticsguy

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2012, 10:41:27 AM »
Update,  this sawing stuff is spare time only. Went back and filed the rakers, WOW, now I am getting big chips!!!   Great advice.  Problem now it cuts very fast to the right. My other saw cuts to the left!!!   I am getting dizzy. 

So i will follow the recommendation and pick up a Granberg filing guide.  Also a new chain after this. 

I am very inspired by the chainsaw guy in the milling forum who quartered a big oak tree by chain saw, take a look at those cuts!!

Inspirational!!

Thanks for all the help!!
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Begginer sharpening chains by hand or??
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2012, 06:56:56 PM »
all cutters the same length, cutters filed the same on both sides, all rakers the same hight, bar rail good, lip filed off bar, and holding the saw straight, if all this is done right, it will cut straight,
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.


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