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Author Topic: chains files and grinding wheels  (Read 8288 times)

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Offline 6sunset6

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chains files and grinding wheels
« on: June 12, 2013, 05:39:19 PM »
I am very confused. I run .325 chain on a 50cc saw.  I used to sharpen with a file by hand and still do sometimes but I also have a grinder now  Maxx.  I thought the .325 chain used a 5/32 file   or a 1/8 grinding wheel.  Thats what I use.  Then I read the manual for the Oregon 511 grinder and it calls for 3/16 file and wheel for that size chain.   I looked at the 3/6 file and it looks kind of big for the .325 chain. Any comments?
Also  when using the 5/32  file ,pretty much the full diameter is buried in the gullet of the tooth.    The instructions for wheel grinding say do not go past  the end of the radius. It hardly reaches the corner of the tooth.   So the area of the tooth that has material removed is much smaller with the   wheel than with the file.   Comments?

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 07:11:24 PM »
Generally speaking a .325 chain would file with a 3/16" file .I suppose you could do it with a 5/32" but the gullet would be shallow most likely .

A deeper gullet would as a rule carry more of a chip load before it "rocks out " of the cut and should cut a tad faster .

Online HolmenTree

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 09:11:09 PM »
Like Al says 3/16" file for .325 But I have used 5 mm when the .325 cutter is new then switch down to the 3/16 when the cutter is filed down to about half. Rule of thumb is 1/10 of file diameter above cutting edge for proper file position on all sawchain.
5/32" file is used on the little  LoProfile 3/8 extended pitch chains like the Stihl Picco for example.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline 6sunset6

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2013, 09:54:24 PM »
Very helpful.  Thanks.
next question.   Teeth are supposed to be the same length after grinding.   What do you think the allowable tolerance would be.   say +/- .010   inches?     A bit hard to measure as the base surface of the tooth  for my digital caliper is on an angle and the caliper really just grabs the corner. But if I rock it around I can see the shortest measurement.

Online HolmenTree

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2013, 11:20:02 PM »
On a rocked out or dulled chain don't sharpen all teeth down to the size of the shortest cutter, a total waste of chain. As long as the average length of cutters are fairly close in size you will have a good cutting chain. The way the cutters wobble and cut in the kerf size doesn't matter.
Now for a race chain in a timbersport competiton size and balance does matter if you want to beat the next competitor. ;)
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline deerslayer

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 11:59:02 PM »
On a rocked out or dulled chain don't sharpen all teeth down to the size of the shortest cutter, a total waste of chain. As long as the average length of cutters are fairly close in size you will have a good cutting chain. The way the cutters wobble and cut in the kerf size doesn't matter.



I agree
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Stihl, Husky, Craftsman, Mac, Homelite, Poulan. Some live here, some just passing through.

Online bandmiller2

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 07:26:17 AM »
Prehaps I'am A crude old dude but I worry little about the cutter length and take down my rakers on the bench grinder.I mostly file but also grind.If you have a good sharp edge and rakers that are close to right you will cut.Usally guys that have trouble filing are rocking the file [pushing in an arc] the kiss of death for cutters if their expected to pull out chips. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 07:58:32 AM »
Another round file filing tip I like to show is when starting to file a badly dulled cutter,  file the cutter with the end of the file 10-25 down. This helps establish the gullet and makes filing a little easier especially when the file is starting to get dull. Then after a few strokes level the file off and if you like reverse the angle with file handle end 10 down.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline beenthere

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2013, 10:29:50 AM »
Quote
and take down my rakers on the bench grinder

IMO, I'd not recommend this to anyone, but glad it works for you. ;)
When taking the correct amount off a raker it is but a light stroke or two when using a gauge and a flat file. Taking that miniscule amount off accurately on a bench grinder just would take super skill which most don't possess.
For the less experienced and those just learning, best to use a gauge or the tools available. Just saying.... glad it works for you.  :)
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Online HolmenTree

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 11:04:47 AM »
Quote
and take down my rakers on the bench grinder

IMO, I'd not recommend this to anyone, but glad it works for you. ;)
When taking the correct amount off a raker it is but a light stroke or two when using a gauge and a flat file. Taking that miniscule amount off accurately on a bench grinder just would take super skill which most don't possess.
For the less experienced and those just learning, best to use a gauge or the tools available. Just saying.... glad it works for you.  :)
beenthere, I might be wrong but I think what bandmiller was saying was he grinds his depth gauges with his bench mounted chain grinder.
I know there are a few good grinders out there that do a fine job on the depth gauges.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline clww

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 12:18:35 PM »
I've been cutting firewood and felling trees, mostly for personal usage, not full-time, for over 30 years. I have never run a file or a grinder on the rakers to bring them down lower. I've never touched them.
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Offline 6sunset6

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2013, 12:25:02 PM »
I put a 3/16 wheel on and reground a couple of .325  chains.  The geometry , even to my untrained eye, looks way better.
I would go out and saw but it's raining cats and dogs.
On the length of the tooth.  I though if they were not close , left and right,  the saw would cut off on a curve.

Offline beenthere

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 12:39:49 PM »
Quote
I have never run a file or a grinder on the rakers to bring them down lower.

Nothing says one has to file the rakers. Just that if they are too high (or too low), then the tooth will have less bite. Likely will still cut, but not as much.

Also, I find that touching up the tooth to keep it sharp (usually after every tank of fuel) that the rakers will wear about the right amount to keep up with the receding length of the tooth. So in that case, not filing rakers could work pretty well.

Where the rakers need some shortening, is when the chain is rocked or damaged and a lot of filing is needed. That exceeds the normal wear of the raker height desired.

So all depends on a number of different situations, all or most need to be taken into account when deciding on what the chain needs to be running its best. IMO   :)

I don't believe there are any "pat" answers.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 07:27:11 PM »
Believe it or not uneven tooth lengths won't make a saw cut in a circle .Now if it's sharper on one side than the other it will cut crooked .

The reason people tend to get one side sharper than the other is by the way they file the chain obviously .We tend to file better on one side than the other simple because we are left handed or right handed .

There are several methods that can be used to overcome that natural tendency you just have to pick one that works best for you .

Offline 6sunset6

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2013, 09:48:13 PM »
Another really helpful answer.  Thanks

Online bandmiller2

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2013, 07:29:20 AM »
Alas,I do trim down the rakers with a bench grinder.I've been sharpening drills and machine tooling free hand for years and have a light touch.I would not recommend it to outhers though.For me it works better than a file.A fella could probably never touch the rakers but if you want to pull those big chips out the chain must bite. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2013, 06:51:49 AM »
Usually in the life of the chain you might have to take the rakers down only several times .You have to watch taking them down too far because all that will get you is a grabbey chain ,not good .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2013, 06:58:53 AM »
While on this subject a thought occured to me .Often times if a chain is not filed on a regular bassis the "working corner " becomes some what rounded .On a refile often times it doesn't get correctly taken down to the point where  the top plate and side plate form a well defined corner  .It might appear to be sharp but it will not preform as well as it should .It's a common mistake which has caused a lot of frustration .

Offline Seaman

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2013, 06:50:55 AM »
I have found that on the chain for my Lucas, a ripping chain of course, all the above matters a LOT. We are talking ripping 10 or 16 feet, so a tiny variation makes a chain climb or dive.
I THOUGHT I could sharpen a chain, and do well freehand on chainsaw chains, but ripping is a whole other goat.

Good thread, lots of info. Thanks.
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Online bandmiller2

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Re: chains files and grinding wheels
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2013, 08:02:40 PM »
Al,brings up a good point its the corners that do the cutting be it chain, band or circular saw check them carefully[with your glasses on]  Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece


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