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Author Topic: Chain sharpener?  (Read 1973 times)

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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2021, 12:59:28 AM »
It is made with clunky stamped parts.  so if you try to adjust it, the angle marks on the gauge are fuzzy and the wing nut locks will sag and not stay where adjusted.  there are HF tools I would not be without, or if an only used once specialty tool might get by.  or something you cannot afford but need for a project.  they are better than nothing.  may be under powered and paraphrased copies of other units.  not as precise.  I doubt that the quality increase of Stihl per penny is all that great either since they are so expensive.  get the best you can afford, and relative to the number of chains you will sharpening.  I have over 10 saws and 40 chains or more of all sizes.  it is a round trip cost of 1.5 hours to pick up and drop off, and 5 chains would cost 40 bucks.  I plan to use it and my saw the next 20 years and if it breaks, I can get parts.  so the cost made sense.  I got it with money left to me from my parents so I did not want to honor them buying junk.  it is a personal decision.  a cheap one can be replaced and a good one has parts available.  at some point we all buy something and use it.  good luck.  my friend the cardiologist has 2 saws and a HF sharpener and is happy with it.  cheers
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2021, 01:17:07 AM »
I was curious. I'm not at all interested in a grinder. I like hand sharpening. You could give me the best grinder in the world, and I'd say "Cool. Thanks!", and it would never leave the box, though I might fire up a fully robotic grinder just to see it work.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2021, 01:28:32 AM »
as you say for the sake of discussion, how about a file adapted to a Sawzall or jig saw so the motion is powered and the grind is by round file.  seems most files cut front to back, as the small 12 v grinder rotates a stone.  I have used them all and they work.  (not the saws all yet to be designed version).
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2021, 08:14:29 AM »
I think that the most accurate system I have used is the Timberline, which is a carbide mill cutter that is guided by a precision machined jig.  The carbide is turned by a hand crank, is very accurate, and make the teeth more than razor sharp.  However, it's slow as Christmas, and is a hand cramper. I eventually mounted the carbide cutter in a battery operated drill and that sped things up.

One of the biggest issues I personally have had with hand sharpening with a bare file is keeping the teeth at the same angle (not too hard) and keeping them all at the same length (more difficult), especially if the chain has been hand sharpened a half a dozen times.  It's also important, more so than I used to think, to keep the rakers at a constant and correct length.  I used to free hand hand file them, but I really like the Stihl 2 in 1 system because it will dress them to the correct length.

If the left and right side teeth aren't symmetric, the bar will wear unevenly, and over a period of time, the bar will cut slight curves, and power is robbed as the chain links bear on the side of the kerf when cutting big logs.  I do use a bar dresser, but I have found that for me, after a few good handsharps, I'll run the chain through the grinder to clean everything up, and life is good.

I have used several grinders, but the main reason I like the Stihl, besides that fact that its main joint is as tight as it was the first day I bought it, is that it puts in the little double compound angles that Stihl chains use, and I have found that it makes a difference I can feel when I'm bucking log after log on the mill yard, vs just the 30 or so cutter angle.

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Offline HemlockKing

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2021, 09:11:09 AM »
as you say for the sake of discussion, how about a file adapted to a Sawzall or jig saw so the motion is powered and the grind is by round file.  seems most files cut front to back, as the small 12 v grinder rotates a stone.  I have used them all and they work.  (not the saws all yet to be designed version).
Would be hard because you’d be ruining your new sharp edge every time the saw comes back, you’d only want it touching on the forward stroke. Even though it doesn’t cut on the back stroke I’d think it would still ruin the edge possibly 
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2021, 09:35:34 AM »
Put me in the hand file group for the foreseeable future. I have been doing a lot of sharpening the last couple of years and have always gotten by OK, but this last year or so I have upgraded my self assessment to 'fairly good' and I use the Husqvarna roller guide because it fits in a pocket and keeps me consistent. Lately I have been thinking I can maybe try freehand because I rarely depend on the guide to keep me true.
 Over the decades I have tried many systems and I have yet to find one that doesn't work, as Doc said, it is just a question of how well, fast, and consistent it is, as well as how properly your chain comes out with the top plate angle, side angle, and drop. I usually do my rakers (every other sharpening or so) with a progressive raker gauge.
 This is not to say I have a leaning against any method that works for someone else. I have never used the 'all-in-one' gizmo, it just goes against my grain and I haven't had a chance to try it yet. If it works for y'all, great. Time does matter almost as much as quality.
 Doc, your idea with the sawzall is interesting but I see a few 'hitches' to overcome. First, the tool will only use about 2" of the file length over and over and a single side until you rotate it. The speed of the tool means you will have the same pressure on the return stroke as the push, also leading to early file wear because files don't cut on the pull stroke, as HK said. (When I hand file I lift off the pressure on every return stroke and rotate a tiny bit every other stroke.)
 However You did bring to mind and idea for a powered stroking system or what one should look like. In a few shops I have worked, including my own shop at one point we had a machine called a 'Die Filer' and it was always one of my favorite toys. It was designed for use by the old die makers that would use it to shape the various odd cutout in dies and punches before final grinding and sharpening. It took a little work to get proficient with, but man it was fun. You could set the table at an angle for more complex cuts, but you really had to have your head in the game to get things to come out right. It took special files that cut 'backwards', on the pull stroke (I still have a bunch of these and use them by hand when I need them). Picture a table jig saw without an overarm and you pretty much have it. I was usually the only guy in the shop that used that machine and I wish I still had one today. Anyway, the point I was working up to was that this machine would hold the file straight on the down (cut) stroke then let it flop over just a little for the return (up) stroke. This happened pretty quick and unless you were pushing too hard, in which case your work piece would lift with the file then get slammed to the table on the downstroke, many times pinching little pieces of skin or full fingers under it. This is why the young guys stayed away from it after a couple of blood blisters. :D ;D No patience, they wanted to 'hit a button'.
 So if you could make a hand held machine that would 'back off' on the return stroke and index the file a little bit, you might have something. I'm happy with what works for me now and if somebody gave me an electric sharpener I would give it a go, but I am not looking for one. If I ever found a Silvey cheap in a yard sale  :D I would grab that and switch all my chains over to square ground and be done with it. That I would trust. I might even take in outside sharpening. The local guy is getting old and tired and a lot of chains sent to him only get 3 sharpening's before they are done or they come back burned or too hard to file at all. Everybody (including me) likes him, but its getting expensive for them. (I think he's 85 or so.)

 Just find what works for you and put the time in to get good at it. Skill doesn't come cheap, you have to put in the time, lots of time.
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Online Skeans1

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2021, 09:50:01 AM »
Ill throw in another round filing is a cake walk, but do I do it no most of the time its going on the grinder its more efficient for the time I have after work. I havent heard anyone bring up square filing and how its not an easy thing to do and keep consistent with every tooth, having first hand experience with square being off side to side it will pull in a lovely banana shape.

 
This is a Silvey pro sharp for doing square chains even if youre doing just one Im willing to bet its faster to do on the grinder vs by hand.


 
The 300 dollar Tecomec Super Jolly with hydraulic vise is great for round of all sizes you can think of, this machine is mainly used on harvester 404 and 3/8s gullets of square.


Oregon 511a setup to do depth gauges 

 
This is a Depth Gauge Grinder or a HDG Silvey clone all it can do is depth gauges or gullets but when you sit down to do 10 to 15 chains per shot you want something that is accurate and fast.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2021, 10:16:53 AM »
........ I havent heard anyone bring up square filing and how its not an easy thing to do and keep consistent with every tooth, having first hand experience with square being off side to side it will pull in a lovely banana shape. ........
I believe somebody mentioned square filing in the post before yours :D. Whereas it is true that is is tricky to learn and can be very frustrating when you first start, I have found that field filing square goes pretty quickly compared to round. There is no jig or guide available for square, so your hands have to be very consistent, especially side to side, but once you've 'got it', you are golden. I love the way it cuts, but I wanted to get better at round filing and have spent 2 years doing a lot of chain footage until I could get it 'right'. Maybe I will go back to square now. Still searching sales for a cheap used Silvey though. :D ;D
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2021, 10:13:02 AM »
as you say for the sake of discussion, how about a file adapted to a Sawzall or jig saw so the motion is powered and the grind is by round file.  seems most files cut front to back, as the small 12 v grinder rotates a stone.  I have used them all and they work.  (not the saws all yet to be designed version).
Would be hard because youd be ruining your new sharp edge every time the saw comes back, youd only want it touching on the forward stroke. Even though it doesnt cut on the back stroke Id think it would still ruin the edge possibly
You are correct, HemlockKing. Back-dragging a file is a great way to ruin it.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline John Mc

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2021, 10:27:18 AM »
Yeah, Ill take my hand sharpening over machine. The cost, time involved, and taking off the bar, putting back on, and other stuff that I havent thought of yet. Its also a good time for personal assessments like: hydration, hunger, what have I REALLY got left to do, stuff like that.
 

I'm with you on this one. I prefer hand sharpening. I tend to get caught up in the work of cutting, and not notice how tired/dehydrated/hungry I'm getting. I do notice right away when a chain is not cutting properly. I'll pause and hand sharpen in the woods. During that time, I'll also start to notice all those things about myself that I have been ignoring, and deal with them.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline smoked

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2021, 08:28:52 PM »
I have become a fan of the 2 in 1 hand files.  I have learned I can keep the alignments more steady pulling to me vs. pushing away too.  Obviously pulling the file only in the correct direction ;D  As long as the chain is not killed, I feel it is faster than just removing and replacing considering grinding has to happen later.  Especially if it is on the Alaskan rig.   
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Offline welderskelter

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2021, 10:48:00 PM »
You can get a sharpener (vevor) on the internet for around 170 not much when you can make about 8 bucks every 10 minutes.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2021, 05:10:39 AM »
I haven't read all the posts here but thought I'd add - I've got a cheap Chinese sharpener I'm sure the same as what you get at HF, I can get out of the box sharp with it every time. I'm sure it's not as nice to use as an Oregon or Stihl but I don't know what I don't know haha.

You do have to be sensible with it, the handle/assembly has a bit of flex in it so you have to pay attention to which way you're applying force. And the chain isn't correctly referenced against the stop when changing the table to +/- 30 degrees or 35 whatever you do, so you have to adjust a little so you don't end up with short cutters on one side, but easy to solve with calipers and once you know the tool you don't bother measuring.

Just kiss each cutter a few times, should all be fresh metal and not tarnished

Offline Dave12

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2021, 11:46:18 AM »
I'm a big fan of the stihl 2 in 1. I tried hand filing but just couldn't get the hang of it. I'm sure a chain can be sharper with proper hand filing or bench grinder but the extra second or so in cut time isn't going to make a difference in what I do. 
Just a small time firewood cutter using a Stihl MS261c and MS462c

Offline 5shot

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2021, 12:15:47 PM »
Total newb here, but I noticed nobody mentioned the Granberg File N Joint.  Dead simple for round filing, and it can be adapted for square filing (with a 3 corner).  The jig doesn't fit in your pocket, but it isn't huge.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2021, 09:55:35 PM »
I'm a big fan of the stihl 2 in 1. I tried hand filing but just couldn't get the hang of it. I'm sure a chain can be sharper with proper hand filing or bench grinder but the extra second or so in cut time isn't going to make a difference in what I do.
In my book, the 2-in-1 and any other guides ARE hand filing - you are not using a grinder. I call filing with just a bare round file with no guide "free-hand filing" (and it's just one method of hand filing). I don't think that term is widely used - it's just how I think of it. 
In my life I've my dozens of people who THINK they get great results freehand filing. I've met three who actually DO get great results. 
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2021, 10:18:13 PM »
My free-hand filing gives me better results than any brand new chain that I have run across, and I just round file. I firmly believe that part of the trick is to file your depth gauges with a progressive guide. Thats the only guide that I use, and then a really light tickle with the file after the depth gauge tool. After all, it does rest on the cutting edge of the tooth that its using.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #37 on: August 16, 2021, 10:22:22 PM »
JoshNZ, I've seen Chinese knock offs of the Oregon/Tecomec grinders. They are supposed to do a reasonable job, from what I hear. The Harbor Frieght machine I had was all plastic, used a tiny wheel, and flexed so much that any consistent result was impossible.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2021, 03:10:57 AM »
The one I got is all cast aluminium, only plastic is guards and electronics cover. It has a bit of flex but it's ok, if you're mindful of it.

I got another one recently on sale for $79nz about ~55usd right now. Pinched the motor off and tossed in the bin as it was cheaper than sourcing a motor in NZ. As far as I could tell it is identical to the one I'm using.

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Chain sharpener?
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2021, 09:40:40 AM »
I believe somebody mentioned square filing in the post before yours (Image hidden from quote, click to view.). Whereas it is true that is is tricky to learn and can be very frustrating when you first start, I have found that field filing square goes pretty quickly compared to round. There is no jig or guide available for square, so your hands have to be very consistent, especially side to side, but once you've 'got it', you are golden. I love the way it cuts, but I wanted to get better at round filing and have spent 2 years doing a lot of chain footage until I could get it 'right'. Maybe I will go back to square now. Still searching sales for a cheap used Silvey though. (Image hidden from quote, click to view.) (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Actually, they do make a jig for square filing. I could also make one out of a Granberg jig sharpener with the help of a hobby machinist. You would only need to make a few small pieces. Here is the ATOP:

Kevin



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