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Author Topic: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.  (Read 23262 times)

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Offline CHARLIE

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Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« on: January 04, 2004, 07:55:58 PM »
A friend in the woodturning club I belong to, asked me a question which I could not answer and so I'm posting it here for some expert advice.  Thanks in advance, Charlie

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When a chainsaw cuts off to one side instead of straight, does that mean that the teeth on one side are duller than the other? If that's true, on which side would the dullest teeth be to make the cut wander to the right? My theory would be right side/dullest, the sharper teeth on the left would cut better and make the bar veer to the right as it cuts.

Or is it something else, like a worn bar?

The bar looks OK to me, and I use a filing jig to sharpen the teeth on the bar, so I get the same angle each side. It cuts straight when newly sharpened, but after a little while the cut
goes off kilter.

I'm cutting up a bunch of dead elm . That stuff is kinda hard on blades!


Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline DanG

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2004, 08:19:52 PM »
Hey Charlie! Where ya been? ???  I wuz about ready ta ask Tom to go check on ya.

I ain't no chainsaw ex-spurt, but my unnerstanding is that it can be either one.  If the slot in the bar gets wallered out too much, it will cause the cut to wander. Also, if the teeth ain't sharpened iggzackly the same, it'll cause the same problem.  Somebody said it was the difference in filing with different hands, that being the right one and the left one, with one being stronger than the other, but I turn my saw around and file both sides the same way. It don't seem to help none. :-/
I'll shut up now, and leave this answer to somebody that knows what they're talking about. I just wanted to say Welcome back from wherever it is you been at. :)
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2004, 08:39:05 PM »
Thanks DanG.  I've been hanging around a little bit but have been gone quite a bit lately.  November was a bad month and I had to make a trip to Florida. Then came home just to turn around and go back down there for Christmas with my wife's family in Okeechobee. Just got back.
Charlie
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Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2004, 03:46:04 AM »
I've cut with some bars that were really worn and if the chain was really sharp, they cut straight.  I've used new bars with a chain that was a bit dull and they would try to cut a circle.  The bar should be nothing but a place for the chain to ride in, not something to guide the chain, IMHO. (in my humble opinion)
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2004, 04:17:56 AM »
The bar must match the chain, the cutters should be the same length, the bottom of the chain links should not be badly worn, the bar rails should not be spread or uneven.

Offline slowzuki

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2004, 05:25:42 AM »
I've been told another thing is the chipper length (cutting edge to back of tooth) needs to be equal all around.

Offline KDEC19

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2004, 09:14:59 AM »
I would think that the chain is improperly sharpened.  If one side say the left cutters are sharper the chain will cut better with that side and the cut will be affected.  The chain needs to be sharpened on some grinder that can bring all the cutters to the same size and shape.  whenever my chains start to wander I re grind them on the wheel and it cures the problem.  hope this helps Keith d> :D
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Offline qatanlison

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2004, 12:03:12 PM »
kdec19 is right about the bar drawing toward the side with the sharper teeth. If the teeth seem equal in length check out the bar-groove, if the chain wiggles like a loose tooth throw it in the bin, the bar that is.

/Ola

Offline jokers

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2004, 01:46:43 PM »
Another thing to look for is the relative height of the depth gauges. If the teeth are unequal length side to side but the rakers are filed with a guide like the Oregon, the gauges will be averaged and consequently too high for the shorter side. This will give the same affect as one sides cutters being sharper. You may see a similar effect on chains whose gauges have been machine ground. Because of where the wheel contacts the gauges on opposing sides, the gauges will be ground to different heights. If hand filing, pick a direction, ie; inside to out, and file both sides this way.

A chain which has different length teeth side to side can still cut straight as long as the depth gauges are set right and the teeth are sharp. The best tools that I have found to accomplish accurate setting of the gauges are the Husky tool and the Carlton File-O-Plate.

Russ

Offline Stan

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2004, 02:58:50 PM »
Check the top and corner of each tooth. If they show a chip, they are duller than the others and will influence the direction of the cut. I guess if there are an equal number of damaged teeth on each side the saw would cut straight, but I've never seen that.  :-/
I may have been born on a turnip truck, but I didn't just fall off.

Offline tony_marks

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2004, 08:00:05 PM »
  just a guess..could u be getting the cutters on one side
 thinner .. thus causing the edges to break on the dead wood..
a machine should let uknow iif its your filing.. good luck..

Offline Michael

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2004, 08:58:56 AM »
My idea is take off the bar, inspect it. Is it worn so the drive links wiggle in the slot? Put a straight edge on it. Is it exactly level and both rails even? Check to see if the drive links are hitting in the bottom of the slot. If they do the chain will slant over and not cut straight. I am sure you have already checked for the correct gage. A shop can rebuild the bar and you will be surprised at how good it will cut again. Mike
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2004, 09:32:14 PM »
Thanks to everyone for their help!  I really appreciate it very much.

Charlie
Charlie
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Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2004, 09:39:23 PM »
Charlie,
Got a second chain? If you don't, probably should have. Anyway, find a different chain, new would be best and give it a go. that will tell you real quick if it is the chain or the bar. Or have the shop regrind your existing chain.

Rob
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2004, 09:34:10 PM »
That sounds like a good idea.  It's a friend of mine that is having the trouble and I'll mention  that to him. Thanks!
Charlie
"Everybody was gone when I arrived but I decided to stick around until I could figure out why I was there !"

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2004, 12:49:53 PM »
Hiya's:

In my experience if your free hand sharpening a chain, use Oregon chains, or similar. These chains have a line etched on the top of the tooth, indicating the angle to sharpen the tooth. Make sure you hold the file level and pull upward with a slight pressure as you draw the file toward you. You shouldn't require more than 3 or 4 draws unless your cutting into fences and hitting the ground or have dirty wood. Check the rakers after 6 or 7 sharpenings to see that they are slightly below the level of the teeth or you'll be rubbing instead of cutting wood. If your teeth aren't sharpened evenly and at the proper angle your going to be cutting in circles.
;D    ;D     ;D
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2004, 04:16:23 PM »
Quote
Make sure you hold the file level


Is that the same for chisel chain?   ;)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2004, 04:25:00 PM »
@ Kevin

Pondering   ;D
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Offline Fish

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2004, 05:29:01 PM »
Drop the file level 10 degrees for chisel.
  Fish
FISH

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Chainsaw won't cut straight. Need advice.
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2004, 06:25:55 AM »
I would think a slightly bent or twisted bar, more so than a bad chain, would be the culprit.
yes/no?
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