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Author Topic: Chain sharpener  (Read 2419 times)

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Offline stumpy

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Chain sharpener
« on: July 09, 2008, 06:16:59 PM »
I'm looking for opinions on power chain sharpeners.  What brand do you use and do you sharpen only on the machine or do you dress them up in the woods.  Also, does the sharpener file the raker?
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008, 07:17:20 PM »
I have the Oregon standard model and sharpen mostly .404 harvester chain and some 3/8 pitch chain. I also have the extra vice to sharpen 3/4 pitch harvester chain. I never sharpen by hand any more but others hace said it is difficult to use a file after sharpening on a sharpener which I believe is true.

The new versions of the Oregon model have a new feature to center the chain under the wheel for both left and right hand cutters which I wish I had. Without that new feature, you get two different lengths of cutters when you switch from left to right.

I can also set it up to lower the rakers, but it is kind of a pain. You need to have a separate dedicated wide cutting wheel for the rakers and sometimes I put the chain on backwards so the stop works better. But it is time consuming.

I would prefer to have a Silvey, but they have increased significantly in price lately and are now close to a thousand dollars each.  :o   Baileys may still sell them, but I think you have to ask for them as they are not listed. They are faster, but I am not familiar with the other features.

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Offline SwingOak

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008, 11:01:26 PM »
My brother has an Oregon 115. The pink wheels that Oregon sells for it tend to heat the tooth too much, so he uses these softer white wheels. I can't remember where he said he gets them though.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008, 11:12:13 PM »
I had an oregon model, I didn't like it.  I gave it to an arborist friend of mine.

I stick mutually to the file method.  I touch up the teeth at every fuel up.  I'd probably go back to a grinder if I was running a harvester.

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Offline LorenB

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 03:43:06 AM »

First let me complement you on your great User ID. 

Now, on to your issue: I have an Oregon 511A.  It has been superceded by a newer model that is essentially the same, with a few minor improvements. 

I have owned my bench sharpener for ten years or so and would be lost without it.  I own at least half a dozen chains for each bar for each of my saws.  This allows me to keep sharp ones on hand.  When I hit a rock or metal in the tree with a chain, I just swap it with a sharp one and keep on sawing.  Thats faster than filing a chain, at least if Im the guy doing the filing. 

My sharpener is the old style that Gary_C refers to but it isnt difficult to make the adjustment to keep the cutters the same length on both sides of the chain.  I measure mine with a caliper and try to keep them even.  So far I havent had any problems with that. 

You do have to adjust the settings every time you sharpen a new chain or change sides on the chain, but its not hard and goes fast once youve done one or two. 

The things I like about a bench sharpener are:
1) Once adjusted, sharpening is very fast. 
2) Each tooth is exactly the same length as every other tooth on that side of the chain.  Its possible to do a poor job of setup and get the teeth on the other side a different length, but even if you are not the perfectionist that I am they wont be too far off. 
3) Every angle is exactly the same on every tooth. 

There are probably a couple of more things I like, but its late and I cant think of them right now. 

To file the depth gauge, you remove the rounded profile wheel used for sharpening the teeth and install the wheel with an angled face.  The sharpeners depth stop is adjusted to the desired depth and each depth gauge is ground to that point.  You still have to round the leading edge of each depth gauge by hand with a file. 

Also, the 91 (low-profile) chain used on my small saw requires a different wheel from the one I use on the 72LG chain for my larger Husky.  The sharpener came with all three grinding wheels. 

Regarding heating the tooth while sharpening, that is controlled by how aggressive you are with your grinding.  If you drop the wheel into the tooth and never let up until it stops sparking, youll take off a lot of steel and heat it up in the process.  I bring the wheel down lightly and make about three passes on each tooth.  When it stops taking off metal, I advance to the next tooth.  With the cooling for a mere two or three seconds between passes, Ive never had a problem with overheating. 

As I said, Im a perfectionist.  I cant achieve perfection with my bench sharpener, but I get A LOT closer than I do with a file. 

Baker 3667D portable sawmill, Cook's edger, Logrite arches & peaveys.  Husky 272XP chainsaw & two Echos.

Offline mike_van

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 05:42:03 AM »
I've had an Efco grinder for over 10 years, does a great job.
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Offline ladylake

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 06:29:12 AM »
I have a Oregon 511 also, I just eyeball the tooth lenght which works good for me. Never has a chain cut crooked after sharpening. Keep a eye on the rakers, if too high it won't cut.   Steve
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 07:52:43 AM »
Stumpy,buy the best grinder you can afford then get the next best model.Thirty something years ago I bought a stihl 031 and the forerunner to the origon sharpener made in Italy I still have boath and they work fine.If your a carefull grinder what works well is to grind then touch up with a file in the woods,end of day regrind the chain.Several years ago I bought a Silvey square grinder,figure on the price of a good saw.The Silvey is commercial grade and a joy to use will last the average guy a lifetime.A really sharp chain will extend the life of your saw and repay you in the long haul.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Tim L

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Re: Chain sharpener
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 07:55:56 AM »
I have a speed sharp automatic that grips and releases the chain as you raise and lower the head . So far I like it . I bought it at Baileys and have used it 4-5 times .My neighbor has the same model for several years and I liked his so much I bought the same . I tend to go with what I know . I bought a Polaris 4 wheeler because we worked the neighbors hard on his farm and it stood up .
Do the best you can and don't look back

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