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Author Topic: Anyone try square filing their chains?  (Read 1514 times)

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Offline Happysawer

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Anyone try square filing their chains?
« on: November 21, 2020, 08:46:59 AM »
Been watching some chain sharping videos using square filing, and running sawing tests against chains filed with round filing.

Using the same saw same size Dia. log with both chains, the square filed chains beat the round filed chains by many seconds in the tests.

Also it looks like it's faster to do the filing using the square filing process.

Like to hear from anyone who has done this type filing.

Offline Southside

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 12:06:47 PM »
They do cut faster, but also dull faster. So overall gain will depend on the conditions you are in. 
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Offline lxskllr

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 12:16:07 PM »
Dunno about it being a faster sharpening process. Maybe for someone well practiced, but it'll take awhile to get there. Checkout this article...

How To File Square Chisel Chain

Offline Happysawer

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 12:53:57 PM »
Dunno about it being a faster sharpening process. Maybe for someone well practiced, but it'll take awhile to get there. Checkout this article...

How To File Square Chisel Chain
Thanks for your reply and item about Madsens, there is a man that deals a lot with Madsens, get his files and other tools from them he has a video with a man from Eastside Tree works, where he is trying to learn how to file these squire tooth chains.
I notice in the video your having to do a lot of hand filing without a fixture, and learning where to place file, man from Eastside Tree Works said he was having problems getting the hang of doing it.

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 01:41:41 PM »
I have been square filing chisel chain since the 70's. Mostly on an old Granberg Fie-n-Joint chisel jig. I'd love to have the Simington square file grinder for $1,000+ but realizing that won't be a reality, I'll stay with the Granberg.

The naysayers on this kind of chain are legion. I don't wanna get into the usual battle of the chain's shortcomings. It only gets dull quickly with wood that's embedded in clay, dirt and rock. However, it's not exclusively a PNW softwood chain either. When I moved back to MO after a long stint in the PNW I only had saws setup with .404 square file chain. I had 120 acres of woods on my farm and my saws had ample workouts in Black walnut and various Oaks. The saws cut through them like butter @WOT.

Most people bail on square file chain because they don't sharpen it correctly. Buckin Billy has a vid on using his square file Simington and the closeups of his finished cutters scream, "I'm gonna rip your wood apart!" I don't know of anybody on a pro level that once switched to square file and got the sharpening part correct, ever went back to round file. And the good news is there is a lot of square file chain now on the market for 3/8" chain. I think Billy still round files some of his saw chain because he bought used saws that came with chain and he's on a budget like most of us.

I'm a huge advocate for Madsen's but their instructions for sharpening square file are confusing. You really need a mentor watching you for awhile as you get started. And Madsen's instruction are primarily aimed at using the Simington.  Classically, you do it wrong and your saw will pull to the right or left in cuts....maddening.

I'd be happy to do a vid(with some camera help) on using the Granberg chisel jig, but you can't go out and buy one....so really, what would be the point? Using that jig, since it's a hand jig, there are about four things going on all at the same time. If you fail to monitor those four things, you won't get a correct finished product.

The Atop for $200+ may be your only hand jig salvation today for 3/8" full comp chisel(only). It won't do .404 chisel and it won't do skip-tooth 3/8" chisel chain.

Kevin

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 02:21:44 PM »
For hand filing, these are easier to say than do. Up-down tilt, left-right, correct file placement, holding your file consistently, taking care of excessive shelf, prevent rolling and or twisting of the file, the list goes on and on and...

Iíve not been consistent enough (IMHO) to even really try it yet, but I SO want to. You just have to remember, those files are RIDICULOUSLY expensive, compared to round files. 

BTW, Iíve gotten pretty good at round filing also. I can throw a good 7/16Ē chip from my 3/8 and .325 chains. Itís REAL easy for me to see when they need touching up. And on my questionable placement saw, itís sometimes as many as 3x per fill-up. When the chip turns a lot smaller, then itís time.

I know I know, I just need steadier hands. Or 1k for a Simington!
Trying harder everyday.

Offline ehp

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 04:43:00 PM »
yes filed lots of square and the best thing you can do is just do it , its not that hard to do and you will be doing it before you know it . When I logged up north I filed square on my falling saw for years but down here there is just to much steel and sand in the butts of the trees . Once you get use to square you can touch up a chain pretty fast and I pretty much always used a round chisel chain to start with  cause square ground chain was hard to get . , mainly 72 or 73 oregon LG or LGX chain is what I used 

Offline ehp

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 05:00:18 PM »
best thing I can tell you to do is get a wooden file holder and flatten the 2 sides across from each other so the holder fits in between your thumb and finger , now place the file in the holder at the angle for the under plate angle and now you hold the file the same cause of the 2 flat spots on the holder . You now have 2 of the 3 angles pretty much under control , its not hard to do . Believe me when I started out filing bush chains and race chains cause I needed them to race very few would file a chain for me and made it seem like its unreal hard to do , Its not nor does it take someone special to do it . Just get some chain and files and go to town on it , File a few stokes on a tooth and take a look at what the file is doing . if its not what you like to see change 1 of the file angles abit and see what changes on the tooth . I have helped a few friends learn and in 30 minutes most have the idea on how to file pretty good and if I can do it then teach someone you know it cannot be very hard cause lots say I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 05:14:02 PM »
The sharpest tool🤪
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Happysawer

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 05:44:00 PM »
best thing I can tell you to do is get a wooden file holder and flatten the 2 sides across from each other so the holder fits in between your thumb and finger , now place the file in the holder at the angle for the under plate angle and now you hold the file the same cause of the 2 flat spots on the holder . You now have 2 of the 3 angles pretty much under control , its not hard to do . Believe me when I started out filing bush chains and race chains cause I needed them to race very few would file a chain for me and made it seem like its unreal hard to do , Its not nor does it take someone special to do it . Just get some chain and files and go to town on it , File a few stokes on a tooth and take a look at what the file is doing . if its not what you like to see change 1 of the file angles abit and see what changes on the tooth . I have helped a few friends learn and in 30 minutes most have the idea on how to file pretty good and if I can do it then teach someone you know it cannot be very hard cause lots say I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed
What brand name of the file do you use and where do you get them, Madsens Catalog shows file pictures on page 100 on their 2020 PDF download, but don't say the brand.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 05:52:48 PM »
At the chainsaw place that I bought my saw about 35 years ago they was talking about square filing. 
I can do great with round and I do mean great. I can hit a rock and bring it back after about 3-4 sharpings. Rocks comes from cutting stumps low when I am clearing land. Just had that happen last week. 
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Offline ehp

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 09:25:56 PM »
I have files nobody can buy now as I bought the last pile of files they made like 23 years ago , I mean I bought dozens of them, all I could get my hands on. It really does not matter as I have used 6 sided files by oregon and for work saws they worked ok, stihl files worked well to . Making a square filed worksaw chain does not need the file to be really thin as its needed for a race chain . One thing you will find thou is a square filed chain cuts smooth so even thou you may not think its cutting fast it truly is once you video tape and time the cut 

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 09:54:59 PM »
I use the Pferd double bevel square chisel bit files SKU#15070, I think. These run about 15 bucks a pop and as was pointed out, that's a lot more than round files, however I got a LOT longer life out of these files, so it's not a straight comparison., plus you can do your rakers with the same file. I also use round files. I find, once my hands are programmed, the square is faster to file and also easier to do on a stump in the field. That's just me. It took me a couple of tries to get it right.
 If you use the search function you can find several other threads here on the forum with useful information. This comes up once or twice a year.
 The question of this style tooth dulling faster is still up for debate. I did not find this in my field use. Research indicates this is a rumor spread by Oregon years ago because they didn't want to get into supplying square ground chain. I buy my loops as round ground full chisel, and after a while I file them as square, depending on my mood and the wood. Good luck, you have to work at it a bit in the beginning, don't give up.
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Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2020, 11:25:01 PM »
Yep, double bevel Pferds are out there for about $15 a pop. I alternate with two. Keep them clean with a file card and they'll last longer and of course, keep the rust off 'em.

You can tell when they get dull and it's best not to keep trying to use a dull one.

If you're using 3/8" square file chisel, full comp, the Atop looks like the way to go for a jig. I've waited decades for someone to come out with another square file jig and that's the only thing so far and still nada for .404.

Seems like folks either learn to hand file chisel, they get a grinder or have someone do their chains with a grinder. The logical 'in between' is a hand jig and the Atop is the only show in town at present.

One helpful aid is to mark the inside of your cutter with a Sharpie....take a pass and look to see if all the black disappeared. Good way to tell exactly what you are taking off the cutter. 

Kevin

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2020, 11:30:36 PM »
I use the Pferd double bevel square chisel bit files SKU#15070, I think. These run about 15 bucks a pop and as was pointed out, that's a lot more than round files, however I got a LOT longer life out of these files, so it's not a straight comparison., plus you can do your rakers with the same file. I also use round files. I find, once my hands are programmed, the square is faster to file and also easier to do on a stump in the field. That's just me. It took me a couple of tries to get it right.
 If you use the search function you can find several other threads here on the forum with useful information. This comes up once or twice a year.
 The question of this style tooth dulling faster is still up for debate. I did not find this in my field use. Research indicates this is a rumor spread by Oregon years ago because they didn't want to get into supplying square ground chain. I buy my loops as round ground full chisel, and after a while I file them as square, depending on my mood and the wood. Good luck, you have to work at it a bit in the beginning, don't give up.
I'm with you on everything you said except for the Oregon rumor. They have always made square file pro chain. I have been using their 68CJ chain for over forty five yrs. They still make it and Madsen's sells it by the roll or loop.

But somebody did start the rumors about chisel chain dulling so fast.....I don't know who did it or why , but I heard it even pre-Internet....remember then(?)....lol!

I learned to square file on the stump(on the job). That was a stupid, horrible way to learn;watching helpless as my cuts pulled to the right and the left. I lost lots of time and money as I learned. I was too proud to ask for help. And if you're that proud, the older guys just love watching you fail for the comedic value alone. And add nepotism to that on the loggin' shows because I wasn't from OR/WA....fun times.


Kevin    


Offline donbj

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2020, 02:50:53 AM »
I use the Pferd double bevel square chisel bit files SKU#15070, I think. These run about 15 bucks a pop and as was pointed out, that's a lot more than round files, however I got a LOT longer life out of these files, so it's not a straight comparison., plus you can do your rakers with the same file. I also use round files. I find, once my hands are programmed, the square is faster to file and also easier to do on a stump in the field. That's just me. It took me a couple of tries to get it right.
 If you use the search function you can find several other threads here on the forum with useful information. This comes up once or twice a year.
 The question of this style tooth dulling faster is still up for debate. I did not find this in my field use. Research indicates this is a rumor spread by Oregon years ago because they didn't want to get into supplying square ground chain. I buy my loops as round ground full chisel, and after a while I file them as square, depending on my mood and the wood. Good luck, you have to work at it a bit in the beginning, don't give up.
I'm with you on everything you said except for the Oregon rumor. They have always made square file pro chain. I have been using their 68CJ chain for over forty five yrs. They still make it and Madsen's sells it by the roll or loop.

But somebody did start the rumors about chisel chain dulling so fast.....I don't know who did it or why , but I heard it even pre-Internet....remember then(?)....lol!

I learned to square file on the stump(on the job). That was a stupid, horrible way to learn;watching helpless as my cuts pulled to the right and the left. I lost lots of time and money as I learned. I was too proud to ask for help. And if you're that proud, the older guys just love watching you fail for the comedic value alone. And add nepotism to that on the loggin' shows because I wasn't from OR/WA....fun times.


Kevin    
Ha ha, proud and humble at the same time, Nice! Well maybe the humble came later,lol. I really appreciate your posting and knowledge
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2020, 07:44:51 AM »



Well, I am not going to jump down this rabbit hole again because it never ends well. I believe I found an old legacy document from one of the manufacturers back in the late 60's and I really can't recall which one, nor am I going to search for it again, but I seem to think it was Oregon and probably because they got into the square chains a little late. It doesn't matter, it was a marketing ploy at the day. I think it was a PDF scan of a catalog page. So that tells you how old it might have been.
 But the rumor still persists and is propagated. Read this document on Madsen's website. http://www.madsens1.com/bnc_chisel_qna.htm
 The important thing is to find what works best for you and your work requirements, learn how to do it, and do it well and often. Sharp tools make work easier, safer, and make the equipment last longer by not overloading the engine to compensate.
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2020, 10:43:32 AM »
I don't know what saw chain (round or chisel) was used in the eastern parts of the US but where i worked (coos bay, Oregon) the professional cutters were using  chisel bit chain when I started in the woods in the 1960's , 404 on the old Mac and Homelites, then, after the Husky and Stihl came out they moved to the 3/8 chisel bit.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2020, 11:38:15 AM »
I'm going go out to my saw shed and post some pics for you guys in a few minutes. 

Actually timberfallers were running chisel bit chain way back in the 1950s.  Pitch sizes into the early 1980's,  sizes like 7/16" 9/16" 5/8".
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Anyone try square filing their chains?
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2020, 11:46:48 AM »
I don't know what saw chain (round or chisel) was used in the eastern parts of the US but where i worked (coos bay, Oregon) the professional cutters were using  chisel bit chain when I started in the woods in the 1960's , 404 on the old Mac and Homelites, then, after the Husky and Stihl came out they moved to the 3/8 chisel bit.
Exactly.....I was 'thrown' into pro Oregon square file chain in the mid 70's. And it had been around some time before that.
I'm not sure that it matters now, who started the rumor about it dulling easily and I won't depute it was Oregon.....just don't understand what their motivation would be since they were making square file chain back to at least the late 60's?

Ha ha, proud and humble at the same time, Nice! Well maybe the humble came later,lol. I really appreciate your posting and knowledge.

Glad to share and yes, the humility came much later! :)

Kevin


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