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Author Topic: Race Chains versus Working Chains  (Read 2048 times)

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Offline Philbert

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Race Chains versus Working Chains
« on: November 12, 2013, 01:43:42 PM »
We have lots of discussions about race saws versus working saws.  How about chains?

Is 'sharper' always better?

Is 'faster' always better?

Is a 'harder' cutter always better?

How about the durability of a chain or cutters?  Easier to field sharpen, versus stays sharp longer?  Why don't more people use carbide tipped cutters? 'Grabby' chains versus smooth cutting?  Etc., etc., etc.

I am guessing that there will be some differences between the type of cutting, species cut, casual versus full time cutters, sharpening methods, etc.  Oh, and some personal preference!

Philbert


Offline Philbert

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »
I'll start.

I like chainsaws.  It's fun to run a modded saw with a super sharp chain.  In practice, I am happy if my saws run stock, and if the chains need minimal maintenance while I am cutting.  I take a few chains per saw, and except for light touch ups, swap them out and sharpen at home.

I am also looking for value, and want to get as many sharpenings per chain as I can.  I normally will buy name brand, semi-chisel chain that I sharpen at 30/55/0.  But I have acquired an eclectic mix of chains, and will run full chisel, skip, semi-skip, any brand, etc., as long as they fit my saws and are sharp.

The cutting that I am typically doing is bucking and limbing for firewood or storm clean up.

I recall trying one guy's homemade race chain at a GTG and knocking at least 3 teeth off in one down-up-down sequence, which spooked me a bit on 'race chains'!

Philbert




Offline H 2 H

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 02:59:51 PM »
I only use saws for cutting firewood so .......

But I have worked on a team for hot saws at logging shows in my area and they had one person that is all he did was the chains. Chads was in his own world when he worked on chains for events 
Brian

Old BROWN eyes strikes again !

"Saw troll speaks with authority about saws has never even touched. Well maybe he touches the pictures in the brochures before he rips on them"

".... guess you need to do more than read specs, and look at pictures !"

Offline sharkey

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 03:51:59 PM »
Try 'goofy' filing your chisel chain for a little extra, especially in fir.  The goofy file has a rounded edge and will give a stronger beak.  Otherwise, race chain is thinned and that was probably why you were loosing cutters.   

Offline Lanternguy

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 04:02:22 PM »
is one type of chain better for cutting really dry wood?  i have a bunch of old cedar logs behind my shed and i decided to cut some of these logs up for wood and was really surprised how much longer it took to cut this dry stuff vs the fresher stuff i cut every year.   
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 07:13:34 PM »
is one type of chain better for cutting really dry wood?

If you are not satisfied, I would try using a less steep angle (i.e. go from 30 to 25 degrees) on one chain. You can also try this on frozen wood.

But if you keep going back and forth between angles, you will use up your chain in filing/grinding dust.  You might want to have different chains for different types of cutting.

Philbert

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 07:20:06 AM »
On that dry cedar you just need to file more often .Fact on our EAB killed  ash you might need to file every tank full .It's about a 5 minute job on a 20" loop .

You won't gain anything by running a dull chain .You'll just have to file it more once you get around to it .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 07:23:16 AM »
Now race chain is exactly that .It's make for 3 quick cuts in relatively soft wood .

With regular chisel as I said it's a 5 minute job with a file .With a full blown square filed dog boned tunneled racer that could be an hour and a half .Do the math . ;)

Offline Philbert

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 09:53:02 AM »
Al, I don't want to put words in your mouth. But is your comment that race chain may cut faster, but it likely dulls faster too?

Philbert

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 10:36:17 AM »
Well it's kind of like compairing a straight razor to an axe . ;)

Besides that a thinned down race chain would most likely break out a tooth or 6 on hardwoods any way .

Not to mention depending on who filed it you have hours invested in it .You don't want to spend 4-6 hours making a chain only to snag it off hitting an oak knot .Kinda dumb thing to do .

Offline Philbert

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 11:34:00 AM »
On race chains I have seen, the maker tries to remove as much metal as possible to reduce resistance in the wood and to minimize weight.  The cutters are ground way back, and sometimes thinned out.  Sometimes, parts of the tie straps are ground off.

So would a shorter chain be better?  It would have fewer links, weigh less, and have less friction on the guide bar.  Or would it be better to have a slightly longer chain, with more cutters, so they would be less likely to dull?

Philbert

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 11:57:32 AM »
I suppose it might have something to do with what a person is cutting .Most stuff in the midwest is 8 and 10 inch cants with usually a 16" bar .

You have remember most three cut races are won or lost by several tenths of a second so anything that helps gets used .

Offline Cedar Savage

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 12:39:41 PM »
Chains on thier last few sharpenings always cut fastest, sometimes even if they're missing a couple teeth...less metal....less drag.
 A worn out chain with a bunch of broken cutters....was a good chain!
They fried the fish with bacon and were astonished, for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.         Mark Twain

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 03:53:52 PM »
With a race chain it's also about chip clearance, you want some distance between the depth gauge and the tooth, that's why we file the tooth back. Now if you file the tooth back too far it won't be tall enough, this isn't good for clearing chips either. Most also remove some material from the depth gauge as well. Stoning the side of the teeth even's them up making them cut smother and a bit narrower, all of which helps efficiency.
Andre.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 04:04:39 PM »
 :D Well you'd better have a tough set of fingers if you ever seriously file a race chain .It takes about 3-4 different files and hours and hours .You about go stone blind filing the square ground portion .

I'm certainly not the best at it .Mine in a comparrison are about middle of the road .

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 05:05:22 PM »
:D Well you'd better have a tough set of fingers if you ever seriously file a race chain .It takes about 3-4 different files and hours and hours .You about go stone blind filing the square ground portion .

I'm certainly not the best at it .Mine in a comparrison are about middle of the road .

Old boy I've made exactly one 64dl chain by hand, and I'm still feeling the effects. Sure did cut well though. ;D 
Andre.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 06:05:39 PM »
I think I have about 8 each one progressively got better . If I ever got serious about it I'd get a grinder to at least do the "rough in " part and finish them with a file .However it's unlikely I'll ever get serious about it . :)

Offline Andyshine77

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 06:18:35 PM »
I think I have about 8 each one progressively got better . If I ever got serious about it I'd get a grinder to at least do the "rough in " part and finish them with a file .However it's unlikely I'll ever get serious about it . :)

One of these days I'll end up with a square grinder, they're not cheap that's for sure. :o
Andre.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 07:30:04 PM »
So does anyone have a pic of a race chain to put on here ?  :D
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Offline bigsbetter

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Re: Race Chains versus Working Chains
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 07:40:00 PM »
This question may be a little off topic...But... When sharpening a chain, I've always sharpened with a hand file and did my stroke from the back side of the tooth. I've seen my brother, who recently smoked me in a race, sharpen his the opposite way, from the sharp side in. He said so it doesn't leave a burr on his cutting edge. What do you guys think?
Work Hard...Then Play Hard!


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