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Depth gauge on ripping chain?

MagraAdam

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Hi guys, first let me say that I don't mill, but as I don't have a splitter, when I get wood that's too hard or too gnarly to split by hand I'll rip the rounds. I lift the wood off the ground on some scraps of 2 inch thick lumber and that helps me get through the round without hitting the ground.

I have a 10deg semi chisel skip tooth 063 3/8 chain and I sharpen it by hand. I have the normal Stihl depth gauge guide and the progressive guide, but I'm not sure if either of those will set the depth gauge correctly for ripping. Is there a different guide to use? (Preferably one I can get in Australia)

Thanks heaps,

Adam
 

BobL

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None of the guides produce truly progressive raker depths. Raker guides also produce flat tops but to reduce friction rakers should be rounded so you might as well have a file in your hand to do that.

If you want to use guides then you the simplest solution is to get a set of the Oregon depth gauge guides that come in steps of 0.005" from 0.025" through to about 0.060"
so 0.025, 0.030, 0.035, 0.040, 0.045, 0.050, 0.055 and 0.060.
Measure the cutter gullet width and divide by the and then use the closest guide to that number.
This only gives you an approximate setting. I've tried this and was constantly losing guides etc.
Raker tops still need rounding.

These guides cost about US$5 each so for the US40 you pay for the full set of guides (if you can get them) you can buy a digital angle finder and set the raker angle exactly without the need to measure teh gullet widths.
If $$ are tight a set of feeler gauges and a straight edge will also work but you ill need to measure gullet widths.

Now (as I have said many times) I don't use a digital angle finder every time I touch the rakers. I use on every now and then, at home in my shed in comfort where I can hold a bar/chain in a vice and use the wooden angle finger backing stand as shown in the vid.
Then in the field I do the following
Cutters get touched up (2-4 swipes) after every tank full of mix. Rakers get 2-3 swipes after every 2-3 cutter touch ups. The angle finder is used after 2-3 milling sessions to reset things. Sometimes I just do a random check and if the rakers are falling into the 6-7º window for the 880 with the 3/8 send chain, and 6.5-7.5º for the 441 with the Lopro chain I leave them alone.
 

MagraAdam

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Thanks heaps for the reply @BobL - in summary, do you think i should be aiming for lower or higher than cross cutting?


if you want to use guides then you the simplest solution is to get a set of the Oregon depth gauge guides that come in steps of 0.005" from 0.025" through to about 0.060"
so 0.025, 0.030, 0.035, 0.040, 0.045, 0.050, 0.055 and 0.060.
I've only managed to find a 0.025 and 0.040 in australia.
Measure the cutter gullet width and divide by the and then use the closest guide to that number.
And divide by the..? and what unit is the gullet measured in?

you can buy a digital angle finder and set the raker angle exactly without the need to measure teh gullet widths.

That looks like a nice and easy system. I might have to get one of those.


Raker guides also produce flat tops

The progressive ones will give a slant, but yes still not a nice curve
 

BobL

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Thanks heaps for the reply @BobL - in summary, do you think i should be aiming for lower or higher than cross cutting?
I've never really though about it - I don't have separate chains for crosscutting - I just have all ripping chains.
I've only managed to find a 0.025 and 0.040 in australia.
A few years ago I found a couple of other sizes - 0.030 and 0.035 but I gave those away to
And divide by the..? and what unit is the gullet measured in?
Sorry - Divide by a number that suits your operation (somewhere between 10 and 7) I use 9 for Aussie hardwood on my bigger saws and 8 on my 441 with the Lopro chain..
New stock chain effectively uses "10" (0.250" gullet and 0.025" raker depth)

That looks like a nice and easy system. I might have to get one of those.
The progressive ones will give a slant, but yes still not a nice curve
If your power head is powerful enough it doesn't really matter but in Aussie hardwoods every bit of lost power makes a difference.
 

J D

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Bob has a lot of wisdom when it comes to sharpening, just remember he's running big saws & likes an agresive cut... depending on what you're running I'd probably start with 1/10th the cutter to raker gap & take slightly more off each time you sharpen until you find the sweet spot.
If you have a smart phone it will have a digital angle finder but you may have to download an app to access it. Using a phone it can be easier to put a straight edge on the chain & measure that.
If they're just rounds you're cutting have you tried doing it with the grain (otherwise known as "noodling") rather than cutting through the end grain (ie ripping)?
Also, you say you have your chain sharpened to 10°... is that a dedicated ripping chain or are you x-cutting with it too? 10° is too shallow for x-cutting & combined with agresive rakers could potentially be quite dangerous
 

MagraAdam

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Bob has a lot of wisdom when it comes to sharpening, just remember he's running big saws & likes an agresive cut... depending on what you're running I'd probably start with 1/10th the cutter to raker gap & take slightly more off each time you sharpen until you find the sweet spot.
If you have a smart phone it will have a digital angle finder but you may have to download an app to access it. Using a phone it can be easier to put a straight edge on the chain & measure that.
If they're just rounds you're cutting have you tried doing it with the grain (otherwise known as "noodling") rather than cutting through the end grain (ie ripping)?
Also, you say you have your chain sharpened to 10°... is that a dedicated ripping chain or are you x-cutting with it too? 10° is too shallow for x-cutting & combined with agresive rakers could potentially be quite dangerous
I only use that chain for ripping. But it sounds like when I say ripping I mean noodling? So the round is on its side and I cut with the saw at a flat end. To me that was always called ripping (with the noodle like chips) and cutting from one flat end to another was milling (which ends in lots of fine dust)

I'm not using a big saw, just a 361 and it only has a 16" bar on it for ripping (20" for cross cutting) as my wood heater doesn't take long wood..
 

J D

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This is noodling...
download.jpeg
If you can cut your rounds like this (chain cuts along with the grain) it is much less demanding on the saw. I don't know what the best chain setup for noodling is but standard x-cut works well & a milling grind as previously discussed would not.
This is ripping/milling
images (2).jpeg
Where you want a chain sharpened as Bob discussed in order to get some bite when cutting the end grain. It's the hardest & slowest way to cut wood so if it's an option I'd be noodling.
Hope that helps
 

MagraAdam

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This is noodling...
View attachment 899837
If you can cut your rounds like this (chain cuts along with the grain) it is much less demanding on the saw. I don't know what the best chain setup for noodling is but standard x-cut works well & a milling grind as previously discussed would not.
This is ripping/milling
View attachment 899839
Where you want a chain sharpened as Bob discussed in order to get some bite when cutting the end grain. It's the hardest & slowest way to cut wood so if it's an option I'd be noodling.
Hope that helps
Thanks mate,looks like I noodle.. I prefer to do it with the 10deg skip tooth as it seems to stress the saw less.

I'll line up half a dozen rounds all on blocks off the ground and move through them all 1 at a time cutting then in half, then let the saw idle and put one of each of the halves on the blocks and then cut them into pieces, and maybe some of the middle ones in half again. Then let the saw rest and set up the other halves, and so on. It's fairly quick and easy on the back and arms. While I lose wood compared to splitting I do use the noodles in the garden etc.
 
sean donato

sean donato

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Regular chain would serve you just fine wile noodling. I cant say as to depth gauge settings in the aussie hard, hard woods. I like an more aggressive chain, so stick to the larger settings. Seems a bit of experimenting is needed to find what works best, nice thing is if you go a bit too far and the chain get jumpy, or grabby, give it a good sharpening and your back to point a again.
 

J D

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Skip tooth lessons the load on the saw due to less cutters & greater space between them for chip/noodle clearance. 10° TPFA helps as the lower the angle the less sideways pull there is on the chain creating a narrower kerf. When ripping or noodling you don't need as big of a kerf as when x-cutting as the fibres don't close in the same way. When ripping the cutters struggle to bite into the end grain of the wood hence needing lower rakers & a better hook compared to x-cutting. When noodling the opposite is true so a higher raker will stop the chain biting more than the saw can handle. That's my understanding anyway, explained as concisely as possible. If I'm off point with anything I'm sure someone else will be along to chip in shortly.
One thing to note with your 10° skip chain is the increased potential for violent kickback
 

BobL

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One thing to note with your 10° skip chain is the increased potential for violent kickback
Top plate filing angle of 10º should not affect kickback but lowering the rakers will.
Lower rakers also increase vibe and increase wear and tear on the B&C, although uising an Aux Oiler helps with the later.
Kickback is not an issue when milling with an alaskan because the risky spot on the bar that produces kickback is covered by the mill nose clamp. However it is an issue if that a milling saw/n&C is used for cross cutting. I always note this when I pick up such a saw for the odd bit of cross cutting.
 
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