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Depth Gauge Tools for Saw Chain

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Philbert, May 6, 2015.

  1. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Proper setting of chain depth gauges (a.k.a. 'rakers', 'drags', etc.) is critical for good chain performance. People might disagree on the specific offset, but whatever they choose, it should be intentional.

    Thought this might be a good time to start a depth gauge tool ('depth gauge gauge'?) thread.

    For reference, here is a link to BobL's classic thread on progressive depth gauge settings, using a digital angle finder ('DAF') and some comments on using a Carlton File-O-Plate ('FOP'):
    http://www.arboristsite.com/communi...ly-progressive-depth-raker-generators.114624/

    Philbert
     
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  2. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Kept my eye out for one of these for awhile (since seeing it in another A.S. post!) - Oregon adjustable depth gauge tool.

    Have not 'played' with it yet to determine how much each 'click' changes the depth gauge setting.

    Philbert
    photo 1.jpg photo 2.jpg photo 3.jpg photo 4.jpg photo 5.jpg
     
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  3. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Here are the classic, fixed offset, depth gauge tools - these happen to also be Oregon products.

    Depth gauge tool with 0.030" offset in one end, and 0.025" offset in the other.
    photo 6.jpg

    'Saddle' type/ center gauge with wide opening. These work better with reduced kickback chains that have center (drive link) or side (tie strap) 'bumpers' that do not fit into the narrow slots of the end gauges.
    photo 7.jpg

    To keep SawTroll happy, here is one of the Husqvarna roller guides with an attached depth gauge tool. This works similar to the Carlton FOP, with separate hardwood and softwood settings.
    photo 8.jpg

    Lastly, a set of automotive feeler gauges, which can be used with a straight edge, to measure existing depth gauge offsets as well as to set them.
    photo 9.jpg

    Philbert
     
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  4. Raganr

    Raganr ArboristSite Guru

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    Good info as always Philbert. I have been trying to use a digital angle gauge (per BobL's outstanding thread) and am still fine tuning my system. Will post a few pics tomorrow.
     
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  5. ANewSawyer

    ANewSawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am using a roller guide and the built in raker guide. I am happy for now. I sharpened a new chain and it was self feeding. I think the rakers are just a bit low though.
     
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  6. KenJax Tree

    KenJax Tree Terraphobic

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    I like mine a little lower, i usually take an extra swipe or 2.
     
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  7. jwilly

    jwilly ArboristSite Operative

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    Husky also has one similar to the Carlton.
     
  8. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I just lay the flat edge of my micrometer across them and look at the gap. I have that cheap orange depth gauge that comes with the 511 to get my eyes adjusted. I was taught on this site to cut the right rakers first on the Oregon 511 grinder, then turn the chain around backwards and cut the left. The grinder's chisel stop usually lands in the center of a rivet so I can quickly see when the raker is in the correct place. This does two things, 1. it keeps the cut depth the same from right to left, 2. the clamp holds the raker better for grinding. Disclaimer: the chain in the pictures isn't sharp and the wheel isn't my raker wheel. :)


    chain rakers 001.JPG chain rakers 003.JPG chain rakers 004.JPG chain rakers 005.JPG chain rakers 006.JPG chain rakers 007.JPG chain rakers 008.JPG
     
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  9. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I never even noticed that little red deal has those on it. I'm sure I have a few laying around somewhere.
    I usually do my saw chains at around 0.030 and the processor at 0.050. I don't get super fussy though, I've got better things to waste my time on then getting anal on saw chains.
     
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  10. MGoBlue

    MGoBlue Those who stay will be champions

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    Philbert, I've been using one like pictured after moving on from the Husky guide.
    [​IMG]
    I've been wondering about the "classic" style recently as the above pieces are pretty thin. What's you opinion of them(classic and saddle), which style do you like best?
     
  11. jwilly

    jwilly ArboristSite Operative

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    This one ^^^ is the same one I use, branded by Husky we sell them for $3.95 and they last quite awhile. Seems to work well and it sets the gauge off each tooth which is good for us that have one side filed smaller than the other.
     
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  12. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    I had not seen those flat plates. Thanks. Lots of brands and variations.

    I like the saddle/center style depth gauge tools a little better. They work with any kind of chain, including low kickback styles, and they seem to wobble a little less than the end gauge styles. So I have a little more confidence in them. But both of them work.

    Philbert
     
  13. blsnelling

    blsnelling Site Contributor

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    This is what I use, sold by Husqvarna. I use the Hard setting. I find the FOP to make my rakers too low and aggressive on Stihl RS chain.
     
  14. Landmark

    Landmark Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    I use this style. I don't get real particular. Just hit it a few licks and go saw wood.
     
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  15. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Interesting point. The fixed offset gauges give a measured setting. The FOP gauges are intended to provide a consistent angular measurement.

    Neither may be exactly what you want, or you might want different settings for different wood or different saws.

    If the user understands how the tools work, they can decide to 'leave it slightly proud', or 'take off a few more licks'. The feeler gauges (or other machinists' tools) can be used to be more precise.

    Also good to note that the depth gauges still need to be rounded over/profiled after the height is set.

    Philbert
     
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  16. treesmith

    treesmith tree hugger/cutter

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    I use the husky basic flat ones too and stihl file guides with stihl files, works well. Mastermind saws get softwood end, stock saws get hardwood end but thats with shorter bars in aussie gum
     
  17. huskihl

    huskihl Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use a flat file and automotive feeler gauges. If I put a new rs chain loop on, I lay the file flat on top of the chain, and it takes 3 swipes to get down to .030". 4 or 5 swipes to get down to .035" for the ported 7900. Like Bob said. Touch up the teeth every tank. And a recheck and couple more swipes every 5 tanks. Factory rake height works up to about 50cc imo. Everything above 60cc could use 4 passes on the rakers.

    Excellent informative post Philbert
     
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  18. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Where can I find one of these flat Husqvarna plate guides? My dealer only shows the roller guide. I use a F-O-P whenever possible, but they can be kind of chain type specific.
    I dont see the flat ones offered on Husqvarna website?
     
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  19. Jimmy in NC

    Jimmy in NC Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Part numbers from Husky:

    .325 - 505 69 81-00
    3/8 - 505 69 81-01
    3/8LP - 505 69 81-03
    .404 - 505 69 81-02

    Retail price on the website is $3.95 US so don't overpay!
     
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  20. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanks!
     
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