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hand filing

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Bruce, I started this thread, back in 2005. I feel that each to his own. I have never used a machine, I always file by hand. And I have taken a good look at my chains, and my bars. They look even and balanced. I have been a r.o.w. slasher, a spacer, a bucker and a climber/tree service guy. Gavin is a production faller.

I have sharpened about 99% of the time in the field, but I also have a big vise with a bright light shining on it. By hand and eye I can do it pretty good, better than out of the box, thats for sure. I have never chucked a chain that had some life left in it, I only chuck bars when they are bent.

Think about this, a machine cannot put the double hook into a tooth, you can only do that by hand, with practice. (I mean a hook as you look straight down on the chain, like the hook when you are looking sideways, this is for clean wood, works great) So it could be that a machine done chain may be more balanced, angled perfectly, but not cut as fast as a hand filed chain, by a guy who has ran saw for thousands of hours. Rakers are another matter, we are talking the blondest of c-hairs, doesn't hurt to use a gauge here for optimal performance once in while.
 

046

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yup... what ever works!!!

everyone is a little different. used to laugh at folks who would rather change out a chain instead to spending 3-4 minutes touching it up by hand.

now I've joined that crowd since switching to square cut chain. still only hand file round chains, but will only machine grind square.

my simington square chain grinder has to be one of the best tools I've ever purchased.
 
Bermie

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Do yourself a favor some time when you have time. Take the chain off of your chain saw, and examine it very closely, from all angles of the chain. Go from tooth to tooth, on both sides of the chain. I guarantee you that you will be quit surprised.
Then closely examine your guide bar. Take a square, and inspect it for abnormal ware. You will probably see that one side of the bar will be lower than the other, and one rail will be probably narrower than the rail on other side.
Then you will see how pretty much perfect you can be. I have a scarp barrel 1/2 full of chains, and bars as proof that I know what I'm talking about. I too used to hand file my chains, and thought I was doing a excellent job, until one day I examined my chain, and bar. That changed my mind in a hurry, before I had to replace everything, Bar, and Chain. Bruce.
Ha, this is what I teach in basic saw maintenance! If you are a novice with your CS30 ticket, you KNOW that uneven cutter lengths cause uneven cutting performance and abnormal wear on the bar...
Its those who have not been taught or who have not read some kind of manual who end up with chains and bars that look and perform like [email protected]! NOT the experienced operator who hand files their chains.
 
Bruce Hopf

Bruce Hopf

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Ha, this is what I teach in basic saw maintenance! If you are a novice with your CS30 ticket, you KNOW that uneven cutter lengths cause uneven cutting performance and abnormal wear on the bar...
Its those who have not been taught or who have not read some kind of manual who end up with chains and bars that look and perform like [email protected]! NOT the experienced operator who hand files their chains.
I couldn't agree with you any more than 110%. I have 2 McCulloch Saws that I cut wood with every year, over 100 face cord a year. A Mac 10-10 Automatic, bought in 1968, and a Pro Mac 60, bought in 1973. Both saws have the original Sprocket Nosed Bars, but the Sprocket Noses on both bars were changed, because I couldn't keep them tight any more.
I used mostly an Oregon Chain Filer that clamped onto the bar. In the bush, I tried to sharpen free handed, when the chain got dull.
To this day I still can't figure out why, but I had a chain I couldn't do any thing with. After being sharpened for awhile, it always wanted to dish one way all the time. The rest of the chains I used were fine, but just this one.
The bar was true when I checked it. Maybe you can shed some light on the matter.
6 Years ago I purchased the TecoMec FL-136 grinding machine, and hardly use a file at all now. It's basically the same thing as the Oregon Grinding machine. Works great for me.
Bruce. P.S. I am also a Stihl Factory Service Technician as well.
 
Mitchell

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glad this thread was unearthed

I should have re read this thread before I tried out a windser grinder I got my mitts on a couple months ago. I destroyed 5 chains ha ha. I ignorantly blued them all by trying to grind to fast. two chains to the point they snapped when I was using them. That could be very dangerous if they shot out of the saw. I chucked out all the chains I had done just in case; expensive lesson but they were rocked chains I had never got around to hand filing anyways.
 
Bruce Hopf

Bruce Hopf

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I should have re read this thread before I tried out a windsor grinder I got my mitts on a couple months ago. I destroyed 5 chains ha ha. I ignorantly blued them all by trying to grind to fast. two chains to the point they snapped when I was using them. That could be very dangerous if they shot out of the saw. I chucked out all the chains I had done just in case; expensive lesson but they were rocked chains I had never got around to hand filing anyways.
The trick Ive learned with the grinding machines, is that you pull the grinder down until it just touches the connecting links, and raise it up a hair. I then slide the chain ahead, until the tooth touches the grinding stone, lock the chain into place, and set the tooth stop.
I start the grinder, and slowly bring it down into contact with the tooth, and go slowly right down until the grinder hits the depth stop. If I have a slight wire edge, that you can feel catch with your thumb nail, while running it the length of the tooth, that's all you need. If you don't have this you need to push in your chain a hair or too. Also if the whole underside of the tooth is not ground shiny, you need to adjust until you achieve it
Now prior to sharpening my chains, I learned from this forum to clean my chains before grinding. I soak my chains in Oven Cleaner, in a Plastic Tub, with a lid on it. I swish the tub around far a Minute or two, and let it soak for a minute or two. I do this a couple of more times.
I then rinse them off with water in the laundry tub, and hang them up on the chain rack, to dry over night or a day or two. I sharpen them, and the stone doesn't get all ganged up as bad. I then soak my chains in a plastic tub with a lid on it, with bar oil, for over night. I then take them, and hang them up on the chain rake, with a catch tub under them, so that the oil drips into off the chains.
When I first started sharpening with the grinding machine, I practiced on 3 chains that were no longer fit because I put a longer bar on my big saw. After trial and error with these 3 chains., until I got the grinding machine mastered. I use it to cut down the rakers as well. Great machines to work with. Wish I bought the Machine 20 years prior too when I did.
If you still have those chains you threw out, practice with them. Once you mastered this, you will always use the grinding machine, and love it. It's a lot quicker and easier to sharpen chains, with than a file, once you get set up, no guessing if you have the right angle of the file either.
Hope this helps you, and Good Luck with it.
Bruce.
 
Bruce Hopf

Bruce Hopf

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I should have re read this thread before I tried out a windsor grinder I got my mitts on a couple months ago. I destroyed 5 chains ha ha. I ignorantly blued them all by trying to grind to fast. two chains to the point they snapped when I was using them. That could be very dangerous if they shot out of the saw. I chucked out all the chains I had done just in case; expensive lesson but they were rocked chains I had never got around to hand filing anyways.
The trick Ive learned with the grinding machines, is that you pull the grinder down until it just touches the connecting links of the chain, and raise it up a hair, or two. I then slide the chain ahead, until the tooth touches the grinding stone, lock the chain into place, and set the tooth stop.
I start the grinder, and slowly bring it down into contact with the tooth, and go slowly right down until the grinder hits the depth stop. If I have a slight wire edge, that you can feel catch with your thumb nail, while running it the length of the tooth, that's all you need. If you don't have this you need to push in your chain a hair or too. Also if the whole underside of the tooth is not ground shiny, you need to adjust until you achieve it
Now prior to sharpening my chains, I learned from this forum to clean my chains before grinding. I soak my chains in Oven Cleaner, in a Plastic Tub, with a lid on it. I swish the tub around far a Minute or two, and let it soak for a minute or two. I do this a couple of more times.
I then rinse them off with water in the laundry tub, and hang them up on the chain rack, to dry over night or a day or two. I sharpen them, and the stone doesn't get all ganged up as bad. I then soak my chains in a plastic tub with a lid on it, with bar oil, for over night. I then take them, and hang them up on the chain rake, with a catch tub under them, so that the oil drips into off the chains.
When I first started sharpening with the grinding machine, I practiced on 3 chains that were no longer fit because I put a longer bar on my big saw. After trial and error with these 3 chains., until I got the grinding machine mastered. I use it to cut down the rakers as well. Great machines to work with. Wish I bought the Machine 20 years prior too when I did.
If you still have those chains you threw out, practice with them. Once you mastered this, you will always use the grinding machine, and love it. It's a lot quicker and easier to sharpen chains, with than a file, once you get set up, no guessing if you have the right angle of the file either.
Hope this helps you, and Good Luck with it.
Bruce.
 

can

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Tree Machine, get a nice straight log, no knots, no taper, and strap it to an immovable object, so the end sticks out a few feet. Now take a new chain and cut a few cookies while your wife times you with a stopwatch.
Now file it and time some more cuts. Did you cut at least twice as fast? If not, you have more to learn.

Kneejerk Bombas wrote this in the spring off 2005. annyone who know iff he meant cutting twice as fast with round fil or square ground filing? I wanted too ask him for myself but his private innbox was full. Hope you understanding my english I am from Norway, and some years since school.
 
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