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Mail Order Sharpening and Computerized sharpeners Thoughts? Experience?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by matteusz, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Skeans

    Skeans Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Where are you at in WA?


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  2. Skeans

    Skeans Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you’re in WA or OR chain volume isn’t an issue there’s plenty of chain to stay busy most shop have two guys running 6 days a week 10 hour days.


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  3. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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    Lots of logging happening in my area, and the number of shops offering chainsaw chain sharpening is Zero which happens to match the number of stores selling chainsaws (i.e. Zero). There must be something special about Wa and Or.
     
  4. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    We have discussed a number of different wheels in these forms.

    A lot of guys like the CBN wheels. I actually prefer the basic "pink" wheels, but I dress them frequently, to constantly expose fresh abrasive. Good quality wheels help.

    For guys who are having trouble overheating their chains, I have also recommended the resinoid wheels.

    https://www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/resinoid-grinder-wheels.256733/

    Philbert
     
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  5. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Guru

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    To get back to the original question: anybody used any of the mentioned (or other) mailed in sharpening services and care to post results? Yes. I file my own using a Granberg and am happy with the results but am curious about the services.
     
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  6. matteusz

    matteusz ArboristSite Lurker

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    I am in the Tacoma area.
    Called around and there isn't a shop that I could find offering automated sharpening on this side of the state. Apparently not a lot of people on this forum having anyone else do their sharpening . . . Think I'll send some chains in and share my experience.
     
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  7. sundance

    sundance ArboristSite Guru

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    Looking forward to your results (and who you use). Could be real handy at some point.
     
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  8. Skeans

    Skeans Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Madsens does sharpening out of Chehalis, I’m pretty sure I saw an automated grinder in Cowlitz River Rigging. Im close to longview if you want to ship your chains down I’ll do them.


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  9. alderman

    alderman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Would certainly be interested in hearing the results if you do send some in.
    Years ago we had a local guy who ran hot saws. His son ended up on tv competing on the pro circuit.
    After years of running saws and sharpening my own, I’m still not very good at it. Back in the day it was worth the $3 to me for him to make them really sharp for me after I screwed them up.


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  10. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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    That doesn't sound right. I heard there were 1000s of people lined up waiting to get their chains sharpened in Oregon and Washington. I was about to relocate there and take advantage of the business opportunities that @Skeans described. It sounded like I could hire more and more kids and grinders and exponentially grow the business in weeks or days. I was going to be rich, rich I say, mine mine all mine....

    Hmmmmmm.....

    [​IMG]
     
  11. MontanaResident

    MontanaResident A Stihl Fanatic

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    2 guys * 6 days a week * 10 hours a day * 6 minutes a chain = 1200 chains * $10 a chain = $12000 a week from a garage??? What do the chain sharpeners make per hour? $10? $15?

    Lets say $15 * 10 * 6 * 2 is $1800 a week for employees. So $12000 - $1800 = $10,200 a week for the employer. Hmmmmm...... There must be 100s of chain sharpening services sprouting up to take advantage of this booming enterprise. Is this anywhere in Oregon or Washington, or is it only Fantasy Land, Oregon and DreamVille, Washington, neither of which shows up on google maps.
     
  12. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    I could not make satisfying money sharpening chains - I am too slow (grinding or filing), when you include all the fussing I do. Some guys consider this extra and unnecessary, but I want to be satisfied when I am done. Usually more than just a 'touch up the edges' sharpening, and guys telling me that they can get them 'done' for $3 each somewhere else! So I sharpen for friends, or some of the disaster groups I volunteer with.
    https://www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/philbert-meets-the-stihl-rs3.202969/

    I might get up to 4 chains per hour, if I have a batch of similar chains that I do together. Some guys in these forums claim to do 10/hour, but they are not typically inspecting carefully, doing the depth gauges, rounding depth gauges, repairing burred drive links, cleaning crud, etc. The Razzorsharp guy claims to do a lot of this with his automated machines, and by doing a high volume of chains..

    The real advantage of the automated machines, IMO, is not that they do a better job, but that they free up an employee. Even a $10/hour worker costs a business more like $15+/hour once you figure in employment taxes, etc. So a $20,000 machine pays for itself in less than a year, IF it is kept busy. If you employ a skilled saw tech at a higher wage, and it frees them up to do more work at a shop rate of $75/hour (or whatever), the payback is much faster. My local STIHL dealer recently bought a Franzen because they take in large batches of chains from local parks and forestry departments, utility companies, etc., who pay their employees a lot more, and don't want to have them doing jobs that are cheaper to contract out.

    A lot of other companies have their own grinders and do chains in-house, especially on rain days, etc.

    But there are a lot of hardware store type places that sharpen for a fee, and assign someone who does not know what they are doing, which gives grinders a bad reputation.

    Philbert
     
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  13. KiwiBro

    KiwiBro Hold my beer and film this...

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    They should ban fully and even semi automatic grinders and have stricter background checks of prospective grinder operators.
     
  14. AuerX

    AuerX constantly confused

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    Nah, everyone should have one. That way if you see someone starting to sharpen a chain you could quickly grab it and sharpen it before they can finish it.
     
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  15. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Not how how you figure that. Shop labor costs money regardless of whatever is being done, whether it's chain sharpening or working on a saw, mower, tractor, etc.

    Salary? hahahhahaha. If I don't do paying work, I don't get $$, that's my salary. haha.
     
  16. HarleyT

    HarleyT Tree Freak

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    Having worked at a Stihl dealer that had a Franzen, and being one of the guys that had to use it, I know a bit about them. It is almost impossible to get much done while sharpening chains, and we didn't get any "credit" on our labor statistics, and we were looked down on by management as we were costing them money, etc..
    They didn't blame the Franzen for our poor performance rates, and working on 2 cycle stuff is hard
    enough to compete with the mower guys as it was.
     
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  17. matteusz

    matteusz ArboristSite Lurker

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    I love how this thread didn't even have to devolve into a discussion of making money sharpening chains. Us poor novice schmucks that just want to pay someone to get a job we don't want to do done have a hard time getting a word in edgewise!

    Y'all crack me up. I feel like the new kid in the backroom of a logging operation.

    Harley T did the Franzen do a good job? How did the chains come out?

    I think the reality is there is a lot of in house sharpening going on with bigger outfits. The hardware stores/ local small engine shop etc. that offer sharpening services really don't take very good care of chains and so their services are not worth the $7-$10/ chain they are charging.

    I think there is money to be made and something like what Razzor Sharp offers is a great way to edge into the market. Problem is you have to be passionate about doing things well, good at business, able to afford the equipment . . .

    I'll start a new post and explain further. Need to get some pictures of chains and add some details in.

    Then yall can evaluate my answer for the value of services, teach me a thing or two about what makes a chain sharp . . . and continue the debate on profitability of chain sharpening with new information.

    While you all are waiting for all that though I would love to know more about what makes a chain fit for it's purpose. I understand at least at a basic level how edge geometry and steel types, polish etc. affect sharpness and the durability of a cutting edge. I am working in all basically two types of wood. Softwoods for firewood cleaning up property etc; Fir. hemlock cedar . . . and Hardwoods for projects/ firewood. Madrone, black locust, walnut. . .

    Any really great threads on the topic I should be reading?
     
  18. HarleyT

    HarleyT Tree Freak

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    Well, I still set the machine light, if the teeth had a lot of damage, and did several passes at the chain.
    The other guy just set the machine to remove all of the damage in one pass, and burn the hell out of the cutters.
    And several times the wheel would break and kind of explode, usually when he was doing one of those big tooth removal jobs. It got so I wore safety glasses all day, worried about that thing. I asked the owner if he would get us some flack-jackets, which pissed him off.
    The owner didn't ever want to hear anything but praise for his investment, and how it didn't cost him any labor dollars.
    But generally, it did a good job. I also like to tilt my vice for full chisel. but it still did pretty good.
     
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  19. Kenskip1

    Kenskip1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well, I guess that me and my "Jolly Star" are out of business. After I wash the chain in my tub,I sit at my bench, with a special light that allows me to see exactly where the grinding wheel is in relation to the cutter.I dress the wheel after completing one side of the chain. I take my time looking for irregularities. One man had hit a horseshoe buried into a tree.That one was a challenge. I also sharpen the chains for my local fire department. These guys are rough on them free of charge.So, after reading all this mumbo jumbo about sharpening chains, well guys,if you want something done right then pay me.I will do it right. I have never had anyone complain about a chain that I have sharpened. Don't get me wrong, I have seen plenty of chains that I have refused to sharpen. Some people even said some crude human anatomy phrases to me.Anyway, just my .02 cents worth.
     
  20. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    My shop has the Franzen. They charge $6.50 per chain. I have them do a couple per year if that and I'm happy with the results. They always have a pile of chains to do. I watched the head guy doing a chain the other day. On that paticular chain he thought it left a couple of burs on some cutters. He knew what he was looking for and went back and touched a few up. I think the overall job it does is good enough for most of the people that bring chains in to be done but most of them aren't as anal as us "purists".:innocent:
     
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