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Saw cuts on a slant to the left.

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Stainer85, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Stainer85

    Stainer85 New Member

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    I just moved about 5 months ago and my property is all oaks and beech trees. There are some downed trees that the previous owners didn't bother to cut up / harvest for firewood. I've been using my brother's Husqvarna 445 with a 16" bar to fell and buck some fresh and standing dead trees as well as buck the downed trees. I'm considering an MS 261 or a 550 XP, but for now his 445 will do. I started with a new .325 chain and it seemed to cut well but after shapening the chain a couple of times, it seems to have a tough time cutting some of the downed trees. It smokes quite a bit and the bar looks to be blued at the edges as well as has most of the paint removed. I know that if my chain sharpening is not correct it can cause the chain to run off line, and dull quickly. Also causing it to run hot and smoke. After experiencing the issue, I've re-filed the chain to try to correct my poor filing and the cut. I haven't tried flipping the bar but I will the next time I cut. However I did try cutting from the bottom of the wood (top side of the bar/chain) and it cuts much better and straight. Still smokes though, and I always make sure the bar oil is full and that it is getting on the chain.

    • So I'm confused, wouldn't cutting from the bottom of the wood (top side of the bar/chain) be the same as flipping the bar and cutting down through the wood?
    • Also while I'm at it - my local Stihl dealer is telling me to steer clear of the M-tronic because of repair issues. For those of you who run an MS 261 or a 550 XP, what is you experience with the M-tronic / Auto-tune versus non?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you might provide.
     
  2. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Try dressing your bar also.
     
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  3. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Flip the bar 1st...then you will know if it is the bar or the chain.

    You might have a shop sharpen the chain - it should only be a few bucks and will correct anything you have done. It takes time and practice to get hand filing down. I just about gave up on it, then it just sorta "clicked" and hand filed chains started working. But I still put them on the bench when they get really dull.

    If it is the bar, you can clean that up. File the top and file the sides to see if that helps. You may need to close the rails...I have a bar rail closer from Baileys that does a good job. You could get creative and do it without a special tool.
     
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  4. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    In 50 years of wood cutting have never had an issue with an uneven bar. During the process of cutting many hundreds of cords I think I must have spent at the most a hour with a file to clean up a bar. About 99% of the time the bar is just fine but the chain is the reason. When working at a Stihl dealership many years ago people always struggled to get their chain sharp. If your bar is smoking definitely an issue with your chain. Sharpen just the side of the chain that is opposite the way it is cutting. Yes hand filling take a little practice and is a learned skill. When I put a wider gauge chain on a bar that has received a large amount of wear are the only times a bar smokes. Thanks
     
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  5. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you have to use reading glasses, wear them when you file. Put the saw in a vise if you can, you get more consistent results.

    Look at each tooth, make sure it is about the same length as the adjacent ones, and that the tooth angles are similar (use the witness marks on the chain as a gauge).

    You can straighten a cut by filing the rakers on the side opposite to the way it dishes. Not the best solution, try and get your teeth consistent on each side. If your teeth have a bunch of weird angles, I use a larger file to get the angles and size set up and then switch to the proper size to sharpen.

    Pay attention to where the tip of the bar is, especially when cutting downed trees so you don't end up cutting dirt.
     
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  6. MountainHigh

    MountainHigh 45cc and 60cc

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    Not sure from your post IF the bar itself is smoking and getting signs of being burned, but if the bar is smoking, you're not getting enough oil to the bar and chain. in that case, clean the bar grooves and oiler holes out very thoroughly. In wet conditions and dirty wood, I give my bar grooves a scrape at each tank re-fill. Crap can plug the oilier holes and the bar itself and that inhibits the flow of oil quite easily. You want LOTS of oil gushing well when pushing a saw hard, especially on certain kinds of wood and dirty conditions.

    As others have stated, a saw that pulls to one side is due to favouring one side when sharpening, so the cutters tend to pull to one side. Most of us have been there.

    IF the smoking is the engine itself and not the bar, then that would simply be too rich fuel, which may mean you're running your mix too rich or carb needs adjust and/or the RPM might be bogging.

    First thing to verify is bar oil - when your working a saw hard on large wood, you should need to refill the bar oil to maximum almost as fast as you go through a tank of gas. If it is not being used up that fast, then that would be a sign your oiler is set too low or your bar oil holes and chain grooves are plugging up.

    If bar oil is verified to be not a problem, get your chain sharpened by a pro and then keep trying to keep it that way with a touch up at every fuel re-fill. Practice makes better.

    Good luck!
     
  7. LuDookie

    LuDookie ArboristSite Lurker

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    Any time I've had chains cutting in one direction, it's been the chain. Uneven tooth geometry plus one side sharpened better than the other. I've started using a high speed grinder, like a Dremel, to sharpen my chains. It's quicker and it's easier to get a straight edge when you alleviate more human error in the longer stroke of filing, often leaving somewhat of a convex edge. Some guys are really good at it. I can get by sometimes but eventually I'll end up with the slanted cut and pinched bar.
     
  8. hedge hog

    hedge hog ArboristSite Guru

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    Get your chains on a grinder to true them up
    And it sounds like your dealer doesn’t have the equipment to work on the c-m saws
    261 ‘s are solid


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. LuDookie

    LuDookie ArboristSite Lurker

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    My 261 is non-M Tronic. Great saw.
    I have a friend who lives up in Canada. He has the 550xp Autotune and claims to run about 15 gallons a month through it for the last 3 years in production firewood. He is also running a 575 and a 372. He loves the Autotune saw, but his dealer does all the work on it. He said it's been problem free.
     
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  10. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There is a thread on site titled Bar Dressing.
     
  11. deberly12

    deberly12 ArboristSite Lurker

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    16 inch chains are cheap....buy a couple and see if it cuts true. Keep the other ones and when you get better at sharpening you can bring them back. Besides for you hit a rock or a nail it is nicer to swap a chain than try to sharpen in the field. You can sharpen them all after dark when you get home. Daylight is so rare these days don't waste it.

    Run the saw on high for a few seconds with the tip pointed at a fresh cut piece (don't touch) you should see a line of oil. If not you aren't getting oil. Lost paint and some heat is normal if you are running hard.

    I am a husky fan. I have the 465 Rancher. Highly recommend!!! It is a little stronger than the 550xp and around the same weight. It even has pro features like auto tune and flip caps. But much cheaper! It is a great saw and has a 4 year warranty if you buy a couple cans of pre mix with it. Auto tune is great!! It just works all the time. I have had mine about 9 months and cut maybe a dozen to 15 cords with it.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
     
  12. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    1. uneven tooth length between left and right cutters
    2. insufficient sharpening on one side to remove dulled area
    3. uneven depth gauges left vs right as well as being too high and not letting the tooth bite in ( some call these rakers- they are depth gauges)
    4. worn bar not just flared from leaning on it but bar groove width as well to wide a grove allows chain to slope over to one side. If you have to lean on it to cut your sharpening is not right .
    5. bar oil - this is a maintenance issue not only clean the oil port on the bar but the entire length of the groove as well , on the saw remove the shield plate from the eng side of the bar mount and clean out the oil port/grove behind shield. In cold weather bar oil gets real sluggish unless using some formulated for the cold. you can check your pump system by leaving bar off and running eng just a bit should start to see it oozing out that port on bar mount. Most saws have an adjustment for the amount of oil being supplied mostly located on the bottom of the saw through a small port for access to the valve screw.
    6. sharpening- you do not want a super thin razor edge on the top plate of the cutter that just dulls like instantly, think of the difference between sharpening a knife ( thin edge) and an Axe ( blunter but sharp).
    Note: you could thin your bar oil with some diesel fuel or vegetable/ cooking oil.
    There is always the possibility that you pump is shot or that the pick up line and/or filter is blocked . line it self could be bad as well. rare but happens.
    Bout covers all scenarios I can think of at present.
     
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  13. Rick Hammer

    Rick Hammer ArboristSite Lurker

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  14. Rick Hammer

    Rick Hammer ArboristSite Lurker

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    It is more then likely your chain is the problem,as far as not cutting straight.As far as the bar smoking?,is the chain the correct chain,or too tight?That is hard to tell without seeing.Make sure you clean the bar out where the drives go through too . I would almost guarantee that the reason your cutting a curve is the chain needs to be sharpened correctly
     
  15. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Welcome to A.S.!

    As noted, it could be one (or more!) of several, small things causing the cut to pull to one side, and the chain to smoke. Since you stated that it cut well with the new chain, it sounds like that is worth looking at. Simplest thing is to try putting another new chain on the saw, and seeing if that works.

    Your old chain can probably be 'corrected' - if you post some close up photos in this thread you will get lots of feedback!

    Again, in simple terms, most guys are stronger on one side than the other, and this can lead to uneven cutters (Right and Left sides) in length, height, angle, depth gauge, etc. As you gain experience sharpening (whatever method you use) you will learn to compensate / adjust to get a more even chain, as well as getting the desired angles and sharpness.

    Philbert
     
  16. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

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    So go and get a new bar and chain and use this info and you are go to go!
    Jeff :confused:
     
  17. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can actually learn to steer the bar to some extent by changing your grip location on the front handle and make it drift to one side or the other.
    If the bar or chain starts smoking, stop cutting. Heat is your biggest enemy. Heat is very bad on a bar and chain.
    Check your raker height. Over heating is usually caused by the rakers being too high and causing too much friction.
    The best singe of high rakers is heat and lack of bight the chain has in the wood and the rakers will get shinny when they start rubbing on the wood.
    When you cut, the saw should tend to want to pull forward indicating the teeth are biting into the wood properly.
    If the rakers are too high it wont have any bite when cutting.
    Over time you will learn how to feel how it's cutting and learn how much force to apply when cutting and at what angle cuts best.
    Dry wood will dull a chain faster then green wet wood and it also creates more heat.
     
  18. brock1994

    brock1994 ArboristSite Member

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    Try all of the above. A new bar and chain is not so expensive but it's money out of your pocket. If it's cutting at an angle most likely the bar is having some problems. Maybe your chain isn't tensioned properly. I would check and see if the chain has a lot of play side to side in the bar. If so the bar grooves are stretched out, causing the chain to run at an angle. I don't have much experience with Husqvarna but have run the 445. Not my favorite saw. As far as the 261 mtronic or adjustable carb. I own the adjustable carb and haven't ran the mtronic but like to have more control over what my saws doing. I probably will never own a mtronic saw strictly for the fact that the temperatures here don't often fluctuate. If your running your saws from 30° one day to 100° the next( just an example ) the mtronic is the choice for you. Unless your very carb savvy. Just my 2 cents. I don't know why the dealer would have told you stay away from the mtronic, then again my dealer here doesn't really know jack, let alone how to tune a adjustable carb, so I wouldn't trust his hand on a computer adjusting a mtronic carb. Good luck hope it works out. Should get rid of that husky puppy and get some stihl power in your life.

    Here comes the husky fans.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
  19. lfnh

    lfnh Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Port some in focus close pics of side and top view of some reef and saw dust from recent cuts.
     

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