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Bench grinder sharpening dilema

Old2stroke

Old2stroke

Never too many toys
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Jan 24, 2016
Messages
968
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Ottawa, Canada
Bench grinders are great, you can zing along and sharpen a chain fast but their shortcoming is, you can only do this if each cutter is the same length. Many chains get damaged and only a few teeth are affected or you could get a chain that has been hand filed and all the cutters are not the same length so what do you do? The following seems to be the options.
1. Do you start sharpening the chain by just taking off the minimum and as you go along and find a damaged or shortened tooth, do you stop and reset the chain-stop to properly sharpen it and then carry on adjusting the stop as necessary to sharpen each tooth as you go?
2. Do you sharpen the whole chain by just taking off the minimum that will do for the bulk of the cutters and then come back and fool with the chain-stop to sharpen each damaged tooth as necessary?
3. Do you proceed as in #2 but ignore any damaged/short teeth, knowing that eventually with a number of sharpenings, all the cutters will get ground back to a length that will include the damaged/short ones?
4. Do you just keep running the chain around, taking off a little more on each pass until even the damaged ones are sharpened? In other words, do you grind back all the cutters until they are all the same length as the shortest one?

Despite the information in the owners manuals, we know that for a chain to cut properly it is not necessary for each tooth to be the same length as long as they are all properly sharpened. What we need is a grinder that has the vise mounted on a lever operated slide that would allow the vise to be advanced a small amount and then returned to a home position. With this feature, if you find a damaged tooth, you could leave the chain clamped in the vise, slowly advance the tooth and nibble away at it until sharp, then return to the home position and carry on sharpening without disturbing the original chain-stop setting. I have yet to see a grinder with this feature.
Anyone who thinks that each tooth has to be the same length should visit Buckin Billy Ray's sharpening instructions on U-tube.
 
HarleyT

HarleyT

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Dec 6, 2014
Messages
18,742
Bench grinders are great, you can zing along and sharpen a chain fast but their shortcoming is, you can only do this if each cutter is the same length. Many chains get damaged and only a few teeth are affected or you could get a chain that has been hand filed and all the cutters are not the same length so what do you do? The following seems to be the options.
1. Do you start sharpening the chain by just taking off the minimum and as you go along and find a damaged or shortened tooth, do you stop and reset the chain-stop to properly sharpen it and then carry on adjusting the stop as necessary to sharpen each tooth as you go?
2. Do you sharpen the whole chain by just taking off the minimum that will do for the bulk of the cutters and then come back and fool with the chain-stop to sharpen each damaged tooth as necessary?
3. Do you proceed as in #2 but ignore any damaged/short teeth, knowing that eventually with a number of sharpenings, all the cutters will get ground back to a length that will include the damaged/short ones?
4. Do you just keep running the chain around, taking off a little more on each pass until even the damaged ones are sharpened? In other words, do you grind back all the cutters until they are all the same length as the shortest one?

Despite the information in the owners manuals, we know that for a chain to cut properly it is not necessary for each tooth to be the same length as long as they are all properly sharpened. What we need is a grinder that has the vise mounted on a lever operated slide that would allow the vise to be advanced a small amount and then returned to a home position. With this feature, if you find a damaged tooth, you could leave the chain clamped in the vise, slowly advance the tooth and nibble away at it until sharp, then return to the home position and carry on sharpening without disturbing the original chain-stop setting. I have yet to see a grinder with this feature.
Anyone who thinks that each tooth has to be the same length should visit Buckin Billy Ray's sharpening instructions on U-tube.
Depends a lot on how much time you want to spend on it.
 
RED-85-Z51

RED-85-Z51

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If a chain comes in thats been freehanded and nothing hits consistent...i can usually get it good on 2 or 3 passes., may have a cutter or 2 that dont get a full perfect edge. If a chain has been damaged and a couple cutters are broken back or not flat...i cut them off as long as they aren't consecutive.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
 
CausticUC

CausticUC

Need to fix that pull!
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Mar 12, 2019
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586
Location
CA
we know that for a chain to cut properly it is not necessary for each tooth to be the same length as long as they are all properly sharpened. What we need is a grinder that has the vise mounted on a lever operated slide that would allow the vise to be advanced a small amount and then returned to a home position. With this feature, if you find a damaged tooth, you could leave the chain clamped in the vise, slowly advance the tooth and nibble away at it until sharp, then return to the home position and carry on sharpening without disturbing the original chain-stop setting. I have yet to see a grinder with this feature.
Anyone who thinks that each tooth has to be the same length should visit Buckin Billy Ray's sharpening instructions on U-tube.

Isnt this the reason for the more expensive hydraulic foot pedal?
 
mountainlake

mountainlake

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I sharpen to the longer teeth, if a short one comes I just pull the stone over to hit it. Running a Oregon 511a, there is a little flex in the head. Steve
 
Old2stroke

Old2stroke

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I sharpen to the longer teeth, if a short one comes I just pull the stone over to hit it. Running a Oregon 511a, there is a little flex in the head. Steve
Did the grinder come that way? It's a good feature and I have seen it before and always thought it was just due to wear on the head pivots or a weak design that allows too much flexing.
 
Patrick62

Patrick62

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It's a judgement call. The general method for me is to lookie the chain over and try and find the worst tooth that will require the most sharpening. If the chain is in really good shape, but one cutter is kicked pretty bad, then I am tempted to sharpen the rest and just do a little on that bad tooth with a hand file.... if the chain down to the last 1/4 of life, then I might go ahead and bring them all to even. More than 1/2 the time I can find the start point of the chain (where it was joined up) and use that as the starting point on sharpening. The oregon 511 can do a very nice job of it, but I am going to see if the modified Stihl USG can beat it.
 
president

president

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It's a judgement call. The general method for me is to lookie the chain over and try and find the worst tooth that will require the most sharpening. If the chain is in really good shape, but one cutter is kicked pretty bad, then I am tempted to sharpen the rest and just do a little on that bad tooth with a hand file.... if the chain down to the last 1/4 of life, then I might go ahead and bring them all to even. More than 1/2 the time I can find the start point of the chain (where it was joined up) and use that as the starting point on sharpening. The oregon 511 can do a very nice job of it, but I am going to see if the modified Stihl USG can beat it.
it will indeed!
 
capetrees

capetrees

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When I have 67 teeth on a chain to do my cutting, a couple that missed the grinder wheel aren't going to make much of difference. I always use a bench grinder and set the depth to whatever tooth is first. All the others get sharpened to that setting. Some teeth get a rock or a nail in the tree and that's fine, grind what's there (or not) and move on. Next time around, that tooth or teeth will eventually get the grinding wheel.
 
mountainlake

mountainlake

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Did the grinder come that way? It's a good feature and I have seen it before and always thought it was just due to wear on the head pivots or a weak design that allows too much flexing.

My grinder is 30 years old, could be some wear but I'd bet even brand new ones have enough flex to pull on the head and grind a shorter tooth. NO way am I grinding most of the teeth down to the length as the shortest tooth. Steve
 
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