Custom Bar. Anyone ever try making their own chainsaw bar?

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aesache

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Has anyone ever actually tried making their own chainsaw milling bar?

i suggested it to a machinist friend of mine and he said it would be really easy. Said if i had the template it would cost about 200 bucks all said and done to make out of any material of my choosing. His shop was even willing to make it out of titanium for 250 all in? it got even cheaper is i wanted more than one made 600 bucks(thats the avg cost of a 60inch bar here) would get me Ten 60inch bars all made up

Is there a reason that this has never been done? to me it doesnt seem like a chainsaw bar is a very technical piece of equipment.

there is zero info that i can find anyware on this topic
 

cityslicker

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That sounds like it's worth investigating to me. Would they temper the metal along the groove of the bar and could they machine the tip to accept a replaceable roller sprocket style tip? I have been considering cutting some large holes in the center of the longer mill bars to ligthen them in hopes to reduce the amount of sag. If they could custom make CSM specific bars that are lighter in the center that may interest some people on here.
 

BobL

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That sounds like it's worth investigating to me. Would they temper the metal along the groove of the bar and could they machine the tip to accept a replaceable roller sprocket style tip? I have been considering cutting some large holes in the center of the longer mill bars to ligthen them in hopes to reduce the amount of sag. If they could custom make CSM specific bars that are lighter in the center that may interest some people on here.

That won't work as well as you might think, the lighter they get the weaker they get and the more they will sag. I have two 60" bars, a narrow thinner GB and wider thicker Stihl - guess what - they sag by the exact same amount.

There's a good reason that people don't make their own bars and that is the special hardening and tempering requirements of the rails. A 60" bar is not exactly something that you can place in a small furnace. The way it is done is quite technical and time consuming and apparently not something that the average metallurgist is familiar with. Most people don't realize that chains do not just slide along bar rails, they are constantly lifter off the rails and snap back down onto the bar. Get the tempering wrong and the chain will eat a dent in the bar in a few minutes.

BTW Even the hardest Titanium alloys will not be hard enough for a CS bar. The rails need to get up to a Rockwell hardness of around 60 which is some way short of where Ti can get to.

But by all means have a crack and let us know how it goes.

Cheers
 

StihlKiwi

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That won't work as well as you might think, the lighter they get the weaker they get and the more they will sag. I have two 60" bars, a narrow thinner GB and wider thicker Stihl - guess what - they sag by the exact same amount.

There's a good reason that people don't make their own bars and that is the special hardening and tempering requirements of the rails. A 60" bar is not exactly something that you can place in a small furnace. The way it is done is quite technical and time consuming and apparently not something that the average metallurgist is familiar with. Most people don't realize that chains do not just slide along bar rails, they are constantly lifter off the rails and snap back down onto the bar. Get the tempering wrong and the chain will eat a dent in the bar in a few minutes.

BTW Even the hardest Titanium alloys will not be hard enough for a CS bar. The rails need to get up to a Rockwell hardness of around 60 which is some way short of where Ti can get to.

But by all means have a crack and let us know how it goes.

Cheers

Does that mean the GB Ti bars have no titanium in them?
 

mtngun

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Speaking as a machinist, I wouldn't go near it for $200.

Raw material alone would cost $100 or so. You are talking about pre-heat treated 4140, most likely, which would be similar to what is used on the less expensive bars. The premium bars seem to use something much harder.

He may have a CNC plasma or laser cutter to rough out the shape ?

But then the groove would have to be cut. The saw blades used to cut the groove wear out quickly, I'd plan on buying several of them just to do one bar.

The nose would have to be CNC machined to accept a standard replaceable sprocket nose (add $25 or so to purchase the nose). The nose area would have to be grooved, too.

Tooling and setup would be a killer. If I charged $600, I would be lucky to break even for a one-of.
 

BobL

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Does that mean the GB Ti bars have no titanium in them?

It may have Ti in it but Ti is classed as a Microalloy component in steel production which means it is used at the <0.1% level.
Ti is, amongst other things used to control grain size and adds strength and toughness (different to hardness) through the formation of TiN
A better microalloying element than Ti is Niobium but it is rarer and this more expensive than Ti.

Somewhere on this site is a link to a video of I think it was a Stihl factory showing how bars were made, in particular the heat treatment requirements. This is not something possible to do in a home shop even a what a regular heat treating service could provide.
 
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the westspartan

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CNC and "special" heat treatment LOL. I make all my own 60" bars out of old lawnmower blades MIG welded together. I shape them and cut the groove with an angle grinder and heat treat them with a propane grill and a bucket of rainwater. They are hard nose of course and when they wear out I forge them into hunting knives. When the hunting knives have been sharpened down to nothing, I use the remaining metal to forge into tips for my homemade lawn darts. When the tips are worn off of the lawn darts, I bring them to the lathe and turn them down into ball bearings for my skateboard wheels. When the bearings go out of my skateboard wheels I use the bearings as slingshot ammo for hunting squirrels. If I ever find one lodged in a dead squirrel I save it on a magnet that I keep out in the shop for scrap metal collection.:jester:
 

tlbsg

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CNC and "special" heat treatment LOL. I make all my own 60" bars out of old lawnmower blades MIG welded together. I shape them and cut the groove with an angle grinder and heat treat them with a propane grill and a bucket of rainwater. They are hard nose of course and when they wear out I forge them into hunting knives. When the hunting knives have been sharpened down to nothing, I use the remaining metal to forge into tips for my homemade lawn darts. When the tips are worn off of the lawn darts, I bring them to the lathe and turn them down into ball bearings for my skateboard wheels. When the bearings go out of my skateboard wheels I use the bearings as slingshot ammo for hunting squirrels. If I ever find one lodged in a dead squirrel I save it on a magnet that I keep out in the shop for scrap metal collection.:jester:

had me going when i read first 2 funny
 

aesache

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misc points

Hi all this is a great forum lots of knowledge to soak in.

i have my machinist buddy here now and we were just reading over the posts.

mtngun - my buddy says yes makes sense if your not doing it at cost for a friend (he owns a large business not a home shop). he mentioned 4140 is realitavly cheap and can be heat treated easily afterwards as only the rails need heat treating.......now he is going on about how you can cut harder materials with softer tooling if you......blah blah.....way beyond my pay grade. I guess he is going to rough it out with a water jet? and thinks the tooling will last for all ten bars...... Honestly this is way past my grasp of the subject.

cityslicker- yes they will be designed to accept a standard roller tip


Well looks like we are going to give it a try i figure even if each bar is only half as durable as one i can buy then i am still farther ahead as i will have 10 for the price of one.

we were talking to an older fellow that has a saw shop in town today and he said he used to weld 2 shorter bars together to make a long one on his old race saws.


my last question is should this be 3/8 or .404 chain size? i am thinking .404 because of the bar length but thats alot of lost kerf


going to start fabing next week i will post pictures as we go
 

glennschumann

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Blue Babe

I'm curious about this.

I've been curious about Chainsaw Bar Repair as they do custom bars of all types and they also do bar repairs. They must have equipment to do the work, and may be willing to shed some light on how they do things if queried politely. I'm not in a position to purchase a new bar now, but would be interested in following up with them when the day comes. Has anybody had any contact with them?

Chain Bar Repairing
 
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mtngun

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mtngun - my buddy says yes makes sense if your not doing it at cost for a friend (he owns a large business not a home shop).

Well, if he already has the equipment and wants to GIVE AWAY his services, let him have at it.

A 6 foot bar is going to need a BIG heat treat oven. And it will warp when you heat treat it. That's why I suggested using pre-hardened 4140 -- if you can even get it in that size, which I doubt. The catch is that it's moderately difficult to machine, particularly for cutting the groove.

I'd suggest the entire bar needs to be hardened, not just the rails, unless you want the bar to bend like butter. It would be very easy to bend a mild steel bar that's 6 foot long.

Most people use 3/8 chain.

Good luck with your project.
 

srcarr52

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I'm pretty sure only the rails of a cannon bar are hardened. Probably by flame or an induction furnace built just to heat the rail quickly. I don't know if they are roughed in before heat treatment but the final grove is ground in.
 

BarkBuster20

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Goodluck to your endeavors, would like to see how it turns out. dont worry about the negative nancys in here :rock:
 

mdavlee

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Chain bar uses stellite to weld on the rails to make them harder and then re grind the rails and groove.
 

BobL

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I'm pretty sure only the rails of a cannon bar are hardened. Probably by flame or an induction furnace built just to heat the rail quickly. I don't know if they are roughed in before heat treatment but the final grove is ground in.

As mtngun says the bar must be hardened at least above a fully annealed state other wise it would bend and the hardened rails would shatter. I have never drilled a cannon bar but all other bars I have drilled (Stihl, Oregon and GB) are definitely hardened. The stihl video I'm referring to shows a flame hardening process - they showed a conveyor arrangement with the bar sitting over a long pair of rows of flames for some time and then being moved onto being quenching and then tempered with another set of flames. I can't imagine doing this to a long bar with one or two torches.
 

TPA

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4000 series cromoly steels are hardenable up to about 400 BHN considering that the entire bar would have to be hardened. Anything more would probably be beyond tempering to a state that would not be too brittle. 400 Bhn is in the neighborhood of 45 Rc, getting to 60 Rc would require carburizing using a 9000 series alloy such as 9310. It is possible to get in the 60 Rc range with a steel commonly used for such things as knives, but the cost for an amount required to make a 60" bar is something I would prefer not to contemplate.
 

mikeb1079

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they didn't say don't do it, just that it wouldn't work very well. :msp_biggrin:

i am looking forward to your experiences though....perhaps we'll all learn something. :rock:
 

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