Vert-i-File Chain Sharpening Fixture

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Philbert

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When sharpening chain, the position of the file, relative to each tooth, determines the cutting angles. Many fixtures, jigs, and guides have been designed to help position the file accurately and consistently. The Vert-i-File takes a different approach: it positions the chain, relative to the person doing the sharpening, allowing them to guide the file horizontally, and to see the cutting surfaces as they are being filed.

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This simple change improves the ergonomics of sharpening, by presenting the chain at a comfortable height, and eliminating the need to reach across, or around, the powerhead or the bar. It also eliminates common angle variations between Right and Left side cutters, since they are both filed in the same position.
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The Vert-i-File positions the chain for filing, either mounted on the saw, or on the guide bar with an optional chain-tensioning accessory. It works with any pitch, gauge, brand, or sequence of chain, as long as a suitable guide bar is provided. Once the chain is presented at the fixed, 30* angle, it’s still up to the user to position the file relative to the cutter top plate, create any ‘down angle’, define any ‘hook’, etc., allowing significant flexibility, and user preference. But, because the filed surface is on top, they can see the effect of each file stroke: it’s not hidden in the underside of the tooth.

The clean, simple design of the Vert-i-File is also appealing. Constructed of welded aluminum, it is compact (about 11-1/4" tall, and 4-1/2" front-to-back), light weight (about 12 ounces), and appears pretty durable.
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For more info www.vert-i-file.de
[email protected]

Philbert
 

Philbert

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The saw is secured to the angled surface with a single bolt through the alignment hole that is common in many laminated guide bars. If the bar does not have this hole, one has to be drilled, or another bar used for sharpening. The company also recommends drilling a mounting hole more towards the midpoint of the bar, for longer guide bars, or with heavier saws, to better balance these on the fixture.
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The Vert-i-File is normally mounted in a bench vise. I like to file outside, so I mounted mine in a 'Jawhorse', portable work holder, and also mortised out a simple block of wood that I can clamp to any work surface.
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Philbert
 

Philbert

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The chains I filed mostly needed 'touch-up sharpening': a few to several strokes on each tooth, but no real reshaping of the cutters. Holding the file horizontal is pretty intuitive, and has a very short learning curve: it probably took me more time to think about it than to do it. File the teeth on one side; flip the bar and saw; file the other side. Being able to see the progress of each file stroke is also a bonus: easy to see when the edges are restored and you are done.
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Use with guides? A lot of people are accustomed to using some type of filing guide when sharpening. In theory, some of these guides could still be used with the Vert-i-File, such as those that attach to the file to control depth. But they would interfere with the clear view of the sharpening process, which is a key advantage of the device. File guides that normally rest on the chain, or on the guide bar, could be problematic due to the bar's orientation when fixed to the Vert-i-File. The positioning, and stabilization of the cutters, are likely most suited to using just a file and a handle.

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Thanks for sharing Philbert, very interesting and a unique perspective towards sharpening . I’m always intrigued at what sharpening systems are on the market, especially with my profession. I will watch this thread with keen interest. Happy sharpening mate.
 

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