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Any ideas on filing down rakers evenly?

Post in 'The Gear' started by EatenByLimestone, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'm getting to the point where the teeth are sharp but aren't grabbing the wood like they should. I can't joint it like a handsaw but have never filed the rakers. Is there a trick to filing them down by hand evenly? Is there a web tutorial out there?

    Matt

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  2. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Matt, most chainsaw dealers carry a variety of these inexpensive and very handy chain depth gauges. These tools are made for a specific chain gauge. Tell your dealer what chain/gauge you are using and he can supply you with the right tool. That and a good medium/fine flat file will do the job for you. Using the tool is not difficult but to me, was not intuitive. Ask your dealer how to use the tool properly.
  3. trafick

    trafick Member

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    I always use a raker gauge. I use a Carlton File-O-Plate and it works very well. I think you want the rakers to be .025" lower than the cutting edge of the chain and a gauge makes this pretty easy. Also you want all rakers to be at the same height, hence using the gauge.
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Matt yeah it best to use a raker gauge...but I just use an angle grinder and guesstimate I'm taking off 3/32 or so. DONE! Try it I'm pretty sure you'll be satisfied with the performance as well as the time saved.
  5. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    I used to use a grinding bit on the dremmel and this year bought a kit from Husqrvana that included a depth gauge and flat file. Boy what a difference. The depth gauge works differently on each tooth depending on how much the tooth was filed. Sometimes a tooth gets filed more because it was damaged and the raker needs to be filed more. I used to get chains that cut on an angle before using the gauge. I have a much more even cutting chain everytime now.
  6. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    There are several different sorts of guages, and that is probably the easiest / least expensive way to go. Check your chain packaging, and it will tell you what the exact spec is, as it varies from chain to chain, though most tend to use 0.025 or 0.030. There is also a bit of variance depending on what sort of wood you are cutting, hardwoods can go a bit deeper clearance.

    The good guages essentially index off the cutting edge of the tooth being sharpenned so they will bring them all down a uniform amount with respect to the teeth, and also protect the cutter edge from any file slipping. Depending on how much you take off when you sharpen the cutters, you will probably need to do the rakers every 3-5 times you do the cutters.

    Gooserider
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    "Depending on how much you take off when you sharpen the cutters, you will probably need to do the rakers every 3-5 times you do the cutters."

    Aye, that's what I was afraid of. I sharpen between every tank. I sharpen freehand like I would with an old handsaw. I've passed about 3 gallons through the saw. It looks like I'll be heading over to the saw shop this Saturday for a gauge.

    Matt
  8. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Feeling the Heat

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    I was wondering how wel lthis thing worked. Looks interesting.
  9. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Get a small bastard file and have 3 or 4 passes over each raker. There's really nothing to it.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Why not just file the chain when it gets dull?
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    General preference really. With chisels and bench planes it's a pain in the adz to go through all the grits and sharpen them from scratch. It's easier and faster to touch them up every so often before they get dull. I guess it's a habit. It's also a pause to get out of the cold/sit down and have a rest, etc.

    Matt
  12. fugazi42

    fugazi42 New Member

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    I agree- I find it easier to give each tooth a couple of quick swipes at every fill-up. It doesn't take more than 2 minutes. It also keeps the chain cutting faster than running it until it gets dull. There's a big difference between a sharp chain, and a "sorta sharp" chain, IMHO.


    Matt- Adzes, chisels, planes, and saws. You, sir, sound like a Galoot.

    Josh
  13. kevin j

    kevin j Minister of Fire

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    And definition of 'dull'. Most people that cut for hours, then change chains and have the old one ground, are running a chain that is DULL, not just slightly off sharp. So their feel for when a chain is ready to change is distorted. My perception of dull vs. sharp is radically different than a couple decades ago.

    This perception and being aware of the tool is important if you want to run chisel vs semichisel/chipper tooth. Chisel cuts better, but goes away quick in abrasive wear and you have to be able to notice that right away.

    I think that is true of any skill: woodworking or metal working tools, drill bits, typing, sewing, guns, motorcycles, canoes, musical instruments, etc. To me, a $1000 piano tuned last year is barely noticeably different than a $25,000 piano tuned today. But to my daughter the music major........
    There is a great satisfaction in running a precision tool at ptimum performance. Most homeowners don't need a pro saw. Their box store saws are so far off that just a simple air filter, carb tuning and chain filing would make a world of difference.

    Try a couple file strokes every tank of fuel to see what sharp feels like. then run a couple tanks or more and start to feel the difference. Eventually you will find how much of what type of wood to expect from each chain usually. But mostly you can feel it in chain performance immediately when you pick up the saw and touch wood.

    A couple file stroke every couple tanks will get much more life out of the chain than grinding off 1/32 inch after 4 hours of cutting.

    kcj
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