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Chain Length Question??

Post in 'The Gear' started by BobUrban, May 10, 2013.

  1. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Is there a simple formula for determining the length of a chain when layed out flat?

    Obviously the chain is longer layed out off the bar and pulled parallel than when on the bar. I ask because I have aquired a few chains recently and two of them seem to be 1" short for my 20" bar on my 036. Not a huge deal as I got them all for free but I was wondering if there is actually a 19" chain because these are longer than my 18's but shorter than my 20" chains and I had not ever heard of a 19" . I also have a few others in the mix of free stuff and all of them are good to near new once cleaned up and sharpened so I was trying to get a method of determining their length to possibly give them away or barter with someone that has the appropriate bar and saw.

    Thanks for any help.

    Bob

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Simple formula? Not really.

    There are some 20" setups that call for a 70 drive link chain instead of the more common 72 link. The bar profile makes a difference in how long the chain needs to be as well. You would need a 20" bar designed for a 70 DL chain to run those loops on your 036 (not sure if sucha bar exists for the 036...), or have them lengthened (it is possible although probably not economically practical).
  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    MasterMech is on target as usual.

    The first thing I do pull the chains flat on the workbench to count the drive links (DL) on one side and then multiply by two. There may be an extra DL if there is an uneven total number of DL, so then you just add one to the total. Also make sure that you're comparing chains of the same pitch. Some 18" chains in .325 pitch can be only a drive link or two away from a 20" chain in 3/8 pitch.
    BobUrban and ScotO like this.
  4. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    MM beat me to it.....:(
    He's a damm good guy, that MM....
    TreePointer and BobUrban like this.
  5. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I assumed as much and knew MM and Scotty would be along to straighten me out. Anyone have a saw that can run a 70 link 20" chain.(I will count them to make sure) They both are Stihl chains I believe with a lot of life and they both are soaking in a home brew batch of mineral spirits and ATF right now. When I get back from bear hunting next week I will post the results of my home brew I just read about on another thread.

    Thanks for the help
  6. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Talk to Danno....I'm pretty sure that McCulloch PM610 I sold him last year uses that very chain, assuming it is 3/8", .050.

    He may be interested.....

    BTW, good luck on your hunt! Pics are expected upon your return.......;)
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure my old Echo 510EVL with 20" bar ran 70 link 3/8" chains. I think my 036 with 20" bar requires 72 links.

    I also thought Echo and Husqvarna ran the same chain lengths, but could be wrong.
  8. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Yep, 20" Stihl bars (3/8-.050 ones) need 72 drive links. I think the bar mounts a bit further from the sprocket on Stihl saws, which requires that extra couple of links...
  9. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Both my Super 380,Dad's old 3400 & my previous Mac PM610 take 20" bars with 70 links.Not as easy to find as the more common 72.More available at several online places like Baileys & TreeStuff.com.Northern Tool locally always had a couple of them (Oregon LGX 72 full chisel yellow label) on their shelf,did last Fall still anyway.

    Only place I know of locally outside of a saw shop/OPE dealer that have it.All other hardware stores/Lowe's/Home Depot etc only sell that crappy Vanguard safety chain with the folded over rakers.Absolutely worthless.I keep an old one hanging on shed wall for stumps,fence line & other nasty work,thats all its good for IMO.
  10. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've been getting my chains made on the spot at a local Stihl shop lately. yeah, a tad more money, but always fits right the first time...
    geoff1969 and Joful like this.
  11. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    My Stihl shop does not do this, nor does the one up the road. What gives?
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Same here, having them made up at the local Stihl shop, except my local saw shop is cheaper than Bailey's. Sure, they charge more per chain, but they do 3 chains for the price of 2. That, and no shipping charges, makes them a good bit cheaper.

    There are some Stihl dealers around here (Ace, Deere dealer, local mower shop) that don't make up custom loops. But the two true "saw shops" do.
    MasterMech and ScotO like this.
  13. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Some do, some don't. I guess I'm fortunate that the longtime "mom & pop" Stihl dealership in town will make any chain. The two closest John Deere shops that are Stihl dealers only sell factory loops.
    ScotO likes this.
  14. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    It works great. Pretty much what Kroil is, just lots cheaper.

    ScotO likes this.

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