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Chains and Files

Post in 'The Gear' started by BrotherBart, Jul 10, 2007.

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  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Often people ask here about where to buy saw chains and files. Well, if you are like me and don't have a saw shop worth its salt near you I think I found a place.

    Since I bought my pair of little Husky 142's I have been looking for some round chisel chain for them. The stuff without the bumper straps (training wheels for saw chain) and have been needing some 3/16 files. I came across eBay seller mattmorantree on Friday. I sent him some questions because this stuff is .375 pitch and .043 gauge narrow kerf which you can hardly find anywhere and can't find in chisel or without the stinkin straps anywhere. Well the long and short of it is that I received a response Saturday morning, ordered three chains and 12 swiss files and they were in my mailbox today, Monday! Three chains and 12 files for $40 shipping and all delivered in a flash.

    And I don't know who makes these chains but one of those things on one of those little 40cc puppies ripped a 26 inch red oak apart this afternoon in a few dozen heartbeats. Quick enough that Old Yaller may be resting on the bench for a long time. Or he may be getting a couple of new chains.

    YMMV but at $8.75 a dozen for files and $8 apiece for those chains plus $7.25 shipping I will be back to this guy.

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  2. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the tip Brother Bart!
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Great deal. Chain must be one of those wholesale/retail products (like car parts and plumbing parts), where the guys who buy wholesale pay A LOT LESS than the rest of us. You can get most any chain in most any length for about $10 or $11 retail at woodsmen's days and trade shows. Like anything, if you know what you need, then buying online makes sense. If you're not sure, then stick with somebody you can deal with in person.
  4. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Filing your own chain is taking the whole green thing a little far isnt it ;)
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I used to have the butler do it but he is getting up in years and his eyes are just not what they used to be.
  6. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Bart, I was more referring to the post being in the Green room and not the Gear room :)

    My neighbor has an electric one but no matter how many times he invites me to use it I wont go to the dark side.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ah. It would appear Jeeves eyes aren't the only ones that are shot. I clicked on the wrong room.

    "C'mon Mav. Do some of that moderator %$^@".
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No problem, moved with mod magic. Good tip BB, thx. Our neighbor had a 20" locust come crashing down a few days ago. He has a nice little Poulan, good for limbing, but not the bigger stuff. I chomped through it with the Stihl pretty quickly, but need to sharpen the chain now.

    I can't eyeball this stuff and in the past have done a poor job hand sharpening. But the hardware store takes off about an 1/8" with their machine sharpening. What is the preferred jig that folks are using for chain sharpening by hand?
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Also, how do you search on a seller? I haven't been able to find mattmorantree.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You click on "Advanced Search" right next to the search box.

    http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZmattmorantree

    Chatted with him last night. Most of his chain is good ole USA Carlton. Some Windsor.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Don't go to the hardware store. That's the cardinal rule. Not only do they butcher your chain, but they don't take the rakers down, so you get a double-whammy.

    You can buy a file holder that helps you get the angles right, but the "preferred" method is to use a clean, oiled, naked file. Push up slightly and to the right as you move the file forward so that the cutting edge gets the edge. Push towards 2:00 o'clock, in other words. Your cutter angle should be in the 30-35 degree range. If the chain is in halfway decent repair, just follow the existing angle. File until you have a clean, sharp edge. If the cutting edge is worn down due to being exposed to a rock or other abrasive, file away the worn part. The cutters don't all have to be the same length. More important that they're sharp and have the correct angle. The angles don't have to be exact, either, but they should all be the same. So don't get hung up on a couple of degrees.

    As for the rakers, the best thing to do is get a "raker gauge" at a chainsaw dealer. They cost about $3 and will show you how low to file the rakers, relative to the tooth. I say "relative," because a shorter cutter requires a lower raker, and there's no good way to eyeball that. If the cutters are all about the same length, however, all you really need to do is take a couple of swipes with a flat file to each one, then use the saw and see how it cuts. If you want a more aggressive chain, take them down a little more. Take them down too far--or unevenly--and your chain will be prone to stalling and kickback.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Merci BB and Eric. I got the link to matt's eBay stuff now and will pursue chain sharpening techniques following the suggestions. This is something I've always wanted to get better at. Now's the time!
  13. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I bought a second chain for my Stihl 056 yesterday and it had to be 85 drive links if you believe that. No, not 84 like a standard chain!

    Bought a semi chisel skip chain since I'm cutting western wood.

    BeGreen - You might look into a oregon filing guide. A lot of people despise them but I've found they work pretty well when you use them right. I usually do a season of cutting with my chains using the jig to sharpen them and then get the chains professionally sharpened at the end of the year
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