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For crying out loud, there are TWO steps to sharpening a chain!!!!

Post in 'The Gear' started by smokedragon, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    Just a rant, but a friend of mine was helping me cut yesterday. He kept filing, and filing, and filing......I asked him what was wrong. He said his chain wasn't sharp, and he couldn't get it sharp.

    I let him use my second saw. Later that evening, I looked at his chain, which is probably 3 seasons old. The teeth all felt sharp and looked good. I asked him, when is the last time you filed your guides? He looked at me like I was growing a second head.

    Put my gauge on his chain, and they were probably 2mm too tall. I think I have tennis elbow I spent so long filing. Took it out back and it was throwing chips big enough to use for animal bedding.

    How many people just don't realize that if you don't file those guides, the tooth will not be exposed to any wood to cut (no matter how sharp the teeth are).......

    Just a rant................
    Macpolski, Joful and mtarbert like this.

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  2. craigbaill

    craigbaill New Member

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    Yep! You are definitely right! I did that too my first time sharpening the chain. I was wondering why it was only throwing dust. Holy moly I had to file the guides alot. There are a few videos that only show filing the teeth and not even at the correct angle.
  3. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    You know, that is a totally different rant, but a great point.

    If you don't sharpen the teeth at the right angle, it creates a whole different mess of problems.
  4. Charlie2

    Charlie2 Member

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    Has anyone found any really good sharp files for sale? Files I've bought lately don't seem to cut worth a flip.
  5. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

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    I buy the stihl files from th
    e dealer and they are fine....
    Bigg_Redd and Charlie2 like this.
  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Sharp is not necessarily the problem. Relative hardness often is the issue when filing chains. Harder teeth require harder files.

    As mentioned, Stihl is pretty good. I also like Save Edge files.
    Charlie2 likes this.
  7. Charlie2

    Charlie2 Member

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    Good point, files might be the same, hardness of the chain may have changed. Thanks all, I'll try both.
  8. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Pferd I've found to be the best.
    WriteNoob and Macpolski like this.
  9. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    My local dealer sells Pferd, husqvarna, stihl. They all work well.

    I say buy something this is made for sharpening a chain, or you will wear the file out.

    On my friends chain, I actually used a dremel and an abrasive stone to get it close, then finished with a file. I only do that when things are WAY off, it speeds the process a lot.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Pfft... files. Buy a chain grinder. ::-)

    I'm thinking of getting a second grinder that I can keep set up for taking down the depth gauges, as I hate swapping wheels between radius grind and square grind. Trouble is, I don't mess with the depth gauges that often. Will take them down a good bit on the first sharpening, and then maybe every second or third sharpening, after that.
    D8Chumley and smokedragon like this.
  11. Charlie2

    Charlie2 Member

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    I like the pride Save Edge shows on its wed site. They also say expect three to four times the life,(or was it two to three? Anyway they are proud of how long they last) My thing is how much stuff is being made in China and being sold under some of the name brands. They may be improving, but most of it is still junk. For instance, ever try any Chinese sand paper ?
    Anyway, just as I'm looking for good files I see the Oregon "chain sharping system", is it any good? Looks like something from the 70's that was built into some saws.
    First I bad mouth the Chinese junk, then I confess to buying a Harbor Freight chain grinder, haven't tried it yet.
  12. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    After using my grinder for the first few times, I realized I need to watch the depth gauges much closer - less material off the teeth when hand-filing and only touched the gauges every 3 or 4 sharpenings, seems that I need to touch the gauges after each grind. Cheers!
  13. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You should be able to remove almost as little material with a grinder, as with hand sharpening. The limiting factor is the rigidity of your chain catch pawl, and how consistently you can get each tooth positioned.

    I check my chain with a depth gauge after grinding, and find that one grinding does not make any measurable difference in depth gauge height. Three grindings... different story. Also, when I take a heavy cut to repair a damaged chain, different story.
  14. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I had a few chains that needed some truing, so probably removed more that a 'normal' sharpening. I still think that the chances of taking more material with the grinder is higher than with light file strokes, but obviously haven't measured! Cheers!
  15. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    Damn....now I am looking at you the same way. I was only taught to sharpen the cutters and I have looked this up online too to no avail. Are we talking about the raker? Now I need help.
  16. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    What kind of gauge? never seen one used.

    the raker?
  17. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Raker = Depth gauge. Smokedragon is talking about lowering your rakers after several filings. Otherwise the tooth wont take a bite out of the wood.
    Sealcove likes this.
  18. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    gotcha. now I need to learn how to do this too. something new everyday on here.
  19. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Well how do you sharpen now? You might already have all the stuff you need...

    I like the Carlton File-O-Plate, but those are discontinued. If you have the Husky Roller Guide, that has a guide on it also for filing rakers. You can use a piece of glass and a feeler gauge, or Oregon and Stihl both make gauges for setting them.

    Or the non-scientific way of taking one swipe across the rakers with a file every third time you sharpen the teeth :)
    Charlie2 and Joful like this.
  20. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    dragging a file on the return stroke while sharpening does little to extend the life of a file either.
  21. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    I am willing to be that you have a quality grinder for this to be the case. A friend of my dad's has a cheapo grinder from harbor freight, and he must file/grind his guides (or rakers) with each sharpening.........Saw him use it once last season and decided to keep filing. I'll bet he buys a new chain every 3 years because of that thing.

    Another lesson from Joful on why you always buy quality ==c
  22. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I stopped by my local dealer and asked the tech (who is good at fixing saws) what he used to set rakers, he looked at the rack of the various tools and said I don't use any of them, I just file them way down and put up with the saw grabbing a bit more.
  23. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    If you take a big chunk out of one link don't try and get them all the same with one sharpening. Put them back to the same over 3-6 sharping's. You will still be able to do straight cuts even in the longest of runs.
    CenterTree and Joful like this.
  24. smokedragon

    smokedragon Minister of Fire

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    My dad does it that way.....when the saw won't throw big chips, he takes a dremel (or pneumatic die grinder) to them.

    I can't stand it, for the next 3 - 5 sharpenings, the saw will chatter in hard wood. But it will cut soft woods like pine, poplar, and cedar, like a hot knife through butter.

    I would rather just get them right.
  25. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    There is always this:

    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/accessories/filing-tools/2in1file/

    image.jpg

    Suppose to lower your depth gauges as you file.

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