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Got a chain grinder!

Post in 'The Gear' started by Woody Stover, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I help out an older couple down the road when they have trees blow down or have dead ones that need to be taken out, in exchange for the wood. Too bad they have a lot of Tulip down there. ;lol I don't take that home, but I've gotten some Pignut, Cherry, Red Elm etc. There's a Shagbark waiting, suspended off the ground, so I'm hoping some of that is good. They have another house where I've scored all of the BL that I've stacked so far; There's none on our property. Anyway, the gentleman offered to sell me a chain grinder years ago. He had gotten it from a friend but never had messed with it much. I remembered that recently when I dulled two chains in about ten minutes, and recalled how long it had taken me to sharpen those two 25" chains. <> I asked him if he still had the grinder, and what did he want for it. He said "$100 sound fair?" I said I would try to find out more about the grinder and get back to him. I searched it online and what I read led me to believe it didn't take the standard 7/8" ID wheel. Well, he called me back a couple days ago and told me that since I take a lot of work off him, he would just give me the grinder. I told him that if I could figure out how to work it, he would never have to pay to get a chain sharpened again. ==c

    I don't know much about using a grinder and there's no manual with it, but I've looked at the Oregon 511a manual. I guess I need to get a wheel dressing block and a template? I haven't seen much of that stuff online....Bailey's has a dressing block and I saw a template somewhere else.... Anybody know a good source for those two items, or have some good tips on how to use them? It's also got a chain break and a rivet spinner but I have no experience, other than breaking a couple of bicycle chains decades ago. Any additional grinding tips would be welcomed as well.... >>

    [​IMG]

    I see the tell-tale black streak on the wheel...but appears to take a 7/8" wheel. :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks like a quality machine. :)

    [​IMG]
    smokinj and zap like this.

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Looks like a well built machine. Can I assume that the double thumb screws on the right side of the machine is the "stop" for the down stroke?
  3. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    7/8th and 22mm are 2 very popular sizes, there are some 1" as well as5/8 and 1/2 out there as well. Ahlborn Equipment ( not associated with them in any fashion other being a customer) has wheels for all these arbor sizes. Likely 22mm as it has the Winsdor name on it. 7/8 is .0011 larger than 22mm. Most of the grinding wheel holes come a bit on the large side anyway Just enough extra play to add excess vibration. some tape carefully applied to the arbor can resolve the size difference. Pretty much the mid range Italian grinder that everybody sells. I can't tell from the picture if the chain bar/clamp/swivel tilts fore and aft. That has the better motor on it should last a long time for you. You can use the instructions from just about any similar looking unit. basic is 60-70 for the wheel angle, 25-30 for the wheel across the tooth angle ( you can use the scribe mark on some chains as a reference for this) adjust wheel down stop so you do grind into the off side tie strap. Dress the wheel to a rounded shape equal to the width of the wheel, not real critical but you do not want a square cornered gullet. I use a 65 deg top angle, a compromise between the recommended 60deg top plate cutting angle and the gullet side. 60 gives too deep a gullet. I also run at 25 degs instead of 30 across the tooth, doesn't dull out as quickly in my opinion,( not that is worth anything)
  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yessir....
  5. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the informative reply, blades! :)

    Here's what I got with the dial caliper: Arbor is .870 (7/8=.875, and corresponds to the 22.20 mm. printed on the wheel label.) Actual wheel hole is larger at ~.877 (as you said it might be) so there is a little movement of the wheel on the arbor: I'll try the tape shim you suggested.

    I didn't register so did not see the prices. The Molemab wheel I already have (vitrified aluminum oxide) is $14 at Bailey's. I wonder if generic wheels are available elsewhere for cheaper, maybe at an industrial supplier, and would work on a chain grinder?
    Apparently so. :cool: I didn't loosen the screw and move it though, and I didn't see any degree markings....

    [​IMG]

    Good stuff to know, thanks! :) I will play with the angles and see what works best. I have some old chains to practice on until I get up to speed. The spec sheet for my Stihl chains says 60* side plate, 30* tooth angle. My saw is 3/8 pitch, and the guy that gave me the grinder has a 261, .325 pitch, same angles. I will probably just keep sharpening my small saw (14" bar) with the clamp on guide instead of buying a thinner wheel and changing settings every time. The Oregon 511a manual says only grind with the dressed portion of the wheel, keeping the flat side of the wheel above the tooth, so I'll watch that. It also says to clean the chains before sharpening to prevent loading up the wheel with oil, etc. :( I saw some kind of cleaning block somewhere online; Maybe that would work instead of having to clean the chains every time before grinding. Or maybe I could just wipe out the gullets with a rag. But I'm really looking forward to getting that wheel dressed and grinding a few chains. :)
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Don't be afraid to change settings for different chain sizes and types. Wheel swaps are easy too. It's not super critical that the grinder be returned to the exact settings and I can redo the setup of any 511 or it's clones in under 60 seconds.

    Pick up a wheel to do rakers (1/4") and really turn that thing loose.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  7. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    They have some good info in the 511a manual on grinding the rakers. I've never messed with 'em much. Do you dress the 1/4" wheel to put the curve on the front?
    The local saw shop guy told me "We don't do the rakers." Really? :confused:
    I realize you may use a different wheel but I'm wondering how often I'll have to re-dress this wheel? I know that smokinj and others use the more expensive wheels but I probably won't be grinding a ton of chains....
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The pink wheels you should lightly re-dress once you start to see that black ring around the edge get dark. That means the wheel is loaded up with crud and a light touch with the dressing stone will clean it right out. I try not to dress in the middle of a chain, as it changes the shape of the wheel and the depth settings. Typically will touch the stone every 3-4 chains depending on how dirty things are.

    You can dress the 1/4" wheel to shape the raker if you desire, but that will require patience. I'd set the head at a slight angle (like 20 deg) and go. If the chains are too "notchy" for your tastes, you can always smooth the fronts with a file or dress the wheel to the desired shape.
    HittinSteel likes this.
  9. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Degree settings are there so just set it the degrees you need. Grab a stick of kool grind as well. It much more forgiving. Sure looks like a 511a with a different badge!
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    That was my initial thought as well. I have a 511A at the golf course, and there are a few differences. There's no handle to bring the motor/wheel down, the vise clamp is different than the 511A, and the degree markings for the wheel/motor are located in a completely different spot. The more I look at it, the more I realize Woody's unit is very different than the 511 series.

    Here's what the golf course's 511A look like.

    [​IMG]
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea I own one......I would be very hard pressed to think that piece didn't come out of the same factory. If not the same machine with different paint. (One you posted I think its a 511ax)
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Did you notice it grinds both ways? ;) :rolleyes:

    Joking aside, for some, that would make it a highly desirable unit.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yes and there is a very simple way to make the 511 do the same. Both or very strong and will stand-up to commercial use for well not sure yet....lol As far as running both ways its an no-issue if your wheels are right.
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Agreed!
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Check out some youtube videos really the only thing you can do wrong is angles and over heating the cutter. Just take your time and just do little taps until you get the feel of it. You got a very nice Unit!
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    If you have some chains that are out of whack and the cutters on one side are considerably longer than the other side (pretty common on long time hand-filed chains)...don't try to even them up all at once. Take the long side down over a couple sharpenings, otherwise you can get it too hot if you try to do it all at once. Could be 3 different passes in the same session, or after the chain gets dull 3 times after normal use.
  17. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I know you are a big fan. ==c As I mentioned, 511a manual says to clean chains before sharpening, I assume to keep oil and sawdust from loading up the wheel. Looks like it would be less of an issue with the Kool-Grind....says it "reduces build-up." Does anyone actually clean the chains before sharpening?? <>
    Only advantage I can see is that I wouldn't have to turn the chain around after sharpening one side....and maybe only have to dress one side of the wheel to a radius? Do you think I can get the dressing block at a saw shop, or is that something I'll have to get online?
    I used a clamp-on guide after every few hand-sharpenings, but it seemed like when I would spin the file holder around to do the other side of the chain, the length would be off, so a lot of times I didn't adjust the depth stop, just went light on teeth that looked short to me. I seldom had chains that pulled very bad to one side, but I will put a Sharpie dot on a tooth and start measuring length with a dial caliper and counting teeth from there to find the shortest one. I'll see how far off I really was. And I'll practice on some old chains I have that I may be able to get some more use out of....
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The supposed advantage of being able to reverse the wheel rotation is that you always grind into the cutter. That always puts the burr on the inside of the cutter. Like Jay said, keep the wheels clean and use a light touch, you will get a minimal burr or no burr at all. Even if you do get a burr, it gets knocked off the instant the chain sees wood. But the feature does please some folks with chain sharpening OCD.

    As for the dressing stone, I've not seen one in stock at a saw shop but perhaps a local industrial supply house would have one. Otherwise anybody who carries chainsaw equipment should at least be able to order one.
  19. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I gotcha. I misspoke above; One cannot "turn the chain around after sharpening one side." Doh! ;hm
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding your description; I've always read that the tooth should be filed from in to out. In other words, when looking down at the top plate I'm filing from the short side to the long side, leaving the burr on the cutting edge of the side plate (what I would call the outside.)
    OK, that would be me. ;lol

    I'll check Grainger, IBN etc.
    I don't know if this would work for cleaning the wheel, to "reduce build-up" like the Kool-Grind. It's a "CBN wheel cleaning stick." Not sure if it would be too abrasive for the Molemab vitrified aluminum oxide wheel. I could ask on Bailey's but I would have to register. :rolleyes:

    http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdetail.asp?item=45521&catID=
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know if this is an option for you or not, but any old grinding wheel, or even a chunk of grinding wheel will work for dressing your grinder. It will also do an amazing job of cleaning the wheel.
    MasterMech likes this.
  21. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I may have a little one that has a shaft for use with a drill, that I could sacrifice....
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Ideally file from the inside out, grind from the outside in.
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I was thinking a little bigger, but I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I for the most part do not clean.
  25. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Just ordered 2, 511ax units. Hopefully should be here later today as the Silvey is on its last legs and another unit went up in smoke. That Windsor grinder should take a 11.2mm arbor wheel 7/8 is just a wee bit smaller. A caliper would tell the tale. Molemab wheels are just a bit harder than the pricy Oregon ones. Firestorm wheels are very close to The Oregon's at 1/2 the cost. I see Northern tool has there own brand wheels out now at 1/2 the cost of Oregon items. I like the Oregon wheels, just refuse to pay their overinflated prices. 511ax list is $619, from my distributor $280 + shipping. Avg internet Pricing about $350. Chinese clones run about $150. But you have to do some mods to make them useful.
    Why 2 grinders? simple, one set for left one set for right, saves time and wear in the vise switching back and fourth. I have about 60 chains cleaned and ready for grinding at the present time. One more thing, another very old grinder is set up just for doing depth gauges. This makes for a decent production line at a lot less than the very fancy semi auto and automatic grinders ( sorry forget name) that are in the $ 2-4000 range. I do not use much from Baileys, their shipping cost to me is very high as compared to other sources for the same equipment.
    Oregon wheels1/8" and 3/16" are around $23-25 each Molemab, Firestorm, Northern about $10 less per wheel.

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