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How much chain lubrication?

Post in 'The Gear' started by jpl1nh, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I have a Stihl 029 Super with an 18" bar. The Manual says you can adjust the chain lubrication with a screw on the underside depending on cutting conditions such as the wood your cutting. I assme that would imply that some types of wood might benfit from a better oiled chain. But what does that mean? I'm into a really big red oak, that's got about 30' of 24" to 30" diam trunk. I would think I would want as much chain oil as possible. My sharpening skills are still being sharpened though I now seem to be able to get mostly nice chips after sharpening each time. An oak this big is tough sawing though. Sometimes my saw will be pulling through really well and then its as though it just stops biting in the kerf. If I nose it up or down a bit it will grab hold again then a bit more and the same will happen. Can this be from too little chain oil?

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    There's no point in using more oil than you need, but you need to use enough. So, under normal conditions, your gas should run out before your oil. You'll know if your oil runs out early, because the chain will get hot and seize up when it does.

    An 18-inch bar is pretty big for an 029, so you're probably using nearly a full tank of oil for every tank of gas.

    Also, with a bar that long, you're going to be starved for power in big wood. My guess is that the kerf (cut) is loading up with sawdust deep in the cut, causing enough friction to slow down the chain. You might try cutting from several different angles on the same cut (saw from above and below) to avoid loading up with sawdust.

    If you're worried about the oil, you can crank the screw in (or out, whatever) and then keep an eye on the oil level as you burn through the gas tank. Try to set it so that you run out of gas just before running out of oil on the biggest wood.
  3. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    You're right on Eric, about a tank of oil per tank of gas. What you're saying makes sense, it does bog quite a bit well into it. I'll try your cutting suggestions. Thank you!
  4. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I have the same exact setup. I go thru 1 tank of oil for 2 tanks of gas...or close at least. And I cut dead elm with no bark...that is tough on a chain. More than that and you are wasting it in my opinion...but thats the beauty of opinions...everyone has one. Good luck.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I'm with you. The big commercial Poulan, Ole Yaller, does two tanks of gas to a tank of oil and has been running the same bar for a long long time with no problems. The two little Huskys eat tank for tank gas and oil. "That gets spensive Lucy!." Gas is a bargain at $3 a gallon compared to bar oil at six bucks a gallon. I miss my old Pro Mac 610 that I ran for a ton of years using the oil drained out of the cars for bar oil.

    PS: And those little bottles of two stoke oil at a couple of bucks apiece? Give me a break here. I have been using the marine two cycle stuff in gallon jugs for thirty years and have never seized a two cycle engine. It might happen at 50:1 but I will never know. My saws run 32:1 or they ain't crankin up. And they don't smoke. I do but the saws don't.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Geeze, BB, and I thought I was a piker.

    I cut roughly 20 full cords of 24-inch wood a year from standing timber, and probably go through a chain and a half, 2 gallons of bar and chain oil and about 3 of those little bottles of Husqvarna 2-cycle oil. So that's what, $35 plus another $15 (not even) for premium gas (yep, I go first class). Subtotal of $50, plus let's say another $50 for wedges (big expense item), depreciation on the saw, bar and drive chain, etc.,--$100 in out-of-pocket expense for around $4,000 worth of firewood, which is going to save me probably $8,000-$10,000 in natural gas over a two-year period.

    But I admire your thrift all the same, buddy.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I gotta save somewhere. This forum has cost me $60 bucks for the funny hat with ear muffs and mosquito screen, $60 bucks for chaps, $20 for gloves and $150 for a great deal on a $350 pair of boots. Tossed into that is eight hundred in new liners and $3,800 in new stoves. And this year I decided to buy a commercial walk behind zero turn mower so I don't have to keep the mower deck on the new $3,000 tractor and can get it into the woods year around to haul out wood. Oh yeah, almost forgot about the two new little Huskys.

    And all the time I thought I was a happy and prosperous woodburner before "seeing the light". This saving money and keeping up with the hearth.com Joneses costs a ton of money.
  8. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    By the way, I have been using a tank of gas and a tank of bar oil with the setting at max bar oil. Haven't tried running it with the setting turned down, don't want to burn out my chain. After the big oak, I'll try turning it down some since BB's makin me realize the cosliness of my ways. Next question, Eric, sawing back and forth from each side worked well as you suggested. Seemed to clean out the kerf better (plus sharpened the saw well last night) But my saw cuts a very slight curve to the left so on a 30" diam log, the piece I'm trying to cut off ends up kid of like a spiral cut ham in the center. This curve. I think also causes my saw to bog some. Does this mean I'm sharpening the teeth on one side more effectively than the other? They all get the same number of strokes. If so, which side do I need to buff up a little to stop the slight pull?
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yep. That is what is happening. You are sharpening different angles on opposite sides of the chain. Did it myself and it drove me crazy for years until Eric posted one time to sharpen one side then turn the saw upside down and do the other side instead of turning the saw around. It works!

    Also, when you raise or lower the saw in the cut you are actually cutting a smaller linear area of the tree than when you hold it straight out and cut clear across the trunk. So that is one reason your saw cuts better that way. When mine starts bogging down I rock it forward and cut a bit then rock it back and cut a bit and then flatten it back out to finish the cut. Just watch the tip of the bar and keep it clear of the trunk on the far side cut to prevent kickback.
  10. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    [
    Great idea, that Eric is a clever guy! Thanks Brother Bart, I'll give it a try next sharpening which, according to Eric, is after the next tank of gas. Love this forum, great place to learn stuff. :coolsmile:
  11. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I gotta save somewhere. This forum has cost me $60 bucks for the funny hat with ear muffs and mosquito screen, $60 bucks for chaps, $20 for gloves and $150 for a great deal on a $350 pair of boots. Tossed into that is eight hundred in new liners and $3,800 in new stoves. And this year I decided to buy a commercial walk behind zero turn mower so I don't have to keep the mower deck on the new $3,000 tractor and can get it into the woods year around to haul out wood. Oh yeah, almost forgot about the two new little Huskys.

    And all the time I thought I was a happy and prosperous woodburner before "seeing the light". This saving money and keeping up with the hearth.com Joneses costs a ton of money.[/quote ] Well sombody has to keep the forum's sponsers in business. Thank you for doing your part!:cheese:
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Another thing you might want to try, jp, is checking the rakers. If they're filed lower on one side than the other, then the saw will dig in more on that side, resulting in curved sawing. You can pick up a raker gauge for your chain (special one for each type of chain) at any chainsaw dealer for about $3. Ask them to show you how to use it. Attention to the rakers is important.

    Here's the link to the post on sharpening position.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/1264/
  13. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Thanks again for the tips Eric, (and everyone else). I haven't cut logs as large as this oak I'm working on right now and it's pushing me to learn ever more about using my saw. It's easy to cut up logs up to 12-14", but when you start getting up to 26 to 30" oak, you need your saw in good shape! Just recently, after about a year and a half of trying I finally got the technique of truly sharpening my saw. The trick for me was using that simple little Stihl quide which controlls the depth of the file. Before I was using a jig which had all the angles right but didn't force the correct depth (20% of file above the tooth, I'm told) I just bought a new chain 3-4 weeks ago and was amazed at the feel and cutting power of a truly sharp chain. I'm fairly able to keep that cutting feel now with pretty good chips flying all the time. I really like the tip of turning the saw over to file the other side equally and will try that after my next cutting session tonight. In regards to the rakers, because my chain is new and I've only sharpened it 5-6 times, I haven't filed them at all yet, so in this case, that shouldn't be why my cuts are curving. I do have a raker gauge that I think is the correct one for my chain, but I will need to have someone check how I'm using it. How many sharpenings is typical between needing to file the rakers?
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That depends entirely on how much you take off your chain when you sharpen. I usually go with three or four swipes per sharpening, and take the rakers down after five or six sharpenings. The raker gauge isn't necessary, IMO, for normal chain maintenance, but it is a handy tool for checking periodically. You can feel when a sharp chain isn't as aggressive as you'd like. Then it's time to take 'em down a few swipes.

    One place where the raker gauge comes in really handy is when you've got cutters of different lengths. Having cutters of differing lengths doesn't present a problem for cutting, but the individual raker depths need to correspond to the length of the cutter they serve. You can only get that right with the gauge.

    It may not come as a surprise that I have an old thread on that topic, as well:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/6712/

    And you're absolutely right about bigger wood being demanding on your saw--every part of it.
  15. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, one more time Eric, read your thread on rakers. I too file about 3-4 swipes each tooth when I sharpen. Given that I've sharpened 5-6 times and that I'm cutting big oak, it might be reasonable to take 2 swipes off each raker, yes?
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Yes.

    If you file them all from the same side as I do, you have to compensate slightly for the fact that the file will cut better in one direction than the other. That might involve one more pass, or a little more pressure on the odd-numbered rakers. It's not a huge consideration, but something to be aware of. You could also turn the saw around and hit them all from the same angle and vantage point, but I think I'd get confused doing that.
  17. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Jeesh Eric, you think YOU'D get confused? Lets see if I've got all this now. To sharpen 3-4 swipes per cutter after every tankard full, turn upside down, 3-4 more swigs of Cutters, then every 5-6 tankards, (hic!)
    rake over the filers with an extra wipe or two on anythin that seems odd, or turn around a couple of times and if you still know where you are do everyother one or somethin like that. What's so confusin about that? %-P No wonder it's so hard to sharpen my saw!
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