1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

How to tell if bar needs replacing?

Post in 'The Gear' started by wahoowad, Nov 13, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,397
    Loc:
    Virginia
    I gave my WildThing a good cleaning yesterday. I cleaned the bar real good but did not know what to look for in terms of excess wear. What are signs of a worn bar? I'm still on my original bar but have probably only cut 3 or 4 true cords of wood since I've had it. I think I rotated it last year when I put a new chain on it. I did notice some wear spots just where the straight part of the bar starts to transition into the curve portion of the tip. It was like that on either side.

    Also, how much would it cost to have the carb adjusted by a dealer? I learned how to adjust the idle but read another thread suggesting the running RPM should be checked/adjusted by a dealer.

    Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Three or four cords is nothing. Your bar probably has a couple hundred in it.

    Usually what kills modern bars is that the sprocket tip gives out. Usually through abuse. It quits turning and the bearings fall out.

    Things to watch for include burrs forming on the sides of the rails. You can knock these down with a flat file if they start to develop. And yes, it's a good idea to flip the bar around every once in awhile so that it wears evenly.

    If your bar develops dips, big burs or other problems, a saw dealer can "true it up" with a grinder for about $5. Then you can go out and cut another 100 cords.

    With extreme abuse, you can actually overheat your bar and burn it in places. A bar subjected to this kind of treatment won't fail immediately, but it will fail earlier than it should. Big black and blue burn marks on the bar are indications that you should begin preparing mentally to invest in a new bar.

    If you have the manual for your saw, it should say what speed to set the engine at. And yes, you need a tach to do it right. If you try to do it by ear, you'll probably set the saw too lean and it could damage the engine.

    Unless you bought the saw from that dealer, I would combine your request to set the RPMs with a substantial purchase (say, a case of oil and a couple of chains) and hope they toss it in as part of the deal. If you charge you, it's probably another $5.
  3. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,397
    Loc:
    Virginia
    Thanks Eric. What do you make of those flat spots I mentioned towards the end of the bar? Previously, before I learned to sharpen chains, I probably was applying toomuch pressure on dull chains. Is this possibly from that?
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    That will definitely do it. Getting it trued can fix that, though it's probably not really necessary.

    When I cut pulpwood for a living, I would hit the (pine) limbs near the tip of the bar. Over time, you get a nice dent in both sides of the bar from constantly whacking it against those limbs.
  5. Hinterlander

    Hinterlander Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Mid-Michigan
    In my experience, when the saw will not cut straight - tends to drift to the right or left as it is passing through the log, it needs to be replaced. Seems the sides of the rails wear and the chain is not being held straight on the bar. When I'm going through a 18" ash or oak log, I get a curved cut.
  6. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    724
    Loc:
    Franklin Ma
    saws will also curve through a log if you dont file correctly. If one side of you'r teeth have a diffrent angles than the other. It may not be the bar.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    It's probably not the bar. If it is, you can get it trued.

    One way to check that out would be to put a new chain on and see how it cuts. If it cuts fine, then you know it was the chain. If not, then it's the bar.

    Even if all the cutters look sharp and have the same angle, your saw will still run to one side or the other if your rakers (depth gauges) are filed wrong. The important relationship for a raker is with its cutter, not the other rakers or the other cutters. It's not uncommon for people to file the cutters on one side shorter than the ones on the other side. That's not a big problem in and of itself. If all the rakers on the chain are all the same height, however, the chain will cut more aggressively on the side with the longer cutters (and thus relatively lower raker height), resulting in a saw that won't cut straight.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Anyway, chains are cheaper than bars, so try the chain first.
  8. Hinterlander

    Hinterlander Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Mid-Michigan
    Thanks Eric, you are likely right, the bar is straight, I de-burr the rails regularly but I run my chains until they are pretty ragged. I have four and have not bought one for about five years. Usually when I touch em up with a rattail it's in the field and I don't mess with the rakers on a regular basis. I also use a pretty mild chain, the Stihl Semi-Chisel 26RM2 68's have been great, but they are not very aggressive. We cut lots of Ash in Michigan and it's pretty dry stuff. I guess it's time to invest in a couple more chains or a start using a more efficient sharpening process. One thing I can say is that the Stihl has been incredible - bulletproof - never misses a beat and it's about 10 years old. The old 031AV is still in the family and ran until the piston skirts were like razer blades, new piston/rings and it still rips but could qualify for an antique show.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    You should replace the sprocket when you put on the new chain. That will make a big difference. Then if you still have a problem, like I said, you know it's the bar.

    I used to make a living with an 031 back in the late '70s. Nice saw, but no safety features as we know them today, as I recall.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page