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Never sharpened a chain before, need advice.

Post in 'The Gear' started by HDRock, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Hey MM, if you're cuttin in the dirty beech & yard birds like I have been lately you can burn up a 100' roll in a couple years when you've got 4 - 5 saws that use the same chain. If the yard birds don't get ya the fence row trees will.==c
    A C

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I meant on 1 saw but yeah, I here ya. Cut up several yardbird oaks post-Sandy and found a ton of metal in all of them. Plant hangars, climbing spikes for utility poles, you name it, it was in there.
  3. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Thanks
    I don't like to bring the saw into the basement, but would like to sharpen some chains there, so can I clamp the drive teeth or something in a vise ? should I use soft jaws ?
    Other ways to file, with out ! chain on saw ???
  4. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I just clamp mine in the vise, making sure that the chain will rotate freely. As you can see, I've marked the sharpening angle on the workbench (30 degrees for my chain), so that I can line the saw up correctly. Then I just file perpendicular to the edge of the workbench (I marked the vertical lines to make it easier to line up). I usually make two passes per tooth, making sure to file only in one direction (away from the cutting edge).

    You can see that I marked the bench on the other side of the vise as well. I just swing the vise around to do the alternate teeth.

    Most important discovery I've made: files don't last long. If you can't feel the file biting with each stroke, it probably needs to be replaced.

    P1040425 (1024x575).jpg

    P1040426 (1024x575).jpg

    P1040428 (1024x575).jpg

    P1040427 (1024x575).jpg
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    To add to Dan's post, files can be rotated in the guide a couple times before you chuck 'em.
    TreePointer likes this.
  6. mark axen

    mark axen New Member

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    Bought a cheap-O Harbor Freight electric sharpener...got so frustrated with the damn thing, I just threw it out (recycled it, of course). Have paid hardware store to sharpen a few chains for my 16" Stihl, but will now make the effort to learn hand sharpening. Are there recommended sharpening' kits' I should look for...? Thanks for any advice.
  7. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I used to clamp my bars (with powerhead attached) directly in the metal jaws of the vise, but I discovered that the paint lasts longer when I use soft jaw inserts.

    BESSEY Nylon Magnetic Vise Jaw
    DanCorcoran likes this.
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    It's nice to have the powerhead attached when hand sharpening because you can use the chain brake to immobilize the chain. Also, If you clamp the bar at the right place along its length and the powerhead is still attached, it will reduce vibrations when you make your filing strokes.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Yup ! have the same ones , they work good
  10. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    There are some recommendations in this very thread.

    The mini dedicated file guides is what I got, to get started, simple, not hard to learn , my chains are now all sharp.
    U see some recommendations in this thread, Sharpening A Full Chisel Chain and pic of, The mini dedicated file guides ,
    If U do a search on here U will find lots of threads on chain sharping , and guides
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Head to your Stihl dealer and pick up one of these. Inexpensive and everything you need.

    [​IMG]
    amateur cutter likes this.
  12. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Wear leather gloves or keep the band aids nearby! One reason I really like a cordless dremmel with grinding stones is no blood loss. It is more accurate in my opinion too.
  13. mark axen

    mark axen New Member

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    Everybody should watch the Timberline chain sharpener at their website. Seems to be a solid, simple, unique device. Yeah, its' $125.00, but think I'll take the plunge and buy it...one of those times where you get what you pay for. Will report back on how it works later...maybe Santa will bring me one !

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