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Now, be honest. How long till dull?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Brogan007, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Brogan007

    Brogan007 Member

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    This will be like one of those...."You show me yours...." tales!
    How many rounds you cut before you change/sharpen your chain?
    I'm bucking 26-30" White Oak.
    I'm using a self sharpened chain, 20" bar on a MS 262 Stihl.
    I get dull after about 8 rounds or so.
    Anyone?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If I have a chain I use the file on to sharpen, I'll touch it up after every tank or two of fuel and do a good job on it in the vice at home after 4 or 5 tanks of fuel.

    If it's a chain I'm using the small electric sharpener on, then it'll get zapped with the wheel about every 3 or 4 tanks or as needed.

    I'm cutting various hardwoods, mostly cherry and maple lately, but a lot of ash as well, beech too. Rounds vary in diameter as they come.
  3. Brogan007

    Brogan007 Member

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    I think the wood I'm in must be really dirty. There's visible sparks coming off the chain a few times every cut.
    More likely, I just need to take a lesson in sharpening!!
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I really have no idea. When it stops cutting right in my estimation, or I ground it, out comes the file.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    sparks off the chain usually mean you hit a rock, nail, something other than wood that will dull your chain quick...
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sparks can also fly on some very hard wood, especially if it has been dead standing and is really super dry.

    As for the resharpening, a good rule of thumb could be to touch it up every time you add gas or at least every other time you add gas. But I'd think you should be able to get more than 8 rounds before having to resharpen. That says something needs changing in the sharpening process to go dull that quickly. Or if you have drug the logs some distance. This will cause dirt to get into the bark. Dirt and chains just don't go together very well at all.
  7. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    when the chips look powdery instead of chunky...
    jdp1152, PapaDave, Bret Chase and 3 others like this.
  8. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I agree that 8 rounds until needing a sharpening means something is up - e.g. lots of dirt/caked mud on the log. After I sharpen my chain, I can't tell any difference in performance after 8 cuts in clean wood. If I am cutting clean logs, I'd guess I can cut a good cord of rounds before I want to sharpen the chain, and even then, it's still cutting okay. That said, I keep my chains in very good condition and I'm very careful when bucking. If I have a log that has been sitting on the ground and is caked in dirt, I'll even take my hatchet and cut off the bark from the area I'm about to buck. I don't like putting my chain into dirt. Cheers!
  9. lazeedan

    lazeedan Feeling the Heat

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    Are you getting enough oil? Something seems off. I touch up every tank or two.
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Was this tree in a city/town or out in the woods. If out in the woods, was it on a fence line where it could have been used for target practice? I've found my saw stays sharper when it's cutting trees from out in the woods vs trees around houses.

    Matt
    Thistle and pen like this.
  11. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Cutting mulberry and osage or (hedge) can eat your chain up quicker. Sometimes at dusk you see sparks fly cutting that
    Osage.
    Thistle likes this.
  12. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    I can cut 3-4 trees before a good touching up on the 044 . You gotta be hitting rocks or the ground .. Lots of people hammered nail or some kinda object in old oak trees . is any of the rounds have dark black spots in them , that's a sure indicator of metal in the tree which also will dull or kill a chain.
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    8 rounds seems incredibly short lived...especially for a 'self sharpening chain'! Ideally, you never let the chain go dull, but when I cut hedge hedge (which I would wager is harder than oak) with a full chisel chain (which is known to be easy to dull), I only do a light touch up with each tank of gas - maybe two swipes with the file per tooth just to restore that pristine edge.

    How do you sharpen this chain? Sometimes people get a bit aggressive with electric wheel grinders and overheat the edge of the tooth. Any slight bluing of the metal indicates it's been overheated. This will temper the steel, reduce it's hardness and make it more prone to dulling... which of course requires 'extra' sharpening the next time meaning an even heavier grinding, even more heat and even softer metal. The downward spiral continues.

    Had a post a few years ago where the saw shop blued a guys chain, so even a 'pro' job can be botched sometimes.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I've never counted, and because I deal with logs of widely differing diameter it'd be a useless factoid if I did.
  15. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I like to sharpen, or run a file over the chain after every tankfull also. It allows me to move things I can trip over out of the way and rest. The last thing I want to do is run a chainsaw when tired or zoned out.

    Matt
    albert1029 and Macpolski like this.
  16. Brogan007

    Brogan007 Member

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    Corey...I think you nailed it. Yes, my heavy hand on the grinding wheel does blue the teeth. And the wood has lots of dirt on it after being moved from one site to another.
    I buck the logs while my skid steer is holding them for me, so I'm never cutting on the ground. Got about 6+ yrs of split wood in the shed...so well ahead.
    Time to relearn the sharpening skills. Thanx for all advice.
  17. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Glad to help. For sharpening, generally a quick touch up with a file is all that is needed. If you hit something hard, then a gentle grind with an electric grinder. ie - when I use my dremmel stone to really go after a chain which has seen barbed wire, rock or something else in a tree, I rarely see half a dozen sparks come off in a 5-10 second grinding pass. If you need a really heavy grinding due to major damage, its best to work around the chain in several light cuts, a few seconds at a time on each tooth, allowing it to cool as you work around the chain. But generally, you should never do a heavy 'grind' on a tooth where you have a steady stream of sparks and spend a long time on one tooth - the way one might grind on a big piece of steel, or a weld. Those little teeth an thin edges heat up really fast!
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I get log lengths delivered. I seem to use one chain for most of it, so maybe 5 cords.
    PapaDave likes this.
  19. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    I had an incredibly dirty load of logs last year, and was cutting in the winter, so they were frozen also. I would only get a few cuts in on some logs and would have to switch saws to keep going. When the second dulled, stop and sharpen them both.

    Switched to semi-chisel chain and got a few more cuts out of it, but it was the worst I had seen in a long time.

    If it had been warm out, I think I would have power washed each log before cutting....
  20. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    Dirty rounds, and the loss of temper of the cutter sounds like the issue your having. I can't comment on pro or cons of grinding, but hand filing works well. A steady hand, level strokes at a consistent angle on each cutter is the secret. The guide on the file makes it real easy. I can do the chain in 5 to 10 minutes. This year I've bucked 4, 26 inch oaks on the same chain. Maybe 2 or 3 touchups. I sharpen when the saw doesn't rip though with no handle pressure, or the RPM's come up or the chips are becoming sawdust.
  21. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    use chisel chain fo goodness sakes no depth gauging etc keep it outta dirt n ground learn to do this religiously chisel is square filed no round files no reg round edge wheels for sharpening this is how fasssst cutting is done .. in the pro world... the rest of its homeowner crap.. To grind by machine You wuill need a machine from a machine shop Line of tools and Norton Conical Grinding media expensive shiet no doubt..
  22. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Sorry your opinion I disagree with quite adamantly. Might want to take a look at a brand new chisel chain from any mfg, unless specifically ordered as Square ground they are not. Plus the resharpening instructions on package are not for Sq either. By the way I am a pro and due not use SQ. I also sharpen some 2000+ chains a year. My opinion SQ don't cut it in frozen wood, Total removal of depth gauges puts undue strain on your chainsaw. I would never recommend sq ground for saws under 60cc. They have their place in the softwoods. Likely no one here is in a race either just want to get er done in the most expedient fashion safely.
  23. tom dee

    tom dee Member

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    I bought rolls years ago while outta the country so i wouldnt be stuck gen i dont cut lotsa frozen try n be dione fore thee freeze myself but as a pro you cut when paid or called so what works for ya is best of course.. yep most my old stuff is the over 60 i do have a peeko pico new fangled thingy kinda cute the daughters like its lt weight lotta plastic like a new dirt bike . there are mfgrs that now make the pico stuff useable and fast even some long bars . im on acreage of hardwoods never really done any pulpwood work lotta that round these parts and in Ga areas though .
  24. Giles

    Giles Member

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    I have sharpened many chains by hand and with my Oregon 511A. There is no way to tell someone how long a chain will cut before re-sharpening.
    The greatest problem with the chains we buy today, is that they are not made from hardened steel. If they were, we could not sharpen them with a file.
    I have even tried carbide tipped chains and for me--they are a joke! I just wish I could find a chain that must be ground for sharpening, but hardened steel will chip more easily.
    I consider that todays chains last pretty good with all this considered
    .
  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    ^^^^^^^^ This. I change the chain when it is throwing saw dust instead of chips. However, if I were changing the chain every 8 rounds I would be crying. I go through quite a few trees before changing out a chain. Several truckloads of wood at that.

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