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Side drift while cutting

Post in 'The Gear' started by pybyr, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Adamant, VT 05640
    My Husq. 346 XP has developed a notable and irritating tendency, especially in thick logs, to drift rightward in an arc as it cuts, instead of cutting straight. It's a real pain and then I end up with angled logs that are much more likely to slip sideways in the splitter.

    This started about the time that two things occurred, and they occurred at about the same time:

    1) I hit a piece of quartz protruding out of the ground and that I didn't know was under a log that I was cutting; I pulled back on the saw as soon as I detected it, the teeth actually didn't look too worse for wear (considering) and I have sharpened the chain thoroughly several times since

    2) the worm gear that drives the bar oiler stripped and I didn't detect it until I'd run a full saw-tank full of gas that way doing some pretty intense (hurried) cutting in some dense yellow birch. When I refueled and I saw a full oiler tank and empty fuel tank I put the saw down, used another, got the parts (including a new oiler pump), and now the oiler works better than even when the saw was new.

    I just bought a new chain, because I think at least part of what's going on is that hitting the quartz must've affected the chain more than I can detect or than I can actually clean up via filing.

    What I am wondering is- could that fuel-tank's worth of running with an un-oiled bar and chain have wallowed out the guide groove in the bar in a way that is part of the side drift when cutting?

    I guess that cutting with the new chain will tell me a lot, but I've never really worn a bar out to date, so don't even know what to look for to gauge when it is time for a new bar.

    Thanks!

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  2. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Remove the bar/chain,look over the bar carefully.Most likely its worn unevenly.Clamp it in a vise & true it up using a sharp mill bastard file.The drive links on chain should fit snugly but be easy to move.Any slop can be caused by excessive wear/inadequate oiling.Bar will need replaced if its severe then.

    Every few weeks depending on how much cutting I do the bar gets removed,any burrs removed,the grooves cleaned,sprocket nose greased & bar is 'flipped' to even out any future wear.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    How hot did that bar get?
  4. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    The bar got hot enough running with the failed oiler that it cooked the paint off the edge of the bar where the cutting surface of the chain was riding; I was working in November in snow and in a hurry so I didn't notice it as quickly as I ordinarily might have

    I routinely flip the bar to equalize wear, and take off any burrs when I do.

    Will look at whether there is uneven wear on the faces that the chain rides on/ in.

    How does one gauge whether the groove/ slot in the bar that the chain rides in has been wallowed out to an excessive degree?
  5. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    My guess would be that you will be fine with a new chain. it takes a lot of wear on one side of the bar to cut dishes, you should be able to see that. A twisted or bent bar could do that also but you should be able to see that also. Try the chain first, if it still cuts dishes change the bar. It HAS to be one of two.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Slap it back on and wiggle it if it moves side to side sloppy you got an issue .....I have got them so hot that you could not touch it more than a split second! Not good but probably still fine.:)
  7. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for all of the suggestions- examined the bar and although the main groove is fairly unmangled, the cutting faces of the bar were wallowed out concave.

    As suggested by someone previous, I draw filed the working edges of the bar so that they're flat. Noticed that some areas were much softer to file than other areas, which makes me think that the bar got hot enough to lose its temper/ hardness. So it looks like a new bar will eventually be a good idea.

    The good news is that with the trued-up bar, the chain/ saw cuts a far better, almost straight cut.

    Thanks for all the info.

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