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Straightening a chain?

Post in 'The Gear' started by TradEddie, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Does anyone out there know how to "straighten" the cut of a hand sharpened chain? After a few resharpens, my chains always end up veering to the right. I try to remove metal evenly, and I can't see any differences between sides, but I can't figure out whether I need to grind less on one side or more on the other. I don't know it's a right handed/left handed thing, or if the 'second' side I sharpen gets less because I get tired. Is it the blades or depth gauge that cause this or perhaps both?

    I've tried intentionally sharpening only one side, and only filing off the depth gauge on one side, but since I'm not sure what the exact cause is, this trial and error approach is getting me nowhere.

    TE

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  2. Monosperma

    Monosperma Member

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    This (angling, veering cuts) has happened to me before, but it doesn't anymore. My best guess is that it's the teeth not being filed evenly. Do you use a jig? This Granberg has worked well for me. Follow the link and read the most detailed review ever; it is loads better than the instructions that come with the jig. If nothing else, this review will impart upon the reader just how anal-retentive one might be with regards to sharpening a chain. Attention to detail is key. The jig not only keeps your angles consistent, but if you set it up correctly (which is EVERYTHING), it will be centered which keeps your teeth even. Try to transfer the principles contained in this review to whatever jig you may be using (if you are using one). Hope this helps.

    http://www.amazon.com/Granberg-Bar-...ef=cm_cr_pr_redirect?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    At this point I would have a pro do it. This will at least give you a fair start. Without a depth gauge your completly shooting in the dark.
    TreePointer, Thistle and Nixon like this.
  4. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    I already know than I'm not being consistent, I sharpen using a dremel, by hand with the husky guide, or sometimes I completely eyeball it, the cost of a new chain doesn't make it worth my time being so very careful every time I sharpen.

    What I'm hoping someone can tell me is once I do have a crooked cutting chain, whether I need to grind down the cutter, or the rakers, and which side I need to do it.

    TE
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Well with out a depth gage anyone who tells you will be shoothing the dark. But, with knowning myself I would bet on the tooth. Honestly everything needs trued back up and a machine is the best way.
  6. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    When you start out with a new chain, Just keep the same angle & use the same number of strokes on each tooth. Practice, practice, practice, It's the only way you will ever get good at it I've sharpened so many chains by hand that I never use an angle gauge.
  7. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Try flipping the saw upside down in the vise to do the opposite side cutters so you're always using your dominate hand & see if that helps. A C
    n6crv, TreePointer and barn burner like this.
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Is your bar "true?"
  9. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

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    With the chain off the bar check the Burr that forms near the chain groove . Watch out, it can be very sharp ! If you feel the burr ...run a file along the burr until it is gone.
  10. Monosperma

    Monosperma Member

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    Sorry I can't be of any more help. I know nothing about sharpening a chain with a Dremel. I do know the guys at the local Stihl dealership, who sharpen chains for a fee, use and recommend a file, unless there is major damage such as from hitting a stone.
  11. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Good question, if the chain cuts to the right which side needs sharpening? I suspect the right side. My chains cut straight as I sharpen them, until I hit a rock. Then I can't figure out which side to sharpen. I've searched the web and get conflicting answers. I have to sharpen both sides 2-3 times to get the problem corrected.
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Hes working one side of rakes and one side of the tooth....Pretty hard to say what to do from that point, without going checking every tooth and every raker.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Only 3 things can cause a saw to cut unevenly so one or more of the following is happening. . .

    1) Your chain is filed unevenly

    2) Your chain is loose

    3) The rails on your bar are uneven
    Thistle, MasterMech and TreePointer like this.
  14. tlc1976

    tlc1976 New Member

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    I was gonna mention the bar. My Craftsman saw cut crooked when I got it. Turned out to be the way the bar was worn. I put on one of the Poulan bars I had with fewer miles and that took care of the problem.
  15. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    you can prolong this misery be only taking off the minimum amount to get a sharp chain
    unless there are other problem

    i have been aggeressive with a chain and brought it back
    but like jay said it was a shot in the dark but it has worked
    smokinj likes this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Redd's got it summed up there.

    You could take a caliper and measure the length of each cutter, once they are all the same/similar length then check each raker with the tool.
    If all that checks out then check your bar rails.

    But since you stated you don't have the patience to file perfectly I think Jay's suggestion of having a pro run it across a grinder is your best bet. Have 'em dress the bar while they're at it too.

    Have you seen the Timberline sharpener? ;)

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/timberline-chain-sharpener-reviews.92647/

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/timberline-chain-sharpener-group-buy.85628/
  17. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    It turns out it may have been uneven rails, which would explain why I couldn't see or find a difference in the teeth on either side. I turned the bar around as part of hurricane preparations, and now its cutting straight, although I don't know for sure that chain wasn't in better shape. This would explain why my trial and error approach wasn't working., each time I swap chains, I flip the bar, but recently I've only used the saw for small jobs so I was just sharpening on the bar, keeping the same chain.

    Next question, what causes uneven bar wear?

    TE
  18. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Your bar will wear unevenly through normal use. I get my bar trued once a year. I cut a lot of wood and this schedule is sufficient to preempt problems caused by uneven wear. A too loose chain speeds uneven wear as it allows the chain to lean over on one side or the other, FYI.
    Thistle likes this.
  19. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    If the chain is cutting to the right, it means that the right side is cutting more than the left. But the bar could also be to blame so check that also if you flip the bar over and it dishes to the left than the bar is the problem.

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