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Trip to the dealer

Post in 'The Gear' started by firecracker_77, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Got 2 new chains and a file tonight. Have been using the same chain for several weeks without sharpening. Learned why that is a failed idea. Shouldn't happen again. :oops:

    I can dress the chain with my file everytime I go out to cut and have enough chains that every 6 months or so can drop off at the dealer for a pro-sharpening.

    Going to the dealer is like the toy store for adults. So many things I'd love to play with in there from leaf blowers to trimmers to 660s and 880s.
    MasterMech likes this.

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  2. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    LOL. Know the feelings
    I stopped by the Stihl shop, just because.

    "Left with a blower". :)
    Works great for the dry snow here to clear the deck, vehicles etc.

    Glad they sold the ms362, & hope the don't get one in. :oops:

    I put a Stihl RS chain on last Fall. I filed it several times, over 10 cord with it (estimate) & it on it's last legs.
    I just leave it on the saw, sharpen/file in the shop after each trip (3/4 cord of birch roughly) & if I hit something when cutting,
    I'll touch it up to get thru the trip. Have 2 spares in the saw tool box if I really screw up.

    I did the chain drop off for a while with semi-chisel chains. Now just file after a load or notice it needs it.
    The full chisel cuts great when sharp, not as forgiving as the semi-chisel when dull.
    I don't cut that much, 10 cord or so a year so filing is no big deal. I
    usually clean the saw & bar after each trip. Put the same chain back on & sharpen.
    20 to 30 minutes of in the shop saw maintenance for a days cutting.
    Sharp for the beginning of each trip, sometimes 2 trips if I don't hit the ground & have clean logs.
    Having it touched up by the pros would've probably been a good idea but I'm getting better a filing now
    & figured I'm saving a few bucks.

    What chain you buy ?
    If using a full chisel, a touch up now & then with a file does wonders for cutting speed ;)
    albert1029 likes this.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You mean they only stock 1? Lol, the dealer I frequent has multiples of almost every model. Trouble indeed.... :p
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Keep at it and you'll get better at sharpening than some dealers. There are lots of stories about "professional" chain sharpeners who take off too much metal, over heat the cutters, or don't touch rakers.
    Thistle, albert1029 and Fifelaker like this.
  5. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    TreePointer makes GOOD points. It is hard to overheat a chain with a file.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Did anyone else get a mental picture of that statement? ;lol
    Thistle and Fifelaker like this.
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Like "firecracker" said "Going to the dealer is like the toy store for adults."
    The "Want new saw" virus is strong this time of the year :) Want not need.
    Small shop & about 8 - 10 saws total on the shelf.

    +1
    Got the file kit when I bought the chains. Helps me get the angles right (close). I think sharper than when done on a grinder ;)
    Definitely not overheated like I'd sometimes got from the pros!
    I do knock the rakers down a bit more than the jig/guide calls for. (or maybe I don't use the guide right, but seemed to cut better after I did)
    file.jpg
    albert1029 and TreePointer like this.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    On my shorter bar, I do as well. Not a bunch but a little.
  9. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    I will need to add that file kit to my list for my next dealer visit!
  10. charly

    charly Guest

    I agree,,,,, every once and a while I'll even all my cutters up by a paint dot on one cutter and going around once zeroing my dial calipers down every time I find a shorter cutter..once around I now know the shortest cutter,, now I turn the dial to read plus .005 -.010 , that's how much will be coming off the shortest cutters,,, about up.020 from the longest cutter. Hand filing them all sure makes a chain last and takes off a lot less then a power sharpening by a shop.. I doubt they look for the shortest cutter, they just grind off a good .125 =1/8 inch and call it good.... That's 6 sharpenings they would have just taken away from me,,,,,no thanks!
  11. Fifelaker

    Fifelaker Feeling the Heat

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    Jags I know an old guy that tries to file like your mental picture. That poor file just flying in both directions funny but sad as he will not listen, so I quit trying to coach. He watched me on a couple of trees I was cutting up for him and he went out and bought a Hazzard freight grinder. He acts like he is cutting a battle ship in half.Again funny but sad for the same reasons.He just can't figure out how to sharpen a chain to save his life( Which maybe a good thing). The best was when I seen both ends of the teeth sharpend. He forgot to change angles on the grinder. The chain people and dealer love his $.
    Jags likes this.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    How much you can get away with before you actually slow down the cut depends on how much engine is turning the chain. It's a fine line to walk between maximum performance and a chain that's just a rough ride. Bar length, wood species, engine torque, sprocket diameter will all come into play.
  13. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    3 weeks ago I knocked down the rakers a little (my normal procedure after 3-4 sharpenings) before proceeding to rough out some eastern red cedar.Had been going a little "extra" the past few months when working mostly with super-hard Honey Locust.

    Imagine my surprize when that skip chain hit that MUCH softer knotty cedar! ::-) Shavings flew 10 ft over my shoulder!
  14. charly

    charly Guest

    I usually take 3 strokes off each raker on a new chain... I believe that must be lowering the rakers to around .030 below the cutters,,, verses the norm of .025.. I'll have to check sometime,,, oh and don't forget to do a single stroke on the front of the raker after filing to round off that sharp leading edge,,that allows for a smoother running raker into the wood. Interesting note,,, I found checking brand new chains with my dial calipers that the cutters vary by up to .010 .. Makes me feel good that when I sharpen I run the tolerances closer then that, usually less then.005.-.000. Makes for a nice cutting chain. Less wear and tear on everything.
  15. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I bought the file with the built-in depth gauge from that kit. They didn't have the 3 piece with the pouch like you have there. That's what I wanted although the tool I got should address the teeth, but not the rakers.
  16. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    The chain says 16", .325" long, .063" wide. Not sure how that compares to other chains. That's what he said for my set-up is best. As long as they're kept sharp with the rakers at the right height, it probably won't make a huge difference for me.
  17. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    That's good advice. I will experiment with one or two strokes on the rakers with the exposed side of that file and see if it makes a difference. I want good sized chips but not a herky jerky cut. My saw doesn't have the juice to pull too big of a bite each time anyway.
  18. charly

    charly Guest

    Jerky is more then likely uneven rakers or tooth length. Try one stroke,,, you can always take more,, you can't put it back unless you file the cutters.
  19. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Appreciate the advice. I have never really thought about chains too much until very recently. It all makes sense though.
  20. charly

    charly Guest

    Hope it helps you out,,your welcome.

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