New grinder!

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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
So I got tired of spending all day fixing funny angles and uneven teeth with my Granberg, and got myself an Oregon 520 grinder.

So far I've sharpened one old rocked out stumping chain three times (really ruined it the second time too), and learned some good stuff about what dumb stuff not to do with the grinder.

This is part review, part request for advice, and part educational materials for other new guys, I guess!

Things I don't like so far:

The included light sucks (fixed).

The chain clamp is really dicey at clamping .050 chain (I haven't tried any .043 yet but I have to imagine it's worse). I've cammed it over so hard that I screwed up my grind angle and still not got a good bite. I also trashed a chain when it slid forward after I thought it was clamped. (Will definitely need to modify this, but it sorta works for now if you're careful).

Even when it gets a good bite, the chain clamp allows the tooth being ground to rock away from the grinding wheel, requiring the operator to hold the tooth with a screwdriver to keep it flat during grinding. That's not too hard to do, but it seems pretty damn cheesy for a $300 tool.

There is enough slop in the frame that you can get a serious difference in cut depth on two teeth with the same depth stop setting. I am getting much better at this (light touch!), but the instinct is to press down to grind...

Things I do like: Everything else! It's fast and... well, in theory anyway, consistent once you get it set up for the chain you're grinding.

I did need to break out the soldering iron because the brightest light bulb I could find at home depot that would actually fit in there had some weird base that I've never heard of before (a threaded one smaller than candleabra). It was worth it though, that sucker is bright!

So wish me luck, I am moving on from my stumping chain (RIP) to actual sharp chains.

What do y'all think of your grinders? Any tips?


Image7131262847225908210.jpg
Drilled out old bulb holder

Image1961350139843296020.jpg
Reinstalled upside down

Image8983822184748774471.jpg
IT'S BRIGHT
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,086
Western Washington
Awesome! If you buy one at madsens they offer to show you how to operate them. I’m sure you will get it figured out. On my chisel bit grinder, I pull the chain back against the holder as I adjust it forward into the stone. The light doesn’t necessarily need to be bright as much as it needs the correct angle to make a shadow of the corner on the stone. Keep us updated, I would really like to buy one of the smaller huskies but would have to learn how to use one of those round grinders
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Awesome! If you buy one at madsens they offer to show you how to operate them. I’m sure you will get it figured out. On my chisel bit grinder, I pull the chain back against the holder as I adjust it forward into the stone. The light doesn’t necessarily need to be bright as much as it needs the correct angle to make a shadow of the corner on the stone. Keep us updated, I would really like to buy one of the smaller huskies but would have to learn how to use one of those round grinders

I'm sure it's simpler! It's only one cut per tooth to sharpen it, plus another run for the rakers, same as square cut. And then maybe an optional one to clean the gullets.

Most of the learning curve is due to questionable design and build quality on the tool so far. (And yeah yeah, a poor workman blames the tool, but 1) I AM a poor grinder and 2) the tool DOES have issues. ;lol )

Once I build up my skills and do a couple small mods it will be a fine grinder.

The next victims are out of the ultrasonic cleaner!

Image2924498884715015235.jpg
 
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Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,288
Northern IL
I bolted my grinder (el cheapo), to a 3/16 plate of steel and welded a square tube to that. Clamp the tube in a vice and it eliminated much of the body flex.
For me, my consistancy was key to repeatable results (i.e....same clamp pressure on chain, same speed of grinder stroke, etc).
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I haven't had a ton of time to play with it, but I've ground some chains and resurrected some seriously jacked ones for my neighbor. It's been fun and educational so far. (Also as a result of this, I learned that I have been lowering my rakers wrong for 30+ years...)

(Here's a before shot of one of the neighbor's chains...)


) 20210222_222104.jpg
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Oh my. Looks like you could run it backwards for best results

He might as well, some of the rakers are higher than the cutters and some of them are .075 lower. He 'adjusts' the rakers with a bench grinder. He must have a seat belt installed on his saw!

In his defense, someone seems to have sold him all Vanguard chain, and that stuff has miserable rakers on it.

I am thinking about building an angle grinder jig for quickly getting all that nonsense ground off of his chains if he keeps bringing them to me....
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
He might as well, some of the rakers are higher than the cutters and some of them are .075 lower. He 'adjusts' the rakers with a bench grinder. He must have a seat belt installed on his saw!

In his defense, someone seems to have sold him all Vanguard chain, and that stuff has miserable rakers on it.

I am thinking about building an angle grinder jig for quickly getting all that nonsense ground off of his chains if he keeps bringing them to me....
Have you seen an angle grinder jig for such a purpose? I'd like to see a picture or video of one, I have a handful of vanguard chains that are in rough shape.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Have you seen an angle grinder jig for such a purpose? I'd like to see a picture or video of one, I have a handful of vanguard chains that are in rough shape.

No but I am going to play with it after work tonight.

The raker looks like a big flat thing from the top, but it's L-shaped. I think if you hit it from the side and ground the horizontal off, you'd be left with a vertical that would look a lot like a regular raker (and more importantly, it would then be adjustable like a regular raker).

Thinking about that jig, if we orient the wheel vertically, depth is not critical (but still needs to be adjustable for wheel wear), and you need a raised track to slide the chain through. If it's oriented horizontally, we need a depth stop that adjusts for wheel wear (think this sounds a lot easier to put together).

Cutoff wheel on a chopsaw? Tablesaw? A dremel jig? (would take all night to do a chain..) Calls for some experimentation!
 

JimBear

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2017
666
Iowa
I haven't had a ton of time to play with it, but I've ground some chains and resurrected some seriously jacked ones for my neighbor. It's been fun and educational so far. (Also as a result of this, I learned that I have been lowering my rakers wrong for 30+ years...)

(Here's a before shot of one of the neighbor's chains...)


) View attachment 275447
I’m not sure that thing would cut warm butter.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
No but I am going to play with it after work tonight.

The raker looks like a big flat thing from the top, but it's L-shaped. I think if you hit it from the side and ground the horizontal off, you'd be left with a vertical that would look a lot like a regular raker (and more importantly, it would then be adjustable like a regular raker).

Thinking about that jig, if we orient the wheel vertically, depth is not critical (but still needs to be adjustable for wheel wear), and you need a raised track to slide the chain through. If it's oriented horizontally, we need a depth stop that adjusts for wheel wear (think this sounds a lot easier to put together).

Cutoff wheel on a chopsaw? Tablesaw? A dremel jig? (would take all night to do a chain..) Calls for some experimentation!
I started to grind the horizontal off, just as you describe, freehand with the angle grinder, last time I messed with them.

Then I set them aside and bought a shorter bar and some Carlton chains to go with it. I have enough of the vanguard chain for the longer bar that I want to try to figure out something.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,311
Downeast Maine
I started to grind the horizontal off, just as you describe, freehand with the angle grinder, last time I messed with them.

Then I set them aside and bought a shorter bar and some Carlton chains to go with it. I have enough of the vanguard chain for the longer bar that I want to try to figure out something.
I like my Carlton chain, but never heard of the vanguard. Apparently it's easy to make your own loops if you have the tools.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I like my Carlton chain, but never heard of the vanguard. Apparently it's easy to make your own loops if you have the tools.

The vanguard chain is just an ill conceived safety chain with rakers that are way more steel than necessary, and too much work to file away. My guess is that some genius figured most people will just throw them out and get a new one rather than hassle with it. They come as standard equipment on many new saws.

The tools you need for diy loops are a file, vice, ball peen hammer, and right sized punch. You also need the master link parts. All the other fancy stuff is not necessary. Nice if you are doing many of them, but not necessary for the occasional one. Dad used to do it all the time.

The economics of making your own is far superior, per loop. Problem is, I'd never go through a spool in my lifetime.
 
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,555
Northern Canada
I haven't had a ton of time to play with it, but I've ground some chains and resurrected some seriously jacked ones for my neighbor. It's been fun and educational so far. (Also as a result of this, I learned that I have been lowering my rakers wrong for 30+ years...)

(Here's a before shot of one of the neighbor's chains...)


) View attachment 275447
I got a shinny newish 455 husky in a pile of dead saws.
Had a tag on it from the shop where i bought the pile,it read sharpen chain engine not running well.
I striped it down and pulled the muffler,the piston was scored.I had a 460 shortblock so i installed that.
Then i decided to look at the chain It looked worse than the picture above.The saw had fine sawdust packed in all the pieces i took off.
I am sure the chain killed the saw.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I worked out what I'm going to do for the Vanguard chains.... I just need a m10-1.5x75 bolt. That's the size that goes into the handle holes on my angle grinder, and 75mm is the right length to go through a 2x4, over the grind guard, and into the grinder. Set the grinder flat on the workbench, bolt it to a 2x4 vertical (which I already have there for holding up a shelf).

Now set the chain on a 0.150" surface (such as a clipboard with a sheet of .030 stainless, which both happened to be hanging around the workbench area), and you can slide the raker right in there under a 1/4" grinding wheel and not worry about a thing. I think it's going to work real nice, and I have a big roll of cheap 0.10" aluminum flashing if I need to add or subtract a little thickness.


20210227_200006.jpg
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,044
Woolwich nj
I have a harbor freight grinder that I have had for 3 years now. I had to screw it to a .75 inch pice of plywood and take a jig saw and cut out towards the front to make operation and manipulation easier. I got the majority of the flex out. It does a good job. There are some quirks to the not very expensive ones but overall it will sharpen a chain well. I need to screw the plywood to the bench to work on the chains and when I'm done it gets screwed to the wall of the shed for storage. The key Is not to take alot off of the.chain at once, I move the chin forward and slowly and lightly work the wheel up and down and do a nice edge. Most time if your chain is popping up it's because your taking to much off and rubbing to hard. With how bad the chain looks in the picture I would make 3 or 4 passes on the loop taking a little more off at each pass intill I get the chain back to how it should be.. Taking alot off in one shot is bad for the wheel and the chain.. heat is your enemy..
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Death to Vanguard!

(@Easy Livin’ 3000 , here is a picture of the "jig", I ended up just bolting an angle grinder to a 2x4, going into the handle mount on the angle grinder. Stack up some sheet metal until your chain is at the right height, slide it under.)

20210228_140259.jpg

Slide 'em under

20210228_140350.jpg

Enjoy your new chain! This worked out well.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Death to Vanguard!

(@Easy Livin’ 3000 , here is a picture of the "jig", I ended up just bolting an angle grinder to a 2x4, going into the handle mount on the angle grinder. Stack up some sheet metal until your chain is at the right height, slide it under.)

View attachment 275527

Slide 'em under

View attachment 275528

Enjoy your new chain! This worked out well.
That is an excellent solution. Elegantly simple, I'd have never thought of it. I'd either have tried to do it all by hand, or come up with some rube goldberg idea that would have been too complicated to follow through with, or wouldn't have worked well even if I built it.

Thanks for both pictures and the description, even down to the bolt size. I'll give it a try.
 
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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
That is an excellent solution. Elegantly simple, I'd have never thought of it. I'd either have tried to do it all by hand, or come up with some rube goldberg idea that would have been too complicated to follow through with, or wouldn't have worked well even if I built it.

Thanks for both pictures and the description, even down to the bolt size. I'll give it a try.

Well, the bolt should be whatever size screws into the handle holes on your grinder.

I switched from a grinding wheel to a diamond cutoff wheel, and it goes much faster and doesn't heat up the chain even close to as much. Diamond cutoffs are cheap now, too.

I just de-vanguarded 2 chains in about a quarter of the time that I did the first one.

A cheap roll of aluminum flashing is usually 0.010", good for small height adjustments.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,311
Downeast Maine
Well, the bolt should be whatever size screws into the handle holes on your grinder.

I switched from a grinding wheel to a diamond cutoff wheel, and it goes much faster and doesn't heat up the chain even close to as much. Diamond cutoffs are cheap now, too.

I just de-vanguarded 2 chains in about a quarter of the time that I did the first one.

A cheap roll of aluminum flashing is usually 0.010", good for small height adjustments.
I cut up soda cans when I need metal shims, usually more available than flashing.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,385
Ottawa, ON
I am trying to follow/understand @jetsam s idea but having hard time . Please forgive my ignorance.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,555
Northern Canada
What are you using to get them all to the same height?
Do you have a stop or....
Thanks