Ch-ch-ch-chainsaw!!!!! chain question...

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Red Devil TN, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'll admit, I'm cheap. At what point should I change the chain on my chainsaw? I'm down to about the last 1/4 (maybe a tad less) of the cutter - (they look like little nubs compared to a new chain), but it won't hold an edge now.

    I'll sharpen it, it'll make about five to seven cuts through some small 4" clean logs and then it'll start having fits, it will either go from big chips right to sawdust and smoke and get hot, or from big chips to half n' half f chips and dust. Is the blade used up? Or has the cumulative effect of free hand sharpening come to bite me in my rear?

    I'll be the first to admit, I've used this thing HARD since about Feb., though I never had problems sharpening or having it hold an edge. I've gone through about 8-10 gallons of fuel on this chainsaw so far. Some of the stuff wasn't clean, and I did hit ground on occasion. I had bought a chainsaw before this one in Jan that didn't last out the month clearing this place out.

    Allright, I'm going to stop babbling now...
     
  2. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    ohio
    I keep 3 chains, one newly sharpened on the saw, one sharp and ready to go, the other just off the saw and needing to be sharpened.
    This way you can sharpen when you have time, not when you are in the middle of working.
    You said you are cheap, how much is your time cutting worth to you, I would think more than a couple of chains.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Did you also file down the 'riders'? That is the stand off spaces that are located between the links. Place you chain next to a straightedge item drawn tight, are the teeth not touching the straightedge but yet the riders are?
     
  4. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Good call!! I hadn't even though of that. I didn't break out the mics, but using a straitedge, they look awfully close. I'm sure with the heat the gap would close.

    Never had to file those down. Flat file perpendicular to the blade good? There really isn't much life left to the blade, but I'd like to get every last little bit. ;)
     
  5. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can't be too cheap because what your doing to the motor, clutch and bar is going to cost you a lot more in the long run that a 10.00 chain. Like Moopus says I would get some information on sharpening and study up. Baileys sells a 6.00 gauge that will help you sharpen the teeth and the raker's
     
  6. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Never had a problem sharpening them, I have the files, some guages, jigs etc. I just have never run into this problem, nor really filed down the cutters this far, but from what I've found online, I should be able to keep sharpening until the cutters are practically gone? Is this wrong?
     
  7. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sawing should be easy. In that if pretty much of the weight of the saw is not doing the cutting then soemthing would be wrong. When mine get to about 1/3 of the tooth left I pitch them or maybe sharpen them for a pinch blade. bars,clutches and motors get expensive. Chains are cheap.
    I believe that the going gauge for rakers is about 20 thousands lower than the top of the teeth. about the thickness of a dime or less. All in all I guess its whats really the cheapest way out.
     
  8. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    like Moopups said, you have to file down the riders (i have always called them rakers. They should be lower than the cutting edge of the tooth. Somewhere between a sixteenth and an eighth of an inch. Use a flat file. Wear a leather glove so you can grab the chain and protect the cutting edge of the tooth from being hit by the flat file without cutting yourself or filing a notch into your fingers.
    File all the rakers down conservatively and try to see how the saw is performing before cutting them down further. If you file them down too far, they teeth will try to take too large of a bite into the wood and the chain will either stop or the teeth will jump off the wood and the thing will Chatter and jump around.
    If the chain is cutting well and it is not stressing the engine, I see no problem with using a chain until the teeth begin to actually come off. Sharp little teeth and properly filed down rakers will cut wood every bit as well as big new teeth.
     
  9. VA Backwoodsman

    VA Backwoodsman Active Member

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    Virginia
    You didn't mention if you are using a low kickback chain or not. A homeowners grade saw usually comes with lawyer approved low kickback chain. a pro-grade saw comes with "full comp" or chain that only has cutters and rakers. the safety chain has spacer teeth that won't let the cutter bite much. you could be below this level with a much sharpened chain. The rakes should be .025 to .030 below the cutters edge, anything more makes bigger chips but can slow down the saw to the point of overheating it. just my .02 worth.