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Author Topic: Bar and chain  (Read 896 times)

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Offline Rob30

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Bar and chain
« on: October 28, 2017, 06:03:49 pm »
How often do you do major maintenance to a bar and chain?  I use a hand file to sharpen when my chain is dull. It works good most of the time. However my saw is cutting arcs now to the left. Not sure if I take the chain to get professionaly sharpened if that will fix it. I filed my bar which helped a little.

Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 06:49:43 pm »
After a while the grove in the bar becomes warn out too they have devices that will close the bar back to specs, or just replace the bar. It all depends how much time you want to invest into it. How often do you flip your bar over when you cut ?
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Offline PNWRusty

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 07:39:24 pm »
How often do you do major maintenance to a bar and chain?  I use a hand file to sharpen when my chain is dull. It works good most of the time. However my saw is cutting arcs now to the left. Not sure if I take the chain to get professionaly sharpened if that will fix it. I filed my bar which helped a little.

Major maintenance, only every 20-40 cords. And it's best to not wait until your chain is dull before sharpening it. I just give it two or three light swipes with a round file every couple of hours. In dirty wood maybe every half hour of actual cutting. But I avoid dirty wood whenever I can.

You can fix the curved cutting by identifying where you went wrong and bringing it back into balance with your round file.  To do this you will need to carefully inspect the angles you cut and compare them (left cutters vs. right cutters). Then, once you know where you went wrong you can compensate next time you sharpen to avoid creating the same mistake all over.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 09:35:42 pm »
Mine will do that if I hit a rock or wire on one side of the chain and not the other. 

Quickest check is to put a new chain on.  If it is still arcing, it's in the bar.  If not, a good grind on the chain should fix the issue.
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline Rob30

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 10:45:25 pm »
Never thought about changing chains to verify if it is the chain. I did notice the left side has shorter knives,  so I started filin g the right side a couple extra strokes each time. I flip the bar everyone I have it off. No schedule. But I will have to start. I am running 1 saws a husky 455 and a 51.

Offline Jesper Jepsen

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 01:56:00 am »
If your tooths aren't the same length the chain will pull to the side with the short tooth. It happens mostly because we all have a side that is our favorite side when filing and even if you take the same amount of strokes one side cuts a bit more that the other and the you have the problem over time. The solution is to find the shortest tooth and file all the others down to match.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 07:41:08 am »
I don't want anyone to do what I do.  :D Disclaimer. I am no expert.
I have been running a chain saw for more than 30 years. Firewood,claiming back grown up pastures. I cut wood on my land for 3 years selling logs to sawmills,had white pine over 3 feet across was a normal tree.
Cutting trees in the grown up pasture,trees was cut low,lots and lots of filing the chain. Than when the dirt settles down around the stumps,I had to go back and recut the stumps again.
My saws,I have 2 a 372 Husky and a small efco,gets used ALOT. I mix the highest grade of gas that I can get at my local gas station 4 gallons at a time.
I can hold onto the rear handle of either saw and it will draw itself into the wood. Must be doing something right. I don't cut much hardwood.probably white maple is the hardest I cut. I try to leave the red oak for sawlogs.
I have never once had any problems with the bar causing cutting problems. I do not flip the bar probably when I should. I do not dress the bar.
I do not use the raker gauge when I take down the rakers,I just guess at it.
When the saw does start to cut at an angle,I put the motor on the right side and I take  2-3 swipes with the file on that side and that will get it cutting straight again.
I am not one of these guys that have to cut 10 cords of wood a day either. I cut what ever I cut in a day.
All the above may sound like.That will never work or help. But it works for me.  ;D
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Offline Grandpa

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 11:25:41 am »
I file the chain with a file guide every tank of gas. The chain is never allowed to get dull. Dull chain is hard on operators,saws, and really hard on bars.

The bar is dressed and flipped every time I put on a new chain.

I look at it this way, the best accessory for a chain is a well tuned powerhead, not the other way around.

Cutting crooked is a chain problem one way or another. If your bar is worn crooked it is because of an improperly filed chain.

Just my opinion. Good luck.

Offline Wood Shed

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 12:03:05 pm »
I am mostly in agreement with of the comments so far.  The best thing I ever did for my chain and bar was to get a 2 in 1 Filing Guide from my Stihl dealer.  Now as I file the cutters I am also filing the depth gauge.  Makes my chains last longer and every aspect more efficient .
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 09:35:50 am »
I am mostly in agreement with of the comments so far.  The best thing I ever did for my chain and bar was to get a 2 in 1 Filing Guide from my Stihl dealer.  Now as I file the cutters I am also filing the depth gauge.  Makes my chains last longer and every aspect more efficient .
Wood Shed, is that a John Deere R in your avator? I was thinking a D but there's no air cleaner stack and the front end is too long.
We had both tractors on our Saskatchewan farm back in the 1960's early 70's, nothing beats the sound of those big twins.

Yes the Stihl 2 in 1 guide is good, probably the best on the market. I file free hand but since starting a sharpening business I bought a 2 in 1 just to help straighten up other people's attempts on sharpening their chains.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 12:42:47 pm »
   Certainly no expert but I flip the bar every time I change chains (or try to remember to do so). I am no good with a file and use the Dremel tool type sharpeners with the angle guide built in. Otherwise since I am right handed I cut one side too much and get the arc described earlier. With these 12V sharpeners I am pretty consistent in grinding and get good straight cuts.

   I have used Oregon, TSC and Sthil sharpeners. All are pretty good. Sthil makes you use their threaded stones and the switch is on the cord requiring 2 hand operation to turn it on or off. I prefer the other 2 so I can use stones from any source and they have the switch on the sharpener so you can use and turn it on and off with one hand.

   These sharpeners have alligator clamps that hook to your 12V ATV, truck or mill battery for sharpening on site/in the field which is more convenient than the big shop sharpeners.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 02:06:24 pm »
How often do you do major maintenance to a bar and chain?
I try to keep up, so that there is no 'major' maintenance; flip the bar each time it is removed; file or replace the chain(s) in the field when dull; clean the saw(s) at the end of each day, and clean / check for burrs / wear / etc. on the bar.

Some of this depends on how you use your saw(s).

I periodically do 'major' maintenance on bars and chains when I get some used ones, or work on some others' saws. I sharpen with a grinder at home, so that keeps the cutters 'evened up'.  Some hand filed chains need this periodically.

Philbert

Offline Wood Shed

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2017, 02:34:16 pm »
HolmeTree,

That tractor in my avatar is a 70 gas standard.  I like the two cylinder standard tractors and have four other models.  John deere two cylinders I grew up with were all tricycle (narrow) front tractors. 
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2017, 06:48:02 pm »
HolmeTree,

That tractor in my avatar is a 70 gas standard.  I like the two cylinder standard tractors and have four other models.  John deere two cylindders I grew up with were all tricycle (narrow) front tractors.
Wood Shed, your 70 looks to be in show room condition.
My Dad taught me how to flywheel start our old AR when I was 10. Something you never forget , like learning to ride a bicycle. My favorite was the newer D we had, great for on the breaking plow or running the belt on the buzz saw.
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2017, 07:15:51 pm »
How often do you do major maintenance to a bar and chain?
I try to keep up, so that there is no 'major' maintenance; flip the bar each time it is removed; file or replace the chain(s) in the field when dull; clean the saw(s) at the end of each day, and clean / check for burrs / wear / etc. on the bar.

Some of this depends on how you use your saw(s).

I periodically do 'major' maintenance on bars and chains when I get some used ones, or work on some others' saws. I sharpen with a grinder at home, so that keeps the cutters 'evened up'.  Some hand filed chains need this periodically.

Philbert
I've always filed my chains free hand until I started recently in the business of sharpening others who attempt to file or use a dremil.
Most times people have a dull file and get too much back slope in their cutters sideplates. Or they use a dremil and go way too deep in the gullet.
So I find the Stihl 2 in 1 guide helps me not have to fight with those crazy angles.
If their chain is badly rocked out or cutting edges are too hard from a Dremil I take my cordless 4.5 angle grinder and gently bring the cutters back to good, then finish off with the round file.
Only grinder I've ever used on a chain.
 

  

 
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Canadiana

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2017, 08:15:15 pm »
Good test for uniform bar wear: Remove it and set it on a flat surface so it balances in the same position as an upright saw. If it won't balance. It's done. People have told me they've ground/filed theirs back into balance but i haven't seen it done, seems like machinist work. If it will balance, the tilt or the gaps between the flat surface and bar will show you the amount of wear and location. Keep em oily. Keep flipping em over. Keep filing em.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2017, 08:57:02 pm »
That comment on a JD A can not compare to rolling over a JD 70 standard .That big boy is 412.5 cubic inches and did not come with petcocks although they can be installed .Without same you need to have arms of a gorilla . 6.125 inch  bore,7 inch stroke .I have a standard tricycle front  all fuel,1954

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2017, 09:58:00 pm »
That comment on a JD A can not compare to rolling over a JD 70 standard .That big boy is 412.5 cubic inches and did not come with petcocks although they can be installed .Without same you need to have arms of a gorilla . 6.125 inch  bore,7 inch stroke .I have a standard tricycle front  all fuel,1954
Actually the AR at 321 cubic inches was a substantial engine for a 10 year old boy to turn over by hand, yes I used its petcocks. 
But didn't take me long to get onto our D . That old monster at 501 cubic inches with the bigger flywheel was a breeze to turn....both brass petcocks hissing with raw gasoline.
 The old D we had was a newer model with electric starter but like a old school Harley Davidson rider this farm kid still preferred to turn that flywheel by hand.

BTW there's a JD AR at Barrett Jackson's auction priced at $27,500.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2017, 10:32:40 pm »
I mentioned earlier the birthplace of John Deere was Ohio. My mistake I miss read Iowa as Ohio.
John Deere originated in Waterloo Iowa
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2017, 06:28:10 am »
While on the subject just as a reference the JD model R they did the Nebraska test on resides near LaFayette Ohio .How it got there I have no idea .

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 09:33:09 am »
I think we had one of the earlier R. Dad took it back to the dealer it's diesel engine was giving problems.
Thanks to Google today I find the earlier crankshaft mains in the block had to be upgraded.
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2017, 11:13:02 am »
Sorry everyone I have to derail this thread one very last time.
While we're on the subject of old John Deere gas tractors ( BTW John Deere is a major player with Stihl Inc. )

I found this comical 7 minute video of a good ole girl from Kansas named Christy "Lone Eagle" McCormick hand starting her 501 cubic inch John Deere D tractor.
She is a commercial airline pilot with over 3000 hours under her belt.
Watch this whole short video, it's priceless entertainment.  :)

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Offline John Mc

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Re: Bar and chain
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2017, 07:20:34 pm »
Good test for uniform bar wear: Remove it and set it on a flat surface so it balances in the same position as an upright saw. If it won't balance. It's done. People have told me they've ground/filed theirs back into balance but i haven't seen it done, seems like machinist work. If it will balance, the tilt or the gaps between the flat surface and bar will show you the amount of wear and location. Keep em oily. Keep flipping em over. Keep filing em.

Actually, it's pretty simple to deburr a bar and true up the rails. I've seen it done on a belt sander with a table to rest the bar on to keep it square with the belt. A less expensive tool is a "Bar Rail Dresser": Just a file and a holder that keep the file square to the bar (or flush with the side if you rotate it 90˚). Just a few swipes and you can true up the rails and another few to deburr the sides. Here's a link to a search on Amazon for Chainsaw Bar Rail Dresser

I thought mine was sold by Pferd, but in looking at the pictures on Amazon, it looks identical to the one sold under the Husqvarna name. It works well. However, there is a limit to how many times you can do this. Eventually you take enough off the rails that the drive links bottom out in the grooves.
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