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Author Topic: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test  (Read 16361 times)

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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #280 on: October 10, 2017, 10:25:15 pm »
Put alot of wood on the ground for 2 customers today, with the MS261 and 550XP.
I got the 550XP converted over to a 13 inch b/c that I modified from a old 15" Homelite bar. Running  a loop of Stihl 33TS low profile chisel 3/8" on it.
It cuts like a light saber in the small spruce and amazing to handle.
 The bar is over 40 years old and the chain is 30.

You have to remember when these felled spruce are laying on the ground the trunks are up in the air at knee level, which makes the 13 inch b/c work really well for limbing and bucking.
 

  

  

  

 

Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline ButchC

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #281 on: October 11, 2017, 09:50:44 am »
Back in the 70s-80s McCulloch also had small chassis full chisel, short cutter 3/8 chain similar to that 33TS. It was factory issue chain on saws like the Pro Mac 610 and 650 and of course available where they sold the saws. I wasnt enough into saws at that time to know any part numbers or who made it but I do remember distinctly when it was no longer available  and their was some talk of patent infringements at the saw shop? That chain sharpened with a 3/16 or 5/32? file and was VERY fast in the cut.  This chain is not to be confused with their mini 3/8  saw chain that sharpened with a  file the size of a needle, I think 1/8?  When McCulloch chain was no longer available my saw shop switched to a regular full sized Oregon chain it slowed my old PM 650 down considerably and I hated it. I bought quite a few PM 610 and 650 saws at farm sales just to get the McCulloch chains off of them. If they ran I refitted Oregon chains and sold them,if not they went in the heap of back of the shop.  Yes I had a lot of money in those chains but back in the day we didnt have the Internet to make us smart from reading threads like this ;) and we went with what we knew worked well.
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #282 on: October 11, 2017, 12:09:05 pm »
Excellent post Butch.
The Stihl 33-35 Topic Super and Oregon 76-77 LG takes a 3/16" file. The smaller Stihl 60 series Picco and Oregon 91 series take a 5/32" file.

Every sawchain and chainsaw company back in the 1970's tried to out do each other with patents.
But Oregon on numerous attempts to patent the 90 series and then the 76 series ended up suing everybody . Kind of like the big neighborhood bully.

The whole idea of making these smaller 3/8" chains was to save money in the manufacturing process....fewer pieces to make a foot of chain.

Starting back in the early 1960's when cheaper low powered consumer saws became poplar, the saw companies needed a small chain to enable these saws to cut efficiently.
So born was the 1/4"-.250 chain. But with so many more smaller pieces per foot it wasn't economical.
Thus in the early 1970's  the Oregon 91 series was invented (patent law suits as another company invented it too, bigger company wins out).
 91 series was a extended 1/4" pitch cutter bit on a 3/8" chassis. But the extra small links needed a slightly larger sprocket which changed the pitch slightly . Only 91 series bar nose and drive sprockets were a match.

The 76 series and Topic Super 3/8 chisels were basically a extended .325 pitch cutter bit on a 3/8" pitch chassis. These chains were compatible to be run on a standard 3/8" pitch sprockets.

Back in the 1970's the timbersport competitors figured out to make a fast race chain you can put full size 3/8" chisel bit cutters on the smaller 76LG chassis.
Like in this pic.
 

 
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #283 on: October 11, 2017, 12:34:44 pm »
How did you cut down the bar.

That would be a good thread to start.

Thanks
Jon
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #284 on: October 11, 2017, 12:53:09 pm »
How did you cut down the bar.

That would be a good thread to start.

Thanks
Jon
Jon, I'd like to start a post on it but later this winter in my off season. Still lots of cutting to do yet.

I got about about 10 of these old Homelite bars some up to 20".
As you can see they have a skinny little tail that I easily cut off and shaped with a side grinder thin disc.
Even cut the rail slot out with the grinder disc as I shaped the tail to fit the Husqvarna small mount.
The Homelite mount slot is the same size as the 550's which was easy to go by when extending the slot further ahead.
You can do alot in a short time with a bench vise, power tools and a file.

 

  

 
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #285 on: October 12, 2017, 11:10:58 am »
Here's a few pics I saved on the 13" bar build.
As first pic shows bar tail has to match a standard 3/8" 7 tooth small 7 spline rim sprocket.
Two tail pieces are cut off with side grinder. Tail is  marked for shaping, then shaped with a 6" diameter green stone on a bench grinder.
Then finished smoothing hardened rails with a fine oil stone. Still lots of factory hardened rail surface left as it's a 1/4" deep from the rail surface.
One more hole was drilled at end of marked slot to finish cutting with cut off wheel.
2 blind oil holes were then drilled along with 2 adjuster pin holes.

Last pic shows thickness of side grinder cut off disc is .052". Perfect for cutting the depth of the .050 rail groove on the new tail.

 

  

 
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #286 on: October 12, 2017, 12:20:24 pm »

Amazing, I never would have thought of cutting a chainsaw bar down.
Thanks, your posts are always interesting.

Jon
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Jon, Appalachian American Wannabe. ... and it looks like my dream will come true!

Offline Maine372

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #287 on: October 12, 2017, 01:47:35 pm »
what can you tell us about the roller nose bar tip?

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #288 on: October 12, 2017, 04:20:53 pm »
what can you tell us about the roller nose bar tip?
That 2 7/8" roller nose attached to the sprocket nose tip was a little modification I did so I could run either .404 or 3/8 chain on my Alaskan mill.

That bar was a 36" .404 12 tooth sprocket nose bar that originally came on my Stihl 090AV when I bought it new 25 years ago.
No fancy machinist tools needed, just a side grinder, bench grinder and a drill press. :)
 

  

 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #289 on: October 12, 2017, 08:01:53 pm »
I have an Efco 152,about 50cc with an 18 inch bar. Bury the bar and it does not like it. I agree with the short bar. Short chains and bars cost less too.  ;D  But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #290 on: October 12, 2017, 08:51:06 pm »
But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.

Which is why the big box stores always put ridiculously large bars on their cheap saws - it makes them look like something they are not.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Maine372

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #291 on: October 13, 2017, 06:57:29 am »
not to hijack the thread, but why did the roller nose fall out of style? are they still available anywhere? wouldn't there be an issue with smaller limbs getting in that little gap and derailing the chain?

Offline ButchC

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #292 on: October 13, 2017, 07:32:13 am »
But the bigger bar makes the saw look more powerful.

Which is why the big box stores always put ridiculously large bars on their cheap saws - it makes them look like something they are not.


And many people know little more about a saw than how long the bar is,,,

 My father in law was astonished that I have over $1000 in a "20 inch" saw when he only paid $150 for his 18" saw,,,  Mine is a 461 Stihl, his is a Wild Thing,,,
Peterson JP swing mill
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Many chainsaws, axes, hatchets,mauls,
Antique tractors and engines, machine shop,wife, dog,,,,,that's about it.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #293 on: October 13, 2017, 11:51:44 am »
not to hijack the thread, but why did the roller nose fall out of style? are they still available anywhere? wouldn't there be an issue with smaller limbs getting in that little gap and derailing the chain?
Maine372,
Windsor introduced the Speed Tip replaceable sprocket nose bar in 1971.  After that those old rollers went out of production.
Their weakness was not so much the problem of twigs  getting into the gap and derailing the chain. Main problem was the nose to bar joint was weak  and the rollers broke off easily.
Very hard to find them today, I have 6 Oregon 2 7/8" rollers, a couple still brand new in their paper envelops.
Here's 4 of them hanging on my wall. Longest is a 5 footer with helper handle, next one up is my 36" milling bar. Last 2 above are competition bars for my Yamaha bike saw.
 

 
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Offline Maine372

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #294 on: October 13, 2017, 10:02:23 pm »
I think they are really neat, thank you for sharing.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #295 on: October 13, 2017, 10:35:48 pm »
I think they are really neat, thank you for sharing.
Your welcome buddy,
It's Friday night, starting to snow outside and I'm motivated to get my chainsaw shop organized for the winter off season.

Tree work business is winding down for the year, and I decided to get into the chainsaw repair and sharpening business for my 5 month winter off season.
I still got to do the 550XP vs MS261C power bucking test. That might have  to happen in February when I'm doing the Northern Manitoba Trappers Festival Logger Sports.

This is what I have on my bench tonight trying to organize  :D
 

 
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Offline JJinAK

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #296 on: October 17, 2017, 06:44:05 pm »
HolmanTree- what is the vice looking thing in the lower right of your pic?  Is that a chain breaker?
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Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Official MS261CM vs 550XP test
« Reply #297 on: Yesterday at 03:32:50 pm »
JJ, that's a chain spinner . Use that to make up loops of chain. The yellow thing behind and to the right of it is a Stihl bench mount chain breaker. Best breaker I've ever owned.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.