Chainsaw Sharpening Basics For D I Y Women

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Faye Fox, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    There is a lot of online info and videos with more details, but I want to address some common mistakes that an occasional user may make. If you hit a nail, rock, or whatever that skins the chrome off the cutting teeth, you must file the worse damaged tooth first and back to where no damage shows. The angle must be kept close to what is marked on the file guide. All other teeth, even if not damaged as much, must be filed back to the same size. If badly damaged a new chain might be easier. If a gas saw, it is easier to do a touch up every gas tank fill. If no damage, 3 strikes per tooth doesn't take long but keeps your saw performing as it should. If a battery, I recommend touch up sharpening every 2 charges. If nothing is ever hit, touch up sharpening will be all that is ever necessary. When you chain gets dull, it gets hot and starts to get loose. If you continue cutting, this can cause bar wear and be a hazard. Be sure your chain is getting oiled. I won't address taking off the bar cover and cleaning, etc., because so many different styles of mounting. I love my little Stihl because it has a rotary tightener instead of bolts and nuts and a thumb wheel tension adjustment. I would refer to your manual on how to loosen bar just a bit then tighten chain so bottom on guides or at top of the bar when pulled up tightly. See photo. Most saws have a flat blade screw adjust for this, some a hex head bolt. Once adjusted,.then tighten the bar cover with proper wrench or hex key. When you stop to sharpen, check the chain tension by pulling up. It should be a bit looser because it is warm, but not way loose or super tight. Note sharpening angle marked on the guide and other hand fingers holding that angle. Remember to keep guide flat and not rock up and down. I have a bar holder clamp I made, but to keep things simple a 2X4 block works just fine for holding bar from moving around. Note photo of how to safely move chain forward. Lift off 2X4 block slightly and put one hand on top of bar on the last sharpened tooth and other hand on the bottom a bit up from the saw and rotate forward to you favorite sharpening position. I always wear gloves and love my Stihl stretch gloves because they are light, but very tough and come in women sizes.
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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, Faye. That may solve a puzzle. One time I sent off a chain to be sharpened and it came back with about half the length of the teeth filed off. I wondered why he filed off that much. I bet I hit a rock with it and badly damaged a few of the teeth.
     
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  3. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Nancy Hart Having a pro shop sharpen a damaged chain, especially if from a long bar, is the way to go and generally cheaper than a new chain. They have the power rotary grinders and it doesn't take that long. When I was building my log cabin, sawing lumber (Alaskan chainsaw mill), and cutting a lot of firewood, I had 4 chains for each for both of my main saws. When one was damaged beyond a routine touch up sharpening, I would change chains and when I was on my last chain, go to town and take damaged chains into the pro shop.
     
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  4. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Good know. I just looked it up and there is a Stihl Dealer just 2 miles from my house as the crow flies, who will sharpen chains. :) I've collected several chains over the years. Ha! They also do repairs. I've got 2 almost identical Echo Saws. One quit running long ago and I've been cannibalizing the parts for the other one. Maybe I'll take the old one in and see if it can be revived.

    When we first got our goats, my mother and I cut a couple of roads through the woods for the utility vehicle to run on. It was a lot of fun. I would cut, and she would help toss the trees limbs out of the way. Not as much sawing recently. In my spare time ( :rolleyes: ) I should clear those roads again.
     
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  5. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    My husband's hobby was cutting down trees. He claimed it was for firewood or he was going to make stuff, which he did, but his greatest joy was just to cut down big trees.
     
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  6. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    You should try it Bess. It is a rush to get one down safely and fell it right where you want it. My favorite was sawing lumber with my Alaskan chainsaw mill. It is all behind me now. Cutting up wind fall branches is all I can do. I was reading in a country magazine where it is becoming a thing for the guys to cut the tree and skid it in and the gals to run the chainsaw mill and make the lumber. Secret to cutting lumber is filing a sharper angle on teeth and cutting the rakers down and KEEPING it SHARP! I think woman don't mind taking time to touch up chain every gas fill, but men like to go until it starts cutting slower. Also once the cut is started with the log sloping a bit down, the saw carries itself and isn't that hard to do.
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Funny, but at our age (wife and I), we are much better using a computer than a chainsaw or any other "manual labor" type item. When I see programs on HGTV showing Seniors doing an inhouse demolition, then...……… When GNC stores put pictures of Seniors on their walls, again, then...…...
     
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  8. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Cody Fousnaugh Absolutely! Much easier to use computer than a chainsaw. Up until last year I did more shop work and chainsaw work than computer. I decided time to hang up my D ring belt and stop climbing trees. If the branches hit the ground, then they will meet their fate, but should they defy a wind storm and stay high in the tree, then they win and earn their right to drop more leaves for me to rake.
     
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  9. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Actually, when I was younger, I tried (note the word "tried") two different jobs that I started in the AM and quit before noon. One was installing fence. After using a posthole digger a few times, I told the guy I was working with, "that's it, gotta go back to the office!". "Why?" he asked. I said "I quit!". The other was helping a friend do drywall. I could barely lift the sheets of drywall up, let alone, hold and hammer nails in. This was before air-gun/hammers were around. Just a regular hammer and a few nails in my mouth.

    I spent my entire high school years splitting tree pieces with a sludge hammer and steel wedge and doing fairly hard physical labor on the farm. In the Navy, not as much labor in the rate I chose, but was some. After the Navy, got into warehousing and FINALLY went into Purchasing and Inventory Management where I had my own office/computer/phone. I absolutely loved the office work and it paid fairly good.

    I have built things, like a book case, small dresser, dog house...….but there are things I love to do much more.
     
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  10. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Helicopter tree line trimming

     
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  11. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Nancy Hart I have seen this on the trees farms! It is amazing and also the machines that cut the trees. If you want to know how to sharpen those blades, I can't help you ha ha ha!

     
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  12. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    @Cody Fousnaugh Well, I thought you were a ranch hand, a real cowboy that branded, castrated, and built fence. Fence building with post hole diggers or manual steel post driver would be a no no for me now with my shoulders, but I built miles of it that way in my time. Now it is all done with machines. Only office job I have ever had was as a social worker and only about an hour a day was in the office for paper work and the rest was out on job sites finding employers to take on released prisoners that wanted to work and start a new beginning. I got the job because I had to help train the prisoners on the job for a couple of weeks. I knew enough to help them get started learning farming, ranching, or construction. The employers didn't want to start from scratch. After two years, the state wanted me to be full time office and let the employers do all the training. They gave the employers a break for doing it. I was unhappy after the first week in the office, attending meetings, endless piles of papers to fill out, and all the work place politics. I was offered a job by a bridge construction company. I was back in the great outdoors and happy! I did some office style work when I was a broadcast engineer at radio stations. Most was hands on maintenance and repairs. Filling out all the logs for the FCC wasn't that fun, but necessary. I have always loved the outdoors and hard work, but now that is limited to daily walks and yard work. I need to find some small logs and get my little saw back to work.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  13. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    I once had a job working for a tv station and two radio stations filling out FCC reports and ASCAP and
    BMI reports and some other mickey mouse paper work. That was in addition to my full time job with
    Texas Electric Service Company, a class A, electrical utility Company.
     
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  14. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, but I'm a bit of a girly girl. I wouldn't do anything to mess up my nails or get a hand splinter. :D
     
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  15. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Very Well-Known Member
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    That is why they make tough gloves for chainsaw women. We can have nice nails and no splinters.
     
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