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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Post

    With the recent ice storm (we call it that, at least) coating trees with 1/2 to one inch of ice, I have many downed trees on my property and need to do some saw work. My chainsaw is dull, although the chain is only a few months old, and I was wondering what the best way to sharpen it is. I would rather not buy the Dremel set if it requires buying the whole Dremel set up also.
    I also have a limb or bow saw that I picked up cheap at an estate sale. It is a nice, old-fashioned, well-constructed tool, but it starts to bind up once I get about an inch deep into the wood. It looks to be straight and unwarped and feels decently sharp. Any suggestions?
    Hope the rest of y'all don't get such a storm as this one that paralyzed the city for almost 3 days!
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    You can pick up a file and guide at any
    farm supply and touch the cutters quickly
    and easily. Every now and then have it
    sharpened at a shop. Don't forget to file
    the rakers down a bit if it doesn't get a
    good bite.

    On the bow (Swede saw) they to suffer if the
    teeth are not set. Usually you can get new
    blades for most of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    I have always just filed them by hand, as Sundance says. The files (with a guide) are available at all farm and hardware stores.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    I file chainsaws by hand, no guide, just a file. I like to put the saw in a bench vice when I can, otherwise I saw a 2" slot in a stump or something to put the bar in to hold it steady. Been doing it for almost 40 years. If you're not adept at it, it wouldn't hurt to get it professionally sharpened once in a while. Then you can touch it up when it needs it until it starts to cut sideways. I've tried various jigs over the years but never found one I was really happy with.

    As Sundance says, the bow saw needs to have it's teeth set. It's hard to do well by hand, but you can do this with a pair of plier if you are really careful. I usually use a small hammer and a straightedge to get it right.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Don't forget to file your bar edge as well.
    You want to keep a mild outward chamfer. Also
    turn the bar over every so often to help the
    bar wear evenly. I check my oiler every time
    I cut by revving the saw up with the tip pointed
    at a fresh log end (about a foot away). You
    should see a nice splatter pattern that indicates
    your oiler is doing it's job. Most decent saws
    have adjustable oilers.

    I have a spare chain with me always. You never
    know when you encounter some dirt, nails, or
    something else that will dull your chain in
    a hurry, its nice to have a good sharp one at
    the ready.

    As George said, a slot in a stump makes for a
    nice field saw vice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    The Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    297

    Post

    You need to be able to sharpen your own chainsaw. I use a Pferd chainsharp guide to file the cutters and depth gauges at once.

    http://store.baileys-online.com/cgi-....x=0&image.y=0

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    West Newton, Pa.
    Posts
    915

    Post

    After using various manual chain saw sharpeners for years I finally broke down and bought an electric chain saw sharpener from Harbor Freight. Model #93213-7VGA is on sale right now for $39.99. I had numerous (about 30) old dull chains laying around for my saw after cutting cords and cords of wood over the years. It typically costs me $3.00 to $4.00 to get a chain sharpened and when one went dull I normally didn't have the time to wait a few days to get one sharpened so I would just buy another one.

    Once I bought the electric sharpener it took me about 30 to 40 minutes to get the angles and depth of cut adjusted correctly. Now I can properly and quickly sharpen a chain when it gets dull. Takes me about 5-6 minutes to get every tooth on my chain to the perfect depth and angle required to make short work on any wood cutting job.

    I figured that since I saved $3.00 to $4.00 in chain sharpening charges for the 30 or so chains that I have, I've already re-couped the cost of the electric sharpener and all the chains are always ready to use whenever I need them.
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Post

    Thanks for all the good responses. Now it is just a matter of whether my lazy side (get the Harbor Freight kit) or my cheap side (get the file) wins out. Unfortunately, the Pferd doesn't fit my saw.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Madisonville, Texas
    Posts
    438

    Post

    I have a 18" pouland. The thing I don't like about it, it has leaked chain-saw oil ever sense I got it.
    ;) Good Day Craig W.<br /><a href=\"http://www.weaversproduce.mysite.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.weaversproduce.mysite.com</a>

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    &gt;Now it is just a matter of whether my lazy side (get the Harbor Freight kit) or my cheap side (get the file) wins out.

    Eh. Get `em both. Seems like every time I discover my saw needs sharpening I'm out in the woods, having just hit a rock, nail, or piece of barbed wire embedded in a tree. Having a file handy and knowing how to use it saves a trip back to the shop.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Post

    Craig, that is interesting. Mine is a Poulan also, and it has leaked oil ever since I got it (used). Must be a seal?
    George, I think I may have to do as you suggest and get both; the frustration of having a dull chain while far away from the house would be aggravating and I would just as soon have the file, too.
    I did manage to sharpen the thing with a Dremel kit that I attached to my drill; it did an okay job, but now the engine is hard to start and dies unless I keep it throttled up. Better clean the filters, I suppose.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    &gt;it has leaked oil ever since I got it (used). Must be a seal?

    They all leak oil, at least all mine have, some more than others. My current saw (a Husky 264) also leaks gas. This is not really a problem for me and I've never bothered to figure out why it's leaking, or getting it fixed. Most of my equipment leaks something [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Madisonville, Texas
    Posts
    438

    Post

    As long as your hives don't leak honey.
    ;) Good Day Craig W.<br /><a href=\"http://www.weaversproduce.mysite.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.weaversproduce.mysite.com</a>

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Hah! They gotta make honey first [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Dulcius ex asperis

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    " Having a file handy and knowing how to use it saves a trip back to the shop."

    George is right on, hand filing should be a
    Chain Saw 101 requirement.

    I run the following.

    Jonsered 70E: A fantastic saw that has never
    let me down since 1978. A workhorse.

    2 Sachs Dolmars: One mid size, and one little
    feller for limbing. Great German made saws
    that are now being badged as Makita. They
    can be had for a lot less than Stihl and are
    every bit as good.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    West Newton, Pa.
    Posts
    915

    Post

    &gt;it has leaked oil ever since I got it (used). Must be a seal?

    They all leak oil, at least all mine have, some more than others. My current saw (a Husky 264) also leaks gas. This is not really a problem for me and I've never bothered to figure out why it's leaking, or getting it fixed. Most of my equipment leaks something
    I've found that if I hang my Poulan chain saw vertically (by the hole in ths blade, just behind the front bearing) with the motor hanging down, it won't leak a drop of oil. I discovered this years ago when I hung a saw up in the rafters of my garage just to get it out of my way. Haven't had any of them leak since I started doing this. And yes, they've all leaked if set on the floor.
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,574

    Post

    If anyone has vintage chainsaws they'd like to get rid of let me know. 1950's-1960's.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Madisonville, Texas
    Posts
    438

    Post

    Carbide,
    good idea. I have left mine in the carrying case it came with and oil leaked all over the instruction manual, my rags. I will try your idea.
    ;) Good Day Craig W.<br /><a href=\"http://www.weaversproduce.mysite.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.weaversproduce.mysite.com</a>

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Post

    If you haven't ever sharpened by hand you would be better off going the harbor freight route. Nothing is worse than an improperly sharpend chainsaw. Signs that you are sharpening it wrong are: Saw cuts circles instead of straight through log. Saw has to be pushed through wood and the wood chips are small dust like. A person who hand files properly will never have to take a chain to a shop and have the knives re-shaped. Also; if you havent ever sharpend your own saw Do Not file down the rakers!!! If you take too much off it will ruin the chain. You can use the saw this way, but it will be digging too deep and may break the crank shaft or shear the codder pin.
    My saw is a stihl 021. I changed the bar out for a 16" and always have my chains custom made without the "kirf cleaners" that comes with pre-made safety chain. My last saw was a husquavarna farm boss, but I had alot of trouble with it so I switched to stihl. Its run great for 12 years and I cut probably 4 cord of wood with it per year as well as alot of random items while doing cut outs.

    [size="1"][ January 30, 2007, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: bluegrass ][/size]
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    "Do Not file down the rakers!!!"

    If you don't at some point the cutters will
    get too low and you just won't cut. You have
    to file them down. Most file guide include a
    simple template that insures the rakers do not
    get too low.

    Here's a good explanation of saw sharpening
    from Backwoods Mag. It really is simple...

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/brewer57.html

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