Chainsaws : Sharpening
How to do-it-yourself instructional on sharpening a chainsaw by hand using files and checking raker height using a straight-edge and a feeler-gauge. Discusses use of Dremel power rotary tool in shop environment. Shows use of chain file guide for proper angle on cutting edge and filing back a damaged chisel-point to restore a good cutting edge. Today on Repairs101: I'm going to show you how to throw a quick edge on your saw using nothing but a couple of files -- the way you do it out in the bush. One of the keys to getting your chain sharpened correctly is getting the chain tension right so I'd ask you to please look at my other film "Chainsaws: Correct Chain Tension" before you watch this one, set up your chain tension first and then watch what follows. You're going to need is a work surface. If you're at home / shop throw it up on your workbench. If you're in the bush find a comfortable work station like the deck of your truck, tailgate, a log, stump or whatever. Some guys don't mind using the hood of their truck. I should talk about that there are all kinds of timesaving devices like this Dremel with rotary stone and they are going to make light work out of it. And all kinds of jigs -- little ones that you lay on the top, all kinds of table-top jigs you can use to hold your rotary tool in place. I'll give you that that's a lot easier than doing it by hand but if you're out in the bush, that's not going to be an option. If you're a weekend saw user a rat-tail file, a flat file, a file holder, a file guide. That's pretty much it. It'd all fit in your pocket although I don't recommend you carry that stuff in your pocket -- especially if you're in the woods working with saws. You don't want to be carrying stuff like that around on you. You're going to need a rat-tail file the same size as your chain -- in this case it's 7/32. I encourage to use a new file. I understand trying to save $ but you've got to pick your battles. Try cleaning it on a "file card", it looks like a brush for cats but it's for cleaning files. They're not that expensive and for the aggravation it's going to cost you: just chuck it and get a new one. This file guide fits in your tool bag carry it around if you're out in the bush it's not too much to carry. It does give you a really accurate idea of what angles to cut. If I've chosen the 30 degree angle what I want to do is line up that score line on the guide with the bar and it's giving me a basis for a 30 degree angle. Down the line to the next one's offset at 35. The tip of this chisel here has been blunted obviously hit something hard -- a rock, a nail, a piece of chain link fence. The solution is to clean it up to where the tooth is basically restored. It's going to be considerably shorter if you get rid of the damaged point but to have one tooth that's a different length isn't going to affect your performance or straightness of your cuts. Once you've got 3 or 4 teeth that are cut back and different lengths from other teeth then you're going to have it start to pull to one side. Once you've got 3, 4, 5 teeth that are shot, it's time to get a new chain. In the meantime take your file and push it back like this. This tooth that was damaged I've cut back to shorten it. Other side and then look at the rakers. Take a straight edge lay it across from the crest of one tooth to the crest of the same tooth in front of it that being every other tooth is an opposite. Lay that out then you've got this height here of this raker. I'm setting up from chisel tip to chisel tip and able to measure the height of that raker. Now I'm holding a 20 thou feeler gauge and I can't get it in. 20 thou is only 2/100 of an inch. 2/100 of an inch of an inch not a lot of room so I would say we need to cut down these rakers. So I'm just going to take down the tip of the raker with my flat file. I'll do one from the other side. Again: point to point. Feeler gauge can't get it in there. I cannot feel a 1/2 mm or 20 thou. I'm just going to take it down . You're probably thinking "how come he says yea yea and he's still using a dirty old flat file. Well: you're right. I got a brand new one right here. OK I've used it once. There you go 20 thou or 1/2 mm. I'm not suggesting that you take a feeler gauge into the bush I'm just showing you how you would confirm that you had 1/2 mm or 20 thou depth on your rakers to make sure the depth of your cut is right. You don't want to be too aggressive, you wouldn't want a 1 mm bight you're just going to be pulling in too much, overworking the engine, the chain, things are going to get heated up, you're going to consume oil. It's just not going to be a good scene all in all. Check your angles and check your depths. This is why these guides exist and after you've used them for a few years you start leaving them behind and just doing everything by eye then checking afterwards. I check afterwards, if I'm out on a couple of teeth I buff them up. I tweak the angle on them and I'm done.