Saw chain sharpening notes


chain depth gauges
So today it's sharpening the chainsaw or "saw chain" sharpening notes day.

I loaned a machine similar to this one in the video right at the bottom and used that as a tutorial. All photos here are mine own. This is a titan 20" petrol unit. I have an electric saw, but that is a self-sharpener, so not relevant here today. If you are in a hurry, just scroll down to the video at the bottom.

I also looked at the hand sharpening, and as in many of the videos I found a discrepancy, most people sharpen at 30° , even though when I checked, my manufacturer states 25° angle. If going by hand is your thing shows how to use a neat little hand sharpener. Once again people don't use the same angle, so  check and decide once.

However I had this tool available to me to loan, so off I went. It takes a while to get the grinding disk end-stoppers set up for your specific chain, remember your chain will also stretch over time. You can also be using this exercise to inspect your chain. You don't want a chain flying off. inspect regularly for damaged links.

clamped in a bench vise with a jig
This is a pic of me doing the second set of sharpenings on the other side. I had to modify my jig or block of wood for this opposite set of cutters, since it needs a channel for the blade to drop through now. You can see that a bit closer up here. The teeth on a china alternate, so every other tooth cuts to an opposite side to eject the swarf and satay centered in the cut. There is a rather weird moment which, when you are sharping a chain, when you notice that the chain might not have an even number of teeth, which means 2 teeth on one angle will be right next to each other.
closer up
And also showing the partial jig, with cutaway for the blade to drop through. I could not find a really big block of wood for the job, since it really needs to support the entire machine

this jig was not great, but worked fine
It took me an hour just to clean the saw, and sharpen again, but afterwards I had a few large logs and a few small logs diced up. This sawdust pile was me cutting a log in half instead of splitting it, since I just don't have the back muscles for the maul these days. I know, it means less wood, but it gets it dried.

my sawing block
I use an old Pallet which was quite sturdy when it started, but it is used as a splitting base, so it takes a lot of hammering and a beating when the splitting maul ploughs right through a log. but is also convenient when cutting large logs with the chainsaw. So long as you watch for nails!

So, here we go finishing with this clip that shows how to do it with a very similar sharpener.

I hand-filed the depth gauges by touching them each 3 strokes with a flat file, being careful to "guard" the teeth, which are pretty closeby with some thick heavy gloves, and NO you cannot adjust the raker/depth and then sharpen, the blades are not cut to work that way at all. Don't do it!.

I now have an appreciation for how blunt a blade gets when it is cutting wood that has dirt on it.