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Hand Filing - Free-hand

rfwoody

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this is sort of a spin-off from a conversation in another thread of mine.

Trying to learn to hand-file (round) "free hand".

Below are photos of my "chips" from my latest attempt at hand-filing my ms461 w/25" bar

It isn't 100% "sawdust" ... and there are some *bigger* chips, but not the way it is supposed to look.

hand_filing_25inch_bar_chips_examples_1_20190118_155527.jpg

hand_filing_25inch_bar_chips_examples_2_20190118_155546.jpg

Note the wide variation in chip sizes...is this a clear indication that some teeth are sharper than others?

.... or does it have anything to do with teeth being all different sizes (Buckin Billy said same tooth size didn't matter at all).

The depth gauges/rakers should definitely be low enough.
-- I used the single tooth Husqvarna type filing gauge followed by the Oregon "saddle" type (spans 2 teeth with depth gauge sticking through slot in center) just to make sure.

Do these chips give you enough information to diagnose any specific errors I'm making in my filing?

thanks for looking and commenting.
 

Skwerl2

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From what I can see of the chain, that's about what mine looks like when I've hit dirt or something and stop to sharpen it. Looks like you need about 3-4 more good strokes on each tooth.
 

SeanKroll

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I showed my ground-man the 4x's zoom. He was astonished.

I can spot a not sharp chain from far away. I think in part because I had really good eyesight and bright Nevada sun to learn by.


From the blurry picture, I'd guess every front-working corner is bent down.

Round-top, aka chipper chain, aka micro-chisel is way more forgiving.




Side plate pictures?



13/64" or 3/16" round file?
Raker/ depth gauge offset spec?


Make sure you are using sharp files!
 

Skwerl2

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I'll also offer one more small tidbit told to me by an old timer 30+ years ago-
When you stroke the chain tooth with the file, use long straight strokes. Like you're beating off, consistency gets the job done. You don't play it like a fiddle.

I've seen some guys file and it's amazing the saw can even cut when they are done. Hands and file flailing all around like he's conducting an orchestra or something. Focus on consistent repetition in the exact same plane on each and every tooth.
 

Nutball

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I do find there can be a difference between wood chip quality depending on the kind of wood you cut. Some may naturally end up powdery or inconsistent, but in general will be rectangular. I remember worrying about how I wasn't ever getting my chain sharp enough as a beginner when chainsaw manuals stated and showed that a sharp chain will produce short noodles, and I'd never get noodles, just rectangle chips. Only a few woods will produce good cross cut noodle chips.

Looks like oak in your pic? Oak splits easy, the chips could be getting split up on the way out of the cut. Chip thickness looks good, but as the chips get thinner from the depth gauges not being low enough, you will get more powdery chips. I think different sizes of teeth will cut at different depths relative to each other even if a depth gauge guide sets the cut depth equal on each tooth. You can get away just fine with uneven teeth, but it can eventually give you problems.
 

Altissimus

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I'll also offer one more small tidbit told to me by an old timer 30+ years ago-
When you stroke the chain tooth with the file, use long straight strokes. Like you're beating off, consistency gets the job done. You don't play it like a fiddle.

I've seen some guys file and it's amazing the saw can even cut when they are done. Hands and file flailing all around like he's conducting an orchestra or something. Focus on consistent repetition in the exact same plane on each and every tooth.
.... hehehehe Classic. The local Husky dealer and experienced Logger (now gone) who helped me greatly when I was learning always said with a sharp chain the weight of the saw itself should drop the saw into the cut quite nicely. If you are forcing the saw at all you are dull.
 

squisher

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And that is why dull saws are dangerous. As soon as you are pushing towards the spinning chain, it's time to rethink and revisit things.
 

Skwerl2

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Be offended if you like. All I know is that it made an impression and I remembered it. 30 years of hand filing and I think of it every single time I file a chain. It helped me become a better filer.
 

cory

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I wipe the file clean, or do a half rotation after 1 stroke and then wipe it clean, to avoid grinding the filings, I think it makes the file last longer and cut better.
 

cory

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And totally unnecessary with today's files.
Possibly true because the 'teeth' on the file are set into a spiral, so rotating the file could serve to straighten out the cutting action instead of keeping it rotated
 

Steve Mack

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I'll also offer one more small tidbit told to me by an old timer 30+ years ago-
When you stroke the chain tooth with the file, use long straight strokes. Focus on consistent repetition in the exact same plane on each and every tooth.
I've been hand filing for a bit over 30 years now, nobody told me how to do it but that's what I figured out.

And I don't care what anybody says, you can't file a chain properly with one hand, (sorry Holmen) not in this line of work anyway.

Edit. And I use a small brass brush to clean the file, works well, just did two I hit metal with on Friday.
 

stig

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Because the grooves on the files ran straight back then, that was how we did it.
 

SeanKroll

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I was taught to spin, as the advice hadn't changed when files did. I never understood the spin, so I quit, and just filed sharp. Now I know why it worked.

If you're using a non symmetrical file handle or guide, it's easy to get dull spots. You need to change the 'side' of the file that is cutting, periodically.

Files bouncing around with files will wear them all.
Straws are one option for a file sleeve.


I bang the tip of the file in the bar to shake out fillings, and backwards-wipe files.



I xan keep a chain sharp with one hand.
Rocked chains get started with an old file our grinder. Then a touch up with a round file. My grinder is cheap, but way better than employees filing forever.
 
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