Tools and gizmo's

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
Mar 6, 2005
Northern Ohio
Actually you can port a saw with a chainsaw file.Of course it would take a long while but still it can be done.I know because I tweeked a 2800 Poulan with a file .

Oh a die grinder ,like a Fordum gets right with it but costs a bloody fortune.They are top of the line though.

More practicle for guys like me that just dabble is a Dremel type.You can get a pretty good one for about 60-70 bucks .

This pic is some of the tools.Left to right ,tapered mill cutter made for wood but cuts aluminum like a dream.Straight cutter,high speed steel .Stone from a Dremel type chain sharpener .

The next two are both "Craytex ".These are ruberized abrasives often used to do port work on cylinder heads for race cars .The pointy one does a little better than the tubular one.They can be shaped by running them over an old grinding wheel from a bench grinder.

At the top is a little cut-off wheel.Handy as a pocket on a shirt to rid a muffler of it's baffles .


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Just a few sizes of chain files plus a couple half rounds will "get-er-done"


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A few little brushs.Handy to remove carbon etc.The soft brass won't scatch a piston .


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Buff and polish

Various polishing fobs and compound. The dark browm compound is called tripoli.Used extensively to polish or "cut" aluminum.More aggressive than the dark red rouge which is used to polish.If want it to shine like a mirror ,finish it off with "Mothers" mag wheel polish .


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Where to buy .

As you might have noticed I buy most of my goodies at MacMaster-Carr. If you buy this stuff in bulk it isn't too bad.

Those Craytex aren't bad at all ,maybe a quarter a pop.The arbors cost 4 bucks but if you don't get medevil with them they last forever .

Somehow or another I managed to misplace two Dremels and a bag full of cutters,fobs etc .I can't imagine my self being so neat and tidy how that could happen .:roll:
Al, thanks for posting this. I don't know jack-squat about porting saws. It's neat to see a little bit about how it happens. I always assumed it took some fancy machinist's equipment to get the job done.

I'm glad you're here in the House. I've learned a lot from your posts. I look forward to lernin' more!

I view porting and carb work as a "dark art" , only mastered and known to a handle full of individuals in any circle. The rest of us just know enough to screw stuff up. Fuel injection to the rescue!
Al, for those of us that use air tools, what's your view on air die grinders. I know the electric is more effective overall(powerful, no compressor wait time, etc). However I like the variability of the speed out of a pnuematic die grinder myself. So, in short, do you prefer electric or air power?

Personally, I like a balance of both. I've come to like Dremels if I am doing a long project and have good access. If I am in a tight/awkward area, I like using my right angle air die or my 120* angled head grinder. I also like their usefulness as light duty sanders.
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I've got air tools,about a Kennedy toolbox full of them . I have an air mini grinder but it is awkward for me to use it inside of a saw cylinder .All that stuff is at my shop except a right angle air wrench and an impact I keep here at the house .

Oh there are some that would like people to believe that tweeking a saw is a "black art" but it really isn't so . If you get into 15,000 rpm engines that only run several seconds at a time,that is one thing but a simple deal like this is entirely different .

My advice though if anybody wants to fiddle with a saw engine,get a junker first.Lots of time people will bless you with a non running Poulan or something just to be shed of it .In spite of the bad rap they've gotten,with a little forethought and well placed tweeks to can get them to boogey right along .
I am going to add a little to Al's thread.

For doing port work this add-on to a regular Dremel is nice. The slimmer design and flexable shaft allows you to do some good detail work on a port.

It also helps when you put a chamfer or bevel on the inside of the cylinder after you widden the outside of the port.

Takes the same bits and polishers as what Al is showing.

This adds about $30 dollars to the cost of a regular Dremel.

I have also found this little gem to be useful in tight spots if you snap the head of a bolt of due to seizing. Drill the center of the bolt and use the Dremel with an aggresive cutting bit to finish cutting out to the outer edges of the hole and then retap the hole. It has gotten me out of a few jams when Easy Outs wouldn't work.


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Some where in my pile of goodies I have a dentists drill and shaft.The 64 thousamd dollar question is what did I do with it .:?