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Ben scott

Sharpening milling chains

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I know this is a big topic but trying to get my head around it...

i have been sharpening my chains at 10 degrees on my last set of chains using a STIHL 2 in 1 but haven’t been getting the results I’ve hoped for chains cutting dam slow and every sharpen seem to cut worse. I’ve recently gotten the 880 with a 48 inch 3/8 lo pro (as normal the chains cut like butter out of the box) and am wondering how you guys sharpen. I’ve been looking a lot into electric sharpeners as a lot of people stress the importance of a 100% accurate blade sharpening but not sure on the surface Finnish they leave. Just how sharp can an electric grinder get a chain? For example I’ve been looking at the Oregon 520-230 is that a good choice for milling? Open for suggestions and don’t mind spending a bit for a properly good sharpener. Is there ever a way of getting a chain to work perfectly like just out of the box?

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I don’t know if this makes a huge difference but I’m cutting large segments of hardwoods like oak and beech which often have conserable figure 

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1 hour ago, Ben scott said:

I know this is a big topic but trying to get my head around it...

i have been sharpening my chains at 10 degrees on my last set of chains using a STIHL 2 in 1 but haven’t been getting the results I’ve hoped for chains cutting dam slow and every sharpen seem to cut worse. I’ve recently gotten the 880 with a 48 inch 3/8 lo pro (as normal the chains cut like butter out of the box) and am wondering how you guys sharpen. I’ve been looking a lot into electric sharpeners as a lot of people stress the importance of a 100% accurate blade sharpening but not sure on the surface Finnish they leave. Just how sharp can an electric grinder get a chain? For example I’ve been looking at the Oregon 520-230 is that a good choice for milling? Open for suggestions and don’t mind spending a bit for a properly good sharpener. Is there ever a way of getting a chain to work perfectly like just out of the box?

I use an electric sharpener and get fantastic cutting performance on my ripping chains.I use GB bars with lo pro milling chains.You want to take a look at Rob D (chainsaw bars) videos.Sounds  like you are not doing the depth gauges ? 

Edited by topchippyles
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I know this is a big topic but trying to get my head around it...
i have been sharpening my chains at 10 degrees on my last set of chains using a STIHL 2 in 1 but haven’t been getting the results I’ve hoped for chains cutting dam slow and every sharpen seem to cut worse. I’ve recently gotten the 880 with a 48 inch 3/8 lo pro (as normal the chains cut like butter out of the box) and am wondering how you guys sharpen. I’ve been looking a lot into electric sharpeners as a lot of people stress the importance of a 100% accurate blade sharpening but not sure on the surface Finnish they leave. Just how sharp can an electric grinder get a chain? For example I’ve been looking at the Oregon 520-230 is that a good choice for milling? Open for suggestions and don’t mind spending a bit for a properly good sharpener. Is there ever a way of getting a chain to work perfectly like just out of the box?

In your position, I would reccomend a decent bench grinder.
Not cheap at all but worth it.
Stihl HOS if you can find one, or the stihl USG.
Plastic bench grinders are useless.
As your teeth get filed the height of the cutting edge drops.
The depth gauges must be lower than the cutters. (0.8mm for the .404 with 880)
Yiu can buy a stihl .404 depth gauge checker for a few quid. (Essential).

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6 hours ago, topchippyles said:

I use an electric sharpener and get fantastic cutting performance on my ripping chains.I use GB bars with lo pro milling chains.You want to take a look at Rob D (chainsaw bars) videos.Sounds  like you are not doing the depth gauges ? 

Have been taking the depth gages down 1mm lower than the teeth was told that fir milling it should be slightly lower then standard crosscut....

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Have been taking the depth gages down 1mm lower than the teeth was told that fir milling it should be slightly lower then standard crosscut....

That would add more strain on top of the strain of milling.
This will in turn damage the clutch and crankshaft etc.
Keeping the chain teeth and depth gauges all identical is essential for milling.
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I use something like the Oregon 520 and it’s spot on so would definitely recommend one... I was always completely against bench grinders but for milling it’s needed for no ripples on boards and straight cuts.. you will always have a dominant side hand filling no matter how good you think you are at it and this will effect the end product.. I don’t think they are slower ... in fact I know they are not as put a chain I had sharpened in a grinder against a new chain and it was faster quite considerably we thought.. trick is take your time , don’t go slamming the wheel down hard on each cutter just gently grind away , knock off burrs until it’s perfect then move on to the next one.. I have an oil pot I brush on each tooth for badly damaged stuff and just watch out for burrs! .
I wish I had brought one years ago for milling chains.

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Have been taking the depth gages down 1mm lower than the teeth was told that fir milling it should be slightly lower then standard crosscut....
1mm - bloody hell that must make it pretty snatchy and grabby, damned tough on the saw. Get and use a proper depth guage to give the most consistent height. I used to have something called a carlton file-o-plate that was supplied with my lucas mill for doing the chains. Simple as could be but spot on every time
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