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chain guide for newbies...

Discussion in 'Just Chains' started by sonoransaw, Jan 14, 2020 at 8:56 AM.

  1. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    I was wondering if I could get some general guidelines for chains and bars. I really don't know much about them. I currently have five bars and chains for my saws. I swap them occasionally and just go by whether I can get things to fit and work. I know that can be a crapshoot. I've heard that the drive links are different thicknesses to accommodate the bar groove (which widens as it wears). Can I just see if the chain fits fairly well and go with it? Do I need to use measuring tools to get a more accurate idea first? Do I need to read and match labels stamped on the bars and chains? I'm reading online as much as I have time for, so if I'm asking stupid questions that you think are obvious, feel free to ignore...I'll figure it out eventually...Thanks!
     
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  2. Ryan Browne

    Ryan Browne Pinnacle OPE Member

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    If it fits well in the bar groove, that's good enough for the gauge (thickness). It's pretty easy to visually distinguish between .050 and .063 once you've seen them side by side a few times. .058 is a little tougher, but I don't see much of that. Gauge of chain and bar must be the same.

    Pitch of bar, chain, and drive sprocket must be the same too. There's 4 semi common ones, 3/8loprofile, .325, 3/8, and .404. .404 is generally only on big saws, 90ccs+. Pitch is the distance between rivets, and more generally the size of the chain. Again, once you see them side by side, it's easy to see which is which. Drive sprockets are labeled.
     
  3. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Three measurements to keep an eye on. Pitch, gauge, and length.

    Pitch is the length between three rivets divided by two. Common sizes are 3/8, .325, and .404. The 3/8 low profile is a bit of a highbred of 3/8 pitch with .325 cutters on top.

    Gauge is the thickness of the drive links. .050, .058, and .063 are the common sizes. Once a bar starts to wear you can get a thicker drive in.

    Length is commonly chose in inches but counting drive links is the best way. A 20” bar can have 72 drive links and sometimes they have 70.

    Most popular chain manufacturers have a number stamped on them and you can look up which size of pitch and gauge it is.
     
  4. angelo c

    angelo c Larger Member

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    Some bathroom reading to start off with....
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. CR888

    CR888 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    ^^^read & then download the 'Carlton filing PDF' & read that too. The best way to learn the basics is too read.
     
  6. 3browns

    3browns Pinnacle OPE Member

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    This can also be your friend

    https://www.oregonproducts.com/en/part-finder

    As long as you know your pitch and gauge, etc which should be stamped or engraved on your bar near the mount holes, you can see what types of Oregon chain fit your various saws and whether the various bar mount specs interchange as well

    Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 6.25.37 AM.png
     
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  7. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    Thanks, guys....all most helpful....excited to finally get a handle on this stuff...
     
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  8. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    The chain, guide bar, and drive sprocket must work together as 'a system'. Each part must match / be compatible with the other two. Info on the guide bar is a good starting point, if it is readable. Go to each manufacturers' web site where you can download more chain information, manuals, etc.

    Chain Gauge Measuring Tools.png
    STIHL 0000 893 4105 (3).png
    STIHL 0000 893 4105

    If you are using the same chains and brands regularly, you will learn each company's numbering / ID system.

    I use these to sort chains from a number of different manufacturers.

    Phibert
     
  9. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    Thanks, Philbert....All new to me....I'll work on getting those chain guides.....Saw the Oregon one at the store but didn't know what it was for....
     
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  10. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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  11. angelo c

    angelo c Larger Member

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    HE has spoke.
     
  12. chipper1

    chipper1 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Kinda like an 84dl can be either 24 or 25 lol.
    Now that being said a different bar shape can have an effect on the dl count.
     
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  13. Chainsaw Addict

    Chainsaw Addict GO HOOSIERS

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    What saws do you use?

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
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  14. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    Nothing professional....
    Stihl ms251
    Poulan 5020av
    Poulan 4620avx
    Jonsered cs-2238
    Echo cs-310
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020 at 8:29 AM
  15. 3browns

    3browns Pinnacle OPE Member

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    You might be surprised what you can accomplish with 45-50 cc saws and a sharp chain

    That's a nice arsenal you got there
     
  16. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    Thanks, 3browns....if I can get on my game with these, I'll be ready for the pro saw when it comes along...and no doubt appreciate it more....
     
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  17. Chainsaw Addict

    Chainsaw Addict GO HOOSIERS

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    The little Oregon is easy to use. Two thumbs up.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
     
  18. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    This chain seemed to fit ok but then at the end of the bar the drive links don't fit the sprocket properly....Is this just because the various companies want you to exclusively buy their brand of components rather than interchanging?

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. dahmer

    dahmer Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Make sure bar and chain are the same pitch.
     
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  20. sonoransaw

    sonoransaw Well-Known OPE Member

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    Ok, so would one of those plastic guides Philbert posted above tell me the pitch of both chain and bar? Like the Oregon one above....would it work to check any bar or chain? Or do I have to get the different brands?
     
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