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Need a primer on grinders

Discussion in 'Just Chains' started by HandLogger, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. HandLogger

    HandLogger New OPE Member

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    I found this forum as I was searching for information about chain grinders...and, once I saw the "Stolen" board, I knew I was in the right place. In other words, a forum that offers its users a chance to send a "special message" to thieves is good to go in my book.

    We manage mixed forestland in the northeast and, long story a bit shorter, we've been collecting dull saw chain for years. Other than the Oregon chain we use with our MS200Ts, the rest of the pile is Stihl brand 33 RS ( 3/8" Pitch 0.050" Gauge ) chain -- and all of it is equipped with square cutters that are round ground.

    Considering the cost of chain these days -- and the number of chains we have collected over the years -- I'm very interested in purchasing a professional grade grinder like a Silvey or a Simington. My only experience with grinders was with a Stihl grinder -- and the results weren't positive. This being the case, I'd like to ask those in the know for a basic primer on high-end professional grinders.

    First, I'd like to know if what I've been told about square ground chain is true; namely, that square grinding doesn't hold an edge nearly as long when it comes to mixed/dirty saw logs...and I'm asking because the only new pro-quality grinder that I'm aware of is the Simington 451 C -- which is a square chisel chain grinder.

    On the other hand, I've been told that the Silvey 510 is a great for round grinding, but they're no longer being manufactured, so a used machine is the only option when it comes to the 510.

    Keeping in mind the type of chain we're working with -- and the fact that our inventory is mixed (hard and soft) -- I'd like to get some thoughts on Silvey and Simington grinders. Thanks very much for your time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  2. angelo c

    angelo c Larger Member

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    Welcome aboard logger. I'll see if I can rustle up some help @Philbert .
    Square has its merits and a longer learning curve. Yes it is smoother and faster but a bit more challenging to keep its tooth.
    What model Stihl grinder were you unhappy with ( I'm interested in a USG) .
    I have a HOS (fixed angle) and love it. It may be something as simple as angles or the wheel needing to be dressed proper.

    To me, a Grinder reminds me of the phrase..."it's the Indian ...not the arrow"
     
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  3. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Square grinding is technical and fussy. Probably used by less than 1% of saw operators. There are some threads on it if you use the 'search' function. More than what can be covered in a few posts.

    Simington is the only square grinder currently made that I know of. Others are available used. Different people have different opinions on every make and model.

    I use the Oregon round grinders - often considered 'commercial grade' for use by shops. Most consider the STIHL grinders to be 'pro grade'.

    Philbert
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  4. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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  5. Duane(Pa)

    Duane(Pa) It's the chain...

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    Welcome to OPE! How many chains are we talking? How do they end up on the pile? The reason I ask, is because even a low budget round grinder can make a viable chain (in the right hands). Who is "we"? How many operators are out in the woods sawing, and do they file to touch up or just swap to a new chain? I doubt they will suddenly become efficient square filers if you decide on square ground chain. They may cut a long time trying to stretch the life of a poor chain, and that makes it harder to sharpen.

    The most durable chain for dirty wood is going to be a round ground semi chisel. RM series chain vs. the RS you are using now. Square chain has a distinct square corner and two straight cutting edges, while round (either semi chisel or full chisel) has a round profile in the cutting edge.

    If you ran into trouble setting up a round grinder to get decent results, a square grinder of almost any type is going to be at least twice as hard to dial in. Something to consider before you spend big bucks on a square grinder.
     
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  6. HandLogger

    HandLogger New OPE Member

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    Thanks for the post, Angelo. After purchasing a certain amount of Stihl equipment and accessories, we came to know a saw doctor in the dealership that allowed me to try out the shop's grinder. I never really asked him which model they had, but, after researching an image for one, I would say that the USG is what they used to sharpen chains. I only tried using their grinder a few times, but I was very unsatisfied with how the chains cut afterword.
     
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  7. HandLogger

    HandLogger New OPE Member

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    Thank you for all the help, @Philbert. I will be sure to use the links you so kindly provided as soon as I can. We got well over a foot of snow in about four hours today -- and keeping access to the mountain is almost a full time job at this time of year.

    I haven't counted the pile of used Stihl RS chains we've been saving, @Duane(Pa) , but I think that it's safe to say that we have nearly 200 of them now. When it's called for, we have a maximum of four saws running at one time. As our policy has always been to get the job done as quickly as possible, I simply supply our cutters with extra chain before they enter a given stand. Although I grew up learning how to hand file chain, I didn't keep it up...and lost the necessary patience, quite frankly. I promised myself, years ago, that I'd save all but the most rocked-out chains and, one day, I would make the investment in a really high-quality grinder to revive our chains in an efficient manner; hence, this thread. The plan is/was to practice with a good grinder, [hopefully] gain a certain level of proficiency and, eventually, to restock our chain shelf with refurbished chain. In short, I prefer the simplicity of swapping chains in the field, so hand filing isn't necessarily a primary concern for us. I've never been opposed to spending the extra money it takes to acquire high-quality tools -- we own Mafell power tools for cutting square-rule joinery into construction timbers, for example -- and this is no exception. I appreciate your post, nevertheless, and would like to ask you if square ground chain is viable for hardwoods like red and white oak? Thank you, sir.
     
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  8. concretegrazer

    concretegrazer Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Square ground can hold up well in oak. You'll just need to set your angles for durability & not miss the corner.
     
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  9. Duane(Pa)

    Duane(Pa) It's the chain...

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    Sounds like you have a good operation. Yes, like the post above says, square ground will be fine in hardwood with the proper angles. (a little steeper than what you would get away with in softwood). DW
     
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  10. Duane(Pa)

    Duane(Pa) It's the chain...

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    After a chain is ground sharp, the raker height must be re-set for the chain to cut and feed through the cut as it should. That may have been part of the problem. Just a guess...DW
     
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  11. angelo c

    angelo c Larger Member

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    Logger. If you wanna try a chain ground on the simplest of grinders...a fixed angle HOS send me a few. I'll grind ya one up and try it out. I believe that the profile of the factory stihl wheel is pretty darn good..and like $12 each. You should get 40 chains or so before having to profile the wheel. Wheels are cheaper then chains too.pm me. I have a silvey but have not mastered it well enough to suggest mine would be a great example. @concretegrazer would scare you with his square chain
     
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  12. Khntr85

    Khntr85 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    This is the reason a lot of people think Chains grinders “suck”....at a lot of dealers, they stick a guy on the grinder who has never cut a load of wood in his life....some guy shows him how to turn it on, and now he is trained....the next thing you know people are paying $6-$10 a chain and the guy is burning the teeth.....of course everyone that takes there Chains in now say, “grinders suck”, LOL......99% of my customers tell me this same story!!!!!

    There is a lot more to a chain grinder than throwing a chain on the grinder, hitting the button, and using it a chop saw.....the USG is the “best” round grinder made....I have the USG and an Oregon 520, I can get a chain to cut like a new one with either....

    It will take awhile to get used to, but you can get the Chains to cut great with practice....
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  13. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Like a lot of things, they are easy to understand on a basic level, but take some time and experience to gain knowledge and develop skill. Not a 'chop saw'!

    Wheel quality is often overlooked, especially by guys who are attracted to the less expensive 'clone' grinders. Kind of surprising how folks who understand that the chain is the most import part of the chainsaw (the part that actually does the cutting), and that quality matters, don't 'get' that the abrasive wheel is the most important part of the grinder (the part that actually does the cutting), and that (again) quality matters.

    I am not promoting the $100+ CBN wheels with that comment. But abrasive products vary with the quality of materials, and quality control of manufacture, along with specifications of abrasive type; grit size and density; type of bond (holding it together); etc.

    Philbert
     
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  14. Definitive Dave

    Definitive Dave Race Obsessed

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    watching you....stop touching that!
    Consider going in with a local dealer on a Franzen automatic grinder. Once set up you don't need to do anything but swap chains when the light comes on.
    They run about $20k from what i remember but dont call in sick, get impatient and burn a chain, etc.
    Not sure how long it took you to set aside 200 chains but if that is an annual number, you would save enough in new chains at $20 a loop to pay for the grinder outright in 6 years of use.
    They take about 6 minutes to do a 105DL loop.
    Dave
     
  15. Philbert

    Philbert Chainsaw Enthusiast

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    Actually, if you want to go 'full-auto' (they actually require a little set up with each chain), take a look at the Oregon / Markussen automatic grinders. They start at about 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost of a Franzen. Could be especially good for a crew that uses lots of similar chains (fewer set up changes).

    https://www.oregonproducts.com/medias/AutoGrinder-FilerA108143aa.pdf?context=bWFzdGVyfGRvY3VtZW50c3w2MTExMjQzfGFwcGxpY2F0aW9uL3BkZnxkb2N1bWVudHMvaDgwL2hmYS84Nzk5OTAzNDgxODg2LnBkZnwyMzE4ZWVkNzkyNTcyM2ExNzc3YzhlYjgyNWVhZDBmMjhjYjhhMDcyMWRjOWQ3ODZiMTUxYjY0NmQxYzA3MWZi&attachment=true





    http://home.markusson.se/triplematic/?lang=en

    Philbert
     
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  16. TravisJellison

    TravisJellison Well-Known OPE Member

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    Send me your chains, I'll convert them to square for $8 each... ;)
     
  17. super3

    super3 Super OPE Member

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    Mike Lee and I have been saying this for yrs and yrs. No matter the wood species.
     
  18. mdavlee

    mdavlee Hillbilly grinder

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    You tell em. I'm too horse to say it today
     
  19. Khntr85

    Khntr85 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Hello sir, I have heard guys say the same thing....I personally run semi-chisel and full-chisel depending on the situation......

    Just out of curiosity, do you think/know if a properly ground square Chain would last as long as a full-chisel chain in hardwoods.....

    I have a Oregon and Stihl USG, and I grind Chains for a few guys....I like to grind and file my personal Chains, all depends on situation.....both have their place/time to shine.... and as with anything the operator determines the Chains outcome....

    Anyway I debated getting a square grinder before, but in the end it would just be for my personal Chains....if you ask the average joe around here if they wanted a square grind, the would look at you like you were an alien, lol.....
     
  20. mdavlee

    mdavlee Hillbilly grinder

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    My experience has been as long or longer for square. The round chisel point is more fragile than the corner on a square cutter
     
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