To Harry K: Re My Chain Saw Questions

Hi,
Thanks for answering my chainsaw questions; appreciate it. Brand new user with this, and Poulan manual is really poor.
Might I also ask, please:
a. What is this depth gage you refer to ?
The manual has a small diag with an arrow to "something" on the chain which is called a "depth gage". I thought it was something that is part of the chain that "also" rides in the bar groove ?
How is it used ?
Or, is there a separate tool that was supposed to come with the unit, called a depth gage ?
b. How is the chain turned over to use the other sides that you mention. Aren't all the cutters up, as they are now ? Is the chain reversable, somehow ?
Thanks again, Bob
--------------------------- In addition to draining the gas, give the saw a good cleaning. Remove all covers, remove the chain and bar, clean the bar grooves using the depth gauge that should have come with the saw, blow out the chips/crud, clean the air filter..
When putting the chain back on, turn the bar over to even out wear, either sharpen the chain or have it sharpened. That gets it ready for use in the spring. Just add fuel/oil mix and go.
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The "depth gauge" (also called raker) limits how much wood the cutting portion of the saw chain cutter can cut - or how deep it can cut into the wood. You use a "depth gauge tool" to see if the depth gauges on the chain are filed down to the correct height for the specific chain you are using. ..025 is a common setting, but check the specifications for the specific chain you are using.
So the "depth gauge" on the chain cutter might be .025" lower than the cutting head (the part you sharpen with a round file), and this would allow the cutting part to cut a .025" slice of wood.
When you sharpen a chain, it lowers the cutting head. If you don't also adjust the depth gauges (by filing them with a flat file) after several sharpenings, the chain will not cut very well.
So, if you file the depth gauges too little or not at all, the chain will not cut well. If you file them too much, the chain may become dangerous and more prone to kickback. And this would depend on if you were cutting softwood, hardwood, and/or wood which is frozen.
You can get depth gauge tools at chainsaw dealers, usually those which also sell professional chainsaws, but these tools are not always available at department or discount stores.
Here is a link to an excellent book on the subject. It is free and on-line... Oregon Maintenance and Safety Manual... http://www.oregonchain.com/tech/manual_maint.htm
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Robert11 wrote:

Bill did a good explanation of filing depth gauges. They are the little vertical things that stick up between each cutter.
The tool is a very cheap looking (and costing) u-shaped piece of mettal. You lay it across the cutters, the depth gauge sticks up in a slot and you file until the file doesn't take off any more metal. The side pieces of the 'U' are a nice fit into the bar groove. Just slide it along the groove a couple of times. You will be surprised at how much gunk comes out.
You don't turn the chain over, just the bar. I do it every time I remove the chain for whatever reason and for sure every few filings if it hasn't been done for awhile.
You should get a chain file guide. 90% of chainsaw problems are due to dull chain. It only takes a few minutes to file one once you learn the procedure. Guides range from a simple file holder with a couple of angles stamped into it that set set the depth for you up to ones that adjust all the angles and hold them while you file the entire chain. That is what I use. A good source of tools, chains and general chainsaw equipment is
http://www.baileysonline.com
If you file on the bench, you can file both sides of the chain using the same hand. Stupid as it sounds it does work. Just mount the saw upside down in the vise. Stand next to the powerhead to file one side, stand at the tip facing the power head for the other side.
Harry K
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