How to shorten the chain of chainsaw

Virtually every owner of suburban housing has a chainsaw available. And it’s not even necessary to speak about the inhabitants of the countryside: such an instrument is a vital necessity for them. And requires a chainsaw to his careful attitude and timely service. All service rules are clearly stated in the instructions.

Chainsaw design

Chainsaw design.

Package and terms of use

The chain of saw should include several chains (minimum - 3) plus 2 tires. After 3 hours of operation, it is recommended to turn the tire. After another 3 hours, the circuit is replaced. Such simple rules can significantly extend the life of all elements of chainsaws. And in life, we practically do not adhere to the recommendations and are guided by our ideas of expediency.

Comparative table of characteristics of chainsaws

Comparative table of characteristics of chain saws.

After a certain time of operation of the chainsaw, simply tighten the chain. And at a certain moment we notice that the tensioning system does not allow tightening the chain. The chain stretched to the limit. It is impossible to continue working with it, since the stretched chain will begin to break the drive sprocket, as a result of which tire wear will greatly increase. The chain must be shortened.

Another reason for shortening the chain is to “fit” a longer chain from another chainsaw to your tire. This is also often found, as there is a common opinion among users that better chains are made for “professional” chainsaws.

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Required tools

Manufacturers of chainsaws argue that it is impossible to shorten the chain at home, as the technology of their manufacture itself is very complex and requires high-precision equipment. Practice shows that nothing is impossible. In order to shorten the chain, you will need:

  • vice;
  • hammer;
  • file;
  • small beard;
  • pliers;
  • electric welding machine (in some cases, you can do without it).
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How to remove rivets?

The main parameters of the chainsaw chain

The main parameters of the chainsaw chain.

Chainsaw chains are difficult to disconnect. Rivets are made of quality steel and have a geometric shape that does not allow you to simply knock out the rivets from the link. The inner part of the rivet has a larger radius. At this thickening, the link rotates, and the outer parts of the rivets carry only the connecting function, therefore, it is enough to reliably fix them on the outside of the chain. The rivet is removed as follows: the chain is fixed in a vice, and the protrusion is ground off. When grinding we try not to damage the side parts of the links.

The use of the grinder is not recommended because the parts will heat up very quickly, which will lead to a change in the physical properties of the metal. It is better to use a file or file for grinding. Sewing is done on both sides of the link. And now the rivets can be knocked out of the chain with the help of a beard, slightly tilting the sides of the links.

The chain turned out to disconnect. Remove the rivet from the chain do not rush. It is possible that you can not find her a suitable replacement. Chainsaws manufacturers do not assume that an independent repair of the chain will be made, therefore they do not release such rivets to the market.

Diagram of the chainsaw prong

Diagram of the chainsaw prong device.

It is also profitable for trading organizations to sell chains in their finished form than small parts for repair. For the above reasons, it will be very difficult to find a suitable rivet with the desired geometry. It will be even harder to make it at home, so you have to use an old rivet.

As you may have guessed, the chainsaw chain will have to be disconnected twice. Do not forget to calculate at the same time that the number of guides on the inner side of the chain and the distance between these protrusions are combined with the driving star of the chainsaw. If you shorten the original chain, then this is not necessary. And if it is a chain from another model of chainsaw, then everything must be very well measured and calculated. Deviation in the chain pitch (even a small one) from the parameters set by the design will cause the chain to stretch again (at best) as soon as possible or break the chain saw sprocket. The end will come to the tire, as the driven sprocket will quickly overheat.

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Link links

If all the parameters of the chain are combined with the details of your chainsaw, then you can begin to join the links. We connect the links on the rivet, tightly pressing their sides. Riveting tabs will not work, because they are stitch flush with the links. Will have to use electric welding. The electrode for this must take the smallest diameter.

Determination of chain wear

Determination of chain wear: a - tooth wear, b - installation of an additional fixing plate on the lock link.

It is not recommended to start welding immediately, as this is a very delicate work. Practice doing this on other details first. So you at least approximately understand at what current it is necessary to cook and what time of welding to choose. And the electrode will be shorter, which will allow welding more accurately. After all, a very short period of time is enough to “grab” a rivet. After training, we perform welding of the rivet with the side parts of the link. It only remains to grind off the excess metal on both sides with the file and the chain can be considered ready for use.

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Negative consequences of improper chain repair

The considered option of repairing the chain is not the most reliable, since no one guarantees the high quality of the final product. The following consequences of such a repair are possible:

Chainsaw chain sharpening file

Chainsaw chain sharpening file.

  1. During welding (especially with a small current), excessive heating of the chain elements was carried out, which caused changes in the physical properties of the metal. Soft metal will allow the chain to stretch not along its entire length, but at the place of welding. There will be a shift of the chain guides, and other elements of the chainsaw (sprocket, tire) will quickly fail.
  2. Welding depth is greater than planned. The inner part of the rivet welded to one (or several) parts of the link, which was a violation of the mobility of the links. The consequences will be the same as those described in the first case.
  3. Welding quality is low. In this case, a breakout of the chain may occur during its operation. The fact is that the chain in operation is experiencing very high lateral loads, so unreliable welding is quickly “worked out”. The possibility of injury will be very high.
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Contact an experienced welder

There may be a question about the feasibility of repairing a chainsaw chain, since the consequences of its repair can be so serious. But this is all just because of inept welding. An experienced welder will do this job quickly and efficiently, which will reduce the likelihood of negative consequences almost to zero. And when using rivets without subsequent welding, the previously mentioned moments simply disappear. The only question is where such rivets take. But to make them is not so difficult if you have a lathe in stock.

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How to make the right rivets with an electric drill?

Chainsaw chain structure

Chainsaw chain structure.

Do not be afraid: no one offers to purchase a machine. Use an ordinary drill. The whole process of making rivets using an electric drill and a regular file will be described as follows. From the nail, the diameter of which is equal to the diameter of the inner part of the rivets (we check with a caliper), a blank is cut - a piece about 7 cm long. This blank is fixed in the head of an electric drill. The drill itself must also be securely fixed.

Two files are fixed to the wooden beam, the distance between which will be equal to the width of the inner part of the rivet. It may not happen quickly, but you must achieve absolute accuracy. It will be necessary only to organize uniform supply of the bar to the workpiece. We recommend using a piece of board, one end of which is fixed to the fixed part of the workbench using a wide door hinge, and at the second end of the board we fix a bar with needle files.

We check the perpendicularity of the location of the files and the workpiece - and you can get to work. Turn on the electric drill and smoothly lower the files. They will make grooves on the blank. It is not recommended to make rivets at one time, as it is not worth overheating the metal, but it is necessary to control the thickness of the workpiece on the machined part. Too thin part of the rivet can also damage you, so you need to achieve maximum accuracy. If you were able to do everything right, then it remains only to cut off the rivet and use it to join the chain links.

It is better to cut the rivet by hand, without using a grinder. Do not forget that when cutting metal at high revolutions of the tool there will be a significant increase in the temperature of the material, which is very undesirable. The finished rivet in no way yields to the factory product in quality, so the restored chain will last for a long time. Negative moments when using homemade rivets will be virtually eliminated. The main thing is that when setting the rivets you do not forget to align the side parts of the links (you had to unbend them when dividing the chain). Even a slight protrusion of these elements from the structural norms will lead to premature wear of the drive sprocket.

It is recommended to immediately make a few rivets in the manner described earlier. The point here is not only to stock up such necessary elements for the future (although this is also important). Most important of all the number of products to choose the most suitable in size: any deviation from the norm will make the chain vulnerable at high loads.

The use of reconditioned chains is not recommended when working with dense wood species.

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Why chains are stretched?

Often the question is why the chains are stretched. In a very large number of cases, the cause is the poor quality of the chains. Counterfeit goods are present in the market at a very high percentage. But among the main reasons there are other, equally important points. It so happens that the chainsaw itself is the cause of overheating of the chain and its stretching.

This happens due to the fact that the oil supply to the driven sprocket is not adjusted. It may happen that the oil supply hole is blocked or the adjustment is broken. The chainsaw needs periodic maintenance and adjustment.

Stretch the chain and due to wear leading sprocket. It turns out that on a worn sprocket there is a slip of the guides. Details under such friction are very quickly heated, hence the reason for stretching the chains. Practically, the same thing happens when the chain tension is low. The conclusion suggests itself: it is necessary to replace the drive sprocket, chainsaw tires, adjust all the elements. Otherwise, the problem will only get worse: the chainsaw will work with jerks, the chains will continue to stretch, the engine will fail (with a very high probability).

And also note that when working with a chainsaw, you must use protective equipment.

This is especially true if you use a chain that has undergone a restoration.

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