Is It Possible To Shorten The Chainsaw Chain
How to shorten a chainsaw chain with your own hands. A procedure It is possible to quickly shorten a stretched chainsaw chain with your own hands at home by reading the recommendations of specialists.
Reasons for chain stretching
A chainsaw chain, regardless of the manufacturer, can stretch for several reasons:
- Incorrect operation of the oil pump. Insufficient oil supply leads to overheating of the chain and its rapid stretching.
- Natural wear and tear. Occurs as a result of prolonged use of the tool.
- Using poor quality lubricant.
- Violation of the rules for operating a chainsaw.
Important: If any irregularities in the operation of the oil pump are detected, it is necessary to eliminate the malfunctions, ensure the normal lubrication of the saw blade. Failure to do so may result in drive sprocket failure. You should also pay attention to the quality of the oil. The presence of various kinds of abrasive microparticles in the oil is not allowed.
Rivet Removing Machine
For disassembly, a specialized machine is used. A punch. The machine is designed as a small mechanical press. A removable anvil with grooves of different sizes is installed in its lower part. The working rod of the device also has nozzles of different diameters. This makes it possible to use the machine for chains from different manufacturers. The rivet is removed by squeezing it out of the seat.
Rivet removal methods without the use of specialized devices
There are several ways to remove rivets without using specialized tools:
- Grind off the ledges on the emery. When using this method, it is necessary to control the degree of pressure on the rivet in order to avoid damage to the working parts.
- Cut with the cut-off wheel of an angle grinder. It should be borne in mind that in this case the metal heats up, which will affect its properties.
- Saw off the heads with a file or file. With this method, the risk of link damage is minimized.
- Chop down with a chisel. Before starting work, you will need to securely fix the chain in a vice.
After the outer protrusions are completely cut off, you will need to knock the rivet out of the seat. To do this, you need to choose a punch, the diameter of which will correspond to the diameter of the hole. The punch must be put on the rivet and knocked out with a sharp blow with a hammer. After completing these steps, the chain will be disconnected.
Attention: The links must be securely fastened to avoid damage. In addition, the punch should be installed strictly perpendicular to the rivet cut.
Do chain repairs always need to be done?
Chainsaw chain slack is not always a reason to repair it. You must first make sure that it is completely not subject to tension (adjustment).
Here are some typical cases:
- Chain stretching.
- Inconsistency of the new existing circuit with a short bus.
Chain stretching due to prolonged use is typical. During operation, the metal of the chain heats up, and the links gradually stretch due to the expansion of the metal in volume. That is, the chain stretches every time, which can sometimes be eliminated by partially reducing the cutting time. However, this is not an option when she has to work intensively all shift in industrial conditions or when preparing firewood for the winter.
Another circumstance that does not allow normal operation of the saw, even with a new chain, is the discrepancy in length. This can only happen when inattentive users purchase, or is caused by the lack of the required chain at the moment. Which, in principle, is not so dangerous, since you can always find a way out of the situation by manually shortening it. In this case, the strength of the connection of the chain links will remain at a sufficiently high level.
Chain tension adjustment
Chains are usually tensioned manually using the saw’s tensioning bolt located in the area of the bumpers.
Using a straight screwdriver installed on the bar and the drive sprocket, the chain is gradually tightened after closing the side cover.
It is not worth pulling the chainsaw chain all the way, as you risk stretching the links again soon. Usually a small amount of chain pull is left, checked by hand. It should be slightly deflectable by about a millimeter from the tire.
If it becomes necessary to shorten
Often in the forest or on a remote jobsite, you will not be able to find a replacement for your extended chain.
Having taken into account all the tips, and making sure of the need to shorten the chain, it is important to know the sequence of actions and possible replacement methods.
There are not so many of them and depend on how many links need to be removed, and in what conditions the repair will be carried out.
Each link (cutter and links connecting them) has two such rivets. In case of damage to nearby “native” connecting links, you can use elements from any other similar chain of any, even automotive, equipment. You just need to adjust the profile with a file, especially from the bottom, where it has a small groove.
Chainsaw chain diagram
The easiest way is to take a long chain, in which several segments can be removed without any problems. So, at least, it becomes possible to use the native links. They are removed with a hacksaw for metal, but it is better to use emery.
Initially, you need to grind off unnecessary rivets, and then cut off the excess area. To do this, you need to pry with a knife and knock out the rivets from unnecessary links using a homemade punch.
You can read about the types and characteristics of modern chainsaws here.
How to shorten a chainsaw chain with your own hands: sequence of actions, process nuances and instructions
The condition of the chainsaw must comply with the technical requirements of its operation. Any defect, be it slack in the chain or deterioration in the quality of the cut, often occurs due to its stretching.
From the point of view of operator safety, further operation of the chainsaw is not permissible. At the most unexpected moment, the slack chain can break and injure him. Replace with another spare chain or have it shortened in a workshop or work place.
Is it possible to shorten the chain yourself
In the case when the chainsaw chain has stretched so much that it is no longer tensioned, it becomes necessary to reduce its length.
How to remove a rivet
To change the elements of the chain or to shorten it, you will need to separate the links as follows. Secure the chain element in a vise and grind off the rivets, namely, their protruding parts. For this, you can use a file or file. Make sure not to grind the side sections of the link.
Using a beard (as it looks like in the photo below), knock out a rivet.
There is another option for separating the links. To do this, you do not need to grind off the rivet heads. Place the link, namely its rivet, over a hole in the metal or over the slightly parted jaws of the vise. Next, you should put the locksmith’s bit on the rivet head and hit it several times with a hammer.
Continue knocking out both rivets alternately as they are firmly secured by the opposite side of the link. Gradually the rivets will begin to come out of the top of the link and it will come loose.
Before tightening the chain on the chainsaw, you must turn off the engine of the unit, or disconnect it from the mains if it is an electric saw. Do not adjust or replace the saw blade while it is hot. If this is done, the metal will shrink after cooling and the tension will be too great, which can lead to increased stress on the engine and deformation of the tire.
Chain tensioner located on the right side of the unit, under the cover, in the place where the clutch brake is installed and the tire mount is located. On Husqwarna, Stihl, Poulan and Partner chainsaws, the external tensioner looks like an ordinary bolt.
So, in order to adjust the chain element of the apparatus, you need to perform the following steps.
- Loosen the nuts on the right side cover slightly so that the tire is not skewed.
- Insert a screwdriver into the tensioner adjusting bolt and turn it to the right (clockwise). From these actions, the tire will begin to move, and the chain will tension. If you turn the bolt to the left (counterclockwise), the chain links will relax.
- Further, the chain should be tightened to a state so that it does not sag or dangle.
- Check the tension of the element: grasp the cutting link approximately in the center of the bar and pull it down with a slight force. The chain should be taut, elastic, and the shank of the cutting link should fit into the groove of the bar about 1/3 of its height.
On a Makita electric saw the tension adjuster is designed in such a way that it can be turned without the use of any tools. Rotating it clockwise will tighten the chain; if you rotate the adjuster in the opposite direction, the tension on the chain element will loosen.
Chainsaw chain. Chainsaw chain repair experience. How to repair and shorten the chain.
An acquaintance, having sold his dacha, was also selling the appropriate equipment, including a chainsaw. He sold the chainsaw, but sorting out the remaining junk, he found a couple of brand new spare chains for his chainsaw. Well, he asked them to me. His chainsaw was notable, almost professional, and with a long tire. Accordingly, the chains are long. And my chainsaw is “for the house, for the family.” Those. The chain did not fit on a straight line, as do not push the tire. Well, at least the pitch of the links coincided. And to change the tire. There is not much sense. And it’s expensive, and then their chains will “hang”. And the motor in my chainsaw is not the one to drive a long tire.
Therefore, I decided to shorten the chains a little, removing unnecessary links from them. Having counted the number of links in his “native” chain and the number of links in the “gift”, he calculated how many links should be removed. By the way, it is not the number of teeth that are considered, but the number of protrusions on the inside of the chain, to which the chainsaw gears cling.
The rivets in the chain are made of a very hard metal, as the chain is subjected to very severe stress. Therefore, it will not be possible to simply take and rivet the chains. I had to very carefully grind off the heads of two rivets on the sharpener, so that some of the links could be removed. At the same time, I tried not to damage the links themselves too much.
To free one of the link sidewalls, I had to knock the rivet out of the link with the help of a beard. Over, the rivet does not fall out of the link. It is pressed into it so firmly. I had to bend the sidewall to remove the chain link from the rivet axis.
I did the same with the other rivet and link.
After removing the extra chain links, I had to reconnect the chain, and reliably enough. The rivet in the chain is loaded laterally. In addition, it is shaped like a trunnion. Those. The center of the rivet has a larger diameter than its edges, which are inserted into the sidewalls of the chain link. Therefore, choosing a replacement for a rivet is very problematic, you cannot make it out of a nail. I decided to use a regular rivet.
Having connected the links of the chain, I decided to restore the previously ground off rivet head using. Welding. The rivet head is not heavily stressed. It only keeps the sidewalls of the link from disconnecting.
Since it was practically necessary to put only a “point” when touching with an electrode, several millimeters in size, I took the thinnest electrode that I had. 1.5 mm. To make the hit as accurate as possible, I shortened the electrode to a few centimeters. I picked up the current on the welding machine so that the arc was stable but not excessively strong. Having trained in “accuracy” with another electrode, I fixed the chain in a vise, and holding a glass magnifier in my left hand, struck a “blow” to the place of the rivet, where the rivet head should have been. The welding itself lasted no more than a second, so I didn’t even use a mask, I just put on dark glasses.
As you can see in the photo, the rivet head was almost perfectly restored. I spent almost an hour with the first chain, but I managed to finish the second in barely 10 minutes. So I managed to adapt the long chains to my shorter chainsaw tire.
Naturally, both chains were immediately tested “in battle”. No abnormalities were noted and the chains were not broken. Perhaps my experience will come in handy for someone when rebuilding, repairing or shortening (or lengthening) the chain for their chainsaw.