Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Sharp


I think that everyone out there understands how easy jobs are when your tools are sharp. It can be something as simple as a pair of succors, or a kitchen knife. Wood workers need everything sharp from saws to chisels to drill bits. Gardeners need sharp shears and clippers.

One of the most important tools that I need to be as sharp as possible is my chain saw. A saw with a dull chain really over-works the engine and wastes fuel. There is something really nice about cutting wood with just the weight of the saw bearing down on the log.

As soon as your chain contacts dirt or sand you loose your edge. You can try your best but you are always going to contact dirt or sand especially if there is any moss on the bark.

In my shop I have grinders, stones, files and diamond blocks, but my favorite sharpening tool is my chain saw sharpener. For years I fiddled with filing the chain teeth. It took so long to sharpen the entire chain, and I never got the sharpness I wanted. Then I started dropped off my chains at Clatsop Power and let them sharpen them, but that was an expensive alternative.

I always keep three chains sharp and I keep them all with me when I’m cutting. Every time I refuel and add bar oil I take a few minutes to put on a fresh chain. I never cut more than three tanks gas. There is a nice balance to it all now.

5 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

I have used a few chain saws in my life and it's always a joy to use one when the blade is nice and sharp. At this point I need one so rarely that I just call on my neighbor when the need arises. He is always happy to come cut something up. I have found that I am in need of a drill bit sharpener now, tho. I am thinking that would be a wise investment as opposed to just buying more drill bits.

5:41 AM  
Blogger g said...

I'm a sharpaholic. I spend more time sharpening my tools than I do using them.

I'm simply not happy until I can see a mirror image of my nose hairs on my chisels.

8:34 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, my brother has one and loves it. I need to buy a new set because I've broken so many over the last year.

g, at-a-boy! A friend told me about a wood working school where the first six months are spent on learning how to sharpen tools.

5:30 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Great.... now every time i look at a chisel I'm going to get a mental picture of g's nose hairs....

5:56 AM  
Blogger g said...

I started out using sandpaper to sharpen my plane blades and chisels. I've since moved up to Japanese sharpening stones - lots faster! I farm my power saw blades, chainsaw, jointer knives and handsaws out though. I just don't have enough time to keep everything sharp - although I'm quite capable at sharpening all of it (and have the tools to do it).

It took a lot of years of trial and error to become accomplished at sharpening. It's a whole 'nuther art! I have a lot of respect for those who deliver my farmed out stuff with a razor sharp CORRECT edge.

7:53 PM  

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