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Your chainsaw will cut like a hot knife through butter

To get that happy buttery feeling , you need knowledge of how a chainsaw works, and skill to tune it up.

That's where Andrew Shortell took us at the Chainsaw Maintenance session at 288 Gap Road, on a frosty sunny morning. In the photo above, Andrew is explaining that what you are after is a differential of just so between the thingamee that pops up the tooth to cut and the tooth that then planes through the timber. I think it is was 25/1000th of an inch, but not much. The sharpening of your chain is all designed to set up that gap, and attack it with the sharp plane of each tooth.

Then, like a hot knife through butter, the timber before you will yield to your instrument.

Along the way, there's the matter of the file size fitting the curve of your chain saw teeth, and having in place the file that shaves down the thingamee on the link immediately preceding the cutting edge, and your chain not being already so damaged that filing isn't worth it.

I thought I was just going to pick up my new file assemblage and go at it, bit no, Andrew gave us an understanding of what the filing action aims to accomplish, so that we became sensitised to the significance of the physical action of the file scouring along each chain tooth.

My 'aha' moment was feeling the grab and bite between file and tooth give way to the smooth rasp of file on metal, as the file works into the wear on the tooth and the edge comes up.

And here's Lyn Hovey talking about what she got out of the session:

Thanks heaps to Andrew, and we're going to do it again. Watch RCL emails, and come along.

Ross Colliver

Riddells C reek Landcare

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