The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Industrial fashion statement

new 13 amp Skil circular saw with carry bag/purseWe replaced the old 12 amp Skil saw with the next step up this week.

The main lesson I learned is to keep an eye on the sharpness of the blade and to put a fresh one on before it's too late.

It came with a nice tote bag that could double as a purse for the ladies out there with an industrial twist to their fashion sense. Perfect for date night when you want to sneak a six pack of beer into the theatre.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Or the bag doubles as an ultra cool man-purse! XD
Comment by Monica Sat Sep 8 15:07:21 2012

You'll need a grinding wheel to sharpen those carbide teeth. This grinding wheel should be green colored silicon carbide.

If you can get a disc that fits your angle grinder, it might work. But I'm not sure you'd have sufficient control. Using a Dremel (or equivalent) with a suitable grinding stone would be a good option.

Don't forget to take a good look at (or better yet a good close-up picture of) the saw's teeth while they're still sharp. That will come in handy when it is time to sharpen it.

Now that we're talking about sharpening, I recently came across something that might interest you; sharpening a chainsaw with an angle grinder.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat Sep 8 16:21:29 2012

Monica-You are right, but someone needs to think of a tougher name if it's going to catch on as an actual fashion trend.

Roland-Thanks for the suggestion of taking a close up photo of a new blade. I might try to sharpen a dull blade with a dremel someday, but for now I might be tempted to buy a new blade until my grinding skills improve. I'm kind of dubious about using an angle grinder to sharpen a chainsaw. The guy in the picture looked like it was working for him,but I would think a close inspection of his chain might reveal some deep gouges that could turn into a safety issue real fast.

Comment by mark Sat Sep 8 18:12:58 2012

If you buy a new sawblade, try and sharpen the old one anyway. Practice makes perfect and all that. It is the same as with sharpening knives. It takes time to learn but it is definitely worth it. It lengthens the useful life of the tool considerably. And using blunt tools is an exercise in frustration.

Regarding the chainsaw, it would of course be bad if you nicked the chain while grinding the teeth. And an angle grinder isn't exactly a precision instrument. But I'm pretty sure that the teeth on the chain are ground at the factory with a machine containing a rotating grindstone. Making a jig that keeps the grinder at the correct angle and pervents it from descending to deep shouldn't be too difficult.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Sep 9 07:12:38 2012

Roland-You talked me into giving circular saw sharpening a try. I've been looking for a reason to pick up a Dremel since I was a teenager.

A guide for the angle grinder to help with chainsaw sharpening sounds like it might be a useful product. What might work better is a Dremel attachment that fits the size of each link.

Comment by mark Sun Sep 9 09:50:19 2012

The automatic tools for sharpening saws exhibit a pattern, which would also be useful for sharpening chainsaws, I suspect. The purpose of these tools is mainly to grind each tooth in the same way. The same pattern can be followed for building a sharpening jig. This will not be as fast as a machine tool, but can be almost as accurate, and will probably be way more accurate and reproducible than sharpening by hand. This pattern is as follows;

It begins with a spindle on which the saw blade is mounted. In case of the chainsaw, this could be a trough that you feed the chain through or a clamp to hold the chainsaw bar. The point of this all is to be able to place different teeth at an exact position in two dimensions.

Next is a kind of removable stop that grips a tooth next to the one you're sharpening. This is to fix the third dimension. So we now have a way of fixing a tooth in space.

Next we should have a mount for the Dremel, that allows it to be moved perpendicular to the saw blade or chain. It should be able to fix the dremel in other directions so that once you've got it set up at the correct angle, it won't move.

So the procedure for sharpening a blade or chain is as follows:

  • Move the blade or chain to the next stop and fix it.
  • Move the running Dremel tool across the tooth, grinding it at the correct and reproducible angle and depth.
  • return to the first step until you've sharpened all teeth.

If the saw or chainsaws' teeth have alternating angles, skip two teeth per step, and use two different dremel settings to sharpen the whole tool in two runs.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Sep 9 11:34:54 2012

Make it easier and more accurate everything and pick yourself up one of these

You can get it for $30 with a coupon. Just be gentle with it and let it do its job.

There is an attachment for dremels for sharpening chainsaw chains but you use up the stones fast.

They got a saw blade sharpener also but I wouldn't bother.

Comment by Marco Sun Sep 9 21:53:46 2012

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