How to rivet a chainsaw chain at home

Saw chain tension adjustment

A professional woodsman will never start a chainsaw until he has checked the chain tension. If it is weak, the headset will wobble when it moves, slips off the bar, and may well burst. It also does not bode well for overstretching. the increased loads on the motor and the rapid wear and tear of the structural elements critically reduce the working life of the tool.

Shorten a Chainsaw chain or make a new chain

In most models the saw chain tension locks the guide bar. This means that if it is too tight or insufficient, the bar will have more clearance or the chain sprocket will be jammed and won’t be able to move the headset.

The procedure for tightening the saw chain is as follows:

To do this, roughly in the center of the bar at the top of the bar, the chain is grabbed by the spike and tensioned vertically. When the tension is optimal, about one-third of the shank will remain in the bar groove, and the chain itself will rotate freely by hand. If not, then it is overtightened or loose.

Before you start the repair, make sure that the chain saw is switched off and that it cannot be started accidentally.

To do this you need to turn the chain by hand along the mowing line of the working stroke. If the headset is loose, you will notice a sag at the bottom of the bar.

This assembly is located inside the busbar retaining cover that is near the brake clutch. Loosen the clamping nuts and turn the tensioner (adjustment bolt ) until the chain is tensioned properly with a smooth running chain and the necessary joint play.

Do not change or readjust the chain while it is hot. Metal is compressed when it cools, so a chain adjusted in this way could deform the bar or damage the motor.

To replace the saw chain by yourself

Saw companies do not forbid you from replacing the chain yourself. On the contrary, they often provide instructions for how to repair or replace a part with a new chain. Start by buying a new chain.

Check the chain for consistency, that is, study its characteristics: length (depending on the bar), the pitch (in relation to the sprockets), the thickness of the drive link

One of the common designs of budget saws is side-tensioned. To change the chain, perform the following steps in turn:

  • Pull back the blade guard and at the same time lower the brake;
  • with a screwdriver turn the control tensioning screw, unscrew the nut, thereby loosen the tension;
  • remove the cover;
  • separate the bar and chain from the sprocket;
  • remove the old chain from the tire, put the new chain in its place;
  • Do the whole thing in reverse order.

Tighten the chain smoothly, without jerking. finally tension it after closing the plastic cover with the screw and nut.

There are modern systems of keyless tensioning of chains, but many craftsmen prefer the traditional side tensioning, a bit problematic, but proven and reliable

Today’s chain saw models have wing nuts for tensioning the chain. This element speeds up the replacement process, which is important if you have to do a lot of work. Release the brake, unscrew the nut and remove the cover. Having slightly moved the bar backwards, we remove the old chain and put on the new one. first on the sprocket, then along the whole length. Then we put the sprocket in its place and tighten the nut. Turn the tensioning wheel in the direction shown on the housing and finally tighten the “wingnut”.

The last step is to check the chain tension. It should be tight against the bar when the brake is released, but should rotate under manual action. For more effective check it is recommended to drive chain on low revolutions

details about tightening the chain can be found at

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How to rivet a chainsaw chain

I am interested in the technique of riveting and riveting chainsaw chain, who prakalkaet finer points, features.

Technical Tips- How To use a Chain Rivet Tool and a Chain Breaker Tool

The main thing is to count the links correctly, do not mix up the pitch of the rivet and do not overtighten. It’s better to under tighten a little. When riveting from the remaining pieces, it is desirable not to put them facing each other, follow the sequence of the left and right teeth. And don’t regret changing rivet and rivet studs more often. Tried Oregon and Stilev machines. Oregon seemed more convenient, but it’s a matter of taste and skill. In addition, Stihl has a combination machine that can do both of these operations and save space. But for a large volume of chains it is not convenient. Then you’d better get a pair.

How do you visually detect overstretch, and understretch will cause the chain to break? The studs are enough for how many operations (to have a quality output)?

Answer wrote: How do you visually detect over tightness?

The pivot at the riveting point should remain moving with a tightness comparable to the pivots on the other links. If you overtighten it, the hinge will move with difficulty. It is better not to put such a chain on the saw (like for development), you will be extracting sparks from the drive sprocket).

Answer wrote : Spikes are enough for as many operations (for quality output)?

It’s all by eye and from the type of chains. Spikes are relatively inexpensive. For riveting, a worn-out clevis pin increases the range of motion and the extrusion is very difficult. You get tired of it if you do a lot of riveting. For a rivet, same thing, plus the spot itself in the rivet from rolling does not take a semicircular shape, the edges are crushed. That’s a good guideline.

Answer wrote: not enough to break the chain?

That’s a great question. I haven’t seen a tear in five years at a hand riveting spot. I’ve fixed a dozen and a half of them. This is true for the dovetail chains. IMHO, it’s better to under tighten a little.

SOS SOS the first chain and it jammed when riveting with Oregon. The manual to the machine in any way but Russian, one handle is clear (under the round hat for flattening), and the second with a hexagonal insert and still do not understand how to orient it correctly? I am advised that if you use a thread to connect the riveted link it will be okay? or it would fall apart before you could tighten it all up.

put the insert in any way you want, as long as the dimple is facing the chain. You don’t need any thread. I, for example, drip oil on each rivet. Then I press the walls of the rivet with a flat screwdriver, they kind of stick together.

Can you describe the whole process? I didn’t even get the rivets flattened to the factory size, but the links are jammed.

I think the links moved when riveting from the neck and they were riveted, what to do with it now I do not know

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Re-gluing. I used to rivet when I first started riveting, I’d make enough mistakes, I’d re rivet. My Oregon machine malfunctioned, now I use a Stilew machine, the point is the same. Here’s a video of me riveting:

Thank you very much. I’ll have a beer. But after riveting the bars and cogs they can be used, they are a little crooked, what’s better to straighten? And when you flare up some of the rivets have small cracks that’s okay? And the main issue counting the links, riveting, and at the junction of the saw teeth are slightly further than the entire chain customers will not swear?

Answer wrote : But the bars and teeth are left after riveting and they can be used they are a little crooked, what is better to straighten?

Well, if you’re tight on spare slats, you can if you’re careful. I used to put them together at first, but then I threw them away.

Answer wrote : And when flaring some of the rivets have small cracks in them, is that ok??

Nothing, I have not seen a single crack in the riveting area.

rivet, chainsaw, chain, home

Answer : And the main question when you count off the links, rivet them, and at the joint the saw teeth are a little farther away than on the whole chain, won’t the customers be mad??

They should not, if the number of chain links is even and divisible by four without a remainder, then the cutters will go in order, left-right or right-left (e.g. 64/4=16). If only two without the remainder, then the cutters will go two identical in a row, left-left or right-right (66/2=33, but 66/4=16.5). And if the number of links is odd, then together riveting from an additional link is not enough.

Types of chainsaws and electric saws

Our specialized service center can repair chain saws of all types, including gasoline chain saws with compact gasoline engines, electric chain saws that are powered by the electric motor, chain saws that are designed for short-distance use. Electric chainsaws. run on a portable battery. All chainsaws are divided into three major performance classes regardless of their engine type. Household (amateur) chainsaws are low-powered tools for those who don’t use them often. for example, to cut down a thick branch in the garden or to cut some firewood in the countryside. Semi-professional (farm) chain saws are an intermediate between the domestic and professional class, they do not involve working a full shift, and are suitable for repair and construction work and felling trees, with breaks for rest. Professional chainsaws are designed for serious year-round work and professional tasks in sawmills and construction sites. Each of these types has its own strengths and weaknesses in operation. For example: electric chainsaws are noisier and cheaper and lighter than gasoline chainsaws, gasoline chainsaws are more powerful and mobile, they are not tied to the outlet, but you can only use them outside, because of the exhaust, while the cordless chainsaws are virtually silent, low cost and do not require fuel, they are convenient and mobile.

Electric chainsaw Cordless chainsaw

But, unfortunately, both gasoline and electric and cordless chainsaws, such useful and handy garden and construction helpers can break down. Don’t be discouraged and run out and buy a new, fancy model, we’re here to help you and repair any power saw in the service department ! We have only professional engineers who will quickly identify and repair your equipment, in the shortest possible time, and for a modest fee, which will be many times less than the cost of a new machine. Of course, for a long and reliable service any garden equipment needs timely maintenance and repair and chain saws are no exception.

Why is the chain stretched?

Among the owners of chain saws there is such a question: “Why is the chain stretched on chain saws?”. There are more than enough reasons for chain stretching. It is only worth noting that it is not possible to exclude this factor, even when using expensive cutting products. Reasons for chainsaw chain elongation are the following:

  • Oil pump malfunction. If during wood sawing a reduced amount of oil is supplied to the chain, it will lead to overheating of the product, and at high temperatures, metal is characterized by expansion. Prolonged use of a malfunctioning pump will not only lead to accelerated stretching, but also to metal deterioration, so this element will soon need to be replaced. When working after each oil refill, be sure to check that sufficient oil is being supplied to the cutter. This is done by holding the tool at operating speed against a clean sheet of paper with traces of oil on it.
  • Use of low-quality lubricants. Many chainsaw owners replace special oil for chainsaws with waste oil, which is highly discouraged, because it contains metal particles. These particles get on the cutting element, which leads not only to an increased overheating and stretching of the material, but also to the blunting of the cutting teeth.
  • Unfavorable operating conditions. If work is performed where there are constituents such as dust, dirt or earth on the work surface, rubbing occurs at the link joints, resulting in pulling.

In addition, experienced craftsmen know that new chains over a period of time are lapped, so stretching is simply unavoidable. All chainsaws are equipped with adjusting screws for such purposes to restore the tension of the product. No matter how high quality the chain is, it will stretch. and that’s not something you can avoid. The question is: How long can it last?? This depends on early diagnosis, but also on the quality of the lubricants used.

Important to know! The chain is shortened if the chain saw can no longer be adjusted. Having shortened the chain, you can continue to use the tool for some time, until you buy a new chain.

Tools for the job

In order to remove the cutting link, the rivets must initially be riveted. To perform riveting work you will need tools such as a hammer, anvil, thin bead, vice and angle grinder with emery wheel. Although these tools do not allow you to do the manipulation reliably, but their use allows you to perform the procedure yourself. To perform the work more qualitatively, you will need to use a special type of puncher.

Important to know! If you often have to shorten chains for a chainsaw or electric saw by duty, it is recommended to buy special tools that will facilitate the work, as well as speed up the process.

Tools that will help facilitate and speed up the process of removing the links from the cutting element include:

  • Rivet puncher. A specialized machine that lets you remove rivets quickly. The simplest machine that resembles a press. Kit to such tools include accessories that allow for the neat removal of rivets.
  • Riveting machine. On such a tool a motor with a gearbox is installed. This tool allows you to make riveting links with pitch of 0.325 and 0.404 inches. To buy specially such a machine for home use is not at all rational, because it is quite expensive.

After collecting the tools and materials, you need to get to work.

We shorten the chain on the chainsaw with our own hands

There are other ways to remove rivets, in order to eventually carry out the shortening of the chain. They are presented:

  • Use an emery machine to grind the rivet head. The process is controlled so that the neighboring link is not damaged.
  • Use an angle grinder. You can also remove the rivet with an angle grinder, using an emery wheel or abrasive wheel.
  • Use a chisel and hammer. To do this, the product should be clamped in a vise by the guides, then resort to cutting down the rivets.

After removing two adjoining rivet flats, it is necessary to disconnect the link. To do this you need to put a bead between the connecting plates of the link and then strike it with a hammer in a jerky motion. The plate should eventually fall off the rivets. After that you can disconnect and remove the link and rivet the chain.

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Not many people know how to rivet a chainsaw chain, so it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to the process. To connect, you cannot do without a connecting link, which can be purchased at any tool store.

Important to know! When buying a connecting link, you need to consider your chain type, as well as pitch and profile.

Many people use such links from unwanted chains, but it is not recommended. The connecting link with the riveting element must be put on the chain, then placed on the anvil so that the open part faces up. The top plate is placed on the rivet, and then it is lightly tapped with a hammer. Once the plate is firmly in place, you can immediately resort to flattening the tooling. This is done by hitting the rivet sharply with a hammer, placing a drift or a core on the rivet. The second rivet is riveted in a similar way. The presence of thickening of the protruding part is an indication that the procedure was carried out well and reliability is assured.

At the end of the work performed you will need to check the movement of the connected chain links. To begin with you need to adjust the tensioning and then test it with the motor running. These simple steps prolong the life of stretched or broken chains. Old chains can also be mounted on a shorter bar by first adjusting the cutter to the appropriate length.

Consult an experienced welder

The question may arise as to the advisability of repairing a chainsaw chain, if the consequences of the repair can be so serious. But it’s all just because of unskilled welding. An experienced welder will do the job quickly and efficiently, reducing the likelihood of negative consequences to almost zero. And when using rivets without subsequent welding, the above mentioned points simply disappear. The only question is where to get such rivets. But to make them is not so difficult, if you have a lathe.

How to rivet a chainsaw chain at home

Virtually every owner of a suburban home has a chainsaw. And the inhabitants of rural areas do not even have to gloss over: such a tool is for them an urgent need. The chainsaw requires a lot of care and timely maintenance. All maintenance rules are correctly spelled out in the annotation.

Accessories and rules of use

The set of saws should include several chains (minimum. 3) plus 2 bars. After 3 hours of work it is recommended to twist the tire. After another 3 hours the chain is replaced. These simple rules can significantly extend the life of your chainsaw. And in real life we don’t really follow the advice and are guided by our own ideas of what’s necessary.

Comparative table of chainsaw features.

after a certain time the chain saw is in use, we just have to shorten the chain. At a certain point we notice that the tensioning system does not let us tighten the chain any more. Chain stretched to its maximum. we can’t work with it further on, because the stretched chain will start to break the sprocket, which will result in very high wear of the bar. The chain should be shortened.

Another reason we have to shorten the chain is to “fit” a longer chain from another chain saw to fit our bar. this also often happens because there is a worldview among chain saw users that chains of higher quality are made for “professional” saws.

Necessary tools

Chainsaw manufacturers say that it is unreal to shorten the chain at home, because the very development of their production is very complex and requires high-precision equipment. Practice shows that nothing is impossible. In order to shorten the chain, you will need:

  • vise;
  • hammer;
  • file;
  • a bead;
  • pliers;
  • Electric welder (in some cases you can do without it).

How to remove rivets?

Chainsaw chain is difficult to uncouple. The rivets are made of high-quality steel and are geometrically shaped so that the rivets cannot simply be knocked out of the link. The inside of the rivet has a larger radius. This thickening is used to turn the link, and the outer parts of rivets have only a connecting function, so they are quite easy to fix firmly on the outside of the chain. To remove a rivet is done the following way: the chain is fixed in a vice, and the protruding part is ground. When grinding, take care not to crush the side parts of the links.

Do not use an angle grinder, because the parts are very quickly heated, which will change the physical parameters of the metal. It is better to use a rasp or file for grinding. Grinding is done on both sides of the link. And now the rivets can be knocked out of the chain with the help of a bead, having bent back the side parts of links a little.

Making a Chainsaw Chain with Breaker and Rivet Spinner

The chain can be disconnected. Do not hurry to throw away the rivet that has been removed from the chain. You might not be able to find a satisfactory replacement. Chainsaw makers don’t want to repair chains by themselves, so they don’t put such rivets on the market.

It is also more profitable for retailers to sell off-the-shelf chains than small repair parts. For all these reasons it is very difficult to find a suitable rivet with the right geometry. To make it at home will be even harder, because you have to use an old rivet.

As you have already guessed, the chain of a chainsaw will have to uncouple twice. Don’t forget to make sure that the number and spacing of guide lugs on the inside of the chain matches the chain sprocket. If you shorten an unusual chain, that’s not necessary. And if it’s a chain from another chain saw model, everything needs to be very well measured and calculated. A deviation in chain pitch (even a small one) from the design data will cause the chain to stretch again in the shortest time (in the best case) or to break the chain sprocket of the chainsaw. The bar will also end because the sprocket will overheat quickly.

Riveted and riveted chainsaw chain

You have to get the connection right and you’ll be fine.

The linking of the links

If all the characteristics of the chain are compatible with your chainsaw parts, you can begin to join the links. Connect the links to the rivet, tightly pressing their sides. The tongues can no longer be riveted together, as they are flush with the links. You’ll have to use an electric welder. Take the smallest diameter electrode for this.

Determination of wear of the chain: a. wear of the teeth, b. Installation of an additional securing plate on the locking link.

We don’t recommend welding right away, because it’s a very delicate job. Try it on other parts first. This way you will at least roughly understand at what current to weld and what welding time to choose. And the electrode will be shorter, which allows you to weld more accurately. A very short period of time is sufficient to “tack” a rivet. After training, weld the rivet to the side of the link. It remains only to grind away the surplus metal on both sides and the chain can be considered as ready to use.

The negative consequences of an improper repair of a circuit

The considered variant of repair of a chain is not the most reliable, as nobody will guarantee you high quality of the final product. There can be the following consequences of such a repair:

READ Choosing a chain sharpening machine for chainsaws

Chainsaw chain sharpening diagram with a file.

  • During welding (especially at a low current), excessive heating of the chain elements was produced, which caused changes in the physical properties of the metal. The soft metal will not stretch the chain along its entire length but rather at the point of welding. The chain guides move and other chain components (sprocket, bar) are lost in a short period of time.
  • Welding depth is deeper than planned. The rivet is welded to one (or more) parts of the link, causing disruption of link movement. The consequences will be the same as described in the first case.
  • The quality of the welding is poor. In this case there can be a breakthrough in the chain during its operation. The fact is that the chain in operation experiences very high transverse loads, so unreliable welding will quickly “work out”. The possibility of injury would be very high.
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Consult an experienced welder

It can be questioned whether it is reasonable to repair chainsaw chain, as the consequences of the repair can be so serious. But all this is only because of inept welding. An experienced welder will do this work quickly and qualitatively, which will reduce the probability of negative consequences to almost zero. And when using rivets without subsequent welding, the above-mentioned points simply disappear. The only question is where to get such rivets. But to make them is not so difficult, if you have a lathe.

How to make a good rivet with an electric drill?

Do not be afraid: no one offers to buy a machine tool. Use a regular drill. The entire process of making rivets with an electric drill and a standard handy file is described as follows. From a nail with a diameter equal to the diameter of the inside of the rivets (check with a caliper), cut a blank. a piece of length of about 7 cm. The workpiece is locked in the head of the electric drill. The drill itself must also be securely fastened.

On a wooden bar is fixed two notches, the distance between which will be equal to the width of the inside of the rivet. You might not be able to do it quickly, but you have to achieve absolute accuracy. It remains only to arrange an even feed of the bar on the workpiece. We recommend using a piece of board, one end of which we fix to the stationary part of the workbench with a wide door hinge, and on the second end of the board we fix a block with flats.

Check the perpendicularity of the workpiece and the filings and you are ready to go. Turn on the electric drill and gently lower the file. They will make grooves on the workpiece. It is not recommended to make rivets in one go, as you should not overheat the metal, but it is necessary to control the thickness of the workpiece on the machined part. Too thin a part of the rivet can also damage you, so you need to be as accurate as possible. If you were able to do everything right, then all that remains is to cut the rivet off and use it to connect the chain links.

It is better to cut the rivet by hand, without using an angle grinder. Do not forget that when cutting metal at high tool speeds there will be a significant increase in material temperature, which is very undesirable. The quality of a finished rivet is in no way inferior to the factory-made product, so the rebuilt chain will last a long time. Negative aspects when using homemade rivets will be virtually eliminated. The main thing is that when installing the rivets, you don’t forget to align the sides of the links (you had to bend them when separating the chain). Even a slight excess of them will cause premature wear of the drive sprocket.

It is advisable to make several rivets at once in the way described earlier. It is not only about having those indispensable pieces in stock (although this is also important). It’s more important to choose the right size out of all the pieces: any deviation will make the chain vulnerable to high loads.

The use of reclaimed chains is not recommended when working with dense types of wood.

Why chains are subject to stretching?

The question often arises as to why the chains are stretched. In a very large number of cases the cause is inferior quality of the chains. There is a very high percentage of counterfeit goods on the market. But there are other, no less important reasons. Sometimes the chainsaw itself is the cause of overheating and chain stretching.

This is caused by incorrectly adjusted oil supply to the chain sprocket. It could be that the oil hole is clogged or the chain saw is out of adjustment. Your chain saw needs periodic service and adjustment.

Chains also stretch because the drive sprocket is worn. It can happen that a worn sprocket can cause the guide lugs to skip. This friction heats up the chain very quickly, hence the cause of elongation. Virtually the same thing is true when the chain is not tensioned. The lesson is inescapable: you need to replace your sprocket and guide bar and adjust all the components. Otherwise the problem will only worsen: the chainsaw will work jerkily, the chains will continue to stretch, and the engine will fail (with a very high probability).

And let’s also note that when working with a chainsaw it is necessary to use.

This is especially important if you use a chain that has been regenerated.

How chainsaw chain lubrication system works?

The chainsaw lubrication system consists of the following parts:

  • oil tank;
  • the filtration part;
  • The lubricant hose;
  • a priming pump;
  • of the worm gear;
  • the bar itself, into which through special holes the lubricating fluid enters.

The principle of operation is very simple. The motor is connected via a worm gear to the pump shaft, which initiates a certain pressure. This in turn makes the lubricant flow through the lubrication line to the bar and chain.

Timely lubrication and correct functioning of the chain system is a prerequisite for long life of your tool and its components.

Only oil types tested and adapted to a specific model are used for this purpose, which is also allowed to lubricate the needle bearing of a chainsaw. Only a grease gun can be used for this.

Using special equipment

Experienced craftsmen recommend the use of profile equipment for shortening. This allows you to do a quality job, avoiding breakage during later use of the tool.

Rivet Punch

Figure 1. Rivet punches for chain saws This is a mechanical attachment similar to a conventional press. Includes anvil, slots for fixing saw heads with different tooth pitch. For your convenience, there are interchangeable tips for squeezing out the rivets. tool is only intended for separating links.

Riveting machine

Figure 2. Riveting-rolling machine Used together with a riveting punch for riveting and rolling of saw chain with different pitch. The cutting depth of the headset can vary from 1.1 to 2 mm. Included are rotating inserts, anvils marked A or B (difference in pitch).

Work mechanism. the saw chain with a new link and fresh rivets are attached to the guides. After that, the section is pressed by the roller to the built-in anvil, start the engine. As it rotates, it presses and crushes the rivet. During the process, it is necessary to slowly turn the adjusting screw. The advantage of riveting machine. in quality and strength rivets are not different from the factory, can withstand a heavy load.

Important! Machines are not practical to purchase for the home workshop. They have a high cost and are aimed only at working with the chainsaw’s headset.

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