I know that to get good at something you need to practice, but I just never seem to use my Husqvarna Chainsaw enough to really get efficient at sharpening the blade. I do a good job of sharpening, but I know it takes me much longer than someone who uses the saw a lot.
My biggest challenge is when I have the saw in the field, and inadvertently hit the dirt or some small rocks, I can feel the blade getting dull instantly and have to stop to sharpen it. This is where my sharpening skills need the most help. I find it difficult at best to try and hold the saw with one hand and sharpen with the other. I know there are some jigs you can buy that you can drive into the stump of a tree, then clamp the chainsaw bar to ... but I never seem to be around a big enough stump to use one of these clamps. I am however, very often fairly close to my truck, so why not build a clamping system for the chainsaw bar, that I can fasten to my truck's tailgate, that I can then spend a few minutes and make a good job of sharpening the blade.
I started off by measuring the size of my saw and cutting an old piece of 1/2" plywood to fit. In my case 31" x 15". Next I needed to make a simple rack that would hole the motor and handles from moving around too much ...
That was pretty easy, but now the tougher part starts, how do I secure the chainsaw bar, while still allowing the chain to be able to move. For that, I went to some old technology that has been used in boat building for eons, and that is using a simple cam system which is basically just a circle with an offset center.
After some fussing around I decided that 2-3/4" diameter would work about the best, I also needed some sort of a rack to hold it in and I would need to make this first so that I could get the best measurement for the depth of the cam. I used Oak for both the frame and the Cam due to it's hardness.
I started off with a block of Oak, 5" high, 3" long and 2" wide. From inside that block I needed to cut a place for the cam to work within which turned out to be 1-1/8" wide and about 3" deep.
Next I cut out the cam on my small bandsaw and used my sander to make it smooth on the handle and on the cam.
Drilling the holes was not difficult but I did need to stop and think about how I wanted the cam to work. I drilled the holding block first, then the Cam.
The final component for this jig is the stationary holding block that sits opposite the Cam. It was made from the same dimensions as the holding block for the Cam, but I made a cutaway on the back side to make it look less cumbersome and reduce the weight a bit.
It's important to note that at this time I also glued a small square block to the stationary side, this is to ensure it stands off slightly from the stationary holding block so that the chainsaw's blade can be moved without having to release it from the clamping device.
Another point to note, is that for mine, I made the mounting so that the chainsaw would sit askew in the jig. This is to make it a bit easier for me when I am clamping it to the tailgate of my truck where I will sharpen one side of the blade, then flip the whole jig around, re-clamp and sharpen the other side of the blade. I am just not talented enough (yet) to sharpen both sides of the blade from the same side of the saw ... and do a good job.
I am excited about using this jig on my next chainsaw outing ... this time I am prepared for those wayward rocks ...
Copyright - Colin Knecht