Author Topic: Automatic Chain Sharpener - under $300  (Read 353 times)

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Offline Philbert

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Re: Automatic Chain Sharpener - under $300
« on: May 08, 2019, 08:28:59 pm »
Philbert's Summary - Part 2

Overall, the TEMCo FP100 feels like a well made and well finished product. The design is compact and the packaging is very professional. Many photos are posted earlier in these threads. The manual feels a bit more like a work in progress.

Use of the grinder was not intuitive for me, however a series of YouTube videos were very helpful to understand basic operations. Familiarity came with use. This might vary with the type of previous sharpening experience a user has. I have sent the company many comments, beyond those that I have included in these threads, and continue to send updates, occasionally.

A key set up issue I had was with the 'Length' and 'Pitch' knobs. Because these adjustments are mechanically related, and the design allows the knobs to be rotated past the limits of having any effect, it is confusing when adjustments apparently make no difference, or when they have disproportionate or unintended results. Cutting viewing 'windows' to see what these knobs actually do was a big help for me, but something I still have to think about.

The 'bubble buttons' on the digital display panel also have a learning curve, since they are multi-functional: hold them a little too long and they do something else. Periodically, I have to turn the power 'Off' and start over.

The 'Depth' knob is pretty straightforward. However, the cam-operated, gravity feed of the grinder head sometimes made this confusing, when the wheel would not travel as far as desired; this turned out to primarily be an issue with the grinding wheels.

In my mind, the wheels of a grinder are analogous to the chain on a saw: their quality and condition are critical for good performance. The red/brown, fine grit, vitreous, OEM grinding wheels cut well when new, but soon became glazed, even though I routinely clean chains before sharpening. They were also challenging to dress, compared to conventional grinding wheels. Glazed wheels, in turn prevent the head from grinding to the desired depth during the programmed cycle time, resulting in inconsistent cutters.

Eventually, I was able to learn how to dress the wheels appropriately; this is information that should be included in the instructions. The optional CBN wheels have performed well, during the limited time that I have tried them. Because they are offered in 2 widths (1/8" and 3/16") it is also easier to get good cutter profiles for a variety of chain pitches in a single pass.

Changing wheels should be more convenient, as this is required for different pitch chains (with the CBN wheels) and when adjusting depth gauges. The small screws securing the guard require a lot of turns, and are very easy to lose.

With some practice and experimentation, I was able to sharpen cutters, clean out gullets, and get acceptable chains. If starting with a hand filed chain, it may take a few passes to 'even up' the cutters: after than, maintaining edges with the sharpener is easier.

The FP1000 could be a good choice for a saw user seeking to sharpen edges dulled from normal use; who runs a limited number of chain pitches; who is satisfied with conventional cutter profiles; who is technology minded; or just appreciates the automated function. Frankly, it is kind of fun to watch, once you have it 'dialed in'.

This grinder is for personal use: it is not the unit to start a chain sharpening business with. It would not be as good of a choice for users demanding custom angles or cutter profiles; for those restoring 'rocked' or damaged chains; or for those not comfortable with technology.

Philbert
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