Author Topic: Chain Cleaning  (Read 224 times)

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Offline Philbert

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Re: Chain Cleaning
« on: October 29, 2013, 11:30:57 am »
I've posted this in other forums, but might as well add it here, since it has come up.

There are chains that have a light layer of oil and saw dust on them.  And there are chains that look like they are encased in asphalt.  And everything in-between.  Some chains are too dirty to mount and run through wood to clean up. And you have to have the right saw/bar combination to do that, so that does not always work on other people's chains, scrounged chains, etc.

If they are really dirty, I can't see the markings, any damage, poorly done field repairs, etc.  I like to resize, replace any damaged links, remove any drive link burrs, etc., before I sharpen.  Also want to keep gunk out of my wheels.

I use 'Super Clean' (sodium hydroxide-based purple cleaner/degreaser - works better than 'Purple Power'. ZEP industrial, and Rubbermaid brands of purple cleaner also look like they have sodium hydroxide) diluted 1:1 with water. Wear protective gloves and splash goggles.

Swishing the chains around in a cut-down jug for about 10 seconds gets rid of most of the basic crud. Laying the chains flat and hitting them with an old toothbrush takes care of most of the rest. The worst chains go back for a second bath. Rinse them out in a couple changes of clear water, then dry them for about 10 minutes in an oven on an old cookie sheet at about 150 to 200 to prevent rusting.

It goes pretty fast if you're doing a batch of chains.

Since you have removed all of the oil make sure to re-ubricate them after grinding to prevent rusting. I spray the chains down with WD-40 from a trigger sprayer in an old cake pan lined with a few paper towels. The towels remain in the pan for subsequent batches.

I have 'saved' many neglected chains this way. It will not remove rust, but is a necessary step prior to rust removal methods, if you need to do that as well.



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