Chainsaw bar oil additive?
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  1. #1
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    Default Chainsaw bar oil additive?

    A container of McCulloch chainsaw bar oil uses a "special" additives. One additive gives the oil tackiness and prevents the oil
    from slinging off the bar when the chain is running. The label on the container also says that the oil provides good penetration
    to the rollers on the chain. That appears to be strange. Yes, you want the oil to stay on the chain but if it is thickened then
    how can it penetrate well. Thoughts about what their "special" additive(s) are?

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    I don't know what it is in this case but back when I had an old manual oiler chainsaw I used to add about 2% Dow Corning Gear Guard (moly) to the bar and chain oil to reduce wear. With a manual oiler sometimes you don't hit the plunger often enough when doing a tricky cut.

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    When I was a kid and using a ProMac chainsaw, I'd use straight 30W oil for the bar, along with a dash of STP additive for the 'tackifier.'

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    Never did worry too much about it used engine oil in the bar oil feeder in the Husqvarna 3120xp 119cc.

    Only thing with the saw if the chain became blunt it would power through and just convert engine power to heat on the chain so i killed a bar in short notice when it was new, lesson learnt and never did that again. It was super tough hardwood that had been dead a long time.
    Good saw i recommend it over a stihl for same hp as it was lighter.

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    Use way oil on your chain / bar........

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    A tackifier is just that.

    not a viscosity improver.

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    You have similar requirements for a motorcycle chain. What's wrong with using spray chain oil for motorcycles? In that example the oil and paraffin (wax) mix is thinned with a volatile solvent. This thin mixture then penetrates the chain and rollers easily. then the solvent evaporates leaving a very viscous lube in place that resists getting spit off when the chain is at speed. Why reinvent the wheel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    You have similar requirements for a motorcycle chain. What's wrong with using spray chain oil for motorcycles? In that example the oil and paraffin (wax) mix is thinned with a volatile solvent. This thin mixture then penetrates the chain and rollers easily. then the solvent evaporates leaving a very viscous lube in place that resists getting spit off when the chain is at speed. Why reinvent the wheel?
    Because it doesn't contain "Retsyn" or "Z-7"....

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    You have similar requirements for a motorcycle chain. What's wrong with using spray chain oil for motorcycles? In that example the oil and paraffin (wax) mix is thinned with a volatile solvent. This thin mixture then penetrates the chain and rollers easily. then the solvent evaporates leaving a very viscous lube in place that resists getting spit off when the chain is at speed. Why reinvent the wheel?
    In a bicycle repair book the method is to remove the chain and clean it. Followed by soaking in a heated solution of oil. This insures that the inside of the rollers
    are lubricated. Easy for a bicycle chain because of the lock spring. It's a little more work for a motorcycle chain. For a chainsaw chain I'm not sure it's worth the trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    In a bicycle repair book the method is to remove the chain and clean it. Followed by soaking in a heated solution of oil. This insures that the inside of the rollers
    are lubricated. Easy for a bicycle chain because of the lock spring. It's a little more work for a motorcycle chain. For a chainsaw chain I'm not sure it's worth the trouble.
    Perhaps you haven't worked on motorcycles lately, but they no longer use master link chains. Today's chains are infinitely stronger and wear resistant than chains made in the sixties. There is no comparison. Today's chain lubes are made for these modern chains and will work very well on chain saws. More importantly, these lubes are not sticky. So once the carrier has evaporated, there is nothing to attract dirt and debris. The chains stay much cleaner than in the old days. Today, chains are washed in place. I use a solvent sprayer with diesel. It makes a mess, but it works great and is very fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    Perhaps you haven't worked on motorcycles lately, but they no longer use master link chains. Today's chains are infinitely stronger and wear resistant than chains made in the sixties. There is no comparison. Today's chain lubes are made for these modern chains and will work very well on chain saws. More importantly, these lubes are not sticky. So once the carrier has evaporated, there is nothing to attract dirt and debris. The chains stay much cleaner than in the old days. Today, chains are washed in place. I use a solvent sprayer with diesel. It makes a mess, but it works great and is very fast.
    Hold on here.

    Where exactly on a motorsickle's drive line, is there the loading of the chain side plates sliding along a flat plate ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Hold on here.

    Where exactly on a motorsickle's drive line, is there the loading of the chain side plates sliding along a flat plate ?
    Sorry, I don't understand your question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    Sorry, I don't understand your question.
    The BAR....a chainsaw has "A bar" in which the chain "slides".

    Pressure to cut the log, jams the side plates onto the "bar".

    I just got done filing my (2) bars, they had worn un-even, and formed wire edges. (this is normal)

    I don't see that kind of loading between the (2) sprockets on a motorcycle.

    Doo you ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    The BAR....a chainsaw has "A bar" in which the chain "slides".

    Pressure to cut the log, jams the side plates onto the "bar".

    I just got done filing my (2) bars, they had worn un-even, and formed wire edges. (this is normal)

    I don't see that kind of loading between the (2) sprockets on a motorcycle.

    Doo you ?
    You are correct of course, but if you are suffering bar wear as you appear to be. it cost nothing to try motorcycle chain lube does it? You might like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    You are correct of course, but if you are suffering bar wear as you appear to be. it cost nothing to try motorcycle chain lube does it? You might like it.
    How do you get the motorcycle chain lube in the chain saw's lube tank? Last can of chain spray I bought was about 12 bucks and would never have come close to filling my saws lube tank. Cheaper to use way oil.

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    Oiling of the chain and bar is a total loss system. The oil comes into a port on the side of the bar and into the groove where the chain runs. From there it travels through the chain and is slung and drug off as the chain moves.

    The important thing is that the oil is moving in and refreshing as planned. So you must use an oil with correct viscosity to match the ability of the oil pump. This is a pretty basic system and the suitable range of viscosity is wide as long as it flows through the system.

    Generally, the cheapest bar oil is the one to pick. There's just not much benefit from special additives. Bar oil is cheaper than most anything else you can buy. The main thing is to get plenty of oil into the bar groove and you are good to go.

    Some people use thinner oil in real cold weather and this makes sense. Thinning the bar oil in cold conditions is done as well. Some places, petro oils are not allowed by regulation and biodegradeable synthetics are used. Others use vegetable oils like canola.

    Way oil would work if its not too thick. But it probably is not as cheap as bar oil unless you have drums of it sitting around.

    I will add that if there isn’t oil slinging off the chain — you have a problem.

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    I second Henry's comments-

    Bar oil isn't precise. It needs to flow through the pickup strainer, through the pump, into the bar hole, and around the bar groove. It is 'impossible', by virtue of it's environment, for it to 'not' pick up gunk, but it's not going back into a system, it's going away, at a high velocity. As long as it's not too sticky, it'll work well.

    'sticky' bar oil will cause fines to congeal in places that you don't want crud to build up- specifically, right below, and immediately behind the drive sprocket.

    Remember that a sharp blade yields big, stringy wood swarf and large chips. IF the chain yields fine dust, the blade is dull.

    One does NOT want to add something volatile to thin the oil- when cutting, a chain will encounter abrasives in the bark and layers, and an occasional nail, as well as plenty of exhaust spark, which could serve as ignition source.

    The oil needs to flow through, and get flung OFF. You want the fines, the abrasive grit, etc., to bind just enough to get thrown OFF the chain, and flooded out of the bar groove.

    Using a good quality bar oil, or a lesser quality bar oil is better than using something that is NOT bar oil, but ANY oil that will actually flow, is better than NONE.

    Bar top and bottom edge wear (and flaring out) is normal... that's why we flip the bar upside down every so often, and file off the sharp edges too...


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