Twisted chain

dspacio

Active Member
Location
Narragansett Bay
The other day I was swapping out the bar on the chainsaw when I was at the job. bringing the chain out of the rig I realized it had become way twisted.
It was one of those foolish moments where every twist I chased created another one elsewhere...

finally I asked the other guy for ideas, we sorta stretched it out in tension and I was able to feed it through itself.

I never had that come up before so extreme.

Does anyone have tricks or techniques for this situation?
Having extra hands was the key in this case. Got me wondering what I would do without four hands. I never learned about this in sharpening school.
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
Sometimes they just twist into puzzles that are hard to understand...

I always find laying the chain down on a flat, clean surface helps (ie: not in the dirt). Then I start visually tracing what are the biggest 'free' sections, spreading it out until it is simpler and flatter, and pretty soon can usually figure it out.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Every loop has an opposite spun loop, unless someone had joined the chain as a gag.

I've heard people can flip a long saw chain loop inside-out/ drivers out. Give it to the new guy. Maybe just a story.
It is possible to flip a chain inside out - don’t know how, but I’ve seen it. I think the new guy is the one who managed to do it, actually, but then he couldn’t fix it...
 

Cereal_Killer

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Every loop has an opposite spun loop...
OK here's my trick:
As @southsoundtree mentions each loop will have an opposite one but it's not necessarily the one next to it. As a simple example it could be twisted like this-
A A B B
Or this-
A B A B
Example 1 there's 2 pairs of twists, one inside the other pair. Example 2 there's 2 pairs of twists next to each other.

To get the chain straight you need to cancel each pair but if you just grab the chain and start untwisting you might not be making progress reducing opposing pairs, just adding more.
To do this you can look at any section and find two opposite twists and undo those two as a pair and then move on along to the next opposite pair. Don't just randomly go along the chain at a point between two of the same direction twists and try to start untwisting or you'll just be making life harder.

I hope I explained this well, it works every time, I can untwist a badly twisted 36"er under a minute with no frustration and minimal cussing without ever making backwards progress but it's hard to type out what I mean...
 
Last edited:

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
As others have said, each loop as a second opposing loop. When it appears the drivers are facing out, it’s easy to identify. Hanging it can help, it make it worse.
Rolling two opposing opposite loops towards each other keeping them as large and open as possible..

Cursing..
 

chiselbit

Well-Known Member
It is possible to flip a chain inside out - don’t know how, but I’ve seen it. I think the new guy is the one who managed to do it, actually, but then he couldn’t fix it...
Have done it. Works best with older chain that’s worn, gloves are highly recommended.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Y’all ever see someone roll up a portable bandsaw blade? Looks like a great way to slice your throat open, but they grab it in a particular way and give it a flip, wa la a small roll of bandsaw...
I learned to do that on big bandsaw blades, in my teens when I got into woodworking. It’s a fun trick to do to show off for people, making a big blade into three neat little coils. Turning it loose on the other hand, is downright terrifying! I’m amazed I never lost an arm or something uncoiling those things.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
I learned to do that on big bandsaw blades, in my teens when I got into woodworking. It’s a fun trick to do to show off for people, making a big blade into three neat little coils. Turning it loose on the other hand, is downright terrifying! I’m amazed I never lost an arm or something uncoiling those things.
I've seen some f-ed up things, and I've done my fair share.... But, when I first saw that with a woodmizer blade my first thought was, "of f dat, not gonna try it".
 

dspacio

Active Member
Location
Narragansett Bay
Thanks everyone!
I think I see what your saying, @Cereal_Killer . will look for that next time.
In this case we held two opposite lengths in tension and one went over the other. Of course the inside-out loops themselves need to be allowed to release, so it was one of those balances of "tension but not too tense."
Add it up to the other 5000 bizarre skills we practice.
I really appreciate all the replies. Like a lot of things, the approach itself is as important as the basic technique.
 

surveyor

Well-Known Member
Location
NC
This reminds me of my first day at work as a surveyor apprentice. We used to use a 100' long steel tape that was taken up into your hand in large figure 8 loops one by one, until you had it all in hand, then you could twist one end of the figure 8 into the other end to form a tidy circle of essentially spring steel tape and then tie it with the leather straps that were attached at either end. (Later I would learn how to do this one handed). But since this was my first exposure to a surveyors tape, when the boss told me to let out the chain (as it was called, because early measurements were made with a 66' chain with 100 links), I was unsure of what exactly that entailed, so not wanting to appear to be the nob by asking stupid questions, I untied the leather thongs, and sort of cast the whole mess out in front of me onto the ground. The resultant snarl of spring steel was quite impressive, and my boss spend the next 20 minutes sorting it all out. Amazingly, I was not fired on the spot.
 

SeanRuel

Well-Known Member
Location
Portland
@dspacio you need a little Gerry Beranek in your life. The fundamentals of general tree work covers this and a million other things

 

dspacio

Active Member
Location
Narragansett Bay
@dspacio you need a little Gerry Beranek in your life. The fundamentals of general tree work covers this and a million other things

Thanks for the recommendation, sounds great. Yea I love the finer description of all this ..

btw, the next time a chain got twisted (not nearly as bad, just two loops) the insight here kicked in and it was short work to balance it.
 

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