Mill on the way. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Mill on the way.

I just ordered an Alaskan MKIII and I'm gonna match it up with my husqvarna 450. Any recommended tips or accessories? What's the biggest bar I can run on a 450 effectively. The mill goes to a max 24" and I have a 16" and an 18" bar. Advice, all is welcome. Thanx.
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post #2 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 08:20 AM
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I don't really have any recommendations for you because I don't own one. I can tell you that you made a good purchase though. My cousin who lives in alaska builds custom log cabins and his #1 tool he has is his alaskan saw mill. His mill gets used hard and put away wet and yet it never lets him down.
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post #3 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanx, I know its gonna be a long slow process but I think I'm gonna have fun with it.
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 09:09 AM
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I wasn't familiar with the product so I did a Google search when I ran across one man's story of using his mill:
http://granberg.com/content/granberg...-chainsaw-mill

On this page http://granberg.com/content/alaskan-chainsaw-mill they have a lot more info with a video link at the bottom.

Have fun!
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post #5 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 09:25 AM
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Be sure to let us know how well it works when you get it. I'm wondering how you get it cutting straight on a irregular shaped log? Also where do you get a ripping chain?
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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Hey Steve you can get any chain under the sun at baileys they are awesome... And Swizzle you can consider me jealous.Also you gonna want to invest in an electric chain sharpener if you don't already have one. Also on the ripping chain if you can't afford one you can sharpen a regular chain down to 10 degrees and it works in a pinch it leaves a lot of saw marks but they are all shallow. Have fun and post pics

"Courage is not knowing about when to take a life, but knowing when to spare it."
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post #7 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Steve from what I see you level out the slabbing platform, (which I haven't ordered, I'll be using 2x4's or check a scrap yard for a long straight piece of metal). Once the slabbing platform is level the first cut should be level.

Tommie, I have a dremel chain sharpener. I don't plan on wasting anything but the Kerf. The odd pieces will go to firewood and I'll do my best to get some good straight trees for cabin building. The irregular bits I'll be using for furniture, benches and bridges over little run offs.
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-19-2013, 11:03 PM
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Good luck with this, swizzle. It is a lot of work, but very rewarding. I've milled probably a dozen or more burr oak logs with a home built mill sort of based on the Alaskan. There are some pics here:

http://bullfire.net/Lumber/Lumber.html

I used the lumber for baseboards and door casings in our house.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.

Last edited by ed_h; 02-19-2013 at 11:07 PM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by swizzle View Post
Steve from what I see you level out the slabbing platform, (which I haven't ordered, I'll be using 2x4's or check a scrap yard for a long straight piece of metal). Once the slabbing platform is level the first cut should be level.

Tommie, I have a dremel chain sharpener. I don't plan on wasting anything but the Kerf. The odd pieces will go to firewood and I'll do my best to get some good straight trees for cabin building. The irregular bits I'll be using for furniture, benches and bridges over little run offs.
A couple of years ago I got the idea I wanted to build something out of wood off my land and tried to rip a couple of 4' long logs freehand with my chainsaw. Talk about a rough job. I didn't think I would ever get the logs ripped. That was before I found out there was a different blade made for ripping. The wood I was cutting was intended to be 4/4 but I ended up ripping it about 2" thick because I was having a difficult time ripping freehand. I've often thought with all the oak, ash and hickory on my place I should have a saw mill but I looked at portable band mills and they were too costly for me since I would only cut a tree if it died. I could see using a chainsaw mill if it worked fairly good. I have a lot of patience.
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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I've been reading quite a bit on chainsaw mills lately. There seems to be a bit of a debate between the regular chain and a ripping chain. The best I can tell it boils down to the chainsaw more then the chain. The more power and speed the less binding and I see wedging is very important to keep the bar from getting pinched. One person claims to get about a foot a minute while another spent 30-40 minutes on a 9ft log. Im guessing its the difference between a sharp chain, the size of the chainsaw, and the type and size and gnarlyness of the wood. Now I just need a nice flat surface to run that first cut with and a level, tune up the husky 450 and see what happens.

Steve what are the factors with you? The size bar, chainsaw and how gnarly is the logs your cutting? How do you sharpen your chain. Change one thing and your chainsaw mill might cut a lot faster.

Last edited by swizzle; 02-20-2013 at 08:03 AM. Reason: adding content
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post #11 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I'm wondering how you get it cutting straight on a irregular shaped log?
I was wondering that too. Then I saw this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOOzWli0rmU
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post #12 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't order the rail. I'm hoping I can find a nice flat usable piece of metal from a scrap yard or a cheap aluminum ladder that I can use. I don't want to use a 2x4 or 2x6 like I've seen others use. I figure if a board has a slight bow to it then all my boards will end up with that same bow.
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by swizzle View Post
I've been reading quite a bit on chainsaw mills lately. There seems to be a bit of a debate between the regular chain and a ripping chain. The best I can tell it boils down to the chainsaw more then the chain. The more power and speed the less binding and I see wedging is very important to keep the bar from getting pinched. One person claims to get about a foot a minute while another spent 30-40 minutes on a 9ft log. Im guessing its the difference between a sharp chain, the size of the chainsaw, and the type and size and gnarlyness of the wood. Now I just need a nice flat surface to run that first cut with and a level, tune up the husky 450 and see what happens.

Steve what are the factors with you? The size bar, chainsaw and how gnarly is the logs your cutting? How do you sharpen your chain. Change one thing and your chainsaw mill might cut a lot faster.
The log was red oak about 4' long and 16" in diameter which I stood up verticle. It was clear straight grain wood. The chain saw was a stihl ms 280 with a 18" bar. The chain was a new Stihl 26 RMC3 74. I think it took me about 30 to 45 minutes to make one cut with the saw. It wasn't binding, it just cut slow. After reading somewhere about a ripping blade I just assumed I needed a different blade.
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 09:43 AM
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I was wondering that too. Then I saw this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOOzWli0rmU
I couldn't open the link with my bad internet so I went to google images and I think I found what you are talking about. Looks like it work to me.
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post #15 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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The log was red oak about 4' long and 16" in diameter which I stood up verticle. It was clear straight grain wood. The chain saw was a stihl ms 280 with a 18" bar. The chain was a new Stihl 26 RMC3 74. I think it took me about 30 to 45 minutes to make one cut with the saw. It wasn't binding, it just cut slow. After reading somewhere about a ripping blade I just assumed I needed a different blade.
It wouldn't hurt to try a new chain. I'm already expecting a lot of frustration until I find the combination that works the best for me. You have to take in consideration that you were cutting hard wood so that might have a lot to do with it too. Try the same set up on pine and see if there's a big difference. I'd love to buy the 36" mill and run a Stihl 066. Right now I'm gonna make due with what I got. Gotta get the chain tensioner fixed on my saw. Cut one chunk of wood and I gotta tighten the chain.
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post #16 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 11:41 AM
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I couldn't open the link with my bad internet so I went to google images and I think I found what you are talking about. Looks like it work to me.
Granberg (the manufacturer) calls it their Aluminum EZ-Rail Guide. The video shows pounding in the dogs that keep it in place and using the leveling screws to ensure it's level throughout the length.

In construction we use Unistrut a lot and they come in 10' and 20' lengths. But there can be some bow. Also, making something like the EZ-Rail could be more hassle than it's worth and maybe even cost more. But it would be built like a tank.

The aluminum ladder might work so long as you find a way to keep it in place and level it along the length. The saw will follow what it's riding on so anything not perfectly flat will create a cut not perfectly flat.

A 9' section of EZ-rail costs around $200. If you cut a lot of lumber, you'll make that up in savings quickly and save yourself a lot of time in R&D, parts and aggravation.


But I really don't know what you guys are concerned about. Just buy yourself a forest and a Timber King 2400 and you're good to go! (That's some serious stuff there!)
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post #17 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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As soon as my checkbook is fat enough that I could hurt myself falling off of it I'll buy one with a forest to match.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 05:33 PM
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It wouldn't hurt to try a new chain. I'm already expecting a lot of frustration until I find the combination that works the best for me. You have to take in consideration that you were cutting hard wood so that might have a lot to do with it too. Try the same set up on pine and see if there's a big difference. I'd love to buy the 36" mill and run a Stihl 066. Right now I'm gonna make due with what I got. Gotta get the chain tensioner fixed on my saw. Cut one chunk of wood and I gotta tighten the chain.
I don't have any pine on my place but I've got some aromatic cedar and cottonwood.
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 08:23 PM
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I didn't order the rail. I'm hoping I can find a nice flat usable piece of metal from a scrap yard or a cheap aluminum ladder that I can use. I don't want to use a 2x4 or 2x6 like I've seen others use. I figure if a board has a slight bow to it then all my boards will end up with that same bow.
swizzle--

The method I use involves putting in lag bolts every couple of feet to support the 2x8 or 2x10 board straight and level. Takes maybe a little more time to set up than the store-bought track, but the board is under $10, and I can still use the board for something else. Never had any issue with a bow.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have any pine on my place but I've got some aromatic cedar and cottonwood.
That should work for a test. Be interesting to see the results.
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