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Author Topic: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications  (Read 2621 times)

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Offline buzz-zucha

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chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« on: March 22, 2017, 09:45:21 AM »
I'm using a Granberg MKIII chainsaw mill with a slightly undersized Husky (70cc) with a 24" bar and rip.  Still new.  I've only been weekend milling for about 6 months.

I'm curious about modifications others have made to the mills to improve milling process.  I did a search but came up with all most no results. 

I've watched some videos of hacking the mill and adding a winch -- anyone make one work?

Also, heard about adding counterbalance weight to opposite end of mill from sawed.

Any comments on these or other suggestions for improving process and results -- speed is not the most important factor.  I usually cut smaller sections (4' to 10').  I know a bigger chainsaw head would help, but its what it is for the interim.  I'd set up to a small bandsaw mill before adding a new saw head.

Thanks.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »
A winch would totally disconnect the operator from the saw and mill where attention and the "feel" of the downward pressure with push is needed.

The winch method was made famous back in the 1960's and early 1970's by a chainsaw miller Will Malloff. He actually patented a ripping chain design in around 1965 that went on to be used by Granberg.

His winch idea worked great with his heavy gear drive Stihl 090 with a 5 foot bar milling huge red cedar or Doug fir. But not practical for what your doing.

Best thing I can advise for you to do with your small logs and Husqvarna 372XP is don't mill with new chains as the wider kerf cutters rob alot of power, speed and lost lumber through waste.

Use chains that are filed down to near the end of their life.  Also setup a knee high table or sawhorse that you can comfortably mill the log on.
A couple of wooden ramps and a cant hook will get your logs in position.

Only 2 methods for advice, but I think they're the most important.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline buzz-zucha

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2017, 01:01:40 PM »
Thanks for input.  I see these trees getting milled with the bandsaws and I lust.  Is there a good design for a bucking-horse milling-horse that works with chainsaw mill.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2017, 01:27:44 PM »
Mine are under 4 feet of snow,  won't see them for a few months lol.
I cut 2 ramps out of a couple of rounds about 2 ft high and 16 inches wide with cleats carved in their rolling surfaces go up against 2  20 inch diameter by 2 ft high spruce rounds with a V notch cut on their tops.
Totalling adjustable for length and you can make them right in the woods where you're milling

Good idea to toe nail the ramps to the rounds.
With the cant hook you can roll the logs in the V notched support rounds.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline mad murdock

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 05:51:56 AM »
From my experience using my Alaskan Mk III on my husky 372 XPW 32" bar, is go with the 63PMX still chain. I did and love he increase milling speed and narrower kerf(1/4") vs std 3/8" kerf. Less kerf = less hp used to remove the wood, less waste and more boards. I had a 28" mill and when I upgraded to 32" and PMX chain I extended my mill to 36". Very pleased with the results. I have milled a lot with it.
Turbosawmill M6 (now M8) Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline Jesper Jepsen

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 12:23:50 AM »
I have made two big changes to my Alaskan, first of I added a winch which on large log really helps both my back but also to keep a more constant cutting speed and by that a smoother surface. Second I changed the brackets that adjust the height with some quick clamps. They do it so much easier to change the thickness you want to cut. Other than that I added another crossmember so I can cut small logs and still have support on the log without getting to move the square tube.

The quickclamp:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SawTroll-Quick-Release-Adjust-System-Granberg-Alaskan-Chainsaw-Mills-Mill-Height-/322311660787


Offline HolmenTree

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 09:08:24 AM »
Very nice Jesper .
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline Ox

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 09:50:10 AM »
When I milled logs with a chainsaw, I found going downhill at about a 15 or 20 degree angle made a big difference.  Everything was just easier when milling.  Moving around was harder but the milling took the most time and I felt it was the biggest help.  Easier pushing and stuff - much easier if I'm remembering correctly.  It made me feel like a new man.
Then I built a bandmill and don't have to pretend to be a mountain goat no more.  ;D ;)
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline RPF2509

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 05:05:28 PM »
I'd agree with milling downhill if you can, much easier.  Also with getting the log up off the ground.  I usually use chunks from the tree you're milling.  Cut or split them in half so the don't roll, a notch or wedges in the top to keep the log steady.  A peavey is very handy for moving logs and cants as is a large steel pry bar - at least 4' long and 5' is better. You got to have some way of getting the log up on the chunks.  A come a long is handy  to help move logs.  Never used a winch on the mill but I might try it on a bigger log someday. Lots of wedges to level, brace or jam in the cut.  I put a length of pipe insulation on the crossbar to lessen the vibration.  Even with a shorter bar I use an auxillary oiler.  A smaller second saw is handy for trimming.  My Beam Machine gets used a lot as an edger and when making fence posts - even with a 50cc saw I can cut 6' square posts handily. www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/23409/edging_the_log~1http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/23409/end_of_the_cut~0.JPG http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/23409/splitting_the_middle~1.JPG

Offline RPF2509

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2017, 05:07:41 PM »
OK so the picture thing did not work as I wanted it.  Hopefully you can still click and see it.  Anyway there is a better way to do the pictures and I understand if Jeff has to do it this way.

Offline Ianab

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2017, 05:24:48 PM »
OK so the picture thing did not work as I wanted it.  Hopefully you can still click and see it.  Anyway there is a better way to do the pictures and I understand if Jeff has to do it this way.

Yes, when you go your gallery and look up the picture you want to use, scroll down a bit and there is a box with some code in it.

Code: [Select]
[img]http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/23409/splitting_the_middle~1.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1490389493[/img]
Just copy and paste that code into your post, and the image will appear, like so.

Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline buzz-zucha

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2017, 09:03:09 PM »
Thanks for all the comments.  Thought I'd post a link to my first attempt at a longer log.  Not as smooth as I would like but that was all operator error.



Also unknown log.  Identification may not be possible with this picture.


BTW, you can see the attempt to mount winch.  Not working well yet.  I've not achieved either balance or right angle to run saw.  I had about a 30 degree cant from the head end back to the tip and made a 4' run that was wonderful.  Still working on how to make cuts.  I've found that cutting with blade perpendicular to log allows the tip end to get bedded in and stops blade rotation.  The most effective cuts have come with head against log and using mill guides to swing the tip end forward then rotate.  The action leaves telltale signs of saw action.  I'll keep working at it.

Offline Jesper Jepsen

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 04:24:44 AM »
Got my butt out to the saw this morning to take some pictures of my mill setup.
I found that running the rope from the winch around the posts help the balance and the ability to pull even on both sides of the mill. I shorten the handle on the winch so I don't hit my knuckles every turn :)
The other add on is the quick release which is a blessing and now I actual adjust my mill more often than with the standard brackets.
The last thing is the add on of another guide so I don't need too move the one it comes with when milling small diameter logs. 

  

  

  

  

  

Offline krustysurfer

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 10:08:54 AM »
OK so the picture thing did not work as I wanted it.  Hopefully you can still click and see it.  Anyway there is a better way to do the pictures and I understand if Jeff has to do it this way.

Yes, when you go your gallery and look up the picture you want to use, scroll down a bit and there is a box with some code in it.

Code: [Select]
[img]http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/23409/splitting_the_middle~1.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1490389493[/img]
Just copy and paste that code into your post, and the image will appear, like so.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
i got one of those inexpensive mills too! looks pretty awesome! i paid around $20 for mine. what do you think- easier to run on wooden 2x material or get a extruded aluminum rail as a mill guide instead? those little guides are sweet! aloha
You are Awesome and Loved By God! Aloha

Offline krustysurfer

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Re: chainsaw mill (alaskan) modifications
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2018, 10:17:42 AM »
From my experience using my Alaskan Mk III on my husky 372 XPW 32" bar, is go with the 63PMX still chain. I did and love he increase milling speed and narrower kerf(1/4") vs std 3/8" kerf. Less kerf = less hp used to remove the wood, less waste and more boards. I had a 28" mill and when I upgraded to 32" and PMX chain I extended my mill to 36". Very pleased with the results. I have milled a lot with it.
I like your thinking and doing with your Kerf/Chain sizing smiley_idea what i am scared of is snapping and flying chains with the .025 instead of 3/8- you changed the sproket on the powerhead to accommodate thinner kerf?
thanks for the confirmation. aloha
You are Awesome and Loved By God! Aloha


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