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Author Topic: Chainsaw Mills  (Read 3070 times)

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Offline Silverback

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Chainsaw Mills
« on: December 06, 2004, 02:52:07 PM »
Jeff,
I don't know if this topic should be here, chainsaws, or timber framing.

My question of those more knowledgeable is do I need anything bigger than a chainsaw mill to mill beams for my timberframe house when I start?  I wouldn't think a smaller band mill would do too well and I don't want to sink a lot of money in a larger one and support equipment (other than a good JD tactor).  I plan to buy all my other wood from either the amish or Bibbyman.  I would think that I would be money ahead to put together the best chainsaw mill I can (stihl 090) if I was planning on producing just beams and not thinner stock.

This brings me to my next question.  How would one go about centering the heart with such a mill?  My thoughts are two aluminum tracks with long wood wedges gently tapering the full legth of the track.  One could make several sets of different degrees of wedges that could be changed out.  Does this sound practical?  I have done a search on this and haven't found much.
Live Life.  And to borrow NEW HAMPSHIRE's motto: live free or die.

Offline iain

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2004, 12:20:58 AM »
What size beams you looking to cut width/length?
When i set up my twin head chain mill, i use an old alu ladder if poss.
Pack it, wedge it, what ever to get the first cut right, once you got it the way you want it screw it to the log by drilling through any where you need to, i use a selection of hardened pozi 2's.



iain

Offline ksu_chainsaw

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2004, 02:02:44 AM »
It all depends on the size of the beams that you want to end up with.  The chainsaw mill will work, but will take a long time to cut the lumber.  I have worked with a small chainsaw mill to cut some fence boards, and it took a long time to cut.

The small band mills would take and cut that time dramatically, wish is why I am going to get one when I get back, because for the farm, I dont want to spend all day cutting out the lumber for 100 ft of fence.

I see that you are stationed at Ft Riley.  There is a woodmizer mill east of Manhattan about 30 minutes on Hwy 24, on the west side of Belvue, KS,  if you get a chance to go see them.  There is also a guy in Manhattan that has a Lucas 8, hes on the west side of town somewhere, not exactly sure where.

Hopefully I will be back out of the sand here soon, and I might see u there on Riley.

Offline Silverback

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2004, 06:34:35 AM »
I will be cutting up to 25' white oaks 12x12s, 10x10s, and 6x6s (I plan on overbuilding).  I am concerned about the rails on a smaller band saw not being able to hand the weight/length.  I would probably have to cut the logs into cants with a chainsaw anyway.  However, it that's not an issue then I wouldn't be againts getting a manual mill.  Ive considered a swinger but they are fairly pricey for someone not using full time and seem to have limited beam potential on the sizes.

KSU,  I've bought some wood from the guy with the woodmizer that is east of Wamego a couple of years ago.  I think he has a LT30H but my memory could be faulty.  There is also a guy with a TimberKing (fairly small one) north and west of Westmoreland.  I noticed the sign the other day when I was driving around and drove down the gravel road and looked at his saw from the road.

I would see a smaller band mill doing great on these cedars ya'll got out hear for fencing.  To bad you guys don't have the good hedge like Missouri does.

I should be stationed at Riley for at least another year and a half; my residence is near Wamego--I like to get as far away from Post as I can when not at work.

Keep an eye on Hodgie, don't eat too many kabobs, and carry plenty of TP :D
Live Life.  And to borrow NEW HAMPSHIRE's motto: live free or die.

Offline Robert_in_W._Mi.

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2004, 07:09:17 AM »
  I sawed out quite a few beams on my old Norwood Lumbermate from oak, beech and white pine, the bigger ones were 15"x15"x 17', and they came out perfectly..

 I just bought a new Lumbermate 2000, and i don't see why it wouldn't do just as well, as it's even stronger than the old one was..  

 You can buy one with a 13hp Honda, and it will saw out bigger beams than you need with no problem, so give them a look and see what you think.  You can add as much track as you need, and they do a very good job for an reasonable cost.

 Robert

Offline logosoluser

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2004, 07:33:47 AM »
I bought a Logosol mill this summer for the main purpose of building my own timberframe house. I would look real close at their mill if I were you. I have sawn around 3,000 bd ft so far with it and I love it. It is not a production mill, but if the saw is running the mill is running, thats pretty simple. I don't think it's anymore work than the little woodmizer and it's half the cost. Plus the woodmizer can't get anywhere close to cutting lengths like the Logosol for that money. You can control your heart centered cuts with the Logosol by 1/8th variables. So if the long tapers two inches raise the low head two inches and you will be right on the money. If you keep a good sharp chain on the saw, it will cut smoother than the bandsaws. Give them a call or go to the website and get there video and information. I don't think you could beat it for something like your going to do.

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2004, 01:46:47 PM »
On my portable chainsaw mill, a Procut, I am pretty happy with it. The hardest thing is getting large logs on yourself, so I use a come-a-long and a few straps around the log and anchor it to my pintle hook on the truck.

Turning large logs for a cant can be a chore by yourself, but, I have learned a few tricks that make it easier. Once it is a cant, then it gets easier and cutting goes much faster.

It is the perfect set up for doing timbers and larger sizes. I just back the trailer so it is close to the log, then position it by hand, get the log on, throw the saw on, and start milling.

I have tweaked my mill so I can cut a length of wood 12 foot x 16" down one side in about 60 seconds using my Husky 365 ... though wish I had a 3120 !

> How would one go about centering the heart with such a mill?

Draw where you want the cut with a pencil and square, then just raise or lower the saw to the line. What I usually do is do the first cut, flip the log/cant, measure up from the deck, mark the log, and do the second cut for the height.

Offline Silverback

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2004, 08:48:08 PM »
Thanks for the info guys.  I may forgoe the chainsaw mill and go with a small band mill or chainsaw powered mill other than just an Alaskan type.  Or I may start out with an alskan type and move to the logosol.  If I go with the bandmill, I'm considering the timberking 1200 because they are somewhat local.  I will keep the logosol and norwood in mind, also.  I've got at least a year and half to decide.  
Live Life.  And to borrow NEW HAMPSHIRE's motto: live free or die.

Offline Captain

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2004, 04:36:45 AM »
If the job is to cut beams out of smaller logs, the Logosol will really shine.  It is accurate, and well built.  The kerf loss is not really a consideration.  I owned an M7 and loved it.  I just got bit by the sawdust bug HARD and needed more speed.

Captain

Offline DonE911

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2004, 11:14:08 AM »
I just bought a used M7... just picked it up actually. 3 days of rain has kept me from using it... I can say its well built and very easy to move from place to place.  Its in north GA and I'm back in S FL for 2 more weeks, but I'd be happy to let you know how it goes after I start using it.  Seems to be perfect for cutting beams. Timber Frame is in my future which really pushed me towards the logosol.

Offline Silverback

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2004, 01:22:19 PM »
The Logosol may be the way to go.  I don't have the welding ability for the procut.  I would definitely be interested in hearing about your success with it.  How did you find your used saw?  Ebay?  Sawmill exchange?
Live Life.  And to borrow NEW HAMPSHIRE's motto: live free or die.

Offline DonE911

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2004, 02:04:58 PM »
go to logosol's site . www dot logosol dot com

they have a forum there .. its not real active but thats where I found a guy selling his.  He bought it for the singular purpose of building his timber frame home.  House was done so he sold me the mill.   He sent me some pic's of the house and he praised the mill and the beams and lumber it produces.

Offline DonE911

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2005, 05:15:30 AM »
SilverBack,

Sorry I'm a little slow on getting back to you, but I've been pretty busy moving into the new place and such.  

I did get to use my mill some.  I had a few blow down trees so I cut the top section of a red oak and a short trunk section ( about 6 ft long ).  

I was able to cut a very nice 7x7 beam out of the top section of the tree.  It was relatively easy and took me about 30 minutes of thinking and cutting to get the beam out with alot of 4/4 material.  The time was mostly spent on the thinking portion as I didn't want to waste any material.  The short trunk section became a coffee table top at an inch and a half thick and alot of 1x material to use as shelves in the new laundry room. I also cut out some 2x4's that don't really have any purpose yet.

The logosol is easy to use and makes perfect lumber.  I found that a sharpe chain is very important for lumber that looks like its been planned.  I kinda like the rough cut look so I did alot of cuting witha slightly dulled chain....  the sharp chain cuts twice as fast.  I also need some practice on the sharpening, but thats another story in itself.

I now have a giant pile of sawdust 8)

I know that I'm going to have to rig up some type of log handling rig to lift the logs on the mill.  The top of that oak was all my 15 year old son and I could handle with just a few 2x4's to get the log on the mill.  If the mill was going to be stationary I'd make up a log deck, but it's not.  

I hope this helps, and again I'm sorry it took so long to respond.

Offline iain

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2005, 06:43:49 AM »
Try sharpening slightly out,
I hand sharpen and check with a digi vernier gauge, but over sharpen a few on alternate sides to keep speed but produce  timber with interest, also helps keep the strain of long slow cuts that get hot to a minimum.



iain

Offline grampt1

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Re: Chainsaw Mills
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2005, 08:14:04 AM »
Might want to look at the RipSaw brand chain saw powered band mill. Much faster than my Alaska mill but the max. cant size is 14"so that might be a problem depending on the size of your trees. Just another thought.They also have a very good guide bar system.
                                                           Ron


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