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Author Topic: For the Chainsaw Millers...  (Read 919 times)

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Offline SpaceBus

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2021, 07:29:23 AM »
I am one who acquires what others discard.  This bar wouldnt buck a piece of firewood with a new chain.  Itd cut a crescent and stall in the cut until it smoked and sparked.. Weve all been there.  


I made a bar rail closer and got pretty good at fitting rails to drivers and dressing/squaring them up.


This is the lumber finish that junk bar produces when the chain cant keel over in the saddle.  


(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

I still have the two bars I smoked when I first got the mill. Both are Oregon Powermatch/Powercut bars with about 1/8"+ gap between the chain and the bar when fully tensioned close to the powerhead. The hand crank makes it very easy to kill a bar I'm learning. 
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Various Chainsaws

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2021, 07:57:10 AM »
Are you using a steel cable on the hand crank?  Its better to use a piece of nylon rope or cord, pretty thin, so that it stretches and provides a better, smoother, softer pull.  

How are you oiling?  I ran a CSM for the better part of a year and never gapped a bar.  I did wear out the powerhead eventually.  I used lots of oil, and eventually even used a water drip from my garden hose.  

CSMillimg is hard on everything.  

If you want to see your saw cutting ribbons and strings, lay it parallel to the log, and dog from the end of the log, as if you were trimming off a root flare.

Sounds like you found a problem with the chain and bar.  Good catch.
 
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  Dont burn the cookies.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2021, 08:04:22 AM »
Remember, the harder, drier the wood the harder it will be and the harder to csm. Pine should be nice and easy with possible curls. Maple, not as much. Also are you using milking chain and set to the correct angles? They are not the same for cross cut.

I use a ripping chain with factory set angles.  15 degrees if I remember correctly.
HM126

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2021, 08:08:27 AM »
That .050 in an .058 guage bar was likely your whole problem. If you didn't run it with the .050 a bunch, I'd guess your bar is fine. Put an .058 chain on and try it. I bought a firewood processor through an online auction last fall. It only had about 35 hours on it, but the original owner had managed to screw up several things on it that caused me hours of head scratching and troubleshooting. One of those items was the saw chain. It would feed and cut great, but then randomly stop 3/4 of the way through the cut. After a bunch of troubleshooting, I finally figured out that the meathead had put a .063 404 pitch chainsaw chain on the .080 guage 404 harvester bar. I put the correct chain on it and all is well.
  Hand filing teeth consistently can be tricky. Rakers even more so. You can just count your strokes, there are also filing plates available that guide the file to the correct depth.
I put a brand new 0.058 chain on it (granted it was a cross cut chain), but I had the same result so I think the bar is pooched.

From what I'm hearing, it sounds if I'm planning to mill with any regularity, I should get a chain saw sharpener.  I have a couple guides for filing the rakers, but they seem less than consistent.

HM126

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2021, 08:10:24 AM »
The Granberg bar mounted grinder jig works well and I have had better luck with it on the mill than the file jig. The file jigs seem to do best with crosscutting profiles. I think the files leave a more coarse edge, like scissors or shears would have, compared to the very smooth cutter I get after using the grinder. Having equal length cutters and rakers seem to be more important when milling compared to cross cutting.

I will look into that.  CSM'ing is more fun when you don't have to fight your way down the log more than necessary!

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2021, 08:11:44 AM »
One thing we'll do is make the initial cut from the ladder running with the bar perpendicular to the log. The next cut we'll run diagonal to try to hit the high spots and improve the surface level. The next cut is either perp or diagonal the other direction. Basically trying to avoid riding in and duplicating any surface irregularities from the previous cut.


Making multiple passes never occurred to me, but it makes sense as that first surface dictates the quality of the rest of the cuts.  Thanks!

HM126

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2021, 08:14:01 AM »
I am one who acquires what others discard.  This bar wouldnt buck a piece of firewood with a new chain.  Itd cut a crescent and stall in the cut until it smoked and sparked.. Weve all been there.  


I made a bar rail closer and got pretty good at fitting rails to drivers and dressing/squaring them up.

Once I have a new bar in hand, I'll definitely be playing around with the "junk" bar and see if I can revive it.  It would be nice to have 2 or more bars anyways.

Is your bar rail closer something you made to fit in a vise?
HM126

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2021, 08:17:43 AM »
Yeah, weve ALL made some, uh, silly mistakes concerning a chainsaw, but youll learn, thats how we progress (in general). But the trick IS TO LEARN. None of US are perfect, but we can only try harder for the next day and the next time. Like OGHs sign-off on his staying out of trouble thread, tomorrow is another day, and so it always will be, for us at least.

Just be careful when youre using the powered grinders, it is too easy to get to aggressive with them and ruin a chain. Heat damage AND never being able to hand sharpen again. But (thank you heaven) its a consumable. Less expensive than a new saw & easier to buy & replace than piston rings.
I'll make many more CSM'ing mistakes and I look forward to all the lessons from it.  Then we can start the process all over again when I start BSM'ing LOL.


Offline mike_belben

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2021, 08:20:56 AM »
I started off with a homemade alaskan and that needed a ton of muscle to move at all.  I rigged up a string winch to act as my tip end partner and it worked but i always had a seesaw cut pattern that made obviously chainsawed lumber.


Needing planks from a chainsaw, i finally made a junkpile track and carriage for the sawhead to ride on and its 10x better than alaskan.  Partly due to the clean lumber finish and partly due to the ease of clamping a log and maintaining squareness because of backstops.  Never laddering and no tee squares etc.  The saw also does not need winching anymore.. It just walks along.   Not fast like a bandmill and the feedrate is the feedrate no matter how much you push.  But you dont really have to push hard like an alaskan.  Just keep it running and keep pressure and itll creep forward throwing wood out the side.  When it takes more oomph to go forward something needs looking at. Stop right there and itll cost less.


I dont have any more bar wear issues since im not absolutely cranking the bar and chain into the wood.  Theres a lot less friction.  Doesnt really matter what i have on for a chain.  New or sharpened down, 10* or 30*  ...its pretty consistent.


I do a lot of pauses to idle off heat and about 3 or 4x per 10 foot log ill give a squirt of oil at the tip to shed heat.  If the chain will sizzle oil youve got to make some changes or its gonna eat up.


However.. Once the chain is leaning over theres doom on the way.  Nothing cuts when the bar kerf wallows.  If youre gonna stick with CSM you better tool up to maintain bar kerfs.  You can start with .050 bar and chain then dress them to .058 and finally .063 before making signs out of them or whatever.  The tops of the rails will continually get narrower but it isnt the width of the rail top that keeps the chain sitting on it straight.  Its the fit of the driver into the cheeks of the bar sideplates.  Like a long keel on a boat.   It cant rock if the keel is physically restrained in some type of saddle.  Unfortunately chains seem to be harder than rails these days.  IMO bars should be a bit harder and chains soft so that your drivers wear away and you just replace the chain back to tolerance.
Proverbs 19:11

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2021, 08:24:08 AM »
Are you using a steel cable on the hand crank?  Its better to use a piece of nylon rope or cord, pretty thin, so that it stretches and provides a better, smoother, softer pull.  

How are you oiling?  I ran a CSM for the better part of a year and never gapped a bar.  I did wear out the powerhead eventually.  I used lots of oil, and eventually even used a water drip from my garden hose.  

CSMillimg is hard on everything.  

If you want to see your saw cutting ribbons and strings, lay it parallel to the log, and dog from the end of the log, as if you were trimming off a root flare.

Sounds like you found a problem with the chain and bar.  Good catch.
 
No hand crank setup.  Pushing it down the log with a hand on the powerhead and a hand on the mill handle.

Oiling just using the factory setup.  Trying to be diligent about keeping the galleys freeflowing.  Top off the bar oil every fuel fill up.

When I started to look into buying a bigger powerhead for those larger logs, getting a legit Granberg or similar with a hand crank and aux oiler, getting actual adjustable guide rails instead of a ladder etc etc, I realized I'd be pretty close in cost to a hobby level BSM so that is the direction I'm heading in.


Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2021, 08:32:28 AM »
Needing planks from a chainsaw, i finally made a junkpile track and carriage for the sawhead to ride on and its 10x better than alaskan.  Partly due to the clean lumber finish and partly due to the ease of clamping a log and maintaining squareness because of backstops.  Never laddering and no tee squares etc.  The saw also does not need winching anymore.. It just walks along.

However.. Once the chain is leaning over theres doom on the way.  Nothing cuts when the bar kerf wallows.  If youre gonna stick with CSM you better tool up to maintain bar kerfs.  You can start with .050 bar and chain then dress them to .058 and finally .063 before making signs out of them or whatever.  The tops of the rails will continually get narrower but it isnt the width of the rail top that keeps the chain sitting on it straight.  Its the fit of the driver into the cheeks of the bar sideplates.  Like a long keel on a boat.   It cant rock if the keel is physically restrained in some type of saddle.  Unfortunately chains seem to be harder than rails these days.  IMO bars should be a bit harder and chains soft so that your drivers wear away and you just replace the chain back to tolerance.


The track and carriage sounds similar to what I see on Norwood's site and probably many others .

https://www.norwoodsawmills.com/portamill-pm14

Your last paragraph is much appreciated and is explaining exactly what I was still a little confused on so thank you for that.
HM126

Offline mike_belben

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2021, 08:41:44 AM »
You really need a beltsander with an adjustable fence/table and a good tee square to get the fence adjusted to the belt.  Now sand the rail tops until they clean up equally.  


Imagine a train on a track where water has washed out the passenger side ballast and the tie is soft with termites.  That train will continually dip toward the passenger side.  Now imagine the train rides in a very narrow subway tunnel.  Its gonna keep hitting the wall.   

Now in wood, youre chain cutters are moving and the wood bears witness to the pothole in your track.  So its not JUST your sideplates.. Its also the tops of the tracks.  Youve simply got to stay ontop of all aspects of bar maintenance and accept them as begrudging consumables. 
Proverbs 19:11

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2021, 08:59:25 AM »
You really need a beltsander with an adjustable fence/table and a good tee square to get the fence adjusted to the belt.  Now sand the rail tops until they clean up equally.  


Imagine a train on a track where water has washed out the passenger side ballast and the tie is soft with termites.  That train will continually dip toward the passenger side.  Now imagine the train rides in a very narrow subway tunnel.  Its gonna keep hitting the wall.  

Now in wood, youre chain cutters are moving and the wood bears witness to the pothole in your track.  So its not JUST your sideplates.. Its also the tops of the tracks.  Youve simply got to stay ontop of all aspects of bar maintenance and accept them as begrudging consumables.

Thanks Mike.  Makes perfect sense.  I've got a fully outfitted 2 car garage woodshop with all the toys so doing what your saying with the belt sander will be easy.  Staying on top of it is the hard part LOL  :D

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2021, 09:34:28 AM »
Hello VB ,
Maybe I've missed it but what saw are you milling with?
If it's 80cc or more you may want to lower the depth gauges much lower than guides will allow. Once you have bar and chain issues sorted out of course. In my opinion when you are making sawdust like a circular sawmill does the milling is enjoyable. If you feel your chain is sharp, but seems slow with more of a powdery sawdust, take a swipe or two of those depth gauges and try it. 

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2021, 09:38:52 AM »
Pferd Universal Edge Sharpener Guide Bar Dresser

These work very well for keeping bar rails true.
Bar rail closers can be found too, be carefull not to close the rails too much.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2021, 09:41:55 AM »
Hello VB ,
Maybe I've missed it but what saw are you milling with?

It was buried back in my first post.  Its a Husky 460 Rancher.  60cc if I remember correctly.  It was as much saw as I could afford at the time.

I took a lot of flack for buying a Husqvarna while living 3 miles from the Stihl headquarters and manufacturing plant in the US.  :D

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2021, 09:55:31 AM »
That's funny about being 3 miles from Stihl headquarters!
 Being in the 60cc class, go slow when lowering depth gauges,
but I still think you'll want to go lower than you would for cross cutting.

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2021, 10:42:43 AM »
For an Alaskan mill style, a hand crank is easy to fabricate and works extremely well.  Get a piece of steel rod from Lowes, bend a handle on it, slide it in two holes you drill in the uprights, feed on some nylon cord (note in the photo how it is fed under the crossbar) and get to cranking.  The small diameter crank rod gives huge leverage and the stretchy nylon cord gives forgiveness.  

Just pull the trigger and start cranking.  



 

 

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  Dont burn the cookies.

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2021, 11:19:44 AM »
For an Alaskan mill style, a hand crank is easy to fabricate and works extremely well.  Get a piece of steel rod from Lowes, bend a handle on it, slide it in two holes you drill in the uprights, feed on some nylon cord (note in the photo how it is fed under the crossbar) and get to cranking.  The small diameter crank rod gives huge leverage and the stretchy nylon cord gives forgiveness.  

Just pull the trigger and start cranking.  

Oh boy!  I sure like that design!

I'll check my metal scrap bin and see what I can come up with.  I know I got some rod in there somewhere!

Thanks for the pics YH! 



 
HM126

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: For the Chainsaw Millers...
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2021, 12:08:03 PM »
Link to @YellowHammer original thread with a bit more detail in case anyone is looking for more information.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=65570.msg979358#msg979358

I think I can make something work from this pile I had kicking around.  Every time I organize all my junk, I just keep telling myself it will pay dividends when I don't have to waste time running around for stuff.



 


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