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Author Topic: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling  (Read 611 times)

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Offline Malfestus

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New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« on: September 04, 2021, 12:48:28 PM »
Hello everybody! 

Long story short (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=116432.new#new) I believe CSM will be the best option for me to attempt to source my own timber for a small timber frame.  

Note, at the moment i have no intent to mill lumber/boards or anything smaller than timber with my chainsaw.  Maybe that will change in the future, but the priority is to get at least my first stack of timbers ill need for a 12x16 structure.  With that being said, you can imagine that the goal would be 4 milling cuts per timber (aside from felling and length cuts).  

Here is my setup:

-Granburg 36" Alaskan Mill
-Sthil 661 -  32" Bar
     -2x Sthil standard crosscut chains.
     -I have 2x Granburg ripping chains in the basket, but wanted someones opinion/stories regarding rip/crosscut chains for the milling process.
-First Cut:  Ill be fabricating my own, welding extruded aluminum in 8 foot sections.
-Very much considering an electric chain sharpener from forums suggestions.  Anyone out there who has good results/enjoys the process of hand filing?
-Wedges for support while milling.
-Safety gear, including respirator. 

Aside from standard tools like drills/screws and so on to attach the first cut to the log, can anyone think of anything im missing specific to milling?


It will be a little bit before I get to the milling as I am in the identifying/tagging of my trees.  Any literature, tips tricks, warnings, hints and so on would be much appreciated for the process of milling, identifying good trees for timbering and so on!


Let the Sufferfest ensue.

Offline charles mann

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2021, 02:20:57 PM »
You can, in the future, change your cross cut profile to a ripping profile as you sharpen your cross cut chain. 

I have used a cross cut chain to rip/mill before and other than chip size, i saw no difference in surface texture or quality of boards milled. 

I started with a husq 372 and jonsered 2166 then stepped up to the 661 with a 36 bar. I also made some wedges that were slightly (1/32) thicker than my kerf, so i didnt throw the milling depth out of wack by driving a felling wedge in to far and raising the saw off the original cut depth to much. 

I did buy a 42 but havent used it for milling, which was my intended use when purchasing. I will be getting the 600 rails for my granberg mill eventually. 

Turn your oiler all the way up to ensure ample oil is getting to your bar. For me, when i sharpen the chain, i would inspect the oil galley hole and make sure it was clogged by debris. 

If you arent using a hand crank winch to help pull the saw through the cut, try to position the log by either blocking it up and pointing downhill to allow gravity to aid in pushing the saw through the cut. 
Temple, Tx
Fire Fighting and Heavy Lift Helicopter Mech
Helicopter and Fixed Wing Pilot

Offline miro

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2021, 07:10:55 AM »
I made the same journey that you are setting out on.
 Most of the time on the CSM was in the bush, so I learned hand filing.
yes it takes some practice. But it also slows the process down so you can inspect each tooth. I was never satisfied with the electric sharpeners - faster yes, quality no.
I started with rip chain  - got a better surface.

After each log, the saw was removed from the mill, and cleaned out - I mean everything  including the small roller at the tip of the blade. I used a Homelite with a 24 in bar - still have it and the Granberg mill. I was inspired by an article in the Fine Woodworking magazine.

I was careful to stack and store the wood out of the sun, good air circulation and a good distance above ground. I used multiple coats of any old latex paint I had around for end coating - kept painting till it wouldn't soak up any more. The various colours help me remember roughly when I milled it.

All of this was 40 years ago and I'm still working on using the wood that I milled. walnut, black cherry, maple, catalpa, birch, poplar,  . .  - yes I did a lot of milling.
Designed and built all of my own furniture  for 2 houses.

You'll have some fun and some heartbreak - just after sharpening your blade, you'll hit a nail - happens to everyone.

miro

Offline Malfestus

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2021, 12:24:28 PM »
Thanks for the reply from both of you very much!

@Charles:  Thanks for sharing your experiences.  I got some felling wedges (the orange plastic ones) of a couple different sizes, the smaller ones seem like theyd do pretty well to fit just right to hold the waste up without prying it up (i have also heard from floweringelbow (Australian youtuber who swears by CSM) to not bash the wedges in, just slap them with your palm so they are not too wedged.   I figure if they slide out or i have any issues ill just fashion some of my own out of wood!  
     How did you like the change to the 661?  I bought it based on research saying i needed a powerful saw and after spending some time drooling over it hehe.  Any noticeable difference in how it mills?   In the user manual they mention to use a bar of decent length for the project you are doing, so if I am only milling a 14 inch diameter log, should i swap out the 32" bar for a 20ish inch or so (taking into consideration the loss of length from the clamps on the mill and so on)?
     Good reminder on the oiler, ill make sure to do that, I will be making myself go through a pre-cut maintenance checklist and will make sure thats one part of it.   What do you think about the drip systems people use near the end of the bar hanging from the mill?
     I considered the hand crank, but wasnt sure if id want to get it/build it quite yet or not as I still dont know how much effort it takes to get this guy though the logs (from other peoples experiences it seems like its a bit of a workout haha).  I have heard about aiming it slightly downhill to let gravity do some of the driving, Id assume id just prop one side up in that case... or, chances are, It will probably already have some part aiming downhill as my location is quite hilly as is!


@Miro:  Thank you so much as well!  
  I absolutely expect to be doing most of my milling in the bush for sure, where ever I lay the trees down is very likely where Ill be working them, I will be doing everything I can to do most of this by hand void of hydroponics and dragging logs around my steep property.  It makes perfect sense that you learned to hand file.   Do you suggest the use of a stump vise in that case?  If so, should i go for the 2x more expensive sthil one.... or the 20 dollar ones that look identical lol!!   Did you find the files with the guard on them to come in handy, or just end up using the basic round ones with a handle?
 
When you say after each log, in my case that would be 4 cuts, does that sound like a good place to clean out?

We will be putting up a cheep prebuilt shed for the time being to house some of our major tools (including a friends side by side) I figure ill just add on a leantoo roof and keep my stack of timbers under that unless anyone advises against that.  Based on suggestions from the books ive been inspired by starting 6 or so inches off the ground, then 1 inch junk wood in between is what I was originally planning.  Anything you see as an issue there based on experience?

Can you explain the latex paint reason?  Does it seal it in better to allow for longer drying times and more time to get to jointing while its green?  Or mainly as an identifier? 

     I love hearing about the furniture.  I recently bought and read the anarchist woodworking series which i found extremely inspiring and insightful: https://lostartpress.com/collections/the-anarchist-series-of-books     He makes many comparisons between mass produced furniture designed to last for a few years vs handmade that will last generations!  Have you posted your furniture anywhere?



Thanks again for both of your posts!!
Let the Sufferfest ensue.

Offline charles mann

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2021, 01:48:56 PM »
Extra bar length means more chain links, which means additional drag and drag creates heats, plus an unneeded power drain on the eng. 18 or 20 inch should be ample length to mill what you are milling. 

The 661 compared to the 2166/372 is night and day on power and definitely on weight. Its not a saw i would want to fell with all day, unless i was 20yrs younger. 

The paint, im assuming is to act as end grain sealant to slow cracking on the end cuts.  

The guided files allow for a more accurate and repeated angle on the tooth, as where eyeballing, can cause each tooth to have a slightly or drastic difference in angle, esp as the day goes on and the longer the bar, the more teeth need to be filed, and one can tire out and loose the angle of the cut. 

I hand file and after about the third or forth cut/slab on a log, i would sharpen the chain and a 36 bar got old real fast and i noticed a difference in the cut and chips, so i started using the file guide, plus it lets you know if you need to take the rackers down. 
Temple, Tx
Fire Fighting and Heavy Lift Helicopter Mech
Helicopter and Fixed Wing Pilot

Offline Malfestus

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2021, 02:35:00 PM »
#Charles-   Thanks again!

That makes a bunch of sense with the shorter bar, probably better to extend the life of the saw/reduce wear and the work ill need to do to sharpen chains and the likes.  Looks like ill be ordering a shorter bar and chains to go with it in that case!

Ill grab me on one of the file guides in that case so im not just going by eye/hand and screwing myself.

I plan to have 2-3 chains so that I can make it through at least a timber or 2 before I have to stop to sharpen (not considering the cleaning and maintenance each timber, sounds like when its time to switch out chain might be a good time to clean the saw up too.

Let the Sufferfest ensue.

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2021, 09:01:28 PM »
Shortest bar thats realistic for what youre doing equals the least amount of parasitic drag. And at least a tiny touch up every time you go to gas & oil up the saw is a good habit to get into, even if you are NOT milling ;)
Trying harder everyday.

Offline pezrock

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2021, 01:13:26 AM »
Yes use the shorter bar whenever possible 100% will make your job easier. 
Buy knee pads and Aleve. Pop the Aleve before making the first cut. 
Hand file guide with PFerd files. Make sure guide has 10 degree line. 
Granberg ripping chain was faster imo about 15%. I think the purchase was worth it. The "scoring" teeth are just regular teeth cut in half length wise. 
The chain will gunk up with burned wood and tree juices. Soaking them in simple green overnight then hitting them with compressed air worked well to clean them. 
Flip bar upside down every chain sharpening. Maybe buy a bar gap closer and debur it with the file. Bars seem to wear quickly Alaskan milling. 
Bring a level with you. 
These are the lessons I learned, I hope it helps. 

Offline Malfestus

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2021, 12:49:27 PM »
Thanks for the reply Tacotodd and pezrock!

Note taken, shorter bar will be a big benefit from the sound of it!

Oh knee pads what a good idea!!!  

Thanks for the simple green soak idea, that sounds like a smart way to keep them touched up.  

I did see on a few videos and in the user manual to flip the bar with each sharpening, i plan to write a maintenance procedure (can you tell im an engineer?lol) and ill add that to it!

Again, I really appreciate the wisdom everyone has willingly provided!! I cant wait to get rolling on this!
Let the Sufferfest ensue.

Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: New To Forum: And to CS-Milling
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2021, 06:13:46 PM »
Not sure if you mentioned it or not but a hand crank winch mounted to the granberg will do the pushing work for you. Im sure if you google it you can find the idea. 
Home built bandsaw mill still trying find the owners manual!


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