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Author Topic: Long guide bars  (Read 606 times)

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Offline yelik goud

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Long guide bars
« on: July 29, 2020, 09:20:41 AM »
Hey Gents, 

New to the forums and fairly new to chainsaw milling. Currently using a Granberg mill and a Husky 3120XP with a 36" bar. A recent tornado made a 48" dia maple become available for me to slab. With the Granberg I lose 8" of cutting length from the bar (with a sprocket tip) due to how it mounts to the bar, so I need a bar that's at least 56" long.
I've only found two companies so far that make them. Cannon and Forester. The Cannon bar is over $500, which is a lot to fork over to cut just one log; the Forester is half that price but out of stock. I thought for sure that Oregon would make such a bar, but I've not found one on their site. Carlton doesn't seem to make anything longer than 36". I've seen people on this forum that recommend Woodland Pro, but when I search for them I get only Cannon.

Does anyone have any advice on where else I can look? Thanks!

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 10:48:09 AM »
Stihl makes (and I have) a 59 inch, but not sure it will fit your saw, and not sure your saw is big enough.  can get a skip tooth chain.  another option is to find someone with a wider mill.  if this is a one off may actually be cheaper to hire it done, or saw on shares.  Where are you from?
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 11:54:01 AM »
Dunno about the bar, but 8" is a lot to lose mounting the mill. I assume that includes the dogs? If so, they can be removed to get a bit more room.

Cannon makes a nice bar(by reputation. I've never used one). If you prorate a $500 bar over a lifetime of milling, the cost will be more attractive. Maybe you'll get more work to justify the cost.

Offline mredden

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 05:37:26 PM »
Im struggling to decide between an 3120xp and an MS880 STRICTLY FOR MILLING. Im a Husky and Chevy man. However, Im trying to decide on best saw not brand loyalty.

One of the factors so far is that it seems there are more big (over 42 ) bars available for the 880. Does anybody know if that is actually true? I also prefer the front tensioner in a mill

But Ive  got a bunch of (3/8ths) bars and chains for 390xp that I could run on a3120xp With a clutch switch). Most of my logs are 28-34 inches HARDwood but I do get opportunities for 40 logs Im passing on. The 36 pecan is too tough on my 390

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 07:41:06 PM »
When I talked to Granburg one time they recommended the Stihl between the two 🤔

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 07:56:58 PM »
I have never seen a Husky with .404 chain, I'm thinking it would overload the saw even skip tooth with a long bar. They need to rev!
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline yelik goud

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 09:11:30 AM »
Well I just learned a valuable lesson. Don't type out a really long reply before logging in again or you'll lose everything you just typed out. That blows.

I'm in Northeastern Ohio. I've called several people and no one has a mill big enough. Amish country isn't too far away but loading and transporting a 5000# log would probably break my trailer. 
I ran the numbers on doing it myself vs. paying someone. If I bought the Forester bar for $250 it would only be slightly more expensive to do it myself in the long run. Plus I would have the added benefit of having the equipment to saw larger logs when they became available. I don't own any heavy equipment and don't plan on building a dedicated logging trailer, so transporting large logs is problematic.

As far as losing 8" of length on the bar: I was surprised too. The dogs have been removed, the mill is mounted as close to the saw as possible, and I lose about 4" because of the sprocket tip.

Stihl vs. Husky for milling: From my research, trying to get a consensus on which saw is better is a futile endeavor. "The Stihl is better than the Husky accept when the Husky is better than the Stihl." I've never owned a Stihl, but that's only because I've only ever owned Huskies.

I have one tip when considering the 3120XP: when the saw is hot and it's also hot outside (85-90 degrees), the saw will not start. You have to let it cool down for several minutes. Something having to do with vapor lock I think. I've seen people DIY some kind of heat shield between the engine and carb. Haven't tried it myself. Another guy removed the primer bulb (on a Husky 5--XP series) and says that fixed it.

So it seems my choices are waiting for the Forester bar to be in stock; risk breaking my trailer with a 5000# log; or buying the Lamborghini bar for $500.

I think I'll wait.


Offline doc henderson

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2020, 09:30:38 AM »
you could cut the log in half lengthwise and mill slabs with one sided live edge and half as wide.  may defeat the purpose/goal.  could dry and then even joint and glue back together.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2020, 10:23:41 AM »
Isnt the 3120 same displacement as 880? What does granberg say about bars for fitting it to their largest mill? And overheating? Seems 
like you already have the saw for what you want to do.

Can you just avoid chainsaw milling when its so hot?
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 10:28:21 AM »
You forget the option to look the other way and pass on this big, expensive, "free" log. 


Docs idea sounds pretty good to.  Split it freehand.  Mill out the heart to clean the freehand cut.  Make bookmatches and do a glue-up.  

I mean not many folks can plane a 4 ft slab anyway. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline mredden

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2020, 11:02:29 AM »
I have never seen a Husky with .404 chain, I'm thinking it would overload the saw even skip tooth with a long bar. They need to rev!
My local Husqvarna dealer told me that the 3120xp is shipped to them with a .404 clutch. Told me I would have to buy a clutch to run a 3/8 chain
just checked one on-line dealer. and their add shows.404.
Husqvarna 3120XP ChainSaw Powerhead Only - 118.8cc - SLE Equipment

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 12:20:45 PM »
The MS880 comes with 404 chain/sprocket/bar.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 02:53:05 PM »
Docs idea sounds pretty good to.  Split it freehand.  Mill out the heart to clean the freehand cut.  Make bookmatches and do a glue-up.  
SO Mike, what you and Doc are saying is he should cut it in half and then glue the halves back together? :D ;D Yeah, I guess that makes sense. ;D
 Seriously though, I freehanded a large log down the middle a month or so ago, just to see if I could do it and it didn't come out half bad. ;D
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline yelik goud

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2020, 03:23:40 PM »
The 3120 (118cc) comes with a .404 sprocket but I switched it over to a 3/8". Granberg lists 120cc needed for 50-52". Fall is coming so I'm not too worried about overheating.

Am I missing something with the whole idea of cutting the log in half lengthwise? If I was able to do that I wouldn't have been asking about long bars.  ???

Free-handing it, I think is out. The log is just shy of 8' long. That's a whole lot of room for things to go badly.

Yes, I did forget to list the "walk away" option. Really don't like the way that one tastes though. 

I could drill a series of holes down the middle and across the width, then pack the holes with detcord. Just like they do in marble quarries.  ;D

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2020, 05:37:12 PM »
Here's a video on freehanding a rip...



I've yet to try it, and wouldn't start on any high value wood, but it's an interesting technique. Someone else tried it with pretty decent results, but I guess it depends on what kind of finished product you're after. I think it would take exceptional skill to get everything at tight tolerances/geometry.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2020, 11:05:46 PM »
I have never seen a Husky with .404 chain, I'm thinking it would overload the saw even skip tooth with a long bar. They need to rev!
My local Husqvarna dealer told me that the 3120xp is shipped to them with a .404 clutch. Told me I would have to buy a clutch to run a 3/8 chain
just checked one on-line dealer. and their add shows.404.
Husqvarna 3120XP ChainSaw Powerhead Only - 118.8cc - SLE Equipment
You only need to change the sprocket rim which isn't a big deal although the clutch needs to be removed.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline esteadle

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2020, 04:32:37 PM »
> Currently using a Granberg mill and a Husky 3120XP with a 36" bar.
> so I need a bar that's at least 56" long.
> I've only found two companies so far that make them. Cannon and Forester.
> Does anyone have any advice on where else I can look? 

I have heard that Granberg makes chainsaw stuff ;-) 

56" double ended bar is about US $320. 
https://granberg.com/product-category/alaskan-mill/add-ons/gb-double-end-bars/?v=7516fd43adaa

Offline esteadle

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2020, 04:39:03 PM »
you could cut the log in half lengthwise and mill slabs with one sided live edge and half as wide.  may defeat the purpose/goal.  could dry and then even joint and glue back together.
I'd also like to suggest a similar idea. 
You usually don't need the full width of the CSM on the first 2 -3 cuts off the top of a fresh log. 
So if you cut those off and reduce the overall diameter a bit, you can then rotate the log 90 and cut down from the top again. 
This gives you a wide flitch with one straight edge and one live edge. 
These types of flitches tend to sell well as pairs, in my experience. Bookmatching. 
You just need to be accurate when you measure the diameter, but you can do it with your existing mill, I would think.

Offline offrink

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Re: Long guide bars
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2020, 06:47:19 PM »
I run a ms880 with a 72 cannon bar and a granger mill. I also have a stihl 59 with a custom made mill. If I had to do it all over again I would do the same thing unless I could find a bigger saw! 

The 880 does just fine in the heat. Ive ran 4 tanks of fuel in 90* heat on a single slab and it started right up when we started the next slab. 


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