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Author Topic: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill  (Read 10307 times)

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Offline sawinmontana

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Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« on: April 18, 2003, 03:20:19 PM »
I picked up this morning an older Alaskan mill that a friend let me borrow. I've never used one and have a few Questions. It has a helper handle one one end and looks like a double ended bar. Can I hook two saws to it? Would two Stihl 044 work? Would one 064 be better or worse? It looks like it would have about a 28" cut.

I was going to set up a string line on each side of the log, and then use two 2x4 for rails, set these to the string and use a few spikes to support the boards and then keep moving them ahead as I saw.

The logs are Douglas Fir and Western Larch, between 12" and 20" on the small end. Most of them are 28' but a few are 42'. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Scott

Offline Kevin

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2003, 03:56:08 PM »
Your slabbing jig won't work well.
The first cut affects every other board that follows .
By using that method the boards will be very uneven and uuuugly.
You need a good slabbing rail or a plank that is fully supported the entire length of the log.
I wouldn't mill with anything less than a single 60cc saw.
Have a peek at my pictures on the Milling Masters.

Offline ADfields

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 02:46:58 AM »
If you have a aluminum extension ladder that can be used for the slabbing jig, 18 foot ladder (10' closed) is great for 8 foot lumber and so on.   Wedge it at every other rung so it wont sag on you.
Andy

Offline sawinmontana

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2003, 11:00:11 AM »
Thanks for in info guys! If you level the log, and level the ladder shouldn't you be able to keep sliding it ahead to do longer logs?

I stopped by the saw shop with it. It has .404 chain on it so I guess they need to order me a new sprocket for my 044.
I thought I could use a 064 but that one isn't available. So I going ahead with my 044. Has anybody used to powerheads before?

Scott

Offline Kevin

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2003, 11:33:30 AM »
The problem I have with ladders is that they are too wide and the side rails don't ride on the log most of the time which can cause them to have some play, depending on the size of log you're milling.
I've never had the need for twin screws because I take the side slabs off with the mini mill and work with a square cant which is considerably smaller in size than the log.
You can only work with one section of an extesion ladder.

Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2003, 04:39:11 PM »
G'day Scott,
That 044 is going to be working pretty hard-out to do any milling.  Because you are ripping across the grain, its very punishing on the saw.  You dont mention if your 404 chain is ripping chain.  Thats something else to check.  Whatever you do, dont try to rip with standard cutting chain.  You may already know this, Im just throwing pointers out here!  :)
2 044's would be better for sure, if youve got them.  Make sure they are putting out plenty of oil.
You really must take the time to get your first cut spot on, or as Kev sez (hey Kevin, theres a good handle for you!  :o ;) ) all your following cuts will be out.  Ive seen it done, where the board (like a 12x2) is slid along the timber as you go for the first cut, supported on those large spikes (pre levelled) driven into the timber, but its not ideal.  Myself, I would only slide the board up a little at a time.  Sometimes the length of the boards or rafters wanted dictate finding a solution like this.  Its not ideal, but I could see it working if the time is spent prior, and frequent checks are made as you cut.  Good luck!
By the by, theres a copy of Malloffs book on ebay now at $15.  A bargain if you can get it. They can go for over $100!  Just search " Malloff "
Its got heaps of good info in it, even for its age.
Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2003, 05:42:45 PM »
Quote
Kev sez .


Charlie, I think you have me mixed up with Simon.  :D

Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2003, 05:58:40 PM »
G'day Kevin,

I can see it now:
Cue flashing lights and deep announcers voice-

"Appearing nightly, exclusively on the Forestry Forum, helping with chainsaw related questions......"

Cue drum roll and lights dimming, suddenly a spotlight spears through the darkened room-

".....its KEV SEZ!!"

Cue Kevin, bursting through the curtain.......

Well, what do you reckon??  :D ;D :D ;D ;) ;)
Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline Oregon_Rob

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2003, 07:36:34 PM »
Sawin
You are getting great advice from a couple of guys who have done a log of milling. Your 044 has about the same specs as my husky 372xp and I think you are asking a lot from it. I milled some doug fir last year, but maxium cut was about 16". It did fine with that, but I tried some apple up to 20" and quickly decided I needed more saw. If you can go with 2 saws I would guess it would be a lot better.
Charlie,
BTY, I have used standard chain and not really had any problems with it other than a rough surface. What problems have you seen?
I am hoping to do milling, but we addopted two children in Feb and my extra cricular activities are some what put to the side for now.
I almost forgot, Have fun, I sure do!
Rob
Chainsaw Nerd

Offline sawinmontana

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2003, 08:10:29 PM »
Thanks agin guys! It will probably be next weekend before I get a chance to try this I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe by then I'll find a larger saw.

Kiwi it does have ripping chain I think, two top plates cut away, two left whole. This needs to be sharpened almost straight across, right?

Kiwi, I'm trying to angle a job next fall in Anarctica. If I get it I know I will be going thru Christchurch on the way down and back. How close is that to you?

Scott

Offline Tom

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2003, 08:40:01 AM »
Antartica?!    What kind'a trees do they have?
extinct

Offline sawinmontana

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2003, 07:56:24 PM »
They won't let us cut any around here any more so you gotta go some where!!

Actually there are some research stations down there and I'm hoping to get an equipment operators job, plowing snow and stuff. Mostly I want the trip to New Zealand!!

Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2003, 03:12:48 PM »
G'day Scott,
Yes thats rip chain by the sound of it. Like the Granberg style, with the scoring cutters (no top plate), and then clearing cutters coming through after.  Rather than try to explain it (my two finger typing aint the fastest!), heres a couple of links explaining a bit about it.
http://www.granberg.com/ripchain.html

http://www.chainsawsforsawmills.com/sawchains.htm

http://www.oregonchain.com/spec.htm

Oregon does ripping chain without the top plates taken off.  Kevin put me onto it, 27RA, and its a great chain.  I have a couple of large jpeg pictures explaining the types and cutting angles etc.  If you want I can email them to you as crunching them to post here, I dont think you would be able to read them.  Let me know your email address by private message if youre interested.
Rob -  I wouldnt rip with standard chain, as the workload on the saw is inceased even more, as you have a full compliment of teeth, all trying to take out a good bite of wood.  If your saw is a bit underpowered to start with (as Scotts is), youre just adding to the strain on it.  And definitely dont crosscut with ripping chain!  The kickback from the 0 deg angle is the problem.
Madsens has some good info on it.
http://www.madsens1.com/ripchain.htm

Antarctica would be a great experience.  They have just gone into total darkness till August sometime!  I have an ex Army buddy who went down for a few seasons as a chef, and he had a blast.  Christchuch is in the other island from me, so its not close to me at all!
Sorry Ive taken so long to get back to you, work has been hectic to say the least!  :)
Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline J Beyer

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2003, 10:19:42 PM »
Get .325 ripping chain.  From what the guy says that I bought my Alaskan from, .325 is the fastest when compared to 3/8LP or 3/8 regulat ripping chain.

Check out the Yahoo! milling group if you have not already done so. lots of chainsaw sawyers there.

JB
"From my cold, dead, hands you dirty Liberals"

Offline Tom

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2003, 09:16:44 AM »
You guys bring that milling group over here and you wouldn't have to go over there. ;D :D
extinct

Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2003, 07:30:41 PM »
G'day JB,
Have you had any problems with the .325 breaking on you?
What saw are you running it on, and also what bar length?
Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline woodbeard

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2003, 05:32:11 AM »
I have used .325 .063ga on my 090 for milling. I haven't got to use it enough to really test it, but so far it hasn't broke, and is much faster and easier to feed than the .404 skip tooth.
I now have a 42" .050ga bar in .325 pitch that I am chomping at the bit to try out if it ever dries out enough around here.
Maybe one of these tornadoes will toss a nice big walnut off the ridge if I disguise it as a mobile home. :D

Scott, if you are using .404 pitch, you might ought to look into a bigger saw. The .404 sprocket is a little bigger than the 3/8.  I've used .404 on my 046 with no trouble, but not for milling. I think the 044 will have a hard time milling with that size sprocket and chain. Two 044's might be just fine though.
Two heads are better than one, right? :D

Offline sawinmontana

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2003, 02:36:16 PM »
I haven't got a chance to try it yet. I did find a friend who has a big jonesrud that he said I could use, I'm not sure of the cc's on it. I might try that first and see how it does.

Scott

Offline J Beyer

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2003, 04:20:53 PM »
I only have the .370 (aka 3/8LP) chain.  Going to get a .325 setup when I have the extra cash to order the setup.  The .370 setup milled really fast compared to my old .375 or 3/8 regular chain setup.  The .325 setup cuts much faster because the chain can be pushed "harder".

JB
"From my cold, dead, hands you dirty Liberals"

Offline Kevin

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Re: Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2003, 06:30:48 PM »
JB;
Where did you see the 3/8 LP listed as .370?


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