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Author Topic: Slab Sawing  (Read 2805 times)

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Offline rjboll

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Slab Sawing
« on: November 04, 2015, 09:05:11 PM »
My son and I have an Alaska mill primarily because we have had a few customers that wanted some large slabs. We were sawing this log this past weekend when a guy walks up showing us a book about slabbing and telling us we should be using a full chisel chain. We are using the round chisel chain that came with the mill. What do you guys that slab a lot recommend?


Offline ScottInCabot

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 09:29:17 PM »
I run Granberg ripping chain on my set-up....lately, I am not running it that much.


Scott in Cabot
Timber framing RULES!

Offline Kingmt

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 10:17:58 PM »
I've only ran a round. I've tried full skip at 15 & 30 that message worked very well but a curtisty chain at 30 so far seems to work well.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline woodyone.john

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 02:54:43 AM »
I prefer chisel [round].Leaves a less scratchy finish imho.
Saw millers are just carpenters with bigger bits of wood

Offline Trapper John

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2015, 08:52:39 PM »
I have always used full chisel, full compliment and sharpened with round files.  Seems to work good for me in spruce.

Offline Gasawyer

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2015, 08:56:33 AM »
With my alaskan .404 woodlandpro ripping chain at 10 deg top plate and with grinder at 40 deg.. Cuts fast nice finish and is nail tolerant.  Lucas dsm 23 is running super skip oregon .404 ripping chain sharpened the same. If you are going to saw often I strongly recommend a grinder they are not that expensive. When I ran the alaskan for hire I kept 3-4 chains with me.  The Lucas I generally take 4-5 chains to the job. I do not like to sharpen on the job easier to change the chains. Good luck sawing!
Woodmizer LT-40hdd super hyd.,Lucas 618,Lucas 823dsm,Alaskian chainsaw mill 6',many chainsaws large and small,NH L555 skidsteer, Int. TD-9,JD500 backhoe, and International grapple truck.

Offline logboy

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2015, 08:50:14 PM »
With my alaskan .404 woodlandpro ripping chain at 10 deg top plate and with grinder at 40 deg.. Cuts fast nice finish and is nail tolerant.  Lucas dsm 23 is running super skip oregon .404 ripping chain sharpened the same. If you are going to saw often I strongly recommend a grinder they are not that expensive. When I ran the alaskan for hire I kept 3-4 chains with me.  The Lucas I generally take 4-5 chains to the job. I do not like to sharpen on the job easier to change the chains. Good luck sawing!

If you're sharpening your Oregon 27RX chains for your Slabber to those specs then you're a little off. The grinder should be at 50 degrees.

I like Lucas Mills and big wood.  www.logboy.com

Offline Gasawyer

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 11:13:37 PM »
I tried 50deg then 45deg now to 40deg.. It seams to so far cut easier and smoother for what I am cutting. As we have discussed in the past playing with angles and depth guages to find what works for you. Only have about three hours at 40deg. and 25 slabs of three different woods. Nothing truly huge but in the 36-48" range. I have one chain left at 50deg and intend to com pair speed/cut next large log slabbed. My main logs slabbed are oak, pecan, and so far one large cherry(44" at the butt).
Woodmizer LT-40hdd super hyd.,Lucas 618,Lucas 823dsm,Alaskian chainsaw mill 6',many chainsaws large and small,NH L555 skidsteer, Int. TD-9,JD500 backhoe, and International grapple truck.

Offline logboy

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 02:24:02 AM »
Essentially youre making the knife angle sharper, which will make it cut faster, but for a shorter amount of time. You could take it back to 60 degrees, which would make it cut slower and rougher, but the edge would last longer. 50 degrees is the best balance. At any given time I have 15-20 chains in rotation. I sharpened another 7 tonight. I think I counted at least 6 destroyed from nails, hanging on the wall beside the sharpener. Over the last ten years of owning my slabber Ive tried a ton of different combinations to see what works best. While I dont use the factory specs, I dont change the 50 degree angle. Ive learned thats as good as its going to get. There are ways to sharpen those chains to literally shave minutes off a single cut. Changing that angle isnt it.

As soon as that knife edge starts to get a little flat spot, its dull. Because youre using a DSM23, you HAVE to stop and either sharpen or swap chains. I know this because Ive spent a few hours putting one through the paces. I have the older Model 8 which is basically the DSM18 with two less horsepower and no electric start. Because your bar is longer than mine it has more flex, which makes it unforgiving when the chain gets dull. Three things happen then.
1. It will immediately start to climb in the cut.
2. The slabber will no longer coast freely on the rails and will get harder and harder to push in the cut because its climbing. You should be able to make it coast freely using only one finger.
3. You'll cut a tapered slab due to the fact the bar is flexing. The slab will also be crowned in the middle because the bar is flexing upward.

When you finish cutting does the bar suddenly drop as you exit the cut? If so then youre climbing. There should be absolutely no dropping if youre sharpening correctly and not pushing a dull chain. If the bar hangs up in the middle as you pull the mill backwards over the log to start another cut then youre climbing. The bar should be flat and so should the slab. You shouldnt have to lift the bar to get it back up on the log.  90% of the issues people have with their slabber can be traced back to either a dull chain, or an improperly sharpened chain.
I like Lucas Mills and big wood.  www.logboy.com

Offline Gasawyer

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2015, 07:24:44 AM »
Not to have highjacked this thread. But no bar dropping and yes I have learned when the chain starts to dull to change immediately to avoid all the problems mentioned. Sometimes only get 2-4 passes per chain. So far have not hit nails at 40deg, 50deg seams to be pretty tolerant of nails in groups of 1-3.  That was one of the benefits of the woodland pro chain is it was very tolerant of nails, but almost impossible to sharpen with a file. Not sure if the chain is the same since that company was bought out.  One other thing is I have figured out a good scanning routine to help with the metal strikes.   Back to chain if you are slabbing smaller diameter run either normal or maybe skip chain. Learned that this super skip is not good for smaller logs very slow cutting due to only one or two sets of teeth in the cut at a time. 
Woodmizer LT-40hdd super hyd.,Lucas 618,Lucas 823dsm,Alaskian chainsaw mill 6',many chainsaws large and small,NH L555 skidsteer, Int. TD-9,JD500 backhoe, and International grapple truck.

Offline rjboll

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Re: Slab Sawing
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 07:30:54 PM »
I want to thank everyone that replied. From what I read from your replies I think I will stay with the round chain. It does cut very smooth if we keep the feed rate steady. We do not slab saw very often. We have tried putting two saw heads on the bar which cuts faster but both operators have to be in sync.


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