JTR

Chainsaw Milling

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Who here does it? Any advice? Just got mine setup. Still need to find a guide rail to make the first cut. Echo CS590 with a 24” bar and milling chain. Not a huge saw, so I plan on milling smaller logs to start. If it turns into something I really enjoy, I’ll make my way up to a 90cc saw. 

AF321566-F190-446E-BD76-2A288C11BD4D.jpeg

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You should be good then. A wedge or four may help as well. Also don’t rock back and forth as your cutting. Go straight through.

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I'm gonna try this too. Got the mill from Granberg and going to try to mill some Hemlock from my property to replace some B&B siding. If it works well I get to get a new and bigger saw! Will be interested how it works out for U.

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On 3/31/2022 at 1:15 PM, JTR said:

Who here does it? Any advice? Just got mine setup. Still need to find a guide rail to make the first cut. Echo CS590 with a 24” bar and milling chain. Not a huge saw, so I plan on milling smaller logs to start. If it turns into something I really enjoy, I’ll make my way up to a 90cc saw. 

Been doing this for years, a lot of hard work but got some great wood. Make sure you know how to field sharpen your chain, I sharpen frequently. I like to sharpen every few refills of fuel.

 

For a guide rail, I have always used a 2X6 with angle iron screwed on to the underside, I'm then able to screw this "rail" on the log for my first cut.

Here's a few pics of the rail on a small cherry log, if you look closely you can see some recessed holes on the top of the board where my lag screws disappear into when I secure the rail;

IMG_1634.jpg.1d64f3674f41a4c89d72e2e7d86b2ad6.jpg

IMG_1633.jpg.e7698b218c0c2b0a46871c3d2359cf40.jpg

 

Other advice would be to try and mill on the thick side as the size of the saw kerf results in more waste than a bandsaw mill. Trying to cut 1" boards will likely result in losing 1 board in sawdust for every 2 you cut. 

Also, go slow and steady, I've done some serious milling with Stihl 660s (90 cc saws), but it takes time, after each cut I like to let the saw idle for a minute or two to "cool" a little, and I definitely prefer to mill in the cold weather.

 

Here are a few more pics of some logs in mid milling;

IMG_0768.JPG.93b44cd84afb9ce4b218cba64b052738.JPG

IMG_0951.JPG.900aa4f470487267d1d87e4974df346a.JPG

 

And here are a few piles of boards air drying, you can see I've done my fair share of milling;

IMG_1577.jpg.fc64b19318051ee66b37e17dded534e3.jpg

 

It's a great way to use a resource that would otherwise be wasted. It saves me a ton of money for my wood working projects, and I have gotten some beautiful wood from doing it. I have enough black walnut, cherry, white oak, and maple to keep me busy. I've reached the point now where I just try to mill up a couple logs a winter.

 

Hope this was helpful.

 

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18 hours ago, Macker said:

Been doing this for years, a lot of hard work but got some great wood. Make sure you know how to field sharpen your chain, I sharpen frequently. I like to sharpen every few refills of fuel.

 

For a guide rail, I have always used a 2X6 with angle iron screwed on to the underside, I'm then able to screw this "rail" on the log for my first cut.

Here's a few pics of the rail on a small cherry log, if you look closely you can see some recessed holes on the top of the board where my lag screws disappear into when I secure the rail;

IMG_1634.jpg.1d64f3674f41a4c89d72e2e7d86b2ad6.jpg

IMG_1633.jpg.e7698b218c0c2b0a46871c3d2359cf40.jpg

 

Other advice would be to try and mill on the thick side as the size of the saw kerf results in more waste than a bandsaw mill. Trying to cut 1" boards will likely result in losing 1 board in sawdust for every 2 you cut. 

Also, go slow and steady, I've done some serious milling with Stihl 660s (90 cc saws), but it takes time, after each cut I like to let the saw idle for a minute or two to "cool" a little, and I definitely prefer to mill in the cold weather.

 

Here are a few more pics of some logs in mid milling;

IMG_0768.JPG.93b44cd84afb9ce4b218cba64b052738.JPG

IMG_0951.JPG.900aa4f470487267d1d87e4974df346a.JPG

 

And here are a few piles of boards air drying, you can see I've done my fair share of milling;

IMG_1577.jpg.fc64b19318051ee66b37e17dded534e3.jpg

 

It's a great way to use a resource that would otherwise be wasted. It saves me a ton of money for my wood working projects, and I have gotten some beautiful wood from doing it. I have enough black walnut, cherry, white oak, and maple to keep me busy. I've reached the point now where I just try to mill up a couple logs a winter.

 

Hope this was helpful.

 

Awesome! Thanks! Very helpful

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Extension ladder for rails, this one is 10 feet long, with a couple of feet of Unistrut extension.  Logs are 10 footers, your rails should be at least 2 feet longer than the logs..  Don't forget the wedges.  Note the counterweight for the big saw, it is  a piece of bored out steel shafting, about 40 pounds.  And the hand crank winch, it is the smallest I could find on Amazon.

 

Stihl 090.

 

ubMa7lG.jpg

 

oqjU6x2.jpg?1

 

HVkvPf6.jpg

 

Another saw, this time a big old gear reduction McCulloch.  60 pounds of saw!

 

jvql4SW.jpg

 

 

Edited by Silverado

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Bought a good chain grinder.  Nice for those chains for the 36, 48, and 66 inch bars, a lot of cutters to sharpen on each.  Granburg has the proper sharpening angles on their website for ripping chain.    Don't buy a cheapie grinder and expect to have quality sharpened chain!!!  I buy chain in bulk spools and have a chain breaker and rivet spinner to make up loops.

 

83NzIzU.jpg

 

66 inch bar, a lot of cutters to sharpen

 

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Don't forget to set the depth gauges!!!!

 

D9LuMKs.jpg?1

 

I have two mills, one at 36 inches shown above and this one for the 66 inch bar

 

jFPNRbx.jpg?1

Edited by Silverado

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Very impressive, I'd love the idea of it, but thats too much like work to convince me. That walnut is beautiful, to make it more beautiful, you have to make something. I'd rather cut a slice or three of blueberry pie. 

 

How much time to set up and cut a half dozen planks? Guessing thats half a days work?

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56 mins ago, Highlander1 said:

Very impressive, I'd love the idea of it, but thats too much like work to convince me. That walnut is beautiful, to make it more beautiful, you have to make something. I'd rather cut a slice or three of blueberry pie. 

 

How much time to set up and cut a half dozen planks? Guessing thats half a days work?

it is chalenging,keep you sharp in thinking and keep your body in shape.

you can do nice and easy siting in chair watching  TV,after while you flip from chair dead.

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Where are you located, Macker? Or any others milling... That walnut is pretty.... I am in the market for one, or more likely two pieces of 6/4 that I could work into being a 7'6"x24" desktop for myself. I know live edge is all the rage, but I am going to square and scribe the finished piece to squarely in front of my office window. I am northshore of Boston.

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12 hours ago, nightfighter said:

Where are you located, Macker? Or any others milling... That walnut is pretty.... I am in the market for one, or more likely two pieces of 6/4 that I could work into being a 7'6"x24" desktop for myself. I know live edge is all the rage, but I am going to square and scribe the finished piece to squarely in front of my office window. I am northshore of Boston.

I'm located in Nortern Delaware, but there are more and more sawyers cropping up all the time, I'm sure you could find someone in your area. But I do think guys charge too much for that live edge stuff. 

 

17 hours ago, Highlander1 said:

Very impressive, I'd love the idea of it, but thats too much like work to convince me. That walnut is beautiful, to make it more beautiful, you have to make something. I'd rather cut a slice or three of blueberry pie. 

 

How much time to set up and cut a half dozen planks? Guessing thats half a days work?

Setup is pretty quick, I have dedicated milling saws with the mills attached and once the tree is down and bucked it's just a matter of putting on the guide board. I usually stick with shorter logs, say 6-7'. A lot of what I do in my shop is furniture, so that size works. Also it's easier to handle, move, store and etc those smaller boards.

As for time milling, take a medium sized cherry tree, say 24-26" at the base and getting 4-5 logs out of it, I can typically get that whole tree milled in a morning, a full morning. Like I said earlier, I cut my boards on the thicker side, say 10/4- 9/4 (2.5"-2.25"). This means fewer cuts, esp once I move up to the smaller logs that are away from the base. It also means sharpening the chain 3-4 times during that milling session, which I've become pretty quick at hand sharpening in the field. 

But you guys are absolutely right, it's hard work. 

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21 hours ago, Silverado said:

Extension ladder for rails, this one is 10 feet long, with a couple of feet of Unistrut extension.  Logs are 10 footers, your rails should be at least 2 feet longer than the logs..  Don't forget the wedges.  Note the counterweight for the big saw, it is  a piece of bored out steel shafting, about 40 pounds.  And the hand crank winch, it is the smallest I could find on Amazon.

 

Stihl 090.

 

ubMa7lG.jpg

 

oqjU6x2.jpg?1

 

HVkvPf6.jpg

 

Another saw, this time a big old gear reduction McCulloch.  60 pounds of saw!

 

jvql4SW.jpg

 

 

I’m guessing that winch really helps keep the marks from milling to a minimum?

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