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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 02-19-2016 11:34 PM 559 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


02-19-2016 11:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chainsaw

Hey guys!

I recently bucked and split a big 20 foot long 24”ish white oak into manageable pie shaped pieces that are more or less 12” from pith to bark. I did it because I have been wanting to do green woodworking, but to get green wood, you sort of need to harvest it yourself. Long story short – I am becoming aware that I am never going to be able to use all of this wood while it is green, so I ought to try to mill some into nice QSWO as it is very clear and real pretty. Only problem is I don’t have a mill. I do have big powermatic bandsaw with a 12” capacity, but I’m a little worried about burning it up trying to mill a bunch of heavy logs on it. I need a chainsaw anyway – so I was considering buying a chainsaw and welding up a little milling jig to mill the boards with. So, I have a few questions:

What sort of displacement am I going to need for a chainsaw that I mill with (probably milling 16” wide pieces max)? Trying not to break the bank too bad, but I could manage spending $300 to $400.

Any recommendations on what model of chainsaw to get? New or used?

I’ve been watching videos and it sort of looks like chainsaw milling is a bit of nightmare and very time consuming. Am I crazy to consider this?

Thanks for the feedback!!!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


10 replies so far

View gfadvm's profile (online now)

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#1 posted 02-20-2016 01:19 AM

I’ve been there with a chainsaw mill. My 50cc Jonserad burned a tank of gas every 6 feet of cut. It also got hot (boiled the gas in the tank). And constantly sharpening the chain got old fast. I really appreciate my WoodMizer Sawmill after trying the chainsaw route. You should look for someone in your area with a bandmill to mill this for you IMHO.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#2 posted 02-20-2016 01:30 AM

Thanks for the candid answer. It looks fun on youtube at 20x speed. 1x speed though….

The thing I’m worried about with someone milling it is getting them to quartersaw it. I guess I could talk to the about it and see if they’d do it.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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DocSavage45

7705 posts in 2307 days


#3 posted 02-20-2016 01:36 AM

YES! YOU are crazy! I have chainsaw mill madness! I would not go the way I did. I spent Spring ,Summer , and fall in the pursuit of harvesting lumber from our compost site. I ended up learning how chainsaws ar made, and have one that I screwed up so badly I will have to rebuild it. I ended up buying a Husqavarna Rancher 460, sold one of my 2 chainsaw mills, and found a great/understanding and patient chainsaw mechanic to correct some of my screw ups.

The end of my saga for the fall/winter is they burned all the logs at the compost site as we had a lot of rain.

You might find a deal if you’re mechanically inclined on eBay or Craigs list.

But….. It’s not cheap. A 60 cc saw is really a minimum. Ripping chains are not common as cross cutting chains so the chain and the bar is pricey and you have yet to purchase the mill unless you can weld one for yourself?

As Benji Reyes said to me “Tom just buy the wood!” LOL!

When I get some time I will write my blog about my chainsaw mill madness!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#4 posted 02-20-2016 01:37 AM

Anyone with a mill should be willing to quartersaw (at an hourly rate as opposed to a BF rate). Your “pie shaped pieces may be a problem as that log should have been quartered. You will have a lot more waste when quartersawing.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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BobAnderton

219 posts in 2255 days


#5 posted 02-20-2016 02:03 AM

Naw, chainsaw milling is good clean fun. Get yourself a box of files and keep the chain sharp and it goes fast enough. I think it’s ideal for someone just getting their feet wet with milling because you can store everything you need in not much space and pack it up in a pickup and carry the milling equipment to the log where it lays. I only do a few logs a year but it’s always a treat when I get to go do it. I use a 60cc Husqvarna and like Doc says it’s about the smallest you’d want to use, but it gets the job done.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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Don W

17968 posts in 2033 days


#6 posted 02-20-2016 02:06 AM

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DocSavage45

7705 posts in 2307 days


#7 posted 02-20-2016 02:11 AM

Hey Bob!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1186 days


#8 posted 02-20-2016 04:03 AM

I’ve played around with cutting up some red oak and pine with my “beam machine” attachment and while softer woods seem to cut ok, hardwoods require alot of power and are slow going. For cutting big slabs, giant chainsaw mills seem to be the way to go unless you have a $150K+ stationary mill at your disposal. Watching a few videos of the Lucas swing mills running long bars for slabbing got me to thinking, I’ve got an old but great running 70hp Mercury outboard powerhead in the garage that should run circles around a 25hp lawn tractor engine. I might see how hard it would be to fab up a bracket to mount a bar to it and run 10 or 11 tooth sprocket off the crankshaft. I’ve already got the water cooling issue figured out, the fuel consumption could be quite substantial, as would be the noise with no muffler running under load with alot of throttle!

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#9 posted 02-20-2016 05:54 AM

Thanks for all the input guys! Don, I read your blog post and it was very informative.

Let me ask this: I am not going to be milling a ton of wood all the time, and when I do, it’ll probably be average 8-10” widths. Does it go a lot faster with skinnier boards like that? I seriously doubt I’ll be doing big wide slabs in the foreseeable future.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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tomsteve

394 posts in 684 days


#10 posted 02-20-2016 12:57 PM

at least 70cc if you plan on doing this often.. run the gas mix rich. which chain to use can be like which table saw to buy-lots of opinions. my limited milling has been done with a full chisel sharpened at 10 degree angle.
csm’ing is best mainly for thick slabs.

stihl, husky, jred, dolmar, even makita- your choice. IF you can do acompression test and pull the muffler to look at the cylinder used can be good.
if ya get new, break it in for 4 or 5 tanks before burying it into a log, which thats a pretty sure way to burn it up quick.
csm’ing can be very very hard on a saw.

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