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Cutting rough lumber with a chainsaw?

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 02-25-2018 09:31 PM 546 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jerkylips

446 posts in 2688 days


02-25-2018 09:31 PM

I’m in the process of clearing about 1/2 wooded acre. Lots of brush and small stuff, but several larger be (16” or so diameter) trees. Some oak, Birch, I think there might be one maple. We’re building a house and these are in the footprint so they have to go.

I’d like to cut it into rough boards to use down the road, but don’t have any type of mill. With a rip chain, could I expect to cut reasonably straight enough to use it? Just curious if anyone else has tried it.


9 replies so far

View WyattCo's profile

WyattCo

93 posts in 222 days


#1 posted 02-25-2018 09:37 PM

Chainsaw mills (the guide systems) can be had for around $250. Worth the investment in your position and for future use.

View duckmilk's profile

duckmilk

3125 posts in 1442 days


#2 posted 02-25-2018 10:11 PM

I have cut poles into 6×6 beams. I put the poles up on blocks, squared both ends and used a 6×6 plywood pattern to mark (level) patterns on the ends. Snapped a string line down the pole and started cutting, being sure to carefully follow the pattern on the end first. After I got going, it was easy to keep my cuts vertical by just keeping the chain’s bar in the center of the cut. They came out pretty darn straight.
But, it was a ton of work (August in TX) and a lot of waste/sawdust. The chain does “not” leave a thin kerf.

Before you start, check the internet for anyone near you with a bandsaw mill, you will get a lot more useable lumber that way. They usually don’t charge too much, especially considering the trees are basically free.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

283 posts in 2908 days


#3 posted 02-26-2018 12:28 AM

I use this alaskan mill, but you can get whatever length is suitable for the longest bar your saw has enough power for. In general, I’ve found a 28” chainsaw bar allows you to use the full length of the 24” model alaskan mill, and you can pass a 22” diameter log through it. If I’ve got a log larger than that I’ll use this to trim the sides of the log off first, which has the added benefit of making the boards have straight edges.

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

View LesB's profile

LesB

1801 posts in 3561 days


#4 posted 02-26-2018 06:27 PM

If this is the only time you expect to mill any trees for lumber I would search for someone in the area with a portable mill who will come on site and do it for you. They will have experience on how to cut for the best end product from your trees. They either charge a fee or take part of the product as payment.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Don W's profile

Don W

18938 posts in 2685 days


#5 posted 02-26-2018 07:21 PM

http://lumberjocks.com/donwilwol/blog/23436

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

446 posts in 2688 days


#6 posted 02-26-2018 07:36 PM

thanks for all the feedback! After it was mentioned last night, I did a little searching & saw a couple local guys that do milling for $.45/board foot.

Another factor that I’m realizing may be an issue – my saw is only a 16” bar. Based on what I’ve read, I’d probably need something bigger to do logs of any substantial diameter.

So, all signs are pointing to hiring someone to mill it for me. Does $.45/bf seem reasonable? I have no idea, nothing to compare to…

View Don W's profile

Don W

18938 posts in 2685 days


#7 posted 02-26-2018 07:55 PM

When I bought the bandsaw mill, I had a pile of logs from a bad winter storm. I got a few quotes and they were around $1800. I bought the mill for $2600. I was just getting to old for the chainsaw mill. It was a wise investment.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View BoardButcherer's profile

BoardButcherer

144 posts in 212 days


#8 posted 02-26-2018 09:18 PM



thanks for all the feedback! After it was mentioned last night, I did a little searching & saw a couple local guys that do milling for $.45/board foot.

Another factor that I m realizing may be an issue – my saw is only a 16” bar. Based on what I ve read, I d probably need something bigger to do logs of any substantial diameter.

So, all signs are pointing to hiring someone to mill it for me. Does $.45/bf seem reasonable? I have no idea, nothing to compare to…

- jerkylips

How big is your bandsaw?

If you’ve got 12-14” in height on your bandsaw you don’t necessarily need new equipment. Whatever you can cut to size with a 16” chainsaw can be resawn with the bandsaw, and you’ll waste less wood.

The length is entirely up to you and how creative you want to get with the in-feed and out-feed.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

2029 posts in 2756 days


#9 posted 02-26-2018 09:58 PM

Green timber is very heavy. If you are going to mill it on an upright bandsaw, you will have to work out supports to manage that heavy timber across the saw – and keep the log moving in a straight line. I once did a 4 foot section of green pecan about 8” diameter, and it was almost more than I could handle – just using the table on the saw.

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