Portable Saw Mill - Cutting Seasoned Oak

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Forum topic by tmblweed0429 posted 05-13-2009 03:53 AM 5725 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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42 posts in 3430 days

05-13-2009 03:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: chainsaw lumber mill portable saw tree question

I got an Alaskan Mk III portable saw mill and read a couple of lines somewhere that I should only cut green wood. I have a ripping chain on a Husqvarna 455 Rancher chainsaw. I don’t want to cut down a live tree, but harvest standing dead timber if it is still intact. Question: What do I need to be aware of when milling seasoned oak vs. live timber?

-- Trent Tidmore, Grapevine, TX

2 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2657 posts in 3646 days

#1 posted 05-13-2009 05:50 PM

tumblweed0429, Sorry I have not done this but cutting firewood, one dry oak dulls the chainsaw faster than ten green ones.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View TheWingDoctor's profile


14 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 05-21-2009 01:10 AM

I also have an Alaskan Mill and a big Husky saw and have used it to cut red oak, maple, and walnut. A standing dead tree will still be relatively easy to cut. If it had been cut down and then really allowed to dry it would be harder. But cutting a tree down and letting it sit will not really dry out the wood. If you have ever cut a tree that has been laying on the ground for firewood, you realize that the wood still will not burn right until it has been split, to let the moisture out, and then allowed to season, dry, for a period of months before it is burnable.

All of that said, it is not an easy task to cut hardwood with the Alaskan Mill. Even with a sharp chain, and you will need to resharpen every 20’ or so of cutting, the cutting is slow, hot, and dirty. Unless you have power equiptment to pick the log up off of the ground and put it on some kind of heavy stand, you are crouched down on the ground pushing this snarling saw through the wood. In my experience it will take 5 to 10 minutes to make one pass through a 16-18” wide log. Then refuel the saw, get a drink, stretch your legs and back, and force yourself to get back down there for another pass. I cut a couple hundred feet of mixed hardwood in a weekend and was so sore I could hardly walk. I have been able to talk myself out of using the rig again, so far, and really would like to be able to afford a Woodmiser mill.

IMHO the Husky Rancher will only be powerful enough for small logs, the ripping chain and cutting full width on a log really pulls the saw down. Mine is a 575XP and it still is slow going. The 575XP is big enough that if you forget to push in the compression release when you pull the cord, your hand comes to an abrupt and immediate stop without moving the piston past the compression stroke. It is not a little engine!

I hope this helps you, if you need any other help, just ask.

-- Bruce - Fav. Quote "A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry Calahan

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