alaskan chainsaw mill

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Forum topic by Joseph Jossem posted 05-08-2015 05:19 AM 1178 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1690 days

05-08-2015 05:19 AM


I need some info on Alaskan mills. Im running a 66” with stihl 880 head. What are the life spans when you run it 8 hrs a day 6 days a week. Anybody running them daily with info? Mahalo Joe

10 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3464 posts in 1189 days

#1 posted 05-08-2015 12:20 PM

I think the main issue with any engine is the heat factor. If you are running it in increments, allowing the engine to cool between fuel/bar oil changes, it should hast as long as normally used saw would.


View bigblockyeti's profile


3574 posts in 1142 days

#2 posted 05-08-2015 04:07 PM

Given the number of hours you’re talking about running the saw, have you considered other options? I’ve thought about building a dedicated slabbing mill, but it wouldn’t be as portable and that may be a consideration depending on what and where you’re cutting. I’m planning on employing a used ~$200, 20-25hp vertical shaft V-twin lawn tractor engine giving me 2-3 times the horsepower of MS880 or 3120 and a lot more torque. The lower engine speed would require a 12-16 pin drive rim to keep the linear speed of the chain where it needs to be, that and a fabricated bracket to mount the bar to the bottom of the engine and still allow chain tensioning. Consumables would also be at a lower cost too.

View JKMDETAIL's profile


164 posts in 1077 days

#3 posted 05-08-2015 05:08 PM

We have been using one some except a 42” bar. Our biggest issue has been vibration and keeping the head tight. Great looking slab in the pic. How are you keeping it that smooth?

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Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1690 days

#4 posted 05-08-2015 05:25 PM

I am running ripping chains so far smooth cuts. I have considered other options but this is a last minute job and trying to be as cheap as possible. I will probably run 2 at a time and rotate them in between cuts or run with 2 power heads. It is taking about 8 minutes a cut which is fast but I don’t see the powerhead lasting to long under that abuse. Thanks for the input mahalo

View Kazooman's profile


616 posts in 1374 days

#5 posted 05-08-2015 05:29 PM

I love it! A guy from Oahu using an Alaskan sawmill. Kinda like someone from Nome using a Hawaiian sling to go spear fishing.

Amazing slab of wood.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1006 posts in 997 days

#6 posted 05-08-2015 05:50 PM

stihl are pro cutter units think you would have a long life with one.You could always write stihl and tell them what your doing and ask.they would know the best.sure there are alot out there.

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2112 days

#7 posted 05-09-2015 12:20 AM

The Forestry Forum is a GREAT resource for these types of questions. If you can run that for 8 hours a day, you are a lot tougher (or younger) than I am! Beautiful slab!!!

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

View Shadowrider's profile


183 posts in 631 days

#8 posted 05-09-2015 05:09 AM

Don’t have actual numbers but there are a lot of folks saying they are built for the long haul if properly maintained and operated.

If it were me I’d make sure the cooling fins stayed clear, the bar oil stayed flowing, the chain properly sharpened, and I’d use Amsoil synthetic 2 stroke oil in it mixed with pure gas, no ethanol. I suspect if you do all of that you’re going to get a really long life out of that head.

View johnstoneb's profile


2105 posts in 1594 days

#9 posted 05-09-2015 12:08 PM

That Stihl will outlast you. They were made for bucking on the landing where they have to run almost continuously all day long. use a good quality 2 stroke oil don’t worry about ethanol. Its been in the fuel for over 20 years and hasn’t damged anything yet.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 1690 days

#10 posted 05-09-2015 04:42 PM

I have yet to meet a chainsaw that can hold up to my pace hopefully the power head will last. I keep them well tuned and oiled and running right. See what happens

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