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paulm

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Having had a few largish walnut logs (not much heartwood though unfortunately) and ash logs hanging around for a while getting in the way, decided to splash on an Alaskan Mill for my larger chainsaw to help with slabbing them rather than freehanding it which can be a bit wasteful.

Went for the smallest size mill which suits chainsaw bars up to about 20". You lose an inch or so useable length from that by the time you have it attached to the saw.

Very easy to mount and dismount on the saw bar needing only to tighten a couple of clamp bolts. Used a 2x4" length of timber with a few large screws on the top of the first log, to give a straight platform for the first cut and took off a couple of inches of the outside of the log with the first pass.

After that you just use the flat surface created to run the mill on, and I decided to take a 5" slab for turning blanks, which left the other half of the log to use likewise. The mill is adjustable and you can cut whatever thickness planks you want.









Spent the rest of the afternoon with the smaller chainsaw on some of the smaller logs freehand and lugged them into the workshop afterwards. The three largest logs are left now to tackle with the mill, and then the three large ash logs in the shed, now that I've had a trial run and got comfortable with how it works and handling it.

Might not get to do any more tomorrow though, was cream crackered after this afternoon and the unexpected warm weather :lol:

Very pleased with the mill attachment, very effective and simple to use, a good buy. May need some more trees soon though :lol:

Cheers, Paul
 

Paul Chapman

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Well, if I wake up one morning and find someone's cut down my other Walnut tree, I'll be around........ :lol:

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

dickm

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Roughly how much did that cost, Paul? Looks like they are well under $200 in the US, which seems amazingly cheap. Not sure if daughter could get one in her cabin baggage to bring it over :(
 

Aled Dafis

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dickm":73sdxdz7 said:
Roughly how much did that cost, Paul? Looks like they are well under $200 in the US, which seems amazingly cheap. Not sure if daughter could get one in her cabin baggage to bring it over :(
The Alaskan Small Log Mill is £120 which seems to be very similar to Paul's.

Cheers
Aled
 

paulm

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That's the one Aled, think that price is plus vat and delivery, so around £150, or else I should have shopped around more !

Fit's my existing 20" saw which is great, so no upgrades needed, although it is due a new bar sometime so will probably stretch another two to four inches which I think the power output will cope with fine as it doesn't seem to struggle currently even with all of the bar in a cut.

Cheers, Paul
 

Aled Dafis

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Were you using ripping chain Paul? When I cut up some Laburnum around christmas time I found that filing the chain to a rip profile made a big difference to the ease at which the saw cut.

How did you cut the first cut on the top of the log? I've seen it done with a scaffold board or an alminium ladder in the past. Just wondering.

Cheers
Aled


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paulm

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Thought I would try using the standard chain to start with Aled and see how it performed. Have to say it went through very easily, didn't labour at all. It was freshly sharpened which obviously helps. So not sure I'll bother with a rip chain to be honest, unless doing more cutting shows that it becomes inefficient very quickly which might be the case, or I have a big batch to do when it might be worthwhile too. Thanks for letting me know of the benefit of it though I'll keep that in mind.

I used a 2x4 on top of the log, with a few screws to hold it steady, and ran the mill on that, dead easy. A larger cross section like 6x2 might be better as the larger the flat area the easier it is to keep the mill on line and without tipping. I think for the larger mills and longer chainsaw bar lengths you would benefit from a ladder or similar arrangement, but on this smaller size it doesn't seem necessary.

Cheers, Paul
 

dickm

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On the Alaskan Mill site quoted above, they show a design for a "starting board" using wood plus angle iron on the sides.
The UK prices mentioned look as though it's the usual thing - take the price in dollars and put a £ sign in front! Probably not enough difference to make it worth bribing daughter to bring one over :( .
There's a cheap copy of the Alaskan starting mill called a "Beam machine", designed to run on a 3"*2", but I haven't yet managed to do anything useful with it. Will have to get courage up and tackle that larch!
 

mtr1

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My neighbor is a tree surgeon and has the same mill, needless to say he's been cutting me logs for a while now. He also cut me some oak posts for my fence, great little mill. He's getting a bigger one soon, so he can tackle bigger logs in the woods. The only negative if you have a fine piece of timber is the waste I guess.
 

paulm

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Yes, you're right Mark, you do lose a fair bit in shavings/sawdust, I had a dustbin full from yesterdays session which I spread on the veg garden paths, but then again there would be more waste still if good timber was allowed to go for firewood, which seems to be what happens to most round here, so I'm of a "glass half full" kind of mindset on that one :)

Cheers, Paul
 

acewoodturner

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A mate and I have been milling for about 15 years now. I have a Stihl 066 with the 36'' alaskan mill and can tackle tre up to about 30'' in dia. With my mates set up he has a stihl 88 with a 56'' bar and a homemade copy of the am. We can tackle up to about 48'' trees with this set up but it does take the 2 of us to operate it. We normally cut our logs up at 8.5 lengths and plank at a variety of thicknesses as we bothare furniture makers. I built a kiln in my workshop using the sauno system and it beats pay top money for oak, ash, elm yew, cherry, sweet chesnut etc. It is hard work the way we do it but it is worthwhile when you finish the day with about 15 planks of 3' wide oak.

We have yet to pay for any logs and local landowners are usually quite happy for us to get rid of large windblown trees which would otherwise cost them money for a tree surgeon to cut up. Many are reluctanct to let strangers cut timber up for firewood in case people injure themselves on their property in case they get sued but as we have being doing it for so long we normally get a phone call if we dont spot it first. One bonus is that we also get to keep all the branches for firewood for our stoves!

Mike
 

CHJ

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Paul, looks like your next project should be making a secure travel and debris containment fixture for the boot of your car, could do your popularity quotient no end of good at bashes and member get togethers.
 

Philipp

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Hi Paul,

could you perhaps make a phote showing how the mill is mounted to the chain saw? I own a Logosol Timmerjigg which is mounted to the two bolts holding the bar, and it seems to me that the Alaskan Mill is mounted differently.

How are the saw and the mill gliding along the log? The Timmerjigg is constructed in a way that on should have a flat surface perpendicular to the cutting surface to allow the saw and the mill to glide on. Otherwise the saw (in my case a Dolmar PS 7900) would drag itsself to the wood making it difficult to move it forward smoothly.

Thank you and enjoy your mill!

Regards, Philipp
 

paulm

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Philipp":2hteqt21 said:
Hi Paul,

could you perhaps make a phote showing how the mill is mounted to the chain saw? I own a Logosol Timmerjigg which is mounted to the two bolts holding the bar, and it seems to me that the Alaskan Mill is mounted differently.

How are the saw and the mill gliding along the log? The Timmerjigg is constructed in a way that on should have a flat surface perpendicular to the cutting surface to allow the saw and the mill to glide on. Otherwise the saw (in my case a Dolmar PS 7900) would drag itsself to the wood making it difficult to move it forward smoothly.

Thank you and enjoy your mill!

Regards, Philipp
Hi Philipp, can't manage any pics during the week I'm afraid as I'm busy with the day job, but the mill attachment is a simple clamp which fastens on the bar and does up with a couple of bolts. It does lose you an inch or so of usable bar length as a result but is otherwise very simple and effective.

The mill runs on the top surface (initially the 2x4 to establish a true flat surface, and then subsequently on the cut surface. It needs a bit of forwards pressure from the operator to keep the saw moving in the cut, but not excessively so.

Have a look on utube where there are some demos that might be better than my explanations ! Hope that helps.

Cheers, Paul
 

paulm

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Next installment after a busy couple of days with the mill tackling the last four of my neighbours walnut logs which have been sitting in the front garden under a tarp for the last couple of years, including some large crotch pieces.

Same technique as before, piece of 2x4 secured with four large screws on the top of the log, having chosen the best orientation for cutting the log. This provided the running surface for the mill for the first cut.







After that you just use the cut surface on the log for the running surface for the next cut, adjusting the thickness of cut on the mill if necessary for the height of plank wanted or to make best use of the timber/features.

I cut mostly 4 1/2 and 5" slabs for later conversion to turning blanks, although I may also resaw some on the bandsaw later for other purposes if needed.

There was some nice figuring in the crotch areas as hoped for :D















Most pieces were around 18" wide and about 3' long, still quite wet inside even after a couple of years, and very heavy !

Now under cover in the workshop, ends all sealed, waiting for them to dry out a bit further and then further conversion some time after when I get another wave of energy :lol:

Cheers, Paul
 

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