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Unexpected issue with attaching chainsaw to a mill

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adrspach

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Hi guys I hope I can get some advice before I progress any further on my journey to being able to mill small logs myself.
What I mean by small is up to 10" from locally resourced wood which I want to use for turning and small box making. The big thing about it is the sentimental value of the wood.
Now to the issue.
I have 16 inch bar on my saw and when I put the mill together and wanted to attach the bar to the mil found that the width of the bar is just under the width of the mill clamp pad. This mean in my opinion when I install the saw on the mill this could bind the chain or at least interfere with it as the kerf is wider than the bar thickness.
From this I can see any 2 options out of it:
1. Grind down the mill pads to be narrower to fit the bar.
2 To try to get broader bar to fit the mill pads.

For both above option I need to know how much clearance I need between the edge of the bar and the edge of the mill pads.

Thank you
 

Dokkodo

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I nearly have this issue when using an electric chainsaw to mill (I use an Oregon i got on offer at screwfix when at my workshop, its not quite as fast but its much easier on the neighbours and it has a clever shelf sharpening mechanism)

The pad just fits on the bar without interfering with the chain, and i have to be careful when getting it on and off, but i was considering filing it down slightly, maybe just an inward taper of a mm or so.

So I dont see why you couldnt cut or file down down the pad a touch. In the long run, a wider bar might be better, might be worth investing in a low profile bar and chain (this will probably involve a change of sprocket also but thats usually quite straightforward) designed for rip cutting, which also loses less material to the kerf
 

Mdhazell

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Dokkodo,
I have the same saw. Which mill do you use with it?
Thanks,

Mark
 

guineafowl21

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The clamp mustn’t bear on (and pinch) the grooved edge of the bar, or you’ll ruin the chain, bar and possibly saw clutch.

I wouldn’t grind the mill clamps down, as the bar won’t last forever and you’ll be changing it soon enough. You could fashion some spacers, measured to fit within the solid part of the bar, but this may not be terribly safe.

Get a stouter bar, and a proper ripping chain. The sawchains website should be able to set you up.
 

adrspach

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I have already specific bar and chain just for this purpose. Before I buy new bar and I guess that will need longer rip chain I wanted to know how much clearance I need as then I can look for specific bar width that I do not burn myself second time.
 

guineafowl21

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Measure the depth of the bar groove at the clamping point. This is the no-go area either side of the bar. Try to find a bar that is as wide as the clamp + 2x groove depth at least.

Your Granville mill should be designed for smaller bars, but I suspect your saw has one of those piddly ‘homeowner’ safety bars, with a narrow nose to prevent kickback. This isn’t such an issue with milling, so any reasonable size bar (for competent adults, not homeowners :x ) should fit just fine.
 

adrspach

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Thank you guys. To adapt the mill I would have to take of at least 6mm of the pads or get different bar and chain. I will see how much would be new bar and chain.
 

Dokkodo

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If you go down that route and only have the electric saw, make sure you get something compatible with it. I havent tried to change the chain or bar on that one yet but i dont think it takes standard things
 

adrspach

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The decision about next step was made for me.
As I was going through net to find some other possible options I have read quite a bit of information about the chains and decided to see my "Rip" chain as sold to me by my local dealer. At first something did not look right. Then I compared it with my other chains which as cross cut and this one is exactly the same therefore not rip at all. The same angles, semi chisel, not skipped at all
That means that:
1. I have to buy at least new chain which means it will be better to buy broader blade as well.
2. My local dealer who took me for ride will not see my custom again which is a shame as I do like to support local small shops.
Any recommended trustworthy online sellers?
 

Lazurus

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have a look around on arbtalk.co.uk and try chainsawbars for advice on chains and bar to suit.

I put a post up a while ago with chinease saw and mill (CHILLING)
arbtalk.co.uk/forums/topic/98219-chilling-chinese-milling/?tab=comments#comment-1466130
 

guineafowl21

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Having to get another bar is probably no bad thing. I have a 30” bar and rip chain that I leave permanently clamped in the mill, and just remove the powerhead to fit onto the normal bar and chain.

It might be worth phoning up the shop you bought the chain from, just in case it was an honest mistake. Give them a chance as these little saw shops are so handy.

My rip chain has 10deg, round profile teeth. You can rip with a standard chain, but it’s much harder work and leaves a very rough finish. Turn up your oiler, if you can, or if not make sure you blip the throttle a few times at the end of each cut. Oiling is dependent on chain speed.

Make up some narrow wedges to stick in the planks as they form. I keep mine in my back pocket, but it’s better with an assistant so you don’t have to stop.
 

Lazurus

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When you get the mill sorted consider fitting a winch, makes life so much easier, its a hard and dusty and hot job at the best of times. Also consider running on Aspen fuel, the fumes are a lot less toxic.
 

adrspach

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Spoke to the suggested retailers and to my bad luck you can not mount any broader blade to my saw. This leaves me only with either buying another saw or adapting the pads of the mill themselves. As the cost of new saw is prohibitive for me I need to decide what method i use for the pads. So far I was thinking of grinding the excess off without going through whole thickness as I would need to have the pads re welded back as they are only attached on those ends which need to be ground off. The other option would be to make false shorter pads and attache them over the originals.
Any other suggestions?
 

guineafowl21

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What about 4 loose steel shims, made from flat bar, cut to the length of your bar’s ‘safe zone’?

Failing that, some strips of hardwood might suffice. Less drastic than permanently altering the mill itself.
 

Trainee neophyte

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It is not too difficult to drill holes in the bar (start small, get gradually bigger, go slowly and use some oil) - would some bolts help keep the clamp in place if you shim it? Peace of mind more than anything else. If it does come adrift, the problem is not the chainsaw that will fall out and attack you, but your cut will start meandering...(I have some experience with a poorly attached mill).

Or you could make one of these: I found it much more accurate, and less unpleasant than the Alaskan mill system (you don't have to sit next to the noise and fumes and dust and general nastiness.
[youtube]wydrpqTvwqs[/youtube]
 

adrspach

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I will have a go with the shims probably secured with bolts directly tapped to the pad.
We will see how secure it will be. If I am successful a winch kit will be next. Trouble for me as most people in UK is storage therefore anything bigger than that is out of question.
 
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