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Sawmill question...

by MattyMattAg
posted 11-28-2018 06:13 PM

6 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile


15153 posts in 2016 days

#1 posted 11-28-2018 06:51 PM

I run a 36” bar on my Stihl 044 which is 72cc. So yes, I imagine the 460R can run a 36” as well. I have an Alaskan mill but I haven’t used it yet… So I can’t say for sure how well it works in that application. I will say that in general, the shorter bar you can use, the better. If you need the 36” bar you should be good. But if you can get by with a 28 or 32 inch, I would. Also look into rip chains for milling. Different tooth geometry that’s designed for cutting with the grain instead of across it. They’re not as common so they’re quite a bit more expensive.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View SAndelin's profile


12 posts in 3849 days

#2 posted 11-28-2018 07:23 PM

Everything you ever wanted to know about Chain Saw Milling but were afraid to ask.

The Alaskan does choke up to work with a shorter bar. Good idea on the ladder.

I’ve had good luck with a 55cc saw with a 28” bar and a skip tooth chain with my 36” Alaskan CSM. Yeah yeah everyone will tell you to go 75cc or higher lol, not in the budget in the near term for me (although someday I hope to have a 100cc or higher saw).

First and foremost, PPE, wear it – every time, no excuses.

I use one half of a old aluminum extension ladder for the rails as well, and use the ladder for each cut so any bumps or twist do not propagate through all of the slabs. Find a way to drip some extra bar oil on the end of the bar to help keep everything cool. Don’t see-saw or push hard, let the saw do the work. If you can, get the log off the ground and tilt it to allow gravity to help you (I use some short saw horses and shim up one end 6 inches or more). Sharpen or touch up your chain often, every few cuts helps a lot in my experience. Let the saw cool down (idle) for a few minutes after each cut or even in the middle of a long cut. That is why I like the ladder there is ample room on both sides of the log to be able to come in straight and cool down at the end of the cut.

As for ripping chain, you can file/grind to that angle, or buy some, but as HokieKen mentions it is expensive. I just use standard chain since I run my boards through the planer after drying anyway. Look up drying techniques if you are not already familiar with that. Get them off the ground, stickers between each slab, and weight them down, and/or use ratchet straps. Keep them out of the sun and covered from the elements as well. Seal the ends with commercial sealants (such as AnchorSeal), or use old paint or my favorite is paraffin/MS or paraffin/turps at 50:50 ratio and heat it up with a double boiler and paint on TWO coats (two coats works much better). Careful to not heat that up too much, wax and solvents burn really well.

Good luck, and show us some pics of your boards.

-- Luck, the point where preparation meets opportunity.

View MattyMattAg's profile


43 posts in 2361 days

#3 posted 11-29-2018 01:03 AM

If I buy the 36” Alaskan mill will it size down to a smaller bar… say a 32” or 28” bar? I think it does but want to make sure.

Also, I’m thinking the 460 because I talked myself out of the 660. I think I could save a couple hundred bucks by going with the smaller saw not sure I would really ever mill a bunch of big stuff. Will mainly be doing oak, cherry, and walnut.

-- If Jesus was a carpenter, what better profession could there be?

View Phil32's profile


1143 posts in 781 days

#4 posted 11-29-2018 07:59 PM

Your last sentence has a lot of significance and was not specifically considered by the responders: ”Will mainly be doing oak, cherry, and walnut.” This makes a big difference from cutting pine, fir, or poplar. Likewise, if you are working with “down, dead, and dry logs,” it could be a huge difference.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View HokieKen's profile


15153 posts in 2016 days

#5 posted 11-29-2018 08:12 PM

Matt, the mill will go down in size to smaller bars. There is a limit but I’m sure a 32” bar will work and would almost bet a 28” would work. You have to realize you’re gonna loose several inches of capacity to the clamps that hold the bar. So with a 36” bar, you might only be able to cut 28” logs. Just something to keep in mind.

Also, I hate to be one to suggest generic Chinese products over US made ones but, I bought this mill. After a lot of research and actually talking to people who have used the cheaper versions, I could find nothing that convinced me that the Granberg is worth the extra expense. I would have paid an extra 10 or 20% to support a US manufacturer. But I can’t justify paying 150% of the price for essentially the same thing.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Fresch's profile


504 posts in 2798 days

#6 posted 11-29-2018 10:04 PM
I have a Makita 7910, 28” bar, skip chain, Chicom farmtech mill ~$150.
Bigger is better, any saw will mill just how fast and how long before you burn it up.
You will lose inches at the bucking teeth and at the end of the bar, don’t clamp on the live nose.

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