Mill your own lumber

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Review by scopemonkey posted 09-05-2018 01:01 AM 2303 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Mill your own lumber Mill your own lumber Mill your own lumber Click the pictures to enlarge them

My sister took down a decent sized cherry tree from her yard, and I hauled away the trunk and figured I would find a way to get it milled. Well, after a little fooling around with Google and YouTube, I found something I never knew existed…a chainsaw portable sawmill. OK, you lumberjack lumberjocks probably already knew this, but I was rather excited and got one on Amazon for about $120. My brother=in-law had the chainsaw, so we went to work. This is made out of aluminum and stainless steel and clamps to the bar of the chainsaw allowing for horizontal cuts. It went together easily and is quite sturdy. Even came with a wrench, so no additional tools required, although I did pull out my socket set to make it quicker. Instructions are a bit lacking, but anyone with half a brain can figure it out since it is essentially a bunch of T-track bolted together to make the frame. Depth of cut is rated from “0.20 to 11.8 inches” (Who cuts something 0.20” thick with a chainsaw?). It does have inch markings to aid in the depth setting, but I didn’t trust that and just made spacers of the right width to put between the bar and frame to set my depth of cut evenly. The first cut is the most crucial, so I braced and leveled the log as best as possible and built a ladder/rail system from ripped 2×4 and mounted it to the top of the log, shimmed it level in all directions, then screwed it to the log. It was quite secure. The first cut rode the rails and made a very nice flat, level cut. After that, the following cuts are just referenced off the face of the first cut and I made successive 2” cuts and got five 2” thick x 18” wide x 5’ long planks of cherry out of that tree trunk. The planks came out great. It did put a lot of strain on the chainsaw and we started with a new chain, and by the last cut, it was quite dull. They do make ripping chains for this kind of work which is supposed to make a finer cut, but this worked fine and the surface was no rougher than the rough cut wood I get from my local supplier. I found that pivoting the saw into the cut to start and finish made it easier, and don’t forget to shim the kerf as you cut so it doesn’t bind. The entire thing held up well with use and nothing came loose with all the chainsaw vibrations. I am very pleased with this thing and it made easy work of getting my shed happily stacked with 8/4 cherry.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

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191 posts in 4939 days

5 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 09-05-2018 02:54 AM

Congrats – post the projects after they have been completed

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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1637 posts in 2411 days

#2 posted 09-05-2018 03:33 PM

Uh Oh! Matt Cremona started out this way and now he has this.

It’s like collecting Planes….......Once you start….........

-- A bad day woodworking is still better than a good day working.

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191 posts in 4939 days

#3 posted 09-05-2018 08:06 PM

Yikes…that’s quite the milling rig. I’ll stick to the smaller stuff. Thanks for the link.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View swirt's profile


5236 posts in 3747 days

#4 posted 09-06-2018 01:55 AM

Seems like a nice Alaskan Mill. Looks solid.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2696 days

#5 posted 09-09-2018 11:50 AM

Now go buy a ~90cc saw, make a gantry and start chasing the sounds of chainsaws around your town!

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