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Just wondering if anyone has any experience with one of these. I have several wooded acres with some good oak and cherry trees. It would be really nice to be able to go out and harvest my own lumber for free but I'm skeptical of how well these work, and how much effort it takes to produce useable lumber. I wouldn't consider myself lazy by any means, but there is a balance between the amount of effort something takes and how much I am willing to pay for convenience.
 

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Aaron,
I haven't use that mill, but I have chain sawed a lot of ponderosa and lodge pole pine round my house. In some cases I've tried to cut along the gain and it pretty tough. It will be time intensive. You need a bigger saw and I think the chains are sharpened differently. Chainsaws also make pretty wide kerfs that can add up to a lot of waste. If I had hardwoods, lucky you, I would consider hiring someone to mill the logs. The guys that have portable band saw mills that can come to you, especially if you're looking to mill a small number of trees.
Just my thoughts,
Ron
 

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I just got the alaskan small log mill myself and used it last weekend on an Elm tree trunk from my neighbors yard. I highly advise getting some sort of metal detector! I hit a nail buried deep in the wood and ruined a good chain…. maybe I can salvage it but not sure yet. I love the mill though!
 

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I have a Granberg Alaskan MkIII attached to a Stihl MS270. I've cut probably somewhere around 500 bf of lumber over the last year or so, everything from ailanthus to black locust. So obviously, I'm of the opinion they work pretty well, but they are definitely not idiot-proof. This is a very simple but versatile tool takes quite a bit of skill and practice to master.

These mills are not nearly as quick and easy as the advertisements say. Totally a do-it-yourself tool. Think of these man-portable chainsaw mills as compared to the trailerable band mills. All you've got is the cutting implement. You need some way to hold the log, some way guide the blade and some way to pull it along. You will have to come up with all sorts of ideas on how to position and stabilize the log, keep the saw straight (especially for that first cut) while gravity is hopefully helping you pull the saw along.

I couldn't tell you whether its going to be more cost-effective to buy lumber or cut your own. That's probably going to depend on what sort of chainsaw you have, what sort of wood you want and how much you value your time.

I can tell you this: If you hate tinkering with your tools and just want some boards with a minimum of fuss, forget the chainsaw mill. It will only frustrate you. If you like tinkering and want to be able to brag to your friends that not only did you make that cabinet, but you cut the tree down and milled it into boards your very self, then give it a try.
 
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