Chainsaw milling- Advise on Board slicing what best and is my process correct

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Forum topic by azwoodworker posted 04-19-2021 04:52 AM 813 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 2869 days

04-19-2021 04:52 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling rosewood chainsaw milling cants

Hopefully, there are sawyers who cut hardwood or milling pros, and anyone with good ideas who might be willing to take some pity and look at the pictures and give me some advice, and tell me I am going in the right direction. This was Indian Rosewood in which was only 22 inches so not seeing slabs with live edges so decided I cut into boards.

As a side note: I plan on using all the lumber in my own unique designs of tables; dining, coffee, straight hall tables, counters, and other types of pieces that display the exotic wood.

This is one of my designs with light color Mesquite with just lacquer.

Back to the reason I posted.
This is the first step. I arranged the first cut with the horizontal to the crack at the end of the log. It did no go all the way through but before you slice in you never know.

Here is the crack

I planned on sawing boards through to get the widest side but would end up with two cuts right into pitch after two cuts.

I cut parallel to the first cut at the bottom of the logs.

I made the last cut 90 degrees to the top and bottom cuts. Now the question of which way should I have tried to cut the log. Cutting the shorter width gave me closer to quartersawn on four of five of the cuts but squared to 8 inches and no loss of squaring. By cutting the 13 or 14 in plainsawn I lose at least 4 inches but that length did not go down the whole log. The first two cuts of one inch I would lose width by squaring, then get 13 inches to 14-inch boards maybe one or two till I was into the pitch, and also be against the crack that could show up later in drying.

I did not go that way. I cut down on the 8-inch board. getting four or five squared boards, then turned 90 and again got 8-inch boards. This gave me the grain 65 degrees to 90 degrees for most of the board. It is Indian Rosewood, so besides stability, there are very few if any rays, the grain is more straight grain and pronounced but not exceptional better-looking board than flatsawn. However, I avoided the cracks and saved the waste I would have to cut off to square the first two boards.

I then flipped it over and cut from the other side getting one cut on the first flat at 2 inches. So got a good amount of lumber out of it. Flipping and turning and chainsawing takes time but I am working out rigging to make it as fast as possible. Right now this took hrs to do. Not the actual chainsawing but repositioning the log to make cants and getting the right cut.

Any advice would be great.

2 replies so far

View DonS1959's profile


38 posts in 96 days

#1 posted 04-19-2021 06:02 AM

@azwoodworker are you using a Alaskan sawmill to do your milling or what

the reason I asked is my wife and I lived off grid in North Eastern Arizona and her and I would go out to and area and spend a couple of days milling Alligator Juniper i made a few tables with the milled boards and then we would sell the tables I still have a couple that we made because my wife would not allow me to sell the two I kept we used a Alaskan sawmill and a Stihl 044 with a 24 inch bar to do the milling it was tough work and slow but where we would cut the wood was vary remote and extremely hard to get heavier equipment into the area

View azwoodworker's profile


66 posts in 2869 days

#2 posted 04-19-2021 08:53 PM

Yes, I use an Alaskan Sawmill for the milling. I use two 076’s one 28th inch bar and one with a 21-inch bar. The large mill is 32 inches and the I have the short log mill for boards after I make a cant. The 076 is 122 cc’s so at most the longest log of 14 ft I can do a cut in under 15 mins. The 044 is 70 cc’s it is definitely a difference. I run 10 degrees on the 28 in bar to cut vibration on the saw so it slows down the cut some. I am replacing all the mounts as I never did that as some are pretty bad. I change 2 sets on each saw, but still have two more sets to do. The problem is the repair work I have to do on the saw. I am past that now. The vibration, correct chain gauges to bar etc all can put a toll on the saws. The two saws and a sperber 40 in the mill I got for 500 dollars, but the saws were old, and I was not wanting to get too involved with repairing and sharpening, which when you touch a chainsaw you in for the whole ride. I now realize. The sperber is a two-end chainsaw that I run both chain saws and it rips through large logs.

The saw pretty much cuts through so I am not fighting or pushing, and still waiting after 7 weeks for the Granberg winch. Might speed it up but mainly I want it to smooth out the cut. I am milling hardwood mostly so with pine or softwood the cuts are much faster.

I want to get a bandsaw, although I find zen in the milling myself especially when you are not crouched down on the ground trying to mill. I have no room with everything else to have a place for a bandsaw. I am rezoning the side of my house to fence enclose 20 by 30 and may look at getting one then; I’ll see. Just got another hoist so hope this speeds it up. I got 50 logs worth and went through 20 so far. I stored 30 at a friend’s house all sealed on the ends but I am working out a deal with an L140 Bandsaw guy for part of the lumber, and I’ll bring up a trailer full about 40 miles and see how that goes.

What takes me all the time is moving the logs into position from the pile to the Truss mill table, and then rotating to make cants. If I am just doing slabs it goes real fast. However, most of the logs are between 20 and 26 inches some with twists and 8 to 10 ft long. I would not have jumped at it but the trees were Chinese Elm. Indian Rosewood, Mesquite, Russian Olive, Mulberry, and African Sumac. One beautiful reveal after the other. I have a line on a guy willing to give me 10 to 15 trees of ironwood on a property he is selling before he sells it, so I am debating that now. I need to get back to woodworking.

Any advice on how I sliced the log?

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