More Log Milling
#17
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
John

When you make the cuts to get the bark off do you ever end up with anything that is 3" thick or even some 3x3 stuff?  Would love to have some if you do.  Even some white oak or red oak or cherry any other wood for that matter.

We need a lot of turning stock and I can never keep up with demand.
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#18
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by Arlin Eastman (John When you make ...)
(11-08-2018, 10:26 PM)Arlin Eastman Wrote: John

When you make the cuts to get the bark off do you ever end up with anything that is 3" thick or even some 3x3 stuff?  Would love to have some if you do.  Even some white oak or red oak or cherry any other wood for that matter.

We need a lot of turning stock and I can never keep up with demand.

Yes, sometimes.  Are you OK with green wood?  

John
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#19
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
John, I've been following these threads and find it very interesting. We have 50 acres of mostly hardwoods and I have been considering an Alaskan mill. Forgive me if you have already mentioned it, but what chainsaw do you use -how many cc- and what length bar is on your saw. 
Thanks,
Jim
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#20
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by jradisch (John, I've been foll...)
(11-13-2018, 05:36 PM)jradisch Wrote: John, I've been following these threads and find it very interesting. We have 50 acres of mostly hardwoods and I have been considering an Alaskan mill. Forgive me if you have already mentioned it, but what chainsaw do you use -how many cc- and what length bar is on your saw. 
Thanks,
Jim

Hi Jim.  I use an 85 cc saw, a Husqvarna 385XP.  It's no longer made, but the 390XP is and is essentially the same saw at 88 cc's.  If you decide to go the chainsaw route I strongly advise you not to get anything smaller than 85 cc if you plan to cut anything larger than 14 - 16" diameter.   I used a 28" bar with my Alaskan Mill; it could slab anything up to about 20".  On the rolling mill I use a 42" bar and it can slab anything up to about 32".  Many of the slabs I showed in these threads averaged 22" or more.   

With 50 acres of hardwoods I would be thinking of setting up a fairly permanent milling site and a solar drier.  Of course, you would need a way to haul the logs to the mill if you go that route.  If that's not in the cards then the Alaskan Mill will get it done in the bush.  


John
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#21
  Re: More Log Milling by jteneyck (As I said in the pri...)
Yup, go big if you want to get into chainsaw milling. Up around the 90cc that John is using.

But at the price of those big pro grade chainsaws you are getting up closer to the price of a small band sawmill. 

Now if you happen to have a big chainsaw already, or come across one cheap, then why not. But a little $3,000 Woodland sawmill is a LOT easier to use than an Alaskan mill, and has a little 4 stroke motor that can hum away all day and not risk burning it up.

Like woodwork shops, the sky is the limit for sawmills too. But you can buy a sawmill that "works" relatively cheap if you don't need the speed and log size of the bigger machines. 

My mill has a 3ft log dia limit, which is a bit of a problem here, but I'm not complaining as I got a heck of a good deal on it, and it otherwise does what I need it to.
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#22
  Re: RE: More Log Milling by ianab (Yup, go big if you w...)
(11-14-2018, 02:21 AM)ianab Wrote: Yup, go big if you want to get into chainsaw milling. Up around the 90cc that John is using.

But at the price of those big pro grade chainsaws you are getting up closer to the price of a small band sawmill. 

Now if you happen to have a big chainsaw already, or come across one cheap, then why not. But a little $3,000 Woodland sawmill is a LOT easier to use than an Alaskan mill, and has a little 4 stroke motor that can hum away all day and not risk burning it up.

Like woodwork shops, the sky is the limit for sawmills too. But you can buy a sawmill that "works" relatively cheap if you don't need the speed and log size of the bigger machines. 

My mill has a 3ft log dia limit, which is a bit of a problem here, but I'm not complaining as I got a heck of a good deal on it, and it otherwise does what I need it to.

I couldn't agree more, Ian.   I started with the chainsaw and Alaskan mill because it was by far the cheapest way to mill lumber at the time.  But nearly 15 years later chainsaws have gone up in price by nearly 50% while bandsaw mills have not, so the difference in price of entry is not as great, though it's still at least 2 to 1.   The problem with low cost bandsaw mills is the size of the log they can handle.  You can put a 26" diameter log on some of the smaller Woodland mills, and others, but they can't cut slabs that wide.  For a furniture maker that's no problem, you don't want the bark anyway, so by rotating the log a few times you can get the cant small enough to cut boards.  But if you want slabs then you need a bigger bandsaw mill and the prices go up in a hurry, whereas if you buy a big chainsaw to start with you can add a longer bar to it and cut slabs even 6' across if that's what you want.  It all depends on what you want to do.  

I'm seriously contemplating building a chainsaw mill driven by a 4 stroke engine.  I'd actually prefer to use an electric motor but a 10 HP single phase motor draws a lot of amps., and the unit isn't really portable either.  But if you have ever watched the Snik mill in action you know how fast and smoothly a chainsaw can cut.  So for portability I think it's going to have to be a 4 stroke motor, which will be cheaper to buy, too, but require a beefier frame.  I was doing some comparisons in torque for various options.  My 385XP makes about 43 lb-in of torque at 9600 rpm and the big 3120XP is 58 at 9000 rpm.  2 stroke motors certainly are a marvel of power to weight.  A 5 HP electric motor has 91 lb-in of torque  at 3450 rpm, but it will be down to 33 at the chain sprocket.  You would need at least a 7.5 HP to get equivalent sprocket torque to the chainsaws.  And it's actually the same for a 4-stroke engine.  You need 7.5 HP at 3600 rpm to give you 49 lb-in at 9600 rpm at the sprocket.  

When you compare all this to the bandsaws we have in our woodworking shops it all makes pretty good sense.  A good rule of thumb is 1 HP will give you 3 or 4 inches of resaw capacity, if you want to get it done efficiently.  My 16" resaw bandsaw has a 5 HP motor on it, so 3.5 inches/HP.  So if you are looking at a bandsaw saw mill it's going to be pretty close to the same requirement.  Green wood cuts easier than dry but, still, if you want to cut a 26" diameter tree into slabs you are going to need at least 7.5 HP to do it efficiently, and twice that would be a whole lot better.  The Woodland mills are actually pretty powerful for their maximum cutting width of 19".  The smallest engine on those smaller mills is 9.5 HP, so that's only 2"/HP, meaning it will cut pretty quickly.  

In my case, I'm looking at least 12 HP and more like 15 to 18 HP for a chainsaw mill.  And if I can find a simple, low cost way to use a horizontal shaft motor I could adapt the frame to a bandsaw mill later if I want to.  

Musings for a future project.

John
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