Chain saw milling techniques


I just had some large oak trees blown down from the hurricane and would like some info on how to cut the tree using a chainsaw and jig to cut into planks.
any suggestions...I have minimum experience with a chainsaw. Im looking into getting a husky 24" with a alaskan saw mill.
I need to know what patteren to cut the wood in
thanks
Mike
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To make planks with a chainsaw you need to buy a special chain for ripping. The standard chains are only for cross cutting. Then there's a special fixture available that clamps on the bar of the saw that has rollers to guide the saw so it produces a board of the desired thickness. A former neighbor of mine had one of these and managed to cut up several trees with it with mixed success. He then gave up on it and bought a portable sawmill. He said that the chainsaw method took too long and too much effort to get what he wanted from it. There was a lot of waste too because it didn't cut perfectly flat parallel sided boards like a bandsaw mill can.
The US Forest Service publishes information on logging and getting the best lumber out of the logs. I would suggest that you contact them for this information. The cut patterns will vary depending on the results that you want to achieve, widest boards = flat sawn, minimum warpage = quarter sawn, etc. Quarter sawn red oak makes beautiful cabinets and flooring.
I would suggest that you try to find someone in your area with a portable sawmill and let them cut it up for you. I've heard that many will work for a share of the wood and if they've been doing it for a while, they will know how to cut the logs to get what you want from them.
--
Charley


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No, you don't need a ripping chain, although they can help. You need a saw with power...a Husky 395, Stihl 066...something along those lines. These typically swing a 36" bar and if you want to mill wood, you'll want one of those bars.
As for a mill, use a Grandberg Alaskan chain saw mill. Nothing to break, just a simple tool, that works well. Get the additional oiler with it...you'll use a lot. And make sure you have some lenghy straight esged (10') to do the initial cut.
We milled about 1100 bd ft of silver maple in a day with one of these. Lots of work, lots of waste but a decent way of getting wood.
If you have access to the trees, you'd be better served to try and find a mill that will cut them and ask the sawyer if he has transportation contacts and a kinl contact. We've just finished milling 4800 bd ft this way and the price is averaging approx. $0.80 per bd ft (including drying and CDN funds). We have another 1400 bd ft if birch that should be ready in a couple of weeks.
Charley wrote:

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nothere@northere wrote:

If you are serious about getting a chainsaw mill then I'd suggest looking at Logosol; http://www.logosol.com It will produce bandsaw quality lumber, is far safer to operate than the Alaskan style mills and has better lumber recovery. It also has an electric bandsaw powerhead option if you find you're getting more serious about milling and want to boost your speed while futher increasing yields.
The Logosol site has links to local owners who are willing to show off their mills, if these are the only trees you think you may want to mill then finding a sawyer with a portable mill may be another option.
What diameter are these logs?
What finished sizes of lumber do you work with most?
Both these are considerations that will affect your cut pattern.
Also do you have a good bandsaw in your shop?
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Archangel - Jack of all trades, mastering some...

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thanks for the info
I have a Laguna LT 14 band saw with a 9 5/8" resaw cut
The ltree looks like it is 22 Inches at the base and is about 60+ feet long roughly the same for the other trees
the portable band saws are the best solution... the chainsaw mill guy from baileys quoted around 1500 for a husky setup. for 4000 I can get a mill from wood mizer or equivelent. maybe even less for some other companies.
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 07:46:00 GMT, Archangel

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nothere@northere wrote:

I thought Wood-Mizer was around $5k+ for the little 11' manual mill. There are some $3500 carriage mills out there, they won't cut as smooth as a Wood-Mizer or Logosol setup but they'll certainly match a traditional circular sawmill for cut quality. I think the "Ripsaw" mill was around $4k, their bandsaw attachment for chainsaw and guidebar system is around $1700 (all the inconvienance of an Alaska mill with the kerf of a bandsaw).
Having that Laguna is nice, you can flitch cut the outer lumber, dry it, then rip quartersawn styles and rails from the sides of the flitch. You can also QS those edge strips. If you want to QS really wide panels on a mill then keep the cant fairly short to minimize movement from stresses while sawing. It's always advisable to flip the cant often to keep stresses balanced as you remove material.
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nothere@northere writes:

According to literature oak is the best wood for riving, and since the hurricane didn't wait for the best harvesting season sawing might be not the very best choice. Have a look at http://www.greenwoodworking.com/riving/riving.htm before you take a chainsaw to the tree, and invest in some wegdes, mauls and froe.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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You're out of your mind! The alaskan mill we used had TWO 90cc power heads on it. You also need special "rip" chain to get anywhere. Find someone with a woodmizer ( call woodmizer for references ) and pay them to do the work.
We spent a miserable two days cutting up one tree. I will never ever do that again. This was with a four man tag-team cutting, wacking wedges into the kerf behind the mill and moving cut lumber out of the way.
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Ed Clarke wrote:

To use the one time. And then to store for 30 or more years while you grow a few more specimens?

Dig a big pit and buy an antique tree saw. And find a desperately poor man with 25 kids to feed that has had his brains removed and pay him a lot of your hard earned to stand in the pit on the other end of the saw.
Actually you could get hold of a length of blade that has been thrown out of a saw-mill and use that as a rip saw if you were so inclined. You'd have to rig up some sort of an offset frame for it and use it as bow-saw as it is too fexible.
But if you have a saw-mill near by, you might as well arrange for them to do the job for you.
Remember that cutting it too thin will waste most of the tree when it has warped in the stack. If you are going to use if for cabinet work, have it quarter sawn. Paint the end grain.
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I've done this. It is a home-made fixture that attaches to a 20 inch bar on my Stihl 028. Cuts take a while--maybe a minute or two per foot, depending on the sharpness of the chain. The rip chain has to be sharpened after every 10-15 feet of cut. I still do it occasionally for windfalls on my property. I wouldn't call it fun, exactly, except when you turn over a frehly cut flitch and see the newly exposed grain.
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Nothing beats that fresh grain, I've got a couple black cherry crotches that were amazing to see freshly opened.
I gotta admire your perseverance but I think you are working that poor saw and chain to death. My 066 will rip 8-12" softwoods at a slow walk (hardwoods are slower) and I'd literally have to run if I didn't throttle back when edging.
The chain can convert three ~12' long 30" diameter pine logs into 1/2" x 8" siding before I "need" to sharpen, I usually swap out chains early as it makes it easier to get them back to razor sharp and keep the angles.
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Get somebody in to mill it up with a portable mill , you are way ahead to do it this way.
Why ? Chainsaw mills are slow, wasteful , tiring, noisy , dirty and dangerous
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