How to slice logs

I have several curved logs of some poplar-related hardwood that would make a wonderfully artistic frame around the door or even interior supports of a small building, such as a sauna.
My question is how to slab them. My chainsaw (and, for that matter, handsaw) ripping technique is imprecise to say the least, and I can't imagine wrangling these onto my 12-inch band saw and getting anything resembling a straight cut. One of those portable mills would do the job, but the cost of renting or hiring one for so few cuts is prohibitive.
Anybody have any ideas I'm overlooking?
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On Thu, 22 Jul 2004 18:45:45 -0700, Wolf Lahti wrote:

IIRC there is a clamp-on thingie to guide a chainsaw bar. I doubt if it's as accurate as a proper mill, but it might be better than slicing freehand.
You might take a gander at http://www.loghelp.com/tools/chainsaw.html . It offers both a larger and a smaller version.
Bill
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I slice logs using a hand rip saw. I carefully mark the log all around with a Sharpie. Yeah, it's slow and uses the muscles (I like to switch arms every few minutes). No special equipment needed !
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Wolf Lahti wrote:

Here's one idea:
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/tresl39.html
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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Thu, Jul 22, 2004, 6:45pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@nwlink.com (WolfLahti) claims: <snip> hiring one for so few cuts is prohibitive. <snip>
Depends. I understnd some saw owners will take wood as payment. Never hurts to ask.
JOAT
We've got a lot of experience of not having any experience. - Nanny Ogg
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I use a big Japanese _hand_ rip saw (anahiki ?)
The effort of sawing is less than the effort of getting the sled / clamping right to saw it by machine.
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My Woodmizer mill man charges $35/hr, which is pretty reasonable. Your trouble is the travel and setup for a few logs. My man also works at home. So you need to find someone working stationary, or at another job, and carry your logs there. It's hard to handle curved logs, especially short ones, but it can be done and the cuts are fine. We just did several small walnut logs, some curved, only 4' long. It made a nice pile of boards, 3-8" wide and took just under an hour for four logs. I guess there were close to 75 BF.
Wilson

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Couple of options. First, you can do a search for a product called an Alaskan Saw Mill. It's a frame that a chain saw bolts into and the frame/saw combination ride on a log (actually, ride on a 2by which is nailed to the log), and enables you to make cuts down the log such that you can turn a log into lumber. You only ride on the 2by for the first cut and then the rig rides on the previously cut side. These rigs are really pretty accurate, as far as saw mills go. Even as we discuss this my neighbor is using one to mill red pine for a log home. I live in a log home myself and I was looking at his logs the other day and they are every bit as good as the commercial logs. Quite a neat little rig. Cost - around $200.00 if you're looking to buy one, or you may be able to rent one from a nearby chain saw sales/repair facility. Caveat - you need a fairly beefy chainsaw if you're going to do much of this work. A saw that is under 2cid might not have the required power for this work.
Second option - I've done this myself in the past when I've needed some extra logs for different things. Nail a sacrificial 2by to the log such that the edge of the 2by runs along the line you want to cut. Use the 2by as a guide bar for your chainsaw. You'll find that you can pretty easily hold your saw so that it runs true along the edge of the 2by. You'll scrape up the 2by to the point that it's pretty ugly doing this, since the sides of the cutters will tear at it with each pass, but you'll be surprised at how well a simple 2by keeps you holding your saw straight and produces a good cut. For a small amount of work, this is all I'd do.
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On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 12:44:44 GMT, "Mike Marlow"

If you're going to do much work with an Alaskan mill I'd recommend trying to find a ripping chain rather than the normal chain. They really do make a difference and will yield a much better surface as well.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I've heard that there's a way to sharpen a standard chainsaw chain so that it will do ripping duty. Has anyone else seen/heard this?
-Phil Crow
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Phil Crow wrote:

It's not just the shape of the teeth but also the chain AND the bar as well - chain's narrower as is the bar. Narrower kerf, less material to remove, less power required - like a thin kerf table saw blade. Rip bar and chain for Stihl 25C was about $60.
charlie b
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On 23 Jul 2004 19:16:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Phil Crow) wrote:

yes. here's a page about it: http://www.granberg.com/ripchain.html
note that ripping chains are very "grabby" and really want to kick back....
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Fri, Jul 23, 2004, 12:44pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@sprintmail.com (MikeMarlow) says: Couple of options. First, you can do a search for a product called an Alaskan Saw Mill. <snip>
If he's gonna do that, there's plans for similar type rigs free, should be a couple in the archives.
JOAT Expensive tennis shoes won't cure a sore toe. - Bazooka Joe
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Shipwrights carve curved pieces to fit using an adze. Note the shipwrights adze has small flanges on the sides and the handles were bent or straight, made for working from right. left or centre. These flanges allow better control, versus the carpenters adze, which is flat. WEAR STEEL TOED BOOTS WHEN USING AN ADZE.
I would use the adze to roughly flatten the side where it lies on the ground. Then put the peice up on saw horses and use a straight edge and power plane to get closer to a flat surface. Check the progress with winding boards as your eye will play tricks on you with a curved surface. Finish with a door plane.
For doing the upper and inner curves I would use the adze again then a spoke shave.
Boatman
wrote:

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Wolf Lahti wrote:

TimberJig - bolts onto body of chain saw. Go here and find Timber Jig in left frame. Have one on my Stihl and got the ripping bar and chain for it to cut down on the kerf width.
http://www.logosol.com /
charlie b
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
Well I hope their products are good. Their site is weird.
Ask for the catalogue
"hi there. We sell Logosol. How are you?"
Ask for the timberjig manual and the file is called blah catalog.xxx

***************************************************** It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it rammed down our throats.
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Odd that a chainsaw mill didn't even come to mind--especially since I've been thinking about making one for ten years or so. My head got stuck in bandsaw or bandsaw mill mode, and I had trouble seeing past it.
Thanks, guys.
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