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CS Milling 101, Hints tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by BobL, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Guys, seems like there are a continual trickle of newbies posting their milling setups and it's great to see the addiction continues! Most of these folks seem to be milling small logs on their knees on the ground when there is no need for it. Yes I do occasionally mill (big ones) on the ground but I'm wondering whether a sticky on milling positions would help these folks, that way we wouldn't sound like broken records?
     
    peter92 likes this.
  2. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest I am NOT a tree freak.

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    Allright guys. For the sake of keeping this an information thread, lets keep the banter to a min and keep the sharing of info and your set-ups flowing.
     
  3. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    My tips for Alaskan style milling
    1) Clean the log of as much grit and bark as you can and clear sufficient working space around the log.

    2) if at all possible, get the log up off the ground onto gluts or sawhorses so you are milling in as standing a position as possible. You should not have to bend over significantly or mill on your knees.

    3) place the log on a slope so that you are milling downhill and gravity aids the cutting process

    4) start with a freshly sharpened chain with rakers set correctly and don't let the chain go blunt. Stop and sharpen or change chains often.

    5) add extra handles to the mill or wrap handle on the saw so your arms are not spread apart. This allows you to comfortably lean on the mill with straighten arms. The more handles you have, The more variations in arm and standing position you can use which helps relieve fatigue. Add anti vibe grips to handles.

    6) If you are milling over about 24" in width consider adding an auxiliary oiler to the outboard end of the bar to protect the bar and chain.

    7) add rollers or wheels to the inboard side of the mill that makes contact with the log so the mill does not constantly jam up against the side of the log

    8) use log rails that are longer than the log so that the mill can perch on the end of the log while the saw is being started

    9) on really hard wood, if the log is partially dry, remove the first 6" or so of the starting end of the log, so you are not cutting into dead dry wood where you lose 90% of the chain sharpness.

    10) when finishing a cut, before stopping the engine let it idle for 30 seconds or so, so it can cool down a bit .

    11) orient the milling so the saw is downwind of the operator to reduce exposure to exhaust and sawdust.

    12) stop to admire and chimp the wood grain often - remember you will never see it looking so vivid and natural again, EVER!


    Things to watch out for
    a) the CS bar and the CS milling rails not being parallel to each other across the mill. This will cause the mill to rise or more likely dive making it harder and harder to cut. This can be cause by poor construction or dropping or damaging a mill.

    b) loose nuts/bolts/bits on the saw and mill. If they fall they are dangerous if they hit the chain and you may never see them again amongst the piles of sawdust generated by milling. Check all fasteners and use Loctite where appropriate.

    c) loose mill/bar bolts. If you forget, the chain could be toast in fractions of a second.

    d) PPE. High quality hearing protection is even more essential than regular sawing because of the prolonged exposure. Consider using 30dB+ muffs.

    e) pushing too hard. If you have to push hard, something is not right usually its just 4) especially the rakers not set properly but occasionally its a)

    That will do for now!

    Cheers
     
    SeMoTony, TreeJoe, peter92 and 8 others like this.
  4. Ollbuster

    Ollbuster ArboristSite Lurker

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    How about some recomendations on chains and chain set up. I currently use plain stihl chisel and it cuts fast and relativly smooth. What are the pros and cons of different set-ups?
     
  5. hazard

    hazard ArboristSite Operative

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    Bob

    You hit on every point I have posted in the past. I found out all of this the hard way 10yrs ago.

    1. Wear a dust mask
    2. Put wedges in the cut so the bar does not get pinched

    Generally I use granberg milling chain. Works well.

    I have used normal stihl chain in the past. More vibration in the mill. Cuts rougher

    Chris
     
    Lumber Jack Jason and SAWsquatch like this.
  6. dustytools

    dustytools Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Another thing to keep in mind is saw maintenance. Milling is way harder on a saw than normal crosscutting is. Check and clean filters often, Max out the oiler on the saw and use an auxillary oiler if possible, Let the saw idle for a little while before killing it to allow it to cool, and always keep the chain sharp.
     
  7. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    All good points gentlemen.

    Doh - how could I forget the wedges!!!

    Dust mask is good too. I have a full filtered air mask - helmet - muffs combo that is very useful for dry logs but mostly where I mill where there is almost always some breeze which helps enormously.
     
  8. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest I am NOT a tree freak.

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    How bout some pics of your set-ups.....I know when I was hot and heavy into milling, I was always thinking about.....

    Getting my logs up about waist high.

    Getting the first cut square and smooth and keeping it that way the length of the log.

    Then theres always the different types of chain and what angles work best in particular types of wood.
     
    Lumber Jack Jason likes this.
  9. hazard

    hazard ArboristSite Operative

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    I did this as an example of how I set up the rig. I haven't actually milled a log in 3 yrs. No point when I have 3000bf of oak, cherry and walnut laying around. My wife hates it when I bring more home.

    Once the rig is setup I set the mill at 5 1/2" and mill away. This is quick and easy. The 2x4's I use are 8' so I cut the log at 7' so I have 6" of overhang. As a woodworker to me an 8' log is meaningless. I almost prefer a 6' log. A 6'x20"x1.25" wet board weighs is starting to get heavy for me.

    The only way to raise a log to any decent height is with a bobcat or tractor or a group of really strong men. Otherwise you are SOL. Most of the logs I mill have been in the woods so a tractor isn't excessable.

    Chris

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    It depends how crafty you are.

    I got this log off the ground.
    Hudmillar.jpg

    With this.
    Action1.jpg
    Action2.jpg
    Full thread here.

    The hi-lift jack lifts 7500 lbs and I picked a used one for US$30 and modifying it took a couple of hours. Admittedly It's not something I like carrying more than about 100 yards but otherwise it's well worth the effort.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  11. hazard

    hazard ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a jack like that. We used it at the apple farm back in the day. I will use that next time. You just got the wheels rolling in my head on this. I can raise a log now

    Thanks
    Chris
     
    SeMoTony, smokey7, JeffG and 2 others like this.
  12. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    A range of setups

    Basic setup - sorry if I keep posting this one but it's the clearest picture I have.

    Unistrut log rails
    layout.jpg

    Another basic setup using a ladder as log rails.
    Hudmillar.jpg

    Boomerang shaped log
    marriboomsetup.jpg
    marriboomsetup2.jpg

    Another tricky to start log
    DSC00157.jpg

    Small mill with Mac 10-10
    All1.jpg

    Serious sloped milling - mill went down by itself!
    byitself.jpg

    16ft cedar
    16ftr3.jpg

    Enough?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
    vajnis, SeMoTony, smokey7 and 11 others like this.
  13. porky616

    porky616 ArboristSite Operative

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    fantastic pics bob :clap::clap::clap:
     
  14. Rockfarmer

    Rockfarmer ArboristSite Guru

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    Good stuff!! So far all Ive milled is pine logs and its very easy. For this I use regular chisel chain sharpened to 10 degrees and rakers down to .040 all by eye. Most of my logs have been out in the woods where its hard to get heavy equip. When I fell my trees I put down some logs crosswise, I have these leftover from the previous tops. As the tree lays naturaly off the ground with limbs supporting it its easy to stuff some more logs under before limb-ing and bucking log lengths. Then I'm up off the ground a couple feet from the get go. As you get close to the bottom cuts of the cant, these pieces, and the leftover pieces from making the cant, this wood becomes liftable. Then I made triangular pieces to prop these off the ground. They dont roll and they are light wieght and do the job. With this pine obviously I start on the uphill side of the log and she just chugs down thru with almost no effort, same with the mini mill ( I could even run the mini mill one handed :)) One thing about the mini is to make sure you get it squared up good because it is adjustable (slotted holes). Obviously all safety gear is a must. :chainsaw:
     
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  15. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest I am NOT a tree freak.

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    If you guys do a search under my name of threads started in the milling section...theres quite a few with good pictures.
     
  16. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    There certainly are. Also Aggiewoodbutcher is a name to search with as well for some awesome posts.

    CaseyF, I checked out your posts and I now remember your post of milling on a trailer using the green unistrut rails back in 2007? inspired me to get some unistrut.

    We forget there's a heap of very good info going back a number of years in these forums but their structures? leave a bit to be desired as a long term repository of info. We need better data mining tools than simple searches and a way to remove what I call chaff (low or no info banter) from threads. Still what we have access to is pretty impressive and having inducted a few newbies to this site they are amazed at what is on offer.
     
    SeMoTony likes this.
  17. CaseyForrest

    CaseyForrest I am NOT a tree freak.

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    Excellent point.

    Woodshop is also a valuable resource of information.

    Feel free to search through past threads and post the links here. I can edit them into the first post as they come up.

    Maybe consider this sticky a work in progress. As you guys mine past information we can organize it accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  18. MR4WD

    MR4WD ArboristSite Guru

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    Today was my first time milling. Used the same ladder set up that bob showed a while ago and was able to slab out a 12'x4" ponderosa pine for novelty, practice and sitting benches by my firepit.

    I used 1/2" hardware on the ladder, if by chance you forgot your ratchet you can use a scrench.

    As an aside I used a 385 with a muffler mod, 36" bar and stihl full skip chain on an 8 pin rim at first. Until I promtly found and cut through a nail. Then I used stihl full comp with a 7 pin. I'd have to say I preferred the full skip, since I was milling for speed not texture. I never had any doubts going into this that the 385 would be underpowered and I was never let down. The only real question is 395/3120? I'm staying husky so I don't have to get another full inventory of bars.

    In the 4, 4" slabs I cut (the biggest at 28" across) the chain only really started dulling. I'll probably resharpen the skip at 30 degrees again but then see what the future holds for another powerhead before I determine the angle that I sharpen the comp. Seems to me 10 degrees would be slower and harder on this weenie 385.

    Thanks for the great thread!
    Chad.
     
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  19. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Yep sorry I didn't mention WS, lots of other guys too, everyone helps each other sometimes quite subconsciously.
     
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  20. BlueRider

    BlueRider ArboristSite Guru

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    I have a check list that is a word document that I print out so I can check to make sure I have everything I need loaded in the truck. I wish I had enough duplicate tools to not have to take some out of my milling tool box but such is not the case. I list everthing I might need including food & water. that way I can check it off and know I didn't leave it sitting on the kitchen counter. I find this list particularly helpful when I havn't been out to mill for several months.

    here is my check list:

    Milling Check List

    075
    051
    038
    homelite
    mill
    gas
    mix oil
    bar oil
    guide board
    cant hooks
    broom
    ax
    shovel
    fire extinguisher
    cordless drill
    respirator
    gloves
    tool tote
    rags

    Tool Tote
    Scrench(2)
    Regular screw driver
    #2 phillips screw driver
    carb adjusting screw driver
    pliers
    crescent wrench
    vice grips
    tape measure
    wood chisel
    driver tips #2 & #3
    round files
    flat file
    3/16” drill
    counter sink
    allen wrench
    ear plugs
    deck screws

    food
    water
    spare clothes
    camera
     

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