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MS660 w/ 42" bar for milling

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by rice701, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. rice701

    rice701 New Member

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    Hello all,

    I am new to this forum but have been searching around on it for a couple of weeks now. I am about to buy a chainsaw for a chainsaw mill and was at the stihl store about to buy the MS660 when the stihl dealer and stihl rep both said i would burn it up milling 36" hardwoods with a 42" bar and said i should get an MS880. The average log will be 24" hardwoods with the occasional 36" hardwood. From what i gather on this forum is that there are plenty of people that mill with the MS660 and a 42" bar setup. The reason why i want to use the ms660 instead of the ms880 is because of the cost difference and because the 660 can be used for more than just milling whereas the 880 would be ridiculous for anything but milling. Also, i am milling for personal use only to get slabs of hardwood for furniture i build, so i will not be milling more than a dozen logs a year at absolute most. Enlight of all of this could you please help me out with a few questions.

    1). I just need a sanity check to see if a ms660 with a 42" bar would work. I will be getting a smaller bar to mill and cut smaller logs.

    2). How many inches do you lose with a chainsaw mill? Will a 28" bar work for 14" logs? or do i need the 32" bar?

    3). Will it take significantly longer to mill a log with a 660 than an 880 (24" diameter and 36" diameter)?

    4). If i go with the 660, what do i need to do to make sure i dont burn up the saw? (keep in mind the saw will be new and i dont really want to void the warranty if i dont have to, but if i need to i will)

    5). For tuning it i have read anywhere between 11,000 and 12,500 rpm max. Is there one that is preferred and is this at full throttle with no load (not cutting)? Is the tuning only done through adjusting the carb limiting screws?

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  2. mikeb1079

    mikeb1079 ArboristSite Operative

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    yep. i've milled well over a thousand bf with my second hand 066. works great. typically i'm running a 32" bar.


    my csm is homemade but i think you generally lose 3-6" from an alaskan mill, so yes the 28 should be plenty for 14" logs.

    on the smaller logs the 660 will be just as fast if not faster than an 880. as the length of cut exceeds around 30" or so the bigger saw will win out but not by much until you get into really big slabs.


    4
    i bought my 066 used but the general consensus is to run a few tanks of fuel thru the saw under normal use to break it in. i would err on the side of caution and just break it in nice and easy. then start milling smaller, shorter logs. for example maybe start out on a 12-16" by 6' log. run the saw a bit rich and let the saw idle for a minute or two between cuts. i think you enter the danger zone when you start milling really wide slabs from really long logs. running the saw wot for minutes on end is something to avoid at first.

    this one i'll leave to bob or mtn gun or any of the other fellas that know way more than me. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  3. gemniii

    gemniii Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You are not sane to want to mill logs, subject closed. Welcome aboard and join the rest of us nuts.
    a) Standard MkIII w/ 36" rails will do 32" w/ 42"bar per spec.
    b) Yes, that's what I started with and a 62CC saw
    Larger mills do smaller sizes, they just may be clumsy (I wouldn't want to use a 36" mill on an 8" branch).
    If it's the entire setup, sharpen, cut, etc. -No
    If it's just time when the chain is moving in the wood, - probably
    Do a search on inches/sec here for some stats.
    I wouldn't use a NEW saw for at least 10 hours of use, maybe more. Crosscutting is WOT for brief periods. Milling is WOT for many minutes. Run it rich and let it rest.
    Read BobL's sticky

    You WILL burn up a 660 milling full cut 36" oak day in, day out. You might burn up yourself lugging an 880 machine around in the woods. If you are going to have a fixed setup that you don't move much an 880 is great. If you are going to throw it over your shoulder and tromp thru the woods aways that extra 6lbs may get heavy.

    Plus with a 660 and a 42" bar I don't have to bend over to cut wood :)

    /edit
    and check the classifies http://www.arboristsite.com/classifieds.php?do=viewitem&itemid=2373 066 w/bar for $550!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  4. glennschumann

    glennschumann ArboristSite Operative

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    066 and 42" bar

    Hi,

    Welcome!

    I run an 066 with a 42" bar. I also keep a 24 and 36" bar for it too. The 42 is good with the 066 as on a 36" alaskan mill, you get the full 34" cutting width, you don't have to mess with drilling the bar to maximize the cutting width, and you still have enough room on the head end to operate the drum brake. At full width cutting, it is slow, but patience is a good thing to develop. Learn to sharpen your chain well, and you can do it on the mill (if you flip the saw over for one side of the chain).

    With the 36" mill, you can also run the shorter bars, and I highly recommend this for smaller logs... the mill is lighter, and with a smaller log, a shorter bar exposes less moving chain to your fleshy bits than a 42" bar does. Safety does count for something!

    I mill only for myself only, and my 066 has seen 90 % of its run time on the mill, The top end is an aftermarket with the chrome (not nikasil) coating, and it is just fine after maybe 50 gallons of fuel. I didn't break it in gently, but I run the high quality Stihl oil at 50:1. I have not tached it out, and I don't run it excessivly rich, I just tune it by ear to burble at WOT out of the cut, and run smoothly in the cut. Make sure you clean the air filter every tank.

    You may also enjoy starting with a 24 inch bar on a few logs to get a feel for the mill. Bummer to find out some trick to making your planks smoother or flatter on the 'once in a lifetime' log, when you can warm up on some 'commonly available' logs that won't matter too much if you end up turning them into fire wood. A small log is also much faster to cut, yielding faster happiness.

    Don't try milling your first time when it is 90 out... get the wind at your back, mill with the log pointed downhill a bit, wear ear plugs, and post pictures!
     
  5. john taliaferro

    john taliaferro Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I ware one of the helmets with face screen and muffs , and chaps ,and gloves help with vibrations .
     
  6. billstuewe

    billstuewe ArboristSite Operative

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    I have both the 660 and the 880. The longest bar I have for the 660 is 36" so I cannot speak to your 42" bar but I did buy a 72" bar for the 880. Eric Granberg told me I had to use two power heads on a 6' bar or I too would burn up my saw but when I told him that I had a temperature probe mounted in the exhaust manifold fin just above the exhaust port and also a tachometer and monitored both as I milled he said I knew what I was doing and to go ahead so he sold me the bar. The saw cuts real nice when I lug it down to around 7000-7500 rpm but the temp really climbs. If I back off on the push and let the rpms get up above 8000 it may cut a bit slower but it will run at least 15-20° cooler. My advice is mount a tach to it and keep your saw rpms up and do not lug it down. Less rpms mean less air moving through the saw and more heat building up and heat is what will destroy it. I have only used the 6' bar 3 time and I mill 95% of my big flitches with a 52" bar--always use the shortest bar possible and you will have more HP cutting wood instead of pulling chain. Besides, a 52" bar and length of chain are cheaper to wear out than a 72" set-up (36" vs. 42" in your case).
    Go to this thread for more on the temp/rpm set up: http://www.arboristsite.com/milling-saw-mills/122389-5.htm#post2278551
    Go for it!
     
  7. Karl Robbers

    Karl Robbers ArboristSite Operative

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    I wouldn't be scared to run an 066 with a 42" milling, (make sure you run an aux oiler though).
    I have run a 394xp husky with the same setup on Aussie hardwoods which are somewhat harder than yours generally. Now I have a 3120xp as well I run it in preference as it is much quicker, (smaller logs I actually step up to an 8t sprocket).
    It all comes back to your chain and your maintenance - any saw with poor fuel, tuned lean, a blunt chain and a dirty air filter will not live long.
    Don't lug your saw too much as others have said and let it idle and cool down at the end of your cuts.
    I would not entertain an 088 for your application as it is a boat anchor in comparison and you will not enjoy using it for your other tasks.
     
  8. hamish

    hamish Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For your intended purposes you will not burn it up if you look after it, hell some people can burn up a saw and not even cut a stick of firewood. Unless you have a need for diverse measuring slabs (for myself yeah one for a coffee table will suffice), think of making the log smaller to begin with (a lil off the tops and sides please) and go from there.

    What type of furniture to you make??
     
  9. rbtree

    rbtree Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Definitely add a dual port muffler to the saw, which will up the power by a good horsepower..and allow the saw to run cooler. Be sure to retune it to keep it in a safe rpm range.
     
  10. redoakneck

    redoakneck Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How hot does that 880 get?? I have one on mine and it goes over 500F at the exaust outlet on the muffler, maybe I need to move it closer to the cylinder??
     
  11. billstuewe

    billstuewe ArboristSite Operative

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    I have the thermal sensor wedged between the bottom fin just above the exhaust port and my experience tells me it is very dependent on the air temperature. When it is 100° I find the saw settles in at a good operating temp of about 290-300°. When it is 60° it runs at about 250-260°. Do NOT use MY temps. Place your sensor in a good spot and get your saw operation optimally and note the air temp and the temp the saw settles in at ( for instance--I am sawing and it is 100 degrees and the saw climbs to 295° . If the rpms drop to 7000 and the heat begins to climb to 310° and I back off a bit and rpms go to 8500, the temp drops back to 295° after about a minute then I know that is the temp to shoot at maintaining). Your temp readings will be dependent on your sensor location, sawing habits and air temp that you are sawing in.
     
  12. gemniii

    gemniii Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Mtngun must be on vacation. He advises against a DP muffler, says his hands got too hot. For some reason it hasn't bothered me.

    But you can open the muffler differently.

    The main thing is that all the recent 660's sold in the states use a muffler to meet EPA standards. The 660's sold in Australia use the dual port.

    Baileys used to offer the NWP DP muffler cover for the 660, but they don't list it now.
     
  13. Nato

    Nato ArboristSite Operative

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    660 or 880

    hey rice, from what it sounds like a 660 would be the right saw for you. i own both a 660 and an 880. i mill with my 880 and do my side cuts with my 660.( this saves me much down time) i don't have a 42 inch for that saw but i have done some vertical cuts with my 36 inch bar almost barried. the 660 had more than enough power to do the job. i'm glad i bought a 660. the 880 is just to heavy ( in my opinion) for any thing but milling. i use my 660 to fell,and buck the "ohio big ones" also.(west coast guys please don't laugh) it has proven to be a great multitask saw. with the money you save with the 660 you could go buy a good chain sharpener and have a killer setup. happy shopping!
     
  14. rice701

    rice701 New Member

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    Thanks for all of your help and convincing me a i wasnt crazy going with the ms660. I will probably need further help in the future while building and designing my chainsaw mill and look forward to becoming part of the community.

    hamish - I make all types of furniture but with the chainsaw mill i mainly want to make slab furniture. I recently quit my engineering job doing HVAC and plumbing design and plan on playing around doing woodworking and possible getting an apprenticeship for the next year.

    Thanks
    Andrew
     
  15. sika

    sika ArboristSite Lurker

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    Just saw this

    Just found this post, will try and delete my other one.

    I have a Stihl MS 660. I am looking to buy a 36" Alaskan mill for it.

    Couple of questions. I would appreciate some input please.

    I have read/heard the biggest cut you can get with 36" mill is 32" which is fine. Do I need to use a 42" to get a 32" cut. I understand most people use a 42" with a 36" Alaskan because they use a roller tip bar or such and you cant set the clamp on the end of the bar right out there so you end up loosing a fair amount of the bar because of that.

    I have also read you can drill through the center of the roller wheel on a roller tip bar and attach it to the bar that way which means I could get away with a 36" roller tip bar. Yes?

    Forgive me for using someone elses picture [below] but I could do this with a 36" bar I think. Which would save $$ cause I would only be forking out for a 36" bar and shorted chain.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG].

    If I use a solid or hard nose 36" bar? [provided I can find one] this would achieve the same thing/idea as above yes?

    Help please?
     
  16. goldfingers

    goldfingers ArboristSite Lurker

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    reply

    hi andrew,
    i use an ms660 at the moment with a 36 inch bar with a portable logster light mill
    i would advise against using a bigger bar than the 36 inch as the bar is very big at 36 and im am only just getting the tension on the chain i need if you went bigger i think you would have a slack chain.
    bar that i love my ms660 great motor.
    kev.
     
  17. mortenh

    mortenh ArboristSite Member

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    A 36" mill will cut 36 inch boards.

    You loose 4+ inches off the BAR length.

    You win an inch, or so, if you remove the dogs off the saw (a bit more on an 880)
    Using a solid nose bar, you can mount the clamp right at the top of the bar nose, without risking any damage to the bar.

    The smallest (and lightest) setup I have is an MS 660 with a 25" Stihl solid nose bar on a 24" Alaskan Mill. With the dogs off, and the bar clamped right at the end of the bar nose, the mill will handle just over 21" logs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  18. BobL

    BobL Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A 660 should be able to pull a 42" bar on a mill in softwood.

    In terms of bar/chain length and maintaining chain tension that just depends on operator skill.
    On all bars, the chain stretches most when new, and also heats up and expands quicker than the bar, especially on the first cut of the day.
    These effects are not that noticeable on shorter bars but are more noticeable on longer bars.

    On new chains I start with a very tight chain, cut the first couple of ft and then retension, and then retension at the end of that cut.
    On old chains I start the day with a moderately tight chain and then check tension at the end of the cut.

    One thing to be careful of is not to apply too much tension with a hot chain and a cold bar.
    In this case, as the bar heats up it will lengthen and apply an even greater tension to the chain.
     
  19. MGoodwin

    MGoodwin ArboristSite Lurker

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    066 w/ 42" bar

    I have been running my 066 with a 42" bar (34" effective cutting width) in soft maple, madrona (fairly hard), fir, etc and has been working well. During full cut I could see an 088 being nice but the smaller saw in my humble opinion is fine.
     
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  20. BobL

    BobL Addicted to ArboristSite

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    With a smaller saw if you switch often between hard and softwood I would suggest using a different sprocket size and maybe even a chain with different raker settings.

    HArdwood: Consider 7 tooth sprocket, 6º raker setting and maybe skip chain.
    Softwood: 8 tooth, 7.5º raker setting and regular chain.
     

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