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What brand bar/chain for milling with Stihl?

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by Glaze, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    What brand of bar and chain do you guys prefer to use with a Stihl MS 660 Magnum or Stihl MS 880 Magnum for chainsaw milling?

    I'm going to use the GB chainsaw mill with one of the Stihl chainsaw models mentioned above. Would you guy's recommend using an oiler kit with this setup also or is the chainsaw oiling system enough?

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. oldsaw

    oldsaw "Been There, Milled That"

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    If you are going to use a 36" mill, you will need a 42" bar to use all 36". A 36 inch bar will get you about 28-29" with the spikes still on it. I've done most of my milling with Oregon bars, although I do have a Stihl bar drilled for an Aux oiler as well since my original Oregon 36" is about shot. (Yes, an auxiliary oiler is a necessity with a long bar. You can make one, but I just bought mine.)

    Chain? I've used Bailey's, and have modded some Stihl chain. I'm happy with both. Heard good things about Oregon RA (rip) chain as well, but haven't used it. Going to have a couple of loops made up to give it a try on my 42" bar. I'm running 3/8" .063 chain.

    Mark
     
  3. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    Excellent information as usual Oldsaw. I want to buy a Stihl saw. My local Stihl/Husqvarna dealer(one place sells both) quoted me $1,069.00 for the Stihl MS 660 Magnum and $1,600.00 something for the Stihl MS 880 Magnum(two largest new Stihl models). They gave me almost the same exact prices for the two largest models of Husqvarna saws also which was $200.00 more than Baileys charges for the same saw, but of course Baileys buy's in bulk. Too bad Baileys does not sell Stihl.

    Why do you prefer the Oregon bars for milling?

    Thanks
     
  4. oldsaw

    oldsaw "Been There, Milled That"

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    I actually like the Stihl bars better, although for the amount I've used it so far, the Oregon Power Match has done better than my previous as far as wear characteristics. It was also the only 42" I could find for not stupid money. I'm pretty impressed however with its performance. My original 36" Oregon was well used and came with the saw.

    The upside of the 088 is going to be power, the downside is that your bars are going to be harder to find and more expensive. The 066 uses the same mount as all but the tiniest Stihl saws. Not that you will need one very often.

    Those are great prices on saws, BTW, my local Stihl dealer is a small local farm supply chain that doesn't deal, and the other guy close to my office is apparently on the "outs" with Stihl, but wouldn't give a deal to his mother. I've had a chain brake on order from him for about 6 months now. Farm store had it in 3 days. There are others around town that I will have to see when it comes to buying a saw. However, the new parts kid at the farm store is pretty good, he'll even order parts in if I call without making me come in for prepayment. However, after I bought my saw, I've got a new Husky dealer even closer to me who probably would deal on a bigger saw they wouldn't have to stock. Part of my reason to buy the Stihl was local parts availability at the time.

    Have fun and good luck,

    Mark
     
  5. tek9tim

    tek9tim AboristSite Guru

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    Ouch. That's higher than all but 1 place I called when I was shopping for my 660 a month ago. Call around. One shop up here has full-wrap 660's for $830, but they can't sell out of area. Check around a bit more before you buy. Find a volume dealer.

    And I'd go along with what Mark said. I run a 42" Oregon for milling as well. With my old 066, it worked fairly well. I run the Oregon chain, and it works alright. I don't have too much to compare it to, though. I ran a Granberg chain for about 2 cuts, then found out the chucklehead that sold it to me gave me the wrong gauge. Madsens has pretty good deals usually on chain. They have a "buy one at retail price, get one free" deal, which the retail for a 135 driver rip chain was like $70, but then I got a 135 driver durapro crosscut chain as well.

    As far as which powerhead you should use, the 880 is going to work better. That should be a no-brainer. The 660 will get the job done, but more slowly. Bars are a little more expensive for the bigger saw, but since you're dropping a huge chunk of change anyway...
     
  6. clyde

    clyde ArboristSite Lurker

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    I run a 42" GB bar with a GB ripping chain, which I modified "grandberg" style. You don't need spikes for milling so take them off and get the extra cuttin capacity back.
     
  7. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    Oldsaw

    Do you recommend the half wrap or the full wrap handle on the Stihl chainsaw for milling? Does one help more and the other get in the way more? Does Stihl make a 42" solid metal bar I could buy for milling? What about the Stihl chain? Stihl throws out the Ematic bar lubrication system sales pitch out which may or may not make a difference.

    I'm getting sold on buying a new Stihl MS 660 Magnum. My local dealer said the new one would not be released until January. My local Stihl/Husqvarna(they sold both and serviced both) dealer also preferred the Stihl saws. The main guy there owned a Stihl himself and said he was sold on the two ring piston design of the Stihl over the single piston ring design of the Husqvarna and a few other small things he preferred on the Stihl saws just from working on them and using them.

    Mike
     
  8. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    $830.00 is beyond a good price for a Stihl MS 660. That price is close to what Baileys sells the very similar sized second largest Husqvarna saw for. I will shop around and probably call Stihl to find the largest Stihl dealer here.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  9. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    Clyde

    Will the GB bar work well with the Stihl MS 660 oiling system? I'm sold on the GB chainsaw mill and that is the one I will buy. I was wondering if the GB mill is better then what are the bars and chain like.

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  10. oldsaw

    oldsaw "Been There, Milled That"

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    It isn't going to make any difference as far as the handle goes. You will have one hand on the throttle, and the other on the mill.

    The biggest Stihl bar that fits an 066 is 36". I had no luck sourcing one from GB, so I went with the Oregon. Process of elimination...and budget, the "hoity-toity" bars were out of the question with my shoestring budget.

    Mark
     
  11. tek9tim

    tek9tim AboristSite Guru

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    That's pretty much why I run a 42" Oregon.

    As the the full/half wrap question, I'm a west coast guy, so full wraps are what I run. But, if you're only going to be using the saw for milling, and maybe some bucking, I would save the little bit of money and get a half-wrap. If you're milling with it, the extended clutch cover that also comes with a full wrap doesn't give any particular advantage either. The main argument I see for a full wrap would be protection of the saw. Since the clutch side of the saw is down when you're milling, if you set it down with a half wrap, the saw and mill attachment are resting on the clutch cover and gas tank. If you have a full-wrap, it sits on the handlebar. Kind of acts like a rollbar for the saw.
     
  12. artwood

    artwood ArboristSite Operative

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    I've been running .325 chisel on my 088 w/42" GB bar. It really flys, the narrower kerf is especially nice on hardwood.
     
  13. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    Oldsaw

    Prices for a complete chainsaw mill setup can get out of hand pretty quick and that's why I'm going to go with the Stihl MS 660 instead of the Stihl MS 880. I can buy a Stihl MS 660, the GB chainsaw mill, bars and chain for less than what a Stihl MS 880 chainsaw costs. I might try and go with the GB bars and chain also since there is a source for that stuff from a guy who posts on this forum and everyone likes dealing with him. The GB stuff is made in Australia, so it's not easy to find or get.

    Mike
     
  14. Chopwood

    Chopwood AboristSite Guru

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    How about a husky 3120, just so happens I've got one for sale up un the for sale section.
     
  15. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    What brand of chain are you using?

    I checked out your website, very nice. My dad does chainsaw bears also. His favorite wood to use is Siberian Elm because it does not crack once you put a finish on it and he is using fresh cut logs. He calls this wood Chinese Elm which is what most people around here call it, but it's actually really Siberian Elm(rough bark).

    Mike
     
  16. Glaze

    Glaze ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the offer, but I won't be buying until I get my tax return in March of 2006. I won't be doing any cutting until the spring anyway and I want a new saw. The guy's at Granberg actually recommend the Husky 3120 and they told me Bailey's sells them cheaper than anyone in the country. I'm going to try and get a new Stihl MS 660 for what Bailey's sells the second largest Husky saw for new.

    Mike
     
  17. Chopwood

    Chopwood AboristSite Guru

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    I can wait if interested. The saw is in excellent condition, just dont need it anymore.
     
  18. artwood

    artwood ArboristSite Operative

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    Mike, I've been using Carlton .325 chisel for ripping on the 088. 3/8LP also works pretty good for ripping hardwood.

    I like carving elm as well, too heavy for shipping though. The stringy nature of the wood won't let get big checks like straighter grained wood.
     

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