• Please be aware that we have recently gotten a wave of users that, when researched, are found to be from Nigeria. They are trying to sell products and asking to be paid through Zelle or Venmo leaving users with no recourse if they don't ship the product. If you suspect this activity please contact admin and we will research their information to verify their location.

ArboristSite.com Sponsors
Peak Industries


Homelite C-51 for Alaskan Sawmill

Joe Lee

Joe Lee

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
6
Age
66
Location
Indiana
I have inherited a C-51 in excellent condition. I am interested in using an Alaskan mill for cutting 3-4" lumber for turning and carving. Would the C-51 work reasonably well for occasional ripping? I would like a longer bar (30-36" vs current 20). Any recommendations on bar length or chain (3/8 vs 404) for this saw? I'd especially like hearing from anyone who has used this saw for milling.
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,759
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
I haven’t used that saw in milling, but can offer some information on milling in general.

A mills “Listed Size”, is the overall length of the mills frame rails, NOT the Mills capacity, For Example, a 36” Granberg at it’s Maximum capacity measures 33.5” between the bar clamps inside faces.
figure on losing 2.5-3” with most mills from their “Listed Size” between clamp faces.

Most tend to get better results with one end, typically the nose end, “Leading”, rather than with the mill exactly perpendicular to the center line of the log, you will lose several more inches of capacity here, also don’t forget to allow for knots and bulges eating an inch or two

Try to maintain a consistent lead angle while milling, “Sea Sawing” The bar back and forth while milling can leave marks in your milled surfaces.

You will Need about 6” more Bar than your mill’s “Listed Size”. You don’t want to clamp less than about 2.5-3” from the nose end of a sprocket nose bar, you don’t want to crush your sprocket or bearings by clamping over them.

You will also lose a couple inches to the “Dawgs”. You can save a few inches by removing the Dawgs, and a bit more by drilling through the center of the sprocket and Bolting rather than clamping the nose end of the bar, but without drilling and bolting, and removing the Dawgs, you’re going to need about 6” extra bar length

If you use a 36” bar, a 30” mill will allow you to comfortably mill logs 24-26” in diameter

By milling from the Top down, then turning your Log over, you can mill a bit larger, but not right through the very center

If you’re not trying to get “Live Edges”, but rather dimensional lumber, you can use an edging mill, like the Granberg 555b, to mill off the Sides, and allow you to mill larger diameter logs. Mill of a slab or two, to get a flat surface for edging mill’s guide board and rail to sit flat, helps.

yeah, I learned a lot of these things the “Hard Way”, Hopefully you can learn from the rest of us here.

Be WARNED, milling Can Be ADDICTIVE, if you think that CAD, can be Bad, CSMAD can be even Worse, don’t try to say that we Didn’t Warn You ;)

Doug :cheers:
 
Joe Lee

Joe Lee

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
6
Age
66
Location
Indiana
I haven’t used that saw in milling, but can offer some information on milling in general.

A mills “Listed Size”, is the overall length of the mills frame rails, NOT the Mills capacity, For Example, a 36” Granberg at it’s Maximum capacity measures 33.5” between the bar clamps inside faces.
figure on losing 2.5-3” with most mills from their “Listed Size” between clamp faces.

Most tend to get better results with one end, typically the nose end, “Leading”, rather than with the mill exactly perpendicular to the center line of the log, you will lose several more inches of capacity here, also don’t forget to allow for knots and bulges eating an inch or two

Try to maintain a consistent lead angle while milling, “Sea Sawing” The bar back and forth while milling can leave marks in your milled surfaces.

You will Need about 6” more Bar than your mill’s “Listed Size”. You don’t want to clamp less than about 2.5-3” from the nose end of a sprocket nose bar, you don’t want to crush your sprocket or bearings by clamping over them.

You will also lose a couple inches to the “Dawgs”. You can save a few inches by removing the Dawgs, and a bit more by drilling through the center of the sprocket and Bolting rather than clamping the nose end of the bar, but without drilling and bolting, and removing the Dawgs, you’re going to need about 6” extra bar length

If you use a 36” bar, a 30” mill will allow you to comfortably mill logs 24-26” in diameter

By milling from the Top down, then turning your Log over, you can mill a bit larger, but not right through the very center

If you’re not trying to get “Live Edges”, but rather dimensional lumber, you can use an edging mill, like the Granberg 555b, to mill off the Sides, and allow you to mill larger diameter logs. Mill of a slab or two, to get a flat surface for edging mill’s guide board and rail to sit flat, helps.

yeah, I learned a lot of these things the “Hard Way”, Hopefully you can learn from the rest of us here.

Be WARNED, milling Can Be ADDICTIVE, if you think that CAD, can be Bad, CSMAD can be even Worse, don’t try to say that we Didn’t Warn You ;)

Doug :cheers:
Thank you Husky Man!!!!! That was very helpful. I was leaning toward a 30 or maybe even 25" bar, but you provide good reasons to go with the 36". I actually have a 36" Granberg Alaskan mill I bought years ago but have never used. I'm looking forward to using it. Do you have any suggestions on the chain to use (404 vs 3/8, ripping vs modified)? I have a 404 sprocket but could switch in 3/8 is better. From what I've found so far I can get a 36" Carlton bar and chain in 3/8 or 404 for about $90 with standard chain, ripping would be an additional $10-15.
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,759
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
Hi Joe,
You’re Welcome, and Welcome to the AS Forums, there are a Lot of Great People here, willing to share their knowledge and Help in any way they can

I am not familiar with your Homelite C51, how many cc’s is it?

To get the most out of your 36” Granberg, you would need a 42” bar

16C16944-D4FB-4D9F-A9DD-937BF687B876.jpeg 50AF2C0F-0B2D-424A-9527-3A1FB45B2D78.jpeg
These show my 44” Bar, being used with my 48” Granberg, even a 50” bar would still be a bit shy of being able to use the full capacity of the 48” mill, unfortunately, I waited too long to get a 50” bar, and the Husqvarna Branded bars produced by GB, the 50”, isn’t currently available, I will have to order it directly from GB, in Australia, and it will come GB Branded. It will work just fine, but won’t match my 44”, 60” and 72” bars. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t MATTER, but I still would have liked to get it matching the other 3

Doug :cheers:
 
Joe Lee

Joe Lee

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
6
Age
66
Location
Indiana
Doug,

Very nice photos!! Is that red cedar? Its from a big tree if it is.

The C-51 is 77cc and was made from 1964-67. Interesting that it came with only a 12" bar when my father-in-law bought it.
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,759
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
Joe, yeah we had 3 Large Cedars taken out of our Yard, they were about 85-110' tall.

I milled some, still have several logs left to mill, and about 1 1/4 cords went into the woodstove. Cedar isn't my first choice for heating with, but when it comes out of your own yard, and it's burn it, or PAY to have it hauled off, it is Much Better to make BTU's, than BILLS

Wow, a 12" bar on a 77 cc saw, and I thought it looked Funny when my 372XP (70.7cc) came with a 20" bar. The Dealer was back east, and 20" is what he had, and the 372XP's are getting hard to find. Out here on the West Coast, a 70cc saw with less than a 28" bar, is looked at kinda Funny, Gee Bob, maybe ya shoulda waited another week two to buy yer saw, Ya know, when you could Afford a Real Bar for it ;)


Doug :cheers:
 
mexicanyella

mexicanyella

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
116
Age
51
Location
Troy, MO
If you put the C-51 into milling use, please post video. I have no l milling or C-series experience, but did have a friend’s
C-7 or C-71 on a shelf in my shop while it waited for a carb kit. I thought that was one (heavy) stout piece of cast-alloy engineering and would have loved to hear it run and make a few cuts with it.
 
Bostonstrongboy1965

Bostonstrongboy1965

Bostonstrongboy1965
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
511
Age
54
Location
Lincoln University PA
I haven’t used that saw in milling, but can offer some information on milling in general.

A mills “Listed Size”, is the overall length of the mills frame rails, NOT the Mills capacity, For Example, a 36” Granberg at it’s Maximum capacity measures 33.5” between the bar clamps inside faces.
figure on losing 2.5-3” with most mills from their “Listed Size” between clamp faces.

Most tend to get better results with one end, typically the nose end, “Leading”, rather than with the mill exactly perpendicular to the center line of the log, you will lose several more inches of capacity here, also don’t forget to allow for knots and bulges eating an inch or two

Try to maintain a consistent lead angle while milling, “Sea Sawing” The bar back and forth while milling can leave marks in your milled surfaces.

You will Need about 6” more Bar than your mill’s “Listed Size”. You don’t want to clamp less than about 2.5-3” from the nose end of a sprocket nose bar, you don’t want to crush your sprocket or bearings by clamping over them.

You will also lose a couple inches to the “Dawgs”. You can save a few inches by removing the Dawgs, and a bit more by drilling through the center of the sprocket and Bolting rather than clamping the nose end of the bar, but without drilling and bolting, and removing the Dawgs, you’re going to need about 6” extra bar length

If you use a 36” bar, a 30” mill will allow you to comfortably mill logs 24-26” in diameter

By milling from the Top down, then turning your Log over, you can mill a bit larger, but not right through the very center

If you’re not trying to get “Live Edges”, but rather dimensional lumber, you can use an edging mill, like the Granberg 555b, to mill off the Sides, and allow you to mill larger diameter logs. Mill of a slab or two, to get a flat surface for edging mill’s guide board and rail to sit flat, helps.

yeah, I learned a lot of these things the “Hard Way”, Hopefully you can learn from the rest of us here.

Be WARNED, milling Can Be ADDICTIVE, if you think that CAD, can be Bad, CSMAD can be even Worse, don’t try to say that we Didn’t Warn You ;)

Doug :cheers:
This is outstanding advice and very concisely and clearly stated, especially for the " new " miller! Very well said!
 
Husky Man

Husky Man

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
2,759
Location
Mt Hood, Oregon
Thank You BostonStrongBoy1965, I learned a LOT of that the Hard Way, and Stihl have a lot left to Learn, but try to Help others learn from what I might have done differently.

Doug :cheers:
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
5,654
Location
Western border of mid-southern northern WV
Having owned two C-51, I would not recommend anything bigger than 25" bar. It's 77cc but not a high rpm saw. I would think milling would be rather slow but never tried it. Have you tried freehand cutting down on a log - with the grain? That would give you an idea how well it would work before putting any money into the project.
 
psuiewalsh

psuiewalsh

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
2,519
Location
Oxford, PA
I have a c52 and you will be at a log for a long time for any length of time as the max rpm of the saw is low compared to a 80's or up model. Fuel cap on the top also means you have to remove from a log to fuel normally. If you have the time,adjust your mill down to a 24/28" bar and give it a shot. I like 3/8 instead of .404 as it cuts faster on the 395 or 3120 for same bar length.

Also your ears and hands may give up from vibes before your back does.
 
Joe Lee

Joe Lee

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
6
Age
66
Location
Indiana
Thanks for comments on C-51. I understand the lower rpm, it's sure a lot slower than my Husky 350. I will try both freehand cutting and the Alaskan mill on a small diameter log with my 20" bar.
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
5,654
Location
Western border of mid-southern northern WV
Thanks for videos. They look good for their age, sound great, and cut very well. Are those 20" bars with 404 chain?
20" .404. I had just gone over these - carb, ignition points, plug. I sold them a couple years ago. Does yours have a sprocket tip or hard nose bar? If the latter, you could change to 3/8 x .063 if you change the drive sprocket but the hard nose bar puts extra drag compared to sprocket tip..
 
mexicanyella

mexicanyella

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
116
Age
51
Location
Troy, MO
fwiw, here are my two - cutting Elm.
Love it! Thanks for posting those. Despite sounding like you could actually watch the piston go back and forth through the slits on the exhaust stack, they still get right through that wood and shower out some chips. Cool!

There’s.a pair of C-5 for sale locally. I am tempted. I do not need more saws, but those big old hogs are cool.
 

Joe Lee

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
6
Age
66
Location
Indiana
20" .404. I had just gone over these - carb, ignition points, plug. I sold them a couple years ago. Does yours have a sprocket tip or hard nose bar? If the latter, you could change to 3/8 x .063 if you change the drive sprocket but the hard nose bar puts extra drag compared to sprocket tip..
I have a 20" bar with a hardnose. The 404 sprocket needs to be replaced. I tried to find a 3/8 and couldn't find any. Finally found a new OEM 404 on eBay and bought it. with parts seeming hard to get for the C-51, I'm reconsidering getting a new longer bar to use for milling. It seems to reasons not to use the C-51 for milling are growing. I don't know that I can justify spending $900-1200 for a new saw though. I have seen that some are using the Husky Rancher 460 for milling. Perhaps that would be a way to go.
 
Top