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milling saw selection

Discussion in 'Chainsaw' started by bman, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. bman

    bman ArboristSite Member

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    OK, this is my first post so I throw my self at the mercy of the court. Am building a house, post and beam, will be utilizing my own timber (2'-3' dia and a few 4' doug firs) and will mill using alaskan mill. I would like to purchace one new saw for felling-limbing, fire wood and also serv as mill saw. After studying posts regarding modifed saws I am wondering if it would be better to purchace a modified small saw (385xp) as opposed to a 3120xp so as to avoid having to use the heavy saw for lighter work? Would I be money ahead considering the cost of a 3120xp?
    TNX bman
     
  2. weimedog

    weimedog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For milling.....bigger is better. Can't have too much power but you certainly can have too little. It wouldn't suprise me to find a modified 80something CC saw could mill lumber....but if you really have a lot of milling to do, your going to want to have that 100plus CC monster. Time saved means you have more energy & time to invest in your home building project.

    If you are spending the kind of time and money to build a new home...get two saws. You can always eBay the big saw if you don't have a use for it...but my bet is once you get hooked on the power there will ALWAYS be a place for that big horse.

    Nice combo? Husky 375 (while those 375's last) along with the biggest baddest saw you can find for your mill.
     
  3. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Banned

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    I have a 084 with a 48 inch alaskan mill on it and it is great the mill can be set up shorter if you like you could use a 36 inch bar and it would be easier for one person this saw will be for sell if you like PM me or email me thanks Mike
     
  4. woodbeard

    woodbeard ArboristSite Operative

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    Get the 3120. Or the equivalent. Milling is tough on the bottom end of the powerhead. The bigger the main bearings, the longer it will last. Many chainsaw millers even have the big saws modded. Buying a "compromise" saw for milling, felling and bucking is fine if you are only doing some milling from time to time. If you are looking to cut out a timber frame, and really want to do it with the alaskan mill, get the biggest baddest saw you can get, and don't look back.
    Have fun :)
     
  5. Jacob J.

    Jacob J. Tree Freak

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    You might even go for an 090 if you can find one in good shape.
     
  6. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Banned

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    This is a good saw for milling wood
     
  7. Newfie

    Newfie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    That saw doesn't exist. You are building a house dude. The $1500 spent on a 3120 or comparable sized saw will be the best investment long term and short term. Milling w/ an undersized saw sucks at best and you will be replacing it after you smoke it.

    FWIW, buy a woodmizer, mill the lumber for your house a lot faster and resell the mill. They hold their resale value very well.
     
  8. Pacific

    Pacific ArboristSite Operative

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    I wouldn't take the chance of trying to cut beams with a Alaskan mill it would be better off having the logs milled on a mobile dimensional or if you can find a band mill to handle logs the size you have. The only time a Alaskan Mill is used here is to cut a bigger diameter log down to size to fit on a Woodmizer.
     
  9. IndyIan

    IndyIan ArboristSite Operative

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    Bman,
    I have a 372 I use for milling and I would recommend getting the biggest saw you can find for the sizes you are looking at. What's your plan for log handling? Are you getting the alaskan so you'll mill where they lay? I would get milling tool that mills vertically as well, maybe a beam machine type. Rolling 30' of 4' diameter log might be tough. :(
    Goodluck,
    Ian
     
  10. rb_in_va

    rb_in_va Addicted to ArboristSite

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    bman,
    Newfie speaks the truth. I have an Alaskan w/ an 066. Milling with the Alaskan is tough work, and not very efficient. If I were building a house, I would buy a band mill, or make friends with someone that has one. Do you know anyone else building a house? Maybe you can get a couple of friends that are interested in milling lumber and cooperatively purchase a used mill. I know a guy that sold a Lumbermate for $3500 not long ago. Also, are you set up to dry the lumber? Later, Roger.
     
  11. bman

    bman ArboristSite Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    OK, I think its clear, chainsaw mills require hurking saws for large logs. The house plans require 8 large posts and 4 large rafter assemblys wrapped in stressed skin panels so there is not a lot of small lumber to mill hence the alaskan mill approach. If it is worth while to any readers I will try and post my results in the coming weeks. The only question now is weather to use 3/8 or 404 chain on a 36" 3120xp and if 3/8 then .050 or.063 ? Recomendations ?
    Thnx bman
     
  12. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Banned

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    I would use 3/8 chain 63 gauge A 3120 will pull a 36 very well do some studing on chain sharpening for milling it realy helps if you have any questions just ask and good luck with your home
     
  13. rb_in_va

    rb_in_va Addicted to ArboristSite

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    bman,
    I don't know exactly where you live in Oregon, but there are members on this site (as well as the yahoo milling site) that live in Oregon as well. One member in particular lives in the western part of the state and I'm pretty sure has an Alaskan mill. Might be worth it to give him a shout. If you lived near me I would be willing to help you any way I could. Just a thought, later, Roger.

    BTW, I mill with a 28" bar, 3/8 pitch .050 gauge chain on my 066. Probably not the optimum setup, but it works okay for me.
     
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  14. rupedoggy

    rupedoggy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    * Posting of items for sale or wanted items in the Used Equipment Market Place Only. And to add what he said. Only if you are a sponsor. Last reminder!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2004
  15. Ryan Willock

    Ryan Willock Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Mike, what do you want for your 3120?
     
  16. Ryan Willock

    Ryan Willock Addicted to ArboristSite

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  17. rb_in_va

    rb_in_va Addicted to ArboristSite

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    bman,
    Here are some pictures of a house a friend of mine built in Idaho. He and his brother milled all the wood themselves on a Woodmizer LT-15. Notice the OSB flooring. They just sanded and varnished it and it looks very nice from what I've heard. I've never actually been inside the place yet. Later, Roger.
     
  18. rb_in_va

    rb_in_va Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Here is a pic of the guy that owns the house. This was taken directly below the house.
     
  19. Al Smith

    Al Smith Banned

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    Nice house.A little comment on the LT-15.A fellow than milled some oak for me has one.He and his brothers,are lineman.They could get all the butt ends,of 90 ft western red cedar,they wanted,for free.These,were untreated poles.They sold enough cedar lumber,to pay for the saw,and then some.It actually cuts very well,and is only about 12 HP.
     
  20. bman

    bman ArboristSite Member

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    slick set up

    Thanks for sharing the photos RB. It looks like your buddy has an awsome location. I cant imagine living anywhere but the pac. northwest. Now I think if your buddy were to move down a size on that floating taper flyline and lighten the reel by porting the spool he might gain a few extra RPM when fighting a fish. Bad humor,chain saws on the brain I guess :dizzy: bman
     

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