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New hobby, any thoughts on my plans?

Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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So I like any hobby with power tools and keep thinking about milling. But I made the mistake of joking about it with my dad and now he's interested to. Retirement will do that to you I guess.
Anyways I don't want this getting out of hand, so I plan on making use of the power heads I already own (ignoring I need to rebuild two of them still) and want to make sure I'm not being dumb. So I have 2 266s (67cc) and a 61 that needs a new topr end, so I think I can rebuild it into a third 67cc saw.
So I'll be buying a dual power head bar, 50" looks like it will work out to 30-32" max slabwidth once assembled. Most of what I cut will be smaller, but having the option is nice. 3/8 chain so I don't have to swap drive hubs, the husqvarna are all outboard clutch. I already have a cable which for pulling it and I'm thinking I might build the mill frame instead of buying the granberg one. Sounds more fun and I'm good at this kind of stuff. Is that a stupid plan, or is the granberg mill frame super nice and worth he money? I probably have all the materials on hand so making my own will cost me a weekend. It's not that the frame is too expensive. If it's actually that nice I'll probably buy it.
Last question, gb only says the smaller double bars <50" can use 3/8 and .404. everything bigger is 404 only, yet they are all .063. that makes no sense to me. I get that 3/8 might be a little dainty for a mill that big, but if I plan on only using it on anything bigger than 24" like once or twice, what's the harm in having say a 60" bar with 3/8 on it? I'd hate to have to buy a whole new bar for a single log someday, it's just not worth it to me, but I like the idea of making one nice giant table some day.

Reading thru the sticky and random threads here to learn something, any advice/input welcome
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

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The saws you mention are smallish, but will pull a 3/8'' OK. Unless you go to a 070 404 is not in the forecast. The argument that the 3/8 will wonder more is true. Most furniture is planed and sanded so how rough the slabs are should not matter. I made a sled for a 3 1/2'' planer which worked well. Then some one showed me how to use a router on a sled which worked well too. You might be happy just buying a farmer tech and leaving the other saws for standard cutting. Thanks
 

J D

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I've never run a double head mill but was once offered a bar for one from a friend. After some discussion & a bit of research I decided it wasn't worth it. Setup is more complicated, more to go wrong, power is not doubled (more like +50%). Even with 3 saws, if one of your saws goes down on your double head mill you'd be pretty much out of action as you really need a saw off the mill for trimming etc. My suggestion would be to build your mill around what you've got to start with. Depending on how you mount it a 28" bar can give you a 24" cut & a 266 should pull skip tooth or Granberg chain on that ok. Build your mill in mind of extending it & if all works out look at picking up a bigger power head & bar down the track. It's definitely not ideal to be milling with a big setup all the time just to be able to make a big cut once in a blue moon. I based my setup around what I had that would mill 98% of what I want to... for everything else I phone a friend
 

BobL

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67cc sounds like about a 24" bar max to me.
My 441 (72cc) has a 25" bar, 36" is 90cc territory in my book.

The Granberg mill is relatively basic mill compared to some DIY mills on these forums.
Unfortunately most of the pre-2012 posted mills like Aggiewoodbutchers modified GB mill have lost their pictures.
In this post I dissect the standard GB mill and suggest improvements
 
kimosawboy

kimosawboy

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I know on my 84" Canon bar that you can remove the nose sprocket and it can be used for dual powerheads, then you can put the nose sprocket back on to go back to a single powerhead... I think I had to drill one hole for that to work.. Just food for thought , might save you some $$.
 
djones

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If you only plan on milling a really big log once in a blue moon, you might be better off buying a beam cutter set up and putting a long bar on it for the occasional cut and just mill the other logs to the 24" or 26" you can get from the smaller power heads. Check out the you tube sites for milling big logs without a mill at all. All done freehand. You can always plane it off with a router sled afterwards. It's cheaper than the long bar and extra powerheads in the long run. Do the research first.
 
Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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Thanks guys, this gives me a lot to look at and think about. I'm surprised having a larger mill is inconvenient for doing mostly smaller stuff, hadn't expected that. But I guess it can get quite unwieldy. I'll keep reading and playing with my toys for now.
 
Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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For the record the 50" bar I'm looking at only gets a 30" slab , so I feel good with it.
Also still waiting to get confirmation, but to answer my own question it looks like the reason the .063 bar can't run 3/8 chain is the kerf is too narrow/bar too thick, so it will bind. Waiting to hear from the mfr to be sure. That said, is cannon better than granberg?
 

J D

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For the record the 50" bar I'm looking at only gets a 30" slab
How does that work... You usually loose about 6" of bar to the mill & most of that is to do with clamping back from the sprocket.
Bare in mind the load on the chainsaw is relative to bar length as well as the width of cut you are making (hence the benefit of using the smallest bar practical). Effectively you will be asking each saw to drive 25" of bar & in reality it will load it somewhat more than that given the additional inefficiencies of running dual power heads... Probably not much different to asking 1 saw to drive a 28" bar with the exception of the oiler (& that can be worked around with an aux oiler)
I spoke to the friend who had the double ended bar today & he has junked it as he found it created too many problems for very little gain.
In my mind your efforts would be better directed to finding/putting together a larger saw setup. If you stick with husky you'll have the added convenience of bars that interchange
 
Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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That's just what the mfr says. Milling bar is measured overall, so a 50" bar is 50 end to end, unlike a normal bar where a 20" bar is like 26" end to end but has 20" exposed when cutting. The listings are a little unclear, but they say a 50 will cut planks up to 30-32". So I guess you lose 20" to the clamping, chainsaw, mounts etc.
My issue is no matter what I'm spending ~$400-600 on bar and mill and chain. Looking around, I have yet to see a large 90+cc saw for less than $500, and that's just a lot more than I can justify spending
 
Skeena2

Skeena2

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The problem you are having is trying to compare the cost of the bar to the cost of a used bigger saw. But consider this. You could sell both of those 266’s. Buy a new or newer bigger saw for less out of pocket than buying a new double end bar. Financially it is viable. There are also other benefits. A new 390xp is the same weight as one 266. Will vibrate less. Use less fuel too.
 
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Oldtoolsnewproblems

Oldtoolsnewproblems

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I hadn't thought of offsetting the cost by selling a couple 266s, I enjoy rebuilding them so I could probably get a fair price.
That said a 390xp is $1250 new and a bar is $400 so that ain't quit apples to apples
 

J D

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I hadn't thought of offsetting the cost by selling a couple 266s, I enjoy rebuilding them so I could probably get a fair price.
That said a 390xp is $1250 new and a bar is $400 so that ain't quit apples to apples
If you have the ability & enjoy it then offset your costs by rebuilding something. I bought half a dozen wrecked 385/390XP's for $500 & made a couple of good saws for another $200 (NZ$). If you did something similar & sold one of your 266's I'm sure you could brake even if not come out better off. Do the rounds visiting your local repair shops & tell them what your trying to achieve. If nothing else you'll work out who the helpful ones are & you may just find a saw or 2 to rebuild. You can get good bars this way too, most my bars up to 28" are "rescue" bars
 
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