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VIRGIN MILLWORKER

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by BJD85, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    Ok so ive just finished clearing my backyard and I didnt want the fun to be over so ive decided to keep a few logs to mill up. Be gentle with me now...lol.Ive read several posts so i have a basic understanding of what needs to happen. Suggestions on chains, bars, chainsaw mills ECT are greatly appreciated and I guess im asking for any additional tips for a rookie for success. Please note I want to make this as cost effeciant as possible. Its just a project not a profession for me. I'm using a EA7900PRZ2 thinking about an ARCHER PRO 32" bar and ripping chain not shure what chain yet. My saw is set up 050. Cheapo chinease mill from Amazon not the cheapest but definetly not Alaskan and it has good reviews for what it is. Going to run a 40:1 and fatten up the H just a tad. Going to build the rails out of wood maybe some 1X4 for the rails and 2X4 in the middle or vise versa. Whatever looks best. And just start sawing away. Pine and oak is the target. All and any infor is greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. grizz55chev

    grizz55chev Tree Freak

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    I use a short section of an extension ladder for the first cut, works quite well.
     
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  3. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Griz has it!

    I just found a garage sale 32’ to add to my 20’.($20 and freeby).
    Taken those apart, I have a 10’ and 16’ guide that is super rigid and always ready to go.
    (Plus a pair of spares in each length.)

    Consider your eventual lumber use when selecting chain.
    If you’re running the saw for big beams to frame with, a full skip chain will be faster cutting but leave a rougher cut. (Not horrible).
    For finish lumber, put more care into a full comp chain filed to a 10-15* top plate.
    It will cut slower but smoother.
    Also, Read the 101 thread... so much good info in there.
     
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  4. Natster

    Natster ArboristSite Operative

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    Learn about stress in logs.
    Geographical center of log, vs growth center.
    The tighter growth rings are your pull side.
    The further apart growth rings are your push side.
    You won't cut good lumber, until you understand how this works. You'll be making crooked boards. This is especially important with SYP. (Southern Yellow Pine).
    Some wood varieties are less affected. But can anybody provide a link to a short course on this?
    It's disappointing to mill perfect lumber, and have it twist, and warp.
    Also, how you stack it, to try is important.
    It all shrinks, as it dries.
    Nate
     
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  5. grizz55chev

    grizz55chev Tree Freak

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    All good points, experience is the best teacher but a little well placed advice is always welcome.
     
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  6. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Geometrical center right?
    I think your spellchecker bit you or you're lucky enough to have logs that cover multiple zip codes. :D

    It's a excellent point though.
    Reading the log before getting started takes some trial and error and experience (yours and others).
    Some tree species are more forgiving than others.
    Node spacing.... trees with more erratic ..less symmetrical limb spacing have more stress even in clear areas of the log (no current branches).

    Some big logs are difficult to position perfectly for a cs mill.
    I find that if you get that first slabbing cut parallel with the center of the pith, the rest usually plays nice.
    Also, most logs will have a "center crack" at the base end (it's not always in the center).
    If you line up and slab a face parallel with the crack you'll have flatter lying planks with less tension across the face.
    If you ever rip a plank that is perpendicular to that crack you'll see the two pieces separate off the saw blade as you cut.... it's that tension you try and avoid.

    I mill easy woods as it's what I have.
    Western Cedar, Doug Fir, and Hemlock usually are quite uniformly tapered once harvestable age... not tough to read them.
    Ya'll with eastern hardwoods with their more erratic limbing will have some different experiences.
     
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  7. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks for the responses guys. Alot more in play than I thought. How long do I have to mill em up until they dry out n go bad or the bugs get in em? I'm seeing some bad reviews on archer products. Y'all got a cost effective recommendation for brand in a 32" bar and chain set up? And would deffinetly like to see some vidios on the technical part here. Thanks again fellas.
     
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  8. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    I bought a 20" laminated bar from Archer for like $26 shipped. It was fine for what it was.
    Most recently I bought a 62" bar from Forestershop. It was a price driven choice as I don't need this length often.
    The quality seems there. The bar is perfectly flat and straight, Chain groove is clean, deep and even. The belly of the bar is a bit flat making it more difficult to tension the chain but It gets tight enough for now... time will tell if that flat belly starts to become an issue.
     
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  9. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A section of extension ladder that hangs over each end enough to support both support rails which slide along. Felling wedges or wood wedges to support behind and above the kerf in hopes of not pinching the bar as the end of cut approaches.
    I tighten my chains with minimum of loose to start. The heat on the chain makes it longer kinda fast. As it grows the cut gets sloppy.
    I'd recommend soft wood first, as it is easier to start with. Most important things are sharpest cutters that can be, then the depth gauges matched to the powerhead and resistance of the log you are cutting. Shooting for efficiency of work. At end of cut let the saw idle while removing ladder attachment and moving slab. Can turn off motor while refitting ladder and laying wedges between rungs about where they will be stuck in the kerf. Fire up and repeat if there is enough b&c oil and mix in the tanks.
    WARNING: does become habit forming, can lead to MAD = Milling Acquisition Disorder
    Andy at clover if you use that 62" bar before I get around to using my 72" Forester give us some evaluated on performance if you will sir
    Enjoy safely
     
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  10. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Read the sticky at the top of this forum.
     
  11. ammoaddict

    ammoaddict Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For occasional milling, you will never wear out that Archer bar. I just bought an Archer 36" bar and ripping chain. I haven't used it yet but it looks good to me. It is pretty heavy but it doesn't matter that much for milling.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
  12. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    All good advice.

    One more thing concerning internal stresses, it is different for hard- vs soft-woods. You will learn to read this for each log by looking at the growth rings.

    In softwood the stress is compression ("downhill side"), in hardwood it is tension ("uphill") side.

    Softwood is usually easier to start out with milling, if the logs are good quality. But, it might be good to try the first few logs with low quality timber, to get used to milling, and your CSM dialed in. Taking care of the logs as soon as bucked will also pay off. Get some end sealer like anchorseal.

    For example some knotty EWP logs rather than some veneer quality hardwood. You can make some nice things out of low quality logs with a CSM, like live edge table/bar tops. Stuff a commercial mill would leave as firewood or end up in the chipper.

    If you could watch an experienced sawyer open up a log that will help a lot. You might be able to volunteer some labor in exchange for learning. That will get you started on learning how to stack/handle lumber too.

    Don't forget to plan ahead with a way to stack and cover the lumber. I use some 6 X6" cants for a base set up on cinder blocks, then a course of 4 X 4" spaced ( ~18") to stack the first layer of lumber on. Low quality logs can be cut up and used as sticker material. Line up your stickers with the 4 X 4" supports. Top off the pile with a cover. If you air dry, placing the piles in the shade will help minimize twisting and checking. Another thing that helps is placing heavy pieces like a row of cants on top to weight the stack of boards as they dry.

    I learned from working in a small commercial mill when younger. I started out as a stacker , some of the hardest work I've ever done. Think of stacking 6 X 8" X 12' wet hemlock beams all day with pallet boards mixed in........... Eventually I learned to be the "edger", and get grade lumber from the flitches. All the time I watched the logs coming in, different species, and how they were cut up to get/maximize the lumber.
     
  13. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    Wow thanks for the advice here guys. Lol. Still learning the acronyms and lingo so excuse me for sounding stupid. I'm going to stack in my garage. Will that work? Ive already sealed the logs with roof sealant while waiting for my CSM to arrive. They are on the ground but I dont have a skid steer. They are on open clean dirt. I plan on stacking them large to small in garage with 1X1 peices of wood in between. Maybe spaced out 6 inches apart. Or would that be too close? I just didnt want them to sag or warp from too much space. And as for the "stress side" of wood where the rings are compressed. Do I want to start milling on the opposite side of the stress? So if a pine for example is leaning uphill the backside would be the stress side. I would roll the log and start milling on the side thats leaning up,hill? Amd,vise versa for hard wood? Thanks for the response.
     
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  14. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The stress will get relieved as you saw a log. Some filtches or cants with lots of stress will bend as you are sawing. You can flip the log as you make cuts to relieve the stress. It also matters if the stress is parallel or perpendicular to your cut. With a CSM and logs on the ground "flat sawn" (slicing from top to bottom) is easiest to do, but does little to deal with stresses. Start out with your "ugly" logs for practice/learning.

    If you are stacking in your garage make sure you get plenty of ventilation, leave the doors open until most of the moisture is gone. Keep the stack ~6" off the dirt/cement floor. Cinder blocks at 18" spacing would work. Put your stickers directly above each other and your supports.

    I can't stress enough, watching/helping a sawyer to learn. Some of the portable sawmill makers have a network of customers that mill. You might contact one of them to observe some milling even if it is with a bandsaw type mill.

    The good people here will help you a lot too. Keep your questions coming and we love to see pictures. I've had my CSM for ~20 years now and I'm still learning from this site.
     
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  15. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    Aaaaaaaand I'm addicted.....[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It looks like You are on your way!

    Your next flat sawn cut will have the center/pith in it and will check/crack.

    If you cut that, then edge out the sapwood, and remove the center/pith, you will have two nice stable q/sawn boards.
     
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  17. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    I dont quiet have the lingo,down yet so I have no clue what you just said.... hey quick question though. Should I treat these boards with anything after im done milling. Anchor seal on the ends or anything on top? I'm going to stack them in my garage. I have my stickers ready (I got that lingo yesterday)
     
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  18. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Flat sawn is cutting top to bottom and/or flipping 180 o between cuts to relieve stress. Wood sawn this way, along the edges of the log ( top/bottom) may cup on drying.

    Quarter sawn is cutting a log into pie pieces, then slicing those to keep the grain perpendicular to the cuts.

    The middle slice of a flat sawn log with the pith, can make two perfect quarter sawn boards/planks, by cutting out the pith/center and the edges.
     
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  19. BJD85

    BJD85 ArboristSite Operative

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    Guys tips on stacking in garage. I thought it was level but my top board isent touching the stickers in the middle.[​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  20. andy at clover

    andy at clover Woods!

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    Get a straight edge up on that puppy and see where the problem really is.
    It’s probably tension in the plank.
    If it is you can try and weight it but likely as anything, you’ll be dealing with it as is.
    You’ll want weight on top anyway.
    Also move those end stickers out to end and add 2 more minimum in between Center and end.

    Those are relatively thin planks.
    More stickers are required along the length.
    It will show in time if you don’t have them.
    When you get to 3” thickness, plus you can sticker a bit more sparsely.
     
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