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Chain recommendations for cleanest cut

Steveoeldy

Steveoeldy

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Hello everyone,
I'm new to the site and using my old chainsaw to mill lumber. I recently hooked an Alaskan style mill to my old 78 husky 61 rancher to mill some old gluelam beams for a table top. While I was able to do what I wanted I am wondering if I can get a cleaner cut with a different chain. I've attached some pictures for your review of the rough sawn lumber and my rig. Any help is appreciated. Thank you - Steve
 

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BobL

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That looks pretty good to me.

My experience is that chain type or angles doesn't have much to do with finish
Roughly decreasing order of significance here are a few things that can affect finish.
- operator skill - steady even pressure throughout the entire cut - no (sideways rocking) repeated pushing firstly on powerhead end and then on outboard end of the mill - keep the same position all the way thru the cut.
- avoid stopping and starting mid cut. Sloping the log so mill aways cuts under its own weight. Carry or place wedges on top of the log. Lock (zip tie) throttle and use free hands to insert wedges without stoping. If you have to stop don't FANG the bar back into the cut - ease it in gently.
- floppy or loose mill - if the mill frame can easily twist it will skew the bar and chain and make a mess of of teh finish.
- then (if at all) comes the chain.
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

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Good advice from BobL and those cuts look pretty good. You might see improvement with a ripping chain w/ 10 deg top angle and make sure it doesn't run loose, but again, doesn't look like much cleanup would be needed with those cuts.
fwiw, I don't use a ripping chain. My cuts are rougher than yours but I don't intend to do much clean up.
 
Steveoeldy

Steveoeldy

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Thanks for the tips guys. I did stop mid cut but only to wedge. I kept the saw at about 3/4 throttle and kept the pressure steady to maintain even rpms. There was a slight downward angle and had the unfinished side bolted to my saw horses. I could feel the chain was considerably dulling on the second cut just by how fast I was able to travel. I'm gonna practice more but being a metal fabricator who occasionally does carpentry I've got some things to learn. These turn of the century beams came out of a historic building here in Phoenix and my customer wanted a table top built out of them. Had just enough material to have one shot at it so I'm glad I measured properly. It'll be 4' X 10' finished
 

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Steveoeldy

Steveoeldy

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Thanks for the tips guys. I did stop mid cut but only to wedge. I kept the saw at about 3/4 throttle and kept the pressure steady to maintain even rpms. There was a slight downward angle and had the unfinished side bolted to my saw horses. I could feel the chain was considerably dulling on the second cut just by how fast I was able to travel. I'm gonna practice more but being a metal fabricator who occasionally does carpentry I've got some things to learn. These turn of the century beams came out of a historic building here in Phoenix and my customer wanted a table top built out of them. Had just enough material to have one shot at it so I'm glad I measured properly. It'll be 4' X 10' finish. The mill I got is a cheap Chinese mill from Amazon that crimps to the bar instead of bolting. I didn't have any issues with shifting and checked the hardware and measurements between cuts. It seemed to work well but I could see the benefit of drilling and bolting the mill to the bar if it was something I was doing a lot. It would also make accessing the chain adjuster much easier.
 
buzz sawyer

buzz sawyer

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Looks good. Glad to see vintage material like this put to good use. I've seen re-used American chestnut in furniture but they purposefully left some saw marks - what I intend to do with the Ash I've slabbed.
btw, always run the saw at full throttle - for better cooling and lubrication.
 
Steveoeldy

Steveoeldy

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Thanks for the tip. I was a little worried to push it with my old 78 husky saw. I wasn't sure how it would handle those 16" wide cuts at 10' long going wot the whole way. Just shows my inexperience with chainsaws I guess. I'm always excited to try something new and continue learning.
 
ATpro

ATpro

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Thanks for the tips guys. I did stop mid cut but only to wedge. I kept the saw at about 3/4 throttle and kept the pressure steady to maintain even rpms. There was a slight downward angle and had the unfinished side bolted to my saw horses. I could feel the chain was considerably dulling on the second cut just by how fast I was able to travel. I'm gonna practice more but being a metal fabricator who occasionally does carpentry I've got some things to learn. These turn of the century beams came out of a historic building here in Phoenix and my customer wanted a table top built out of them. Had just enough material to have one shot at it so I'm glad I measured properly. It'll be 4' X 10' finished
Looks good, glad to see a metal fabricator that takes pride in his work. Good engineering, clean welds, welds all dressed and ground, this looks so much better than most of what you see these days. Ran a Metal Fab Shop on the side for about 20 years and did custom work, stuff that took time and skill that the average "Joe" wouldn't take the time or effort to turn out. I was selective in the work I took in and who I worked for. Folks will pay for quality if you provide quality.
 
Steveoeldy

Steveoeldy

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Looks good, glad to see a metal fabricator that takes pride in his work. Good engineering, clean welds, welds all dressed and ground, this looks so much better than most of what you see these days. Ran a Metal Fab Shop on the side for about 20 years and did custom work, stuff that took time and skill that the average "Joe" wouldn't take the time or effort to turn out. I was selective in the work I took in and who I worked for. Folks will pay for quality if you provide quality.
I appreciate that. I've built things out of some pretty obscure materials over the years and my goal is never to tell someone "I don't do that". I'd rather say "I've never done that but I'll figure it out". I'm self taught in most if the trades I know and hope to continue learning until I expire. The best part about the world we live in is all the information at your fingertips. In high school, I learned to put a cam in my 67 mustang by renting a Chiltons manual from the library and setting up a camcorder I bought from my employer, circuit city, on a tripod and watching the film in reverse to reassemble. Google is awesome as long as you know to take the mean of what you read. The wealth of knowledge out there on forums like this for guys like me that had nobody to teach them these things and I'm happy to be able to pass them on to my sons personally.
 

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J D

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I kept the saw at about 3/4 throttle...
For future reference, you should be cutting at full throttle & regulating pressure on the saw to control chain speed. This is especially important when making long milling cuts as it contributes to the cooling of the engine. Running slightly more oil & tuning a bit rich helps too
 
djg james

djg james

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I don't CSM yet, but 'they' say you should let your saw run for a minute or so after each cut so it can cool down. Supposedly it extends the life of the saw.
 
kenmbz

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I did a few Ash planks with a ripping chain, 20" on a CS-490 (yep it handled it fine).
Cut was a bit rough in places due to operator inexperience (me). But with a little sanding and some varnish they look pretty good.
I did 2" x 7' by about 10" wide, I will do some practice cuts with the new saw and 24" chain, not sure If I will buy another ripping chain or not.
But I do think the finish would be rougher if I had used the regular chain based on my noodled rounds.

The advice in this thread is great, I had to find out some of this the hard way by doing.

That metalwork is great Steveoeldy
I am still trying to figure out what I want for legs for my planks, as I am just using stumps right now.
Flat U shape would be nice, but I don't have a shop to do this in or the tools.
 
chunky

chunky

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SteveO, I like that metal frame. It reminds me of the wood frame on a table i built for my daughter a while back. Only mine was a 6 foot long table. Nice work!
 
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