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CS Milling 101, Hints tips and tricks

Tpay

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ok a lot of this was very helpful. I recently bought a mill and have been playing around with it, my problem is my saw. I have a cheap off brand 62cc saw with a 22" bar. I run a rip cut chain. I made my saw direct drive because I kept burning up the clutches. I was wanting to get a little more serious about it was was looking at getting a bigger saw. Does anyone have a preference? Is there anything in particular I should avoid? Money is an issue so please no High Dollar saws lol
 
SeMoTony

SeMoTony

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ok a lot of this was very helpful. I recently bought a mill and have been playing around with it, my problem is my saw. I have a cheap off brand 62cc saw with a 22" bar. I run a rip cut chain. I made my saw direct drive because I kept burning up the clutches. I was wanting to get a little more serious about it was was looking at getting a bigger saw. Does anyone have a preference? Is there anything in particular I should avoid? Money is an issue so please no High Dollar saws lol
In my avatar is my most expensive saw. New from the store w/25" b&c. The bar from cannon a 60" wearing a square chisel skip chain. Since then I've gotten a 046 and 661c from trading post near here. The smallest recommended is the 70cc range with a chain matched to length of cut. For example a 30" bar on an Alaskan will reach a little over 25" cut. A sharp ripping chain will work on the couple cuts that wide close to the center of a log. Part is consistant angle of cut and feed rate, both of which contribute to smoothness of cut.
On the Maple trunk, I needed 60" to reach across the branch ends. Semi-skip square chisel worked well powered around with the 661c. That pho with shipping was less than the new Ms-460, even tho the cylinder was ported and the muffler emptied before I got it from the trading post.
Save your change as the saying goes and keep a lookout on the trading post.
Mill safe
 

Tpay

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Well I'd say avoid Unbranded saws.
Then read, study and practice the info in this thread about sharpening and raker setting.
Most peoples CSM probs are a result of poor sharpening and pushing the saw too hard.
Yeah Im starting to realize that. Problem is with me at least is Im doing this as a hobby and really dont have a whole lot of money to spend on a nice Stihl or even a Husqvarna. I recently bought a Makita 6100 for my firewood saw and really like it but the bigger(70cc and up) Makita saws are really expensive too. Ive been seeing a lot of videos on the Hultzfarma saws but once again i feel like they are too good to be true. I was given an older Poulen 3500 buts its only 60cc so Ive been looking into people who will port and polish and maybe put a bigger piston in it to beef it up a bit
 

BobL

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. . . . . really dont have a whole lot of money to spend on a nice Stihl or even a Husqvarna.

Then you have to accept the risk of running an unbranded saw OR get a small branded saw and accept that you will only be cutting smaller diameter logs. A lot of useful milling can be done with a small branded saw as small as 50 cc. There was a member here (Stonykill) who hasn't posted for some time who used a 48 cc (Stihl 031) and a 50 cc Mac and cut a heap of furniture and musical instruments timber with these saws. The sheer amount of stuff he has produced is really impressive. Unfortunately most his early pics have gone from this thread but you can still see some of his stuff from about late 2010 onwards
https://www.arboristsite.com/commun...ng-with-your-milled-wood-merged.47084/page-33.

I would put porting and polishing to once side (it's a bit like trying to run before you can walk) and concentrate on getting the sharpening and chain set ups right as these will make far more long term gains and better protect the saw. Porting should be restricted to a mild woods port some time after getting any saw running and cutting in a stock form.
 
Simple Jack

Simple Jack

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Granberg milling chains what I have learned in the past few weeks. I first got them for my Still MS290/MS390 converted, for a 30" bar. I can say I was impressed how good they worked for this little saw. They cut smooth and I believe the half width cutters made it easier for the saw to go through the white oak log I was cutting. I believe a regular chain would have bogged the saw down a lot more.

Now that I have a new 3120xp, I put the 30" bar and Granberg chains on it. First thing I noticed is that I could only give the saw about half the throttle. The saw has so much more power I do not believe the Granberg chain is a good one to run on a 30" bar. The other day I was cutting slabs and went through 3 Granberg chains cutting 12ft oak slabs, I could get about 2 slabs per chain before they were dull. I was wanting to finish the log so I threw a regular chain in it. It was a Sthil Rapid Micro. With that chain I cut through 3 slabs, and it still acted like it wanted more, but I was done with that log. The Sthil chain was twice as fast as the Granberg chain, and used half the fuel.

So when I got home I took the rakers on the Granberg chain down quite a bit more than what it says I should. They now cut much faster than what they did. I can see where the Granberg chain would be useful for a 4ft wide hardwood slab, or a underpowered saw, but I don't believe they are the chain to use for a powerful saw, with a medium length bar. Just my opinion, and I know that don't mean much, but if you have a powerful saw, and a medium length bar, the Granberg chain isn't the one I would buy.
 

BobL

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Granberg milling chains what I have learned in the past few weeks. I first got them for my Still MS290/MS390 converted, for a 30" bar. I can say I was impressed how good they worked for this little saw. They cut smooth and I believe the half width cutters made it easier for the saw to go through the white oak log I was cutting. I believe a regular chain would have bogged the saw down a lot more. .

That just means the regular chain was not set up right for the smaller saw but the Granberg was.
Remember it's up to the operator to set up the chain to suit the saw and the width of the cut and not the other way around.

If you want really sparking performance with the 3120 then look up "progressive raker depth setting". This is a way of optimising the raker depth and profile to get the best performance from a any saw.
 
Marine5068

Marine5068

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That just means the regular chain was not set up right for the smaller saw but the Granberg was.
Remember it's up to the operator to set up the chain to suit the saw and the width of the cut and not the other way around.

If you want really sparking performance with the 3120 then look up "progressive raker depth setting". This is a way of optimising the raker depth and profile to get the best performance from a any saw.
Hey Bob.
Stan from Madoc, Ontario, Canada again.
I'm about to start my milling on a Red Oak I have.
I have a few logs and want to practice on one before I get into the nicer 2 logs.
The smaller 'practice' logs are about 5-6 feet long and about 16"-18" in diameter.
I have a Stihl 044(72 cc) with a 28" bar and standard full comp chain on it for felling and cutting larger logs.
Can I use it to test the new Alaska mill or should I get a chain that's suited to milling hardwoods?
Just wanted to know what you think.
 

BobL

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Can I use it to test the new Alaska mill or should I get a chain that's suited to milling hardwoods?
Just wanted to know what you think.

Sue - why not. All of my new chains are full comp stock cross cutting chains and and I convert them to 10º top plate angle over successive sharpening.
 
Trdoldtreecutter

Trdoldtreecutter

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Thanks Bob
I'll post some pics of my first CSM milling adventure.
I’ve noticed a couple more things, maybe just a fluke. The 395 husky wouldn’t start after shutting it off. I think the coil was getting hot. I sold it with a 42” bar and chain for $250 out of frustration. The 385 clutch isn’t good for much. The hot rodded 372 is almost too fast in say cutting 12” cus you go a little too far and forget to shove something in to keep the gap. The stock 880 is a pig but dependable. I think the compression button is a cruel joke. If you screw boards down to make long cuts, drop your cuts down below the screws.
 
Marine5068

Marine5068

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I’ve noticed a couple more things, maybe just a fluke. The 395 husky wouldn’t start after shutting it off. I think the coil was getting hot. I sold it with a 42” bar and chain for $250 out of frustration. The 385 clutch isn’t good for much. The hot rodded 372 is almost too fast in say cutting 12” cus you go a little too far and forget to shove something in to keep the gap. The stock 880 is a pig but dependable. I think the compression button is a cruel joke. If you screw boards down to make long cuts, drop your cuts down below the screws.
Ya, you don't want to hit those screws.
 
Trdoldtreecutter

Trdoldtreecutter

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Ya, you don't want to hit those screws.
neighbors of ove
Ya, you don't want to hit those screws.
i milled up some 22' beams for a john deere trailer yesterday. it was about a 30' doug fir, tight grain for this area(pacific northwest]. old family friends, the dads in his 90's and hes doing a total rebuild on the thing. he mentioned staying in the heartwood. 6" x 7"x 22'. no problem but was curious if theres really anything to the heartwood beam thing. as i was a timber faller in the past, i would have guessed the stronger wood on the outside. anybody on here have some insight on this? i didnt get a chance to ask him as his boys were helping and we were trying to mill the whole tree into lumber in a day, (close but no cigar). im going back next monday to finish and will try to remember to ask him . he pops by for just short visits, i think theyre now going to make some beams and boards for another hay trailer, they werent sure dimensions.
 
Trdoldtreecutter

Trdoldtreecutter

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Oops, just read my post. It was about 30 inches in diameter not 30’. It sure makes it nice and quicker with a couple guys helping. They caught on quick and had another log ready for first cut by the time I had a fresh chain and fuel and mill adjustments. only had to flatten two sides before I was able to go to town cus they could keep it upright with the live edge down on the 4x4’s. That saved one more setup.
 

BobL

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Checked his home page. No activity since back in July. Hopefully everything is ok

I'm back.
Had a bunch of health issues starting before Xmas and just to top things off I broke my ankle without knowing it and walked on it (increasingly slowly) for 6 weeks before the docs finally diagnosed it as broken. It just got more and more painful and swollen. The doc though I had gout as I tested high for Uric acid in my blood . The gout meds did nothing so he sent me off for an X-ray. Then spent 8 weeks in a moon boot doing NOTHING. Man that was hard.
Then almost immediately after I got the moon boot off I was as weak and useless as a kitten and went into a self imposed lock down due to the virus but have been almost back to normal since about August. Blood tests reduced from every two weeks to every 3 months, Hydroxycholoquine meds cut in half, Cortisone cut by 1/3rd and PET scans down to one a year (was two per year).

So have finally been able to do some woodworking, wood turning and also some metal work. Finally got the 441 today and milled some some small logs for craft wood. And due to do some more milling next week for the local Community Mens Shop.

We have no community spread virus in Western Australia (2.5 million people) for over 100 days. There are a handful off people that have the virus but are all returned Australian travellers from overseas who when they arrive immediately get locked up in hotels for two weeks and are only let out if they are virus free. No more than 500 people a week are allowed in to the state from OS. Even people coming from other Oz states have been high restricted which meant we were able to keep out an obnoxious ex-politician who took his beef to the high court for restriction of movement but he lost the case YAY!.
We have a had a grand total of 8 virus deaths since it started and our year influenza rates have dropped by about 10 times so far fewer deaths from this than usual.
 
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