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CS Milling 101, Hints tips and tricks

OldMontanaPhart

OldMontanaPhart

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Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
25
Location
Kalispell MT
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.
REALLY glad to hear that you are alive and on the mend, Mr. Bob-been lurking here for years soaking up some of your CSM wisdom and plan to get off my 69 yr old butt and actually TRY this stuff soon. Lumber prices here in Montana are over the moon-a 2x4x8 @ Lowes was $6.45 last week! I figure I can save myself some serious $$$ if I can manage to mill just one 16" Doug fir log 16' feet long into a dozen 2x4x8's and a half dozen 2x8x16's every week ...
 
miller2b

miller2b

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Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Neosho, MO
Getting It Off The Ground



I just starting milling and wOOd like some ideas (pics) on getting logs off the ground so your not milling on your knees. Some of the equipment I have are a 3000 pound warn winch, Tuf-Tug 2500 pound hoist puller with some chains and other winching equipment, snatch blocks,rigging straps and dshackles.

bw
i dont have a tractor or any other heavy equipment. however i do have a 1 ton dually pickup with a bale bed. i find i can lift quite a bit of weight using some chains.
 
miller2b

miller2b

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Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Neosho, MO
question for you Bob



Some interesting stuff in there bob.
Question for you, I am haveing a bugger of a time setting my rails for the first cut, especially on some of the logs 6 meters in length. At that span, i am getting a bow in the middle of the rails so I made up some plates with set screws ets that I put on the top of the log, both ends and the middle. Works well but tells blimmin ages to set up and get parrell etc. Just wondered what you did? Also, would you have a pic of your aux oiler. Wondered what sort of hose you run to the bar and how you keep the damn thing in the right poszy.
Cheers mate
Brian
i had thought about getting rails parallel too when i was tryin to figure out the rail system. came up with using spreader cleats like they do with concrete forms
 
miller2b

miller2b

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Joined
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Messages
18
Location
Neosho, MO
Heard people talk about it but had been satisfied enough with the curved lower guide on my Granberg mill that keeps me from hanging up. Still does periodically though on the irregular wood I mill, so might be worth me giving it a shot. Judging by Granberg's G988 (which I'm not sure they make anymore) all you do is drill some holes further outboard in the lower guide clamp, get some old rollerblade urethane wheels and bearings and attach them to some 2.5-3" long 8mm bolts. Would use 8mm nylon locknuts, one to tighten the bolt to the clamp, and then sandwich the wheel between that and a locknut below it. https://granberg.com/product/g988-10-roller-bracket/
id thought of using closet door rollers on my rails and mill.
 
George Hurchalla

George Hurchalla

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
78
Location
Texas
7 Pages in.
What gauge bar/chain for maple.
Saw is MS660 w 36” Mill
I've always used standard 3/8" pitch .063" gauge on my 32-42" bars for my Stihl in that size range. Milling much harder woods than maple. I did screw up and put .050 gauge on my .063 bar for awhile and couldn't understand why the thing kept trying to go off at a cockeyed angle while milling.
 
Wetcoast

Wetcoast

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Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
22
Location
Canada
I've always used standard 3/8" pitch .063" gauge on my 32-42" bars for my Stihl in that size range. Milling much harder woods than maple. I did screw up and put .050 gauge on my .063 bar for awhile and couldn't understand why the thing kept trying to go off at a cockeyed angle while milling.
Ah! Good to know what happens when you put a .050 chain on a .063 bar. I almost did this yesterday when prepping for milling that I did today. I briefly contemplated running it once I noticed but decided against it fairly quick, glad I did now that I have read your post :). I guess I have another ripping chain for my small bar now .
 
Wetcoast

Wetcoast

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22
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Canada
A question for the wise on here. Thinking of converting a ripping chain into a cross cut, is there any detail other than tooth angle to consider here?? I have one too many ripping chains and need a cross cut....and what about simply cross cutting with ripping chain??
 
miller2b

miller2b

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Jan 27, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Neosho, MO
A question for the wise on here. Thinking of converting a ripping chain into a cross cut, is there any detail other than tooth angle to consider here?? I have one too many ripping chains and need a cross cut....and what about simply cross cutting with ripping chain??
Works just slow not an aggressive cut. Can always slowly take it out to a 25-30° top plate. Take it all at once and it eats up alot of material.
 
miller2b

miller2b

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Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
18
Location
Neosho, MO
Alot of guys here would say don't but if you aren't using professionally get a farmertec clone. I have a 660 for a few months no issues. Went through a dealer so didn't have to wait. The 660 clone is a beast of a saw.
 

BobL

No longer addicted to AS
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
7,704
Location
Perth, Australia
A question for the wise on here. Thinking of converting a ripping chain into a cross cut, is there any detail other than tooth angle to consider here?? I have one too many ripping chains and need a cross cut....and what about simply cross cutting with ripping chain??

I have about 25 chains and don't think there's a single cross cutter amongst them.
If I was doing a lot of cross cutting or felling I would keep a couple for that purpose as they're less likely to bind in the cut.
 
Marine5068

Marine5068

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Nov 20, 2009
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I have about 25 chains and don't think there's a single cross cutter amongst them.
If I was doing a lot of cross cutting or felling I would keep a couple for that purpose as they're less likely to bind in the cut.
Hey Bob,
Nice to see you are feeling better and up and about.
We certainly all missed you and your milling wisdom.
I'm a real rookie at it and am ready to mill my largest log to date.
It's Spring time here in Ontario, Canada and I have a 28" Northern Red Oak I felled last season that I'm ready to mill.
I have the mill, saw and chains.
Now to figure out how to lift and block one end to make it easier for me.
I'll post some pics of what I come up with.
 

BobL

No longer addicted to AS
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
7,704
Location
Perth, Australia
Hey Bob,
Nice to see you are feeling better and up and about.
We certainly all missed you and your milling wisdom.
I'm a real rookie at it and am ready to mill my largest log to date.
It's Spring time here in Ontario, Canada and I have a 28" Northern Red Oak I felled last season that I'm ready to mill.
I have the mill, saw and chains.
Now to figure out how to lift and block one end to make it easier for me.
I'll post some pics of what I come up with.
I Look forward to the pics.

The last few days I have been working on getting my mate the tree lopper's band saw mill up and running.
It was last used about 2 years so it needs significant TLC as it's located outside covered by a HD tarpaulin, but that has not stopped it getting rusty and beaten up..
Lots of little things like the fuel lines and seals had perished and needed replacing as did the battery.
Once I fixed those thing the engine fire after about 5 attempts and is now running quite well.
The blades are also all rusty and I was set to derust them but my mate forked out for a couple of new ones to get us started

The worst thing that has happened is some one has run into the mill and apart from a couple of cosmetic dents had pushed the mill frame slightly off its concrete pad. We used the tree loppers HIab to move it back on but now the whole mill needs to be re-leveled and all the settings adjusted to get it parallel to the tracks etc. Someone has also dropped a log onto the track frame and bent it.
I've spent 3 days sorting all this out. I have a bunch of logs to mill for the tree lopper and various sisters et.
One of the logs looks like it will be interesting - I'll post some pics when I have something to show.
 
C S Qualls

C S Qualls

New Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
2
Location
2985 oak drive
EastTexas

EastTexas

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jul 14, 2021
Messages
8
Location
East Texas Ranch
Guys, seems like there are a continual trickle of newbies posting their milling setups and it's great to see the addiction continues! Most of these folks seem to be milling small logs on their knees on the ground when there is no need for it. Yes I do occasionally mill (big ones) on the ground but I'm wondering whether a sticky on milling positions would help these folks, that way we wouldn't sound like broken records?
Yes, and YES! I'm new to this site. I've been milling up in Michigan for +/- 30 years. Now, I'm in East Texas with tons of Eastern Red Cedar. I have two 15' logs 38" at big end and 34" then the other log is 34" and 32". Both are elevated 6" off the ground and I'm planning on using an Alaska portable chain saw mill to make some serious planks for a couple large poker tables/dinner tables at the ranch. I'm completely addicted...
That being said, "any", and I really mean ANY advice and input would be much appreciated. I've never used this set-up before.
1). Prepping the wood.
2). Finding the right chain for my new 36" Husqvarna..
3). Setting up a leveling system (if needed at all).
4). Curing the wood, sanding, etc.
5). Expected time-line for this project so I don't foolishly rush the process...
I created a post about this a few weeks ago.
Thank you.
 
Tarki0

Tarki0

Running saws are money in the bank
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
24
Location
Missouri
My tips for Alaskan style milling
1) Clean the log of as much grit and bark as you can and clear sufficient working space around the log.

2) if at all possible, get the log up off the ground onto gluts or sawhorses so you are milling in as standing a position as possible. You should not have to bend over significantly or mill on your knees.

3) place the log on a slope so that you are milling downhill and gravity aids the cutting process

4) start with a freshly sharpened chain with rakers set correctly and don't let the chain go blunt. Stop and sharpen or change chains often.

5) add extra handles to the mill or wrap handle on the saw so your arms are not spread apart. This allows you to comfortably lean on the mill with straighten arms. The more handles you have, The more variations in arm and standing position you can use which helps relieve fatigue. Add anti vibe grips to handles.

6) If you are milling over about 24" in width consider adding an auxiliary oiler to the outboard end of the bar to protect the bar and chain.

7) add rollers or wheels to the inboard side of the mill that makes contact with the log so the mill does not constantly jam up against the side of the log

8) use log rails that are longer than the log so that the mill can perch on the end of the log while the saw is being started

9) on really hard wood, if the log is partially dry, remove the first 6" or so of the starting end of the log, so you are not cutting into dead dry wood where you lose 90% of the chain sharpness.

10) when finishing a cut, before stopping the engine let it idle for 30 seconds or so, so it can cool down a bit .

11) orient the milling so the saw is downwind of the operator to reduce exposure to exhaust and sawdust.

12) stop to admire and chimp the wood grain often - remember you will never see it looking so vivid and natural again, EVER!


Things to watch out for
a) the CS bar and the CS milling rails not being parallel to each other across the mill. This will cause the mill to rise or more likely dive making it harder and harder to cut. This can be cause by poor construction or dropping or damaging a mill.

b) loose nuts/bolts/bits on the saw and mill. If they fall they are dangerous if they hit the chain and you may never see them again amongst the piles of sawdust generated by milling. Check all fasteners and use Loctite where appropriate.

c) loose mill/bar bolts. If you forget, the chain could be toast in fractions of a second.

d) PPE. High quality hearing protection is even more essential than regular sawing because of the prolonged exposure. Consider using 30dB+ muffs.

e) pushing too hard. If you have to push hard, something is not right usually its just 4) especially the rakers not set properly but occasionally its a)

That will do for now!

Cheers

Thanks. I just had the problem of a diving CSM then a rising CSM. It was making me crazy. Appreciate the tip… I could have sworn I checked the guide to bar distance on both ends…. famous last words. More after I check the bar to guide distance (again).
 
Brad Pellerin

Brad Pellerin

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Joined
May 25, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Ontario
Hello everyone my name is Brad. I am new to milling but if I knew Then what I know now, I would have bought a bigger Mill. I cheaped out and bought a 36" chinese mill. I am already estimating some jobs for clients and turning away work (mostly from being booked solid) and because my Mill is just too small. My old 298xp kinda died and I had to upgrade to a 390xp. I am pricing out a bigger Panther Mill. Basically my advice is, Find out what you want the Mill for. Is it just for your own lumber projects? Do you want to go into business? Then figure out what Mill you may need. spend the money on the better equipment so its reliable as well and you don't need to upgrade as I will shortly after starting. Thanks and happy Milling 20210827_145848.jpg
 

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SeMoTony

SeMoTony

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Joined
Oct 28, 2016
Messages
6,353
Location
S E Mo
Hello everyone my name is Brad. I am new to milling but if I knew Then what I know now, I would have bought a bigger Mill. I cheaped out and bought a 36" chinese mill. I am already estimating some jobs for clients and turning away work (mostly from being booked solid) and because my Mill is just too small. My old 298xp kinda died and I had to upgrade to a 390xp. I am pricing out a bigger Panther Mill. Basically my advice is, Find out what you want the Mill for. Is it just for your own lumber projects? Do you want to go into business? Then figure out what Mill you may need. spend the money on the better equipment so its reliable as well and you don't need to upgrade as I will shortly after starting. Thanks and happy Milling View attachment 928568
I'm inexpensively (as possible) involved, but power heads and bars lead the way about 3 years ago for example 20190506_125814.jpg
Ms460 with 42" bar on maple log 20190515_134709.jpg
60" cannon bar on 661 ported. The rails can be swapped out for right distance for bar.. An extra bit can be gained by drilling the center of the sprocket to allow a 1/4" bolt to attach into d&t hole in square or round aluminum (just my preference) bar at the far end. In use on 60" bar.
I have a 72" forester bar in case. The incase? A 5 1/2-6foot diameter stump 100miles away or so. Had the bar more than a year before the top was blown off this tree leaving about 20 feet of log to be dropped. Haven't seen the specimen or a pic just my bud's view of it.
Since I'm in my 70th year now I may need to motivate before it gets 2 excessive for me lol
 
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