MS880 Mod's For Milling...

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J D

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So I made the leap & bought an 880 to up my milling game... as this will be primarily a milling saw I'm looking for 880 specific recommendations to get the most out of it.
I will probably run a 64" bar & build my own mill frame for it.
Probably run .404 in either skip or a Granberg style, but not 100% set on that yet.
Will be removing the bucking spikes & using an aux oiler.
Compression is 145psi & piston is immaculate. Squish is almost 0.040"... usually I'd be inclined to take that closer to 0.020" but I'm not so sure that's what's best when it comes to +100cc & milling.
Any further input &/or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated

Cheers
 

skids-stihls

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Had my 880 for some time now but mostly only for the times anything else was too small, did some Alaskan style milling with it a few years back but have now opened up the muffler and fuel to suit, looking at ripping into some good logs with it soon, will update your if you haven’t had a more experienced answer by then.
As others say though, keep on the rich side for safety and remember to run it in on some conventional cutting for a few tanks first. After that just keep warranty in mind when doing mods, everywhere is different for time and mods on that part.
 

MFV

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I have to double check when I get home it should be close to 60
 

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skids-stihls

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Not sure if I quoted properly, but in reply to JD about a 60” bar on 3/8 chain, I’ve run a 72” bar on .404 skip tooth and wasn’t too much, just listen to the saw and don’t bog it down was what I got told, revs pass the cooling air through the saw. Bog it down and heat builds and less air to go with = oops, or Oh @$&$.
 

FabianRW

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I'd look at any and all improvements in the mill attachment, rail guide, secondary oiler and chain sharpening before looking at the saw.

That being said the saw can be run on aspen type premix fuel for cleaner running, it can be tuned up and you can swap the filter for a fresh one every hour of use say. Keeping it cooling properly, giving it a 20sec rest every minute or meter of cutting and running it on idle 1 minute before and after each cut will massively extend it's life and is absolutely necessary when milling to get any longevity from the saw, it needs to cool itself down.
In terms of chain I use panther milling chain on a lopro bar, which is lighter and really does work well in a good range of different timber species, the way you sharpen for the wood you're cutting is key, everything else is secondary as it dictates speed of cut, finish left and accuracy, any problems in that and you will get problems in the cut and the bar could bend or twist etc. Best to get that really really precise first and then think about power. Chain tension should be on the higher side for milling and any slight nick will likely make the chain break so the best investments are very much in chain sharpening systems/jigs that are ultra accurate giving the same angles on each tooth, if a chain is optimal for the type and cut depth of wood, performance will be several times better. That's a much greater factor than everything else including hp in an 880 as it already has plenty.

Minor things like that will do more good than any serious upgrades (which will be expensive and massively lower longevity, especially for milling)

So keep it stock and just improve all you can in every way is my advice.

If you want to further improve it on-top of what I've written then you need another 880 and a double bar setup. Or a mobile bandsaw mill, it's all about what, why, where and how much you are cutting.
 

BobL

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RE:I'd look at any and all improvements in the mill attachment, rail guide, secondary oiler and chain sharpening before looking at the saw.
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So keep it stock and just improve all you can in every way is my advice.

Yep I agree. Ergonomic improvements like, using a remote throttle and oil control, better/more handles on the mill, sloping logs etc and working out a systematic, low strain, flow pattern for handling logs and lumber, and optimsing cutter/raker sharpening saves a lot of time and allows an operator to keep milling longer than than the small amount of time saved per cut from modding the power head.
 

Lightning Performance

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So... ^Bob has most of it covered and your other replies here.
Good stuff.

Tap out your HD stock filters ever tank or two and do run the felt wrap covers when your milling.

I run 084s, mostly stock with a muffler mod for now while the next cylinder is being worked out on porting. They will get many more mods by this fall like Vstacks and better oil foam filters. It's only cut 0.025 and 0.038 with a flattop piston in it. I'm sticking with pump gas under 200 psi so I won't be cooking or pounding out the bearings in short order. Staying under 200psi is prudent on a really long bar. Cut out every other set of chain cutters and touch it up square if you need to go faster or lighten the load on it.

Nobody ever mentions this but go over ever single screw, bolt, clip and the decomp button including the case screws so you know it's all tight and right. Avoiding a burn-down is paramount. If it does something funny just stop and get after it pronto!

My 660 ported pulls a 60" Cannon but struggles in hardwood over 42" wide with full comp full chisel on the four foot alaskan. It's base and quench (squish) cut and the quench is 0.025, 7 degrees added timing lead (needs less really), no popup, about 190psi compression, pia muffler piped but getting changed again, K&N with Outerwears, Vstack and ported carb inlet with choke work, on pump 89 but she pops on 86 due to hot spots. It's a monster on roids just for milling with some parts deleted permanently. It usually runs a 36" or a 40" roller nose on the three foot mill. Mason Husky something screen name and he ran it in big oak up in PA this spring bucking at Dewayne's killer spot :cool:

Your 880 can handle a gasket delete or a small base cut. Just remember you limit the transfer duration if you just drop it down. Some people will tell you my quench is too tight like Donny Walker but he builds everyday commercial work saws to not be ridiculously high compression and leaves plenty of room for carbon to build up and never have an issue. I'm on a self cleaning train and run my smaller stuff like 361's or 2s near 0.014 quench. Each to his own. I go for grunt not more RPMs.

Most of the saws here are tuned between 12K to 13k milling or not from 200Ts right through to the big dogs. I don't recommend you tune it above 11.5 on your big saw. Stay on the safe side and tune yours a bit fat. Gas cools pistons. Just get your exhaust fumes heading in the right direction which is not at the mill.

Quality synthetic mix oil at 40-1 or more of you can burn it. I find good synthetic oil @32-1 bleeds out my mufflers and does hurt power just a touch. You can run 25-1 if you like with lesser offerings. Each to his or her own. Nothing else to tell but to keep it CLEAN inside and out. That includes daily grease on the drum bearing and clean out the oil pump area every so often.

Hope that helps some.
 

MFV

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I run this but I have smoked 2 pistons. So I rebuilt the saw bearings oil seals and all. I am thinking I will run mine about 10,000 rpm for milling 11,500 for bucking
 

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BobL

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Most of the saws here are tuned between 12K to 13k milling or not from 200Ts right through to the big dogs. I don't recommend you tune it above 11.5 on your big saw. Stay on the safe side and tune yours a bit fat. Gas cools pistons. Just get your exhaust fumes heading in the right direction which is not at the mill.
Or the log, which is what happens on most saws when milling the top half of the log. The exhaust often bounces off the log and up into the operators face. When milling the lower half the exhaust bounces off teh long onto the operators feet. Once when milling in 100 degree weather (not that I do that any more) i nearly cooked my feet.

My exhaust mod direction on my 880 was purely accidental but it turned out pretty well.
allonn.jpg
 

Lightning Performance

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Or the log, which is what happens on most saws when milling the top half of the log. The exhaust often bounces off the log and up into the operators face. When milling the lower half the exhaust bounces off teh long onto the operators feet. Once when milling in 100 degree weather (not that I do that any more) i nearly cooked my feet.

My exhaust mod direction on my 880 was purely accidental but it turned out pretty well.
View attachment 1009868
Don't cook your feet. Roasted toes is baaad.
 

J D

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Thanks for all the responses guys... unfortunately I've hardly been able to find the time to reply, let alone do anything chainsaw related lately!
I should say, I'm no stranger to the milling game & have a good grasp on the fundamentals (tune a bit rich, cutting technique, sharpening, etc).
At this point I think I will remove the spark screen & maybe open the muffler up a bit. May also "borrow" Bob's muffler pipe idea ;) I'll tune a bit rich & run at least 40:1. I'm tending towards running .404 as this is what the saw & bar are already setup for & I like the idea of a more robust chain (all be it at the cost of extra kerf). I found Granberg style chain to work best milling with my 390 but will start with full comp on the 880 & grind it to Granberg if I'm not happy with that.
Building & tweaking the ergonomics of the mill is probably a whole other thread, but it will definitely have a remote throttle & auxiliary oiler from the get go
 

BobL

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I'm tending towards running .404 as this is what the saw & bar are already setup for & I like the idea of a more robust chain (all be it at the cost of extra kerf).
Its hard to believe but there's not much difference between the kerf generated by 404 v 3/8. The main reason I use 3/8 as it helps minimise the number of different rolls of chain I keep on hand to cover my saws. I've used 3/8 on my 076 and 880 without any troubles (one very undramatic breakage in 15 years) and doubt you will ever mill anything as hard as I do.
 
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