My version of a chainsaw mill

axeman088

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I'll try to keep this brief. I wasn't going to post this because it looks like some kind of scrap metal yard art instead of a chainsaw mill for doing smaller logs. I changed my mind because maybe it will help someone out or perhaps give them an idea .I wanted to make something that was a hybrid between the usual way of milling with a chainsaw and a bandsaw mill. This is a definite improvement over my first attempt at a chainsaw mill that was a 2x4, 2x6 affair. My goal was to make sure the log secure while milling, be able to raise and lower some type of guide to make the entry and exit cuts easier on me, make a cant if need be and to able to flip the slabs on edge to remove the live edge if need be to get a square edge, plus raise the log high enough to keep from leaning over so much and stay off my knees. I also didn't want to buy anything and just use what I had on hand . My first design wasn't going to work so good so I ended up buying those long reach pipe clamps to secure the bottom of the log and stiffen the guide rails along with two 1inch thread rods to make a big jack screw so that I can run a hefty battery powered drill or a wrench that can serve as a crank handle to raise and lower the guide rails. Every thing else is what I had laying around doing nothing but just waiting for a trip to the scrap yard . I know not everyone has this type of stuff around but it makes me feel better that my junk is being repurposed for something I'll get some use out of it.

The computer didn't get all the pictures I took but so far so good with the small Red Cedar test log(s) I was able to move into the shop without machinery. I have been able to reach my goal(s) when I started this project.

The pictures I did get are pretty much those that are showing the last steps to make things easier. That 2x4 ladder guide rail thing with the small mini mill worked but not like I hoped . The bigger mill and bigger saw with the square tubing made a better cut both length wise and width wise along with a good finish which isn't a big concern to me.

I am sure you guys can figure out what is going on here from the pics I was able to get . This is just a different approach than the usual type of mills you see. I think this will out just fine for what I have to do but time will tell when I move onto bigger and longer logs. Be nice with the comments weather they be good or bad. LOL
 

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BobL

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Very interesting - it would be good to see some photos of it that are a bit more sharply focussed.
Your setup is a bit like my small milling rig,.although yours looks a lot more HD.
All.jpg

Couple of things I've noticed.
Having to adjust the cut height every time quickly become PITA to do on every cut . On out bandsaw mills one has a electric lift and teh other has a single point hand crank lift.
Your setup requires also making sure your rails are level to the log on every cut. On my setup the cutting height is adjusted on the CSM using allthread rod and cranks that raises/lowers the bar but I find this is tiresome.

Having only one vertical at each end means your setup doesn't look like it has a way of correcting for twist. Probably not an issue for long logs milled on a flat surface, like maybe concrete.

The fact that you are using wheel drums as bases suggests you are planning to use it on a hard surface because if it was going to be used on bare softish ground getting everything level and coplanar would become more work. Being able to locate or attach all 4 of the bases onto a single rigid surface would make this easier. The other thing is on soft ground the vibe generated during long cuts could preferentially dig edges of the drums into the ground leading to uneven cuts and even instabilities. If you are on bare soft ground some flat bases like a bit of plywood could remedy this if it becomes an issue

The BIGGEST PITA on my setup is getting the CSM on and off the rails since it requires lifting the rails and sliding the CSM onto place at the same time..OK for me its only once per log, but for any setup that pins to use longer logs the CMS would need to be removed for sharpening multiple times. This is the main reason why I've never made a full on rail mill using a CSM.

All these reasons is why I only use my rig on short / difficult to hold logs, for everything else I use the straight alaskan as there is far less mucking about.

Otherwise a very interesting approach and I hope it works for you.
 

axeman088

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Hey, I am not a stranger to this milling thing but your right on many points that I have taken them into consideration. I know those bar clamps on the ends are going to be a pain for every cut but they work nice for now to level the rails. especially cross ways and they have a much better bite than those cheap quik clamps and stiffen things nicely. It isn't rock solid but so far it is the best I can come up with. I had a different type of leveling system in mind for out on the end using pipes inside of pipe but to be honest I just got tired of welding in general and cutting more metal. It is kind of a trade off because my other way would require a some kind of manual adjustment for every cut anyway. I can still do this modification in the future if I want to.

I know what your saying about getting the mill off the rails . That was a problem with my old set-up. I just undo the nuts holding the bar and slide the saw out . That 24 inch bar is much easier than a 36 inch bar.

I would rather slide that saw back and forth and adjust the rails verses struggling with those entry and exist cuts which is why I am doing it this way.

I agree with you about the soft ground and getting things level and square and keeping them level. I am prepared with some plywood or some hefty blocks . If I go this route I made those screw jacks so they can be raised 6 inches and locked down the way they are now.

I might as well say this . Granberg makes a nice product , they really do but as those mills gets some time and wear on them those mills get harder and harder to adjust . The least amount of time I have to spend adjusting anything on them the better it is for me. Ther I said it.LOL
 

BobL

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I would rather slide that saw back and forth and adjust the rails verses struggling with those entry and exist cuts which is why I am doing it this way.
There is a really easy solution to "struggling with those entry and exit cuts" with an Alaskan and that is to make the long rails longer than the log so they overhand at both ends.
I use 4 lengths of 10 ft Unistrut for my rails..
For logs over 7ft I join the lengths together - this can reach 16ft
slabs.jpg 16ftr2.jpg
For logs under 7ft I use one pair of the unistruts tp make a set of rails.
layout.jpg
The rails are long enough to perch the mill on the rails at the beginning and the end of cuts.
I place the (not running) mill onto the rails and go thru a start checklist, and then start the saw and ease the mill into the cut.
At the end I jam a wedge into the log cross piece of angle between the rial and this prevents the mill from sliding off the rials and leave the saw running for a couple of minutes to cool down,
880BIL.jpg
I often use the log rails for every cut on a log. As well as being slipperier for the (HDPE) mill rails to slide, this helps me to correct any twist.
 

axeman088

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I like what your doing with the unistruts. The problem here is that stuff isn't anywhere to be found locally. If it is I have no idea where to get it. The only other alternative is to buy square tubing at the local fabrication shop that sells metal . That is a last resort for me because ownership has changed and there are hoops to jump through to get anything along with a minimum cut fee even if they don't cut anything . This is one of the big reasons I used what I could from my private stash of iron. It used to be you could walk in and walk out with whatever you needed if they had it in stock but those days are gone.
 

MFV

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I like what your doing with the unistruts. The problem here is that stuff isn't anywhere to be found locally. If it is I have no idea where to get it. The only other alternative is to buy square tubing at the local fabrication shop that sells metal . That is a last resort for me because ownership has changed and there are hoops to jump through to get anything along with a minimum cut fee even if they don't cut anything . This is one of the big reasons I used what I could from my private stash of iron. It used to be you could walk in and walk out with whatever you needed if they had it in stock but those days are gone.
Try electrical supply house
 

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