Top of Bar Milling?

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UncleMike

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Hello,

I am wondering if anyone has considered milling logs using the top of their bar rather than the bottom? I ask from the perspective of chain lubrication and eliminating the need for auxiliary oilers on longer bars? I understand there are safety issues involved with the fact that the ergonomics dictate that you'd be pulling the saw towards you to do so. I am just curious if anyone has ever tried it?
 

J D

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Interesting thought... It would be pushing on the far end of the mill instead of the power head end & there would be more risk of a flying chain should it break.
Be interesting to try
 

Skeena2

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I have done it. It was awkward. Log positioning in the forest made it necessary. The thing that to keep in mind is that the nose end of the mill isn’t designed to smoothly run along the edge of a slab. On a cant with a flat edge it can be done relatively easily. But on a live edge the nose support will bind.

You could flip the mill around but even then it’s still weird ergonomicly. The saws trying to push to the opposite end from where you are putting feeding force. Try it and you will find why almost knowone does.
 

BobL

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I've tried and agree its awkward.
The one positive is that most of the sawdust comes out at the bar nose instead of falling at the operators feet - but I got around this on the 880 with a modified clutch cover and exhaust.
Holding the saw up against the log becomes wearing.
If you let the mill ride up agains the side of the log on the outboard arm of the bar holding clamp the mill becomes unbalanced.
The bulk of the saw is below the level of the bar so it limits cuts close to the ground - not a problem if the log is raied
The trigger is lower down than when milling with the bottom of the bar so you have to lean over more - not a problem if an outboard throttle is used.
You also cannot refuel or add oil to saws mid-cut.
 

anlrolfe

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I'm just thinking about how much PUSH there'd be across an entire slab. Why make this harder than it's gotta be? Hit one good knot and get 3ft of bar in your pocket, really not for me.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love watching the rooster tail of fresh shaving fly off an undercut but there's also an inherant danger, and an increased risk. I've gotten this far in life by reducing risk or at least when there was danger, what angle of attack/retreat that I use to help mitigate the situation.
 

J D

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I'm just thinking about how much PUSH there'd be across an entire slab. Why make this harder than it's gotta be? Hit one good knot and get 3ft of bar in your pocket, really not for me.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love watching the rooster tail of fresh shaving fly off an undercut but there's also an inherant danger, and an increased risk. I've gotten this far in life by reducing risk or at least when there was danger, what angle of attack/retreat that I use to help mitigate the situation.
Agreed. There's also far greater risk a broken chain will come whipping out in your direction
 

jweier111

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There is at least one fellow on here who does it with the saw reversed in the mill (top of bar leading through the wood). He claims the same advantages you mentioned about oiling. Personally, I can't see the advantage over just putting an aux oiler on the end of the bar so BOTH sides of the bar are lubricated sufficiently. I'm only running a 32" bar at the moment, and I'm already planning to assemble an aux oiler out of some PVC (reservoir) and irrigation fitings. The reason being is the last time I ran the mill cutting wet black walnut; the oiler holes on the bar got clogged and we didn't realize it right away. I wound up opening the oiler holes quite a bit after that (as well as redressing the bar). At least with an aux oiler, you are still getting some oil when something like that happens. As opposed to none. To me that's a major advantage which ever way you decide to run the saw through the wood.
 

J D

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Was thinking about this the other day & it occurred to me that this method would be harder on the saw as the load (the cut) is on the far side of the bar sprocket as the chainsaw sees it. I'm also guessing the extra loading would be significantly harder on the bar sprocket... Be interesting to hear from anyone that mills this way regularly as to how long their sprockets/bars last in comparison
 

Lightning Performance

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Was thinking about this the other day & it occurred to me that this method would be harder on the saw as the load (the cut) is on the far side of the bar sprocket as the chainsaw sees it. I'm also guessing the extra loading would be significantly harder on the bar sprocket... Be interesting to hear from anyone that mills this way regularly as to how long their sprockets/bars last in comparison
I've done it twice wedged in between trees in the woods and no access on the lower downward side. Once you flip the saw you can just reverse the post from one end to the other. Using my ride foot clamped to the bar saves me the trouble of ever dragging the post down live edge without flipping them around. Also makes a nice smooth run on the lower section every time rigged in either direction.

Two problems come up. As stated above the sprocket nose takes all the load and does get hot on long cuts with very little oil left by then unless your running a shorter bar on a big saw over 96cc. The second problem is balancing the power head vs bar flex. Doing that while pushing on the saw to unload the post drag seems pointless. Your going to have a ragged cut most times. If the bar is too wide it's only going to be a bigger bear to handle even with the ride foot on it unless I stop and move it up as the log narrows. Like Bob said you'd better complete the cut or your using wedges to back out the saw from the cut to fill it up, A major pita, been there, did that. If you start off on a forty five degree upward tilt on fat logs you'll be reaching up for the cut vs leaning over. Once the top half was gone I jacked the log uphill some to make nice regular passes going downward to get a regular run in till it finished. You have to roll the log forty five or less once your bar nose gets close to the ground if you didn't start on a level run horizontally. One time I had to switch my saw to a shorter power head to clear obstacles so this only adds to the fun and your chain sharpening skills. These oak slabs were plain Jane. They were not worth trying it again. Better wood like maple and I'd have at it again for sure. Just like riding a bike 😂
 

Czech_Made

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Thats how I run my sawmill. I cut out instead of in, mainly because of the saw dust.
 

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