if you're thinking about a chainsaw mill


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Aren't these slabbing units though?  I'd like to see someone use it to get different grain patterns where it would be more useful.  I'd like to see someone turn a log a few times on one of these after making a pass.

 

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With a long, and strong enough cant hook, you can turn anything it could cut.  Even most of the small bandmills are manual everything.  Some rig up winches for turning.

https://logrite.com/Category/Xtreme-Duty-Cant-Hooks

My biggest problem with that mill is the size of log it's limited to.  They only offer a 20" bar specifically for it.

I've been looking at mills, and want one that I can quarter saw good sized logs with.  Wooden shingles are best quarter sawn.  There's always one of these, but log turning for it is manual too, although usually involves heavy equipment.

https://woodmizer.com/us/WM1000-Industrial-Sawmill

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20 hours ago, Tom King said:

With a long, and strong enough cant hook, you can turn anything it could cut.  Even most of the small bandmills are manual everything.  Some rig up winches for turning.

https://logrite.com/Category/Xtreme-Duty-Cant-Hooks

My biggest problem with that mill is the size of log it's limited to.  They only offer a 20" bar specifically for it.

I've been looking at mills, and want one that I can quarter saw good sized logs with.  Wooden shingles are best quarter sawn.  There's always one of these, but log turning for it is manual too, although usually involves heavy equipment.

https://woodmizer.com/us/WM1000-Industrial-Sawmill

Yea Woodmizer's smallest portable mill should suffice.  It would accommodate more than I could ever handle.  The only thing I worry about is maintaining the motor when not in use.  I wouldn't mill wood all the time and if it's anything like my lawnmower it would require service when I need it most.  Gas is so bad in Missouri that if I go more than 10 days, it won't start.  Even with stabilizer.

It's not cost effective and you don't see anyone doing it.  We're still milling little logs on our bandsaws. Your Norwood mill is probably the best bet for cost/quality/maintenance.  But... by the time you factor in the cost of the chainsaw, for another $1200 you could have a really nice portable Woodmizer. 

  

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The small band mills would suit me fine, almost.  I could turn the logs, and cants with a loader. The trouble is depth of cut.  For quarter sawing good sized logs, like up to 36", I'd like a minimum depth of cut of 18", to be able to cut close to the center with the first cut, and then to quarter the halves, after slabbing a piece out of the middle.

I can buy non-ethanol gas, here around the lake, and have no trouble with leaving gas engines sitting.

Also, I don't really want to radial cut pieces to make shingles out of.  Too many extra steps.  Close to vertical grain is fine.  We slice shingles out of short boards, in as few steps as possible.  I cut the sapwood off with a table saw, without a fence, chop the boards into lengths we want the shingles, and use a sled on a 24" bandsaw to slice a couple of shingles out of the short pieces.

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I could do that, and have all the stuff to do it with, except the time.  Depth of cut for the lx55 looks to be about 8".  I need to be able to handle logs some larger than 36", with a depth of cut of 16 to 18", to do what I want to.

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Tom, getting a smaller mill and using a chainsaw mill to half and quarter logs might be a way to go. You have the equipment to move the cants. 

 

To add to this discussion about mills, and I understand this isn't helping Tom make a decision, if I was looking for a mill as a hobbyist, a chainsaw mill is the one to get. It's more versatile and this is the key for me. It's all I've ever needed as I mill for myself and to feed my hobby. 

It's by far the cheapest option, my first mill with a used power head was well under $1000.

Nothing beats the portability, no need for skid loader or tractor. Even if can pick up the logs you still need a big trailer or a dump truck to move them. All of those items are costly unless you have them for other purposes or have a friend that has them. 

Most chainsaw mills can cut wider logs than hobby mills. My mill cuts about 34" wide.

I've actually quartersawn with my chainsaw mill. It's extra work but it can be done. 

Knowing how to sharpen a chain correctly allows you to mill faster than most realize. In a morning I can typically mill 4-5 logs 7-8ft long. 

Storage of this mill is easy, I keep my saws and mills in my shop under a table and on the wall.

Maintenance is easy too, I usually try to end the day by putting canned gas in the saw for the last tankful. 

Now I understand it's hard smelly work using a chainsaw mill, and there is more waste. I can't minimize the work part of it, but milling at 9/4 and resawing in the shop as needed minimizes the waste quite a bit. 

I'll take my pickup truck and my chainsaws any day. Drive to the tree, drop it and leave with the lumber. 

These 3 piles were all milled in one winter season over a series of weekends. Didn't need a gym to workout in that winter, this activity was more than enough;

IMG_0859.JPG.c2c77233a6e43db7a46c55d4500480ff.JPG

IMG_0860.JPG.16c8008c30a4796f0cb9550e083fc4f5.JPG

IMG_0861.JPG.7502aa254b72b43ef9d1874d7c9825d7.JPG

 

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42 minutes ago, Bmac said:

Tom, getting a smaller mill and using a chainsaw mill to half and quarter logs might be a way to go. You have the equipment to move the cants. 

 

To add to this discussion about mills, and I understand this isn't helping Tom make a decision, if I was looking for a mill as a hobbyist, a chainsaw mill is the one to get. It's more versatile and this is the key for me. It's all I've ever needed as I mill for myself and to feed my hobby. 

It's by far the cheapest option, my first mill with a used power head was well under $1000.

Nothing beats the portability, no need for skid loader or tractor. Even if can pick up the logs you still need a big trailer or a dump truck to move them. All of those items are costly unless you have them for other purposes or have a friend that has them. 

Most chainsaw mills can cut wider logs than hobby mills. My mill cuts about 34" wide.

I've actually quartersawn with my chainsaw mill. It's extra work but it can be done. 

Knowing how to sharpen a chain correctly allows you to mill faster than most realize. In a morning I can typically mill 4-5 logs 7-8ft long. 

Storage of this mill is easy, I keep my saws and mills in my shop under a table and on the wall.

Maintenance is easy too, I usually try to end the day by putting canned gas in the saw for the last tankful. 

Now I understand it's hard smelly work using a chainsaw mill, and there is more waste. I can't minimize the work part of it, but milling at 9/4 and resawing in the shop as needed minimizes the waste quite a bit. 

I'll take my pickup truck and my chainsaws any day. Drive to the tree, drop it and leave with the lumber. 

These 3 piles were all milled in one winter season over a series of weekends. Didn't need a gym to workout in that winter, this activity was more than enough;

 

Bmac, is that all from your property?

First, thank you for mentioning the canned gas. I wasn't aware this was a thing and I'm going to try it immediately.  HUGE time saver if it works!   

Your thinking was my thinking as well: quarter a 16" (diameter) log in the field with a chainsaw mill, bring it to the shop to joint an edge, and mill it on the bandsaw.  Bandsaw abuse

 

 

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2 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Quartering with a chainsaw is a good idea. Cutting like these guys:

 

Using mostly the tip of the bar keep the chips moving clear and cutting quickly. I realize there is the danger of kick-back with this method, but it is controllable.

:lol:

I saw that one, those guys are good, a little bit out of my league! 

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The last Cypress shingle job we did, we used 10,000 lineal feet of boards.  My 70 year old back is not going to quarter that many logs with a chainsaw, any kind of way.  I can't buy the boards quartersawn.  If we do another one, I want to saw the boards like I want them sawn.   I have one small job in mind, for my boathouse, that won't take anything like that amount of wood, but still won't be milling with a chainsaw.

I had a chainsaw mill, back in the '80's, with two large motors.  I sold it because anytime I ever had logs big enough to be worth the trouble, the people who owned the logs always wanted to keep the best slabs, and I never could figure that it was worth the work.

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1 hour ago, sjeff70 said:

Bmac, is that all from your property?

First, thank you for mentioning the canned gas. I wasn't aware this was a thing and I'm going to try it immediately.  HUGE time saver if it works!   

Your thinking was my thinking as well: quarter a 16" (diameter) log in the field with a chainsaw mill, bring it to the shop to joint an edge, and mill it on the bandsaw.  Bandsaw abuse

 

 

Some from my property, other logs from our family farm, and still others that I got leads on and milled. A lot of my patients know I do this and I've gotten quite a few logs from them also.

The canned gas has no ethanol and is stable. I still try and run the saws a few times throughout the year, just start them and run for a minute or two. For milling I usually mix my fuel at 32/1 gas to oil, I can get 40/1 in the can.

Watch running wet logs on your bandsaw, I've had some problems with that. The dust collection has trouble with the wet heavy sawdust.

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Found one that might be just right.  It has 20" depth of cut, and doesn't cost anything like as much as the all hydraulic top end models from other companies.

https://www.hud-son.com/product/oscar-52-portable-sawmill/

edited to add:  With power feed, the largest motor, a box of blades, two extra 7' sections of track, delivered, the price is 27k.  I'm going to call this week, and see what size the tracks are, and if they will sell it without the track system.  I can get 40' lengths of steel delivered here, and could weld up a track in place.  Long lengths would save the cost of buying lumber to build the roof over it, and I have the perfect space for it, building off the side of a 40' long building.

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