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Chainsaw Mills

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  • Chainsaw Mills

    Any of y'all have any experience making rough lumber with the low-end type of chainsaw mills where you use a 2x4 or 2x6 as an edge guide?? I live in Texas and have access to mesquite trees that I have turned into some very nice lumber in the past, but would like to simplify the process. I was thinking that if I could rough out some 2"+ planks and stack them for air-drying, I could later resaw on my bandsaw and then plane them to get good 4/4 material. I realize that I will lose alot of material due to the thickness of the chainsaw blade versus using a bandsaw blade, but I don't want to wear out my bandsaw doing all the work, and am hoping to be able to produce longer boards (the mesquite is extremely heavy so me and my kids can't handle very large pieces on the bandsaw). Any suggestions for a reliable chainsaw mill that is easy to use and accurate in the results?? I'd greatly appreciate the help and any ideas you might have!!

  • #2
    Find a Jan 2005 copy of American Woodworker, they reviewed portable sawmills as well as the chainsaw mills in that issue. I don't have a copy but was flipping through it today while at the Woodcraft store and glanced at the article. Granberg and Logosol are two of the handheld saw mill names I remember. I just checked and here are the URLs for their websites;
    also there was, but don't remember the name of the company, only the wbe site URL.


    • #3
      Thanks, Bob. Actually, I saw the same article a couple of days ago and that's what prompted me to post the question here. I guess I have questions relating to how difficult it is to re-position the edge guide to make sure the second cut is made parallel to the first, and also if the planks really come out as good as the author said they did. Money is tight, and I can't afford to purchase and experiment with more than one unit. The guy who wrote the article said he liked the Granberg best, but I was hoping someone here might have had some personal experience with one of these or similar units.


      • #4
        I guess depending on the size of the logs you are cutting, did you ever consider the 10" bigfoot circular saw? Available at toolcribofthenorth

        My understanding, althoug I have never personally seen one is that skil makes (made) a 10" worm drive? The contractor that sided my house owned one that he said he primarily uses for raising dormers and such.

        I was just doing some research on the grizzly for you to determine cut depth and apparently milwaukee now makes a 10"circular too. model 6460

        the above cuts 3 13/16" at 90 degrees, so as long as the circumference is 6-7" you can cut down the middle flip it and cut the log in half. and then work your way down on either side. another possibility is to flip the log 1/4 turn and cut all the way across. when i had a silver maple we had removed milled, this was the technique the millowner used. he said you get the least amount of waste this way. I guess it is all cost to have it milled v/s cost to mill it yourself.

        I was lucky and came across a gentlemen that is retired, and does this for a hobby. he will mill anything you bring him and he has a huge stock of things pre cut. I paid .60 a board foot to have my logs cut and kiln dried (would have been .30 if i did not want it kiln dried). He also sells oak at .60 a BF, cherry, walnut, cedar all 2.00 a BF . He also sells his wood chips to people who have horses for their stables. He is very reasonable and a nice guy.

        When i was looking for someone (most lumber yards up here in chicagoland will not provide this service) which surprised me because when i lived in CA most of the actual lumber yards would mill it down to usable stock.

        the other thing that was suggested to me, is if you have any amish in the area, contact them. I understand that many of them will mill your logs provided they can keep some of the lumber, but i do not know if they will kiln dry it.

        I can't speak intelligently on the chainsaw for this purpose as i do not have one. But what i have done in the past to cut larger boards/trunks, i would break out my 8 1/4" worm drive and go all the way around, and then finish the cut with a wood blade and a sawzall. the reason i would use the circular saw first is because that only left a little bit tor the sawzall to get through. especially with railroad ties especially since they are soaked with creosote.

        i tried just the sawzall and it took forever. when i used the circular and then finished with the sawzall ,it took minutes.

        oh the other thing that i noticed at toolcrib is a "prazi" chainsaw attachment which might help you out.

        Hope some of this helps?

        good luck