For starting a chainsaw mill, you need to have some specific tools. First of all, you will need strong chainsaw. You are milling for a reason. It is because the wood you have is of massive size and you cannot cut it in normal ways. So it is very logical that you need a storing saw for doing heavy wood cutting.
For milling works, you need a 90cc chainsaw. You can carry on the milling work with a 70cc or 80cc chainsaw. But, I would like to recommend you at least 90cc chainsaw. You can use the saws above 90cc (which will be better if you do so) without any hesitations.
After you have chosen you’re a strong saw, next thing you will be willing to do is choosing the right size of the saw. Generally, it depends on the type of wood log you are cutting. But it is better if you have a long saw. If you have a saw of the length around 30 inches, then you will be able to do the milling work on all the wood smaller than 30 inches. Suppose, you are using a chainsaw of 18 inches bar. Then, you can only work on woods of small size below way below 18 inches. So, try to use a longer or the longest available chainsaw you have for your chainsaw mill.
Now, you can start thinking about making your first cut with your own chainsaw mill.
For making regular cuts, you are allowed to use regular chainsaw chain. But, if you are making ripping cuts on woods with your chainsaw in the Alaskan or any other chainsaw mill, you must have to use a ripping chain. Using any other chains except ripping chain for rip cuts will be like committing suicide.
Suppose the wooden log which you are willing to cut has large branches at its lateral sides. These branches are making the width of the wood log equal to the length of the saw bar or even more than that. If you think that these branches are useless and doing nothing but disturbing you from making cuts on the wood, here is a great tip for you. Trim them off! Trim off the branches at the side of the workpiece to reduce the width of the wood log.
Installing chainsaw in an Alaskan chainsaw mill
For installing a chainsaw in an Alaskan mill, you have to mount the Alaskan chainsaw mill on a chainsaw bar. Then, adjust the length of the mill according to the length of your saw bar. And before doing that, make sure that the saw bar is clean while mounting. And by clean, I am meaning that there should not be any oil present on the surface of the saw bar.
There is another side talk left which I have forgotten to mention before. Before mounting the saw, place the saw horizontally on a plane surface in such a way that the bar side of the saw is in the downward position and the saw handle is in the upward direction. Some people put the bar side upwards and the saw handle downwards. But, you should never ever do something like that. Because the saw teeth of the chainsaw move from the top of the bar and then around the nose and again back to the bottom of the saw bar. So, this is the way the saw has to be set to mount on the chainsaw mill.
Now, loosen the bracket situated at the lower side of the sawmill to make some space for the saw bar to slide in. It is also important to clear some room for the end bracket to slide up and down at the power end side of the bar. Make sure that the pads at the end bracket are sitting right in the middle of the saw bar and, in an equal distance from the both rail at the sides to the edge of each of the pads.
Now when all the positioning is over, it is high time to start tightening the bolts and screws. At first, start from tightening up the clamping bolts at the power end side. And for performing this task, you need some additional tools. A racket with half inch socket and an allen wrench for tightening the allen bolts which are holding the handling plates will do. Tighten all the clamping bolts equally. Double check whether or not the brackets are in the middle of the chainsaw bar. Tighten all the bolts around the chainsaw mill evenly and equally. Make sure all the bolts are securely fastened.
Safety Tips for Chainsaw Milling
Though the mill puts a guard all around the chainsaw chain, but still you have to wear all the necessary safety gears you are supposed to wear for doing wood works with power tools. And there is no doubt that a chainsaw is one of the most dangerous power tools of all. Safety goggles, ear muffs, helmet, leg guards, boots are the must. You should also use a dust mask while cutting with chainsaw because it produces a huge amount of dusts. The amount of waste dusts produced especially from milling work is far more than normal cutting.
Special cutting & milling tips
- Keep the chain of your chainsaw sharp all the time. Sharpen it before becoming dull all the way.
- Do not push the blade hard through the cut. A properly sharpened blade will pull itself in through the cut.
- Use wedges to clamp the log. When a heavy log is separated after cutting, it tends to apply pressure on the chainsaw bar which would be busy inside the two logs at that current time. If the log manages to apply pressure on the chainsaw bar, it will cause pinching. So, to prevent this pinching you must have to use wedges.
- About those wedges, use the wedges which are made of wood. There are two types of wedges available. Plastic and wood. Plastic wedges are not suitable for your milling work with chainsaw. Because, wooden wedges are stronger than those are made of plastic and hence, they are more reliable.
- Use a guide rail/ladder to straightly level the wood and chainsaw mill. It will help you to make cuts in correct measurements. Screw the ladder on the curved wood surface of the circular tree log. Because there is a possibility of the ladder to fall off from the curved surface. This rail is basically used to maintaining stability during making cuts.
That is everything for you about chainsaw milling tips. A mill costs only around 100 pounds for normal working. If you are working professionally then you might consider buying a mill which can give you a long time service. This applies the same for selecting or buying the best chainsaw for milling. Lastly, keep the safety measures in mind and cut as much wood as you want. Happy woodworking!