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Alaska Mill

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by garandman, Mar 16, 2019 at 9:10 PM.

  1. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    Anyone using an Alaska Mill? We have plenty of excess trees (Eastern Hemlock, Im lookin at you) and a number of small bridges to build for trails, and a few other rough projects like rustic benches, tent platforms, firewood storage etc.

    Currently have a small Granberg mill. We have a Stihl MS271 Farm Boss with 18” bar and Oregon ripping chain. Since learned that you lose 2-6” Of bar length, and that at least a 60cc Saw is recommended.

    So I’m looking at a 30” mill and larger saw. The question is how much larger? Even with a ripping chain and cutting mostly soft wood, the process seems pretty slow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 9:16 PM

  2. Jason m

    Jason m NES Member

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    I used my 385xp on a mill a while back, the saw was set up with the correct chain and a 32" bar. I found it worked but would like to use a 390 or a 395 for a Husky and at least a 660, 066 or the big guns a 088 in the Stihl flavor saws. And as much as I love a 372 or a 371 I think they would be to small, min 385 and 066, cutting with ease on just about anything you want to do 390 up or a 088 and up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 10:03 PM
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  3. Wildweasel

    Wildweasel NES Member

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    generally you want 90cc and up. Mostly for longevity of the saw. you can do it with a 70cc saw but you will burn them up.
     
  4. JayMcB

    JayMcB NES Member

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    if you're going to spend the kind of $ to get a saw that big, why wouldn't you buy a small mill with it's own 300CC motor for around the same money?
     
  5. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

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    I've got the same saw and am thinking about a Granberg's. The appeal for me is that if/when a perfectly good tree comes down in the woods, I could turn it into lumber without having to get it out of the woods first. It's not the most efficient but if it means putting a perfectly good windfall to use, why not. I wouldn't be trying to mill a house worth of wood, just some boards here and there.
     
  6. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    Show me!

    The absolute cheapest mill we found was the Harbor Freight, which has very irregular quality and parts support: they take a day to assemble. Cheapest Woodmill is $2,200, HUD-son is about $2,500. The least expensive WoodMizer LT10 is $4,000. There are a few others in the $3,500 to $4,500. Delivery charges run $3-600.

    Saw Mill with 301cc Gas Engine
    HM122 Portable Sawmill, Portable Sawmill | Woodland Mills USA
    Portable Budget Sawmill | Cheap Sawmills
    LT10 Portable Sawmill

    That’s a lot of money to spend to build a few rough bridges. The biggest baddest chainsaws are about $1,000, easy to store, easy to sell, and have more uses.

    My neighbor has a pro grade mill. I’m hoping once I get some logs cut he will mill some dimensional lumber for me. Or I can hire a service to come in for $150 per hour with a two hour minimum.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 11:11 AM
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  7. Jarcese

    Jarcese NES Member

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    I have one with the Granberg guide rail. I've made a handful of 8"×8" beams out of western red cedar utility poles. It's horribly inefficient for making beams, but kind of fun. Slabs are a lot easier. I'd spend the extra money on a real mill if I had enough trees on the land to feed it for a long time.
     
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  8. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

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    Portable Budget Sawmill | Cheap Sawmills
    This is the unit I'm seriously considering for my property. I have about 3 acres of mostly white pine trees. I should be able to turn a profit with this little unit in about 6 weekends of work. It retails for $2350 and can be picked up at the factory in Barneveld, NY which is about 2 1/2 hours from my locale.
    My other thought is building one from junk, like this guy did

    View: https://youtu.be/f4kCzoXZvK4
     
  9. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

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    A buddy of mine has an Alaskan Mill. it's kind of slow we found and not great for production work but may be just enough for a couple of bridges.
     
  10. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

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    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
  11. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 1:51 PM
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  12. Jarcese

    Jarcese NES Member

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  13. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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  14. xjma99

    xjma99 NES Member

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    Buy wood from local mill, if you have any trees worth selling, sell them. Unless you’re going to be using
    It a lot, a saw mill is just a waste to cut up three down trees. Cool, yes, but you’ll never use it again.
     
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  15. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    We have plenty of wood. I just don’t think we’d ever have enough project work to justify a mill.

    Think I’ll get some logs cut and start slicing with the Alaska mill. If it’s torture I’ll upgrade. Everyone seems to say 60-75cc minimum so I’ll plan to upgrade the saw at some point. We don’t have ice over 30” diameter and most of what I’ll be sawing is soft wood.
     
  16. Nick Fury

    Nick Fury NES Member

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    I know a guy right around the corner from you who has a Wood-Mizer. PM me for contact info. He could drown you in a stupid amount of board footage for short money...
     
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  17. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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    Sent you a PM. Could be a win/win. I have a trailer so I could bring logs over to him. That also puts more projects in reach, like a leanto on the shed, etc.

    Still may buy a BMF chainsaw. :D
     
  18. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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  19. garandman

    garandman Instructor NES Member

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