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Milling Plan

Paul Fithian

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I'm about to embark on milling some logs I've gathered. Power will be a new ported G660 with Grandberg mill/chains on a 36" bar.

Here's what I have to work with:
Milling Plan.jpg
Looking for recommendations on how to make the best use of this resource. I plan to do a few 2" slabs for some tables, and would also like to have this pile yield a significant amount of structural beams, say 4x6 or 6x6. I have a covered space ~ 20 yards away to sticker and dry.
 

quietfly

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That's an ambitious plan! Good luck. If you've never milled before, there is a learning curve that can be frustrating. Using. The winch attachment will help tremendously. Also wedge frequently. Having a friend to help might also be a good idea.

Let us know how it goes.
 

thedude74

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I've milled a fair amount of lumber with a Granberg....though it's limited to spruce. Trying to think if I can offer any helpful advice...🤔
Check both ends of the log for cracks and rotate it accordingly.
If it's green...its gonna shrink some after drying. Might be worth cutting slightly oversized if you plan to plane it at least for the table top slabs.

A 4"x20" x16' slab is really phukin heavy for one guy to drag🤣🤣

Might be worth debarking the logs if they have a lot of sand, dirt, mud embedded in it....some guys use a pressure washer instead.

Smaller pieces, ie 1" or 2" that might be considered scrap or firewood can be resawn on a table saw into some nice trim.

Most folks seal or paint the ends of the slabs to avoid splitting due to rapid moisture loss.

It is possible to set sawdust on fire from a saw without a spark arrester....esecially if the opening is on the flywheel side.😁

There's surely a lot I'm leaving out.
 

Eduardo K

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I think the granberg mill comes with instructions on how to lay out a log, I would reference that. I usually roll the log to get the cracks on the ends level, just like the dude mentioned. Once set, strike a plumb and a level line of the pith on either end of the log. Measure the size of the “t” on the smaller end to get an idea of the cant dimensions. From there it’s just a matter of figuring out how to yield what you want out of the logs. Don’t forget to add in the loss from the Kerr on each cut.
One more thing, don’t think too much about it, just start. No matter how much you read, it will only make sense when you do it.
Good luck, be safe, and have fun.
 

Stump Shot

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Keep in mind you can only get out what the small end will yeild, so lay out from the small end with a marker. a level and a square what you plan to get to see how much and how to cut it. Also figure on 1/4" kerf per cut each pass when measuring, as they will add up fast.
 

drf256

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It’s a ton of work. it not like bucking wood at all. Hard to imagine until you do it.

A helper is imperative if you don’t have a winch. As much as I hate masks, try to wear one.

Not sure how you set your handle up, but it’s better if it is mounted backwards of what’s suggested. Otherwise, one tends to lift the mill off the slab.

If you can figure out a way to lift them off the ground to a comfortable height it’s a good idea. I have a skidsteer w a grapple and made 2 white oak V-Blocks to put mine on for the milling process. Debarking does help alot.

Gotta cut them longer and thicker than needed. It will take more work than you think to get them cleaned up for final use. Seal the ends after you cut. I like Anchor seal. I find it works better than paint of polyurethane.

You have mostly red oak, which rots easily outside. If your final plan for the wood is for something exterior, I wouldn’t mill the red oak at all.

Good luck buddy. Log I is likely gonna take you the better part of 6 hours to mill, more if you’re alone. Figure on moving 1-2 inches a minute. Milling is just not what I thought it would be until I did it. It’s also a giant stress test on your saw. If it’s gonna break, that will be when. Run more oil than usual, like 24:1, as insurance.
 
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Paul Fithian

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Great advice, fellas, thanks! Beautiful tables Doc! Will definitely run synthetic oil at the low ratio. Logs will get debarked and pressure washed before milling to extend chain life. We have a lot of sand in our soil here, in fact only sand below the topsoil. Indiana Dunes.

I have moved all of the logs shown with a Stihl peavey and a hitch mounted Harbor Freight electric winch. I plan to use that winch to pull the saw through the wood.

Reading now Malloff’s Chainsaw Lumbermaking book, lots of good tips.
 

srcarr52

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With air drying and the rough cut of the chainsaw you'll expect almost 1/2" of wasted wood to get twist and cupping out of longer boards.

Like said before, it's ambitious. With a good semi-manual band mill you'd probably have 3 days of work. With a chainsaw mill I'd expect to get 1-1.5 logs done a day.

If you plan on making a fair amount of beams you can weld up some ladder supports that lag screw into the end of the logs. This will make it much easier to setup and get a square beams that are centered up on the heart wood.

Not sure what you are planning to use for a chainsaw but I'd look at doing a muffler mod that blows the exhaust away from you on the top side (left side of the saw). This isn't ideal for other cutting use but you'll like it much better than having it bounce off the log right back into your face carrying a bunch of sawdust.

When I did a fair amount of chainsaw milling I built an adjustable shoe that would snub the log instead of snubbing off the ladder. Taking the lateral load off the ladder made for a more consistent, smooth cut. I later got rid of the pinch bolt and went with predrilled holes and 1/4" hitch pin.

IMG_0880.JPG
 

Paul Fithian

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Thanks Shaun!

Power head is a new G660 that I ported, muffler looks like this now on the flywheel side:
Muffler Deflector Installed.jpg

Internal baffle has removed and the clutch side was opened up a bit.
G660 Muffler Internal Mod.jpg
 
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