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Milling saw recommendations?

Discussion in 'Milling' started by CJ2A, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. CJ2A

    CJ2A Active OPE Member

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    Looking to upgrade from a PS7900 and Solo 681 for milling. Ideally, it would be 90+cc.

    In a perfect world, the saw would have an inboard clutch, side chain tensioner, and Husqvarna large mount for the bar Is there any saw like that?
     
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  2. Armbru84

    Armbru84 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Dolmar 9010 is close. Hs a front adjuster but could be had with husky large mount and inboard.
     
  3. Spladle160

    Spladle160 Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    You could grab a big stihl, 066, 661, 084, 880 and mill the bar slot to fit.
     
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  4. Armbru84

    Armbru84 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Depending on where in MI you live I may be able to do the bar mods and I have several big saws.
     
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  5. Armbru84

    Armbru84 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Also have an 084 with a 50” and 36” bar...
     
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  6. Al Smith

    Al Smith Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Milling and stumping are my two least favorite use of a chainsaw .However on either use bigger is better .I've used a Stihl 048 which wasn't nearly large enough and slow as a snail .On regular usage it was plenty good .
    I've also used a McCulloch 125 C which for all intents you can't find many with more power than it .In white oak it might have made a foot a minute on 12" stuff .It's just a lot of work no matter what you use .
     
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  7. mdavlee

    mdavlee Hillbilly grinder

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    I prefer the outboard clutch milling to put the heat further our away from the plastic Oiler drive and the rubber seals. A 394/5 is probably the best saw to get unless you want to use a 48” mill a lot then go to a 120cc
     
  8. Stump Shot

    Stump Shot Disciple of Monkey's GoldMember

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    A 390xp fits your prerequisites I believe.
     
  9. Lightning Performance

    Lightning Performance Here For The Long Haul!

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    Can you sharpen chain?
    Much more important than the saw pulling it imho.

    A well built clone could do the chore but the chain and tuneup is the keys to the castle.
     
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  10. Nutball

    Nutball Pinnacle OPE Member GoldMember

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    I think the first question is, what's your budget, and how big do you want to mill? I would go for a modified 390xp, but I don't know that I'd want to mill over 20" on a regular basis with one. I'm thinking ideally a ported 880.
     
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  11. Lightning Performance

    Lightning Performance Here For The Long Haul!

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    Most people start with a 32 or 36 bar. I started with a 28 and 36. If your not doing slabs less is more.
     
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  12. Wolverine

    Wolverine Fruit wood champion

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    394/5 great for milling. They oil like a hoss and pull like a freight train. Air filtration is excellent. Only negative is that damn chain adjuster, it's very hard to get to on the mill.
     
  13. ayoungtexan

    ayoungtexan Modifier of Mufflers

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    A modded 390 would meet all your criteria. A modded 394/395 slings more oil and pulls harder, but it has an outboard clutch and front tensioner
     
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  14. mdavlee

    mdavlee Hillbilly grinder

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    You can drill a hole in the mill for a regular screwdriver.
     
  15. kneedeepinsaws

    kneedeepinsaws Well-Known OPE Member

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    I have tried multiple saw sizes and multiple bar sizes for milling. I am not an expert but I have a couple years experience. Ill share my thoughts

    bar length
    36” IMO is the biggest you want to go to keep things portable-ish. 36 fits the alaskan mill nicely if you take off the dogs on your powerhead. If you choose to keep them on, its still lots of room for the majority of logs here you will find in the west coast area.
    I live on the east side of the rockies and mpst trees here are 12-24” diameter live for fir trees. Down by the river you will find larger But I only fell what i can manage.

    powerhead
    I cant recommend the 395xp enough. It is far superior in stock form to the 390 and even the 3120xp in stock form. Remember i said stock. You can make the 3120xp the ultimate milling saw for power but it requires quite a few mods to make it worth while.
    The 395 has an excellent oiler and will keep up with the 36” bar no problem given a sharp chain. It has an outboard clutch and trust me this is what you want for milling. You are keeping alot of the heat of that clutch away fr the motor promoting longer saw life for the task of milling. Once your chain is broken in and stops stretching you will not be worried in the least about having a front chain tensioner. you will be only using one bar and one chain for a milling saw and once the chain is set it will not stretch given you sharpen it properly.
    the 395 has plenty of power for 36” bar in live softwood as well, and will carry full comp very well for the best finish compared to skip on your wood planks. It doesnt require a muffler mod or anything else to promote this power either and when tuned properly runs at just the right temp never getting too hot.

    the air filter, which is important for milling, on this unit is superior in every way to every other current husqvarna saw. It has a rubber boot that has an excellent seal via a clamp to the air horn of the carb setup. It will not pass particulates and has a very large surface area to draw from, almost as much as the 3120xp

    particulate seperation via the cooling fan on the side of the saw also seperates large chips from small chips extremely well and even the small chips to not get into the filter that much. This is important because you dont want a coked up air filter after 5 passes on your milled work, you want to keep going.

    the 390xp is a great saw, its one i do not own but the inboard clutch is designed for quick chain/bar changes and is not designed for the heat of milling. This is not to say it will not mill, i have milled with the 372 inboard clutch, but it is not an ideal setup for a long lasting power head in this type of Application. .

    the weight between the 3120xp and the 395xp is extremely noticable as well. Again for a first millingg saw that will serve you well right out of the box for milling is the 395.

    i have recently retired my 395 and upgraded to a 3120xp. I had to modify the air filter, the coil and the carb to get it to run properly milling. This cost alot of money and time and if I had the 3120 years ago as my first milling saw i would have been disappointed given my experience back then. Only after the mods has it finally stepped up to the level and beyond the 395 for milling.

    again this is just my experience, take it as you will. Others may chime in and say that its *B-S.... and the 3120 beats the 395 any day for milling. I strongly disagree in its stock form.
     
  16. Lightning Performance

    Lightning Performance Here For The Long Haul!

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    I cured that. DJ sent me a busted 371 cover to chop up and flip over. Never did get to install it yet but you will need to shorten the adjuster pin and cut off the fat. Some grinding will make it clear the drum.
    Your Welcome.
     
  17. Lightning Performance

    Lightning Performance Here For The Long Haul!

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    What did you do to the air filter and did you get it ported?
    Inquiring minds need to know. Tia
     
  18. kneedeepinsaws

    kneedeepinsaws Well-Known OPE Member

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    I try and keep the milling saws stock for longevity. So the only mods i do are to keep em alive longer, at least i think so.
    I havent had them ported, a 395 with a 36” bar has lots of power for softwood imo.
     
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  19. ucm931

    ucm931 Here For The Long Haul!

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    Pics? Writeup? Gracias.
     
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  20. Wolverine

    Wolverine Fruit wood champion

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    So modified means they won’t last as long? Asking for a friend. :eusa_whistle:
     
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