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Alaskan Mill
Home of the portable chainsaw mill. Visit us at www.alaskanmill.co.uk


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Old 01-05-10   #1 (permalink)
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Filled my first kiln

Hello - new member but I've been milling for about 8 months now. For one reason or another it's taken me a while to get the kiln filled, but it was switched on last night with 240 cubic foot of Elm (wych, wheatly and lots of burr), Oak, Yew, Beech, Maple and Cherry.

My milling set up is a Stihl 088 with 36 inch bar and mill. I have a 60 inch bar from Rob with all the bits but haven't got round to setting it up yet. I have a 40 inch Oak sat at my yard which will probably get milled with that.

Filling the kiln was utterly exhausting but very satisfying. Highs and lows included getting much more elm than expected (130 cubic foot of the stuff!), destroying a chain on a completely embedded sandstone in the yew. Also, not being able to get suitable stickers meant I had to rip 600m of dry cedar on the table saw!

Lessons learned from the week included:

* Employ a help for the whole week (someone competent with a chainsaw so that they can dimension and prepare the logs ready for milling).

* Have backup kit for everything - when efficiently stacked, my kiln will hold 300 cubic foot plus and something is bound to break!

* Get logs that are as uniform as possible. The more waney edged it is, the more inefficient the stacking and the more space wasted.

* Cut logs to 8ft 10", as that is just a touch under half the length of the kiln. Would make life much easier for stacking!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the week:


A stack of Yew


A close up of some very wide (24 inch) Yew


Posing for the camera with a slab of Wheatly Elm


Stacking the kiln - sending my shorter and more compact colleague up to the top of the stack!

I don't have so many pictures of slabs from later in the week, so nothing of the burr elm sadly.

A question regarding the cherry - I've not milled it before and found it very tough going. Had a good sharp chain on, oiling well and struggling like hell to get through it. Also found it to be very chattery, though the finish was smooth and consistent. The cherry was quite wide (for cherry) at 21-23 inches and also leaking resin, but I can't figure out why it was so slow. It was munching through elm of the same thickness just beforehand at twice the speed.

Jonathan
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Old 01-05-10   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

Regarding the pictures, they're linked from Facebook so if you open them in a new tab/window, they work.
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Old 01-05-10   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

they're not linked up at all mate.
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Old 01-05-10   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

It seems to work for me, but here is a link for the whole album (some random tree work and shed building photos in there too):

Jonathan Robinson's Photos - Photos from Robinson Sawmilling and Tree Works | Facebook
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Old 01-05-10   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

brilliant album there! beautifull wood too, and shed!
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Old 01-05-10   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

Hi Jonathan, Nice boards. What you going to do with the wood after drying?
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Old 01-05-10   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert t View Post
Hi Jonathan, Nice boards. What you going to do with the wood after drying?

Burn it I expect.















Sorry, couldn't resist

Nice work there Big J!
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Old 01-05-10   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

That yew look superb, the elms grain was really pretty too.
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Old 01-05-10   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

Thanks for all the responses!

Josharb87 - the shed was a real trial. Being one of the very first jobs of my own I chronically underpriced it and underestimated the time it would take to build. All timber in it, bar the OSB for sheathing, was self milled. I have a tendency to over engineer, so the walls are double skinned, with moisture permeable membrane. The cladding is 25mm brown ash, with a primarily 2x3 inch Scots Pine frame. I (16 stone) can comfortably walk on the roof!

Robert T - I don't have any plans for the timber other than to sell it. Over the last year I've been fortunate to meet a number of very helpful people, one of whom (Chris Holmes - a cabinet maker/kilner of 35 years) has been kind enough to walk me through the kilning process. I was lucky to get quite alot of very interesting Elm and Yew (between them they make up 75% of the kiln) and I'm going to spend the next 6 weeks marketing it to the the best of my ability. Speaking to a chap at ASHS (Association of Scottish Hardwood Sawmillers) there isn't anyone to the West of Edinburgh milling and kilning anymore, so I'm hoping the gap in the market will allow me to get a foot in. I'm always going to be small scale, hopefully producing 1000-1500 cubic foot a year, but I'm going to try to keep the quality as high as possible. I sell a bit of green timber too, but it's far harder to shift as folk aren't interested in waiting for it to dry.

Cracker and Targettrees - thanks guys!

Jonathan
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Old 01-05-10   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Filled my first kiln

Hi Jonathan, great pics there, that shed looks stunning.

Just a quickie as im new to milling, but whats the remote set-up on the saw throttle you have, and is there any great benefits from it?
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