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RossK

first sawmill

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hi thanks for your help sussing out a saw, I'll be taking the 461 tomorrow.

 

Now, I have been thinking a lot more about the Alaskan saw mill set up

and would like to know what you would recommend with this saw.

I know there are different (Kit) brands, so what are your thoughts.

 

I am looking at cutting up some Douglas to make a barn. For wood!

there are several hung up after a storm. I was concerned how long

you could cut with this type of mill, do you need a special ladder. Sorry if that is a daft question I really don't know a lot about these mills.

 

 

Thanks for your help Ross

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You don't 'need' very much at all to mill with an Alaskan but there are various things which make life a lot easier if you have them.

 

The mill is very simple. You carry it to the tree where it lies, set up and away you go, removing liftable bits of timber. However, the first thing you will find is that the logs are never the right way up, so you need some way to lift/roll them. Milling is a lot easier downhill than level, but if you can't set this up then you will find a winch kit makes life a lot less painful.

 

The first cut is made down a flat, level surface fixed to the top of the log. Some people use a ladder (obviously one with no bits sticking up from the face you are working off) but there are other options. The cheapest is a scaffold plank, or at the other end of the scale I use a custom designed bolt-together sectional rail which allows me to go up to 22' with the current parts and could go longer. If you want lengths which are longer than your first cut rail, there are ways to set up to slide the rail down the log but it is fiddly and slow.

 

Most milling with an Alaskan is fiddly and slow anyway. You probably spend more time setting up and adjusting than actually milling. It helps to design your building to allow for this, so for example I would rather mill sections 2" to 4" thick and then rip the edges down if necessary using a big Makita circular saw than edge them with the mill, but if I have to make beams I would rather use the mini-mill than roll the log and square up the Alaskan.

 

Anyone can cut a log into bits, but a lot of the art of milling is in seeing what is in a log and cutting it to get the best out of it but this comes from experience and asking questions.

 

Go for lo-pro bars and chains. For your 461 I would buy a 30" mill, a 36" lo-pro bar and a 24" lo-pro bar. This will let you switch down for thinner sections which will cut faster and be a lot easier to work with. If you do need to make beams and hence buy the mini-mill, the 24" bar will work very well for this, although with care you can run a 36" bar full depth on a mini-mill (I have on the 066!).

 

What you are wanting to do is perfectly practical. Just be aware that it will not be very fast and will be hard work, but it will be very satisfying when it's done.

 

Alec

Edited by agg221

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I spoke with stihl a few days ago about running a 36" bar on a 461. They said the oiler wouldn't oil sufficiently.

A 25" bar they say is max.

I ran a 440 for milling, over 18" it struggles in hardwood.

461 is a great machine but know the limitations.

If I'm wrong and you can pull a 36" bar without buggering it up.

Please post results.

Good luck mate

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Arbtalk

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I spoke with stihl a few days ago about running a 36" bar on a 461. They said the oiler wouldn't oil sufficiently.

A 25" bar they say is max.

I ran a 440 for milling, over 18" it struggles in hardwood.

461 is a great machine but know the limitations.

If I'm wrong and you can pull a 36" bar without buggering it up.

Please post results.

Good luck mate

 

Couple of points on bar length/type.

 

First is that when milling you lose 6" of bar outside the mill anyway, so a 36" bar allows maximum of 30" in the wood. I think from memory 30" or thereabouts is the recommended maximum for the 461.

 

Second is that Stihl's recommendation is for the standard 3/8" pitch, which is what they make and supply. Switching to the narrower kerf of 3/8" lo pro puts a lot less stress on the saw and cuts hugely better/faster. It's worth around a foot on bar length.

 

Alec

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I spoke with stihl a few days ago about running a 36" bar on a 461. They said the oiler wouldn't oil sufficiently.

A 25" bar they say is max.

I ran a 440 for milling, over 18" it struggles in hardwood.

461 is a great machine but know the limitations.

If I'm wrong and you can pull a 36" bar without buggering it up.

Please post results.

Good luck mate

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Arbtalk

 

 

Like a lot of things there is no black and white answer.

 

There are folk that can knacker their saw milling no matter what size bar they use. Others that have no issue with oversize bars on smaller saws.

 

I broke a couple of saws in my early milling days - and it was pretty much entirely my fault - but at the time I didn't think so (cause I was a tree surgeon don't you know with a collection of 12+ chainsaws - course I must know what I'm doing!)

 

You can pull a 36" GB Lo Pro bar on an MS461 as long as you know what you're doing. But there is certainly a greater chance of you buggering up the saw. There is less margin for chain sharpening errors/bad mill set up/saw abuse ie full speed with the saw screaming all the way down the log and then switching straight off at the end/poor sprocket/bar maintenace/poor saw maintenace.....

 

So there isn't really a direct - yes you can run a 36" bar on an MS461 - because it depends on who is running the 461 !

 

:001_smile:

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I've got a 460 and a 660 and has run both with my 24 Alaskan. Using normal bars. Definitely happier running the bigger saw and always worry about chains getting dry. I would say don't push it and 24" would be maximum on a 461 but just my opinion there are some far more experienced guys above. The Alaskan is great and will hold value so a good investment

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How long? 11.5 meters is my record :biggrin:

 

I think the longest I've done is around 7.5 metres, but that was using a 1.2 metre guide plank, running down the bank into a disused canal. That was my first ever milling :001_smile:

 

Alec

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