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Alaskan mill vs Mobile sawmiller

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I was just after an opinion on what to do with the ever growing amount of Oak and various other wood lengths we have stored in the barn. We always keep the best looking pieces of wood instead of cutting them up for firewood and would quite like to do something with them. We also have quite a large amount of Sweet Chestnut that could be milled into something more usefull than firewood.


Basically our options would be to either:


Buy a 660 with a 30inch alaskan as most of our wood isn't much bigger than 28"


Hire someone with a mobile sawmill to come and mill them up


I'm currently leaning more towards the alaskan because I could then mill wood as I find it rather than having to collect a large amount and then get it milled. Moreover I'm pretty sure milling it myself would be pretty good fun!



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I would do both.


If you have a big pile, I would bring in a sawmill to clear it. The Alaskan is fun (in a masochistic sort of way) but you really don't want to do a lot of trees with it at a time as it's extremely hard work.


Once the backlog is cleared, I would then carry on with the Alaskan. If you do buy one, get a 36in mill with a 36in roller nose bar. This will just cut 28in without taking the spikes off, but be prepared for a bit of de-barking here and there (a small sideaxe I find to be very useful).


If you also keep a lookout for a 36in hard nose bar to fit, this will give you an extra 3in or so, which can be fitted from time to time when you need it for very slightly bigger stuff. You don't want to use it regularly though, as it takes a bit of power out of the saw which slows it down.



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If you have a lot of timber, hire in a mill and operator to clear it. Make sure to bring in someone reputable as there are some very good and very poor bandmillers around!


If you have the timber at your yard, I would always bring in a woodmizer type saw if it's smaller. If it's over 36 inches, a woodmizer won't easily handle it, so chainsaw mill it. Bear in mind though that you lose around 8mm on every cut with a chainsaw compared to a bandsaw, which adds up hugely.


However, if you have knotty or spiral grained timber, crack out the chainsaw, as a bandsaw band will struggle to cut straight through it.



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