Alaskan mill?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by InHisName, May 11, 2006.

  1. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey- has anyone had experience with an Alaskan mill? We have some beautiful trees down and had talked to a guy about milling them for half the lumber- until we went to home depot for a handful of 1x4's! Have a rustic porch to add this summer and would like to buy a mill and do it ourselves. Hubby has a brand spankin new Husquavarna chain saw with 30 inch blade- what would we need besides the mill itself? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Chainsaws don't have blades. They have a bar & chain. Lawnmowers have blades.

    Those 1 x 4's you see at home depot will be about 1000 times better than anything you can produce with your chain saw.
    They have been sawn, planed, and kiln dried.

    If you buy an Alaskan sawmill, the end result will be a rough cut board. Ever wonder where the term "thick & thin" comes from? Buy an Alaskan sawmill and you'll know.

    Cut a 1 x 4 with an Alaskan sawmill? Of course its possible. So is excavating ones basement with a #2 shovel.

    Many people that purchase Alaskan sawmills also purchase "skip" chain. Supposedly, it is better suited to sawmilling.
    You'll also need lots of patience. Alaskan sawmills are painfully slow.


    I happen to think Alaskan sawmills have little value. Use one for a day and you'll never again think Home Depot boards are overpriced.
     

  3. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I pretty much agree with Hoop on this. Using a Chainsaw mill is extreme work and slow. I would suggest you take the money you will spend on this --put some with it and hire a sawmill to saw them for you. I have a Woodmizer portable sawmill and they do a good job. If I was going to use a chainsaw mill it would be for beam type lumber not to saw 1" boards. Tell your husband to saw a tree--take a log and lay it flat and saw it in half from end to end so he can get a idea or the time and work before he buys a chainsaw mill!! Good Luck!! Randy
     
  4. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fire-Man's recommendation is the one I'd suggest too. My brother has a Woodmizer, and they do great work. His is stationary (by choice), but I've contracted to have a guy cut for me a couple of times with a portable mill. You'll save a bundle over Home Depot prices, get the wood cut much quicker, and be much happier with the quality of the lumber you produce.
     
  5. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    If someone will cut it for you for halfsies, that's the best bargain... unless you have unlimited free time, an existing very large mother of a chainsaw (small one's won't work...the one I'd have to get would be in the 700$ range)...oh, and you love extremely hard work, and love the smell of chainsaw fumes... *I love chainsaw fumes*, but then I've been told I'm peculiar..........

    I keep thinking I'd like a small bandsaw mill, but my sawyer will cut on halfsies, or trades... and since I have unlimited trees, that's been my best deal. Ex. traded some squirrely cypress and twisting oak logs even/steven for black walnut! Have a barnful of cypress and oak, but shy on b walnut...
     
  6. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And you can sleep nights after pulling off that heist?!
     
  7. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ok- passed the info along. Looks like alaskan mill is out- appreciate the advice!
     
  8. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Hoops right;

    I could show you 12 acres of land "for sale", has alot of pulp pines (8" dia), a pile of flattened out 8ft logs (cut flat on each side) and whats left of an alaskan mill, after 2 years of work.( not mine).
    Good decision.
     
  9. chrisl

    chrisl Well-Known Member

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    If your really not sure you can build your own alaskan type chainsaw attachment for a little of nothing and try it out. As far as rough cut I've put my boards out of my bandsaw mill up against my cousin's logosol (which is a chainsaw mill) and quite frankly his are bit better looking boards. Some will say that you waste to much wood with a chainsaw because of kerf size. But most of these people are oversizing there cuts then grinding the board down to size in a planer, so I think its 6 in one hand 1/2 dozen in the other. Here is the link for the home built chainsaw mill attachment. Hey you might want to give it try, the only thing your out is a few materials your husband probalby has lying around already, a little gas, a little oil, and alot of sweat. Not bad for something you can be proud of and put your name to.......

    www.backwoodshome.com/articles/tresl39.html

    Chris
     
  10. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    I've got an alaskan saw mill hanging in my barn I'll sell you for the price of shipping it to you. Would be tickled to get rid of it.
     
  11. chrisl

    chrisl Well-Known Member

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    Bruce i just PM you I'm interested in it.
     
  12. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

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    Cutting hardwoods is unbelievably slow and difficult. No experience with pine though.