Alaskan MK III (chain)sawmill

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. DH is thinking about one of these. Has anyone used them extensively?

    Ease of use?
    How much can you cut before resharpening?
    Is there a better option?
    Pros & cons.

    He has 3-4 chainsaws some bigger/better than others. The best one is a Husquavarna.

    We are bidding on some property that has alot of fir and were hoping to make outbuildings and barn using the trees that are there. Our experience level is cutting and splitting hardwood for heat about 6 cord a year.
  2. I have never used one but I think you need to use specialized chainsaw chains with the mill. The chains have every other cutter or every 2 cutters removed to allow the shavings to be removed by the chain rakers. I would think such a chain would cut very slowly even with a high speed husky. You will probably need to sharpen it very frequently to get any kind of performance out of it.
    You might be better off finding somebody in your area that has a portable band saw mill like a wood mizer. You could probably rent the mill and the sawer for the day for the same price as the chainsaw mill. Good luck.

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    I have not used an Alaskan Chain Saw Mill "extensively". I have no desire to torture myself in such a manner. In a very short time, it became apparant that these things are useless junk......astronomically over rated.

    IMHO, to get the sensation of using one of these mills, do the following: remove hat and everything from your head, then bend over slightly and run full steam, ramming your head into a tree. After you come back to consciousness, and the pain starts, you will have an excellent example of what one of these mills are all about. "Butting your head against a tree".

    The mills are physically hard on a person and not all that easy to use. Sharpening depends on the amount of debris you are sawing through.

    IMHO, here is a better option. Go to Menards/Home Depot/Lowes/etc and pick through the lumber they offer. When you're tossing to the side some of the crap they mix in with the good lumber, remember this, the crap you're tossing aside will be 10 times better than anything you could ever dream of producing with the chain saw mill!
  4. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    Yes, it can work.

    However, a bandsaw mill will pull up to your place down here, and cut some awfully nice (depending on the sawyer) lumber, in whatever dimension you desire, for around $160/thousand board feet.

    I'm sure that there are folks in your neck of the wood that do the same thing.
  5. Problem is that we dont own a big tractor to haul logs out to a yard with. Our current property has 10 plus mature fir blowdowns since Fall and many more harvestable sized (12-18inch diameter). And the property we bid on and will likely get has 5-10 acre of soft fir and some trails navigable with 4wd truck which we do have. Then we have some huge oak and black cherry between the two and some nice maple and cedar. Mobility, functionality and cost ARE HUGE ISSUES. Maybe we should hire someone for a price or barter wood? Time is also another factor. DH works fulltime plus.....
  6. I've got one of those Alaskan sawmill jokes hanging in my shed and
    it'll hang there til I can find another fool to buy it or til some fool buys it at my auction. I'll sell it to you real cheap.

    Yes it takes a special ripping chain. I tried ripping an oak once
    and found that if your chain's real sharp and you've got a lot of staying power, or stupidity, or both, you can cut about two foot an hour. How long would it take to cut enough lumber at that rate for a house? Think in terms of decades.

    Be creative -- find another way to process your logs.

  7. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    a covered wagon crossing america
    Where are you located?I have one of these pices of junk. Need I say more?