We need timber in our day to day activities. Furniture is probably the most prominent example of where we need to use timber. We all know that the wood we use comes from trees. But do you know how the wood is processed so that it can be used for consumer use? One of the processes followed is chainsaw milling. And today’s article is for the millers. Today’s article is on Chainsaw milling tips. So, please sit back and relax, and we hope you have a good read.
What is chainsaw milling
A chainsaw mill is also known as a PortaMill or an Alaskan mill. It is a kind of sawmill which requires one or two operators depending on the size to mill logs into lumbers for commercial purpose.
To put it, let me break it down for you into simple steps. Firstly, the big trees are cut down. Then, after pruning and trimming the branches, the whole bark or log of the tree is broken into smaller pieces as per the need or purpose of usage. Then using sawmills, these logs are milled or processed into lumbers or boards of wood. And, then these lumbers are used for the production of other final products such as furniture, construction material, etc.
So now you have a brief idea on how to mill a log with a chainsaw. Now, let’s get straight to the milling tips.
Chainsaw Milling Tips
Tips before you start milling
These tips are some precautionary tips for your safety. Following these will keep you safe and sound. Chainsaw milling can be a dangerous job to do as it involves heavy and sharp machinery, and you’ll be working with massive logs.
- Make sure you’re wearing protective gear throughout your body. Make sure you’re wearing protective goggles, long heavy-duty trousers, gloves, helmet, etc.
- Remember to have a secure grip on the machine and a firm footing for more excellent stability.
- Make sure there are no other people or pets around when you’re milling.
- Check and recheck the equipment for any faulty part as otherwise, it may cause a severe accident.
- Make sure the mill has enough chain oil as you don’t want to stop in between a cut.
Tips during Milling
These tips are for when you’re milling the log into lumber.
- The very first job when you’re milling a big log into straight lumbers or boards is the first initial cut. You’ll need a straight and robust reference to help your chainsaw cut through the wood. There are a lot of materials you can use in this case. The easiest is using a ladder as a reference as it is a provider of good weight and rigidity. Just do not use anything too heavy as you may find it difficult to operate the machine in that case. You can also use plane timber as a reference. Also, make sure that the reference is in contact throughout the log if the log is a big one. Otherwise, the non-contact portions will bend and may also even break or give you uneven cuts.
- Try keeping the log a bit above the ground as it helps with your posture. You surely cannot stay bent over while cutting for too long. Also, try slanting the log a bit if you can as a slope in the direction of your cut will help you with the cutting process a lot. You let gravity feed the mill for a smoother cut.
- Make sure there is even pressure on the mill rails so that they’re flat on the straight reference edge. This will give you a smoother cut.
- Once you’re 3-4 feet deep in the cut, put a wedge in the kerf to prevent the slab from pinching the chain.
- When you’re just about a foot from the end of your log, be ready to control saw mill as it exits the cut and releases the throttle lock. The top slab will become separate. If you’re doing the milling on a slope, then make sure to clamp the plate with a wedge at the beginning point of the cut so that it does not slide off the log. And there you have it, your FIRST board.
- Now for the subsequent cuts, you can do either of two things. You can either keep the initial reference straight edge as your cutting guide, or you can use the freshly cut side as your guide. Using the new edge reduces the vibration to the mill and the kickback and, as such, decreases the risk in the process many folds. Yes, it does add the hassle of removing the initial reference and installing this new one, but if a few extra minutes of trouble reduces the risks associated with the process, then why not.
- Try to make a precision cut throughout the slab. Don’t seesaw through it if you want to avoid a gouged finish.
- If the chain isn’t cutting through, then know that there may be a problem of a dull chain. In that case, you may need to switch strings or sharpen it between each cut. This may mainly occur when you’re cutting through a notably thicker piece of hardwood.
- You may de-bark the log if you want to as it will reduce the blunting of your chains. But this process takes a lot of time as well. Therefore, you may not always need to do it. It’s total up to you if you want to do it or not.
- Finally, remember that you may, at times, need to stop midway into the cut to change the chain or sharpen the chain or any other reason. If so happens, you’ll end up with a gouged finish. To stop that happening, you should go slow with the throttle at first and let the saw ease into the log.
So, this is all for today’s article on Chainsaw Milling Tips. For more of such informative articles, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog as we provide exclusive newsletters, tutorials, promotions, etc. Until the next section, cheers!
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