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Wayne's Alaskan mill modifications  RSS feed

 
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I started on an adjustable rack for the mill the day I ordered it. I can't say it was needed from first hand experience because i have nevered used a chainsaw mill before.

My biggest concern was the first entry when using the glide on the log itself. Watching youtube videos, it seemed dangerous and kind of wonky.

I decided that the first cut using a ladder could easily be used for every cut. And if the ladder height could be adjustable, i cut do multiple cuts very quickly without adjusting the height of the mill itself.

I'll be posting what i did soon. Stay tuned if interested.
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wayne fajkus
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I started by setting 2 scaffold ends into the ground with concrete. 12 ft apart. Using the holes, i can bolt a c-channel into the holes,  then move the c-channels up or down on the holes. Each hole is 2" apart.  Dropping one hole will get a slab ruffly 1_3/4" thick. Dropping 2 hokes gives 3_3/4". Each additional drop is 2" added.  The lower thickness from the first drop accounts for the thickness of the bar chain.

Anyways, on one side i drilled holes into the c channel, bolted it to the scaffold, then welded the nut to the channel. Now the bolts are part of the channel and moving is very quick.
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wayne fajkus
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On the other side i slotted the channel.  After the ladder showed up i was able to run the ladder across both channels, adjust the channel up/down to level, then weld the bolt to the channel. Both sides are now level with each other.
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wayne fajkus
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Heres a test run with the worst case scenario in my geography. Live oak approx 20" diameter. Its been down 2 years so its dry.

It was a little floppy so more tweeking is needed. The log rolled a iittle while cutting. I can fix that.

The ladder sagged a little at a 12ft span. I'm going to make a stouter "ladder".

Between the 2 i should have a decent system.
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Hi Wayne, I just happened to be watching this YouTube video and the rails he uses could work for your sag problem.  They remind me of Unistrut which is carried at some box stores (if finding beefy channel iron is a challenge).  

 
wayne fajkus
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Ive seen that video. I thought his first cut system was  genious. Looks like 2x2 square tubing for his ladder.

I 'll go to the steel yard tomorrow. They build steel buildings also, they should know span data. I basically need to span 12ft (11ft 9") with no sag. Actually, no reason i couldnt prop up the middle . Like maybe a jack if needed.

The wood in my area is small. I think in most cases, the surface area after first cut wont hold the mill. Thats another reason I'm trying to use a ladder for all cuts.

But i may be trying to rethink something thats not needed. I dont know at this point. Just gotta keep playing with it.
 
wayne fajkus
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I scored some I beam cutoffs. Just shy of 4ft long. $15 each. Here i am digging them in so they are all level with each other
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wayne fajkus
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I set the log back in flat side down. Very sturdy. No need for clamping. I'll rig up a stabbing clamp for the next time the round side is down.

I blocked the ladder ruffly in the middle. I couldn't push down on either side. But vibrations removed the shim. I'll rig something more permanent for future cuts.

I also clamped the ladder at all 4 corners.

Great improvement over first cut, but tweeking will continue. A hand crank to push the chainsaw will be nice. I'll keep working on it.
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I do not have an Alaskan Mill so I cannot help you much, but wanted you to know "sag" affects most sawmills. Even with mine that supports a log from underneath, if the base is not carefully propped up and shimmed, and even then frost plays havoc with it, I can get some sag in the sawmill. I use a string to set my sawmill up as a level kind of sucks. Jut pull the string SUPER tight.

I am not saying you cannot beat it, I am just letting you know dealing with sag is just a pain no matter what sawmill you have: rotary, bandsaw, chainsaw mill.

I always thought on my old chainsaw mill, I would set a pole up on the far end of the mill, then use a pulley, rope and weight to keep pressure on the cutting edge, adding weight to match your needs. After bringing the saw back to the "start" position, a catch of either a tether or pin, would hold it there. Just a thought.

Carry on, you are doing fine.

 
wayne fajkus
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Thanks travis.

Ok. This time i got the sag out. I clamped ell shaped metal to the rung. Much better. I didnt get up and down movement but i did get some front to back movement. I can screw that bracket into the wood, but i think if i got their hand crank it would alleviate most of it from constant pressure.

The board measure 1.5" on each end. I'm getting happier!
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wayne fajkus
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Wet down the wood to see the grain:

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wayne fajkus
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Todays project was fabbing a handcrank for the Alaskan mill. Pictures should be self explanatory.
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Wayne I'm really digging this thread you started. Great work! I've got a question that's killing me, what are you going to do with this beautiful lumber your creating?! I admit I'm just a wee bit jealous, as it's lumber like this that gets me drooling
 
wayne fajkus
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These peices would be a dining room table. Here is an inspiration pic, but i dont like the legs. Should be able to straighten enough edges where i can dowel them together and leave the live edge on the ends
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wayne fajkus
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To do it will create other needs. This may be a 1 or 2 year thread. Gotta dry it. Gotta buy or make a router mill to get it smooth. Need super straight cuts to dowel them together with bar clamps. The biggest time frame will be drying them. I heard a year per inch of thickness if you do it naturally. A greenhouse with a fan could suffice as a kiln. Lots to think about and do.
 
Travis Johnson
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Not really a "green" way to do it, but a cardboard box and a dehumidifier running exhausting outside the box will also dry the wood fairly quickly. (I thought your log had been cut down for several years though, that would mean it is much, much drier than a freshly felled tree).

Maybe not your thing, but another easy DIY set of legs is sawhorse legs. It is super study because it puts 8 legs on the floor.

As for the tabletop flatness, you could power plane with a hand power plane, or belt sand flat too.
 
wayne fajkus
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This video is great for anyone interested in this. The end shows a router mill in use. Once i saw that i knew it was my method. I think the working area is 4ft x 12ft.  She does a very good presentation.

Watch "Crazy Simple Chainsaw Mill : How To Slab Logs" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/581KA3TZtGc
 
Mike Jay
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Yeah, I've seen that router method in woodworking magazines for flattening warped lumber before you put it through a planer.  I'm guessing it would be pretty easy to make your own router guide system.
 
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:Not really a "green" way to do it, but a cardboard box and a dehumidifier running exhausting outside the box will also dry the wood fairly quickly. (I thought your log had been cut down for several years though, that would mean it is much, much drier than a freshly felled tree).



This time of year, you could setup the dehumidifier-in-a-box "kiln" indoors. The waste heat and humidity would make your home more comfortable! (You could even hide it under a dining room table...)
 
wayne fajkus
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Moisture meter reads 20.4% on the planks. They have. Been on the ground a minimum of 2 years.
 
wayne fajkus
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I just made a cut using the hand crank. It worked very well. Much more relaxing. Less stress on my body.  It works like a second man stationed on the other side.

 
wayne fajkus
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I put the slices in my garage. Its actually drying quick. Its in the 10 to 14% range right now.
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