Product Review: Granberg Alaskan Mill Mk3

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Have you ever dreamt of creating your own lumber? The small chainsaw mills might be the answer then!

A some point of time I decided to invest in a mill – because I could 😛 As usual I dug around on the internet and tried to decide on the product I wanted, without any previous knowledge.

Picking the mill

Some of the products that came across is the minimill which basically is a bracket you attach to the sword of your chainsaw and use a 2×6/6 as guiding rail. This is probably one of the cheapest solutions, but I just couldn’t imagine how I could control that!

In the other end of the scale the Logosol products rank in with cutting tables and a more advanced chainsaw mount which no doubt provides much better cutting capabilities.

However I picked the middle category where the Alaskan Chainsaw Mill comes in. The good part, I find is that even though I picked the smaller 24″ version, there is an option to buy new bars that allows extending the reach to 48″ cutting width.

Mill

Assembled chainsaw mill

In terms of quality the product is rugged and yet still refined. The tension on the bolts and assemblies must not be overturned due to the fact that the bars are aluminium. Too much tension would make dents and future operations much harder. All the other parts are heavy duty and can take the punishment of working in the woods.

Assembling the product is quite straight forward and doesn’t take long. The guide was accurate and easily leads you through the steps.

One slight drawback of the product  is that when you insert the chainsaw the bearclaw should be removed to pull the bracket as close as possible to the engine, and it’s important not to squeze the roller and making the saw inoperable.

Picking a chainsaw

The second part of the mill is obviously the chainsaw. It’s important to pick a quite hefty chainsaw, which can carry a big enough blade to utilize the full capacity of the mill. My recommendation is to get a second hand professional saw with at least 50ccm volume to provide the power required to drag the chain through a log. Many of the proff. saws are also expected to run twice as long as an amateur saw, and just because they have 1000hours on the clock they should be able to go another thousand.

Secondly the chain used should be specifically made for rip cutting and not cross cutting. The big difference is in the angle on the sheers, where the rip cut is 5-10% and cross cut is 25-30 degreess. Choosing a skip-tooth chain is also preferred because it reduced the amount of resistance from the teeth in the log when ripping. Quite honestly this makes a huge difference in the load on the saw and will change your ripping speed quite a lot.

Cutting Slabs

Now all equipment is in place – well nearly – then you are ready to rip the first log.

In order to establish the first cut you need a straight edge, which can provide guidance for the saw. My preferred option is using a ladder or a very straight piece of wood. You just clamp the wood to the side you want to cut from and run the saw down the plank one time. After this the saw will be riding on the previous cut and they will be as straight as the first cut you made.

Patience is a virtue in cutting slabs if you are using a small saw or do not have a rip chain available. However it’s surely feasible with a slightly worse outcome in terms of surface quality – however unless planking something rough then you will need to plane the wood later for use

20$ alternative?!

Obviously there are some good product out there – however I came across a setup a while ago I’d wish I had seen before buying the mill. If you are able to drill two holes through the chainsaw sword, then mounting a couple of threaded rods to the saw will make you able to space up and make a very similar setup as the chainsaw mill.

Have a look here a bit down on the page

DIY Chainsaw mill

 

I hope you enjoyed the read and please leave a comment if you have some questions or experiences to share!

/Søren

Alaskan saw mill 24 inch


New From: £338.49 GBP In Stock

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