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Thread: Making boards from trees

  1. #1

    Question Making boards from trees

    Hi everyone. I have been doing very basic woodworking for a few years, but am now interested in more advanced techniques like mortice and tenon, dovetail and even ball and claw. I have a lot of questions but first I was wondering if it is possible to make boards from trees, in my shop. My 14" bandsaw does not have a riser block, so can it be done with a chainsaw? Does anyone know where I can get information on how to do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    14,907
    HI Curtis, welcome to the Family!

    yeah you can make boards from trees, I did it here in >> Tokyo <<

    Where are you located?

    Once you get a saw, and a milling attachment, you will also need a good place to store the lumber while it air dries, which will take about a year per inch of thickness. Most guys cut their wood about 2" thick, so the drying will take around two years.

    Lots for you to learn and do, but it is totally doable.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,107
    Welcome to the Family Curtis

    Stu, you have to provide a direct link to your vid too....it's too good not to. I'll take care of that for you.

    Logging in Tokyo Japan with Stu Ablett.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website
    My Blog- Fine Curlies

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthWest GA
    Posts
    88

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    There is a wealth of information on arboristsite.com in their milling and sawmills section. Mostly chainsaw milling... search the site keying on csm (chainsaw mill) and you will have days of reading about making boards from logs with a chainsaw (and or bandmill). Everything from building your own mill to what kinds of saws, bar/chain combos to how to sticker and dry your milled boards.

    I've been making lumber from logs for years, usually several thousand bd ft a year, but I also have a small handheld bandmill called a Ripsaw to compliment my chainsaw mill. Here are a few pics of both in action.

    Using a csm to slice a poplar log into several cants



    Using the Ripsaw to slice the cant into boards (think of a Ripsaw as a 14 inch bandsaw flipped on it's side with a chainsaw for power)



    Here is the end rusult of of the first 6 boards off the top of that poplar cant



    Taking a slab off of a walnut with the chainsaw mill...



    Here is a couple of stacks of milled logs stickered and drying...


    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  6. #6
    Wow! Thanks guys. I'll get busy reading.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    97
    Hi Curtis.

    Good advice from the guys that are actually running chainsaw mills

    It can be done.

    Only advice I have is - get a BIG saw. Something 90cc or so, unless you are only working with small logs. Milling needs horse power, and a durable saw that can handle running full throttle for 5mins at a time.

    This is some of my DIY board making, although my mill is chainsaw powered it's probably a bit bigger than you are looking at. It runs a 20" circle saw blade and can handle a 5ft dia log.

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...read.php?t=988

    But lots of fun to be had milling your own wood.

    Proud to say I have never bought a piece of wood for woodworking

    Ian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Abraham View Post
    Hi Curtis.

    Good advice from the guys that are actually running chainsaw mills

    It can be done.

    Only advice I have is - get a BIG saw. Something 90cc or so, unless you are only working with small logs. Milling needs horse power, and a durable saw that can handle running full throttle for 5mins at a time.
    I agree... while it is entirely possible to mill a 25" wide log with only a 60cc saw (I've done it, in oak no less, not softwood which does mill easier) not only will it go painfully slow, but it will be hard on your saw. It's not linear though... I found for logs less than 12 inches wide a 60cc saw does fine, just a little slower than something like my 94cc Husky 395. But as soon as you try and mill big wood, the smaller cc saws just don't have the power to pull a chain through that much wood. Also, most milling people I know richen up the saw a bit when using it for milling as these days they come from the factory pretty lean due to emissions output etc. Also, many (I am in this group) run slightly more mix oil, like 40:1 or 32:1 instead of the standard 50:1, but that issue is VERY controversial with lots of knowledgeable folks on both sides of the debate. Main reason I decided to run 32:1 in my 395 was because I got a hold of a European Husqvarna manual for the saw, the exact same saw they sell all over the world, telling the user to use 32:1 in their 75cc and over saws. They omit that advice in the manual sent with saws going to the US and Canada, just saying use 50:1 in all saws. Hmmmmmmm...
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    97
    I mix my Oil the same ratio, 33:1.

    Interesting your comment on the different versions of the manuals.

    When I bought both my new saws, a Stihl and a Dolmar both dealers specifically told me to ignore the 50:1 ratio in the manual and mix in more oil. The official bottle of Dolmar oil, (bottled in NZ) said to mix at 25:1

    The way I figure is that not enough oil will kill your saw instantly, too much oil MAY cause it to wear out a little faster. So erring on the side of more oil seems safer to me.

    Ian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    14,907
    I've always run just about anything two stroke at 32:1, just what I find works the best.

    On a bit of an interesting side note, you do realize that when you add more oil to the mix, you are leaning out the gas fuel mixture, as the oil is not a combustion producing part of the air fuel mixture formula.

    For example, if you are running say a #100 main jet in your carb, and you are at 50:1, if you switch to 32:1 you are putting more oil into the gasoline mixture that gets burnt in the engine, so that extra oil displaces some of the gasoline, which means less gasoline, and a leaner air fuel mixture, remember, the oil is just a lubricant, it is not part of the engine's combustion. So if you go to a 32:1 oil fuel mix, you have better go up a few main jet sizes in your carb......... if that makes sense

    One other thing, if you are going to do a lot of milling, look around for a good used older saw, if you are at all mechanically inclined, chainsaw engines are NOT hard to work on, they can be rebuilt easily, by yourself or a good shop. The older saws, if you can find one, are not very desirable for most guys, as they lack a chain break, which is a very nice safety feature, but on a mill, it will not matter. Also, the older motors have a longer stroke motor, with a bit slower chain speed, but the longer stroke, IMHO is what you want, as it gives you more torque, which, is what really moves the chain through the wood when you have 90% of the bar buried in a log, or at least that is my opinion, gained from experience, on the subject

    Good luck, let us know what you do, and if you do do some milling, we expect pictures

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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