Alaskan Saw Mill

   / Alaskan Saw Mill #1  


Elite Member
Mar 11, 2007
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Anyone ever try one of the Alaskan Sawmills? Start out with a ladder screwed to the log and after the 1st cut you just use the frame of the mill? I've never messed with Rip Chain either.. I have a chance to buy one for $40. Would my 044 have enough snort?
   / Alaskan Saw Mill #2  
Don't plan on doing 1000's of bdft, but if you have the time you can make some boards. My 372 works pretty well in upto 18" softwood.
   / Alaskan Saw Mill #3  
Downside: Slow, noisy, lot of kerf loss.

Upside: You can cut stuff WAY longer than a lot of by your log length/diameter. I put a 36' 8x10 as a main beam in my barn using one.

You can cut the log where it fell....don't have to move the log, just carry off the lumber. That can be handy in some situations.

You're not tying a pile of money up in a sawmill. (But I have a Woodmizer now..... :D )

They are best for larger lumber/beams/etc. They will cut an amazingly smooth cut with ripping chain....which you can make yourself....grind the cutter straight across (90 degrees to the edge) instead of an angle.....that's all ripping chain is.

If you can find the book "Chainsaw Lumber Making" by Will Maloof (I might be a bit off in the name), he was a master of this mill.....lots of tips and tricks.
   / Alaskan Saw Mill #4  
I have one and love it -- have cut boards and beams (two separate rigs for that). I run a Stihl 461 (77cc). I think an 044 would do OK for all but the toughest wood and longest cuts (both power and cooling are important).

While most of my rip chains are just regular chains ground straight across, more advanced rip chains are available. I have one Granberg chain that is setup so that every set of three cutters make a left cut, a right cut, and then down the middle to clear the chip. This results in a smoother cut and is less work on the saw.
   / Alaskan Saw Mill #5  
It is a fun thing to do.
And you can say that you actually made that wood!
We made our own mills, the type that use a 2 X 4 as the guide.
Made up a 3.5" channel to ride a 2 x 4 added a pivot and clamped that onto the chain saw blade.
Not all that efficient and rather time consuming but then we are retired, It is all about the challenge and having fun.

And yes you do want a ripping blade for the saw as it is 2 X faster and the saw runs cooler.
   / Alaskan Saw Mill
  • Thread Starter
Thanks much everyone. I have unlimited 20" Black Cherry, Black Walnut, Maple, Birch and Hackberry.. I just want to putz with it.
   / Alaskan Saw Mill #7  
Look at what is called a beam machine. It is what Piloon was describing. I got one for about thirty dollars. With this type it's quite easy to mill lumber with 90 degree edges.

Picture of a mill I built.
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