Milling Your Own Lumber: Granberg's Alaskan Mill Makes It Easy

| 3/21/2011 1:11:23 PM

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.Ever since my boat building days I've wanted to mill my own lumber from trees on hand but I could never quite justify the expense, until recently that is. A couple of weeks ago I purchased a Granberg Small Alaskan Chainsaw Mill with slabbing bars, a new 20-inch bar and ripping chains from Bailey's Outdoor Power Equipment  (for my trusty Husqvarna 357XP saw). I finally got to put the tool to use last Sunday after felling a 20-inch-diameter pine that died two summers ago. Since I promised to build my Partner In Culinary Crime a new kitchen island as part of our kitchen makeover, I wanted to make it special by using as many of the natural resources this farm has to offer as possible. So the island's framing and panels will utilize the pine and the top will give me a reason to mill some lovely American Black Walnut logs that I scavenged from trees we dozed off the pond dams.

 Granbergs Alaskan Chainsaw mill with slabbing brackets 

Once everything was assembled, the first part of my chainsaw milling adventure involved felling the big old pine tree. Luckily it was growing on the edge of the pine grove so I set it down in the open and avoided damaging an adjacent oak tree -- a wedge, driven into the back cut helped put the tree right where it needed to go. There were so many branches on the tree that the trunk was held off the ground. Since I needed material that was 6 feet long or shorter, I cut a 7-foot log off the butt end and rolled it into the open.

Granbergs Alaskan Chainsaw mill: leveling the slabbing bars 

Making the first cut with the Alaskan chainsaw mill is pretty straightforward once, you place and level the slabbing bars. This handy device makes it easy to get a nice flat and true first cut and makes it easy to cut down a log that's a bit wider than the chainsaw's bar.

Granbergs Alaskan Chainsaw mill: making the first cut
5/15/2018 9:45:44 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

12/24/2015 1:08:31 PM

Spell checkers are not your friend!

12/24/2015 1:04:38 PM

I have the exact same setup, saw and mill! I love it and have milled a lot of lumber with it till recently. I noticed that the distance from the guide to the dog end of the bar was 3/4" less than the other end. I got a regular Alaskan mill with the depth guides on both ends. I'm not sure how the variation happened, but I definitely want to fix it. One difference I do is that I'll make the first cut and then continue making slabs clear down. I take my extension ladder and sue as a guide for my circular saw to get the most out of each slab. Once I get a straight edge, the table saw does the rest. Happy stabbing!

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