If you cut at zero or on plane with the grain, you need to use a ripping blade that will assist with chip clearing. For angles closer to across the grain or 90 degrees; that would be more variable and I don't know enough about how it would work as I have only cs milled on plane with the grain. If you slab off 45 degrees; you might be able to do so without ripping blades; not sure and it might depend on the species, but it would probably be a little tricky to do anything big that way as you'd need to raise one end of the log and you'd be running the chainsaw at chest height which is rather dangerous I'll add. I would personally not want to do it as the output is also hard to deal with in drying, but that is just me.
This caught my eye as I just visited a sawyer nearby who runs a unique chainsaw mill with a 24' long bar that runs parallel to the length of the log to produce slabs up to 7' wide and 20' in length. I did not get a chance to see it in action as he had it apart for modification. I have been told, and believe, that it is a very slow process as the entire length of the chain is in the wood. He uses a 20 hp electric motor on the chain. He claims that ripping lengthwise takes less power than cutting across the width of the log due to the cell structure. I am skeptical, but it seems to work for him. Can any of the experienced sawyers here comment?
I just put a 28 inch bar on my Jonsereds 920 with a 10 degree ripping chain. I have a Haddon Lumber Maker to put on it. Hopefully I'll get a chance to check this out soon. If this combo works out well, I may weld up a carriage for a track.
I use an old stiff ladder for my track. I purchased some long 3/8 bolts and chucked the threads and ground the head into sharp points. Then I put u bolts on the runners of the ladder and bolted the sharp studs to the ladder. I drive the sharps into the log for my first cut. I always check the diagonals before starting to make sure the ladder isn't torqued outta square (string works). It is light and hangs on a wall nice and won't rust except the sharps and hardware. I use 6 studs in the ladder and it is a 10' section. Works great, but I haven't done it in awhile. Chainsaw milling is best for softwoods in the sticks or a yard where mills are not available or the sawyers won't cut an urban tree for fear of metal. If u r in Minnesota or Wisconsin; let me know.
My ultimate intention is to mill a bunch of 8"x8" timbers for either timber joinery or post and beam, for a first floor bedroom (16'x20') addition on my home. Since I can live with 7"x7" timbers, the Haddon Lumbermaker, with a 2"x6" guide board, would make something very close.
I once made beams for a small barn 40 years ago using a Jonsereds T50. The flat bottom and uniform front roll was all I needed(no lumber maker involved), and I made beams for a barn that is still there today.
Yes, use a dry, straight 2x2 for stickers and air gap between each beam or it'll mold. My neighbor is the expert on this, but I have chainsaw milled with an Alaskan mill...still have it..he uses a 3" wide board with a groove on the bottom for the strap so he can move the stack without the straps shearing if they get abraded while under tension. Make sure you debark fully to reduce beetles; it is easy to get generous and keep some wane, but you'll regret not debarking it. I get anchorseal from the recycling center here for ends. Seems a lot of homeowners buy it for one board or a deck job and then want to get rid of it later. If you ratchet and sticker; you'll avoid a bottom beam twisting and messing up the entire stack. When you cut; be mindful of where the heartwood ends up in the beam. I am not an expert at beam making, but I can tell you that the pith is unstable in drying, so for beams, I think you want to center the pith in the cut on both ends or the beam will try to twist to accomodate the pith. Mr Wengert might be able to expound or another person. If you use a little care in cutting; you'll not be wasting the efforts and realizing your beams are a twisted mess later. They seem heavy at first, but they move a lot during drying. The ratchets keep the entire weight of the stack working against a board with a mind of its own and deforming all above it-you'll still get some bow the other way unless you cut real well, and even then. But a little care goes a long way and 8x8 beams are like 100+ each for 8'.
The angle of attack let's say from the end grain makes a big difference on how smooth your cut will be. My slabber cuts on an arc and as you can see in the pic, when the bar first enters the log and I'm cutting into the grain I have to cut fairly slowly but once I get past perpendicular to the grain, and I'm cutting away from the grain, it cuts much smoother. If you can angle the bar so the end of the bar is ahead of the powerhead side, you will be cutting away from the grain.
Here is a video link showing my mill.
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