Jun 03 Alaskan saw mill by Adrian By Tracy

As an entry level mill, I think the Alaskan saw mill is brilliant.

My problem was and is cutting beams 8″ X 8″ X 6M and 10″ x 8″ beams, with the added problem of having to hand carry the milling equipment into the wood.

For the guide rail you can use a straight rigid plank or even an aluminium ladder, I needed to cut 6M and my ladders aren’t long enough so I got two lenghts of 40mm square hollow section steel @ 7.5M and the made a series of 4 supports for the rails.

I take time to get the first cut accurate then the rest is easier. The second cut to whatever thickness you need is done using the surface you have just cut as the guide. The third cut @ 90 degrees is done with an Alaskan Minimill and a pre-made guide rail, the final cut is done using the Alaskan mill III again.

Forchainsaw, for slabbing I use a Sthil 660 with a 36″ bar and a ripping chain, its too long for the trees I have so I suspect a shorter bar may be more economical on fuel. For use with the Minimill I just use the general purpose saw I trained on, the Sthil 230 with an 13″ bar and normal chain.
I use the Stihl 230 to put the staight edge on the plank / beam so it is bit slower but means I only need to set the saw into its jig once perday. In the photo’s the planks are Scots pine and will be used for the (rafters ? 8″ x 2″) of my bothy, the the 8″x 8″ & 10″ x 8″ are to be the load bearing members and are Larch.

(Adrian’s comments taken from the discussion on the swog forum on milling.)  Take a look at the forum for more questions and comments from other readers.


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