How to Safely Use A Chainsaw Mill [Step by Step]

minutes remaining  Updated On January 10, 2021

A chainsaw is an indispensable tool for homeowners and landscapers to maintain the property. It comes in handy to prune and cut tree branches to keep the property neat and clean. However, when you want to work with large lumbers with the chainsaw, getting a standard chainsaw mill will be helpful.

For this, you would want to know how to use a chainsaw mill. Also, you should know how to safely use a chainsaw mill.

Today, our discussion will include both parts from the building to the use of the chainsaw mill and the proper safety tips.

So, let's get-go.

How to Use A Chainsaw Mill

A chainsaw mill building needs less time and money compared to other pruning saws. Hence, it is an excellent investment for beginners and hobbyists. Also, a chainsaw mill is mobile and can handle the large timbers at ease.

Here, we will describe how to use a chainsaw mill step by step guideline.

Step 1: Have the Right Concept

A chainsaw mill is often referred to as the Alaskan mill. Also, it is pretty simple to use. At first, you select the log you want to deal with the power tool and make a reference edge right on its top. You can use the ladder to prepare the reference edge.

The mill on the chainsaw is a jig attachment, and it accommodates the guide bar. Also, the guide bar is aligned with the straight edge reference line.

Step 2: Cutting to Length

You might use scrap steel or aluminum to build the chainsaw mill frame. Aluminum is lightweight and so easy to maneuver. Also, you might use a t-slot profile with the extruded aluminum. You can opt for the 40mm by 40mm profile for the building process.

The other things you will need:

  • Two 900mm long rails
  • Four 400mm inner bracing
  • Two 500mm verticals
  • Two 100mm small vertical alignments
  • Four 40mm bracket sets
  • Required nuts, bolts, and springs

Step 3: Thread Tapping

You need to use M8 thread to assemble the main frame as well as the four braces on the middle. It is better to use the lathe instead of your hand. Also, use machine tapping to thread them. You might apply WD40 to lubricate the threads for the perfect alignment.

Step 4: Drilling Holes for The HEX Keys

If you don't want to use any special fasteners for the 90-degree but joints, tapping the essential holes will be ideal. When you want to use the standard M8 bolts, you need to create holes of around 6.5-7mm to insert the bolts correctly.

It will allow the HEX keys to pass the holes at ease. You can use a drill to make the holes quickly.

Step 5: Assembling the Mill

Now, you will have to arrange all the parts, including the long lengths and verticals. You must check the joint sequences and the different parts of the chainsaw mill. Once you have ensured the success of the elements and joints, start tightening the joints.

Also, the long verticals must be aligned with the small verticals. It will help you to keep the mill perpendicular properly with the attached guide bar. You might use a piece of hardwood and cut it into the required size for this purpose.

Step 6: Drilling the Attached Guide Bar

You need to find a way to attach the required guide bar with the long verticals. You can bolt the previously tapped hole and the guide bar for linking it with the long verticals.

You must use a few locklite with a medium strength with the bolts while fastening them. It would prevent the bolts from getting loose after a while. You should prepare two holes on the guide bar of 8mm each. We recommend you using a carbide drill bit with the lubricating oil to make those holes properly.

You also need to mark the drilling points with the pencil before you start drilling them. Also, place a piece of mild steel or scarp hardwood underneath the guide bar. It will prevent the burring of the guide bar when the drill bit goes through it.

Once you have prepared the drilled holes properly, clamp the guide bar in the right position firmly. The attachment must be secured with bolts in the right places.

Alternatively, you can use a clamp to connect the chainsaw mill with the guide bar. But it will be more hassle than attaching the guide bar with the mill permanently.  Also, joining the clamp with the chainsaw mill will add extra weight to it.

Hence, the chainsaw mill will become overweight and hard to move.

Step 7: Mounting and Adding the Skid and Guide Bar

Depending on the guide bar length, you need to attach the bolts to the clearance holes properly. After connecting the guide bar with the chainsaw mill using M8 threaded bolts, you will also have to add the skid or roller.

We suggest you attach these rollers underneath the inbound side. You might use the rollerblade wheel for the purpose. The roller allows the chainsaw mill to run smoothly even if it is stopped due to the log surface's unevenness.

When the log surface is even, the wheel works as a smoothening too. And if the surface is a little wonky, the wheel works as a skid. Some people might recommend using the skid instead of the rollerblade wheel, but it needs some tricky adventures for attachment.

Step 8: Attaching Handle Grip and Throttle Lock

You don't need to purchase new grips for the handle. The old inner tubes of the bike will work fine for an ergonomic grip. You might squeeze multiple tubes on each other so that the grip becomes even more perfect and better.

The grip will reduce the vibration and work-fatigue as you cut through large logs into a more manageable size.

Next, you need to connect the throttle lock. The throttle lock allows you to control the chainsaw mill with both hands since you won't have to reach the throttle additionally. A simple zip tie can be used to switch on and off the attached throttle.

Step 9: Preparing the Chainsaw Mill for the 1st Cut

During the wintertime, you might want to maintain the property. It needs landscaping. When you plant to make furniture, you must cut through the lumbers and logs into a more manageable size. Usually, cutting lumber into logs doesn't need a special trick.

You must prepare the chainsaw mill properly for it. For this, ensure that the saw blade of the power tool is sharp. A dull chainsaw blade will result in inferior cuts. Also, it results in injuries. That's why you need to know the safety uses of the chainsaw mill. (The safety tips will be discussed in our following sections).

Step 10: Making The 1st Cut of The Lumber with The Chainsaw Mill

When you plan to make the 1st straight cut with the chainsaw mill, you will have to get a straight reference edge. The proper steps of cutting logs, slabs, and beams are:

  • The slabbing rail of the chainsaw mill needs to be set up correctly. The slabbing or guide rail will allow you to align the cutline with the chainsaw blade properly. The mill of the chainsaw will ride on the slabbing rail. It makes the 1st smooth cut easy and comfortable.
  • When you attach the slabbing rail, make sure that it is longer than the log you will be working on with the mill.
  • Next, use the chainsaw kerf to mount the tiny wedges on it. The wedges need to be installed when you begin the cut.
  • Now position the log into a flat surface and make your 1st cut. The texture might be uneven, and so you need to work carefully on it. Usually, the 1st cut on the log with the chainsaw mill is the toughest one. Hence, please make sure the saw blade is sharp and align it correctly with the log surface.
  • You will have to remove the slabbing rail after you have made the first cut. Then, you will be ready for the next cuts.
  • When you saw logs to prepare beams or cut them into manageable sizes, the 2d cut must be right at the log bottom. Hence, you need to turn the log upside down securely. If the log is too heavy, we recommend taking help from a second hand to flip the log bottom.
  • Then, align the chainsaw mill again with the cutting line. It needs to be parallel with the 1st cut you made on the upper section of the log.
  • Finally, cut either side of the log properly with the chainsaw. These cuts need to be smooth and even.

This way, you can use a chainsaw mill to prepare the logs. Nonetheless, you should not use the lately cut logs directly into furniture making. You must get through seasoning of the wood for it. This way, it would strengthen the furniture more.

How to Use a Chainsaw Mill Safely

A chainsaw mill, likewise, all power tools aren't 100% safe. Although it is most likely to be made with proper safety guidelines, unsafe use might result in injuries. Furthermore, the chainsaw is responsible for different injuries on various parts of human bodies.

Research on the injuries due to lumbers showed that around 250 cases were reported due to mishandling of the log. The chainsaw mill's inappropriate use resulted in over 3400 head injuries and about 18000 injuries around the feet and leg section.

Hence, it is highly suggested that you follow these safety instructions correctly. It includes-

  • The slabs, beams, and logs are heavyweight. So, when you plan to cut them with the chainsaw, make sure you handle them with care.
  • Milling with the chainsaw is different from using other power tools. As you work with logs and cut through the grains, it produces massive dust. Hence, you must mount a vacuum porthole with the mill to collect the dust. Also, cutting with the wind direction will keep the dust and fumed away from you.
  • Always wear heavy-duty work boots while you operate the chainsaw mill. It will protect your feet and leg from injuries. As logs and slabs are heavyweight, it is crucial to cause severe injuries if it falls in your unprotected legs.
  • We recommend you wear a face mask while working the chainsaw mill. It will protect you from the fumes and dust coming from the sawing session. If you operate a gas-powered chainsaw with the mill, face musk protects you from inhaling the harmful fumes.
  • Since logs or beams are often uneven, they can roll and crush on the ground or at your feet. Therefore, you must position the log securely on a flat surface. If you have back pain, it is suggested that you take help from a neighbor or friend to position the weighty lumber securely.
  • A chainsaw mill produces a loud sound as it cut through the logs. Hence, you must protect your ears from any damage. You might use the headphone or hearing protection to safeguard ears from the deafening sound. It will reduce the sound effect and make the cutting session pleasant.
  • Always wear gloves in your hands to avoid figure cuts. It is vital as, unlike pushing small pieces of wood with a push stick, you will have to push the chainsaw blade directly at the log. So, your fingers will come close to the blade.
  • Always use the straight edge to cut through the logs. Also, make sure you wear tight fitted cloth as the whole chainsaw blade will be exposed while you operate it.

Conclusion

A chainsaw mill will make your log cutting sessions comfortable and easy. When you know how to use a chainsaw mill and follow the safety guidelines, the whole process becomes even more interesting. Thus, our detailed instructions on the chainsaw mill manufacturing uses and safety tips will be one heck of an addition to your woodworking career.

Nonetheless, we would look forward to hearing from you if you any suggestions on the chainsaw mill's safe uses. Lastly, when you are done with the power tool, store it in a secure location so that kids and pets don't reach it.