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Thread: Latest Toy (for me) from Lee Valley

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    1,088

    Latest Toy (for me) from Lee Valley

    Technically not Neander, but it is an enabler - an Alaskan Sawmill. And I used a small axe to debark the log, and a draw knife to draw down a hump in the log so that counts for something.

    Got some nice boards out of a dead tree on our property that I cut down in December. I believe it is a European Mountain Ash that fell victim to ash bore. My father-in-law planted this tree over 40 years ago. The log was only 52" long, but I got some decent pieces out of it. I've made some small boxes in the past from secondary wood salvaged from the property, but this is the first time using lumber from a tree planted by my father in-law. My wife and I bought our place from her parents 25 years ago.

    As I was reflecting on the lumber, it made me grateful for all of those who plant trees and responsibly log the forests of the world. My father in-law is 92. He has a background in agriculture and has always loved trees. I'm guessing he has planted well over 1,000 trees in his life. He dabbled in real estate development and sometimes when driving around town we run across trees he planted over 50 years ago. So I am really looking forward to make a few keepsakes out of this lumber.

    My Alaskan Mill is the small frame.
    Lessons learned:
    1) A normal cross cut chain that fits your saw works better than a rip filed chain that doesn't.
    2) Debarking a log with a hand axe is relatively easy, but when the log is on the ground, I think it is a young man's game . Oh my aching back.
    3) Even when you are up-wind of the chain saw, they throw a lot of dust towards your face.

    All told I got six boards out of the log. This is the first time I used the Alaskan Mill. I have 3 boards in the 5/4 - 6/4 range and three in the 8/4 thickness. I'm toying with the idea of a bench or two and maybe a coffee table with natural edge, but it will be a year or so before I work this lumber.

    P.S. The draw knife is a flee market find that I've done very little with. For this project it got a few swipes with a 300 and 1000 grit diamond plate. Someone hollow ground the blade so I was able to get it sharp pretty easily, just didn't bother taking out all of the nicks
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    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 03-17-2019 at 8:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    MT
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    249
    That is very cool to get lumber that has a family connection. I may have to give the Alaskan Mill a look. I have seen lots of videos on the band saw mills but knowing I couldn't justify having one the chainsaw mill makes a lot of sense.
    Regards,

    Kris

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Longview WA
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    That's a great story Joe.

    Alaskan saw mills are of interest to me. There is a lot of wood on my property. The neighbor has one, maybe it will be borrowed from him this spring or summer. My chain saw is only 20". That could be a problem with some of my logs.

    Maybe it will work like re-sawing with a table saw and can be cut from both sides.

    For debarking a slick might be less tiring. It is a wide chisel with a long handle, sometimes called a barking spud.

    So what was the latest toy from Lee Valley?

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 03-17-2019 at 2:08 AM. Reason: For debarking
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Vancouver Canada
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    ? New toy was my question too. I bought my Alaskan chain saw mill 3-4 years ago from Lee Valley
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    That is a great story. I've never used a chainsaw mill but have a Woodmizer and I find it so enjoyable to see what's inside a log. It's especially nice to be able to make something special from a special tree.

    A light-weight face mask like a Uvex Bionic can keep the dust away from your face.

    JKJ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
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    Maybe I should have titled this new toy for me. I purchased the Granberg Chain Saw Mill from Lee Valley when they offered free shipping shortly after the holidays. My saw only has an 18" bar. There were sections of this wider than that. I had to bury the blade and come back from the other side to finish the cut. Lee Valley sources the 20", 24", 36" and 48" models. http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...27&cat=1,41131.

    I now pan to add a face guard like the Uvex to my shopping list.

    Jim, a month or two back I split a walnut log by hand that the electric company left when they dropped a walnut three that was too close to my power line. I was surprised at how easy that was. Three metal wedges and one field made wooden wedge and the log was easily opened up. Maybe that would work to break down some of the bigger logs.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the tip, Joe. Itís nice to know it works pretty well.

    I second your sentiment about splitting. John I am not sure how much riving you have done, but for turning sized blanks itís especially straight forward (species, notwithstanding). You can do it with a simple hatchet and deadblow hammer; no big log rolling equipment required.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    7,554
    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    ...John I am not sure how much riving you have done, but for turning sized blanks itís especially straight forward (species, notwithstanding). You can do it with a simple hatchet and deadblow hammer; no big log rolling equipment required.
    I've split wood with froe, glut, & maul. Splitting turning blanks for strength is a good idea when making tool handles and chair legs and such. For turning blanks I prefer to cut with a saw for several reasons. One, the figure in the blank is sometimes more interesting when turning across the grain rather than with it. Also, I want my blanks to have straight sides to show the figure, color, and defects with cracks. (which incidentally makes it easy to write on the side of the blank)

  9. #9
    Hi John, please check your PM's.

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