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Thread: would an Echo CS590 be able to be used as a chainsaw mill?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Midland MI
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    would an Echo CS590 be able to be used as a chainsaw mill?

    I have some maple trees by my property upnorth that have awesome spalting. I was thinking of getting a cheap chainsaw mill, but I don't have the money for a bigger saw. This would probably only be used for a few trees about 18in width max. My current blade is a 20 inch, I know you lose a little to the guard. Is this possible?

  2. #2
    "Is it possible?" yes it is possible. I don't think you will be able to cut 18" wide wood but you should be able to trim the wide sections back a little and get it done. It will NOT be optimal and may wear out the saw, almost certainly will feel worn out yourself.
    _______________________________________
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2015
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    I always heard the a 24 inch bar at a min. is required and a min. of 60 cc saw. I have a saw of the minimum size and used a ripping chain at it was not something I could say was enjoyable. and the results were just ok. I was cutting hardwood , pine might have been a different story.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    cleveland,tn.
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    forgot to mention bought a portable band mill never looked back!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Mountain City, TN
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    I have a Stihl with an 18" bar. I was able to get a 30" wide pine slab from a tree that we had. I used a mini mill that clamps to the bar. The mini mill rides on a 2x6 with a rail. I used a regular chain, sharpening it often.

    Attached (I hope) is a picture of saw and mill cutting a maple log about 18" diameter.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    I have a small 20" bar on mine, and used a cheap guide that clamps to the bar and rides on a 2x6 that I screw to the top of the log (saw cuts vertically). I can then square it off and split it into 'beams', which are manageable to run through my stationary band saw.

    I reground a chain for ripping (probably the most important aspect for this type setup is a sharp chain).

    It takes some time and effort but is doable, and short money (the guide I bought was under $30 and I had an old chain to regrind). And I got several pieces of some figured cherry this way that I would otherwise have put in the wood stove.

    So yes, do able. No, I would not want to make hundreds of board feet with it. And you can try it out cheaply and decide for yourself if an upgrade is worth it. Personally I learned:

    1) Logs are heavy. Wet logs especially heavy. So lots of support equipment needed. And my body doesnt like it the next day.
    2) Chainsaw mills are somewhat slow. I would not want to use them if any significant volume needed.
    3) Bandsaw mills are available for not that much money if you were doing a lot (but again a lot of supporting equipment needed)
    4) Quality logs are not all that easy to come by (for me). Careful of metal in the logs...
    5) There are a LOT of craigslist ads with rough cut lumber for sale, or guys willing to come cut your logs. Or you take it to them.
    6) You still have to dry it. Mine sits outside for some time (years) before I use it. Takes space and doesnt fit in with the neighborhood.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midland MI
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    Thanks everyone,

    The logs are pretty remote in a hard to get to area, I have had a bandsaw mill cut stuff up for me at home. I have a old farm barn I have used to dry wood.

    I have a 18 inch Delta bandsaw one Idea I had was to cut some big thick chunks with chainsaw then cut into boards on bandsaw.

    I figured it would be slow, it may be a one time thing or I may not even mess with it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    6,108
    I milled over 3000 BF with an Alaskan mill, but I use a Husky 385XP with a 28" bar and Oregon ripping chain and a supplemental oiler.



    With a 60 cc saw or smaller you will have a really tough time and anything short of a pro quality saw will likely die an early death.

    For going to the log in rough terrain, however, a chainsaw mill is about the only low cost option. Hard work, though.

    John

  9. #9
    You could probably build yourself a small log arch, and pull the logs out with an atv.

  10. #10
    Cody, several times in the past, I have finished up jobs that were started with a chainsaw mill that killed the chainsaw, or the operator just gave up. 18" diameter logs are a piece of cake for almost any bandmill. Costs overall where somewhat higher, they had my (IMO very reasonable) fees, plus the cost of replacing the chainsaw they ruined.

  11. #11
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    Midland MI
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    I am going to give it a try. I found a cheap used alaskan mill and only have a few logs. I run a test yesterday with a somewhat dull normal/non ripping blade and it did pretty well. Saw did not seem to struggle. I will give it a shot and see how it goes.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    MA
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    Any update on how it went? Pictures are ideal....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
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    390
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I milled over 3000 BF with an Alaskan mill, but I use a Husky 385XP with a 28" bar and Oregon ripping chain and a supplemental oiler.



    With a 60 cc saw or smaller you will have a really tough time and anything short of a pro quality saw will likely die an early death.

    For going to the log in rough terrain, however, a chainsaw mill is about the only low cost option. Hard work, though.

    John
    Jon,
    How is you picture visable to me an no one else's are?

  14. #14
    I used my new Echo CS590 with 27" bar to mill up this American Elm. It went well I really liked it. I used my Hayden Lumber maker and a perfectly leveled 2x6 with plenty of homemade oak wedges to shim up and stabilize the 2x6 along the length. I then cut slabs with my Granberg G777 chainsaw mill with plenty of homemade oak wedges to hold the cut open. It was hard work but it turned out well. I don't know about you gals and guys on the east coast but this American Elm and the Chinese Elm I have been milling build up silica in the wood from the soil here in California and it dulls any steel cutting edge very quickly just have to stop and sharpen the chain rather than fighting it because a dull chain will drift. The American Elm log was 2 feet diameter by 8 feet long, the main crotch is 24"x27" these are going to make some nice live edge tables when dry in 4 years. Good luck take your time and your CS590 will treat you well, I did use the store bought premix 50:1 fuel I think it has a higher octane than at our gas pumps. https://youtu.be/DAlzrgVsGPE Leland
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Columbus Ohio
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    390
    Why can I see the pic in this post? I am not a paid member.

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