Is a chainsaw mill worth it?

by John
(Altoona, PA)

Hello! Great work on your cabin. I myself have wielded a broadaxe on more than one occasion and, like yourself, my back can no longer withstand the constant chipping and thudding on a pine log.

The question I have is in regards to the chainsaw mill you used. What setup did you use and how long did it take you to have a log prepared for the wall? What I want to know is, is it worth the money to get a chainsaw mill or should I just have someone come in and bandsaw the logs?

Your input would be greatly appreciated as I have never known anyone personally who has used this method.

Banjoe answers:
Thanks for the question. I used an attachment that bolts to the saw bar and slides down a 2x8. My chainsaw is a Husky 2100.It is an older model from the 80's.It is 100cc with a 32" bar. It was a lot of work.

If I had to do it over I would have the logs sawed with a bandsaw on site one year before use. If you saw them, make sure to stack evenly with spacers that are the same size.(2x2's work good.) I did this last year with some red oak. I cut the slabs 6" thick. They are covered with some old barn tin. Tarps can hold moisture and promote rot and mold.

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Sep 07, 2011
Cabin log size
by: Leonard Bynum

I am planning to build a cabin in a year and would like your opinion. Would 6 inch diameter logs be large enough for cabin walls? Most of my trees lend themselves to this size and not larger.
I plan on using treated wood for the joists and other foundation wood such as the seals which will be on top of a block or concrete foundation. Is this a good plan?

Answer from Banjoe:
You can use any size logs you have available, though it is definitely best if all of them are fairly consistent amongst themselves. Many cabins in the west have been built of pine logs about this size - it just takes a lot more of them. They are lighter, though, so that makes it a lot simpler to raise the walls. In fact, at that size, you hardly need machinery. Two or three strong workers can lift the logs in place and then use a little come along or skid system for the higher ones.

I personally like to cover all treated wood so everything looks authentic, but that is just my tastes. Good luck!

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