Milling lumber with a
& Alaskan chainsaw mill
Few people can claim they have the ability to walk into the woods, drop a 3 ft diameter tree, buck and limb it, and then mill the logs into rough lumber right there on the spot. I have assembled a system of chainsaw powered mills and custom built equipment that will do just that. There are many portable bandmills on the market today. They have their place, and if I could afford one I would probably own one. However, they all have one major limitation. You still have to get that 800lb log to the saw and up onto the carriage where it can be milled into lumber. If that log is 100 yards deep into the woods and you don't have a skidder or ATV with a log carrier, you're out of luck.
The 47lb chainsaw powered Ripsaw bandmill allows you to carry the mill right to the tree, so it is truly portable. Along with two 20 lb aluminum guide beams to guide it down the log you can be milling lumber within 15 minutes of setup. In one day I can drop a tree, buck it, slice it into cants with my Alaskan chainsaw mill, and then use the bandmill to mill those cants into 300-500 bd ft of lumber. No single piece of my system is more than 50 lbs, but both mills and accompanying equipment add up to about 300lbs. all together. When I do have to carry it all back into the woods, I can do it in two trips using a small sturdy wagon. Read the article