FAQ’s

MILLING – F.A.Q.s

What size lumber mill attachment do I need?

How big are your trees? How wide a board do you want to cut? These are questions only you can answer. Granberg’s Alaskan Mark III Mill comes in six normally stocked sizes; 24, 30, 36, 48, 56 and 72 inches long and all of them will clamp on any size chainsaw bar (except one shorter than 12 inches and some narrow bars). When attaching the Mark III mill to your chain saw, you will lose 2 to 4 inches of width of cut over whichever is shorter, your bar or the mill. Clamping a 30 inch Mark III to a 28 inch bar, will give you an approximate 24 inch width of cut. The optimum configuration would be to have a mill the same length as your chainsaw bar.  

What kind of chainsaw do I need?

We recommend large displacement saws for more effective ripping. However smaller saws will work but are less efficient and some of the bars on the smaller saws are too narrow to mount the mill’s clamping brackets, without pinching your chainsaw bar’s rails.

How much power must my chain saw have?

The general rule is, the more power your saw engine has, the faster the cutting speed. Almost any engine that runs, will cut, it just depends on how much time you want to spend milling your lumber.

General Guide for Chainsaw Power

Log Size

Engine Size

up to 18″ 55cc to 67cc
18″ to 36″ 68cc to 85cc
36″ & larger 86cc to 120cc

How do I make my first cut?

With the Alaskan Mark III Mill Attachment, you need to have a flat surface for the mill to ride on to get a flat even cut. You can nail a 2×10 to the top of the log or you can buy our Slabbing Rail Bracket Set (see next FAQ below).

How long are your Slabbing Rail Brackets?

Our Slabbing Rail Brackets are about 15 inches long and there are two of them in the set. They attach to two 2×4’s that you purchase locally. Attached with the hardware provided, the two rails provide a flat surface to guide your first cut with the Alaskan Mark III or Small Log Mill.  

Can I use my regular chain for ripping?

Your regular stock chain on your saw performs satisfactorily when it is sharpened correctly. All top angles must be the same uniform angle (25, 30, 35 degrees) and your depth gauges must be at the same height, no more than thirty five thousands below the cutting edge of the tooth. For better ripping results, re-sharpen your stock chain to zero (0) degree top plate angle from the 25, 30 or 35 degree angle mentioned before. The zero degree top plate angle reduces the power needed to rip and produces smoother lumber than your regular stock chain. However neither of the above works as well as Ripping or Skip Tooth Chain.  

Do I need an Auxiliary Oiler Kit?

Chainsaws deliver oil to the drive links via an oil hole in the top of the bar at the power head end of the bar. Oil has to travel to the bottom of the bar where most of the cutting is done. For smaller bars and small cuts, this system works fine. For larger bars, 36 ” plus, we recommend our Auxiliary Oiler Kit since it delivers the oil to the cutting surface of the bar. To mount the kit, two holes are required to be drilled through the end of the bar. This allows you to mount the kit on either side so that you can turn the bar on a regular basis for even bar wear.  

How thick can the Mark III cut?

The Alaskan Mark III Mill Attachment can cut boards as thin as 1/4 inch and as thick as 13 inches. Set up and make your first cut, remove this first slab, then use the Mini-Mill to edge the log. This will give you a three sided cant from which dimensional lumber can be cut. Alternatively, the Alaskan Mill can be used for all of the cuts in various ways; Lower the mill and make a second parallel cut, then roll the log 90 degrees and make a third cut, thus giving you a three sided cant. If your mill is not wide enough to make the second cut as described, the log can be progressively rolled and the sides removed to reduce the diameter, so that the mill can fit across the log.  

How fast can I rip lumber?

This depends on the type of wood, the length, the width of cut and the kilowatt output of the saw. Another critical factor is the type and sharpness of the chain. We recommend Ripping or Skip Tooth Chain. It is also very important that your wood is clean and has not picked up dirt or rocks during handling. Remove the bark if necessary. Cutting speeds can vary from 8 feet a minute in narrow softwoods, to 1-1/2 feet a minute in wide hardwoods.