syncro's trail blog
Posted by: Silk
you are using an Alaskan Sawmill on that 0200 ?
If yes or no I am very interested on how ya did it.
The two pieces behind the saw were one piece and I ripped it freehand using a 2x4 laid loose on top as a guide. That single piece had originally been cut from that log using a beam machine - you can see it a few posts above. That long piece on the right of the pic is 5"x5" and is about 20ft long, I cut that using the beam machine and the big saw too.
When I need to mill beams I bring in my screw gun to screw the 2x4's to the log. I lay it out using a chalk line and use a 6ft level to keep the 2x4's straight as I screw them down. Those 2x4's have been sitting out there for a few years and they're mostly straight still, the level just helps to make sure they're straight. The level is nice to have if you're setting posts as well. I use 4" screws to make sure they get good bite into the log and I run the 2x4 about 2ft past the end of the log to make sure the cut is square the whole length. Next time I go I'll make a vid.
The cool thing about the beam machine is that it's cheap and easy to use and you end up with pretty straight cuts. They're also super easy to pack. I don't mind cutting freehand, it just takes more time and concentration. Some people complain that the beam machine doesn't sit tight enough on the 2x4 so they wobble a little bit, but they're not really meant for precision milling. I like the looser fit as it slides along the 2x4 pretty easily. If you wanted a tighter fit a few wraps of electrical tape around the sides would help tighten things up.
Below is a vid that shows what it is and the next vid right after shows it in action. You can get them on Amazon for $70 and something similar in the link below for $36. I paid $40 for the original one from Quadra Tools a bunch of years back but it looks like they're no longer in business. The price of Alaskan mills have come down so much tho that most people that have a good saw would probably just go that route.
Instead of using large nails to tie structure supports together and wanting something less expensive than bolts I've switched to using ready rod.
It works great and there's no waste in terms of bolt length.
Worst part of trail building is digging out stumps