hi I’m Cressel Anderson this is Makercise. In this episode I’ll show you how I build this chainsaw mill from scratch.
Before I get into the details of how I made this mill from scratch, I’ll take a
moment to describe what a chainsaw mill is and why they’re a great accessory for
your chainsaw. A chainsaw mill is basically a system that’s designed to
bolt or clamp on to your chainsaw to constrain its movement. Chainsaw mills
are a good middle ground between buying milled lumber and investing in your own
full-scale mill. The best part is: this tool is an accessory to a tool you
should already own. By helping guide your saw the chainsaw mill can make flat cuts
repeatably. Such repeatable flat cuts are useful for cutting logs into slices down
their length. These slabs are great for tabletops or to further process into
milled lumber for your woodworking projects. Now that you have the context
let’s get started building this thing. The first step is reducing raw materials
down to appropriate lengths. Then I clean them up with the grinder. With the parts
pretty much ready to go, I turn my attention to fabricating a jig for
constructing the clamps. These clamps go on either end of the chainsaw bar, and
they’re what allow you to adjust the deck height relative to the bar. The jig
just serves the purpose of fixturing the clamp and the clamp upright for welding.
This way I can get both the inboard and outboard clamps pretty close to
identical. I remove a little bit off of the thickness with my planer because
this jig serves double duty. It also helps align the upright guide to the rib.
I line up the clamp bolt pads and then just tack them into place I’ll go back
and finish weld these later, but initially I’m just trying to get them
tacked into place. It’s important that the bar clamp pads are parallel to each
other. Therefore it’s important that they don’t move around when you’re welding
them that’s why I’m using locking pliers to secure it to the clamp. The next really important bit is that
the holes that you drill in the clamps line up with each other. And I did
this before I welded them to the clamp uprights and that way I could be sure
that when I had a fastener and the one end the hole that I drilled through the
other end was perfectly aligned between the two halves of the clamp–upper and
lower half. Since the inboard and outboard clamps may or may not be
identical it’s important to distinguish between them I just used an awl and kind
of dimpled in the letter A on one side and the letter B on the other side that
way I can keep them straight. With the clamp bolt pads in place, I had to do a
little bit of modifications to the template. I did that with my router and
that will accommodate a little bit of extra protrusion from the clamp bolt
pads. Then I went on to start welding it up. You probably remember my chain saw
milling video from late 2015 and you may remember that I had some
issues salvaging the logs from my dad’s red oak tree this mill is the answer to
my old chainsaw Mills lack of capacity I designed this mill to accommodate a
variable length bar but I settled on the monstrous Oregon power match 34 inch bar
well okay maybe it’s just monstrous relative to my old 20 inch bar at any
rate I’m pretty happy with that bar selection it’s handled everything I’ve
thrown at it so far and at the time it represented a pretty good trade-off
between the incremental cost for a longer bar and capacity. I used an angle
grinder to dial in the notch in the rib to accept the upright guide. After I had
that notch pretty well where I wanted it I again used my jig to help me line it
up for welding. Then I cleaned it all up with an angle grinder.
I cut the upright support out of a piece of angle iron. This piece mounts in
the interior of the rib assembly and provides support for the upright guide
as well as a place to mount the upright lock bolt. I cut a notch on the interior of the
upright guide this window is where the upright lock bolt will enter the upright
guide to effectively lock the upright into a fixed height relative to the deck.
After I had the upright support welded into place, I cleaned it up with an angle
grinder and turned my attention to fabricating the upright wedge this
little piece along with its handle is inserted into the upright guide and it
provides a bearing surface for the upright lock bolt so that that way it
doesn’t mar up the surface of the upright. It can effectively transfer the
clamping pressure from the bolt to the upright. One thing that I didn’t do
initially that I think is a good idea is to add a nut to the upright guide
support and that way the upright locked bolt has a little bit more meat to bite
into. I’m just not sure that 1/8″ angle iron with threads cut into it is
quite enough to have good durability over the long term. I mounted both ribs
on to the upright of a single clamp and this fixtures both the ribs so that I
can match drill them it’s not super critical but doing this allows me to
match drill the holes and then when I install the rails they will be parallel. I cut the rails to length from a long piece of extrusion. And then I squared up
the ends using my table saw sled. The 80/20 hardware that I bought is a
little bit long for the rails so I had to cut off the end and I just did that
using a little piece of scrap and my bandsaw. Once my hardware was shortened up a little bit I assembled the ribs to the
rails for the first time to kind of get a feel for what this thing was gonna
look like. I used some L-shaped connectors for 80/20 hardware. And that’s how I connected all the rails together. I assembled the chainsaw mill and test the
fit with my chainsaw. After doing that I moved on to fabricating the crank
mechanism. I welded on braces to both the fore and aft crank support brackets. The crank rod is mounted through the top of the crank support brackets, and its job
is to be a spool essentially for the rope that I’ll use to pull this chainsaw
mill through the logs that I’m milling. I matched drill a hole in both the crank
support brackets to fit this crank rod and then I just trimmed it up to make it
a little lighter and look a little nicer. I installed the crank support brackets
onto the rails of the chainsaw mill again just using that modified 80/20
hardware. I installed the crank rod into the crank support brackets and that way
I could get a feel for how long I wanted that crank rod to be. I marked it with a
sharpie and took it over to the chop saw and cut it to length. I threaded both
ends and one end gets a thread quite a ways back onto the crank rod. That extra
length is to accommodate securing the crank rod between the support brackets
and it also serves as a mounting point for the crank arm and handle.
The crank arm assembly consists of a piece of flat stock a piece of rod stock
and a nut. I use a bolt to hold the nut into place while I tack it on to the
flat stock. The handle is made from a piece of pine dowel, cut to length, and
then drilled down it’s center So that it can slide on to the crank arm assembly. I added some texture to the handle using a utility knife and then I charred a
handle using my propane torch. I sanded the handle and then I gave it a couple
coats of lacquer. I cleaned up the crank arm assembly with an angle grinder, and I
paid special attention to that joint between the rod stock and the flat stock
where the handle will be bearing. I took a little bit of material off of the ribs
to lighten them and improve their appearance. I used some acetone to clean up the parts. Then I hung them from a rack, and gave him a coat of black spray
paint. I drilled out the holes on my pulley to accommodate the 80/20 hardware.
I trimmed the clamp bolts to length once the chainsaw mill was assembled. There
are a lot of off-the-shelf chainsaw mill options, and I’ll put links to some of
the most popular ones down in the description. But if you really enjoy
exercising your inner maker, you’ll want to build your own chainsaw mill. If
you’re interested in plans for this chainsaw mill, I’ll have a link down in
the description. It has the full parts list and dimensions that I use to make
this mill, in addition to specific recommendations based on my actual
experience using this mill. In a future episode, I’ll demonstrate the use of this
mill in the meantime check out one of my previous chain saw milling episodes. I’ll
leave links down in the description.

How to Build a Chainsaw Mill from Scratch
Tagged on:                                                                                                     

100 thoughts on “How to Build a Chainsaw Mill from Scratch

  • January 25, 2018 at 7:08 pm
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    PLANS: https://makercise.com/chainsaw-mill-plans/
    34" Bar: https://amzn.to/2U6Qnkw

    Reply
  • January 27, 2018 at 5:13 am
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    Is it possible to turn that wench the other way so it will pull the chainsaw Mill easier?

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  • January 27, 2018 at 11:50 pm
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    I agree, I may install the pully more center of the crank. Got a few projects to finish up, go get my cedar trees before I can build this. As soon I finish my trailer I'm going to do a video.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2018 at 9:05 am
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    So the upright?

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  • March 14, 2018 at 6:34 pm
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    Nice build!

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  • March 31, 2018 at 3:52 pm
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    How much did you spend on this project?

    Reply
  • April 9, 2018 at 1:08 pm
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    Question about the hardware that connects the Extrusion aluminum together. I found McMasters Web site but don't know the part number of the connection hardware. Please and thank you for that number.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm
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    What is the cost of the Fusion 360 software?

    Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 3:31 am
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    What size of chainsaw are u using?

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  • May 4, 2018 at 5:06 am
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    Great build.
    One recommendation I have is to look into a table for your band saw. I have one from swag off-road and love it.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2018 at 10:53 am
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    Very talented and precise. Ty for sharing

    Reply
  • May 13, 2018 at 11:20 pm
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    Tpdo rsta muy bueno . Sigan enseñando

    Reply
  • May 21, 2018 at 11:56 am
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    Fantastic job!

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  • May 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm
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    Where did you get the slotted aluminum stock?

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  • June 2, 2018 at 12:04 am
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    You over complicated a simple mill mate

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  • June 16, 2018 at 12:31 am
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    Pyrrhic victory Mate? It's just cheaper to buy one right once you figure all your time and tools?

    Reply
  • June 23, 2018 at 2:32 pm
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    Logosal chainsaw mill mere ko khridana hi Kya price hi mo 9199463521 call kre

    Reply
  • June 28, 2018 at 8:28 am
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    is it for sale?

    Reply
  • June 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm
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    pi..phon.no..fre

    Reply
  • July 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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    or "How to Build a Chainsaw Mill from Scratch for $5000 worth of heavy workshop machines"

    Reply
  • July 15, 2018 at 8:59 pm
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    traducir en español

    Reply
  • August 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm
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    nice build, but guys a wench is a female servant. lol what he has is a winch>hahaha

    Reply
  • August 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm
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    not complicated enough.

    Reply
  • August 28, 2018 at 4:46 am
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    call mi

    Reply
  • September 3, 2018 at 4:19 am
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    But that terrible harbor freight ac splatter box flux welder. Upgrade yourself to something anything else. There's no DC rectifier so it's even worse than a normal dc might using flux. I'm sure I could build one and like said fun to watch but I'm not paying for plans. And I can buy one cheaper than my time and materials. Most people won't make one if handed tools and materials

    Reply
  • September 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm
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    You pretty much lost me after you cut the square tubing to size. It gets a little complicated.

    Reply
  • September 10, 2018 at 12:10 am
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    Yeah, No….

    Reply
  • September 11, 2018 at 11:53 pm
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    You can buy these right? No need to watch one being made with loads of equipment that I don't have.

    Reply
  • September 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm
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    There's a reason 173k have seen this and only 65 commented…..total waste of the 90 secs I watched before searching for a simpler mill build.

    Reply
  • September 24, 2018 at 4:09 am
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    Wow, lots of tools to make one, I do like it but just ordered one off eBay for $70 shipped. Eager to try it out. Thanks for the vid!

    Reply
  • September 25, 2018 at 8:51 pm
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    Dam your shit at welding

    Reply
  • September 26, 2018 at 5:50 am
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    This is just me, But i think it would be so much cheaper to buy one already made out of aluminum, then to make it like you did our of all that steel…

    Reply
  • October 1, 2018 at 2:16 am
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    A showcase of how many tools are needed to make a simple alaskan chainsaw mill.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm
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    Your mill labor worth $1,000, while a factory made alum. mill att. only cost $175, and happy to see you enjoy your labor of love……

    Reply
  • October 27, 2018 at 11:34 pm
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    O viet nam co chua vay.ai bt dia chi cho mih voi

    Reply
  • November 1, 2018 at 11:52 pm
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    Ok 1 not everyone has all those tools or access to them to do that just once ide like to see someone make a video without using welders an a bunch of other crap to make a useful thing

    Reply
  • November 2, 2018 at 2:35 am
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    Yup an i can get an alaskian lumber maker for 250 with the railing system but i was lookin for an inexpensive way to make one an not have all kinds of bs to do

    Reply
  • November 2, 2018 at 2:37 am
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    An have to get ur video is good for those who got money burning a hole in there pocket an to waste but for most people they havent got 600 to blow on diy projects that require a bunch of tools an materials

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  • November 5, 2018 at 12:31 pm
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    It's a shame this guy doesn't pay a bit more attention to detail.

    Reply
  • November 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm
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    Kg biet o vn co may thu may chưa.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 4:00 am
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    Really enjoyed the video. Want to do one myself. For all the complainers here, if you don’t have all the gear, then go buy one. If you do have all the equipment like I do, then go ahead and enjoy the experience of making your own from someone who laid the process out from start to finish. I am sure there are many units out there for the buying, but there is nothing like using something you’ve made yourself.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2018 at 5:45 pm
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    Wish you youtubers would learn to weld!!

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  • December 5, 2018 at 5:47 pm
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    And yeah you can't get much more complex than this!!

    Reply
  • December 14, 2018 at 6:42 am
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    Thank you  ,will buy

    Reply
  • December 21, 2018 at 10:50 am
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    I have only one question how much does it weigh?

    Reply
  • December 21, 2018 at 11:40 am
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    Gửi về việt Nam 1 cái anh ơi

    Reply
  • December 21, 2018 at 2:16 pm
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    The longer the bar the less your saw will work. The shorty the blade the better. But have you a couple of different size bars and chains and you got something.

    Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 3:06 pm
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    Go for the bandsaw mill build!

    Reply
  • December 27, 2018 at 6:25 pm
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    Thank you from someone who likes to build.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm
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    Good grief Charlie Brown, watching your video with all of the explanations was extremely annoying. “Upright guide connector… Crank support bracket… Crank rod…” It feels like I’m reading a super annoying set of instructions that come with IKEA furniture! Either way, thanks for sharing. I did watch the whole video.

    Reply
  • January 3, 2019 at 9:08 pm
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    i will follow your project to make it =) can't wait for all the good wood i have to cut into logs to make knife handles

    Reply
  • January 12, 2019 at 7:20 am
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    oooh, so all i got to do is buy $5000 worth of tools to make me a $200 chainsaw mill jig. then find another video that will give real details on how to make a jig. thx ill jump rite on that

    Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    What you do with a whole bunch of instruments and completely without brains.

    Reply
  • January 23, 2019 at 2:38 am
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    Never heard someone explain so much yet fail to actually teach anything, like at all..

    Reply
  • March 9, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    So what do we need to buy? What are the measurements? Horrible video.

    Reply
  • March 13, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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    Fuck I'll buy one

    Reply
  • March 18, 2019 at 8:36 pm
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    Qué precio tiene.vivo en Colombia

    Reply
  • March 22, 2019 at 4:06 am
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    Great respect, just thinking out loud. Don’t take this as a negative I think you created a lot of trouble for yourself by keeping your long bars twisted at a 45 degree angle

    Reply
  • March 24, 2019 at 10:56 pm
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    wounder how many times you said "upright"

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  • April 4, 2019 at 11:17 pm
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    Hey makercise I purchased the plans but I havent been able to view them… what program should I download to access the files?

    Reply
  • April 9, 2019 at 3:06 am
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    You effectively convinced me to just go spend the $300

    Reply
  • April 22, 2019 at 3:18 am
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    Great job. For those people who think it took too many tools….. or time…..or too complex…..quit watching diy videos. Many tools or projects people build require a variety of tools and most of the time end up costing way more than what you can buy them for….from China. That’s not really the point. If you want the cheapest tool to do your mill work, by all means, go buy one. The author of this video didn’t say it was going to be cheaper or very quick to build. He decided to build his own quality tool and share his experience with those of us interested in watching. I appreciate the craftsmanship. And in the end, he’ll end up with a tool he can pass onto someone who hopefully will appreciate it. Again, great job pal. Don’t let the nay-sayers drag you down.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2019 at 9:34 pm
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    Way to make something so simple, Alaskan mill, into something so complicated. BTW if you can afford all the shit you used to build it you can probably afford a real saw mill. 👎

    Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 3:46 pm
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    Wow so many nay sayers. Go watch a unboxing video or an marketing ad for a tool. So many salty commenters saying it's cheaper or better to buy, I think somebody is just jealous of this guy's skills. It's doesn't take skill to buy tools you know 😉

    Reply
  • May 30, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I'll have to remember this once I have every tool known to man 😁😁😆😆😂😂😭😭

    Reply
  • May 31, 2019 at 1:43 am
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    La luz de la soldadura lastima la vista de quienes vemos el video! 😒

    Reply
  • May 31, 2019 at 1:48 am
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    Dislike por mostrar la soldadura 😠

    Reply
  • June 3, 2019 at 2:35 pm
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    Too much trouble for something I can buy for 100.00

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    …….. upright……..

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    …….. upright……..

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 7:38 pm
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    …….. upright……..

    Reply
  • June 26, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    Channel saw completely rate

    Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 3:43 am
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    Haha. Waste of my time

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 5:58 am
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    Holy hammered dog shit Batman. Could’ve saved yourself about half of those steps and spent the extra time practicing those booger trails you call welds

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    Me gusto el vídeo pero por favor seria muy útil que lo traduzcas al español haslo… Gracias por el video

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    This is for folks who have the skill set, tools and a love of building things, otherwise go to a lumber yard.

    Reply
  • August 3, 2019 at 1:49 am
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    Fantástico

    Reply
  • August 31, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    If you’re making a how to, maybe include dimensions. Otherwise it’s not helpful. 🙄

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm
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    Buying a Camyra chainsaw mill 3, 2, 1…

    Reply
  • September 13, 2019 at 5:10 pm
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    Btw.. Nice job.. But don’t have that much equipment to build it.. 😁

    Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    Spani plis. No entiendo el inglés pero good. Good

    Reply
  • October 19, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    No sizes, measurements? Basically useless.

    Reply
  • November 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm
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    BAD
    VERY BAD SUND
    BAD
    BAD
    FAK

    Reply
  • November 11, 2019 at 7:25 am
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    คนไทยที่เข้ามาหาแบบทำ

    Reply
  • November 26, 2019 at 5:26 am
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    Vy nice job!
    tnx for video!

    Reply
  • November 27, 2019 at 6:40 am
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    Wow you can just save yourself the hassle and buy one for 200 lol

    Reply
  • December 3, 2019 at 5:15 pm
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    I can buy one on Amazon in about 10 seconds

    Reply
  • December 31, 2019 at 12:17 pm
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    Do yourself a favour and install an oiler. Some wood is very dry and the saw oiler cant keep up. It should be installed on the cutting side of the bar- just after the nose. That way you will have lots of oil to keep your bar from burning up.

    Reply
  • January 7, 2020 at 3:37 am
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    Me interesa cuanto cuesta soy de méxico

    Reply
  • January 10, 2020 at 8:48 pm
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    Gostei da invenção para motoserra…Sai Quanto para ser enviado para o Brasil

    Reply
  • January 21, 2020 at 5:39 am
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    Chainsaw killing in gta vice city is awesome.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2020 at 8:21 pm
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    Absolutely back breaking slow hard work cutting oak or elm build a band saw

    Reply
  • February 4, 2020 at 4:23 pm
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    Maybe 80/20 tubing would have been easier?

    Reply
  • February 11, 2020 at 7:39 am
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    I need a one set

    Reply
  • February 11, 2020 at 7:26 pm
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    What size saw are you using do drive that monstrous bar?

    Reply
  • February 16, 2020 at 5:28 pm
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    I can do everything but weld. I have a welder but not clue on how to use it. its tig/mig/stick.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2020 at 1:59 am
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    Can you send me one set to Myanmar (Burma) please?

    Reply
  • February 17, 2020 at 5:49 am
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    Seharga berapa yaa!!

    Reply
  • February 21, 2020 at 3:18 am
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    Manda video en español xfas

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 8:14 pm
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    Link to a simple jig that attaches to any chainsaw
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CNRL6TQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=odyronran-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B01CNRL6TQ&linkId=c3d41ebc2fc6034adcbe3e1772ee32b2

    Reply

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