FAQ's related to mills.
Yes, all of our MKIII Alaskan mills can be adapted to fit a smaller bar, because the thickness rails have a channel all the way down that will allow the depth post to be moved. So, if you have a 32” bar, you will want a 36” mill (G776-36). The nose end depth post can be adjusted down to fit the smaller bar. Likewise, if you have a 36” bar at the moment, but are maybe thinking about investing in a larger bar, you can buy a 48” mill (G776-48) and put it on the smaller bar until you get the upgrade. One consideration you will have to make is although you can put a larger mill on a smaller bar, the mill size itself will not change, so you will need enough room to operate a 48” mill even if you are only using a 36” bar. This is really only an issue in the thickest of brush. If you’re milling in your driveway or front yard, you shouldn’t have a problem.
The mill mounts take up 1.5 inches of bar space, and the mill must be mounted ½” away from the power head. This means that you will lose effectively 2 inches of bar space with a G777 (one mount) and 4 inches of bar space with any of the G776 models (two mounts). Additionally with the G776, the nose-end mounting bracket must be mounted behind any “roller tip” sprocket (this is the small wheel that assists the chain in travelling around the end of the bar) so that the clamp will not bind the sprocket or impede its movement. If your bar has one of these, you will lose an additional 2+ inches of bar space. Consult the chart below for your particular bar length/cutting width. (PDF)
You can see the chain lengths you need here .
In general, you will need at least 50cc. The more powerful your saw, the easier your milling experience is going to be. Consult the chart to see if your chainsaw has enough power to do the job you want it to do. Under-powered saws will take longer to make a cut and may overheat and possibly fail. You will definitely want to use a ripping chain and take your time. Granberg will not take responsibility for damage caused by using saws that are under-powered.
The C3 kits come equipped with 3/8 chain and are only available in the 30” and 36” sizes. The C2 kits come with .404 chain and are available in all sizes.
The larger mill packages (36” and up) use slightly thicker steel to accommodate the additional length needed to make big cuts. 3/8 chain does not leave enough of a kerf (distance between the “top” and “bottom” of the cut) to allow the thicker bar to pass through. If you have a 3/8 saw and want to use the larger mill kits, you will have to swap out the 3/8 drive sprocket for a .404 drive sprocket. Keep in mind though, that smaller saws may not have enough power to run larger mills packages (consult the chart).
FAQ's related to chains
Ripping chain (and indeed all saw chain) is identified by two factors, pitch and gauge. Once you have this information, you will need to determine the length of the chain you need by the link count. Fortunately, most of the time this information can be found stamped into the bar near the power head.
Pitch – The pitch is determined by the size of the drive sprocket, or more precisely, the distance between the teeth on that sprocket. Standard sizes are .325, 3/8 (sometimes written as .375) and .404.
Gauge – This is the width of the groove in the bar that the chain sits in and also the width of the part of the chain that sits in that groove. Standard sizes are .050 (sometimes written as 1.3mm), .058 (sometimes written as 1.5mm) and .063 (sometimes written as 1.6mm)
Drive link count – When counting links, it is important to make sure that you are counting the right teeth. The drive links are the dog-tooth shaped links that fit in to the chain groove on the bar. They are on the INSIDE of the chain loop. The cutter teeth on the outside of the loop should not be counted.
If you cannot find this information stamped on the bar, there are some other tricks you can use to determine pitch and gauge. The drive tooth itself will have an identifier stamped into it. You can search those identifiers here .
We also have precut loops available in common pitch/gauge/link combinations
In terms of stone (or file) size, you will use a 5/32 round file on LoPro, 3/16 round file on .325 and a 7/32 for both 3/8 and .404 chain. Filing angles will vary. In general, .325 chain will be sharpened at 20 degrees on the scoring cutters and 0 degrees on the clearing cutters. Most of the time, 3/8 and .404 chain will be sharpened at 10 degrees for both scoring and clearing. Occasionally however, the usual stock of 3/8 chain will be unavailable and we will have to use a different modification process. This 3/8 chain will be sharpened at 20 degrees for the scoring and 0 degrees for the clearing cutters. Checking the angle with a round file set against the clearing cutters should tell you what angle you should be using to tune up your chain.
There are several factors that will impact chain life. The relative hardness of the wood and time it has spent curing can affect cutting ability (In some species of uncured pine, the sap will coat the chain, causing it to lose efficiency, too long after felling, and the wood – especially hardwoods will be rock-hard).
If there are rocks or gravel in the bark – there often is, we recommend debarking or power-washing before milling, or metal (baling wire, old slugs from target practice, often found in urban or ranch wood) in the wood itself, you will have buff out the damage, shortening the life of your chain. All things being equal, a brand new chain will cut around 600 board feet before it needs to be sharpened. After three sharpenings, you will need to lower your depth gauges (AKA rakers). After lowering your rakers three times, the chain will likely need to be replaced.
While there are many companies that sell chain for milling, no other company offers ripping chain that features our specific modifications to the top plate. Our process shaves off approximately half of the tooth lengthwise on the first and second cutter links of each 4 link group. This creates what are called “scoring cutters” and they will take the left and right hand side of a cut, leaving behind a central “lip,” which is then removed by the “clearing cutters” (see diagram).
Skip-tooth chain has a reduced cutter-to driver ratio. Ripping chain is “full comp” chain that has been modified as outlined.
FAQ's related to customer service
Consult our dealer locator here
Mills : 3 weeks
Chain : 1 week
Sharpeners & Accessories in stock : 1 week
Mill Packages: 4-6 weeks
We will accept unused merchandise for refund or exchange. Returns are subject to a restocking/repackaging fee.
Granberg stands behind our products, and will warranty for life, meaning we will replace or repair most of our products except for items subject to normal wear and tear. Examples of things not covered by warranty are bars, chains, safety equipment, grinding stones and drive belts for electric grinders. Please feel free to contact us if you are unsure if your problem is covered by warranty.
FAQ's related to EZRAIL
EZ rails come in five and 8’11” sections. These can be joined using the connector kit. If your log is longer or in between the total lengths that can be made with these sections, you can start on two connected rail systems, then disconnect the first and move it to the far end, “leapfrogging” the EZ rails until you have cut the desired length.
If you find yourself with more time than money, you can go the old fashioned route and use Slabbing Rail Brackets. These use 2x4s that you buy down at your local lumber yard as the guide surface (try and get some cut from the center of a log, with relatively straight grain visible on the end, as these will resist warping). These bracket and 2x4s provide a good surface to make your first cut, but take a little longer to level and attach.
The standard cross bar kits on EZ rails will create a platform about ten inches wide. This will work for most logs, but if you find yourself needing a wider platform, we do have 24” cross bar upgrades.
It is essential to get a flat and level first cut, because each cut made after will follow the surface of the one made before it. An EZ rail system is the quickest and easiest way to get that first cut right. EZ rails attach securely in minutes and have levelling screws built in.
FAQ's related to sharpening
Since there is no way to account for variances in bar width, rotating the file holder or grinding unit from one side to another on a G106B or G1012XT can sometimes result in the file or stone moving forward or back relative to the cutter. Make sure to check with a calipers. If you do not have calipers handy, a small threaded bolt with a nut set at the proper tooth length can be used as a makeshift measuring device.
When using hand-held grinders, use Granberg’s EZ gage tool to set the correct height for the stone and use the notch as a guide. With the G106B and G1012XT, there is a dial that will lower the unit in increments of .01”. Set the dial at the front edge of the cutter, then lower by one click or two, depending on how far you want to lower the depth gauge. Then simply move the chain so that the stone or file is above the depth gauge and file or grind until the gauge is filed clear.
Spare stones are available for $6 per pack of three from Granberg, but any stone with 1/8” threaded shaft will work.
The answer will vary, of course, based on how often you sharpen and how far back you take each tooth. In general though, one stone will last through 30 feet of chain given normal use.
You will need to purchase diamond grit stones, again with a 1/8” threaded shaft.
The easiest option is likely to be the car battery charger you have in your garage. The grinders draw about 3 amps under load, so set you may need to set the charger at “start” rather than “charge.” If you do not have a battery charger, a converter from 110 to 12 volt will usually cost around $40
For Low Profile chain, use a 5/32 stone or file. For .325, use a 3/16 stone or file. For 3/8 and .404, use a 7/32 stone or file. To lower depth gauges, use a ¼ or a 3/8 stone, or a flat file.
Because heat is the enemy. Using a cooling compound will ease sharpening and extend stone life. Do you need it? No. Will you notice a difference if you use it? Yes.
FAQ's related to troubleshooting
Depending on the size of the log you are milling, the weight of the slab or beam may be pinching the chain. Using wedges as you move through the cut can help lift the wood out of the way. Wedge early, wedge often. If you are still bogging down, you may need to sharpen the chain or lower your depth gauges. In the worst case scenario, you saw may be under powered for the job. Consult our table to see if your saw is appropriate for the job you’re trying to do.
Irregular cutting can usually be traced to one of two causes. If you are using crosscut chain or a ripping chain that has been incorrectly sharpened so that the “left” cutter teeth are a different length than the “right” cutter teeth, it can cause the chain to pull to one side through the cut. If you even out the cutters (see the FAQ on sharpening to learn how to do this) it should fix the problem. The second culprit for an irregular cut is bar wear. If a bar has not been regularly rotated – or is just plain old, the groove in which the chain sits can become worn to the point where there is room for the chain to wiggle in the groove and draw the saw off course. Most chain saw dealers will be able to true the bar if the damage is not too far along.
Gravity can sometimes cause the larger bars (72” +) to sag in the middle and cause a cut to be deeper in the center than on the edges. To counteract this, set the bar on a cinder block or tree stump so that it bows upwards before you clamp the mill on to the bar. When you lift the mill off the cinder block or stump, the tension should hold the bar straight. If you are still having problems, you can also use a 2×4 tacked to the end of the log to support the bar as you start the cut. Once the cut is started, the bar should stay straight.
This is essentially the same problem as a wedge cut with a G777, but the additional clamping bracket on a G776 won’t allow the bar tip to wander, so the whole bar will pull off course. Check for cutter tooth length and bar wear.
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