May 1, 2018

17 Super Tips for Chainsaw Milling (Make Better Boards!) - YouTube

17 Super Tips for Chainsaw Milling (Make Better Boards!) - YouTube
The tips:
1 Quality of cut can be improved greatly by easing the saw into the cut. Don’t go full throttle straight away, instead both start and stop slowly. Same if you have to stop mid slab for any reason.
2 Don’t push the saw! Ideally position the log on a slight gradient so the saw is a little bit 'gravity fed'. Winches get good reviews - I have never seen much need as a good sharp chain will pull itself into the cut.
3 Wedges. Talk about shape etc. Don’t hammer them into the kerf - it will change the angle of the straight edge and cause deep gouges.
4 Angle the saw, nose first, and hold the angle consistently. Seesawing will leave a poor finish.
5 Using the straight edge for cuts after the first again can aid accuracy and safety.
6 Wear Proper protective equipment, including a good dust mask. I'm now using an integrated face shield and dust mask which I got from ebay, and its a complete game changer! I originally got it for all kinds of other workshop tasks like painting, epoxy use, and sanding. In the past, even when I wore a separate dust mask, I would get dry eyes - no more! For chainsaw milling it's perfect, giving good visibility and clean air, free of the cocktail of fumes you get from using a two stroke engine. It's the 3M 6800 full face equivalent which means it's a cheaper import (only about $30 here:, but I use it with the genuine 3m 6001 vapour filters. (ebay link: . My radio ear defenders I won in an Instructables contest.
7 Make a full checklist before you leave. You can see my full checklist here:
8 Use a brush to remove dust round the caps before re-fuelling. CS milling is much more dusty than regular chainsaw use...
9 Enjoy yourself.
10 . Check to see if you need to refuel between slab cuts. Don’t start a slab unless you have enough to finish it. Avoid running the tank dry while milling!
11 Aux oilier talk.
12 Dampened handles!
13 Let the saw cool off with the engine idling after long cuts .
14 Slab moving is dangerous- assess the risks and make wise choices.
15 Play it cool when things don’t go your way. Something will not go according to plan (!) try and make the best of it.
16. Stash your gear up-wing of the saw site. Dust WILL cover everything.
17 How much did the mill cost? It cost about £100 in materials, and some time to build - full build log here

Apr 26, 2018

Morels! - Waterman and Hill-Traveller's Companion

Morels are mycorhizal fungi, that is, they live symbiotically on the roots of some species of trees. Apples, elms, poplars and ashes are all noted in the literature for being indicator species to locate potential morel hot spots and dead or dying trees of these species tend to produce prodigious crops of morels under the right conditions. That said however, morels don't require these trees to produce mushrooms. Morels have been found in pots of chrysanthemums, in parking lots, golf courses and other odd corners too numerous to mention with none of the above named species anywhere in sight, so these odd little fungi - while they may partner with or favor particular species - are not completely dependent on them. As nearly all researchers have noted, "Morels are where you find them." Still all morels I've encountered have always occurred in patches and are usually clearly associated with one of the above-named tree species.

Mycelium grows underground for an indeterminate length of time - perhaps months or even several years - before it stores enough food to produce its fruiting body - the actual morel. (Individual stands of mycelia can apparently measure their life spans in centuries.) This mushroom mycelium lives underground year round and - assuming the year is a good one and the organism is mature - produces small "buttons" of fleshy, compact mycelia just below the soil at strategic points along its length during late summer or early fall. These buttons (usually) remain dormant throughout the fall and winter and come spring with its rising temperatures and increased rainfall some of them swell and grow into the fruiting bodies that we call morels. Occasionally fruiting is triggered in the fall and at least a few of these buttons can develop (under the right circumstances - which are unknown) into mature mushrooms. This, however is a fairly rare occurrence. Morels appear when the ground temperature four inches below the surface reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit and ceases when the ground temperature reaches 62 degrees.