The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Alaskan small log mill field notes

close up of Alaskan small log mill

another Alaskan small log mill close up with Lucy the log in the background

The Alaskan small log mill only takes a few minutes to attach to a chainsaw.

It's been years since we've used it. The main thing I remember is needing someway to clamp the log down so it wouldn't move while I operated the chainsaw. The plan at the time was to either build a small structure or fix up a corner of the barn. We got lucky and found someone giving away an old trailer and decided a recycled home would get us on the land a year or two sooner and a lot cheaper.

There's no doubt it would feel groovy to sit back and look at a structure knowing you built it from a downed tree, but I'm not sure the longevity would compare to store bought and kiln dried wood? I guess it would depend on the tree you start with and the level of craftsmanship.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I have never used an Alaskan mill, because a friend has a potable bandsaw mill. I always wondered how much gas the saw would use. I have built log homes in the past and ripping logs lengthwise for door and window openings takes a lot of power.

I think a person could build a quality building, but I would be tempted to hire someone with a sawmill instead. If I was 20 again that might be a different story.

Comment by Justin Wed Feb 1 06:47:37 2012

Sounds like you've got a quality friend. :-)

I suspect you're right about hiring a sawmill being the better approach if you were doing serious building.

Comment by anna Wed Feb 1 08:54:01 2012

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