Stan Zuray on Using an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill
Russ Chastain 11.26.18
Stan Zuray of the erstwhile TV show Yukon Men is one of my favorite people I’ve never met. He’s lived a life of tough self-reliance and hard work, and he really knows his stuff about survival and rough living in the boondocks.
In this video, Stan demonstrates a simple chainsaw mill for cutting lumber from logs. It’s not surprising that Stan values the chainsaw above all other survival tools.
When asked what I consider the most important powered tool for living in the woods I always say a chainsaw. The time it saves cutting firewood and making things out of wood, especially in Alaska’s cold interior, far exceeds any other tool I can think of. This simple attachment to that saw makes cutting lumber easy. Here is a popular one called the Alaskan Chainsaw Mill making some boards and lots of talk about the process. Happy board/timber cutting. Stan
Unlike many mills, the one he’s demonstrating here is simple and light, and is essentially just an attachment for a chainsaw bar, which allows you to cut a slice of uniform thickness from a log.
After milling the wood, he stacks the boards with spacers and binds them with rope to prevent warpage as the wood dries. The assembled stack looks exactly like what it is: A disassembled log.
Typical of Stan’s videos, he tells us about the process and the surroundings before he gets down to work. To skip ahead to the actual sawmilling, jump to about 4:35.
Then he cuts a board, which takes him about 4 minutes, and places the board in his drying stack.
Then we get a lot of advice on saws, throttle control, saw chains, silt in bark, and the like.
Around the 22:40 mark, he breaks out the guide, which is what allows you to make the initial cut in a log which creates the flat surface on which all subsequent cuts are guided.