Alaskan® Mill

FAQ's related to mills.

Can I put a larger mill on a smaller bar?
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 (G778-36). 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 (G778-48) 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.
How To Make Lumber With The Alaskan Chainsaw Mill MKIV
How wide a cut can I make?

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 G778 models (two mounts). Additionally, with the G778, the nose-end mounting bracket must be mounted behind any “roller tip” sprocket (this is the small wheel that assists the chain in traveling 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 for your particular bar length/cutting width. (PDF)

I want to order an extra loop of chain for my C package. What chain should I get?

You can see the chain lengths you need here .

I want to use dual power heads, what do I need to know?

There are two things you need to know. First, the power heads need to be equivalent in size to within 10cc (Two 90 cc saws are good, a 90cc and an 80cc is OK, a 90cc and a 70cc together will not work). Second, you must use spur sprockets rather than rim sprockets. Rim sprockets in a dual power head set up may throw the chain off. Aftermarket spur sprockets are available through your chain saw dealer.

Wedging techniques

Important to have proper wedges. You can buy some at a hardware store or make your own. A good wedge is at least 6″ long, 3″ wide and tapered from 3/4″ to 0″. Best to put at least 5 in your back pocket or tool pouch. After you cut into the log, about 2 feet, put the first wedge into the beginning of your cut. Then put a wedge in every two feet.

Larger, thicker slabs require more support, meaning use more wedges and tapping them in really well.

Lighter, smaller slabs require less support, meaning use less wedges and giving just a quick tap.


What are my power needs?

In general, you will need at least 50cc to run our smallest mill (G777). 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. We also recommend against using battery or electric saws.

View Chart

What are the chain lengths for our double ended bars?
What is the difference between C2 and C3 mill packages?

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.

Why can’t I use 3/8 chain on Large C2 Mill Packages?

The larger C2 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

How do I figure out what kind of chain I need?

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

How do I know when my bar needs to be replaced?

Check out our Bar Wear Guide to answer all your questions!

How do I sharpen ripping chain?

If using a Granberg G106B File N Joint or G1012XT Precision Grinder, or freehand sharpening, you will use:

  • 5/32” round file or G417 grinding stone on Low Profile
  • 3/16” round file or G418 grinding stone on .325 pitch chain
  • 7/32” round file or G419 grinding stone for both 3/8 and .404 pitch chain

All Granberg ripping chain should be sharpened to 10 degrees on both the scoring and clearing cutters.

If you are using a bench mounted chain sharpener, use 0 degree tilt and 60 degree top plate cutting angle and the same disc size as you would for your regular chain of the same gauge.

How long will my chain last?

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.

What is ripping chain and why do I need to use it?

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).

What is the difference between skip-tooth and ripping chain?

Skip-tooth chain has a reduced cutter-to driver ratio. Ripping chain is “full comp” chain that has been modified as outlined.

Customer Service

FAQ's related to customer service

Canadian & International Customers

Shipping costs do not reflect customs and import duties.
These costs are typically lower when the package is sent via US mail.

How can I find a dealer in my area?

Consult our dealer locator here

What is your return/exchange policy?

We will accept unused merchandise for refund or exchange. Returns are subject to a restocking/repackaging fee.

What is your warranty policy?

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

I have a log that is longer than 10’/5’/14’/18’. Can I still use EZrail?

EZ rails come in 5′ and 10′ 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.

Is there a less expensive option?

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.

My EZ rails are too narrow. Do you have wider ones?

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.

Why should I use EZrail?

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

How can I guarantee uniform tooth length when using bar-mounted sharpening tools?

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.

How do I lower depth gauges?

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.

How do I replace stones?

Spare stones are available for $6 per pack of three from Granberg, but any stone with 1/8” threaded shaft will work.

How do I sharpen chain with Granberg tools?
How long will a stone last?

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.

I want to sharpen Carbide chain. How can I use your grinders?

You will need to purchase diamond grit stones, again with a 1/8” threaded shaft.

I want to use 110 (wall socket) power for sharpening. What can I do?

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

Which stone or file size should I use to sharpen my chain?

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.

Why use Kool Grind?

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

How do I know when my bar needs to be replaced?

Check out our Bar Wear Guide to answer all your questions!

I am bogging down in the cut. Why?

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.

My G777 or G555b is cutting wedges. What should I do?
The most common reason for this would be the chain saw bar itself. On many newer models of ‘homeowner’ or ‘light use’ saw, manufacturers will include a bar that is of laminate construction rather than solid steel. With the G777 and G555b, the mounting hardware can collapse space between the laminate layers and force the tip of the bar away from the mill. If you have a laminate bar, the best thing to do is replace it with a solid steel bar, available in sizes up to 36″ here:

Another cause of 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. Check out our Bar Wear Guide to see if your bar needs to be replaced. Most chain saw dealers will be able to true the bar if the damage is not too far along.

My large mill is cupping. What should I do?

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.

My mill is diving in the cut. What should I do?

This is essentially the same problem as a wedge cut with a G777, but the additional clamping bracket on a G778 won’t allow the bar tip to wander, so the whole bar will pull off course. Check for cutter tooth length and bar wear.

Wedging techniques

Important to have proper wedges. You can buy some at a hardware store or make your own. A good wedge is at least 6″ long, 3″ wide and tapered from 3/4″ to 0″. Best to put at least 5 in your back pocket or tool pouch. After you cut into the log, about 2 feet, put the first wedge into the beginning of your cut. Then put a wedge in every two feet.

Larger, thicker slabs require more support, meaning use more wedges and tapping them in really well.

Lighter, smaller slabs require less support, meaning use less wedges and giving just a quick tap.


Get In Touch

We would love to hear from you!

phone:     (925) 380-9400
toll-free:  (800) 233-6499
email:     [email protected]nberg.com

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