Is 272xp enough saw for milling

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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
The new 881 has more power but some folks still prefer the 395xp for the better oiler.
Yes, and something about the clutch and venting.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
I wouldn’t hesitate to try that g660. If it is anything comparable to an 066 stihl, the 395 won’t have anything over it. Don’t get wrapped up in all the internet static. Focus more on how to get your chains on another level. If you find those round chains and fancy rip chains aren’t everything the internet hyped them to be, grab a 404 full skip chisel bit and see what I say is true
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
I wouldn’t hesitate to try that g660. If it is anything comparable to an 066 stihl, the 395 won’t have anything over it. Don’t get wrapped up in all the internet static. Focus more on how to get your chains on another level. If you find those round chains and fancy rip chains aren’t everything the internet hyped them to be, grab a 404 full skip chisel bit and see what I say is true
Thank you sooooo much! I am so confused, I so appreciate all the input. I have the g660 in my amazon cart. But after reading all the info on OPE. The 395 seemed like the only reliable option. There are zero available 395s in north america below 1000
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
I really liked my 395 but it really didn’t like to start after a run. I believed the coil was in a spot where it didn’t like to be for that length of time/heat. The one I used had probably fell about 5million board feet of trees without issue and when it was off the mill it had no issues starting. I ran a 42” bar on it when I was milling. I’ve wore out probably 15-20 066’s and they don’t really have any weaknesses other than balance/vibration when timber cutting. I would be conscious of the internal clutch if anything but just would mean I would let it idle a bit here and there on the cut. I’ve heard guys running a richer mix but I never do. My experience with running a richer mix will build carbon on top of the piston and the added compression will lead to quicker power loss. Once you get your milling technique figured out, it’s just a matter of keeping your skills a secret so everyone isn’t pestering you to saw something for them. Oh, the air filter is also garbage but an easy fix is the madsens after market for about $60. Not absolutely necessary but you will see the fine oily sawdust almost immediately in your carb. Drive a guy nuts but not an instant death threat. Plus might give you an excuse to buy a modified jug and piston in the future
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
810
SE North Carolina
I think a lot depends on what your idea of “do it” is. I’m pretty sure if I can cut 32” wide slabs with full house milling chain and it has the power to dog in on 34” inch buck of red oak with a 28” bar the G660 has enough power sure I could have stalled it out, but I was paying attention. Keeping the refs up to keep the chain speed up to keep lots of bar oil flowing. Every body says don’t tow a boat with your V6. But I had a V6 and a willingness to preserve its longevity. Sure would have been nice to have more power pulling big hills but 2nd gear with the heat on full blast (summer or winter) did just fine. Could have have over heated it sure. Would I want to tow cross country with a V6 for a living, never.

I was concerned and here was my back up plan. The hotlzforma 36” bar is 0.63 and hard nose. Change out to a .404 sprocket and find or make a loop of the hyper skip chain from Oregon.

evan.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
Exactly, I can stall the 880 if I choose. I let it rest a few times on a long /wide cut just like a smaller saw. Just common sense. I cut a 5 acre piece of 3-4’ diameter fir for my son in-law to break the 880 in before I started milling with it. Probably not necessary but made me feel better except for my sore back dragging that boat anchor around lol.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
Thank you sooooo much! I am so confused, I so appreciate all the input. I have the g660 in my amazon cart. But after reading all the info on OPE. The 395 seemed like the only reliable option. There are zero available 395s in north america below 1000
I got lucky and found a 395xp that had been sitting on the sales counter for over a year, the manager was happy to let it go. The 660 will work, the 880/81 would be better, and the 395 is slightly better still with the oiler. With the 881 you can add an aux oiler and have the same benefit of the 395.

The 395xp does have a weakness and that is fine saw dust likes to collect on the ignition coil under the flywheel cover. The issue is compounded by the dust/chips being soaked in whatever cutting oil you are using. The heat from the coil and saw build up and bake that sawdust onto the coil and the oil film keeps the coil from cooling down as fast. Pulling the cover at the end of the day or blowing it out frequently with an air compressor will make this a non-issue.

If you don't plan on doing much milling and you aren't in a hurry the 660 would be great. If you think this will become a bigger hobby, then cry once.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
Regardless of what saw you pick, definitely invest in a good sharpening system. More important than power is a sharp chain. I milled dozens of wide boards with my Husky 460, which is less than half the power of my 395xp, but I took the chain off and sharpened it after every log and took my time. The 460 does better with a sharp chain than the 395 with a dull chain, or one with inconsistent cutter lengths. I ruined a nice Oregon Powermatch bar by milling several logs with the cutters being much shorter on one side than the other. This put a lot of pressure on the right side bar rails and ultimately ruined it. After figuring out my mistake I've had smooth sailing ever since.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,438
Northern Canada
Seeing that you are only planning one project...
I would go for the 660 size,and learn how to sharpen your chain.
If you enjoy the milling and plan on doing more then keep your eyes open for a real saw.
If you don`t blow up the clone saw you can always sell it once you find a real saw.
If you don`t get into it seriously,the clone should last a long time.Especially if you replace some of the important parts with Stihl parts as you build it.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
I bit the bullet and ordered the G660 from amazon. Could not resist 330.00 for the saw. I figured with the help of the people here I will be able to order and replace parts as they fail. Read tons about the saw, watched many vids. Bookmarked lots of them. Did not know that the saw needs a break in period, that it needs a richer fuel mixture. Recently i picked up a brand new 261c. Nowhere in the Stihl manual I saw break in period.
I will need help with choosing the proper bar chain set up. Would like to go with 36” but dont have to. The largest logs that i have are 25” (hemlock). I dont want to spend crazy $$ on the bar/chain.

Oh, and i will be picking up that Grenberg 12v grinder.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
I bit the bullet and ordered the G660 from amazon. Could not resist 330.00 for the saw. I figured with the help of the people here I will be able to order and replace parts as they fail. Read tons about the saw, watched many vids. Bookmarked lots of them. Did not know that the saw needs a break in period, that it needs a richer fuel mixture. Recently i picked up a brand new 261c. Nowhere in the Stihl manual I saw break in period.
I will need help with choosing the proper bar chain set up. Would like to go with 36” but dont have to. The largest logs that i have are 25” (hemlock). I dont want to spend crazy $$ on the bar/chain.

Oh, and i will be picking up that Grenberg 12v grinder.
There are two grinders, one is cheaper, but it is basically just a dremel. The more expensive one has the jig that guides it and definitely worth the money. For bars and chains check out Carlton/Woodland Pro ripping chain on amazon or get it straight from Bailey's online. For your first bar definitely get something cheap since you will probably put some damage on it learning how to mill. The Forester bars are inexpensive and pretty stiff. Also check out a bar dressing file so you can keep the bar rails flat. If you have a belt sander with a 90 degree fence, I've heard they work well.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
There are two grinders, one is cheaper, but it is basically just a dremel. The more expensive one has the jig that guides it and definitely worth the money. For bars and chains check out Carlton/Woodland Pro ripping chain on amazon or get it straight from Bailey's online. For your first bar definitely get something cheap since you will probably put some damage on it learning how to mill. The Forester bars are inexpensive and pretty stiff. Also check out a bar dressing file so you can keep the bar rails flat. If you have a belt sander with a 90 degree fence, I've heard they work well.
Yes, the one I want is the one with the jig attachment. They seem to be all sold out in amazon.
Do you think 36” is the correct length to start milling with?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
Yes, the one I want is the one with the jig attachment. They seem to be all sold out in amazon.
Do you think 36” is the correct length to start milling with?
Something in that range should be suitable. Look into using canola oil for milling, it is "thinner" and flows well along long bars, your g660 will appreciate it.

Edit: Check Bailey's for the grinder and jig.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
Something in that range should be suitable. Look into using canola oil for milling, it is "thinner" and flows well along long bars, your g660 will appreciate it.

Edit: Check Bailey's for the grinder and jig.
Already have couple of gal of canola oil. The oil jig is pretty simple to set up if needed.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
I would run the shortest bar possible. I’d buy a 28” and pull the dawgs and hand rip the swell. I believe all new motors have a break in period. The larger the motor, the more noticeable. You will likely have to adjust the carb after a bit. I would buy a 63 gauge bar and run 404 full skip chisel although I should try a round chain for the outside cuts just to see if it holds up better but I would pull it and run chisel after regardless. Happy for you! Keep us updated and I’ll try to help any way I can. I found the rungs of the ladder are in the way so I hope you have considered something else and if you are doing longer lengths I have a decent method that works for me
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
810
SE North Carolina
I got the 52” version of this. It’s sprocket top and 3/8. A lot more work/$$ to switch .404.
Hoping to try it out in the next day or two but I need to replace some bar studs and a chain tensioner.
.

here is what I ordered with my saw.


I ran 8 tanks through it before I started milling. I think 25:1 is excessive if using good mix oil. That said I ran two gallons through it at 25:1. Will mix 32 ish from now on. With a hard nose bar I lost 4” of max width. Closer to 6-7” with a roller top once you bolt on the Alaskan mill.

Evan
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
I would run the shortest bar possible. I’d buy a 28” and pull the dawgs and hand rip the swell. I believe all new motors have a break in period. The larger the motor, the more noticeable. You will likely have to adjust the carb after a bit. I would buy a 63 gauge bar and run 404 full skip chisel although I should try a round chain for the outside cuts just to see if it holds up better but I would pull it and run chisel after regardless. Happy for you! Keep us updated and I’ll try to help any way I can. I found the rungs of the ladder are in the way so I hope you have considered something else and if you are doing longer lengths I have a decent method that works for me
I don't know if the 28 will work for his 24" logs after you take into account the Alaskan mill itself.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
I don't know if the 28 will work for his 24" logs after you take into account the Alaskan mill itself.
Agreed, it would be tight. Not sure what his logs look like but if there were only a couple @ 26”, I’d rip the swell off so I could make a 28 work. Just me, I have a lot of different length bars to choose from
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
All good info. Thank you all. So, I should not bother with milling chain?
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
I got the 52” version of this. It’s sprocket top and 3/8. A lot more work/$$ to switch .404.
Hoping to try it out in the next day or two but I need to replace some bar studs and a chain tensioner.
.

here is what I ordered with my saw.


I ran 8 tanks through it before I started milling. I think 25:1 is excessive if using good mix oil. That said I ran two gallons through it at 25:1. Will mix 32 ish from now on. With a hard nose bar I lost 4” of max width. Closer to 6-7” with a roller top once you bolt on the Alaskan mill.

Evan
I run the recommended mix ratio. I use stihl and husky mix. To each his own but if you’re running rich, pull the jug and see how much buildup there is on the top of the piston.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,956
Downeast Maine
I would definitely get milling chain, it's already ground to 10-15 degrees on the top plate for milling. You can grind a chain to whatever you want, but you will lose a lot of cutter length if starting with something at 30 degrees. On the bright side your kerf will probably be narrower, but the chain won't last as long. Most people do not mill with full chisel chain and you won't find any ground to ripping spec out of the box. The semi chisel profile keeps an edge longer and yields a narrower kerf.

Since you are starting new, you could get a hard nose bar and run Stihl 63PMX chain which will consistently yield a 1/4 kerf, but this will be pricier. The 63PMX chain is a 3/8 low profile chain that is made to run on a 660 or 880 sized saw. Since it's technically low profile it won't work well on a conventional sprocket tip bar, but the radius on a harnose bar works. This is what Logosol suggest for their own chainsaw mills.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
All good info. Thank you all. So, I should not bother with milling chain?
I seem to do just fine with full skip chisel but you can try that other. My neighbors seem to do fine by round filing the chisel as well. You can try a small loop of chisel on your 272 and see if you like it better for yourself. I only changed my grind angle slightly and it will zip through 24” of cants like butter and I can still use for regular cutting. It’s not far off a factory grind. No idea what the actual angle is
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
I will go ahead and order that forester 36” combo Evan suggested. My longest bar right now is 25” stihl. I will order a milling chain for that as well. I walked the woods this morning and saw a bunch of 14-20” cedars that died last summer. I will take them down and practice milling on them. Might be a bit easier on the saw and me. Also, i will take down a massive 30”+ hard maple with major lean (will have my tree guy do that for me....). I will break-in the 660 on bucking that using the recommended fuel mix.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
960
Western Washington
Sure hope you’re able to take some pics of your operation when you get to it. I would at least spray paint the ends of the boards when you get them on your shed. How long is your longest cut?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,166
Ottawa, ON
14’ would be the longest if the milling goes well. This would be for the roof 2x6s. If milling does not go so well then I will order the rafters and then the 12’ headers would be the longest.