Self-Propelled Chainsaw Reduces Injuries

[Advoko] is an expert at milling logs into various sizes of boards. He typically uses nothing but a chainsaw to enable him to mill on-site without needing to bring any large or expensive equipment. The only problem is that sometimes he gets a little carried away running his mill non-stop until he has enough lumber for whatever project he is building, which has led to some repetitive strain injuries. To enable him to continue to run his mill, he’s created this self-propelled chainsaw jig.

The creation of the self-propelled chainsaw was a little serendipitous. [Advoko] needed to mill a tree which had fallen on a slope, and he couldn’t move the large trunk before starting to mill. To avoid fatigue while pulling his chainsaw upwards, he devised a system of rubber belts that would help pull the weight of the chainsaw up the hill. Noticing that if the chainsaw could have been operated downhill, it would essentially pull itself along the cut, he set about building a carriage for the mill to hold the chainsaw in place while it semi-autonomously milled lumber for him.

The chainsaw jig isn’t fully autonomous; [Advoko] still needs to start and stop the chainsaw and set up the jig. It does have a number of safety features to prevent damage to the jig, the chainsaw, and himself too, and over a number of iterations of this device he has perfected it to the point where he can start it on a cut and then do other tasks such as move boards or set up other logs for cutting while it is running, saving him both time and reducing his risk of other repetitive strain injuries. If you don’t fully trust the automatic chainsaw jig, take a look at this one which requires a little more human effort but still significantly reduces the strain of milling a large log.

30 thoughts on “Self-Propelled Chainsaw Reduces Injuries

      1. Hopefully he isn’t clear cutting some occupied Ukrainian forest. It’s difficult to see these Russian YouTubers, especially the well off ones living this relaxed life knowing the rape and murder they are causing this very moment. I kind of hope she falls on it while it’s running.

  1. i see remnants of these setups in the woods all the time. mostly used by libertarians to get around logging regulations. you are less likely to get questioned by a state trooper if you have a load of milled planks in your truck rather than a full log. others get around the regs by having large families, since everyone is allowed to fell two trees a year. i know a family that built a 3 story house in the boonies that way using a more traditional mill. try to convince a state trooper that a 4 year old can operate a chainsaw. its even more impressive when the 4 year old in question can operate a chainsaw.

    1. Actually it is possible to use one chain for long periods of cutting. The trick is to lube it using bicycle chain fluid and then paint links with nail polish to prevent dirt and insects from getting into pins and wearing them quickly.

  2. I generally like the idea of lumber mills. A friend of mine just built a new home and purchased a mill jig for one of his saws and made some beautiful pieces of walnut from clearing his lot, including an impressive mantle for one of his fireplaces, a bar top, and several sitting benches that will last for decades.

    That being said, there is a bit of a joke in the dog breeding world about how the Doberman breed came about. See, the Rottweiler is, somewhat wrongly, known for being a fierce breed, but was burdened with the mastiff stoutness. So swifter breeds like the Greyhound and German Shepherd were mixed in with it in order to “make those teeth go faster” as a practical working security/war dog. The result: the Doberman.

    This project kind of reminded me of that. Now those teeth are faster.

    Merry Christmahannukwanzica! Happy Festivus!

    1. Speaking as someone who lives with Dobermans (One 128lb Chocolate/Tan King [RIP], One 108lb Standard Chocolate/Brown , and one 70lb Midsized Chocolate/Red), the “make those teeth go faster” folks knew what they were doing. Do not, under any circumstances, underestimate the speed at which a Doberman can chase its favorite chew toy.

  3. When using hand held power tools, it prolongs the life of the tool and the bits/blades; if one lets the weight of the tool apply the cutting force.
    I don’t mean hold it loosely, keep a firm guiding grip at all times.
    It appears that is what is happening in this case.
    If you apply that principle to Horror Fraught tools, they will last much longer.
    But I know some people treat such tools as expendable and apply abusive force.

    1. People knock Harbor Freight a lot, and not without some merit. However in my experience some of their tools aren’t bad at all. I have several that have lasted for decades with “semi-commercial” usage. Of course I have also experienced the lemons. It is hit or miss, and I suppose context matters.

      It’s great if you just need that $10 angle-grinder to last through that one oddball weekend project and have the pleasant surprise of it not only making it through but continuing to work for years.

    1. yeah i can’t believe this is such a novelty to me. i’d seriously never in a million years thought of using a chainsaw for rip cutting. my mind boggles! talk about your “thick kerf!” but i guess if you don’t mind losing some yield to sawdust…why not? you just need some crazy jig or another, like this one

  4. Meh. Small diameter, fairly straight soft wood log.

    The “quality” of the shavings has to do with the angle of the saw vs. the wood and not the self-propelled feature of the sled. The shallower the angle, the more you “noodle” until you bog down the saw.

  5. Nifty invention: 40 years ago I would have imitated it. I used Alaska mills, 090 saws, .404 skiptooth chain filed square to the bar. Deadfall should be fair game to all. Deadfall Fir can be punky on top but have clear prime cured timber at heart, xlent for beams.

    1. Hear! Heart!

      Maybe 40 years ago it would’ve been a novelty.

      I recall plenty of Chinesium mills made from metal channels fitting 2-by-4 guides being available in at least the last decade or so. Running a milling sled downhill, etc. is also nothing new.

      Plenty of ways to injure oneself with a chainsaw, or almost any saw for that matter.

      Bah humbug

      1. Oompah Loompah doopity doo
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        If anyone breaks their NDA, we’ll win the fight

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        So watch out, don’t you dare try to spill
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        We’ll protect our contracts, it’s what we do
        Oompah Loompah doopity dee, we’ll see you in court if you break your NDA too.

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