How to Make Your Own Alaskan Chainsaw Mill?

Patrick McMann

Knowledge Based

Looking to mill lumber from fallen trees or salvaged wood? A homemade chainsaw mill may be just what you need. Alaskan chainsaw mills are known for their portability, versatility, and ease of use. You can create one at home to save money and create custom-sized boards for your woodworking project.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to make a homemade chainsaw mill using the right free plans, attachments, raw materials, and engine size. By making your own Alaskan cutting mill, you can customize its design to fit your specific needs and preferences. So, let’s get started.

creating Alaskan chainsaw mill at home

How to Make Your Own Alaskan Chainsaw Mill?

You can make your own Alaskan chainsaw mill at home tailored to your needs by selecting the right free plans, attachments, raw materials, and engine size.

Making an Alaskan chainsaw mill can vary depending on your specific needs and mill attachment. However, here is a basic example of creating one:

Step 1: Cut Lumber

Get lumber in 2X4s and cut each one in two pieces according to the desired length for the mill base. This will be the foundation of your Alaskan cutting tool mill.

Step 2: Create a Metal Bracket

Cut four pieces of metal tubing or pipes to the same length as the 2×4 lumber. These will make the legs of your mill. Next, drill holes in the lumber pieces and attach the pipes to the base. Proceed by welding angle iron brackets to the metal pipes for attaching them to the mill attachment.

Step 3: Attach the Chainsaw Mill Attachment

Use screws, nuts, and bolts to attach the bracket to the mill attachment. Follow up by attaching your chainsaw to the mill attachment. Next, adjust the height and angle of the attachment to your desired setting for the mill.

Step 4: Make a Guide Rail

Cut a piece of lumber to use as a guide rail for the mill and attach the rail to the log or lumber you need to mill.

Step 5: Begin Milling

Start the chainsaw and follow the guide rail to begin milling the lumber. But don’t forget to wear safety gear while working with the mill.

Choosing an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill Attachment

Once you have the free plan in hand, it’s time to find a suitable attachment for your DIY Alaskan chainsaw mill. Various types of attachments are available in the market, each designed to suit different milling requirements. Here are some of the common types of attachments:

Rail Style

A rail-style attachment consists of two parallel rails attached to the log using clamps and can be adjusted according to the log size. It works by guiding the chainsaw along the log’s length.

Ladder Style

A ladder homemade chainsaw mill attachment uses a ladder-like frame placed on the log. The chainsaw is attached to the ladder frame and can be adjusted according to the log’s length.


A DIY vertical chainsaw mill attachment is designed to cut through a log vertically. It is ideal for creating boards with unique grain patterns or slabs.

Small Log

A small log attachment is specifically designed to cut small logs, typically 18 inches or less in diameter. It is lightweight so you can use it with a smaller chainsaw.


This type of attachment is generally designed to cut big slabs from large logs. It requires a powerful chainsaw such as the Husqvarna 460 Rancher to operate.

When choosing a chainsaw mill attachment, it’s necessary to consider a few factors, too, as each attachment has advantages and limitations. Here are the things to know:

Log Size

To choose a suitable chainsaw mill attachment, you must first consider the diameter and length of the log you plan to cut.

Chainsaw Size and Power

The attachment should be compatible with your cutting machine. So make sure your chainsaw has enough power to accommodate the attachment and the logs you plan to cut. You should also know the basic cutting techniques before getting started with a chainsaw.

Attachment Weight

If you plan to take your cutting tool to remote locations, consider the attachment weight and portability.

Milling Type

Different attachments are designed for milling the logs differently. So, when choosing an attachment, consider whether you plan to cut boards, slabs, or beams.

Material Quality

Look for an attachment made of durable material that can withstand wear and tear from frequent use.

Selecting the Right Engine Size for an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill

Another critical factor to consider when making an Alaskan chainsaw mill is choosing the right engine size for your cutting tool. The engine should be compatible with the mill attachment and be able to handle the size of logs you plan to mill. Here are some recommended engine sizes for different types of milling:

Small Milling

A chainsaw engine size of 30cc to 50cc is sufficient to mill smaller logs or for occasional log milling.

Medium Milling

For frequent cuts or milling of medium-sized logs, an engine size of 50cc to 80cc is enough.

Large Milling

An engine size of 80cc or more is recommended for larger logs or continuous milling.

For further info, explore some of the best chainsaws for milling purposes and find the right option accordingly.

Raw Materials Required to Make an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill

Once you’ve selected the proper attachment, cutting machine, and engine size, gather the raw materials required to make an Alaskan chainsaw mill. Here’s what you’ll need:


You’ll need lumber to make the frame and other components of your Alaskan chainsaw mill. Either purchase the lumber or cut your own lumber.


To assemble the mill, you’ll need a bunch of screws, bolts, and nuts.

Metal Pipes

Metal pipes or tubing are also necessary to create the frame of the mill.

Angle Iron

You’ll also need an angle iron to create brackets for attaching the mill to the cutting machine.

Cutting Chain

A specialized cutting chain is also required for the cutting machine that is also compatible with the mill attachment. I recommend getting a skip-tooth or a square-cornered chain for an Alaskan chainsaw mill.

While a skip tooth chain is ideal for milling larger logs, a square-cornered one is a good choice for cutting through hardwoods and softwoods easily.

Safety Gear

Getting safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and ear protection is a must to protect you against flying debris while working on creating a chainsaw mill.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a chainsaw mill at home?

To make a chainsaw mill at home, you’ll need a cutting machine, a mill attachment, and lumber to construct a base. You’ll also need metal pipes to make a bracket, bolts, and screws to assemble the mill and angle iron to attach the mill to the chainsaw.

What kind of chainsaw do I need for an Alaskan mill?

When choosing a cutting machine for an Alaskan mill, you’ll need a powerful chainsaw with a long bar and adequate horsepower. Typically, a machine with at least 50cc of engine displacement and a bar length of 20 inches or more is ideal for an Alaskan mill.

Are Alaskan chainsaw mills worth it?

Yes, Alaskan chainsaw mills are worth the investment, especially for those needing to mill lumber regularly. They provide a cost-effective way of creating custom lumber for woodworking projects.

How thin can an Alaskan mill cut?

It depends on the chainsaw bar size and the depth of the cut. Typically, an Alaskan mill can cut lumber as thin as ⅛ inch or as thick as the maximum cutting depth of the cutting machine bar.

What is the raw material for a sawmill?

The raw material for a chainsaw mill is lumber cut into manageable sections for creating the mill. Metal pipes, bolts, screws, angle iron, and a cutting chain also make the raw material for creating a chainsaw mill.

What size engine for chainsaw milling?

The engine size for chainsaw milling depends on the chainsaw bar size and thickness of lumber you wish to cut. However, choosing a cutting machine with 50cc of engine power is recommended for handling the milling demands.

Final Thoughts

Making your own Alaskan chainsaw mill at home with the right plans, tools, and materials can be a rewarding project. This can allow you to create custom lumber for your woodworking projects.

However, there are many factors to consider when creating your own cutting tool mill, such as attachment, raw materials, and engine size. But with careful planning and attention to detail, you can learn how to make your own Alaskan chainsaw mill at home. Happy lumbering!


Some sites may require creating an account or joining a newsletter before accessing free plans. Whereas others may offer immediate downloads. You can also find free plans by visiting online forums or groups dedicated to Alaskan chainsaw milling. Some of the sources where you can find free plans include the following:

  1. Instructables.
  2. The Woodworker’s Journal.
  4. Wood-Mizer.
Patrick McMann