As my earlier post mentioned, the chainsaw mill brackets for the first slab didn't work well. The system was simply turning 2x4 lumber on edge to then run the mill along. The weight of the saw, the lack of perfectly level and straight 2x4s, and the narrowness of the rails all factored in to a less than flat initial slab.
Well my Yankee ingenuity got the best of me. I spent some time building my own slab rail system. I cut a 3/4" thick piece of plywood down to 24" wide and 7' long. To add even more height and strength to the bracket, I actually sandwiched two sheets of plywood together, then added a metal frame to the underside (1 1/4" square tubing). The frame adds strength as well, but I mostly wanted the metal to create a level and square frame to attach the plywood.
These photos show the metal frame; this is the side that will be resting on the log. To attach the plywood to the metal frame I counter sunk, both the bolt head/washer and the threaded end with the nut/washer.
Another fault with the factory arrangement was that both ends of the log needed to be cut close to parellel for the slab rails to stay in a level and square arrangement. With the shear mass of my slabbing rail, only one end needs to be attached to the log. This is almost imperative for the size logs we will be working with.
I gave the rail a test run and couldn't be happier with how it worked out.
If the spring weather breaks, Joel and I will be milling again on Friday. Check back for updates!