Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Houston We Have Lift Off

So there is a lot of work and refinement left before I could call this project finished, But I have reached the point where I can test out proof of concept. So this morning I tightened the wheels to their shafts installed the blade. The blade guides are going to need further work along with the rear carriage dogs for proper clearance, so I set the guides close but not as close as I would normally run.

I installed the engine, checked all accessible nuts and bolts for snugness, added 10W30 oil, checked the air filter and fueled the tank. Strapped a battery to the top of the blade guard and connected up the engine and two winches. I had planned on a battery box on the frame but this location is another option, we'll see how the winch handles all this extra weight.

So when hydro connected me up 17 years ago I got the old pole they replaced at the road. These creosote soaked poles last for ever, I used most of it in a construction years ago, but I have had a 4' section kicking around, can't burn it, ha, ha. I set it up on the carriage, no front dogs yet so I wedged it against the back dogs with a 1 X 4. Good sign, the engine started on the first try. Here are some pictures.

So without front dogs yet this is the made do set-up.

This picture, after turning over and making the second cut. I really can't call this a test, but it is proof of concept. I say not a test because it went through this short log like a hot knife through butter. Its a small diameter and very dry cedar, but boy it felt like sawing through air, no resistance what so ever in the winch feed or how hard the engine was working.

The make-do set up for the remaining two sides.

All done, took minutes even with the make-do set-ups. Wouldn't have made a difference if the log was 8' long.

So here are a couple of pictures of the finish, one with flash, one without. Not great, but not bad either, considering I didn't do a close set-up on the guides. A couple light passes on the jointer and planer and you couldn't buy better.  

I set up a bucket under the dust fitting, I had a good breeze flowing through the shop and much of the light, very dry sawdust ended up on the floor as well as in the bucket.

So this little run highlighted a few things that need more refinement, but by enlarge confirmed the ease of operation of this mill, the log loader tested earlier and the operation of the winch drives simplify some of the more physical aspects of running a mill. I have run the winches three days now on the same battery as it came from the retailer, with no noticeable loss of power. A full day of sawing should not present a problem for the two batteries and engine charging system.

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