Showing posts with label Sawmill Build. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sawmill Build. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Few More Pictures

So cleaned up the mess I made yesterday. Can't seem to get enough sawmill pictures (it's my site and I will do what I want, lol). So I moved the sawmill into the ventilated workshop space for painting.

It will be a while before I can get at it, but it is ready for paint.

Moved my newly sawed wood into storage for drying. Stacked carefully with lots of stickers. Hopefully we will not get to much warp and twist in the drying process. 

I am bragging now, but the majority of the birch sure is nice, looking forward to producing a few nice projects with this. I will be looking forward to putting up a nice supply of this wood as well. No more looking longingly at these hardwoods in lumber stores and walking away when I see the price stickers.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

200 Board Feet Is A Start

So a clear sky and a bright sun rise today, time to test out the band sawmill.

Here is the mill all set up and leveled, ready to cut.

So I started with the poplar, loaded it with the hoist, and clamped it in place.

Here the first 8' slab, cut. 

The poplar squared up, and the first 8/4 X 6 1/2" board sliced off.

Here the first slab sliced off a 8'2" birch. I could hear the engine working a little harder, but still breezed through it.

So whats the finish like? Pretty hard to get much better, great.

Alright, so how thin can we go? Here is a 1/16" slice of veneer, sliced off one of the short birch. Finish is very nice, a few grades of sand paper would reach a good finish quickly. Still strong, I could have gone thinner, but even this is amazing. 

Here is a picture of the saw in the middle of a cut, on the 8'2" birch.

So thats it, all sawed, there is close to 200 board feet of lumber here, even a conservative $1.50 a board ft. puts the pile at $300. Starting to pay for itself already, lol. Widths are between 5 1/2" and 6 1/2". The poplar is 8/4 thick, the spruce 6/4 and the birch is 5/4.

A side view. 

Bonus, slabs for the wood pile.

The wind blew it around but the sawdust fitting worked great, plugged once with a hunk of birch bark, but great otherwise. 

All done no worse for wear. Things went quickly after the first two logs, and I got the hang of the operating procedure. No real problems, I had a weld on one of the bunk clamp nuts fail, a quick trip into the shop fixed that. A paint job and thats another long held dream, off my check list. 

So this lumber will air dry in storage, and I should be able to build some projects with it next year. YES standing tree to finished project, ha ha.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Tool storage Box

So it was raining hard when I got up, and it kept up till early this evening. My lawn has actually turned green and is growing again, guess I will have to cut it now, ha, ha.

So I got into the shop late, I started on a storage box for the carriage dogs and tooling, when the log tongs that I used on the hoist came to my attention. The swivel had a chain hook instead of a regular hook, I didn't like the set up, it required that I use a section of chain and hook to connect to the regular hook on the hoist.

Solution, cut out the middle man. I had a regular hook with a swivel, so I removed the old hook from the hoist and installed the swivel hook. I then cut a slot in the swivel on the log tongs and removed the swivel and chain hook. Here the log tongs hanging from the new swivel hook, much better.

Not one to throw anything out, I closed the forged swivel on my vise and run a heavy weld, Nothing lost and a better log hoist gained, ha, ha.

So back to the storage box. The box is smaller than the battery box, I stitched it together out of three sections still left from the old Delta saw. I sized it so the salvaged lid you saw in the back of my truck earlier this summer would fit to close it up.

Here the lid closed up with two knobs and a handle installed. 

And here is a wider view showing it's location.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Solved Minimum Bottom Board Thickness

The rain keeps coming, so I keep finding things to improve on the mill. I started off this morning installing a handle on the battery box. Not a biggie but looks better.

Next I welded T handles to bolts on the  carriage backstop sockets. The carriage is now wrench free all adjustments use T handles or wingnuts. While working on the carriage it crossed my mind more than once that I should do something about the minimum bottom board thickness. Using workarounds like a 1 1/2" plank to raise the work for the last cut, works, but is time consuming, and adds inefficiency. I thought about it for a while and came up with a better idea. I cut 4, 1/4" plates 3 1/2" X 8 1/2" . I welded a piece of 1 1/2" angle with part of the L cut off to its face and drilled and threaded the back to accept a wingnut to lock it in place. When locked in place on the 4 bunks it raises the the log or board so the last cut can safely be made with the blade centered on 3/4". Here is a picture looking at the front profile.

Here is a view of the front bunk with the raising fixture in place.

So I made a couple of dogs for use with thin bottom cuts. Talk is talk though, until you try it out, so here is a 2 X 8 X 4' set up to be sliced in half.

Here the front view. The saw is on it's bottom stops, the new fixture will allow me to slice the 1 1/2" thickness into two 3/4" boards minus the saw kerf.

All done, butter is tougher to slice, lol.

The new fixture can be adjusted along the bunks to center on the log diameter, so they never need to be removed. For really large logs you can remove them if need be, and replace them for the bottom cuts, with the wingnuts it only takes seconds.

So here are the results two 11/16" thick boards that means the saw kerf is 1/8". This measurement was consistent across the width and length of the board. The finish is as good as the resawn lumberyard 1 X 4's I talked about in a previous post. Thats surprising because in my enthusiasm to try this out, I forgot to tension the blade and lock the cutting head.   

So their forecasting more rain all day tomorrow. They promise Thursday is going to be nice though, ha, ha. I think we will build a box to store all the carriage dogs and other tools, on the opposite side of the battery box, that symmetry thing again.

Monday, September 3, 2018

A Couple Of Green Birch For The Sawmill

So its Labour Day today, so I decided to go out this morning and do some labour. To see how the mill handles birch I cut down two birch. Below is a picture of the two I selected. They are not large, 10-12" diameter and not overly straight, but they are representative of most of the birch on my property. There are a hand full of large exceptions that I am saving for special projects, but the majority will be in this size range. I can cut 1 1/2 or 2, 8 footers for sawing and the rest goes into the firewood pile (two birds with one stone, lol).

Here cut down, delimbed, and cut up.

All loaded up. The tires were sure feeling it, but the old Ford just keeps on going.

So this is what I set aside for the sawmill test. A poplar, two spruce and four green birch. Not represented here is pine which I have lots of. As far as size goes, I have lots of poplar and spruce in the 18 - 22" diameter range, which should produce some nice large boards.I have lots of pine and birch but few approach the size of the big poplars and spruce.

Bonus, nice start on my wood pile ha,ha.

So the forecast is for on and off thunderstorms today and tomorrow so I will probably saw these up on Wednesday.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

"Metal Spinning"

So I got into the shop for an hr. this morning and the look of the way the engine cable was hanging was starting to bother me, so I welded a short, side extension to the cable support piping.

There we go, thats better.

So as promised here is a copy of "Metal Spinning". This is a reprint by Lindsey Publications, the original was published in 1936 and was written as an instruction manual for the novice. You will find info on what is required to set up your lathe for spinning and the tools required. The last chapter is a collection of projects for the novice to try out. Nice little manual on a hobby that you seldom see anymore. My Rockwell/Delta lathe is certainly heavy enough, I'll have to try it sometime.

To download "Metal Spinning" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 59 - 11 MB - pdf. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Electrical Complete

Taking a chance on the computer today, we have had thunder storms, rain, and power bumps yesterday and today, but here goes.

So I completed the electrical on the mill this morning. Run into one snag I didn't see coming, the engine cables were a little short for the saw head to reach the top of it's travel. I spliced in a couple of extensions, lots of reach now.

Here are the batteries connected in parallel. I used all # 4 cable including the feed to the connection box.

Here's a general view of the connection panel and cable layout.

Power is on.

Not a great picture but a pulled back view of the layout.

And this one is too dark, but here is the cutting head near the top of it's travel. Can't ever see having to cut a log this big, for one thing I don't have any.

Here it is on it's bottom stops, with the carriage at full feed. I like the extension on the double winch controllers, I can move around to either side of the cutting head to observe the cut as it progresses. I put the tape measure to it, and the longest log I can saw, without workarounds is 8'10".

So this mill is pretty much done and usable. I will putter around on a few cosmetic items I want to attend to today and tomorrow. If the rain lets up Monday or Tuesday I want to cut a few green logs and see how this baby cuts lumber. After that it's clean-up time, can't remember the last project the shops got so messed up and dirty. When thats done we will paint the sawmill and post some centerfold pictures.

I built this mill because I have wanted to build one ever since Wood-Mizer came out with their's in the early 80's, (thats a long time to have a bug in your head, lol). It's only intention is for my personal use, so it will not see much highway use. However I do want to take it to MTO and get it weighed and licensed, so before that happens it will get fenders and trailer wiring, sometime.


Got back in the shop this evening, Here are a few more photos with better light.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Made Up The Wiring Harness

So I spent the afternoon putting together most of the wiring harness. The first picture is the winch controllers. I decided to join them together, so they are both at hand when moving around. I first removed the old screws and drilled through both controllers to take two 2 3/4" X 3/16" fine thread bolts and nuts. I made up a hook to hang the controllers when not in use and installed it in a filed slot between the controllers before assembling. I then removed the old fittings and installed new connectors to connect with the rest of the harness. To finish I wrapped the exposed wiring with loom and a well lapped layer of electrical tape.

This is most of the rest of the harness, except for the cable feed from the battery box to the connection box. You will notice one set of cables has the rubber caps on opposing color wires. This is not a mistake, they are to remind me to reverse the connection at the winch to get the rotation to match the desired direction indicated on the controller. 

Over the years I have salvaged half a dozen connection boxes, this is one of the nicer ones I have. I still need to drill a few more holes to accommodate all the connections. The large red key is a battery isolation switch. When not in use I can isolate  the batteries to prevent battery drain. The green indicator light is a reminder the switch is closed.

Just a little warning about the security of the type of locks used in things like tool boxes and applications like this connection box. When I salvaged the box the key did not come with it (lol). However I keep a ring in the shop where I keep found keys and keys from various locks I have had over the years. I tried a number of keys till I found one that opened it. I didn't try it but I think this one came from my red 6 drawer toolbox.

So we'll try to get this all connected up tomorrow.