Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Woodworkers Sawmill Build

So it seems I have talked myself into committing to the sawmill build this summer. This is going to be a long project, hopefully we can saw some boards before the snow flies again. If you have followed any of my builds you will know I usually start of with a rough drawing to lay out the basic dimensions and expectations and then work from there, according to what I have available or can fabricate myself. Here is my rough concept drawing.

As you can see this is different from most of what is out there. Different variations of this idea have rolled around in my head for many years. I don't have the trees to go into business producing large amounts of construction length lumber, and now that my house and shops are built, I don't have the need for it either. My sawmill dream has always been to be able to cut a tree down, saw it into good quality boards, and build a nice piece of furniture with it, (the whole process, forest to bookcase).

For a woodworker the largest pieces he is likely to build are bookcases, or bed frames. All under 8', for that reason I sized the mill for a maximum log length of 8'6". This will still allow you to cut stud length lumber if needed.

The most distinct difference in this mill is that the saw arch is stationary, the log carriage moves the log through the stationary saw arch. In my opinion a more accurate cut should be produced, for two reasons, the blade arch is not moving over a less than perfect surface, and the carriage, which is moving, has a larger stance than a traveling arch, which helps to smooth out the irregularities in the track.

The first question here might be "How are you going to saw 8'6'' logs on a 6'2" carriage?". The answer is the carriage wheels are inset 1' from the ends of the carriage. This allow's the carriage to overhang the frame 1' at both ends, allowing 8'6" of travel past the blade.

Blade elevation and carriage travel will both be powered by ATV 1500 lb. winches, this may change if things don't work out.

Engine clutches for anything larger than 12 or 13 HP are very expensive, competing with the price of the engine itself. So I will try an idea used by many others, tightening and loosening the belt, by installing the engine on a movable base, I could see this being hard on the belt, we will see.

Another different idea I dreamed up was installing a small crane on the towing A frame. This simplifies log handling, it rotates 360* and should load anything you can get within 6' of that end of the mill or straight out of the back of my truck. It will also turn logs on the carriage.

The 5 trailer jacks allow you to level and support the mill, the three at the crane end give the crane good support.

I don't know if I am going to post this on the forums yet. I know the first comments I am going to get are "my Wood-Myzer can cut 18' boards and 10,000 board feet per day" thats great if your going into business but it will cost you $30,000 and lots of maintenance keeping up with the blade sharpening etc. This one should come in around $1,800 total and hopefully produce all the wood any woodworker could ever hope to find projects for.

So I think thats enough info to get started, and give viewers an idea of were I am headed with this. We'll try to get out in the heat tomorrow and start cutting metal for the base frame.

Monday, July 2, 2018

New Books On My Shelf

So as mentioned my little used book road trip search, turned up a handful of interesting titles, still not on my shelves. I found many good ones of interest to woodworkers and metalworkers, but though tempted, I raised the memory that I already had them, ha, ha.

So here are a few pictures of what I found. First is three titles from Intermediate Technology's "Workshop Equipment" series. Their are 10 in the series, I have most of them on disc but the quality is poor. I have only found one other paper copy in the past, so finding these three was a thrill.

Here I have an older 1988 American Woodworker, and a newer FW Tools And Shops annual. In the middle are two classics. the first "Measuring And Marking Metals" from the "Workshop Practice Series" joins the few other paper titles I have from the series. I have the whole series on disc but some are very poor quality. The second "How To Run A Lathe" by South Bend Lathe is a classic, I have many older editions in paper and on disc but not this newest edition. Lindsey Pub. had them in his catalog, back in the 80,s but my order went in to late and he had sold out. It was nice to find this mint condition copy. On the right is a Craftsman publication on the table saw. Craftsman published a complete series on shop machines in spiral bindings and tough double vinyl covers. This completes my collection in this series.

Projects galore. I have some of the nice hardcover titles in these two series. These 7 nice volumes come close to completing my collections.

And finally here is a nice set of project books from the easy to build "Kid's Furniture" to the professional instruction and advanced projects in "Woodworking School". On the right is a nice collection of "Wood" and "Popular Woodworking" magazines from the late 1990's.

Looks like I am going to be scrounging for shelf space again. Maybe my next winter woodworking project will be a combined entertainment center and bookshelf for the living room. Famous last words, ha ha.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Superstack, A Big Nickel, And A Sawmill Engine

So I hope everyone enjoyed their Canada Day, and to viewers in the US hope you enjoy your upcoming Independence Day.

So I got in a road trip for a few days, around what southerners call, the near north, the Muskoka and Georgian Bay areas, to visit some used bookstores. Yesterday morning I headed for Sudbury to visit Princess Auto, and pick up supplies for the sawmill build. Their seems to be lots of traffic with the recent posts, so some close up pictures of the Superstack, and the Big Nickel attraction, which represents Sudbury's domination of the nickel industry for 130 years, would be in order.

First a close up of the Superstack. You can just see the top of the new technology that is making the Superstack obsolete, the short gray stack with the black top. The day I was there, the plant was in full operation, with no noticeable emissions from either stack.

Their were dozens of 300 - 500 ft. stacks around the Sudbury area and many dozens of mines, operating and depleted. Most ore gets shipped to the Copper Cliff, Superstack facility for processing now a days but many of the old stacks remain, as a reminder of Sudbury's past. Close to two billion years will change a landscape alot. Continental drift and erosion have changed the ore body to the shape seen below. The red dots are the many mines, The Murray mine was the first mine discovered (by wouldn't you know it, a blacksmith), when the CPR was pushing the railroad through in 1883.

Here is a picture of what has been, and what is coming back. There are hundreds of shaft access points in the area, all are obviously restricted. I got this picture from a distant hill top. In the picture is a good example of the burned black and bare rock that has dominated past Sudbury landscapes, but you can also see the re-greening that has taken place, since the Superstack went into operation in 1972, even here, this close to actual operations.

A visit to Sudbury wouldn't be complete without a picture of the Big Nickel. This is a large welded nickel-steel creation representing the Canadian nickel, and Sudbury's nickel production.

Sudbury also has a nice large used book store, but my main reason for visiting Sudbury was a stop at Princess Auto to pick up an engine, and supplies for the sawmill build. The engine is a Pro-Point 15 HP, with a cast iron sleeve, it is supposed to have twice the life of their house brand "Power Fist". We will see. I have no more excuses, I now have everything I need for the build. Maybe start in the shop Tues. or Wed. ha, ha.

So I left Sudbury late afternoon, I had intended to head east to Ottawa for Canada Day, but the thought of huge stifling crowds in 40* heat turned me off, so when I hit North Bay, I turned north onto highway 11 and headed home. Barbecued burgers, cold beer, and the quiet tranquility of nature, was much more appealing. Ha, ha, spoken like a true hermit,lol.

I will do a post tomorrow on some of the nice woodworking, and metalworking books, I scrounged up on my little road trip.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Short History Of The Superstack

So no plans today, I have been enjoying some summer warmth, and trying to finalize a plan for that small band sawmill, I keep harping on about. It would be nice if I could finally start that build. I have been planing a road trip to visit some of my favorite used book stores around Ontario, maybe be in Ottawa for Canada Day. A detour into Sudbury, is in the plans, to pick up some material for the sawmill, mainly a 15 HP motor.

On the subject of Sudbury I thought some might be interested in the history of the area, and the "Superstack". Vale's, formerly Inco's, superstack has been in the news lately. It is being decommissioned and will be dismantled in the future. It was built back in 1970 to get the SO2 emissions (the main ingredient in acid rain) up into the jet stream and spread it over a wider area further downwind of the area. More advanced methods of removing SO2 and NO2 emissions out of the stack gas, have made it obsolete.

So 1.85 billion years ago a big meteorite slammed into Northern Ontario, and created the Sudbury basin, a 200 km (120 mile) wide crater. This picture explains the results.

In the bottom of that crater collected the worlds largest deposit of nickel, and smaller amounts of copper, platinum, palladium, and other semi precious metals. Up until 1970 the SO2 emissions devastated the vegetation in the Sudbury area (thus the "moonscape" reference often associated with Sudbury). After the Superstack was built, an aggressive  revegetation program was adopted, that has since won awards for its successes.

Above: The story goes that the day the stack was to be completed (Murphy's law applies), there were 6 workmen completing the top lip of the stack, when the "Sudbury Tornado of 1970" hit. The stack swayed like a drunken sailor. 5 of the 6 workmen survived, with minor damage to the stack. The next day, after going home to change their shorts no doubt, all 5 quit. A new crew was sent up to finish the lip that day.

Below: Molten lava down the hillside.

Above: A view from across Ramsay Lake. A beautifully reclaimed lake and recreational area in the middle of the city.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip. Cheers.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hobby Filing Machine

So I have a little time this morning before I hit the mowing tractor for one more day. Here is a nice short plan for a small filing machine.

I found it tucked away in a old file. Its titled PM Filing Machine. I uploaded a plan for a PM filing machine before but I don't think this version is it. It was in poor shape but I got it cleaned up nice.

I am sure when I find a day or two in the future, I want to try this. I could see it being a quick way to finish small metal parts accurately. I have a couple of small sets of Mibro files that would be perfect for this project. they have round shanks that would be perfect for a small chuck or collet.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Morning Chuckle

So listening to "Under The Influence" this morning, a CBC radio show on the advertising industry. The host told a story about Ed a fellow who called a radio self help therapist for advise. Ed told the therapist " My wife and I are newly married, my wife likes to sleep in the buff, in the morning she gets up and goes and cooks breakfast still in the buff. What advice do you have?"

The therapist replied "Tell her to wear an apron when frying bacon". LOL I thought it was funny.

Anyway I finally started cutting my lawn. Below is a picture of one of the old blades I changed out on the mower. I have been using discharge blades but I find the discharge wing usually wears off after two or three cuts because of the patches of exposed sand still on my landscape. So when Sears announced they were closing down in Canada, I put in a order for four sets of mulching blades. Without the discharge wing hopefully they will last longer.

Small Bending Roll Plan

So 10 posts ago I posted a article on the operation of a small slip roll. I also indicated I would upload some plans. It seems there was a lot of interest in the article, so I figured I should get a plan up. I'll start with the smallest plan I have.

Most people are familiar with "Model Engineer" the British magazine that has been around since 1896 (yes 1896 and still going strong). It contains many metalworking plans and projects covering shop tools, live steam and various other model making topics. One of the plans I have found circulating on the web is an edited version of a plan for a small bending roll from Oct. 1976 Model Engineer. Its a nice plan but the pictures are all dark and not very useful.

I have a large collection of Model Engineer mags. on my shelf. Great deal I got from a retired Brit at a flea market in Thunder Bay, many years ago. On a hunch I checked them, and sure enough I had the two issues the bending roll was published in.

So without further ado here is the original plan from "Model Engineer" magazine. First picture is the cover of the bi-weekly containing Part 1 of the plan for the bending roll.

This is a well designed good quality plan, difficulty leans toward advanced, and a metal lathe is required. I have easier larger plans, but the quality here is hard to beat.

So I got a couple of days to make my property presentable and then it's time to enjoy some summer, but I think it was Arnie who said "aawl be back".


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tractors Can Fly

So I got my lawn tractor in from the material storage shed. I need to do an oil and filter change and change the blades. I figured it would be a good chance to check out the operation of the hoist. I bought this tractor 7 years ago. At 26 HP it was Sears largest tractor at the time, the weight comes in between 550 and 600 lbs and the 54" cutting deck is at least another 125 lbs. At around 700 lbs, it is just a little over 1/3 the capacity of the hoist.

I was a little concerned about the height capacity. In the pictures the tractor is 2'4'' off the floor just enough to back my truck under it for loading and I could shorten the straps almost another foot as well.

The tractor raised easy, and the trolley rolled easy and smoothly, with the tractor raised. Here's a couple of pictures.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Heavy-Duty Welded Metal Bender

So does a bear EVER shit in the woods? "NEVER" lol. Had one leave a package in the middle of my turn around area, sometime last night. Looks like  he had a late supper on my long grass, sat down in one of my patio chairs and had a relaxing smoke before doing his business and leaving. There was an extra butt in the ashtray on the table, lol.

So its a gloomy stormy day out there today decided to make it a day of rest. Dug up an old file that might be of interest here. This is a plan for a heavy duty metal bender of welded construction. I found this file somewhere on the web years ago, it was originally published in "Science And Mechanics" back in August 1957.

This is a versatile idea capable of some heavy work. If you have the means to weld you can build this.

Click to expand click again for best view.

Notice: I did an edit on this article shortly after posting to get the pages in the correct order.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Workshop Hoist Completed

So it was a long day and there were times when this old guy actually broke a sweat (its raining and humid today, ha ha), but the workshop hoist did get completed.

I started of by drilling the top of the I beam for the two 4 1/2" bolts. I staggered them 6" each side of center to avoid creating a weak spot in the I beam.

In welding assembly, set-up is everything. To get the end plates centered on the I beam I used a piece of 1/4" plywood and some strapping thinned with a couple of passes on the jointer. I then checked this end for level and eyed down to the other end plate for wind, added one shim to the far end plate to level things up. Notice the bevels on the top of the I beam and end plate. This will be ground flat after welding to give a tight fit to the bottom of the wood beam. The bevels will insure I have good weld penetration at these corners.

Ready to weld.

I first tack welded all 8 corners to preserve my set-up and then started welding. Haven't welded in over a year. The first weld wasn't great but passable for a shaky old guy, ha ha.

This is the second pass on the weld, getting better. Takes a bit but it comes back quick.

Welding all done.

In position ready to hoist into place. Using my come-alongs , I got within a foot and a half before the come-alongs got in the way. It was a tight fit but a block of 4 X 4 and a 12 lb. helper, got the I beam between the posts. Using two 8' 4 X 4's and my helper, I raised each side a couple of inches at a time, till the I beam was tight to the wood beam (this is the part that got me sweating, ha ha).

I forgot to mention I drilled the posts first thing this morning, fresh wood bit, it went quickly. Just slid the bolts in, good alignment. I left out the flats, bolts were just long enough to get a full thread on the nut with the locks in.

The bolt side.

So here it is ready for work. The trolley has lots of adjustment for width, and it runs very smooth, a slight tug on the chain and the hoist rolls over ready to help, ha ha.

Here it is, in its stored position. I installed a 1" dowel at 6.5' on the post, to hang excess chain and keep it out of the way.

I didn't get a chance to try it out today, maybe tomorrow or the next day. I need to change the blades, oil and filters on my lawn tractor. I'll see if I can make that tractor fly, ha ha.