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

A Heavy Workbench And A Welding Table

So here are a couple more projects from the Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation's book "Welding Plans For Farm And School Shop". 

The first is a very heavy 2" pipe workbench that will handle the heaviest type of work in the metalworking shop.

The second project is a nice little welding table with accommodation for rod and tool storage, and a lower shield to protect you from sparks and hot slag.

Yard Projects

Here is a short file I found in my " Self Sufficient Living" folder. It was put together from a site on this subject many years ago. Its the time of year where yard work is on my mind. There are a few articles on yard work but most are short project builds. There is a nice article on stair building.

It's a small file, 936 KB, pdf. to download click Yard Projects.

"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.

Completed Battery Box

So didn't do much yesterday, completed the battery box and spent the rest of the day finalizing the plans for the electrical, made a trip into town to get some supplies, mainly a battery isolation switch. First thing today, put both batteries on charge, to equalize the level of charge, before connecting them up in parallel. Hopefully make some headway on the electrical this afternoon.

In the first picture are the two nuts I welded to the inside of the battery box, to secure the lid. Beside the box is the completed lid and a salvaged metal shelf that I cut the lid from. The lid is drilled for attachment knobs and two edges are turned to match the two salvaged bends. It's light but it will not be supporting any weight (beyond a cup of coffee, ha, ha), and it's main purpose is to keep the weather out.

Here it is closed up with two knobs to secure it in place. It will look better when the paint is all matched up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Battery Box

So I started on the battery box today. I wanted to avoid cutting into a 4' X 6' X 1/8" sheet of steel I am saving for another project, but to make the battery box I would have had to stitch together many smaller pieces, and all the less than square problems that would bring, so I dragged out my big sheet. Cuts were all made with hand grinder, extra thin, cut-off discs.  For thinner material this has become my favourite method. I have a new cutting torch outfit but never bothered to get tanks and I have been on the verge of purchasing a plasma cutter more than once, but the price keeps putting me off (cheap, lol). Careful marking and clamping of straight edges, will produce better quality cuts, with the cut-off discs, than the two other methods, and discs are relatively inexpensive.

All done, just requires a light pass with the grinder to clean up the swarf.

Here it has been carefully marked out for the bends and using a straight edge and the grinder grooved to make the bends easier. 

Here the bends are complete and the mating corner welded.

The bottom cut out ready to weld.

The bottom welded. I tacked the corners and ran 1" welds every 2 1/2" to prevent warping and since a tight air seal is not wanted. I drilled the four corners 7/16" for ventilation and to drain any moisture that might find its way in. 

So after drilling a 1" hole in the end, for the electrical access, I welded the box to the sawmill frame. I got both batteries and checked the fit, perfect.

Here is another view. Next job is to make the top. It's not supporting any weight so I will go with a lighter material.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Saw Scale And A Couple Corrections

So back at it this morning, the first job was the saw scale. This was a fairly simple assembly. I made a frame out of 1 1/2" angle iron and bolted a aluminum, 1 meter, straight edge to it. Canadian Tire had these on sale for $1.99 many years ago, I got a dozen of them. I then welded the frame to the head frame.

Here's a closer look. The indicator arm is shaped and bent 1/16" steel. It is attached to the back of the slide wheel guard with a wing nut and fender washer, the nut is welded to the inside of the wheel guard. The indicator has a 2 1/2" long slot for adjustment.

That was easy, next is a couple of problems that cropped up. The first is symmetry, the lac of it bugs me, lol. One wheel guard is 16" wide the other is 18" wide to accommodate the tension assembly. This makes the guards look a little lopsided. The other problem is much of the sawdust in my little test missed the guard and dust chute. I came up with a little idea to solve both problems. I cut a strip of 2 1/4" X 22" 1/16" steel to weld to the door and enlarge it's size, but first I hammered out a half moon to center on the blade and increase the amount of sawdust that is channeled into the sawdust chute.

Here finished and cleaned up, its turned on edge to show the degree of deformation.

Aw, thats better, looks a little more balanced now ha, ha.

Here's a picture of the sawdust catcher.

And a closer look here. Should direct most of the sawdust to the chute, we shall see.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe"

So last week I completed the upload of  "Wood Turning Visualized". Here is a popular little book that focuses more on the machine, in addition to wood turning you will also find instruction for metal turning, and metal spinning on the lathe. "Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe" is another Delta publication, in keeping with the rest of Delta's "Getting The Most Out Of Your ..." series.

This is a short book, but like the rest of the books in this series , it is packed with information. Metal spinning is one of those activities that has been called a "lost art". Modern methods have largely made metal spinning obsolete, but it is still used to produce one of's and specialty work. For the home hobbyist, this is an interesting use of the lathe, that will let you produce shapes that are normally produced on large expensive press equipment. 

Lindsey published an interesting little book on metal spinning that I will scan and upload next week.

So to download "Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 58 - 14 MB - pdf.