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Homemade Combo mill

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by sdo, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hello, I'm new here but have done lots of searching and not found what I am looking for.

    I am looking to build a mill to make post and beams out of beetle kill pines on my property. Most of the trees are 14-18" in dia.

    I have a Stihl 032 with a 20" bar, and am thinking of building my self a 2 in 1 mill. I know its a small saw but its what I have and if this works out then all the more ammunition to convince the wife I need a bigger saw.

    The plan (in my head so far) is to make a single bar clamp that I can attach from a horizontal (alaskan type) to a vertical (mini mill) quickly. I would like to face the log with the horizontal than switch to the vertical to go about making the next 3 passes to make it square.

    Horizontal mill would be a copy of Granberg small log mill (single end bar clamp). And for the vertical I am thinking of building a plate similar to a skill saw baseplate, so I don't lose bar length with the guide board under the base. I would incorporate a guide system that ran along side the baseplate to keep the cut straight.

    Any one have thoughts or suggestions, thanks.
     
  2. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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  3. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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  4. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thats a neat looking mill, but I was thinking of making one that is more portable, bring it to the log and mill in place.

    I am also hoping I can mill some long beams, as most of the trees are good and straight, so I should be able to make 20' (or longer) 8X8's.

    Has any one ever seen or made a vertical mill (mini mill) that uses a baseplate (like a skill saw) instead of a saddle that fits over a beam? I have looked and all I can find is "beam cutter" that are electric skill saws that use a small bar to cut large beam for post and beam construction.

    Thanks
     
  5. mtngun

    mtngun Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm not understanding why you have ruled out the Granberg mini-mill ?
     
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  6. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    The reason for looking at a different design is I only have a 20" bar on my saw, and don't like the way a mini mill takes up 4 or more inches of bar (between the mount and the guide board).

    I have never seen a mini mill in person so I might be mistaken.

    I also would like a system that allows me to change from an Alaskan style mill to a vertical "mini mill" style so I can make beams with out the set up of rotating the log as much.

    I will try and get some on my ideas on paper and post them up, it all seams clear in my head, but probably not when I type it out.
     
  7. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Have you worked out how much a8x8 , 20', or longer, will weigh?

    Seeing as you only have a 50cc saw, if you plan on using the whole 20" of bar constantly buried in 20' long beams you will kill that saw in short order.

    Leaving aside the weight of the lumber you are chasing. If you want portability then I'd be seriously considering a mini mill and a small alaskan. These will leave you 14" of cut width allowing you to square up to 18" diameter logs. But even that will be hard work for such a small saw and it will be very slow going over a 20' long.

    If you want 8x8 @ 20 ft I'd say thats a job for a 90cc saw.
     
  8. losttheplot

    losttheplot ArboristSite Lurker

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    You may wish your bar was 4 inches shorter, when your making the vertical cuts, in 14-18" logs which have just had 2 or 3 inches taken off the top. :);)

    If you have lots of money you could try a Logosol "Big mill basic" with extensions.

    http://www.logosol.ca/in-english/sawmills/big-mill-system/big-mill-basic/
     
  9. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    BobL, I am hoping that my 032 50cc saw will work out, all of the trees I will be milling are dead standing, tinder dry pine (pine beetle kill in a very dry environment). My saw cross cuts them like butter. I am new to this and from my reading here and elsewhere I understand that milling takes lots more power then cross cutting, so hopefully I won't be disappointed in the performance of the saw.

    My first test will be on shorter logs 4-5 feet and with the regular chain, just to see what I am up against. I will spend the money on ripping chain if I get good results. if not I will either get a bigger saw, or spend my efforts on building a bandsaw mill with parts an friend and I have laying around. I would like to have access to both, CSM for some milling at the stump stuff, and the BSM for making smaller lumber sizes.

    As for the weight of the 8X8's since this is all dry pine the weight should not be too bad. I have loaded lots of the same logs (for fire wood) and one man can handle a 9' long 12" dia log, so I hope I can bribe some buddies with beer and get there help moving the finished beams.

    Yes my plans are for a small alaskan style mill and a mini style mill. But I would like to come up with a method of moving the saw from one style to another fairly easily. As I only have the one saw. My plan is to build a bar clamp that will stay on the saw, and attach to the vertical bars of an alaska style mill, and then to horizontal bars of a mini style mill. So I could cut down on the time to move the saw from mill to mill.
    Now that I think about it more, undoing 2 bolts to move the saw from clamp to clamp might be the same amount of work as undoing two bolts to move the clamp from mill to mill. Might just be easier to built two clamps and move the saw instead. hmmm?

    Ok now for clamp ideas, have people found it better to clamp the bar with flat plates or with 2 set screws?

    Thanks
     
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  10. ShoerFast

    ShoerFast Tree Freak

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    Welcome to the site! :cheers:

    Any way you cut it, your going to end up with a bigger saw, just trust us for now on that one! :cheers:

    With kind of the same idea, I made one like your thinking of to be a little more stout then the Alaska mill so it could be packed on a horse.

    It has not seen a lot of horse use, but a good mill, with a good sized saw on it.

    [​IMG]

    There is no real mystery on how to build the bar clamps or square up the supports, making it out of what stock you have, will somewhat dictate how you build it.

    I used through bolts and channel-iron, but I do not take the saw off after it's been clamped, much.

    I can tell you are already hooked, my bet, less then a year......

    Less then a year till you have a 660 bolted to a CSM ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
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  11. gemniii

    gemniii Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Or two
    CSM is a special variant of cad.

    Sept - 2009
    Sept - 2009 won a JD CS62
    Milled a tree
    Now -
    Those plus

    [​IMG]

    1 year, 1 month, 4 saws, about $1500.
     
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  12. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    The hardness/softness of the wood doesn't worry me so much as much as the lengths of proposed cuts because 20' long cuts are hard even on big saws - ultimately it's up to

    Good points!

    Ah ha, didn't see the bit about them being dry and I don't think you mentioned the buddies!

    It should be pretty easy to make something that uses a conventional alaskan SHS vertical (undo one bolt and the saw and vertical comes off the mill) that then slides into a similar locking arrangement on a mini mill styled mill.
    For this application I would avoid a design that uses clamps to hold the mill to the bar. Constantly moving a saw between mills that use clamps, means sooner or later you'll forget to tighten one of the clamp bolts and you will toast a chain. I would suggest bolting the bar direct to the uprights. This also makes it possible to remove the chain from the saw without it being taken off either mill.

    Here's how I would do it.
    [​IMG]

    The blue inboard alaskan upright stays permanently on the saw and you could even buck up smallish logs with the upright still on the saw.

    Starting from the alaskan, undo bolts B1 and B3. Slide saw (including blue upright) out of the alaskan and slide into mini mill and do up B4. To go the other way, do the reverse. At the connection point of the blue upright with the bar use a short (1.5" steel pad welded to the upright) and use 2 bolts thru the bar to stop the saw rotating in the minimill.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  13. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    BobL, Your a welt of knowledge, thanks for all the input.

    I had not taken the length into account, good call, I will have to see how my saw dose on shorter rips.

    You ideas for the bar mount are great, I was thinking clamp for simplicity, but like you say, I would eventually forget to tighten up a clamp bolt at some point.
    And you can't get much simpler than 2 through bolts eh.

    So I will go with 2 hoes in the bar and bolt it all together.

    thanks again

    I will be going to my property next weekend and will bring my saw home so I can start fabing up the mill's during the week. I will report here with pics as I go.
     
  14. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Cheers sda.

    welts, yeah I get plenty of those when I'm welding.:laugh:

    .
    Hey what every turns you on man. :hmm3grin2orange:
     
  15. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    And to think I wasted all that time re-reading it for nothing, still made mistakes.

    Thanks for quoting me, now there is no point in even editing to fix my bad typing. Oh well.
     
  16. Daninvan

    Daninvan ArboristSite Operative

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    Funny! It does sound like the punchline to a bad joke!

    Kidding aside sda, I attach a picture of my very simple mill I made with a couple pieces of all-thread bolted to my bar. (Thanks to Will Maloff for the idea) Note that I drilled and tapped the bar to accept the rod. Figured that was a bit more secure than drilling oversize and having to bolt the rod above and below the bar. Has not let me down in several years.

    [​IMG]

    I use wooden blocks to adjust the height of the cut.

    Hey I notice you are in Vancouver too. Send me a PM and maybe we can get together and do some milling locally. You can see how my mill works and work out what you want to do with yours.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
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  17. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    I don't know what's wrong with you people, don't you know how to make a simple machine complicated and spend hours and hours and hours cutting and shaping bits of metal, welding, cutting some more, grinding away the weld and starting again, and pissing off the neighbors with angle grinders and cussin' and swearin' :cry: when things go wrong? :mad:

    Seriously, that thing looks like a hoot. I'm gonna have to make me one just to show the locals that a CS can be that simple.
    :cheers:
     
  18. BlueRider

    BlueRider ArboristSite Guru

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    The Maloof mill design has a certian elligance to it in its simplicity. It is a rediction of details to the simplest form possable to get saticfavtory results. Sort of an ideal way for a beginnier to get into the hobby.

    As for the OP question about a mill for beams. I would strongly recomend taking BobL's advise in his frst post in this thread when he posted the link to the Wombat mill. All the features you keep talking about regarding not loosing any bar length and having a quick and uncomplicated way of switching from horizontal to vertical cuts are included in that mill design. Not only that but the guy sells the plans for dIY and the price for the plans is very reasonable, particularly if you take to acount the excange rate.

    You could do what you are talking about with the Mallof mill, you could also do it with a broad axe, but the wombat will get it done faster and give you a greater chance of getting it done. I am sure that if you did a top notch job on the fabrication that you would be able to make back all your cost plus a few pennies if you decide to sell the mill when your project is done.

    Not to hijack this thread but the wombat is what I thought BobL should look at when comming up with a design for his next mill.
     
  19. sdo

    sdo ArboristSite Lurker

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    Well I finaly found time to start on the project, funny thing is all I needed was 2 hours and it was done.

    I have the "small log mill" part of my 2 mill set up finished. Just need to paint it.

    I will be getting the base plate bent up latter this week for the "mini mill" part.

    Here are some pics of how it looks as of last night, not bad for 2 hours and $30 so far.
     
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  20. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Good work sdo.
     

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