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Student needs help designing a sawmill

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by Novaknives, Mar 7, 2019.

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What type of sawmill do you use?

  1. Chainsaw Mill

    78.6%
  2. Swing-blade

    7.1%
  3. Bandsaw

    42.9%
  4. Circular

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    I'm Jeremy Novak, I've been a longtime lurker and have learned a ton of information off this site. I'm in a engineering class at my high school and we need to design a product, make it, and test it. I will be making a chainsaw mill similar to the Granberg mill I run right now. I think I'll be adding improvements such as tool-less fasteners (like the ones used to hold bike wheels on), skateboard wheels on the chainsaw side to easily move along the log, some sort of slick plastic on the bottom of the mill so it slides along surfaces more easily, an auxiliary oiler, and a hand crank winch. Any more ideas would be helpful! I haven't decided on the capacity yet but I know it has to be capable of milling 36" wide boards and will be run with nothing less than a Stihl 661 and hopefully a 880 in the future. Anything you have in mind would help... Thanks, Jeremy.
     
  2. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Operative

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    Read all of the posts by BobL and you will be far ahead. Read the first sticky post in this forum, all of the pages!

    Do not use bicycle type quick release bolts/nuts and fasteners, they will loosen from the vibration. There is no substitute for good locknuts like Nylocks. I back up the Nylocks with lock washers. The bolts that do not get removed often also have a shot of Loctite. Just use bolts/nuts that your scrench will fit.

    I am in the process of modifying my Alaska mill now, I will post photos as the details are complete. Rollers will either be hard nylon (moly impregnated) or hard rubber.

    BobL has good words about rollers/wheels: Do not use urethane (almost all skateboard and skate wheels) the oils will dissolve the urethane.

    I am running a Stihl 090AV with 66 inch bar on my Alaska Mill.
     
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  3. Ted Jenkins

    Ted Jenkins Firewood by TJ

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    I enjoy milling a lot and have seen many designs. My milling consists of trying to be as practical as possible. I mill lumber to work on my older houses because no matter what size is needed it is at my mill site. I think the band saw is the best, but for something that is portable and will get one some decent slabs a chain saw mill is hard to beat. In the past I have made a heavy duty clamp for the bar, but now plan on just drilling holes in the bar and changing bars when I need the power head. Thanks
     
  4. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Good plans, I have a ported 661c that breathes well. In harder wood ,such as white oak, running 42" bar for up to 38" (snug rub) by drilling hole in center of nose to allow bolt into aluminum square bar post which is drilled & tapped. The harder the wood calls for fewer cutters i.e. skip or semi-skip in square chisel that I use. The square cutter caused me get a grinder which allows 10° or closer to 0° for less cutting edge and less side push from an angle like 25° . It seems to lessen the side porpoise effect, which the race crew tries to reduce by "stoning" the chains used in races. The chain is mounted backward and while running at half speed a sharpening stone is lightly applied to each edge as evenly as possible.
    I have not attempted this yet, nor have I seen it done. So for information only, even tho the theoretical view of mine says it should use less power and leave a smoother surface. Always seeking most efficient use of available power.
    Wishing much success
     
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  5. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    One problem you face is any testing to do with wear will be time limited. This is a problem with high school - can't easily do long term testing in the time available. I encourage you not to just grab already tested ideas from these forums but to see if you can come up with something different - even if its small. If you do take someone else Idea you should fully acknowledge it in any reporting about your product.
     
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  6. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    When I said I need to test my design I meant that I need to demonstrate that it works in front of my class. Technically it only needs to work once for that presentation but I want to use this mill for a long time and will build it with longevity in mind. Any ideas I borrow from this site will be cited with a url link in my project. When I finish this project I'll post the link to the website used to document the project so anyone on this forum can see it. I'll definitely take your advice on adding ideas that are solely mine.
     
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  7. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    Thanks! Would drilling into the sprocket rivet affect the longevity of the bar? How does the 661 do buried in 38" of wood? I take it you can't use a full comp chain when doing long cuts like that...
     
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  8. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    Do you recommend a source for nylon or hard rubber wheels? I have access to a lathe but I would prefer to buy them if I could
     
  9. SeMoTony

    SeMoTony Addicted to ArboristSite

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    On wide cuts full comp seems to clog on chips that adds to the dust & resistance. Open space between cutters&rakers carrie's the chips and the cut is a bit faster in my experience. 20190308_094534.jpg
    1/4" bolt w/lock washer is enough, the pressure falls on the rivets on top and doesn't clamp the sprocket. The rivets hold the inner race in place. That provides almost 2" wider reach from Alaskan clamp.It is sitting on an ash slab cut a year ago, give or take a week, when I was still trying to figure out filing square chain. Too bad that grinders for square chain are so precious to the makers. But to really set up square cutters for me it took ponying up the grand to start making better quality chains.
    Tho right out of the box Oregon square can be improved by round filing the gullet at an angle similar to the angle of the side cutter below the corner. May allow for easier chip flow. I try to picture the chip flow as that of fluid with a large percentage of ice cubes. A lot of cutters in the flow makes the cubes into crushed ice, as wood square edges that the cubes bounce off rather than slide past.
    Prolly said before ,avatar shows a 60" bar on a 70cc class powerhead that barely made it past the wide part of the narrowest way. Listen to your saw for correct pressure down the log.
    Play safe
     
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  10. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Operative

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    Caster wheels in the hardware store, black hard rubber wheels. Remove the bolt or the big rivet and use just the wheel. I found ten in a junk shop last week for $5. I will take a photo and post later.
     
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  11. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Not necessarily and remember I'm milling harder wood than most on this site. I used skip for about 30 or so logs but then went back to full comp and have never looked at skip again. Even my 60" chains are full comp. It depends how much attention is paid to setup - ie #pins on the drive sprocket and chain setup. Basically almost any chain setup can be optimised for full comp, skip or semi skip. If anything skip is likely to be more useful on softwoods where the raker angle can be raised and the Top plate cutting angle lowered significantly this generating more sawdust. Then the space between cutters does become significant .

    So t answer teh question regard a 661 in a 38" cut with full comp will do OK provided the above has been taken into account.

    RE: Drilling the nose sprocket
    Makes no difference to the life of the bar.

    Re: wheels take a look at your local hardware - here should be plenty of nylon ones to chose from there.
     
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  12. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Interesting project for high school. I'd expect this type of thing from an engineering type of college/trade school.

    I've watch chainsaw mills in action, I don't have that much patience. Can cut a whole log up into lumber on a regular sawmill in the time 1 board is cut with a chainsaw.
     
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  13. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    I don't have much patience either - I took it up as a way to access small amounts of craft wood but found it so therapeutic within 4 years I found myself with 4 CSMs and bunch of saws. At the time my day job was Head of Department supervising 8 managers who in turn managed a total of 65 staff at a University. I was forever attending meetings, staff appraisals, hiring and firing etc. It was incredibly boring and at many meetings where I was not too involved I found myself designing chainsaw mills to keep me from falling asleep. - I'm still trying to work out how I got there. Anyway Saturdays and Sundays with the CSM seemed to get me through it.
    These days I can access a BSM for quick work but I still like firing up a CSM from time to time.
     
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  14. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Operative

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    Wheels. The larger on the right are hard rubber caster wheels minus the metal hardware. Smaller rollers on the left are made from moly impregnated nylon. I will use either or a combination of both when I put rollers on my Alaskan Mill.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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  16. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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  17. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    I'm at the point in life right now where I have more time than money and no access to more legit sawmill like a bandmill. I really like to mill but the chainsaw mill can be tediously slow at times like you're saying
     
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  18. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    A lower TPFA will indeed blunt faster in hardwood than softwood but then again for optimum speed cutting one should stop and touch up - often, before the chain goes blunt.
    Chains should be setup so there is minimal load on the power head, this means minimal pushing - the goal is a self feeding chain so that with the log on a slightly slope the saw will self feed.
    This day every thing lined up and one the mill got started I could sit back and take it easy. The beer bottle is empty.
    bobsmillingstyle.jpg

    The other indication is minimal dust and maximal chips (that log above has been down for some 50 odd years which is why there is a lot of dust)
    Whether its hard or softwood I touch up the chain after every tank of mix that way the chain is always sharp.
     
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  19. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    Has anyone ever thought about replacing a chainsaw mill's horizontal rails with rollers so the mill would glide over the flat surface you typically have to push it on? Could you guys think of any potential issues with this idea?
     
  20. srcarr52

    srcarr52 We can't stop here, this is bat country.

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    I found that you need an adjustable shoe on the bottom for your starting cut or when you are on the top 1/2 of the log and the wheels/skid are ridding up or getting stuck.

    This was the first design, but it always slipped. I later when with a pin and multiple holes design.

    IMG_0880.JPG IMG_0879.JPG
     
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