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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. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    I love this photo!!!

    [​IMG]

    What is the horizontal rod going across the top of the frame? Maybe control linkage for the oil tank valve?

    And the wood, nice red color. Species? Hardwood or soft? End use maybe counter or table or bar tops?

    You do great work Bob, I have enjoyed reading all your old posts. Ingenious well thought designs for your mills.
     
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  2. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Its an Occky strap , it dampens the vibe on those uprights , especially the little handles - I often use then on my Alaskans

    My Dad was a tree faller and for about 5 years he felled and bucked these Jarrah trees. I have memories of when I was a kid when Dad would get home from work and take his boots off on the back stairs and all this bright red sawdust would fall out. The red does not last long and it goes brownish. The colours vary considerably from pale pink for quickly growing young trees to deep chocolate brown that goes near black when it is oiled.

    Jarrah is a local Eucalyptus (hardwood) that requires a specific gravel, clay soil mix and around 48" per year of rainfall per year for a couple of hundred years to grow 200ft tall 36-48" diameter trunk. Some trees have reached over 80" in diameter, For about 100 years they were milled and exported as railroad ties and construction timber. Now because of over harvesting, climate change, national parks, and a root fungus infection spread by vehicular traffic through forests that has contaminated much of the remaining forests there is stuff all harvestable forest left and what is left is prized as premium furniture timber.

    All the floors in our 100 year house are of this timber.
    Here is an example: kitchen floor that was resurfaced last year - the stairs are also Jarrah
    KitchenAfter.jpg

    This is the family room. This is a 25 yer old an addition so we had to buy new timber - note greater number of paler boards from younger trees,
    FamilyAfter.jpg

    End use of the above log. This log plus a few others were milled for friends to use as seats around a large gazebo , a HD Pizza oven table and outdoor furniture. I posted pics about these in 2012 but they all got lost is the great forum stuff up of 2012.
    The poles for the Gazebo are Tingle wood - an even rarer close relative of Jarrah.
    IMG_3261.jpg

    Thanks.
     
  3. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    Wood to die for!!!! Beautiful.

    I like the vibration damper idea. Will make up something for my mill.

    As you know, happiness in a gent's shop is an ample supply of materials for making things. I have a lifetime supply of steel, aluminum, stainless steel, even some titanium. It serves me well.

    So I should be able to find something suitable in the collection for improvements to the mill.

    Thanks again!
     
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  4. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Here's a whole dark chocolate Jarrah desk top in 2002 I made from 2, 13ft x 3ft x 1.75" jarrah slabs.
    The semi-built in U shaped desk is 8ft x 10ft x 6ft x 2ft/6in wide - the gap right at the back is where a lift up panel provides access for power/data cables
    The tops sits on a set of drawers (LHS), a full length shallow cupboard running along the back with the panel doors, and bookshelf on the RHS all made of Jarrah as well
    I did not mill these slabs - they came from a local sawmill that was closing down that had slabbed dozens of old Jarrahs some 40 years ago.
    Nearly all of the slabs were termite riddled and it was difficult to find whole slabs with no termites but they still cost $$.
    One of the 13ft long slabs I bought had holes at one end but the other end was sound.
    Desk2.jpg
    I set the desk up with 2 PCs and space for my laptop but only sat there for ~3months because then we got wireless and ended up working anywhere but at the desk.
    Two years ago I set the room up as a small electronics shop and now I spend a lot more time there.

    I don't quite have the space/room for a lifetime supply
    BUT
    in some ways even better, because it does not taken up my limited space, I do have several mates with several lifetime supplies plus the local Mens Community Workshop has a huge amount of stuff that I can access for nothing or near nothing. One mate is amazing - I always ask him before I buy. Recently I needed sone 1/8 and 1/4" NPT fittings and 1/8" copper tubing so I called him and he said he had some so I went around and he had two boxes full of fittings and I could have them all (he's short on space as well) but I course I don't want them all so I took what I needed and brought the rest back to him.
     
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  5. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    I would to live somewhere in Australia, with the following conditions: Near salt water for using my boat and fishing. Not too far from areas with Sambar for hunting. (Not up north for buff and pigs, too hot for me). And of course near good timber country for a source of big logs. Finding the old logs on the ground as you often do would be a bonus. America is going down a path that I do not like, especially the state where I live (Washington). Too much liberal stuff and political correctiveness. More and more laws to restrict the outdoor sportsman that likes to hunt and fish.

    Bu, at 72 years of age, all pipe dreams. I should have followed my instincts: Way back in high school, a good friend and I talked about finding a way to Australia and staying. Should have followed that dream!

    More questions: What area do live in?

    And what is your favorite oil finish?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    My location in under my Avatar, South West of Western Australia - area is one of 35 of the UNs world wide listed biodiversity hotspots.

    I live on a small suburban block about a mile from the CBD
    Apart from relatively small areas of towering Eucalyptus forests and wild flowers in spring theres nothing that really hits you. The native animals are mainly nocturnal, small and unobtrusive but found nowhere else in Australia. The birds are stunning - but also mainly small but LOTS of them. The wildflowers are also unique and pretty impressive when they are out - we are called the Wildfower State. Otherwise (especially in summer) the area is dominated by unstocked drab brown farms, and scrubby woodlands with smaller some stunted trees. It is very hot in summer with average maxima of 85+ for Dec through March but we regular break 100 and even 110 record for Perth is 115, its even hotter inland but much cooler on the south coast. I like winter - daytime max averages of around mid 60s for June - August and no snow. In between the rain showers its bright and sunny and I can mill in a T-shirt.

    Western Australia is about 1/3rd of the size of the continental US so the terrain and daytime temperatures vary considerably from north to south. Today (Fall has just started) the max forecast on the south coast is around 65 while at a place called Marble Bar in interior north west its forecast to reach 112. Marble Bar has the world record for the most number of consecutive days where the maxima reached over 100, its 151 days!
    My MIL is from Marble bar - her dad operated a one-man gold mine and lived in a corrugated iron shack. He sank shallow shafts in Solid quartz rocks to collect small amounts of gold but he became ill and walked off his mine in 1939 so his lease lapsed. The mine lay dormant for a few years but after WWII the lease was picked up by a major mining company who made an average annual profit of over a million $ a year for 60 years. A few years back they halted mining and started to process the tailings and expect to generate BILLIONS from the tailings.

    Just got a call from the Local Community Mens shop as they have had a truck load of small Camphor Laurel and Magnolia logs that they want me to mill for them. I've mill CL before but not Magnolia - anyone had any experience with that? Should be like hot butter compared to what I usually mill.

    Depends what its for.
    Oils turn Jarrah very dark, even black on chocolate dark Jarrah, so I tend to a PU or even a two pack. That desk is finished in PU and then several coats of Automotive hard polish.
    For tool handles etc I like to use a wipe on brew of BLO with a few drops of shellac on the cloth.
    For kitchen utensils etc I use lemon or orange oils.
    For furniture I sometimes use danish oil but usually I use a PU or similar
    For turned objects that are going to be handled I tend to use a friction polish, or shellac and BLO.
     
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  7. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Talking about summer and winter in the "wrong" months caught my attention!

    Sounds like a nice place. I must be part polar bear or something, cause no thanks to 100*. I don't like much over 60-65* in the summer. Winter, I'm plenty fine if it stays around 15-20*
     
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  8. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    Oh yea I missed your avatar for some reason. Call it a "senior moment".

    WA would be off my list. Somewhere in New South Wales would fit, in the hills east of Victoria.

    I visit a gun/hunting forum ran by a vineyard owner near Victoria. Nice Territory! Most posts on that forum concerning the Perth area are about Great White Sharks chomping surfers and divers. Don't think I would want to be fishing or in the water there!!!

    BLO goes on all my wood handles, axes, splitting mauls, hammers.

    And I use Danish also on some woods.

    Teak oil and Teak sealer on, you guessed it, Teak in the boat.
     
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  9. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    The shark thing in WA is blown out of all proportion and just as many people are killed on the east coast of Oz.
    The top animal killers in Australia are horses (3- times more than sharks ), cows (~2 times more than sharks) , dogs, kangaroos (jumping in the ways of moving vehicles) and bees
    Then come sharks, spiders and crocs (Stupid tourists ignoring signs and copious information provided to them).
    I'm actually all for the sharks - after all it's us entering their home and most of deaths could be avoided by not swimming in certain places or at certain times of the day. Why is it that locals that live up north have known for centuries not to swim in certain rivers and beaches because of crocs, Irukandji (look that up), stone fish etc. yet they seem to think they can ignore sharks?
     
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  10. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    I like sharks, fished for them when I was in Florida. They are a necessary part of the oceans.

    Worst place for shark attacks in the world is the California Red Triangle. A few days ago a White took a nip out of a surfboard on the Oregon Coast. The darn things can be anywhere.

    Although I think livestock have killed more people in the States than sharks. We had a gent killed by his hogs a couple of years ago not far from me, the darn things were eating him when his body was discovered. And horses & Mules: Or horse shoe guy was killed by a mule, got kicked in the chest, ruptured the heart and aorta. Died on the spot. Cougars attack many more people here than any sharks. Two cougar deaths last year not far from me, one hiker and one bicycle rider. And several attacks where the person got away.

    I grew up in the swamps of the South East US, in Georgia. Alligators were a concern. Not as prone to attack as a Saltie, but they can kill you. I always kept a good eye out when I was in Gator country.

    Just about any big animal can kill you, I have been treed more than once by range cattle. My Grandfather had Brahmans, the bulls just were ornery.
     
  11. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    My wife is an equestrian rider and has her own horse and I worry about her even though I know she is very careful - not just with horses but life in general. Even before we had grandchildren I call her granny driver because she's always used much less gas and vehicle wear and tear than I do - although she did burn a clutch out from towing horse floats. She had been riding regularly for about 15 years and had no significant injuries but recognising her age and the dangers in 2017 she gave up (show) jumping. Last year just waiting and standing still on her horse in an arena the horse got spooked and jumped sideways and she came off and landed on a low fence and broke 4 ribs. Then just just 3 weeks ago she was thrown off and this time broke her shoulder this of course means les time for me in my shop as she cannot do anything around the house .

    Australia does have a lot of small critters that can kill, spiders, snakes, jelly fish and something called a blue ringed octopus that can be no bigger than a quarter. Again you learn where to not stick you fingers and where to swim and to recognise and remove prospective environments for the spiders etc. But we need to keep in mind the greatest risk in going for a swim is still the drive to the beach and for people who can't swim well or at all, drowning!.
     
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  12. Ancient One

    Ancient One ArboristSite Member

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    Yea the highway scares me. There is a nasty curve 4 miles from me, a 4 lane road. A downhill S curve (actually 3 curves) that is poorly banked, and there is a bridge in the middle that often has ice in the winter.

    Two or three die each year there. Speed drops from 55 to 40 at the curve, if you drive the speed limit no problem. Go through the curve at more then 60 mph and centrifugal force will pull your vehicle into the opposite direction lane. Most yahoos around here drive 65 to 70, the law enforcement guys often have a radar trap there. Last death was a young lady on a Harley, too fast in the curve, she dead centered a truck head on.

    I would rather drop a 150 foot fir tree than drive on our highways! Much safer.

    Back to milling: What is your most recommended chain? I have a loop of the wacky Granberg and a loop from Madsens (B3 Carlton) with the 10 degree top angle, full comp. Both new. I will try out both. And I just ordered a 25 foot reel of full comp with the 10 degree top angle. Ha! Will only make two loops for the long milling bar I have. It is Archer, I wanted to try it and compare with the other two. All is .404 x .063. And I have many loops of standard skip tooth chisel for the 36 and 42 inch bars. I have a 42 that I will drill and install the Granberg helper handle for the smaller logs.
     
  13. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    I don't usually recommend a specific chain because it's sort of personal and its how a chain is setup that really counts. Some folks like 404, others like 3/8, skip etc.

    I use 3/8 full comp mainly because it means holding bulk supply of one type of chain and I can use it across all my working saws from the 70cc 441 to the 880. The only other chain I buy on a roll is Lopro for 441 when using teh 25: bar. I have a few loops of other chains; like 3/8 square ground for the 42" bars but that goes blunt too quickly in our harder woods, and loops of 404 for the 60" bars that are still near new because I found the 3/8 works just as well. I've tried out a rage of different chains on my saws but then went back to the 3/8 for comparative purposes and never went back to the others.
     
  14. Novaknives

    Novaknives Treekiller

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    Do you need a special bar for the low pro chains? Why is a low pro chain better than a standard chain? My understanding of low pro chains is they use slightly less power than a full width chain, is that correct?
     
  15. BobL

    BobL No longer addicted to AS

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    Lopro has a narrower kerf - somewhere between 20 and 30% narrower than standard 3/8 chains. So it uses less power and, if the wood is valuable, wastes less wood and cuts faster.

    The main problems with it are

    a) Lopro requires a special drive sprocket and in most cases a special nose sprocket. Even though Lopro is called a 3/8 chain its not 3/8" pitch (and neither is 3/8 chain actually a 3/8 pitch). Whatever it is, Lopro has a smaller pitch than standard 3/8 chain. If you try and run it on standard 3/8 drive and nose sprockets (like I have) when it gets slightly loose it will jump sprockets. If you keep the chain really tight you can get it to mostly stay on the bar but it will prematurely still damage sprockets and eventually stretch and jump the sprockets and a couple of jumps usually means a wrecked chain.

    I make my own Lopro drive sprockets by turning down 404 sprockets. This is not an easy process because most drive sprockets are made from a sintered steel alloy so have to be machined with carbide cutters.

    The nose sprocket seems a bit less of an issue. While it is better to use a dedicated lopro bar with a nose sprocket to suit. I found that if if you persist and keep the chain tight the chain seems to eventually find a ride around the nose OK. The two 25" bars I have for my 441 are standard 3/8 bars and apart from the first few times when I used it and didn't keep the chain tight enough and it jumped the nose. Note this is a rick you will ruin the chain but I still have the Lopro chain that jumped and have mill a fair amount with it.

    I the Lopro quite often to make plunge/blind cuts such as on these log park benches.
    This puts a lot of pressure on the nose and for the chain t clear sawdust but the Lopro seems to have managed this OK.
    That's my monorail mill in action, fortunately the wood is only moderately hard.
    Hcut2.jpg
    Sofa3.jpg

    b) Because it stretches so much I am not game to use Lopro on any bar longer than a 25" bar on my 441 i teh woods I cut.
    I know some folks have used it on up to 36" bars but that will be in your softwoods. The hardwoods I mill would make such a long chain unusable - regular 3/8 chain stretches enough as it is.
     

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