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Author Topic: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs  (Read 8388 times)

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Offline woodbowl

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Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« on: October 26, 2005, 12:47:58 am »
After getting back from the Moultrie expo and seeing all the latest sawmills, and sawing systems, reality is slipping back to tell me that I am fresh out of $60,000 thousands. A new 65 HP Perkins diesel is the power pack of choice but I'm afraid it ain't gona' happen. With all the junk yards around and cheap power sources, what's wrong with being inovative enough to put a vehicle motor on a homemade bandmill or swingmill? It's been done many times, I've just haven't tracked any down yet. Please share what you know and think about, concerning retrofitting auto engines for sawmill design. Pics would be nice. ;D
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Offline Swede

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2005, 03:43:40 am »
I´ve seen some home made machines with engines from trucks and cars. There is a lot of fuel to save with a speed control and without it you need a much biger engine with more torqe.
Thats why I think a car engine isn´t what you need for an aircompressor, generator or sawmill.

Swede.
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Offline freddycougar

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2005, 06:06:18 am »
hi folks.. new here, lurking for a while... just read this post... i am curently building a bandmill and i beleive i have found the perfect engine for it .. an early vw diesel.. they produce about 60 hp,at 3500 rpm..  cheap on fuel. and u can buy a complete car for 500$ .... they are light, under 300 lbs, and are quite small in size . this is what i will use to power my mill.
thanks freddy

Offline rbarshaw

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2005, 06:41:17 am »
Well you know I think a motorcycle engine is just about perfectly suited for a sawmill, especially if it has a automatic transmission. They are very light weight.
Been doing so much with so little for so long I can now do anything with nothing, except help from y'all!
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Offline DonE911

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2005, 07:32:21 am »
If I was starting from scratch ( which I'm not ) I would consider multiple uses for the power plant.    I'd be tempted to go with an electric mill and have a generator mounted in the truck to power it.    The generator could also be used to power the house in power outages and maybe even some other stuff like general shop tools....  moulders,saws ect.

I'll be looking thru ebay for all the hardly used generators that should be hitting the market this winter. I'm not looking to power a mill, but I might like to power some of that other equipment with it.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2005, 07:36:39 am »
I don't know how long an automotive engine would take the high rpm and heavy load  in a mill application. They usually see short bursts of acceleration and a lot of loafing. Well at least for most of us  I have been known to abuse one or two ;D What about using the engine out of a combine?
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2005, 09:31:12 am »
you fix the band speed by pulleys to get the rpms matched up.  I'd think the weight would be a bigger concern.
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Offline Rockn H

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2005, 10:42:14 am »
I know of a few generators here that are using an early '80s volkswagon diesel turn power them.  They seem to hold up well.  They used pulleys and belts to change the ratio so they run at 1200 rpm instead of 3600.  What I would be worried about is the weight also.

Offline D._Frederick

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2005, 11:16:57 am »
I sure would go along with the VW diesel for use with a narrow band sawmill, the main problem would be to find one that is not burned up. The cost to over-haul a diesel takes a big bunch of change. The VW engine has an aluminum head, that can be damaged if the engine has been run hot.

To use it for a power plant, requires a governor and a outboard bearing mounted by the flywheel to take the stress from belts. It would need a larger radiator than used in a VW car and would need a belt driven fan.

Offline Murf

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2005, 02:11:42 pm »
Actually Don, if'n yer talking about powering a mill all electric it would be a whole bunch cheaper and easier ta run a big'n.

You can git a military or industrial surplus genset for surprisingly little coin if it's setup ta give ya 600 volts on 3 phase.

Likewise, big electric motors are a lot easier ta come by in that voltage than 220 volt.

For everything else just run it to a step-down transformer ta give ya the 200 volt or 120 volt ya need.
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline tnlogger

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2005, 02:46:35 pm »
Dang got me thing on this when he posted about an engine for his md
you could takke the whole sub frame out of a 4cly or v6 car and lock one side of the transaxle
with the brake on the other side you can put a pulley in the place of the wheel to run the mill
you could makeaframe to reduce the size and weight.  ???
gene

Offline IL Bull

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2005, 04:13:25 pm »
You would need a fully governed engine or when you took the load off of the engine it would over rev.  I can't see how you could get a gas auto engine to work without a governor.
A diesel should work because they are governed.
I can't imagine how high a motorcycle engine would rev without a load. smiley_huh2
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Offline Murf

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2005, 04:38:06 pm »
I suspect a car engine could be rpm governered electrically using the fuel infection computer, same as the electric governor on my power stroke diesel does it.
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Offline rbarshaw

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2005, 05:28:31 pm »
Ya'll are over thinking this governor thing, all ya need is an aftermarket cruise control for a car. there are many types, they work off the distributor, the computer, or a magnet attached to a rotating shaft.
Been doing so much with so little for so long I can now do anything with nothing, except help from y'all!
By the way rbarshaw is short for Robert Barshaw.
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Offline SAW MILLER

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2005, 05:48:47 pm »
  When I was runnig a home built mill I was tempted to power it with a GEO metro 3 cyl. It would be real light and easy on gas.I owned two of them and drove both way over 100,000 mi. with no repairs.I just was't sure about all the computer  junk you would have to keep intact for the fuel injection.
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2005, 10:46:40 pm »
Woodbowl,
     Considering the weight of the engines, have you considered either A) Keep the sawhead stationary as far as up and down is concerned. It would still slide back and forth. Make the bed raise and lower via hydraulics, or B) Turn the sawhead 90 degrees from normal (similar to a shop bandsaw), make the head slide back and forth or make the log bed slide like a circular sawmill.

Just a couple of ideas to get those cogs turning.

Stew
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2005, 10:54:29 pm »
Been thinking mainly about the Brand X swinger configuration. You could put what ever motor you wanted to on that baby.  ;)
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Offline Murf

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2005, 09:49:06 am »
Here's a nudder whacky idea ....  ::)

Why couldn'cha take a regular small car engine, couple a big honkin' (surplus) hydraulic pump, or a coupla' smaller ones, to the back of it and power the mill with a hydraulic motor.

It would leave ya' enough spare hydraulic power an flow to make just about everything down to the operator's chair hydraulically powered or adjustable......... ::)

Udder dan da obvious losses of a hydrostatic system, seems ya could do it without too much sacrifice.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2005, 10:07:02 am »
I like D&L's approach with the Doublecut mills.  They use a small(6hp I think) engine to run the hydraulics.  This way, they don't have hoses laying around everywhere, and have plenty of hydraulic power for whatever is needed.  These little engines only cost a couple hundred bucks, so you could keep a spare, and you don't have to disassemble the whole mill to replace it.

Also, with their four-poster design, weight of the main engine isn't such a big issue.
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: Alternative engines for homemade sawmill designs
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2005, 08:59:58 pm »


Why couldn'cha take a regular small car engine, couple a big honkin' (surplus) hydraulic pump, or a coupla' smaller ones, to the back of it and power the mill with a hydraulic motor.


That will work Murf!  .............Seems I've heard somewhere that you take a big cut in effeciency in the power transfer, like 65%! That only leaves one third of the power you started off with.  ...........Anybody know anything about this?
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