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Author Topic: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit  (Read 7270 times)

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Offline Crusarius

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Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« on: September 18, 2017, 01:02:23 pm »
Quick background: I want to build a shop on my 10 acre parcel that is all trees. The trees need to come down so I have room to build the shop. I figured I could sell the trees to pay for the lumber, but according to the forester I was working with, nobody wants spruce. He wanted to charge me $1500 to take the trees down and get rid of them for me. I figured that was the deal of a lifetime. So I kindly told him no thank you.
Since the trees need to come down anyhow, I decided I was going to take them down and mill them myself. I quickly found out that when I add all the features I want to any mill they are over $10,000. They are definitely very nice mills and probably worth the money. Unfortunately I do not have that kind of money just lying around.

I started sourcing parts to build a mill. This became very cumbersome and tedious. I could find all the parts I needed just in too many locations. During my parts hunting I found Linn Lumbers website. They sold basic kits to complete kits. Fully assembled or pieces. I found it was quicker easier and about the same price if I just ordered their basic kit. I also ordered their raise and lower kit along with the track rollers. And the drive clutch.

The journey is half the fun, right? Well, I believe that. I also really enjoy fabricating and working with metal. So the journey began…
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 01:03:09 pm »
After placing the order I received 4 boxes. I had them shipped to my work to try to save on shipping charges.

That was great, but when you grab the stuff at the loading dock thinking you are a big man and can handle carrying them to the parking, think again. They get heavy fast.

Here is what showed up in the boxes. A little bit overwhelming and exciting.


So after the inventory was completed it was time to start the build.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 01:05:09 pm »
My biggest complaint I have about this kit involved none of the cuts were square. I spoke with the owner. He was going to look into it. So I spent a day truing up the faces I wanted to use for the datum’s. This should make it quite a bit easier to assemble.
 
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 01:14:26 pm »
Since I have the mill and I am kind of particular about everything be square and true, I used the mill to drill and tap all my holes.

First step was drilling a pilot hole. I started by using my centering tool to get the hole in the center.


Once that was set I locked the mill table in place. I then used a 90 degree bit to start the hole.


 Next step was to drill the appropriate size hole for the tap.


Followed by manually tapping the hole using a tap center. I chose to manually tap the hole because I had better control of the process preventing broken taps.


The final step was to clean up the first thread. I used the 90 degree bit once again and barely touched the hole just enough to remove the burr.

Picture before cleaning


Picture after cleaning


I think it may be time to get a new bit. That one’s getting a little dull.

Just drilling and tapping the holes took me an entire day. There are a lot of holes on the sawframe.
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Offline Ga Mtn Man

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 01:45:53 pm »
I can already tell this is going to be a first-class build.  Thanks for sharing and I look forward to following along.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 01:47:14 pm »
I dunno about first class. But thanx for the confidence boost :)

I already looked at some of my weld pics and realized it has been far to long since I have had a good welding project.
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 07:08:44 pm »
This is going to be a dandy build,  look forward to seeing more,

D

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 12:27:08 am »
 popcorn_smiley
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Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 08:16:57 am »
So I forgot to talk about the main rails when I was drilling and tapping holes. The 2 main rails had ½” plate to be welded to the face. Then ½” holes drilled and tapped through the plates. These plates are for the band wheel pillow block bearing. I wanted to drill and tap the plates after welding to make sure they lined up perfectly.

This was a great idea. What I didn’t think about until I was tapping was the heat affected zone (HAZ). When you weld you change the physical characteristics of the steel. In my case I hardened it. This made drilling and tapping a little more work. Good thing it was a 1/2x13 tap.

Remember how I said it had been a while since I had a good welding project. Here are the first welds on my build.

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 08:18:38 am »
With the main rails all drilled and tapped I switched over to the slide rails. These required the same ½” holes for the other pillow block bearings. It also required a square hole cut in the 2.5” square piece for the adjustable blade guide. Once again, I have a mill. Why not use it? I probably went a little over the top since it took quite a bit more time to mill the hole than to just cut it. But the results are quite a bit nicer.
You can see the completed drill and tap on the heavy plate and the hole for where the adjustable blade guide will be bolted.
I

Here is how it looks with the slide and the adjustable guide bolted together.


These pictures are a little out of order, hopefully they will make sense towards the end.
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 08:32:10 am »
So the picture above shows the wrong way to put a saw frame together.

When I was tacking it all together during mockup checking all the fits I must have been standing on my head. I went back and forth 100 times and still tacked it together so the guide wheel was on the wrong side of the frame. This is why you never full weld until everything is right. I cut the tacks reversed everything and this is how it is supposed to be.
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 08:35:59 am »
One thing I did not know about pillow block bearings is the self centering ability. When I got the bearings they were twisted. I was confused so I contacted the company and asked about them on here. Several members told me that is normal and it is for centering everything. I figured I would pass on that knowledge.

This is how they looked when I got them. They did in fact self center and aligned perfectly.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 08:49:24 am »
So where is all your adjustment for band length and tracking?
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 08:56:46 am »
...and the horizontal a vertical tilt adjustments on your blade guide?  ???
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 09:27:21 am »
Band length and tracking

Band length adjustment is accomplished with the main rails being 2” square and the slide part being 2.5” square. The 2.5” slides over the 2”. There is a hydraulic tensioner that pushes the two pieces apart.


The tracking adjustments are ½” steel blocks with 3/8 tapped holes welded to the frame. Using a 3/8” adjuster bolt.


Horizontal and vertical adjustments on blade guide

I am not overly crazy about the blade guide adjustments. The instructions said to drill a ¾” hole. That gives plenty of adjustment just no fine adjust. When I get closer to putting a blade on I may end up changing the parts to have some type of fine adjustment. The only blade I have had on the sawframe is a piece of 1.25” steel banding I acquired so I did not have to worry about shredding myself with a real blade.

This shows the dummy blade and the tensioner. The hole you see in the side of the slide is for taking out the left to right movement. There are two matching holes on the other side.

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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 10:11:00 am »
Nice build.  Good idea to use a steel band as a blade while working on the mill.  I was surprised that welding on the bearing mounting plates managed to harden them.  My attempts to harden mild steel on purpose have failed and I thought it was unhardenable.

Maybe Linn Lumber will also follow along and pick up some tips for improving their kits, although I understand they are pretty good as they are.
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2017, 10:20:27 am »
I have not been disappointed other than the square cut issue. overall the kit is top quality. The instructions leave a little to be desired though.

When I weld I usually weld hotter than I need to. I tend to heat treat a lot of my parts that way. pretty sure it was harder but it may have been the tap as well. That is getting kinda old.
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2017, 11:36:23 am »
Nice work! It's not over the top to use a mill to cut a nice hole. It would be over the top to smelt the iron to make the tools to cut the hole.

However, I get the feeling you are trying to disavow the excellent

paint

schemes

you solicited earlier. Hoping for that thread to get buried in the archives?

 ;D
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2017, 11:51:26 am »
The steel you are working with has to be high carbon to work harden.
It's not good for holding up to stress cracks. On you blade adjustment...
You need something like bolt with a locking nut so you can turn the bolt
maybe only 1/4 turn to track your blade. You will be surprised to see how
little adjustment it take to keep your band centered.


 

 
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Re: Crusarius’ sawmill build - started with Linn Lumber basic kit
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2017, 12:05:13 pm »
Kb I may be misunderstanding you but I do have a bolt on 3 of the 4 pillow blocks that does just what I think you are saying. However, I do not have that fine adjustment on the guides which may or may not be an issue.

I have had 1500 psi on the hydraulic tensioner with the dummy steel band. I set the tracking and the dummy blade has not moved since I set it.

I will get better pictures tonight when I get home. I didn't take to many detailed pictures of the sawframe assembly.
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