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Author Topic: laser sight for square  (Read 8299 times)

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Offline Tom

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2006, 10:07:37 pm »
I just thought of something else.  The new log lathe that Wood mizer builds might work.

It is indexable.
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Offline pigman

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2006, 11:00:05 pm »
spencerhenry, I fully understand your problem. I run a WM super with the two plane clamp. On large logs I have a hard time getting the third face cut to be exactly 90 degrees to the  first face. Since I don't cut beams it is no big deal if the edge of the boards are not exactly square. On a few occasions, I have squared small ERC for posts and likewise, I have difficulty squaring the cant. Some of my customers don't like it when their fence posts are nor perfectly square. ::)  I see no reason why a laser could not be mounted on the mill head to shoot vertical line on the very edge of the log or cant that is in line with the backstops.
Bob
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Offline Brucer

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2006, 01:33:21 am »
I've wondering what I'm doing different here. I square up those twisty cants the same way everyone else seems to. I've asked the shop foreman where I saw to let me know whenever any of my timbers are out of square -- he figures it's OK if there's only 1/64 of an inch showing under the square on an 8" face. I don't hear complaints very often.

The side stops/squaring dogs are adjustable in two planes, and that should be enough to keep them square in any position (at least in theory). One thing I do to reduce the sideways force on the side stops is to keep the clamp low.

The one thing I just realized is that both spencerhenry and pigman have Super Hydraulic mills and it may be harder to control the clamping pressure with the boosted hydraulics on those machines.

But to deal with the original problem, one idea is to use two lasers to check the outboard face for square. One laser is mounted below the bunks pointing directly across the mill so it projects a vertical line on the outboard face of the cant. This line will be vertical no matter how much the face is tilted. A second laser is mounted outboard on the saw head, pointing forward and in at about 45 degrees. This will project a line that is vertical only if the face of the can't is vertical. Move the sawhead back or forward so the two projected lines coincide. If they align perfectly, the cant is square. If they form an "X", a "V", or an "A" shape, the can't isn't square. As long as the lasers have sharp edged lines of uniform thickness, you should be able to tell when they diverge even slightly. You'd need some kind of device to calibrate the lasers: probably a vertical board with perfectly square braces that would sit on the bunks.


Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2006, 07:22:51 pm »
Spencer,

   I know exactly what you're trying to describe. Even though I run a swingblade now and I can square three sides without moving the cant, I remember seeing my squaring arms move under pressure from my hydraulic clamp on my other Bandmills.

   I've done a fair amount of resawing and dealt with beams that were twisted and the like. I guess when faced with that challenge I'd approach it like this to make my life easier. Put your first good face up. Saw it flat. Roll the cant 180 degrees (freshly flattened side down). Clamp just barely tight so as not to lift the cant with the clamp. Saw the side you have up flat. Now you have two sides flattened that were not effected by your squaring arms because they were squared between the bed and blade. Now I would take and turn the cant 90 degrees towards your squaring arms. With arms all the way up snug the clamp up just barely and lower the arms to desired height for cutting. If more pressure is needed on the clamp give it after your arms have been lowered. If you don't (as you well know) you'll see that the resistance of the arms being lowered will often roll the left top corner of your cant downward.

   What really makes the process faster is having a helper. I've got a 12" speed square that sits nice and flat on the bed. You could easily have a helper hold that speed square on the outside of the cant (clamp side) after making the first two cuts I described and check for square as you make fine adjustments with the controls.

   Lasers are cool, and I have several, but they're not a cure all. Excess light is your enemy with a laser. If you're outdoors, you won't be satisfied with the results you get from the laser. It's also difficult to get them to project across multiple axis's (sp?) namely x,y and z. Sometimes there is no substitute for hands on manual checking.

   A job with specs that tight would require me to charge by the hour. Obviously they can afford it using that type of material and your time is money. Unless of course you own the wood and are selling it. Then you have to build your cost of time into the selling price per foot or piece. I appreciate your effort for excellence though and wish you luck. As my motto to the left indicates, I too appreciate things being square. :)

   Just my two cents.

LOGDOG

Offline tcsmpsi

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2006, 07:34:45 am »
There's where my lack of knowledge comes into play.  I wasn't aware that hydraulic squaring dogs would give under the pressure of the clamping force. 

If I couldn't depend on my squaring dogs to be square, I would find a way to fix that before anything else.

\\\"In the end, it is a moral question as to whether man applies what he has learned or not.\\\" - C. Jung

Offline GF

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2006, 08:59:50 am »
I currently use two sets of logs stops, one set is hydraulic and one set is manual.  The manual set is set perfectly square with the bed, these are normally not used unless the lumber needs to be perfectly square, even under pressure from the log clamps the manual seem not to move.  The hydraulic ones are used 98% of the time and can cut pretty close to square.  Just another idea to think about.

Offline pigman

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2006, 01:23:35 pm »


The one thing I just realized is that both spencerhenry and pigman have Super Hydraulic mills and it may be harder to control the clamping pressure with the boosted hydraulics on those machines.





I think the post I made above was written in such a way that I might have confused people along with myself. smiley_dizzy
I do not have a problem  keeping the backstops square with the bed. The super hydraulics are faster than the regular WM mills, but are not stronger. The problem I have is on large logs, 30 to 36in, the flat portion on the previously sawed face, maybe only 8 to 10in wide causes only 4 or five inches of it to rest against the top of the back supports.  From the front of the mill, that small contact area is difficult for this old man to see if it is square against the back stops. On small logs, under 6in, I have the same problem because of the small contact area.  On nice 18 to 24in logs I have no problem keeping the cant square. Now  everyone should be totally confused with what I am saying. ::)
Bob
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Offline DanG

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2006, 01:34:52 pm »
Hey Bob the Grandpa!  I like the new avatar. :) :)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline Tom

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2006, 04:37:22 pm »
Yeah, me too!   Bob's got comany.  :)
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Offline spencerhenry

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2006, 06:21:07 pm »
i think i failed to mention, the beams i am cutting right now are up to 38' long. i have no bed extensions. beams this long, i tell them that i promise nothing. i had one today, 1.5" of crook, .5" of bow, and 3/4" of twist. piece measures 4" thick, 10" wide, by 37'+. they insist that i mill it into a 3.5"x 9.5"x37'. i tried to tell them that it is not possible, but they want it done anyway. i left the site early today, fed up, *pithed off, and tired. loading 38' doug-fir 4x10 onto the mill by hand is 5!@#%^&*.

Offline beenthere

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2006, 06:53:31 pm »
Hey Bob the Grandpa! I like the new avatar. :) :)
I like that too, but think Bob should have dressed the same......including the cap. ;D ;D
Congrats to the proud GPa

spencerhenry
I think your conclusion that it is impossible (let alone impractical), is accurate. But sometimes 'impossible' is a challenge  :)   If you do the machining to their specs, and they don't stay to specs (warp some), will they then reject them and not pay for your effort?  That would worry me.
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Offline Tom

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2006, 06:58:42 pm »
Yeah!  38' long is a minor little tad of information.

I've been in only one situation like that before and it took all day, with the customer being allowed to show me exactly where he wanted me to place the blade, for him to understand that we weren't working with a benign piece of plastic.  Sometimes it's difficult to get them to understand that the more you cut, the more it moves.

Not only is your job difficult, but your customers unreasonable.   I would have left in a foul mood too.  

I guess you have to be careful that you don't burn bridges or cut off your nose to spite your face, to quote some old sayings, but the pleasurable part of working for yourself is that you can tell them that you don't want to do this anymore, if it becomes unbearable.

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Offline fat olde elf

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2006, 12:01:57 am »
And I thought I had problems sawing these little 16' beams !!!
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2006, 07:59:07 pm »
If they're asking you to saw 38 footers with no bed extensions to those tolerances they've been smokin' some herb. That's just ridiculous. Unless these guys are going to spend a pile of money with you I'd walk and save myself the irritation. Otherwise tell them to buy you enough extension to do the job right. A guy here in town did that. His customer need 30' material sawn. He said, "Fine, you buy the extension and I'll do it with the extension as my compensation." They did it. Done deal. Oh, and have them buy you a laser sight too while they're at it.  ;) :) Worst they can say is no.

LOGDOG

Offline Brucer

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2006, 01:58:46 am »
When you're faced with an unreasonable (to you) business request, there's three answers you can give.
  1) No, I can't do it.
  2) Sure, no problem (lyin' to beat the band).
  3) Yes, I can; this is what it will cost and this is how long it'll take.

Most of the time #3 is the correct answer. Just be sure you set a price and time that will allow you do do the job without undue stress.
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Offline Max sawdust

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2006, 07:34:44 am »
First off great thread, learnen lots here :)  I am dealing fighting with "square issues" when making beams.  (No 38 footers though :o)

LOGDOG, I do not disagree that their is no substitute for a good old square, and I agree with your comments on lasers, but that only applies to RED lasers and daylight.  Green lasers will show up just fine.  If I were to design something for checking square with a laser I would be sure to use green ones.
max
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2006, 07:11:26 pm »
That's good to know Max. Seems I had read about green lasers somewhere and it too mentioned improved visibility. I can't verify it though. Anyone here have hands on experience with them or anyother color outdoors?

Also ... Very well said Brucer. Those three pretty much cover the gammet.  ;)

LOGDOG

Offline Modat22

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2006, 11:25:19 am »
Green is way more visible than red. Its primary color is further into the visable spectrum. Plus you can find higher power versions of the green diode easily. I have seen 500mw green lasers out there for pennies on the dollar.

50 to 100 would probably be what a few folks would want. It will still be hard to see in direct sunlight though.
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Offline Max sawdust

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2006, 08:03:14 am »
Anyone here have hands on experience with them or any other color outdoors?

LOGDOG

Sorry about that guys, lost track of this thread. ::)  LOGDOG, I have a green laser pointer that cost about $75 it can be seen in quite well compared to the red ones.  Yes it can be seen in full daylight, but as Mod says if you have sun shining directly on the target it can be tough to see.

max
By the way...I have not figured out how to adapt the green laser pointer to the saw mill yet.
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: laser sight for square
« Reply #39 on: October 24, 2006, 09:30:23 am »

 Having recently sawn 40' 2 X 8's, I don't believe I would want the job of resawing beams to that close a tolerance. It might be fine to get the satisfaction of "I did that", but, the stress factor would do me in. That wood WILL move. I've resawn long beams and watched them move ever so slightly. In 38', that's asking wayyyy too much of a sawmill.  ::)

  How ya doin with that job, Spencer ??
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