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Author Topic: sawmill plans ordered.  (Read 6319 times)

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Offline okie

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sawmill plans ordered.
« on: May 29, 2007, 05:32:40 pm »
I ordered 2 sets of sawmill plans today, one for a circular mill and one for a bandmill, I would have ordered a swingmill plan also but I cant find any.
I have been having a hard time deciding what type of mill to make, I like the idea of the portability of a bandmill as well as the fact that a small engine could be used. I have seen videos of them in operation and they look to cut just fine speed wise for what I need but my BIG issue is with band life. From what I have read on the internet, you are lucky to get 4 hours of cutting time out of a band when cutting clean hardwoods. Hardwood is all I got to choose from, I will be building my house out of honey locust with white oak rafters and floor joists and red oak floor boards. I will be using hackberry for partition wall studs, 3 out of the 4 mentioned woods are the hardest in my area with the exception of black locust. I dont see much of an advantage of the thinner kerf saving a board worth of lumber for every 5 boards cut if you spend 60-80 dollars a day in band blades.  I have never seen a swing mill in action but it seems that they offer the best of both worlds, meaning, portability of a bandmill, with blade life of a circular mill. Does anyone know of swingmill plans to build your own? I am pretty mechanically inclined but without seeing a mill first hand and watching it work I would have a hard time trying to build it from scratch with no plans.
I would really like some of yalls opinions as I have no first hand experience operating a sawmill. Buying a mill is not an option, as I believe I have most of the materials available to me to make either a circular or bandmill at very little out of pocket cash.
Striving to create a self sustaining homestead and lifestyle for my family and myself.

Offline Radar67

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2007, 05:47:53 pm »
Okie, Welcome to the forum. The band mill blades can be resharpened. On average, you can get 4 to 5 sharpenings out of a band before it is no longer usable. Some people get more sharpenings. Bands can be sent out to be sharpened, or you can get a sharpener and setter and do it yourself. I hate to admit this, but I have been using the same 4 bands for over a year, make that 3, I broke one about a month ago.

Many of the full time sawyers here use 2 bands a day, then they sharpen them for another day. I'm sure you will get a lot of information from some of the other members here as well.

Stew
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Offline Furby

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2007, 08:53:52 pm »
Where did you get your plans from?

Band/blade cutting life is better measured in board feet rather then time. ;)

Offline pasbuild

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2007, 09:00:49 pm »
You can buy 100 band blades for what a circular blade will cost ya and not have ta worry about sharpenin them for ..............................well quite a while
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Offline Trent

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2007, 10:02:35 pm »
One thing to consider is how much will it cost when you saw into some metal. I have not done it yet, but when I do, it won't upset me too bad.
Can't fish, can't hunt, don't care about sports. Love to build, machine, fabricate.      Trent Williams

Offline okie

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2007, 10:20:12 pm »
I ordered both plans off of e bay. I actually thought about building a band mill and a circular saw with a blade just big enough to cut 8'' cants into dimensional lumber quickly for  2x8's and 2x4's etc. I think that that would allow me to be more productive if I need to be, and I'll be allowing my logs for my house to season for about 8 months or so so I ought to have some time to tinker with these things.
Striving to create a self sustaining homestead and lifestyle for my family and myself.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2007, 10:22:57 pm »
have you checked out Linn lumber for parts?

in a small mill, more HP is better, just make sure your design can hold up to it!  there's a link on here by rbarshaw (I think that's his name) that details his homemade sawmill and his tribulations along the way.  nice informative link.  Modat22 is building a mill too.  there are a lot of lessons learned to be had around here!  Good luck with your project.

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Offline highpockets

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2007, 10:24:15 pm »
Okie,

From the experience of building a bandmill, I can tell you that it is probably the easiest to build and probably will fit your needs for the least amount of money.  You can build all kinds of bandmills in the some are more automated than others.  To me blase guides and blade tension is very important. Another thing is try to go somewhere and watch a bandmill run.  When I built this one in 1999 ? I had seen one board cut on a Timber Harvester.  Old Kevjay is down there in north texas. I am not sure where you are located. 

 



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Offline brdmkr

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007, 10:29:15 pm »
You can buy 100 band blades for what a circular blade will cost ya and not have ta worry about sharpenin them for ..............................well quite a while

While this is true of the BIG circle mills, a blade for a Lucas can be had for less than 200.00.  I don't know about plans for a swing mill, but a couple of forum members (Firebass most recently) have built good looking swingers.  You may be able to get some info from them.

Regarding the swing mill being the best of both worlds...

The big disadvantage of my mill is the inabilty to EASILY cut wide boards.  The entire saw carriage of the Lucas must be turned 180 degrees to double cut.  This is not a factor with the other swing mills (I would NOT make a swingmill that had to rotate the carriage to double cut).

One of these days, I hope to have a band mill as well.  So I can race 'em :D
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2007, 05:31:59 am »
A blade just big enough to cut 8" stock would limit you in breaking the log down.  Its better to have something that can cut wider than that to make up for log height on the carriage. 

I don't know if they have any plans for dimension mills, but that's another option. 

As for blade costs, it takes a pretty hefty piece of metal to cause major damage to a circle saw.  Nails and the like will dull it, but they very seldom break it. 
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Offline Firebass

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2007, 09:10:35 am »
I built a swinger last winter.  I am using the same blade I started with.  The only draw back to building a swinger I can see is  that the design is critical.  Where a band mill is pretty straight forward. I would build a swinger again but it's important to note that it all depends on your skill level and facility and time you have to work with.  If you only have a few months dont attempt the swinger.

 

Firebass

Offline jrokusek

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2007, 09:46:03 am »
I built a bandmill - it was fun, but seriously time consuming.  I scrounged for parts here and there and got mine built for around $900.  If you buy new parts and new steel you probably will pay almost as much as a manufactured mill.  My building time was measured in years, not months  :D

Anyway, a bandmill is a relatively simple design and can easily be built by someone with average welding skills and the right metalworking equipment.  I'm not sure about a circular mill as it does have lots more moving parts. 

Be a little careful with plans from Ebay.  I bought a set and it was OK, but left lots to the imagination and the designer really wasn't concerned about safety.  There is one guy selling a set of CAD drawings who never actually built the thing, it's just conceptual drawings.

I'd definitely build a bandmill again.  It was a lot of fun and the satisfaction I got watching it run was worth all the cussing and swearing that I did while building.  The BIG piece of advice I have is not to skimp on an engine.  I have a 13HP engine and it would be nice to have LOTS more power.  You can cut faster with more HP.   More variables than that, but in this case bigger is better.  Lots of homebuilt rigs on this site and on http://www.diybandmill.com/

Offline ely

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2007, 02:57:36 pm »
okie, if you are close to atoka county you can come by and check out two different bandmills in one location. just give me a holler to make sure i am not gone fishin.

Offline okie

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2007, 08:23:13 pm »
Thanks a million folks.  I am sure I will be asking many questions in the coming year or two. Right now I am at a stand still but hope to get a foundation going in the next 3 months (If my land deal dont fall through), after that I got piddling time to build a mill. A good friend of mine has several hundred acres and has gon on a rampage gettin rid of honey locust trees (had some calves die on count of infection from the thorns) so he has been cuttin more trees than me making my logging for house logs job much easier. Ely, I am not sure where atoka county is without looking at a map, I live in Locust Grove which is in Mayes County. If I can get away I would like very much to see your mills.
Striving to create a self sustaining homestead and lifestyle for my family and myself.

Offline ely

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2007, 09:49:27 am »
atoka county is south of you about 3 hours. get on 69 hiway and head south to atoka. i live east of atoka about 25 miles. and bring a locust log with you so we can saw it up. i would like to saw a large one, the ones we have are all small. 12 inches is a nice one here.

Offline Modat22

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2007, 03:35:31 pm »
I thought about buying plans at first but I didn't want to spend the cash on the metal types and sizes in those plans so I figured they'd be little use to me.

So I asked alot of questions, looked at a bunch of pictures and built a mill around the materials I could gather cheaply or free. 80 percent of the mats used in my mill fabrication where free and way heavier than the stuff most folks where using and in the end my mill isn't portable due to weight and size.

I figure when I'm tired of my mill I'll make it into a bomb shelter or something.

Good luck
remember man that thy are dust.

Offline okie

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Re: sawmill plans ordered.
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2007, 11:14:10 am »
Ely, I'll hollar at you as soon as I can get away. That problem with honeylocust is here also because most folks around here brush hog them while they're small enough to do so as they are thought of as a nuiscance (and they are). My friend tells me all the time that he dont know why he let his get so bad. Most of them arent tall though, you can generally buck a 10' - 12' log out of a 16 or 18''  diameter tree though but not always. Another place that I will be cutting very soon has many that are quite big around but most of them are really twisted and mangled looking, you might be able to get a 5 or 6 foot log from these. 
Striving to create a self sustaining homestead and lifestyle for my family and myself.