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Author Topic: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?  (Read 29024 times)

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Offline Dangerous_Dan

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What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« on: November 28, 2007, 09:40:49 am »
I see some chatter about building swingblades and I'm looking to build another swingmill as well or modify mine to make it less work to run and maintain. Less work = more fun right?
I'm happy with the design and operation of my mill but the big drawback seems to be the blade. Even a brand new blade cannot make an 8 inch deep cut in Oak in one pass repeatedly with out binding of the blade in some way. I see this as a major problem if power feed was added. So when cutting Oak at 6 or more inches wide we just make 2 passes like 3+3 to make 6 and 4+4 to make 8 inch wide. In Poplar it will cut 8 inches deep cuts in one pass repeatedly with no problems.
What I'm getting at is the Lucas blade works but there must be something better. Another thing I dont like is the brazed on tips. The tips are cheap at about $1.50 each but changing them is exacting work to get them on just right. Maybe a jig that holds the tip and pivots it into place and holds it firmly into the blade while it cools would make things easier but it's still a Lucas blade.
Would the blades for a MD mill be able to be used on a swingmill? And are they any better than the Lucas blade at making deep cuts in hardwoods in 1 pass? Having replacable teeth seems like a plus but what are the cost for the teeth?
How about Peterson blades?
What other blades are out there that could be used on a swingmill and how do they cut hardwood compared to the Lucas?
Last thing is size. Since my mill is setup for the 8 inch I would like to find a blade that could be fitted by making just a new hub to mount it. If I decide I'm going to build another mill I would like to go bigger. 10 inches or more. Kerf is not an issue for me. I'm mostly milling for fun so when a blade has problems it's not fun anymore. I'm willing to throw a little $ at the problem to keep the fun level up.
So, what do you know about blades??
DD


First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Offline Tom

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 09:48:28 am »
I know that there was some talk of Peterson having a tip jig and I know that member Captain has done a lot of footwork on blades and blade maintenance.  He is represented here, as a sponser, by offering percentages of his sales to the Forum for support.

                                        
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Offline woodbowl

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 10:09:37 am »
Oh boy, looks like Dan is gonna build another swingmill, this time with insert teeth and power feed.  You got room in your barn for me to camp out a spell?  8)
Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2007, 10:23:46 am »
would an edger blade work?  or is the diameter too small?
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

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Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2007, 11:36:55 am »
this guy makes blades, and can tell you alot:

B&H Payne & Co in Georgia , Bobby Payne
I know less than I used to.

Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2007, 12:17:47 pm »
Binding blade, might mean stress in the log. Or the blade is following the grain.

I believe that newer metals, and designs of circle blades will be coming out in the next few yrs.

stiffer blades, less flex.

This is not a technology that is static. It is moving on.

Somebody out there knows more than me.

The Peterson uses a 4 bolt pattern. Lucas uses 5. So does Brand X. Somehow, I'd prefer a 5 bolt pattern, due to harmonics. (what do I know about that?) I don't know.

I'm interested in the latest blades too. What about a titanium blade ($$!) I know that band blade technology is really moving on. I don't think circle blades are caught up with the bastard blends of metal in a band blade. When they do, expect narrower kerf, and less wobble.

On a chain saw, cutting hardwoods, you want the blade to be be filed more perpendicular to the bar, and on pine, you want it to be more parallel to the bar. (Within reason)

Somehow, I think that the same is true of a Circle blade. File or grind it so that it is not hooking as much, and it will cut better, in oak.

I don't know this for for fact, but the guy I got my Peterson from said it was true.

As always, the truth is in the pile of perfectly cut lumber!

N
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Offline Captain

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2007, 04:51:22 pm »
Dan, it depends which Lucas blade you are using.  The "aussie" or the one produced for Bailey's in the United States.  There is a difference.

Is the Lucas blade around 545 mm like the 8" Peterson??  If so, I'll send you one to try if you want to make up an arbor.  We have made 6 tooth 8" blades (through our current supplier) that are "B" style inserted tooth.

Captain

Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 05:35:04 pm »
Captain-
I have several of both blades.
The "aussie" blade is considerably louder when cutting. Sounds like you can hear each of the teeth chopping out a chip of wood. A ringing kind of sound. You know it's time to sharpen when it gets loud. The Bailey's "copy" blade cuts quieter with less pressure but when the "copy" blade gets dull it tends to be pulled by the grain more than the "aussie" blade. Neither of the 2 can do repeated 8 inch deep cuts without the blade being yanked, pinched or pulled up or down resulting in screwed up lumber and usually binding the blade in the log. I think the "aussie" blade is better on cutting straight and true.

I would be happy to try out a blade.

What are the cost of teeth?
Do you have any pics?
What tools are needed to remove the teeth?
Can the teeth be sharpened while out of the blade?
Can your supplier make up an inserted blade that has the Lucas 5 bolt pattern? How much?
Can your blade make the 8 inch deep cuts better than the Lucas blade?
First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Offline WIwoodworker

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2007, 06:25:17 pm »
Dan...If kerf is not an issue for you why not just run a traditional circle mill? Then you can cut as wide as you want all day long in one pass.
Peterson 9" WPF

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2007, 06:43:41 pm »
Dan,

   How many horsepower do you have on your mill?

LOGDOG

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2007, 07:45:55 pm »
Dan
I run an 8" Peterson with a 25hp Kohler and make a full 8" cut in one pass both vertical and horizontal in oak, ash, elm, and Osage without any problems at all.  I use the standard Peterson blade and one from Captain.  They both work well.  I know that Peterson has a 10" blade with inserts.  I have one here in their parts inventory.

Now this is going to upset a couple of folks and I'm going to get told how wrong this is yet again BUT

I do not have my blade set up like you are supposed to.   When you set your blade up you are supposed to have the blade angled up on the left side just slightly.  When you double cut you are supposed to put a pop bottle cap "shim"on the bolt head of the stop thus making the blade flat and remove it when cutting like normal.  I have mine set up just a few thousands off of flat.  When I double cut you can not hardly see the line on the boards and no bottle cap.  Now I know that this is not "the factory way" but it works well for me.
Peterson 8" ATS.
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Offline Captain

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2007, 09:34:47 pm »
Tom, there is nothing wrong with your setup, mine is very similar.  You need to be lower on the right side to allow the blade to pass over the previous cut easily, but slightly is all.  You also need a more critical intersect on your mill when running the microkerf as you are.

Dan, I need to schedule a trip to 'Jersey and give that mill a once over with you before you do anything drastic. 

Teeth are removed with a standard bit wrench, supplied with the blade.
Sure I have pics.  Just have to find them  ::)
Teeth range from $2-3 for chrome to $7-8 for trick carbide/stellite and anywhere in between.
With the proper fixture, you can sharpen teeth out of the blade.
My supplier can make anything, but 1 off customs can be expensive. 
Our 8" blades on a properly adjusted mill can cut 8" in a single pass.  Certainly "faster" is a function of the mill's overall capacity.


Captain

Offline Firebass

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2007, 11:22:00 pm »

I've experienced similar results as Dan.

Here's a bizarre thought, ???

Could it be that 8" swingmills by design are under powered to the point that full depth cuts (8" and over) slow the cutting feed so much that heat has no where to go, consequently overheating the blade causing binding or loss of tension.     

I know this is a bit out of the box but hear me out... ;)
Ive discovered that when making deep,heavey,hogging cuts  when machining metal with multiple tooth carbides its seems to create less heat at the cutting edge than it does if you are feeding at a slower rate.  It is this heat that I am wondering that if you had a bunch more torque on a sawmill blade Let's say you used the same blade with 50 or 100 hp would it simply leave the heat behind.  Has anyone ever tryed a lucas blade with such over 50 HP?

Firebass


Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2007, 11:31:05 pm »

   
Let's say you used the same blade with 50 or 100 hp would it simply leave the heat behind.  Has anyone ever tryed a lucas blade with such over 50 HP?

Firebass

Uh O! :) ;D

this is gonna be good!

Grunt grunt

MOre power (kid jumped in lap) :D :D

Nate
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Offline StorminN

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 02:13:26 am »
The Mobile Dimension edger blades might work for you... they come in a couple of flavors:
11-1/2" diameter, 3 pattern x 10 gauge, six inserted teeth, 1/4" kerf
17-1/2" diameter, 3 pattern x 8 gauge, six inserted teeth, 5/16" kerf
19-1/2" diameter, 3 pattern x 8 gauge, six inserted teeth, 5/16" kerf

There are other kerf teeth and shanks available for hardwoods or frozen logs.

All of these blades mount via eight countersunk bolts. Not sure what RPM these blades or your swingmill are designed for.

Last time I checked, steel teeth were $1.75 or so and Stellite teeth were $3.50 or so?? Hard to recall, it's been a while since I bought teeth. I sharpen both on the mill (I have the MD 12V clamp-on-the-blade jig) and off the mill, on a normal grinder with a special little tooth rest. All teeth are sharpened perpendicular to the rotation of the blade... ie., straight across, no angle. For the cutting angle, I sharpen the teeth to about 40 to 45 degrees for the woods I cut. For hardwoods like white oak or hickory, the MD folks recommend sharpening the teeth at something more like 50 or 55 degrees.

Of course it makes a huge difference when your teeth are dull (rounded corners) and / or your shanks are dull (edges rounded). How do the Lucas blades handle the shank part of the blade? Do folks normally sharpen those up and get them square?

The bottom edger saw blade on the MD is supposed to run with the front about 1/16" lower than the rear... I guess that would be a little bit of lead? I've run into trouble (saw binding, etc.) when I've misaligned this adjustment while adjusting the edger belts and run the saw too flat.

Not sure about hardwoods like oak, I've only cut alder, hemlock, fir, cedar... but the 50hp or so (VW 1600cc engine) of my old MD 127 drives both the main blade (30", 5/16" kerf, six teeth) and the two edger blades (both 11-1/2", 1/4" kerf, six teeth each) just fine on stuff up to 4"x12" dimension in one pass. For deeper cuts (those over 10 inches) or logs with lots of big knots I slow the feed rate down a notch or two. I haven't yet mounted the 19-1/2" edger blade and cut any 8x12's...

-Norm.
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Offline solodan

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 11:59:07 pm »

I've experienced similar results as Dan.

Here's a bizarre thought, ???

Could it be that 8" swingmills by design are under powered to the point that full depth cuts (8" and over) slow the cutting feed so much that heat has no where to go, consequently overheating the blade causing binding or loss of tension.     





I don't think so.  ::)  My Lucas 827 cuts a full 8- 1/2" in both directions just fine through oak.  ??? I don't think it is the blade , I think it is tension in the log. A band saw flexes enough that it is still able to ride through an arched kerf. A swing blade is not able to make this curve in the kerf.  I have had this happen in the vertical position before and the blade tries to pull into the log, resulting in a thicker board on one end. Basically the whole mill is flexing to one side. You guys both have custom built saws, and I imagine you have a more rigid frame than Peterson or Lucas. If the saw can not flex to the side during log tension, then surely the saw will try to bind up. ??? :)

Offline Firebass

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2007, 01:08:14 am »
Thanks Solodan,
I can cut 8" deep but it's seems I don't have enough power when I do.  I just did some numbers to get my rim speed down a bit.  In the past the Captain pointed out that I was a bit fast.  I thought that the differance between 1900rpm and 2075rpm was not enough to worry about.  ::) Sould of paid more attentoin.   After doing the numbers I find that I gain a 10% torque increase :o by just slowing my rim speed.  This Is only changing the gear box pulley size from 3.9" to 4.375"  HUGE difference in torque for such little change in pulleys.  I know this will help on my mill.

StorminN,

Thanks for the input,

That's good to know the MD sizes.

With all the chatter about building swing mills and best blades here's some info. that might help someone.

 One could set up a swing mill with MD circle blade sizes but the max board size would be odd.   Its the gear box area of the swing unit that limits the depth of cut.  The thinnest available gear box is roughly 4.125" then you still need to mount it so it works out roughly like this,


(Blade Diameter/2)-4.5/2"(Gear box)=Depth of cut.

So a MD 19.5" Blade =  (19.5"/2)-4.5/2=7.5"

This means you could cut a max 7.5 x 7.5" board (down and back) and a max cant (without rotating the log) of  7 1/2" x 15".  So you would be limited in size

On the plus side it would be a very tough blade since it's a full 2" less in diameter than a lucas blade.  And the kerf is way more.  8)  And inserts would also be way cool.

After doing all these numbers I might just make a arbor up for my saw to try it. ;D

firebass




Offline Dangerous_Dan

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2007, 08:38:58 am »
Sometimes it's obvious that log tension is the problem. Other times I'm not sure what the problem might be. Don't get me wrong, the Lucas blade will cut 8 inches in 1 pass but not every time. I'll make 5 boards at 8 inches wide 1 pass and on the 6th cut the blade will dive down screwwing up the board I'm cutting by making it too thick and screws up the board below that is now too thin and of coarse hacked looking.  :( So I've made 5 good boards and 2 bad ones. Not good, that's why I do the deep cuts in 2 passes but it wastes time. This why I'm looking to find a better blade.
Power does not seem to be an issue. I'm running a 10hp sinle phase motor.
My frame is pretty rigid and will not flex when log tension pulls the blade to the side. The problem I have is in the horizontal cut. The blade is pulled down in the front making the board I'm cutting too thick. The blade starts to heat up and bind. If I notice it binding or pulling down I'll back up and go forward again cutting slow to try and straighten out the cut but this does not always work and still results in hacked looking lumber.
The MD edger blades are looking alittle too small for building my next mill. What about using the 30 inch main blade from an MD on a swingmill? You could make some nice wide boards.
Seems to me that the bigger the blade the more problems? but I really don't know. How does this blade handle tension in logs? I would like to hear some 1st hand experience with the MD 30 inch blade.
The logs I get are from tree services or off my property. Tree services chip everything below 14 inch and most logs between 14 inch and 24 inch go for firewood leaving me the oversized and hard to handle ones to mill up. A circle mill would definately eat up logs fast but with the size and weight of the logs, turning would be hard work. Also a very large blade or a top saw would be needed. Tramp metal is another concern. Hittiing metal with the Lucas blade will cost only $200 if the blade is totally wrecked. Circle mill $$$. Using a band mill would work but would be hard on the log turner and you would be at or beyond the max cutting width a lot of the time. Big heavy slabs from a circle or bandmill can be too much on my back. The swingmill offers no log turning, no edging of boards after cutting, lighter weight slabs and the ability to handle larger logs. It just seems like the best choice for me. I just want a straighter cutting blade with easy to change/sharpen teeth.
First you make it work, then you trick it out!

Offline Captain

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2007, 09:04:44 am »
IF your blade cuts well vertcal AND does not cut as well horizontal, is there a possibility that your horizontal "lead in" is not correct?  Are you getting saw tooth marks form the leading and trailing sides of the blade?  When a blade dives, you get more marks form the leading side on the bottom of the cut, trailing side on the top of the cut.  When cutting OK, does the blade ring when exiting the cut?  Also, is the right side of your blade when in the horozontal slightly lower than the left side of your blade?  If not, your blade will begin to push up in the horizontal cut as you come across the log cut surface.

I'm eliminating other possibilities such as sag in the track, as your setup is stationary.  On a portable mill with track sections, this is quite common.

Captain

Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: What's the best blade for for swingmilling?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2007, 09:10:29 am »
Mr Dangerous Dan Dude,

I have a Peterson 9" (rare) mill.

Here is my list of things that can cause the above symptoms:

1.) Mill is adjusted wrong. That is, the blade is LOWER at the leading edge, than at the trailing edge. To look at this, cut a log off to a flat top. Now, lower it maybe an 1/8" drop, and smooth off the top. You should find that there is a NICE EQUAL hatch pattern on top. Which indicates that the mill track and the leading edge, and trailing edge are all parallel.

2.) Mill tracks in middle are sagging slightly, allowing it to Gouge in. This one is more pronounced when mobile milling, on soft setup surfaces.

3.) Over tensioned blade, that is CUPPED, with the concave side up. IF the concave side is down, it will act like a boat, trying to PLANE upwards.

4.) Bent blade. This one is funky. Blade wobbles at slow speeds, goes true at peak rpm, and then under load, when in the wood, with full depth of cut, the wobble tends to cut out more material on the lower side than the upper side. I had this with one of my over tensioned and slightly bent blades. I changed blades, and behavior changed.

5.) Worn pivot points in the swinger. This is a tricky one, that usually does not show up, unless the mill is under tension. I had to replace and upgrade my pivots.

The main point I'm driving at is that there is a FIXABLE cause to your troubles, and it should be found, before frustrating yourself further.

I am into the ROMANCE of milling. The saw running perfectly, the motor at peak performance, the wood all at or near perfection, the beauty of the wood. Cutting matched boards. It sounds like the "romance" is gone from your milling. And you are wondering how to fix it.

So, to make a long story short, FIND the cause, and make more sawdust! (er... circle mills make stringy sawdust . What do you call that stuff circle mills make?


Have a great day, and I hope you solve it.

Nate

I know less than I used to.