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Author Topic: homemade bandsaw mill, help  (Read 54259 times)

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Offline gww

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homemade bandsaw mill, help
« on: April 09, 2015, 05:02:13 pm »
My first post.  I joined cause I built a band saw mill and it looked easy but I can't seem to tune it in.  I still have work and ideals to try but am looking for those who have had to work through issues and thier suggested aveneus to persue and anyone else who is willing to help.  My goal was to build as cheap as posible with stuff I had or could find for free. 

I tried to post a photo but am not smart enough.

I used a weight lifting set,  2x2 metal square metal, 2x4 thin wall metal and a nine horse tiller.  My first log went ok and was mostly good enough.  My band guides where skateboard wheels.  My second log was a disater.  Wavy as heck.  I made new bearings and leveled the track a bit better and it just keeps getting worse. The wheels are 20.5 inch trailer tires.  My tracking adjustment is two metal plates, one has the wheel bearing welded to it the other is welded to 2x2 metal and four half inch bolts give me my adjustment for tracking.  Band tentioning puts some warp in the origional wheel alighnment but I can adjust and keep on the wheels.

I went from cutting fair (first log) to having the blade climb and then kind of hold but get wavier and wavier.  I changed the band guides to two bearings and a bit of down presure and the mill did the oposite and dived pretty deep.  This morning I added a bottom plate below one side of the bearing guides and the cut dove a small amount and then held pretty steady till about three quarters of the cut and then put a wave neer the end.

I intend on putting beams under the tracking and am not sure what will work towards a better cut.  I have lots of things to try.  It might just be to ricoty.  I looked at everything I could find before building and it looked simple enough but now only looks cool cause it cuts like a bad word.

I got about $380 in it so far counting ten 157" blades but not counting gas to get stuff welding rods and grinding wheels. 

I realize this is a long first post but I joined the forum cause I am not sure what is most important.

Thanks for listening.
gww

  

  

  

 

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 05:31:36 pm »
Welcome mate, just for chuckles try a new band. If your first log was ok mayby you hit some grit or a pebble. The guys will be all over you about guards around the wheels. You have all the basics theirs just some details that are causing you problems. Use some calipers and check the set on the band, be sure its the same on both sides. Another thing that may be causing a problem is belt slippage engine to wheels. Tell us more where are you located.?? Frank C.
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 05:51:40 pm »
I would try a new blade.  Cutting through dirt in the bark or hitting metal will dull them very quick and then they won't cut straight.

Next thing would be to check for blade tension.  With a set up like yours (mine is similar)  I would make sure both tire have the same air pressure (32psi is what I aim for on mine).  Then I would add tension until the rubber on the tire starts to bulge around the blade.  Then let off tension until the tire stops bulging then you know you are at the maximum tension your tires can handle (at that psi you have it set to)  By having more tension it allows a slightly dull blade to cut straight a little bit longer.  It also helps a lot in wide cuts.

Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 06:00:29 pm »
Frank
I am on my second band.  I had my very first cut log come lose and kink the blade and I thought that even though it cut ok, it might be a problim.  No deal.  I really don't get it.  I put the beefed up guides on and the saw climed to the top of the board and pulled forward of the guides.  I had put a little level on the blade and it had seemed ok.

 I moved them up where the back wahser/bearing was touching the back of the blade and made my last cut of the little board that was left of the log.  Fair cut till about the end.

I wonder if I should try clamping the sliding part to the solid part during cutting? 

I am in Rosebud MO.

I can't seem to worry about gaurds if I can't get it to cut.  Right now I like to see the blade on the tire to see if it wonders around.

The pully is ok now I think.  I origionally used the tiller setup with its small spring and it ate the 20 year old belt up on my home made pully on drive wheel bearing.  My new setup has been one of my major expenses.  I had to replace the added on ider pully for $24.  I put a heavy belt and a stronger sping.  I do have to remember to hold the handle in pretty hard an have to pay attention.  It will bog the engine now.

Thanks for the comments
gww

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 06:09:07 pm »
I would then suggest putting on a third blade, if it is wondering that means it is dull.  With a good sharp blade you should be able to cut with no blade guides as long as you don't push to hard and the head and cause the blade to come off the back of the wheels.

Offline homesteader1972

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 06:20:11 pm »
Hello,
 I dont have a selfmade mill, but when my blade rises,dives or waves, it has always been either 1- a dull blade 2-to little tension on the drive belt 3- pitch buildup on the blade. If your blade is sharp and clean, how is the drive belt tension?
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Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2015, 06:23:16 pm »
Joe
The new blade did not do as well as the old blade.  My guides are a real bugger and I still have to find a way to beef up the movable one.  Made out of water pipe.  My other bigg expence $40.  the tires where $134,  I scrounged the rest of the stuff.  I only have about 7 or eight turns left on my tentioner.  I had 22 inch tires but because of my pully on the back of the hub, I had to mount the wheels backwards and couldn't get the luggs on far enough to hold. 

Now when I tention I am out about 2 inches further then I built for and I get a little more flex in alinement.  I am now bending the adjustment plate as much as moving alinement.  I guess I need to beef the plates and put a bit longer bolts in.  I have thought about it and can't come up with a way to strengthen the actual tension slide bar.  I have it to what really seems tight but I will beef it up and try for more.  I will try and follow you advice and see what happens.

Anything else?
Thanks
gww

PS  I type slow and spell slower so please bear with me.

Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2015, 06:56:48 pm »
Homesteader
I made my first cut with no guides and did better then I am now and that drive belt was slipping.  I think I have the belt portion solid now if I squeeze the handle hard enough.  I find myself not doing that cause I get to consintrating on the rest of the machine.  I believe I made it a bit fast turning and subconciously I tend to copensate by feathering my grip on the tensioner. 

I am thinking that maby I am just not tightening the band enough though what I am doing is really stressing the michine.  If I had used pillow block bearings I would just reconfigure by adding another bar to the frame in front of the tire, now I have to come up with another way to compensate the flex.

My first log was only about 6 foot long.  My second log was 10 foot long and 18 inches on one side and maby 14 inches on the other.  Blackoak I think.  took me a couple hours to get it to the house.  Raining everyday and my little hand winch would barily move it.  I am finding it hard to cut down live trees.  I have about 12 acres wooded but most not marketable.  I need to try and get this thing cutting.  My brother wants to build a small lake and it will take out about 3 acres of trees simular or a bit better then mine.

I don't need perfection but I didn't even sticker and try to dry that last log.

I think the tension on the drive belt is about worked out.  I think I am feeding maby to slow as my sawdust is pretty small and it is very seldom that I tax the motor.  I only did two logs and was a bit intimidated while doing them, expecialy as everything that wasn't welded came lose, mostly my old guides.  Also my cut got worse with my fixes.
Thanks
gww

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2015, 08:21:38 pm »
Are either of the wheels touching the teeth of the blade?  If so it may be taking the set out of the blade causing them to not cut straight. 

Do you have your blade turning in the right direction?  It is possible to flip them inside out to run in the opposite direction.

Also ideally you would have the wheel that is pulling the blade through the wood be the powered one.

If your wheels are not taking the set out of the blade than I would still suggest trying another blade.

Offline Ox

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 08:41:18 pm »
This is my very first post.  If I'm seeing the pictures right you have the blade running the correct way.  You are driving the wrong wheel for blade drive.  You need to drive the opposite wheel.  Your drive belt needs to be run to the sawdust exiting side of your mill.  You are in effect trying to push the blade through the cut instead of pulling it through.  This would cause all of your problems you're mentioning.  It seems like it should work this way but it just won't.  I know it sucks because now you have to change everything over.  I completely understand as I'm on my second homemade mill build.  I think everything else you have designed will work with this one change to make.  Instead of switching everything around for the wheels, maybe turn the engine around and flip your blade inside out and throw sawdust out the other side than you have it now?  It might be easier for you...  Good luck!
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Offline Magicman

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 08:58:54 pm »
Hello to both gww and Ox, and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.   8)
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Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 09:03:28 pm »
Joe
Quote
Are either of the wheels touching the teeth of the blade?  If so it may be taking the set out of the blade causing them to not cut straight.

They could be.  I have tried to look at that and the trailer wheels don't seem to have a large oval shape at the center.  My left band wheel, the drive wheel seems to run about a quarter to a bit more to the front off center compared to the other wheel.  This is the best I have ever got it adjusted.  I started out with them pretty close "inplainer" to each other but when I tension the band all bets are off and I start adjusting.  I was happy when I got them to not need adjusting when I put tension on more then once in a row.

Quote
Also ideally you would have the wheel that is pulling the blade through the wood be the powered one.

That is bad news as the left wheel is the drive wheel and it would be pushing the blade to the cut.  Sitting here, I am not thinking of any easy way to change that.   How important could that be?

The point of the blade is hitting the log first and then the gullet.  I don't think the blade is backwards.

I have cooks blades.  I think they call them black.  I thought I was ordering the 3/4 inch set cause I was thinking all my wood would be oak or hickory but I guess I ordered 7/8 th.  I read but still had a hard time ordering and can't remember if I got the 1.3 teeth per inch or the 1 teeth per inch.  I looked up the info so I could find out but all it said was 7/8th and .42 thick on my email.  I have 8 more so changing is not a problim.  I got to get another log though.  I am trying to fix a few problims before I waste another log.  I still need to cut up the top of the other one for firewood.  It is muddy.

I do hope to get $18 dollars worth of wood out of a blade one of these days.

Thanks for the comments.  Can I make my drive wheel work in my configuration?
gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2015, 09:23:14 pm »
I am not a sawmill builder or designer, but I believe that Ox is spot on about the blade pulling vs pushing.  Also the teeth do not need to ever touch anything; blade wheels or blade guides.  That would roll the set out of the teeth which would be a bad thing.
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Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2015, 09:28:18 pm »
Ox
Owch,  You and joe hit me where it hurts.  Oh well, if it's got to be done, then its got to be done.  It will cut my log size down too.  I won't have 20 inch logs anyway but ouch. 

I did very little with bolts and used weld for most things. I have already ground lose and rewelded a few things.

I guess I will be using pillow blocks after all.  I was so proud of myself for having everything I needed to make a belt I already had fit.  The only plus is I have a better chance of dealling with the speed issue by adding an alternate pully on the opposite side of the mill.  Though I doubt I can do the math to get the pullies correct. 

I may be a bit getting to it now.  I had a two or three week lull and worked on nothing but getting stuff to build and building but now the grass is growing the garden needs tilled and I am about to get another grandbaby.  I thought I would have it going better by now.  I always over estimate my abilities.  I will get done though.

I am glad I joined and ask for help and the suggestions make sence to me.  I will probly save time in the long run.

Magicman
Thank you for the welcome.

Thanks guys for the help.  Now I guess it is on me.
gww

Offline MikeZ

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2015, 09:32:12 pm »
Gww: I'm going to say pretty sure your tires are taking the set out of your band. Been there, done that. Nothing defeats your self esteem worse than having to chain saw the band out of your first cut. Worked and worked on everything until I turned off some rubber where the teeth run on both tires. Problem solved. Try that before you reengineer your drive train. Might work the way it is.
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Offline WmFritz

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2015, 09:46:27 pm »
Ox, you got me trying to picture which side my drive wheel was on. Then I noticed in  your signature that we have the same type and model mills.





I found a photo in the middle of my assembly. The sawdust exits right as your looking at it.
 

 

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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2015, 10:17:19 pm »
gww and ox welcome to forestryforum!   gww, that's a neat mill you built for a little bit of money.  I think if your tension is adequate, the drive side is not causing your tracking problems.  Building my homemade mill caused the most grief when I was at nearly the same stage as your build.  The mill seemed complete, but it would not cut correctly.  The two major problems (three if you count alignment) were tension and flimsy roller guide supports.  I was not able to get enough tension to really align my roller guides correctly at first.  Then once I did get enough tension, the roller guide supports weren't strong enough to hold the position of the blade.   

Concerning drive side, read the last few posts of this thread
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,66408.0.html
It seems to support that in theory.  However, until we have an engineer or physics professor type do the math it seems reasonable that the drive side is insignificant if the tension is adequate.

Again, I commend you for your sawmill building efforts.  Hang in there.
fish



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Offline gww

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2015, 10:21:42 pm »
Mike
I have a hand planer.  I think the above guys might be on to something though.  My blade origionally acted like the set could be bad, it climed up the first few inched and then stayed there.  But then my guides got ate up and I redesined and the blade dove like crazy. Then the blade jumped forward off the blade guides.  I readjusted again and put the backstop against the back of the blade and it was a little better.  I built this like I do everything.  No real mesurements, more just looking at what I had to work with and where it might fit and then adding as I went.

What you are saying is not hard to try and so maby I will but my confidance is at a pretty low point that anything could be that easy.  I have tried a lot of stuff over the last few cuts and I just keep making it worse or atleast not even as good as it was.

wm

Thanks for posting the picture.  It gives me one more option for turning the motor around.  I was thinking more pullies, belts and running pillow blocks.

yours would be more metal but the same belt system.  Both will mean starting the motor everytime from the cutting deck.  To bad I can't make my motor run backwards cause everything was good except the cut the way it is now.  Man I really welded that motor mount tight.  I dread the more cutting and patching.

I done had to add new log dog/square peg holes cause my guides made the old ones not work.  I had to moved the lift pullies cause they made my board cut a max of 4 inches deep.  Thats what happens when you build without a plan.

Thanks for the imput.
gww

Offline Ox

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2015, 10:30:08 pm »
gww - listen, bud.  I know how bad it stinks having to re-engineer and re-do things over again.  I'm dyslexic.  I'm constantly seeing things backwards.  I'll build today betting money it's right just to have it backwards tomorrow.  Then the third day it could be right again.  My patience and sanity have been tried to the extremes.  Oddly enough, this problem doesn't seem to come up in reading and writing too much.   But please trust me in saying you need to have the driving wheel or tire PULLING the the blade through the cut.  I tend to look at what is successful and works and all the mills out there pull the blade through.  I think that tells you everything you need to know.  After re-reading everything again I realized that if you turned the engine around and flipped the blade inside out the entire track backstops and everything would have to be changed around.  Backwards, no?  Heh.  That's my world.  Anyways, I firmly believe that everything else you have there will work.  It'll take time and a little money for consumables to change over but it'll be SO worth it in the end when you're milling nice lumber with no more headaches.  I'd bet a dollar that this is your main problem.
WmFritz - yep, same mills.  Only thing I'll say is if I could do it over again I would buy the complete carriage and sawframe and only build the track.  I felt like destroying things in a child-like tantrum more than once.  One piece, the sliding yoke for the band tensioner I welded 3 times.  Yep, cutting apart twice.  The main sawframe double tube I had to weld twice.  The bunks and dogs I had to actually build 2 sets because the first set I welded so well there was no cutting apart and salvaging when you consider time and materials vs. gain.  Who knew you could have 3 or 4 different types of backwards?  :-\ I hope your build went better than mine!
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Offline Ox

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Re: homemade bandsaw mill, help
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2015, 10:35:27 pm »
I forgot one more thing.  I've run and been around tire type bandmills for years.  I've never heard of the tires taking the set out of the blades.  The only problem would be a little minor tire scuffing where the teeth ride.  That soft rubber is no match for the blade.  In fact, the tire type mills usually have a longer blade life compared to steel or belt-on-pulley systems.  This is due to the tires being so forgiving.  Making sure you get them balanced at a tire shop helps a lot.  Most trailer tires will be somewhat out of round.  Just get them spinning on your mill and take something abrasive to true them up before you get them balanced.  You wouldn't believe how much of a difference it makes!
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools