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Author Topic: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs  (Read 10476 times)

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Offline Kingmt

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Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« on: October 21, 2015, 10:04:07 am »
I've done a few things in the short time I've had my mill. I decided to start a thread that I can keep updating so people that are interested in this mill can see how things are going for me, what problems I'm having, & how I've adapted.

I usually us file hosting sites to host my pictures but since I haven't read the rules on this & I think I've seen others told not to do this there probably won't be any pictures.

I'll keep editing the list in the first post as long as I'm allowed. If there is a time limit on editing I'll ask a mods help in editing or add to the list in a new reply.

I hope this will be useful to people looking into this mill or helpful to this having problems with it.

First thing I did was order two pieces of angle that was 20' 5/16" thick 3"x4" long to allow me to cut longer logs. This also allowed a couple of extra inch's of log high.

In extending the track I decided to make new bunks. I'm using H structure & only since I already drilled homes to fit the stock bunks I decided to drill on one side of the H structure for mounting. I also bought 2" thin tubing for the standers but since they are metric I had to weld a thin piece of angle in one corner to take up the slack. I plan on putting this on both sides to help with loading logs to keep then from rolling of the other side.

I use aa 1.5"x2" block on the tip of the log dog after getting it into a cant or board to keep from damaging them.

I need to be able to move my log dog around to get in the best position to hold the log so I welded small pieces of pipe to angle that will slide over the piece of pipe that the log dog tracks on. I use C clamp vise grips ATM to hold it in place.

I wasn't cutting very good lumber with the stock blade so I ordered 4 Wood Maxx blades from Kasco. You'll need to call & talk to Derek to get these since they aren't listed in their site.

In very short turn the roller bearings on the guides froze up so I removed them popped the seals & used Dextron III to get them moving again. Once moving I washed them out & filed with grease.

The drive belt doesn't fit the clutch so the side will get cut out of it. I've yet to address this.

I'm considering upgrading to a bigger engine.

Edited:21Oct15 5:50PM EDST

Another mod is turning the roller legs around backwoods & switching sides with them. Saw dust was packing in the rulers on about every cut. Putting the shirt side in back & the long leg in front keeps the dust from being blown under the roller. It also moves the stater & locking cams closer to you when standing at the back of the track.

I was having a problem with locking cams not having enough pressure to keep from sliding down the post during a cut. The quick fix was using my wife's hair bungee to hold the cable crank until I tightened up the cam locks. However they are a poor design & if you don't push up on the hinges & pull down on the handle at the same time the rod will bend. As I get time I'll decide how to address this. More then likely with a new design.

Edited: 22Oct15 8:15PM EDST

This isn't a mod but I think I should add this as well. Cutting Edge (a respected member here) told me to get the proper tension on the blade use a caliper ran out to 6" & clamp it to the slacked blade. Tension the blade until you get .005" of stretch.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Ga Mtn Man

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 10:28:14 am »
It's a great idea to start a thread on these mills as there seems to be plenty of room for improvement but, if you're going to do it, you really need to learn how to post pics.  It isn't that difficult.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 11:13:30 am »
A lot more people will watch your post with pictures.

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Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 11:26:32 am »
It isn't that I don't know how to post pictures. I do it in other forms all the time. It is the rules that restrict them that is prohibitive. I don't have much data so in selective how I upload. Of I could just use code to show them & have then hosted somewhere else I probably would. I'm usually to busy while working to take pictures anyhow.

I figure if someone needs this information it can still be useful without the pictures.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline knightgang

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 03:26:28 pm »
We love pictures.

I am soon about to buy one of these mills, so any upfront advise or details on mods that I have have ready to go when I get the mill home will be great.

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 04:26:29 pm »
Kingmt,

I think it is more helpful if you respond to comments in order, rather than going back and editing your original post.  If you do that there will be comments after the original that won't make any sense because you changed the original.  It is easier to follow a thread over time.  Many readers only read the unread posts and would miss out on your edits of earlier posts.

I already have a larger mill so will be reading for general interest but photos go a very long way to illustrating what you are talking about, especially when you are explaining modifications.
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Offline Shotgun

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 05:23:08 pm »
You really should learn to post photos.  Many folks post one  or more with their very first post on the forum.   ;)
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Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2015, 05:50:39 pm »
You really should learn to post photos.  Many folks post one  or more with their very first post on the forum.   ;)
I've already explained it isn't a matter of knowing how. I'm not going to intentionally break some rules & I'm not willing to go about uploading then.

Kingmt,

I think it is more helpful if you respond to comments in order, rather than going back and editing your original post.  If you do that there will be comments after the original that won't make any sense because you changed the original.  It is easier to follow a thread over time.  Many readers only read the unread posts and would miss out on your edits of earlier posts.


I agree so I'll do both to make it easier to fallow & to make it easier to find them all in one place.

Another mod is turning the roller legs around backwoods & switching sides with them. Saw dust was packing in the rulers on about every cut. Putting the shirt side in back & the long leg in front keeps the dust from being blown under the roller. It also moves the stater & locking cams closer to you when standing at the back of the track.

I was having a problem with locking cams not having enough pressure to keep from sliding down the post during a cut. The quick fix was using my wife's hair bungee to hold the cable crank until I tightened up the cam locks. However they are a poor design & if you don't push up on the hinges & pull down on the handle at the same time the rod will bend. As I get time I'll decide how to address this. More then likely with a new design.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline StimW

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2015, 09:48:13 pm »
 I have a lot of pics of my HF mill. If you go to my gallery you can see them.
I do find it harder to post pics on this board than others that I frequent.

i am happy with my mill overall. I own a fabrication shop and I could not build a mill for what I paid for this one.


 
New HF Band Mill
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Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2015, 09:59:42 pm »
Thanks for your picture Stim. I see your rollers are already in the poison I moved mine to. I'm happy with my purchase also. If I was too so it over I'd still by this first but I may build me a bigger one yet. Seeing where this one can be improved should help me make a better mill & I still get to saw in the mean time.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2015, 08:39:16 am »
what size and where do you get blades?
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Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2015, 09:43:24 am »
what size and where do you get blades?

I wasn't cutting very good lumber with the stock blade so I ordered 4 Wood Maxx blades from Kasco. You'll need to call & talk to Derek to get these since they aren't listed in their site.

They are 144" x 1.25"
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2015, 09:52:41 am »
Is that a common size?
Kubota L-4200, Ford 8N, S-10 4WD Beater truck, Chainsaw, Bush Hog, couple ATV's and 141 acres of trees I'm not sure what to do with but I sure do have fun and enjoy being in the woods!
The First 50 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2015, 11:08:27 am »
IDK but I find them listed on different sites so I'd guess so.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2015, 04:18:56 pm »
This isn't a mod but I think I should add this as well. Cutting Edge (a respected member here) told me to get the proper tension on the blade use a caliper ran out to 6" & clamp it to the slacked blade. Tension the blade until you get .005" of stretch.

Edited to fix typo.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2015, 05:16:01 pm »
This isn't a mod but I think I should add this as well. Cutting Edge (a respected member here) told me to get the proper tension on the blade use a caliper ran out to 6" & clamp it to the slacked blade. Tension the blade until you get .050" of stretch.
That would change depending on the thickness and the width of your blade ...
Collector and builder of many things.
I have a
machine shop
Wood work shop
And a Weld shop
And now a saw mill
and a bunch of new forum friends.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2015, 08:00:56 pm »
Thickness of the blade don't matter. A thicker blade just needs more tension to reach .050".
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Offline Cutting Edge

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2015, 08:10:12 pm »

 Tension the blade until you get .050" of stretch.


This should be 0.005" or (5 thousandths) of a inch of measured "stretch". 

Note:

To obtain this much tension, a larger outside diameter flat washer is needed that fits snug inside the tube.  Otherwise, the rubber insert will deform and start to "squish" out around the stock washer and deform the insert.  The replacement washer might have to have the outer diameter ground to get a snug fit. 

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Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2015, 08:19:31 pm »

 Tension the blade until you get .050" of stretch.


This should be 0.005" or (5 thousandths) of a inch of measured "stretch". 

Note:

To obtain this much tension, a larger outside diameter flat washer is needed that fits snug inside the tube.  Otherwise, the rubber insert will deform and start to "squish" out around the stock washer and deform the insert.  The replacement washer might have to have the outer diameter ground to get a snug fit. 



Thanks for correcting my typo.

To obtain .005" or .050" you need the washer? I'm not quite fallowing. What insert?
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.

Offline Kingmt

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Re: Harbor Freight Mill Mods & Repairs
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2015, 08:25:25 pm »
If there is others that have/had this mill or know this mill your mods & repair info is welcome. I started this thread with the intent to provide the info that I'd searched for & couldn't find before buying my mill. So any suggestions would be great.
Sawmill=Harbor Freight Item#62366
Chainsaws=MS180CBE(14"), MS290(18"), MS038(20"), MS660(20" & 36")
Staff=1Wife & 5 Kids :)
Please excuse my typing. I don't do well at catching auto correct.