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Author Topic: Identifying bottlenecks  (Read 5243 times)

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Offline Brad_bb

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Identifying bottlenecks
« on: May 17, 2016, 06:58:29 pm »
Been using my LT15 for about 2 years now.  I've come to realize that I have 2 significant bottlenecks - edging flitches/boards, and leveling the log on the mill before making the first cut.  It's good to identify areas that you struggle and try to come up with solutions and improvements.

It just seems so slow edging flitches on the band mill.  You can pretty much do one board at a time if you want to preserve the most good wood, then you have to flip it and do the other side.   It seems slow to me.  Since I'm cutting mostly timbers for timberframing(6 to 16ft for now until I can find longer logs), the boards are a by product as I'm sawing to my timber size.  My off bearer and I decided to try edging on my table saw using a 10ft sled I made to clamp boards to get a straight edge.  I don't think it was any improvement.  It took too long and made a mess in my wood shop.  So I just started looking into edgers.  I stopped and WM and looked at their single blade.  Someone told me that it's really a big table saw.  I was surprised it was so simple and you just had to eyeball/guess your position as you fed the board in. 

My expectation for an edger was that it was going to have a projected laser line to show you where the cut would occur before you engaged your board.  That doesn't seem to be a common feature, surprisingly.  I think it's an option on Cook's edgers.  I was thinking I'd find a stationary, electric edger with laser line, self feeding.   I believe the WM single was not even self feeding.  The real shock was the cost of edgers.  Despite not having those features, it looks like most of the edgers start at $8K!  That is nearly as much as my mill! 

For leveling logs from one end to the other, I've been marking the points on each end I want to use to level.  Then I use a wood 3x3 by the mill to put under the end of the log with the center of the board against the mill rail to act as the fulcrum and lever the end of the log up so my off bearer can set a piece of 2x and a wedge on the nearest bed cross beam.  I could put a mechanical lever on the forward end for lifting(I don't have any hydraulics on the mill) but with varying lengths of logs, there isn't one fixed position to locate one on the other end.  Have to stick with the board method on the far end.  If I can come up with a mechanical mechanism, like a gear drive that won't reverse under load, that would allow me to let go and measure.  Another aid I think would be a projected, level,  laser line on the log and boards for edging so you can see where your band is going to cut.

Just some things I've been thinking about lately.  Any suggestions welcome (besides buying a $20K edger). 
 

 
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Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 08:05:41 pm »
Hey Brad...your second bottleneck is one of my big ones...I'm sure there are better ideas, but here are two...first, spend the loot on a double edger...the best solution, and the most productive. I have not added one for the same reasons you haven't. Instead, option 1... Depending on the log, you could get anywhere from 4-12 flitches to be edged, sometimes more....I am tight, and want to squeak what I can out of a log, but have come to the realization that chasing that extra inch costs more time and aggravation than its worth without an edger, so I do one of 3 things..first, if I only have 4-6, I take the narrowest, and that's what they all get, one pass, the rest firewood. Option 2... I get 7-12....same method, 2 stacks... Most narrow in one stack, wider in the other.. Option 3...stack flitches from 2 logs, or more, and do the same thing on 2 sets. As for leveling logs? I spend too much time doing that, and I have hydraulic toe boards!!! But it shows in the quality of the end product. Get lazy there and it shows in many species... Some are more forgiving. You could use the average method commonly used as mentioned in other threads, but not as accurate as a tape measure or actual measurement... Or you could mount a laser, but that required marking the pith on the end with the log indexed properly, so there's time spent there anyway. If you want to be close, its fine. If you want to be perfect, not so much...
bk

Offline 4x4American

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 08:09:30 pm »
Following... I severely dislike edging on the mill...
Boy, back in my day..

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 08:21:07 pm »
I save all the boards that need edging to the end of the day.
Then i add this attachment to my mill. It's not for everyone but it works for me.
It speeded up thing a lot for me.

 

 

 

 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 08:24:43 pm »
I like edging on the mill as much as the black fly season we are having this year :)
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Offline WDH

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 08:27:44 pm »
Life is short.  Get the edger.  You deserve it.  It is an essential piece of equipment if you are someone who saws seriously :)
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Offline red

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 08:49:05 pm »
To be productive with an edger you need 3 people . Other wise sort and organize . The money spent on an edger can be spent on Labor / Helpers . You dont need to edge every board every day .
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 08:59:17 pm »
Unfortunately, the quantity of boards that get produced, don't justify the investment in my opinion.  I'm sawing for timbers, that I'll use.  The boards may end up as flooring or misc projects down the road  If I get so much that I can't handle it, maybe I'll sell some, but that hasn't been an  issue yet.  I have my off bearer for 6 hours a day, 3-4 days a week (he's 63 and physically doesn't want to go longer than 6 hours).  He is always on time though....   So we will mill for 4 hours setting flitches aside and putting cants or timbers in the shed, eat a quick sandwich, and spend 1:45 edging, cutting stickers, putting the boards in the drying stack, and cleaning up a little. One day a week we'll take that 1:45 cutting slabs to firewood length and loading them in his trailer and doing a better cleanup and burning sawdust and bark in the vortex burn barrel.  I'll often then work by myself for 2 or 3 or 4 more hours.

Oh...WDH, can I borrow $10K for a Cook's edger with stationary laser?
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 09:04:12 pm »
Brad,

   I'm not fond of edging either but I am mobile and hard to justify the extra effort and expense of the edger. If I were stationary I would likely get the small single blade edger WM makes. I have watched them in demos and was pleased with what I saw, even if only single blade and manual feed. I see them on WM site for around $3K.

    In the mean time I keep getting better at edging next to a cant and using my cheat sheet to end on the mark without an extra trim cut (another FF tip I picked up along the way).

   Another FF tip/step I am working on for my home sawing is building and putting a couple of sawhorses by my mill and staging flitches by width to gang edge them faster and more efficiently. If this works well I may build fold up sawhorses to take with me to customer sites.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline paul case

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2016, 09:12:21 pm »
I don't know if you can do this but it really helped me. You need to clamp the log a little so it don't roll. Paul's manual hydraulic toe board. The jack sits on a 8x8 support that the mill was sitting on. You can make multiple places for it wherever needed.
 

 

I Think you would be surprised how quickly and easily a wm single blade would edge out your boards. Experience will make you faster and better with it. My helper could keep up with the edges coming off my old LT40 and was usually waiting on me.
Yeah I know it is no frills but that works. Mine had a 5 hp electric motor on it and it worked real well. It is very important to set your boards up so you don't have to pick them up off the ground and make it so everything is real close to you. Less steps will save you many sore muscles.
PC
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2016, 09:30:22 pm »
Brad, X2 on the jack at the small end which is quick and easy.  I used a scissor jack for a while, then went to this:
 

 

Just a 25$ hf fllor jack.  Bottle jack, scissor jack, any jack.  I have a couple little cross pieces that sit on the bottom of  the track to measure to the pith at each end.  Once you know how much to raise the small end you can look at the bunk and estimate when you're up enough then check it and fine tune once and you're done.  Goes pretty quick. 

Edging always takes more time than I want.  Gang edging sounds good with like size flitches but I usually edge before I have that many.  Recently I tried a new method where I stacked different sizes on and then edged down and removed the taller boards as they got a finished edge and then kept moving down on the narrower boards.  Seemed to work ok.  I try different ways depending on the flitches and I do think it helps to vary the method depending on the flitches.  Sometimes I cut them short if the tail is all bark anyway.

I'm not sure any of those methods work any better, but the variety makes me think I'm being more efficient at least.  The only thing I really know is that edging is a pain but worth it.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2016, 09:32:32 pm »
WV Sawmiller, good tip.  I'll try it with a cant tomorrow.  As I understand you are using the cant as 1) a clamping spacer and 2) as a visual aid to alight your cut near the top of the cant.  You either cut at the same level as the top of the cant, or 1/16 or so above, correct?

Paul Case, I just don't see how the WM single blade edger is any better than my table saw?  If you have a flitch that is 12 inches at one end and varies as you go long to 7 inches at the other end....you'd have to try to align what you think might be the correct alignment by eye.  Then, because you have to feed the board by hand, what is to stop you from moving off of a straight line as you push the board in, and then you end up binding the blade at worst and at best coming out the other side with a cut that really isn't straight?  That is my issue.  The WM sales rep couldn't give me a good answer.  On my table saw I was using a clamping sled to make sure I got a straight edge on the board.  If my assessment is not correct, please tell me.
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Offline paul case

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2016, 09:49:20 pm »
Brad,
The wm single blade edger I had was equipped (I think the new ones are the same) with a T bar past the blade. It went in the cut and kept you sawing straight on the first edge. You can easily eyeball where you want to cut down that first side by knowing how far over your blade is from the side of the edger's table. It took almost no effort to push the board through my edger. The second cut has a fence that is adjustable to set the width of the board and it keeps you straight as well.
There isn't any reason you can't do the same thing with a table saw. It wont push as easy as the edger since it has rollers and most table saws are less hp.
PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
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Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
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Offline red

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2016, 10:46:24 pm »
I think it is more the feed rate that makes it seem slow . . So if you are looking for production you need a bigger sawmill . Also not trying to get something out of the log that is not there. . There is only a small amount of sawyers using portable sawmills that have edgers . . Even if the cost of an edger is no problem you need three people to make it productive . You can not edge one board at a time faster than many boards on a bandsaw .
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
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Offline Mt406

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 12:34:14 am »
Keep looking for a edger. you never know what you mite find one day.
I have only had my Lt 35 a month now and I hate edging already.
Today I was sawing some big DF and ended up with some 22" side wood 16 ft long to edge.
Found out I am not as tuff as I used to be.
As I was seeing all blurry eyed trying to load them back on the mill.
I was thinking of my score of 2 weeks ago a EDGER a 3 blade 10 hp single phase 24 inch wide for 600.00
It need some work and new belts I just don't have the time to work on it.
The mill down the  road was selling off  old stuff it been setting in the brush for 8 years.
So keep looking you never know what you may find   

Offline Hiway40frank

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 07:18:10 am »
Im biased because I own one, but have you ever considered a lucas mill for timbers? You can plane right on it and its the same cost if not less than an edger. Just a thought.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 08:46:33 am »
Brad,

   I use the cant to help me keep my flitches vertical and cut squarer lumber. My cheat sheet works out if cutting 4/4 to start for example on the 10" mark, will land on the 5.5" mark. If cutting 1"X6" when I get to 5.5" for example, I unclamp the cant, put the flitches in, cut bark off one edge, flip, cut to 6", remove the finished boards, reset to 5.5" and saw to the bed.

    Another option is to reset to 10" and edge the flitches 1" at a time generating my stickers or tomato stakes. Every time I get a clean edge I flip or remove that board. This only works when cutting random widths for me.

   Of course I have hydraulics and clamping is faster and easier than if I were manual. Principle is the same but effort is a little different.

   Storing and sizing flitches is my next procedure so 2 cuts per flitch size will yield finished boards.
Howard Green
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 12:39:02 pm »
Hiway40Frank, I have the Woodmizer MP100 beam planer.
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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 04:06:34 pm »
I edge as many flitches at once as I can as long as I can keep them square to the side supports.  I often use a small cant as a back stop and stack them against it, clamp down and mill to flat, flip and do again.

Remove as you produce finished products and flip some or all as needed.

It aint fun but it ups the production.
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Offline schmism

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2016, 05:19:15 pm »
couple of options

to create a quick straight edge.

a track saw


The tracks sit on the wood surface without sliding around enabling a guided cut that doesn't require clamping.   They come with various extensions so doing 12-16' material should be doable with enough extensions.

if thats to expensive,  (~600 for that dewalt shown)   You could rig an overhead line laser to shine down at  some location.   Then line up your flitch as needed and cut with a regular circular saw.   A worm drive with a ripping blade is likely as quick as pushing your LT-15.

Once you have one straight edge you an set up a powerfeeder on a table saw to do the other edge.

Last option is a straight line rip saw.  They have a overhead and under table track like feed that moves the material through a saw in a straight line with no fence required.   I used one in a millwork,  it was setup to edge flitchs with a laser line.
youtube.com/watch?v=xPF8B3yTiw8

You should be able to find one on a used equipment trader site someplace.   
 


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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2016, 06:17:10 pm »

This is how we do ours.  Stack em up, rip them down.

 
Here you can see the CANT beside the flitches as I mill the flitches down the CANT.  In this case I've squared the tops, flipped them over and milled them at 4" to leave 1x4's since I was milling a 4" beam at the same time.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2016, 08:02:15 pm »
Schmism,

   Interesting tool but looks to me like it would slow down the process. Also, I'm mobile and would be afraid I couldn't keep enough batteries charged if I were doing much edging.

Eric,

   I think your pictures show same techniques I use. The first with just the flitches are hard for me to keep square. The second with flitches by the cant work well and removing individual finished board gets to be a pain but increases yield. Also since I'm cutting standard thicknesses (1-1/8" on my Simple set is most common) such as 4/4 each new flitch is now a random width board. Example if first were 7-3/4", next would be 6-5/8", 5.5", 4-3/8", etc.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WDH

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2016, 08:22:18 pm »
An edger is a splendid thing.  Kinda like fuel injection versus points and a carburetor.  I will never, ever, go back  :).  If you want to handle flitches and edge on the mill, that will make you sleep better at night, or it will kill you, or both  :)
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2016, 08:28:24 pm »
I'm going to get an edger for sure :)
Edging on the mill is my least favorite thing in my milling .
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Offline WoodenHead

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2016, 08:34:04 pm »
Leveling logs and edging flitches was and still is my greatest bottleneck.  To solve the leveling problem I switched from a manual mill to a hydraulic.  I still spend more time than I would like to level a log, but it is much easier and quicker on a hydraulic mill. 

To solve the flitch problem I thought I would purchase an edger.  So I did.  However, working by myself I did not find it any faster than edging on the mill.  And in some cases you can make interesting curves if the flitch is odd shaped and doesn't go through as you expect.   ::)   An edger works best with multiple helpers.

I am thinking about selling my edger since I never use it.  Now I just consider edging on the mill part of the job.  I edge after each log.  Hydraulics go a long way in helping to stand up the flitches.



 

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2016, 09:54:53 pm »
I tried the cant edging method today on a 6ft walnut log.  I only had 4 boards to do, and could do 2 of them at once.  I didn't have my helper today, but if I did I'm sure I could have aligned all 3 and got him to clamp it while I held them.  It did work better because I was able to use the top of the cant as a reference to align the boards.  ...and the log was only 12" but I will end up with two 4"x8" pieces of brace stock with some extra material on them so after the outer surface dries a bit, I can plane them to actual dimension.  Sorry I only took a pic after the opening face cut.
 

 
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Offline Verticaltrx

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2016, 10:58:55 pm »
This...

   Another FF tip/step I am working on for my home sawing is building and putting a couple of sawhorses by my mill and staging flitches by width to gang edge them faster and more efficiently. If this works well I may build fold up sawhorses to take with me to customer sites.

That method works quite well for edging and it is what I do. My sawhorses are the same height as the mill bed and positioned parallel to the mill just beyond the sawdust pile (operator side of the mill.)  You want them close enough so you and a helper can just swing the boards over to the sawhorses and back without much lifting or moving. If by yourself you just pick the flitch off the mill and swing around 180* and put it on the sawhorses. When I get a flitch I set it on the sawhorses, organizing them as I go by approximate width and those with one edge already. Then when I decide to edge them, generally every 2-3 logs worth I stack a bunch on the mill, like 10-12 or so, and make a pass. Unclamp, take out any that are done (those that already had one edge) pack the rest back together and use my cant hook to flip the whole bundle over. Then saw again, unclamp and take out the wide ones, so on and so forth. It sounds like a lot of work, but it goes fast. I can edge a bundle of 10 boards in just a few minutes. I really don't mind edging, it adds up board footage fast.

As for leveling logs, WM makes a what they call a 'taper wedge' for the LT15. Slides over the bunks and can be moved in and out to level the log. You do have to still use something to pry the log up, but it looks easier than fiddling with blocks or wooden wedges. I don't have one yet, but it's the next thing I am going to buy for my mill. You can get them through parts and I think they are only about $50-60.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2016, 11:27:15 pm »
I had a taper wedge for my manual LT15.  It was very easy to use, and a Logrite was the perfect prybar.
Later, I mounted a small car jack on the rails with some angle iron, and it also worked very well.


With my hydraulic mill, the easy way to gauge level for parallel bark sawing is to install drag back fingers.  Start the head at one end of the log, adjust the toe boards where the fingers just touch the bark, barely touching the surface of the log.  Then traverse the head and adjust the toe boards until the fingers touch at the same height the whole length of the log.  With the hydraulics anywhere modification, the bark can be leveled in the time it takes to drag the head across the log while jogging the toeboards, maybe a few seconds. 
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Offline red

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2016, 11:35:36 pm »
I used scissor jacks
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2016, 08:05:33 am »
Edging on a sawmill is slow. I could almost saw another log by the time I recover all those boards. I try to do my edging after each log. Most times log size vary, so I can look and remember how I want to do. I have sawed out 3-4-5 logs and then came back and did the edging. Seems like it took me longer because I did not know what I had.I can see how sorting to size would help.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2016, 08:06:55 am »
Vtrx,

   If I were sawing at home I'd almost certainly be working alone but the sawhorse system should still work well. When you edge groups of flitches do you edge them beside a cant for better stability? One problem we have not mentioned in edging is the problem with clamping a large number at one time. Even though I try to put an already squared edge down next to the clamp and dogs (if no cant) if too many rough edges in a stack the whole stack wants to climb up under pressure. Using the cant helps get a better bite on the stack and reduces this risk. It gets worst when cutting stickers and want to cut that last 1X1 next to the rails.
Howard Green
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2016, 10:53:33 am »
Constantly reading these kinds of threads is exactly why I have a MobileDimesion.

One man, NO edging.

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2016, 03:38:18 pm »
Not many MobileDimesions on this side of the states. ;)  I saw one at show here in Maine. I was quite impressed by it.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2016, 08:09:42 pm »
I tailed a mobile dimension mill for 3 years straight.  I didn't stop to go to sleep or eat or nothin!  Lol

That mill will put a hurtin on the tail man..
especially without any roller tables and you are stacking 20' away...and yea, you might not have to worry about having an edger, but, the guy tailing has to pull and handle two or three pieces sometimes depending on how the saws are setup.
Boy, back in my day..

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2016, 08:12:34 pm »
I really like their use of hockey pucks in their mill too btw.  Made
me laugh but they work good, I mean, ask any Canookian, a hockey puck is about the best thing since they invented the wheel.
Boy, back in my day..

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2016, 08:29:42 pm »
The problem with edging on the mill is having to handle the boards so much.  Tote, stack, re-tote stack, flip, stack, re-tote, etc. 
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2016, 08:43:58 pm »
I stack flitches on the loading arms.

I edge as many as I can at once.

Also, I find flipping cants 180 to open the second face to be more efficient than rotating 90
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2016, 08:52:39 pm »
I stack flitches on the loading arms.

I edge as many as I can at once.

Also, I find flipping cants 180 to open the second face to be more efficient than rotating 90

Dan,

   I think I often do what you describe. Open 1st face, cut 1 or 2 flitches, flip 180, open face, take off a flitch or two, flip 90*, open the face, take off 1, sometimes 2 flitches, flip 180* take the face off to my mark, may get 1 more flitch and start cutting edged boards. When I get down to about a 3-4 inches, stop and edge my flitches then reset to my mark and cut to the deck.
Howard Green
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2016, 09:25:23 pm »
Nobody has mentioned bottlenecks caused by folks/kin (non customers) who drop by  to talk and visit.  Seems like people who aren't doing anything, want everyone else to do nothing too.   :D

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2016, 10:26:46 pm »
Nobody has mentioned bottlenecks caused by folks/kin (non customers) who drop by  to talk and visit.  Seems like people who aren't doing anything, want everyone else to do nothing too.   :D

 :D :D :D  Yup!!  For the first time on monday I shooed a guy away.  I had a wm tech looking at my sawmill trying to figure out some tissues I've been having and this guy comes up out of nowhere in some police looking suburban, and starts asking me all sorts of personal questions and he did ask one thing I thought was great, he asked me if my lumber had been through a planer lol.  Lumber that was sticker stacked at the end of my roller table behind the sawmill.  We're out in the open on the edge of a hay field, do you see a planer anywhere!! Lol
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #40 on: May 20, 2016, 09:24:22 pm »
My mill is in my shop and the door faces the opposite direction of the road and my logs are too far from the road for anyone to see what I'm doing.  That pretty much keeps that bottleneck away.  I try to stay pretty private about what I'm doing.  Only my log supplier and the farmer I lease ground to have seen my operation. :laugh:
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2016, 10:52:08 pm »
If I have a bigger order and don't wanna be disturbed I'll put the chain up at the driveway with no trespassing sign.  I'm sure one day someone is gonna walk right around that and ask why I have the chain up lol
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2016, 06:42:04 am »
When I edge 1" flitches, I like to edge against the cant before flipping the cant for the last time, but I take the cant down to 5", so that I don't leave a bunch of marks on it from the edging job.

I stand all of the flitches up against the cant and mill through dropping 1" at a time, and when I get a clean edge, I turn that flitch over and make another cut, and so on.

When a flitch gets to a width I take it off and stack it, then I finish cutting the cant that I was sawing against!
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #43 on: May 21, 2016, 07:35:42 am »
With the edger, I touch the flitch 4 times.  Once to take it off the mill.  Twice when running it through the edger.  The third time is taking it off the edger outfeed table and stacking on the tractor forks.  The last time is when the board is stickered.

Edging on the mill requires that the board be handled more times.  Once taking it off the mill.  Twice putting it back on the mill.  Third when one edge is straight and clean.  Fourth to flip the board to edge the other side.  Fifth to remove the board off the mill and flat stack.  Six to sticker it.  That is 50% more touches  :)
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #44 on: May 21, 2016, 07:51:36 am »
I take a different approach concerning edging. 

Early in my sawing "career" I disliked or maybe even despised edging.  Well, I had to do like Cool Hand Luke and "get my mind right boss":  LINK

Edging is part of the job.  I get more lumber plus the stickers that I always provide free of charge to the customer.  I edge after every log or save them until I get about 6.  Of course it is easier said with the hydraulics and two-plane log clamp.   ;D
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2016, 07:53:19 am »
Aleyska Pete let me play with his cooks edger, and he was saying he gets more life out of his bands on the mill by not sawing through the bark on all the flitches. 
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2016, 08:26:40 am »
And I suspect that he is correct.  My main dislike is sawing through bark that the debarker can not reach.  There are times when I know that I sacrifice lumber to get below the bark on all of the flitches.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2016, 10:08:45 am »
With the edger, I touch the flitch 4 times.  Once to take it off the mill.  Twice when running it through the edger.  The third time is taking it off the edger outfeed table and stacking on the tractor forks.  The last time is when the board is stickered.

Edging on the mill requires that the board be handled more times.  Once taking it off the mill.  Twice putting it back on the mill.  Third when one edge is straight and clean.  Fourth to flip the board to edge the other side.  Fifth to remove the board off the mill and flat stack.  Six to sticker it.  That is 50% more touches  :).
Either way, it seems like we are wearing out a piece of lumber before we get it stickered on a stack.  From what I have seen with using an edger (and good help), it's  zip, zip, zip and you are done.  So much faster. 

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #48 on: May 21, 2016, 10:52:52 am »
Another way to try to improve the process:
Another thing I've started doing lately is cutting logs into cant.  Partly because I don't have the timber cut list yet, and I want to keep going.  But my thinking is that it takes more time and effort and mess to create the cant.  Once you get a square can't it's pretty straight forward sawing.  So the last week and a half we'be been making cants.  We are working on hardwood logs with a lot of size and length variety.  We did the smaller diameter stuff first and now are on the larger diameter stuff.  We load with the forklift and move the cants to the shed next door.  That way when we have the cut list, it will go much faster.  This also allows us to get all our slabs and cut them up for firewood, clean up all the bark we removed and burn it along with the sawdust.  When we get to sawing the cants, it will be a cleaner and faster job.  One other issue is that I plane a lot of my beams, and I've noticed that Ash(a lot of what I'm cutting) and Osage will tear out when wet.  I'm hoping that allowing some drying on the outside will reduce the tear out?  Another thing I noticed is that you go through more bands from slabs and where you hit some bark.  Osage really does a number on bands too.  If I can do all the rough cutting of the slabs, hopefully I'll keep my bands sharper when cutting the timbers and side boards from the cants.  For example, If I cut two curved osage logs flat on two sides, by that time my band is cutting rough and if I try to saw an ash into lumber, I get a rough cut.  But if I keep sawing into cants, that rough cut is on the outside and will matter less.  When I come back to saw the cants, I can put a fresh band on and get nicer cuts.  There is some more handling, but it's done with the forklift and is really not a significant time issue because I can bring back 3-4 cants from the shed and set them on bunks next to the mill.  I'm not making 8 extra trips with the forklift, only 2.  Just thinking this is more efficient for cleanup and band and quality of cut than completely processing one log at a time.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #49 on: May 21, 2016, 02:53:58 pm »
     Brad, my only word of caution on that is that cants like to check as they dry, and those checks will be in the middle of your side lumber. If you're not too concerned about the side oumber, I think sawing cants oversized and then coming back and truing them to final dimensions should work well.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #50 on: May 21, 2016, 05:19:58 pm »
   I'm interested in that cant storage. I don't have the support equipment to handle them or would try it.

    Do you sticker stack the cants or flat stack them? I'd think if they were flat stacked they would not check too bad. Do you store by species or just by length? How about marking - do you crayon mark the ends with species and original cut date? Do you seal the ends with anchorseal or such? I'd think if you want to use a cheat sheet with a predetermined start point to end on your final mark you could trim 3 sides to eliminate one future trim cut. (I've just recently started that procedure after reading several contributors here and I am liking that tip.)
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #51 on: May 21, 2016, 09:04:19 pm »
Without stickers they could surely mildew.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2016, 09:54:18 am »
WV Sawmiller, I use stickers that are two 2x4 4footers screwed together.   Makes it easy to get the forks under the layer.    It is very easy to identify the species just by sight. Walnut, Ash, oak, cherry are pretty easy to identify. I store them in my shed(Morton building gravel floor pile barn)  so they are not out in the sun greying or anything like that.  I do not date them, as I will likely be cutting them to size within a month. My only concern, is if the outside of the camp starts to dry a little bit creating tension in the outside woid.   I'm wondering when I go to cut outside boards away if they will curl up or cup quickly? We will find out. Again, the Timbers or what I'm really after,  The boards are a byproduct for me.  I have not sold anything yet as I use most of the wood for me.
 The ends of the logs are sealed with anchor seal when they come into my yard. I just remembered though, I do need to go out and fog the cants with Timbor.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2017, 08:20:18 am »
I was just re-reading this thread and can add some info.   Storing Cants Is not a good idea I've found. As MM said, you get checks that you don't want for boards.  It's better to cut to the actual size for use than to cut the largest cant.  The smaller it is, the better it will dry.  If cut to a board it will have less chance of checking.  The same is sometimes true of logs.  I had a good size walnut log that saw in my barn for a long time.  It checked and when I cut it up for 4x8 brace stock, some of the sticks were junk due to a big check running through.  On the other hand , Ash that has dried on the stump seems to often stay pretty tight.  Cherry I'd prefer to cut as soon as possible.  I've decided that cant storage is not preferable.  I do cut all my timbers oversize by 1/2"  because I'm going to come back and plane them.  I cut Ash timbers 1/4" oversize because they are already down in moisture content and won't move as much and I can usually get away with 1/4 inch over size in each direction.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #54 on: June 12, 2017, 08:18:39 am »
An edger with a manual mill is a "nice to have" item but really not worth the investment. If you have a paid helper standing around picking his nose wile you edge on the mill an edger will pay. Small time sawmilling is a hot, heavy, hard job some unpleasantness we can't avoid. Just suck it up and do it the least aggravating way for your operation. Frank C.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #55 on: June 12, 2017, 08:39:28 am »
Can't storage is not a good idea. But when you run out of storage space for incoming logs. I have cut two sides making all low grade logs 12 inch . Instead of just having firewood logs. Having a uniform height makes stacking and storing much easier.
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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2017, 01:36:35 pm »
Well I'm ready to try a track saw for edging.  I think I want the festool, but which one, the 55 or the 75?  Probably 90 percent of my cuts will be on 5/4 stock or less, which would suit the model 55.  But....the 75 would be able to rip glue edges on upt to 3" slabs.  So the question is, Do you do the smaller saw making 90 percent of the cuts easier(smaller saw, 3lbs lighter), or the bigger saw to do every thing?

I also have been working with a lot of oak barnwood for window and other trim work.  After de-nailing and cleaning you typically rip one edge, and barn wood is seldom straight.  We were doing this all on a portable contractor table saw.  If you've tried to rip long boards on a saw like this, you know it takes two guys to keep the board feeding straight and is still awkward to do.  So I also want to try the track saw for this stuff too.

 

 
 

 
 

 
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Offline D6c

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2017, 06:14:28 pm »
Brad,
I don't know if it would help you out or not, but I have a leftover toe board jack I made for my LT40.  It's made from a small trailer jack that's mounted upside down on a track that allows it to slide back and forth.  Swings up out of the way for transport.  Since I'm converting to hydraulic it's just a leftover piece of iron.  If you think you could use it, it can be had for the price of the postage.

 

  

 




Offline Alligator

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2017, 06:16:46 pm »
This is about as easy and cheap as edging will get.
http://www.riehlsteel.com/products/sawmill-board-edger/
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Offline mstahl

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2017, 08:18:02 pm »
Edging flitches on the sawmill was so frustrating and slow that it just about made me quit milling. However, I mill for a living so a solution to that bottleneck had to be found. Several years ago I bit the bullet and purchased a double blade edger and have been so happy with the results that I could never imagine using anything else. The boards are much truer than anything the sawmill could edge and the speed is incredible. My customers are so happy with the product that now I pretty much edge all boards up to 2" thick.

As far as $$ per hour of product produced, I figure that with a helper off-bearing and stacking I can run a board thru every 30 seconds or so resulting in $400-$800 worth of finished boards per hour from the slabs that otherwise have very little sales value. This machine paid itself off in less than a year with the only additional operating expenses being fuel, oil, filters and one set of blades in over 400 hours.

Of course the problem with bottlenecks is that when you solve one the next one pops up downstream. So now my bottleneck is trimming the boards to finished length. Anyone have any ideas for that?

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2017, 08:24:27 pm »
Thanks D6c,
I bought a manual toe board for an LT25 to retrofit on my LT15.  I started the install but drilled one hole off and have to fix it.

Does anyone edge with a track saw?
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline paul case

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2017, 10:52:40 pm »
I have an edger and have had a few. I really like using one vs using the mill to edge boards. I think the track saw idea would be too slow, way slower than say a wm single blade edger. Without lasers and after a little practice your off bearer can keep up with your flitches and it wouldn't take long to get the hang of it.

just my $.02 worth.
PC
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Offline jcbrotz

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #62 on: October 09, 2017, 05:44:50 am »
Thanks D6c,
I bought a manual toe board for an LT25 to retrofit on my LT15.  I started the install but drilled one hole off and have to fix it.

Does anyone edge with a track saw?

I have the 75 festool tracksaw great saw, edging with one would be the last thing I would want to do with one, but it is a wonderful addition to a woodshop.
2004 woodmizer lt40hd 33hp kubota

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2017, 08:43:08 am »
Thanks D6c,
I bought a manual toe board for an LT25 to retrofit on my LT15.  I started the install but drilled one hole off and have to fix it.

Does anyone edge with a track saw?

I have the 75 festool tracksaw great saw, edging with one would be the last thing I would want to do with one, but it is a wonderful addition to a woodshop.
I agree, it's a great tool but its best use is for precision, jointer quality edges, not any kind of mass production. 
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2017, 01:03:03 am »

Of course the problem with bottlenecks is that when you solve one the next one pops up downstream. So now my bottleneck is trimming the boards to finished length. Anyone have any ideas for that?


It could also pop up upstream ;D.

For trimming I used a DeWalt chop saw -- one that swings down, not a slider. I built a small shed for it , 4'x5', open on both sides, with 16' feed tables out both sides. I mounted rollers on the feed tables and put stops on the outfeed (left) side. Stops were located at standard distances from the saw blade and could swing up above the rollers when needed. I could also clamp a stop anywhere on the outfeed table for non-standard sizes.

In operation, I would stack trimmed boards next to the infeed table, sorted by length. When trimming I would lift a board onto the infeed, roll the end under the saw, and cut it square. Then I'd roll it along until it hit the stop (which I'd preset) and trim the other end square. Trimmed pieces were piled on 8x8's and when I was done, I could move the whole works to the drying stacks with the FEL.

I kept a simple wooden bin behind and to one side of the chop saw shed. When I trimmed a board I could just fling the trimmed piece over my shoulder and it would land in the bin. Bin was designed so it could be picked up with the FEL.

Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Identifying bottlenecks
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2017, 06:43:10 am »
I mill alone on my bandmill. Boards that need edging are put on close sawhorses and clamped to cants on the mill. In other words if I have a cant that will get an 8" cut I clamp  boards that needs an 8" cut. Sounds complicated, but not really, you edge as you go. Frank C.
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