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Author Topic: Chasing perfection?  (Read 1783 times)

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Offline JRWoodchuck

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Chasing perfection?
« on: March 16, 2017, 08:22:55 pm »
Just curious how close to perfection your mills get? While milling dimensional lumber are you guys with 1/32 of perfect? and 1/8? + or -.  I have a home built mill and curious what is actually achievable. I saw some one post the other day that even the $30,000 mill aren't perfect if you want perfect get a planer. So it just made me wonder. Thanks!
Home built bandsaw mill still trying find the owners manual!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2017, 08:37:21 pm »
As far as the sawmill's accuracy, I can not measure any difference between "Setworks" sawn boards.  I often have customers that will try, and I just laugh.

Now that is sawmill accuracy.  A cant moving as stress is relieved will take you to task.   :-\
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2017, 08:44:37 pm »
Logs move, set works hit the numbers, logs/cants move, it's green stock. Many factors can control timbers on the mill, but slight variations should be expected,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 08:51:22 pm »
Its called rough cut lumber for a reason. With good logs sharp well set band/saw 1/32 is practical with some care from the sawyer. Real world expect a little more, but that's no excuse for sloppy milling. Frank C.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 09:05:18 pm »
I think you are more asking about repeatability than accuracy?  My Woodmizer LT15 is very repeatable.  With clear wood, they are very repeatable.  Hard knots can cause a wave when you are milling.  Sharp band and going slow will help.  But if you don't see it ahead of time, you'll make a wave.  The beam planer really comes in handy there.  If I get a wave while milling, I simply run the planer head over it to flatten that cut face.  Then continue sawing.  Accuracy to me means how do the boards come out compared to the scale on your mill.  To tell the truth i haven't every done an truly scientific experiment to evaluate this.  I know it's pretty darn close.  I always planning to plane to dimension anyway.

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 09:20:07 pm »
My mind went to framing lumber when the OP stated "dimensional lumber".  That is about the only lumber that I saw that is used as it comes off of the sawmill.  No sizing or surfacing.  Accuracy = uniformity.
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Offline scully

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 09:44:50 pm »
Repeatable accuracy is no problem on my mill . As stated before stress in a cant will indeed affect dimension .
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Offline lyle niemi

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 11:00:27 pm »
rough lumber is rough lumber,  I get my lumber very close on the most part but never perfect, you want perfect , get a planer

Offline kensfarm

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 12:49:38 am »
I've checked w/ the tape measure.. but never have taken the Caliper out to check.   
Could be interesting..
 

 

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 03:55:48 am »
I expect accuracy of +/- 1 mm.
I'll settle for +/- 1.5mm (about 1/16" )
If 3 boards in a row come off with a 3mm variation I go looking for a fault.

Log stress and cant movement are only issues if you want an excuse. I've built a business on the supply of straight dimensionally accurate GOS lumber cutting some of the toughest species in the world: inability to deal with log stress is an equipment and sawing pattern failure, nothing more, nothing less.

But as stated above, if you want perfect get a planer. My planer just gets an easier ride then most.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 08:45:37 am »
LL,

   Please update your profile with your equipment used if you don't mind. I am interested in what kind of equipment you use to get this kind of performance. I'm like Lynn and get good repeatability using my setworks but I do have occasional issues with the stress causing a less perfect board. In my case I am depending on the weight of the cant to hold it down while other mills have teeth to hold the cant down better. The board/flitch may jump off when cut but still stays the same thickness.
Howard Green
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 09:02:33 am »
I saw many Mbf of framing lumber for homes each year.  I have one now that reported back to me Monday that he will have no building permit restrictions/issues regarding using "rough sawn" so felling and skidding is his next job.

There will be no planeing or resizing so consistency is a requirement when your lumber will be used for home building. 
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Offline derhntr

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2017, 09:46:05 am »
Once and a while I will get a thin or thick board when using accuset. Normally last boards off of cant. Could be stress, or got busy and forgot to clean sawdust off battery box or sawdust under cant. Dry mast rails or sawdust caught in the up down chain will cause jerky drop and effect thickness.
2006 Woodmizer LT40HDG28 with command control (I hate walking in sawdust)
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2017, 10:02:11 am »
All the lumber on the circle mill I run goes through the planer . Therefor I get lazy end to end will be within a 1/16 . size will vary up to an 1/8 . Any thing over 1 3/4 will plane out to 1 5/8 . I can do better but it will affect production .
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Offline Rougespear

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2017, 10:08:08 am »
Ya, I'd say 1/16" is more practical, but a 1/32" is achievable... logs move, sometimes unpredictably.  Typically there is always a more "critical" dimension (eg. the 4" width of a framing member is more important than is 2" thickness), so try to get that critical dimension close.

I've been a finish carpenter on many jobs were the walls were about as straight as a drunk's driving... and that was using kiln-dried lumber.  So I agree with Lynn that sawmill repeatability yields consistent lumber, but people have done far worse starting with much better framing-wise.
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2017, 11:38:04 am »
I have a homemade mill and my height adjustment is controlled by a winch with stops so each click is around 1/16 so I can't get closer than that.  When I am actually cutting I consider it good enough if the blade doesn't wander more than 1/16 above or below where it is supposed to be.  To get more accurate I would have to replace my winch with a worm gear winch or replace the cables with lead screws.  I could also be more careful when setting up the mill to make sure it is all perfectly level and on the same plane,  I use a cheap 4 foot level and am not sure just how accurate it is over the length of the mill.  At the moment I don't see the need to make it more accurate,  in the future I may come across a project that needs more accuracy and then I will see what I can do to make it better.

I sawed for one person how also had a pile of lumber stacked sitting there that was sawn on a woodmizer and by the looks of it the operator of the woodmizer either didn't know or care how to cut straight lumber.  It was full of waves and different thicknesses and made the lumber I made look really good in comparison.

Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2017, 06:02:27 pm »
Thanks for all the responses. Was more curious per board variation than repetition. I would say my good boards that I produce are + or - an 1/8" which is ok for what I am using it for at the moment. But was curious what other people label acceptable.
Home built bandsaw mill still trying find the owners manual!

Offline Magicman

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2017, 06:11:13 pm »
my good boards that I produce are + or - an 1/8"
An eighth of an inch would not be acceptable to either me or my customers because I only do custom sawing.
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Offline pinefeller

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2017, 06:22:32 pm »
you can saw perfect lumber all day but a 12 wide pine board can shrink half an inch or more depending on the moisture content and even the ring count. with that said my saw works off dogged sizes so i can repeatedly make the same thickness boards over and over, however that system has its flaws too.  i shoot for 1/16'' and no waves ;D
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Offline D6c

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Re: Chasing perfection?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2017, 09:31:58 am »
My older LT40 always seemed to cut a little thin using the aluminum scale it came with.  I started checking and the scale was made with a 1/6" allowance for kerf.....not enough.
I turned it over and made new engravings that allow for .100"  That should be closer but I haven't sawed enough to check it yet.
I also made up a scale with markings for dimensional lumber.