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Author Topic: Buick-Powered Sawmills  (Read 1933 times)

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Offline wascator

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Buick-Powered Sawmills
« on: November 28, 2017, 08:55:09 pm »
Hi, I have owned a Buick (auto) with the straight eight engine for years, and older folks who remember small sawmills in rural Louisiana have told me many times the Buick straight eight engine was the best sawmill engine when that was all people could afford. Anyone ever seen or run one?

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 09:12:42 pm »
You got one that still runs?
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline starmac

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 09:29:19 pm »
Not a sawmill, but I rode lots of miles in a car that had one, some of them at a pretty high rate of fuel consumption.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2017, 09:42:07 pm »
Our family started our mill with a McCormick Dearing 15 30 until it broke then a 22 36 until it put a rod through the block . Then dad bought a 40 Buick cut the body off at the windshield locked the rear end welded a flat pulley to the wheel ran a throttle cable to the stick and sawed for years . I helped on the green end when he sawed 32 foot 8X8 Red pine for exposed beams .
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2017, 08:45:21 pm »
The old timers had high regard for straight 8 buick  engines on sawmills. When I started in 1980 I couldn't find one. I remember an old junk yard owner saying they had a pile of them, $20  each, take your pick, they are all good. That was in the '50 s.  The man who came around selling mill supplys  ran his no. 1 American with a Pontiac straight 8.

Offline Bosco

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 10:44:34 am »
I actually found an old Chrysler P.U. made into a sawmill out in the woods/Mts. on some property I was thinking about buying. Had alot of old buildings and equipment around an old homestead.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2017, 07:56:56 pm »
I have also heard the Dodge slant six is a decent mill engine. Any gasoline auto engine is just a poor substitute for a proper diesel. I don't mean to insult anyone on their power choice but a diesel power unit or large diesel tractor is the best unless your just dubbing around. Frank C.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 10:22:39 pm »
My dad said that when it came to gas engines for sawmills never get a v8 because they didn't have the torque of a straight 6. He also said that it would take a big diesel to out do a Buick straight 8. But you have to understand that the diesels my dad was talking about were built during the same time period as the Buick straight 8.
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Offline wascator

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 09:43:41 am »
Thanks for the replies; all interesting.
Back before the automatic transmission, engines with torque were the thing; they would pull smoothly from low RPM so you didn't have to shift much, and the Buick engines were designed to move heavy cars around smoothly. There were two: the smaller engine in the lower line cars and the big bore about 320 cu in for Century, Limited, and after WWII when the Limited became the Roadmaster.
Using an auto engine on a mill: it is true they are not designed to run heavily loaded, as moving a car down the highway doesn't require all that much power. They need to be able to provide higher out put for short periods of acceleration of course and that feeling of effortless motion from a low speed,  high torque engine is the luxury the manufacturers were charging the big money for.
I think they will live if they are not too heavily loaded and if they are run at 1200-1500 RPM. Of course some of them were probably close to being worn out when they found themselves powering a mill rather than this year's newest Buick, too.
Would love to see photos of a setup or even better; a video of one running a mill with a big hardwood log in the carriage.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 10:25:27 am »

Would love to see photos of a setup or even better; a video of one running a mill with a big hardwood log in the carriage.

How about just a hardwood log in the wheels. My 1937 Buick...

 

 
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 04:33:37 pm »
 8) That is a beauty.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 07:25:33 pm »
Wascator, look on you tube under circular saw mills there are many vids with different mill engines gas, diesel and steam some very under powered. Frank C.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 10:13:02 pm »
Kbeitz, that is sharp! My dad has a 37 Dodge pickup, it looks very similar to your Buick.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Darrel

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 10:44:15 pm »
I just had one of those flashback memories.  In about 1974, I was given a 1954 Packard Super Clipper.  That old car had a straight 8 flathead and on the top of the head it said "Thunderbolt 350". I only drove the car 1 time because it had no breaks other than the parking brake that didn't work very well either.  I drove it home and backed it into the landloed's fishpond.  No damage to pond or car.  I put it up for sale and two buyers showed up at the same time.  One guy was a poor sawyer with a broken down mill that wanted the engine to power his sawmill. The other was a rich guy that needed a '54 Super Clipper to complete his Packard collection. Guess which guy won the bidding contest.

Anyway, there is only one way that I can describe the way that car accelerated. Smooth. Nothing that would plaster you to the back of the seat, but at the same time, the next thing I knew was that the old cluncker was going down highway 101 in California's wine country at 70 mph with no brakes.
1992 LT40HD

The winds of change are blowing at hurricane force and I don't like it but good shall come even though I see not how.

Offline wascator

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2017, 03:21:15 pm »
I've watched every Utube video I can find with a mill in it, haven't found a Buick-powered mill though.
Straight eight = smooth torque. That's the idea. When the HP race started the straights were too long and heavy, and the crank is not stiff enough to take the high firing pressures without being overly heavy and expensive, hence the rise of the V-8.

Offline Resonator

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2017, 04:11:11 pm »
Sounds like the old EMD (General Motors) diesel locomotive engines. The railroad found it was more cost effective to de-tune (reduce horsepower) than to keep having crankshafts twist apart under high torque load. Any drive line is only as strong as its weakest link.
"Chasing the sawdust dream..."

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2017, 05:01:54 pm »
In my shop I have a 1950 Buick sedan that my great grandfather bought new  and paid cash for .I think it's 248 cubic inches and 125 HP .Keep in mind a 1950 Ford V8 8BA engine was 95 HP .The car has 24,000 miles on it with the original tires which are of course no good .
That thing has enough low end torque to pull away from a stop sign in high gear at idle if you slip the clutch a little .Try that with a Ford flat head V8 .
To the topic I've seen one Buick powered sawmill ,old as the hills .I never saw it under power. That conglomeration was ran off of line shafts with belt driven swing saws and gang rip saws plus the big head saw .The engine was up in the rafters of the shed .That thing looked kind of dangerous to me .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2017, 05:14:59 pm »
Oh one more thing,my old Buick which was last licensed in 1974 would average about 18 MPG .My great aunt had inherited that car and decided she need a new one at about  80 years old and gave it to me .Then seeings the old Buick had an 8 cylinder she bought a 1974 Olds Cutlass,rally wheels 350 cubic inch V8 engine with a 4 barrel carb ,talk about hot rod mama .When she passed in 1990 that Olds had a tad over 5000 miles on it .

Offline starmac

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2017, 05:21:35 pm »
Does anybody know, if the buick and Pontiac straight 8's were the same engine??
My wifes granddad had a halftrack at the ranch, if I am not mistaken it had a straight 8. I want to say it was a white.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2017, 05:31:50 pm »
The Pontiac was a flat head while the Buick was over head valve .Different displacements also

Offline jwade

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2017, 05:38:40 pm »
wow all that would be a real barn find.

Offline Darrel

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2017, 11:48:59 pm »
I remember riding in a Pontiac as a vary young boy and my mother complaining that it burned too much gas. It was probably about the same age as the Buick pictured by kbietz. I don't know for sure that it had the straight 8 but I'm guessing that it did.
1992 LT40HD

The winds of change are blowing at hurricane force and I don't like it but good shall come even though I see not how.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2017, 08:39:05 am »
If you really want gasoline engine torque find an old Walkeshaw (sp) 6 cylinder they were common in fire apparatus and some in old cranes and shovels. They are torky but will eat you out of house and home. Frank C.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2017, 07:46:12 pm »
My dads first saw mill was a circle mill powered by a straight 8 Buick.  Had a 3 speed transmission behind it that was wired to stay in first gear. Shaft off the transmission had a flat belt pulley on it.  Had a governor on it which we could not get to work so dad ran a cable from the engine to a pedal below the stick.  Sawed many a load of ties and pallet lumber on the old mill, all with the straight 8 powering it.  Only problem I remember was when an ant clogged the carb.  Shame we didn't have a video camera to record it at work.

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2017, 08:10:56 pm »
Spelled Waukesha, not Walkeshaw. Named after the city in Wisconsin. (Sorry, had to correct that bandmiller, I'm a cheesehead).  :)
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2017, 08:59:46 pm »
No offence taken mate, I was just too lazy to look it up. Today there are really no big gasoline engines today. I had a 1959 White dump truck with a flathead gas engine that would have done yeomen duty on a mill but I was too cheap to feed it. Frank C.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2017, 10:15:58 pm »
Ran my 54" circle mill with an inline 292 Chevy engine for a year or so. Found a 2 stroke turbo charged 471 Detroit and never regretted the change.
Rick

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2017, 05:08:29 am »
In the little podunk town of Harrod Ohio I grew up in the local hardwood mill originally used a big Allis-Chalmers in line 4 cylinder power unit .It was not a tractor engine ,much larger .That thing would really roar  going through a big oak log .It was later replaced with a 75 HP three phase electric motor .
Chevy 292 and Ford 300's were hardy engines used in a lot of power applications also Ford 429 V8's .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2017, 05:13:24 am »
The most odd mill I ever saw was in Roundhead Ohio .It used a D2 Caterpillar belted up .That crawler had never left that mill until the mill was  scrapped out,never pulled a plow just used for power .The tracks etc looked brand new .Sadly the guy who  bought the crawler let it sit in a woods to rust up .Might still be there as far as I know .

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2017, 07:46:24 am »
I have a couple straight 6's out of jeeps that I bet would make great sawmill power plants. I think they are both 258's but they are torque monsters. If I was going to setup a stationary setup it may be worth using. Right now they are just sitting. anyone want them? :)
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2017, 01:07:44 pm »
Any body run a v6 gmc  [gas] from the sixties ?

Offline wascator

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2017, 03:04:46 pm »
GMC in the '60s had a V-12 as well. All were truck engines so probably were torque monsters.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2017, 04:24:36 pm »
They called that V12 gasser a twin 6 .That monster was 702 cubic inches .Must have had pistons the size of a coffee can . :D

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 04:30:47 pm »
GMC also had a 503 in line 6 .It was used on fire trucks among other things .It was claimed to have more low end torque than a 427 V8 .Those huge gasoline engines fell out of grace with diesels .You couldn't afford to run those big gassers today .

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2017, 05:03:50 pm »
This rod had TWO 12 cylinders engines in it...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Offline starmac

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2017, 05:25:47 pm »
I do not recall ever seeing the v 12 gas rigs in a truck, I have seen them on wells. The logger I haul for still has a buzzin dozen in a log truck. The thing is hard to feed though.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2017, 09:38:42 pm »
My 1971 Jeep CJ5 has a v6 made my GM.  225 CI odd fire.  That thing has a 32 lb. flywheel and tons of low end torque.  It would make a lousy sawmill engine though because by time you get the rpm up to where the horse power is, the torque drops way off.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2017, 10:31:35 pm »
The V6 GMC's came out early 60's under the idea they had the low end torque of an inline 6 with the RPMs of a V8 .They didn't .They had big bearings and lots of torque but not like an inline .They certainly liked gasoline though .You have to remember the time period .

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2017, 11:02:50 pm »
I have a 401 magnum with just over 500 miles on a complete overhaul . it is in a cabover jimmy with a sandblasting rig on the back .  And a half tank of ga...varnish now .

Kb I like your old Buick , I bought a 37Pontiac that was black . One day I took it to the carwash droped in my quarter and started spraying . all of a sudden something big and black flew through the air .  About 20 quarters later I drove away with a tan Pontiac.
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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2017, 05:36:10 pm »
D.P.  An820 diesel on the sawmill; I'm jealous.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2017, 09:11:23 pm »
A gent I worked for in high school replaced his aging '53 GMC one ton which had a 235 in line with a 1965 with, I think a 351 V6 .He already had a 1957 GMC with a Pontiac 347 V8 and a 4 barrel .There was no way that V6 even came close to that Pontiac engine .It would lug hard but it just could not haul the mail the way that '57 could .
In the summers we hauled a 7,000 pound sheep dipping rig and 500 gallons of water through the hills of Pa,West Va,up state Ny as well as southern Ohio .We had to do a lot of down shifting in that '65 .Fact a gear lower than that Pontiac on the same hill .Can you imagine today having a 16 year old run those hills with that much load ?That was me some 53 years ago . 8)

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2017, 10:20:41 pm »
Any body run a v6 gmc  [gas] from the sixties ?
Yes, I had a 2 ton GMC dump truck with one which is long gone. However I do have a 478 cui. V-6 Toro-Flow Diesel, that came out of a boat in Florida. I had dreams of installing it in one of my trucks as did Dudley Wooley of Wabasso, FL.back in the early 80's. A news paper from Wabasso stated that he was able to get an estimated 60 MPG.

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2017, 11:24:08 pm »
Arkansas Rick,
If I remember correctly, it takes a roots type supercharger to run a 2 stroke Detroit.  Turbos don't make enough boost at startup to force feed a 2 stroke oil burner.  The hot rod guys took to re-purposing the larger 6-71 and 8-71 "blowers" for gas engines. 
Mike

Offline starmac

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2017, 12:15:21 am »
If I am not mistaken, all 2 stroke detroits had a blower, some also had turbos too though. A 318 with a turbo was called a 350.
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2017, 10:38:24 am »
Yes, the two strokes need a blower to run.  Special piston or block design as well if I remember right.

I worked for a company that made at least some of the blowers for EMD.  It was really winding down when i worked there.  At that point, environmental regs meant new ones hadn't gone in trucks or domestic equipment for a while.  However, government and military were exempt, so we still made quite a few to support Iraq and Afganistan operations while I was there.   ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2017, 05:03:37 pm »
The Detroit  types  was really a scavenging device not so much a pressure device .
Some years back we installed two EMD diesel generators that had 20 cylinder ,5,000 HP engines that were turboed .Seems to me there were 5 turbos .It might have had an electric booster for start up ,can't remember except they were large .

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Buick-Powered Sawmills
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2017, 07:21:40 pm »
The gmc gas v12 was 2 v6's as I remember . I don't think it was done with the toro flow v6 diesel.  In a 671 owners  book I have it shows single ,twin and quad in line 671's. Didn't Brockway and autocar  have some v 12's that where v671's coupled ?