The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: climber2 on February 12, 2018, 11:07:27 AM

Title: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: climber2 on February 12, 2018, 11:07:27 AM
As I continue researching mills for an upgrade thighs keep crossing my mind. This topic is one for sure to consider as I do most of my sawing in the winter months. This may seem strange but it's when I have the time to do it.

If you have some insight, please share it. Maybe there is no difference...
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Dave Shepard on February 12, 2018, 11:30:03 AM
I have had zero problems sawing with belted bandwheels other than one instance of clumps of larch pitch under ther belt.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Doug Wis on February 12, 2018, 12:43:38 PM
   I do the bulk of my sawing in the winter and have had both. 1st mill was a Kennerbilt  with steel wheels and then upgraded to a TK 1600 with tight belted wheel. After tiring of the hassel of changing the tight belts, I switched to using the loose belts[B57 vs B56}. I don't saw a whole lot and am a long way from a pro at it, but I haven't noticed any difference between the 3 types of wheels. Actually never even thought of it till I read your post.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: moodnacreek on February 12, 2018, 12:44:25 PM
Log sawing is not supposed to be done in spring or summer. You will always get better lumber sawn in the winter.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Larry on February 12, 2018, 03:35:03 PM
No difference that I can tell.  Belts can get destroyed on the first log or last for 300 hours.  Steel runs for a few thousand hours before needing attention.

Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: JB Griffin on February 12, 2018, 08:50:43 PM
Steel at work, belted at home. Much much much perfer the steel.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Dave Shepard on February 12, 2018, 08:54:53 PM
What do you see as the advantage to the steel wheels? I've only run the 40 series WM.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: JB Griffin on February 12, 2018, 09:07:12 PM
Everything, their actually balanced and turned true with very little run out, no belt for junk to get under or replace, the crown lasts for 600mbf+, impossible with a belted wheel period. Not to say that belted wheels won't work, they obviously do, just not as well.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: kelLOGg on February 13, 2018, 12:52:42 PM
You're right about the trueness of steel wheels. I had mine recrowned a few years ago and measured the runout when I installed them. less than 0.001 inches.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: SineWave on February 13, 2018, 05:04:50 PM
You're right about the trueness of steel wheels. I had mine recrowned a few years ago and measured the runout when I installed them. less than 0.001 inches.

Holy cow, a quarter of the thickness of a human hair...that's TRUE!
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Alyeska Pete on February 16, 2018, 04:57:05 PM
Steel wheels also have the advantage of being able to run diesel instead of water and antifreeze.  And a lot less of it.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Dave Shepard on February 16, 2018, 05:03:44 PM
You can run diesel on rubber belts. That's all I ran on the '94 LT40. Never had a problem with the belts, or with pitch. I hardly run any lube on my Super. A little soapy water fyi clean now and then.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: gmmills on February 18, 2018, 10:33:19 AM
   I have used both belted wheels and steel wheels on the same mill in the past.  Over all, properly machined, crowned, steel wheels are far superior to loose or tight fitting belted wheels. I can honestly say that I will never go back to a belted wheel.   No belts to be damaged buy broken blades. I am sure you all will agree, it is extremely frustrating to have installed new wheel belts and have a blade prematurely break cutting the new belts contact surface.  Steel wheels will also increase overall blade life up to double that of belted wheels. If you can afford to upgrade to steel wheels, by all means do not hesitate to do so.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Larry on February 18, 2018, 11:21:36 AM
Steel wheels will also increase overall blade life up to double that of belted wheels.

When I had a mill with steel wheels, my bands usually died from sharpening.  With my belted wheels, bands die from breaking.  I'm not sure if my results can be contributed to the wheels or something else. 

It would be interesting to hear from others that have ran both style of wheels.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: JB Griffin on February 18, 2018, 11:58:08 AM
Blades at work last longer than they do on my wm, but thats not a fair comparison.  19" belted vs 36" steel :D
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: climber2 on February 18, 2018, 02:07:45 PM
[quote

It would be interesting to hear from others that have ran both style of wheels.
[/quote]

I agree.  Maybe a manufacturer could add to the conversation as well. There has to be reasons why some use what they do, 💰 aside
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: slider on February 18, 2018, 05:20:25 PM
I think your question has already been answered . The high production sawyers lean towards steel wheels.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: 4x4American on February 20, 2018, 08:27:33 PM
My Baker resaw has steel wheels and my lt70 has belts.  The belts beat up the blade and the blade doesnt turn as nice.  The blade on the resaw runs nice and flat and when the blades break they donít ruin the new belts I just put on.  Iíll be putting steel wheels on the 70 at some point
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: highleadtimber16 on February 20, 2018, 08:52:42 PM
Log sawing is not supposed to be done in spring or summer. You will always get better lumber sawn in the winter.
I've personally found my best sawing is in the spring/early summer. I do not like frozen logs. Especially frozen fir.
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: starmac on February 21, 2018, 12:57:57 AM
Interesting, do they even make steel wheels for a woodmizer?
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: 4x4American on February 21, 2018, 06:17:16 AM
Yea cooks sells em, but theres other ppl doing it also
Title: Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
Post by: Dave Shepard on February 21, 2018, 08:34:23 AM
Does the WM4000 run belts? You'll have one of those by fall. :D