The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: flip on June 13, 2007, 10:44:05 AM

Title: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 13, 2007, 10:44:05 AM
OK.  I've done the search stuff and not finding exactly what I was looking for.  I have been thinking about building a dedicated wide slabber since we have none in this area.  I am thinking maybe 5-6' wide but not sure how much power or what kind of rail system to use.  Hopefully someone that has done it or is in the process of doing one can give me some guidance.  I prefer to make it portable and to use a gas engine.  What I need is some pics. and how to gear it and where to get chains and bars. :P
Thanks,
Flip
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on June 13, 2007, 10:50:24 AM
 Largest vertical shaft engine you can find. Possibly centrifugal clutch and attach the chain sprocket directly to the clutch. Double up 2 X 8's for the track. " X 1" Aluminum or steel angle for rails. Decide on length before buying 2 X 8's. Side bow is NOT real critical, up-down bow IS critical.

Captain or Baileys for bars chains and sprockets.

  Frame is simple and a couple winch setups and yer in business.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: DanG on June 13, 2007, 11:14:22 AM
The engine shouldn't be a big problem.  Thousands of lawn tractors give up their usefulness with plenty of life left in their engines.  I'm thinking that 16 hp should do the trick nicely.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 13, 2007, 11:20:49 AM
Obvously we're talking about vertical shaft engines, right? 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on June 13, 2007, 12:29:59 PM

 Uhhhhhhhhhh
Quote
  Largest vertical shaft engine you can find.
  ;D :D :D
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 13, 2007, 12:34:15 PM
Excuse me while I pull the poo from my eyes ;D
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 14, 2007, 10:21:34 AM
How dothe Lucas and peterson raise and lower the frame?  It appears there is just 1 crank on each side that I surmise that a cable runs the length of the frame to the other post?
Sheesh, I hate asking stoopid questions, but I hate passing up potentially big $$.

Flip
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: brdmkr on June 14, 2007, 10:44:25 AM
Flip

On the Lucas mill you raise each end at a time.  There is a roller chain and sprocket on each upright.  The sprockets are connected by a pipe.  When you crank one side up or down, the pipe twist the sprocket on the other side to keep things level.  I think the ATS works the same way, but the pipe runs end-to-end instead of side-to-side (i.e., you adust each side seperately on the ATS and each end seperately on the Lucas).

It is  a really simple design.  If you like, I'll try to post some pics in the next day or so.

Mike

 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 14, 2007, 11:21:01 AM
Please do if it's not too much trouble.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Brad_S. on June 14, 2007, 07:28:30 PM
I keep thinking someday I'd try and build one less like the Lucas/Peterson and more like this:
http://www.lmsaws.com/chainsawlog.htm
or this:
http://www.talaricohardwoods.com/logyard.htm
and if you want a heavier duty bar and chain than Bailey's has, L-M has some.
http://www.lmsaws.com/sawbars-chain.htm
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: brdmkr on June 15, 2007, 09:12:09 PM
Flip,

Here are some pics of the up-down adjustment on the mill.

This is the side with the crank.  There is another crank on the other end of the mill.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12643/handle.jpg)

This pic shows the chain and sprocket attached to the crank.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12643/master_sprocket.jpg)


This pic is of the other side directly accross from the crank.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12643/slave_sprocket.jpg)

This pic shows the cross bar that connects the crank to the 'slave sprocket' (for lack of a better term).

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12643/cross_bar.jpg)

This pic shows the bottom of each upright.  The chain just wraps around and is secured at the top.
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12643/bottom_idle.jpg)

It is really pretty simple, but my pics and explanations may not be much use if not, give me a yell and I'll try to do better.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 18, 2007, 07:56:33 AM
Thanks, that helps a lot!
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 18, 2007, 09:01:08 AM
Brdmkr,

Nudder question.  How do the rails attach to the uprights and how much play is there?  It would seem to me if one guy was raising and lowering by himself one end would get "hung" if you do too much on one end.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Part_Timer on June 18, 2007, 09:44:53 AM
Flip,  it would be a couple of hour drive but your more than welcome to come up here and look at my ATS if you'd like to. 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 18, 2007, 09:59:56 AM
Thanks for the offer. 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 18, 2007, 03:06:18 PM
Would something like this work or is this too whimpy?

ebay link (http://cgi.ebay.com/New-72-Titanium-Guide-Bar-Husqvarna-Jonsered-Stihl_W0QQitemZ300122067502QQihZ020QQcategoryZ85915QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: brdmkr on June 18, 2007, 03:40:24 PM
Brdmkr,

Nudder question.  How do the rails attach to the uprights and how much play is there?  It would seem to me if one guy was raising and lowering by himself one end would get "hung" if you do too much on one end.

The rails set in a tray with a cam lock on top.  I don't know how uneven you could have the ends before it would lock up, or even if it would. 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 20, 2007, 10:22:08 AM
Well the quest continues.  Like most here I am trying to do this on the cheap.  Here is what I have come across...Cannon bar 87"=$400 chains=$55.00/each.  I still don't have the motivator which I figure a good 20-25 vertical will run at leat $300.  Would still need the sprocket, roller for bar, jack shaft and bearings, track etc...  How many chains should I have on hand?  It would seem to be easier to throw a new one on when it dulls than to sharpen on site.  The bar is a new bar that was custom made and never picked up, they said it was a $1000 custom job.  A 72" bar would be the same price, $400.  I know this will add more capacity but also more width to the overall project, which means more $$ in track and carriage.  The other thing that I can't quite figure out is how the chain is tensioned, from the engine end or the roller end?  How is the tension applied?
More thoughts guys...

Flip
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Dan_Shade on June 20, 2007, 10:48:47 AM
how wide is the bar? a wider bar may hold the chain on it better over those long distances.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 20, 2007, 10:51:47 AM
I didn't ask, he called it a "super slabber" and was custom made by Cannon Bars.  I couldn't find anything on their web site about that particular bar, but it was made for a home built slabber.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 20, 2007, 12:38:28 PM
flip I have not read this thread word for word but you asked if the chain is tightened from the engine end or the roller end - are you putting a stinger or "cheater" bar on it? I am going to on mine even though it will be on a track. The cheater should be adjustable I would think but depending on how you mechanically fasten the bar to the frame or carriage, it too should be adjustable. The bar has elongated holes so it is automatically adjustable eh?

I was plannin to transfer power from the vertical shaft to the horizintal bar with the "belt trick".

I have been meaning to ask Reid if he has noticed excessive sag in his long bar when he cuts slabs on his horizontal slabber. Reid if you see this how much sag do you get on your 72" (?) bar?
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 20, 2007, 01:03:54 PM
After triple re reading all the archives on slabbers, and talking to Bailey's I'm on board with the jack shaft idea.  My plan is to make something that resembles the Lucas dedicated slabber.  I think it would be easier to tension from the roller end of the bar since the jack shaft would have to move or have an adjuster mounted between it and the bar.  The slotted lock down is easy, just a few small wheel studs pushed into a piece of plate steel or aluminum.  Wish I could get some pics. of how lucas and peterson tension.  Bailey's seem to think for that bar combo that 20-25 hp minimum at 3500rpm would work great.

Kev, if you are interested PM me and I'll let you know what I found out from the guys at Bailey's.

Flip
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Ron Wenrich on June 20, 2007, 01:32:45 PM
A setup I really like is the rail-o-matic out of the UK.  He comes on the forum from time to time.  Here's the link:  http://www.chainsawmills.co.uk/railomatic.htm

It seems that he has made a cantilever type slabber.  It doesn't have the same reach as the bigger slabbers do, but I wonder if that can't be engineered in.  His capacity is 30" because he is using a chain saw with a 36" blade.

His design is very simple and very portable.  The only thing I wonder is if you went to a larger bar, could you counter balance the weight to keep it cutting straight.  Perhaps a large bar with a vertical shaft motor would give the balance needed. 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 20, 2007, 08:41:58 PM
Yes that gives some great ideas. He spent alot of time deigning and patenting and fabricating and chasing down parts suppliers for that thing. Pretty impressive really.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Part_Timer on June 20, 2007, 10:57:38 PM
Flip to tighten the chain on on the Peterson you move the center unit to the left and it pulls the chain tight around the drive sprocket.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Captain on June 21, 2007, 06:50:48 AM
The sag in a 72" GB bar like the one we use on our slabbers is substantial with just the bar, worse when the weight of the chain is added.   It needs some sort of parallel tensioner to prevent sag and increase stability, it can not "free hang".

Captain
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Fla._Deadheader on June 21, 2007, 08:58:23 AM

 Exactly how tight do you keep the chain ???
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Captain on June 21, 2007, 09:17:00 AM
It is tensioned similarly to a chain saw, pull it off the bar and you should be able to just see the drive links.

Captain
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 21, 2007, 09:30:28 AM
Thanks for the info.  Do you feel that the 72" bar is adequate, do you ever run into times when you get to a log and go, "crap I wish I had another 10" of bar".  With a 72" bar what is the actual cut you can get?
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 21, 2007, 11:06:13 AM
If I ever need more than 72" of bar it will be because I am cutting a tabletop having left the fork in it for effect. I have done that, vertical free handed with a 50". I think Reid has done it free hand with a 72" bar. :o

If I ever need more than a 72" bar for just a trunk, I figure it will mean I imported a log cause I don't think I ever seen one that big around here.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 21, 2007, 12:12:21 PM
I'm kinda in big tree area for Indiana.  I get some I have to turn down because they are 50" or better and prefer not to rip around on 'em.  It would be nice to cant out a big one and toss it on the band mill and go to town though. ???
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 21, 2007, 12:19:07 PM
Well like they say, everything is bigger in . . . . . Indiana. ;D :)
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 21, 2007, 01:00:55 PM
 :D :D :D :D...The only thing bigger here is my belly :-\
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 21, 2007, 03:46:26 PM
I'm looking here at how many views this thread has and it has occurred to me that someone is going to have to build one and post a LOT of pics.  There seems to be some curiosity here. 
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: DanG on June 22, 2007, 03:23:47 PM
Shucks Flip!  We was waiting for you to build one and post lots of pics. ::)

If you got that long bar, you could mount it at an angle and let it help pull the mill along, like that bandmill that Haytrader got. :P
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on June 22, 2007, 04:17:22 PM
I'm going to build build one but I'm trying to source out a used 25 horse engine and figure out which type of track system I want to use- lucas or peterson style.  I think it would be easier to raise the track than to use a carriage type. It will be similar to the peterson dedicated slabber.  72" bar (ala Captain), jack shaft so not to run straight off of the engine and give me some speed adjustment options.  I may be a month or so before I start because of some furniture I've been commissioned to build as well as a computer desk and chest for Lori.  Stay tuned  I'll keep posting here as I obtain parts and start assembling.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: stevensam on June 24, 2007, 12:21:35 AM
Hi, I've been reading this topic with some interest as I have just built a 4 stroke chainsaw mill, it's more designed as per a bandmill then a dedicated Lucus/Peterson slabber.  Granted it's still in the development stage but is does cut.  I also have a Procut chainsaw mill (husky 3120) and a Simplesaw homebuilt bandsaw mill, I normally use the Procut to open the log then use the bandsaw mill to do the resawing.

Having 90% of the materials already I decided to build the 17hp briggs chainsaw mill with a 1 meter cut to replace the Procut.  Anyone done milling with a chainsaw knows the drawbacks of the hard work, fumes, slow cut and forever refuelling but the main advantages are low initail cost, portability and ease of sharpening.  I was hoping a 4 stroke mill could possibly counter some of the drawbacks and maintain most of the positives.  So far in the initail stages I would say there isn't much difference in the speed of cut but it takes very little effort to push the saw through the log and you don't get a lung full of fumes  :). 
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15908/2007-06-14%20002.JPG)
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/15908/2007-06-14%20014.JPG)
The main change I need to make is to swap the drive shaft onto the other side of the carriage as it is cutting on the topside of blade as opposed to the bottom like a chainsaw.  There are more photos in my gallery to look at if interested.
Any questions let me know, Steve.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Ron Wenrich on June 24, 2007, 07:08:44 AM
I like that setup.  I can see how that could be made into a slabber.  You wouldn't be messing with trying to raise the rails, but you would be lowering the sawhead. 

If you're cutting on the wrong side of the blade, wouldn't it make sense to feed from the opposite direction?
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: stevensam on June 24, 2007, 07:25:54 AM
You're right Ron. Feeding in the opposite direction is the right way but I designed the mill to be raised/lowered and to work the pulley clutch on the side I was working. 

It still cuts fine that way but I did try cutting in the opposite direction as you mentioned  and it did seem to cut faster, or maybe I just thought that  ???   

Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Part_Timer on June 24, 2007, 08:31:55 AM
Maybe Burlkraft can post a pic of his slabber and how it hooks up.

Very nice chainsaw mill.  That would be tthe ticket for making beams in a hurry
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Jim Shockey on June 24, 2007, 09:31:43 AM

 Steven;
   I also have the procut mill and like it very well. I have been thinking of putting a 4 stroke motor on it the way you did. I run 3/8 chain most of the time and I cannot find a drive sprocket to adapt the chain to the shaft. What did you use to get it  to work. I have some pictures in my albums.  Thank you,  Jim
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Ironwood on June 24, 2007, 03:42:53 PM
Yes, "sag can be an issue if you get over 72". Captains got that right.

 As for the frame, I would opt to "come from above". This gives you unlimited options for cutting. Remember some of these logs can weigh 20,000-40,000 lbs. The frame in the picture is 40' long, yes, forty feet. That is a LOOOOONG log. These pictures were taken in 1998. I will be powering this soon with an electric motor. The legs of the frame are "fully compressed" it can extend to 12' or so above the ground. Anyone need a 5"x 38" x 40' piece of lumber? I will also be building a "deck" which will hydraulically raise and lower at the four corners to true up a log, it will have hold downs as well.


          Reid


  (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11262/Ooak5%7E0.jpg)

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11262/Ooak4%7E0.jpg)
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: stevensam on June 26, 2007, 07:46:39 PM
Reid nice set up.  Did you design and build that yourself, if so great achievement. 

Likewise Jim, I bet you noticed the relative ease of operating your Procut mill compared to the Alaskan mill.  For the drive sprocket I used a 404 harvester 12 tooth sprocket with a bore dia of 25mm.  There is a lot of power being transferred to the chain and I was a little hesitant in running a 3/8 chain so I didn't really look into it. 

There are at least a couple of 4 stroke mills around and recently there was a few good photos on the diybandmill.com website ('tims tree saw' gallery) of his work in progress.  I think he will be running a 3/8 chain?
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Ironwood on June 26, 2007, 07:51:39 PM
Stevensam,

 Thanks, IT was a group effort with myselfand a freind's fab shop. I used to work there in college. He is an old family friend and is a great guy to know!!

                Reid
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 26, 2007, 08:23:37 PM
SS, that is a good looking machine you built. I saw it in the gallery as you loaded the pics. Reids setup is awesome eh. I am gonna duplicate his somewhat. I have these two 18 foot long, 18" x 1/2" thick I beams that I will weld together end to end and will serve as the overhead, monorail frame. I haven't worked out the details but they will come. I don't know if I am going to mount the 36' long beam on top of hydraulic cylinders or use a gear and chain to get syncronized vertical adjustment like a planer uses.
Lots of things to think about but it will be next year most likely before I start.

Nice work on your machine. Keep us updated on mods if you don't mind.

 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12394/Ibeams.jpg)

i have always thought this overhead monorail design would be ideal for a bandsaw. Nothing in the way.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Dangerous_Dan on June 27, 2007, 12:28:16 AM
I have been wanting to make a slabber as well. I want it to run on the same tracks as my swingmill.
I picked up these screw lift assemblies from a junk pile. Not sure what they are from.  ???
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12002/SlabberStand01.jpg)
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12002/SlabberStand02.jpg)
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12002/SlabberStand03Scale.jpg)
 (http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12002/SlabberStand04Scale.jpg)
Looks like they would make a nice lift frame for a slabber. Any ideas?
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Haytrader on June 27, 2007, 07:03:20 AM

Those screw jacks may have been used to lift a pickup camper and then sit it on the ground after the truck was pulled out from under it.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: TexasTimbers on June 27, 2007, 12:54:57 PM
Having a scale like that on it makes me think it was not used to lift a picjup camper. I don't know what though.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: flip on September 22, 2008, 01:41:40 PM
Ok, I'm going to bring this back up to the top.  After some wrestling, fighting, cussing, blade breaking and such not I'm going to have to do something soon.  So, if you were going to build a slabber would you build it so it rides on stationary rails and the carriage raises and lowers or would you build it so the frame raises.  I want to make it semi-portable so it can be stored in the barn when not needed and move out when we get a biggin'.  More ideas please.

If any of you guys have pics of your slabbers installed (particularly of the bar mounts) I would appreciate them.

Flip
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: jpgreen on September 23, 2008, 08:59:45 PM
Awesome slabber Reid.  I've got to subscribe to this thread../  8)
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Ironwood on September 24, 2008, 05:04:01 AM
JPgreen, Thanks, it is still a work in progress. I am now powering with a JD bulldozer engine, and coupling it to both a 9' bar and a 72 throat bandmill (one on each side, so cutting direction will vary depending on which I am using). I am thinking there will be a docking station at each end to detatch whichever is not in use at the time. The stations will consume some track length, but I rarely need all 40' anyhow. The engine, 9' bar and bandwheels are here and most other misc. parts I just need to get the time to get to work. I tend to dream big, which can make things a LITTLE drawn out. ;D ;D I'll keep you posted.

             Ironwood
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: jpgreen on September 24, 2008, 09:11:32 AM
What is a man, if for not his big dreams?  .... :D
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: jpgreen on September 24, 2008, 09:17:12 AM
I remember seeing pics of you slabber before. I've got a Husky 3120 that I've kept for building one. 

Be good to see a close up of your carriage and bar up/down sections sometime.

I know you're into crotch woods.  I was at my sis and bro inlaw's farm last week, and there are trees from the 1800's- oak, ginkco, and more with huge diameters and crotches. House was built in 1873.

Probably not a big deal for you guys back east, but is a big deal for a california boy.
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: olyman on September 25, 2008, 09:11:33 PM
Having a scale like that on it makes me think it was not used to lift a picjup camper. I don't know what though.
  agree--ive had camper jacks---aint nothing like that--those are fine quality--wonder what they did come off of ??????????
Title: Re: Home built slabber
Post by: Kssawguy on October 12, 2018, 09:52:54 PM
Stevensam, if you're still out there can you please tell me how many teeth are on the sprockets you used? Also what series of roller chain you used?