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Author Topic: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers' updated w/ pics!  (Read 15185 times)

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Offline Piston

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Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers' updated w/ pics!
« on: November 19, 2009, 07:13:56 PM »
Okay so I know I can't refer to myself as a "sawyer" yet, but hey it helps my ego.... ;D

Here goes:
I've wanted a mill forever now and everyone around me is sick of hearing about them, except a few that are now just as hooked as I am.  Well a friend of mine went out and sort of 'spontaneously' bought an LT-15 with a diesel and one bed extension.  He came up to my house one day and we messed around a bit on it just to play.  Neither of us have any experience with a mill.  I have read tons of threads on here over the years and have a general idea but I know reading can only get you so far. 

He is coming up to my place again with his mill (and now 2 bed extensions) in a couple weeks and we are going to mill some timbers for a frame I want to build.  We need some advice regarding a few things. 

We are both generally 'safe' people but can you point out some specifics of some things we don't want to learn the hard way?  Something like obviously not standing next to the sawdust outlet in case the blade breaks and goes flying out or things like that?  Also we will be taking turns offloading and running the mill so where is the best place to stand while offloading? 

Here is a pic of the frame I want to build:  (14X24)



Here is my timber list which has the length's rounded up.  (sorry for the format, can't seem to get it to all line up after pasting)

Name                              Qty   W   D   L(ft)   L(in)   BF
Sill-8X8X14                         2   8   9   16   158   192.00
Sill-8X8X20                         2   8   8   28   288   298.67
Top Plate-8X8X24                 2   8   8   28   288   298.67
Floor Joist-5X7X14               10   5   7   16   152   466.67
Girt-5X5 WallB                         2        5   5   14   124   58.33
Door Post-B1-5X5                 2   5   5   10   86   41.67
Girt (back) 4X6                         1   4   6   16   154   32.00
Girt 4X6                                 3   4   6   14   133   84.00
Loft Joist-4X6X12                 5   4   6   14   132   140.00
Girt (front) 4X6                         2        4   6   8   52   32.00
Girt-WB 4X6 for Door Post      2   4   6   6   30   24.00
Collar Tie-3X5                         2   3   5   12   102   30.00
Header 3X5                         1   3   5   8   62   10.00
Brace-3X5                              8           3   5   6   39   60.00
Total                                         44                                      1768.00

I guess where we need the most advice, is to get the log down to the 8X8 or 5X7 or whatever we're milling it to, we will obviously be making usable lumber to get to that size timber.  So should we try to cut a bunch of 4/4 or 5/4 material for things like siding, flooring, roofing, and all that good stuff?  Should I use 2X for flooring or would something smaller be more than enough. 
The thing is, I don't really have a specific use in mind for the frame, it's just a project I've ALWAYS wanted to do.  It started off as the 12X16 Garden Toolshed but just ended up growing.  So now I'm thinking I may use it for a shed/workshop, or maybe a cabin on some land I have in NH, or maybe just....I don't know, something... :D

So any "words of wisdom" from all you experienced people out there.....for us 'less than brilliant' rookie's at this?   

Disclaimer:  Don't expect us to actually get all these timbers milled, or even come close to doing a good job....we're slow learners  ;D
I will however, post some pics and an update after we've milled a bit.  Our goal is to have some fun with the mill, not kill ourselves, and maybe even get some usable lumber out of the deal!
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 07:28:23 PM »
I'd use a bit more lumber and add rafters to the list.... :D  Seriously, just have fun and learn the mill and enjoy sawing.

And BTW, Welcome to actually sawing...... 8)
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Offline Tom

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 09:20:32 PM »
Safety wise, stay behind the head of the mill when the blade is turning.
Off-bear in the opposite direction that the blade is cutting. 

That puts the off-bearer and the sawyer behind the band.

The band is enclosed in the shroud and the log.  There's not much exposed, but don't get complacent.

More injuries occur handling the logs and lumber than from the mill itself.  Don't get in a big hurry. 

One of the biggest safety features around a band mill is a keeping the work area neat.   Stack slabs, don't just throw them.  Stack lumber securely and move a tall stack before it falls. Stay away from logs that are being loaded.  Use your cant hook from the end of the log or lift from behind the log.  If you have the hook so high that you have to push it, you will go flying if it comes unhooked.  Hook the log low and lift the handle with the muscles in your legs.  Use blocks of wood in the center of the log to turn the log rather than trying to muscle it around.

Don't work faster than your partner.

Link to some drawings and a thread on production

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Offline ljmathias

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 04:17:56 AM »
Welcome!  Looks like you've got just the right mix of things to really learn and do something productive at the same time.  First thing: you're in the midst of an area rich with sawmills.  Rather than trying to learn it all on your own, why not track down a friendly living nearby and spend some time "apprenticing" with him?  Couple of weekends helping somewhere else cut will give you both safety and productivity tips/habits that will do you good- lots easier to learn by doing than reading or watching, and a lot safer.

Second, why not try TF something smaller first?  There are TF sawhorses that are fun to build, teach all the basics and are very useful as well.  In fact, some of the schools up there offer weekend classes to learn to build a set; by-product is you meet a lot of people in the same boat as you but who might also want some wood cut...

Third, be aware that you're going down a path that will be addictive on both hands- cutting lumber and making something out of using TF methods.

Last, keep coming back to the forum- search the archives and read threads (like that of Thomas-in-Kentucky) to find out the trials and tribulations of others that have led to learning and skill development.  Life is constant learning, and you're on the path that will provide that.  Good luck and remember: safety is mostly common sense which isn't all that common and requires hard thinking.

Lj
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 05:36:39 AM »
why not track down a friendly living nearby and spend some time "apprenticing" with him? 

I'd be available with an appointment to come to your site and help you get started milling timbers. Just let me know what day and time you'll be doing it and I'll plan on coming over. There are some basics that you both should learn...

And one of them is to learn to plan your cuts correctly so that you'll box heart your timbers.

You should have my phone number, but if not, I'll send you a PM and or you can get it off my webpage.

Jim Rogers
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 07:28:21 AM »
Piston,the biggest danger is from handling logs most will be in the one ton range.Set up the mill level ,have bunks to set the logs on so they can be rolled on the mill.Not good form to use a machine to put logs directly on the mill.Trim nubs off the logs and brush off any stones mud and grit.Do you have a good supply of logs??When cutting a bill of goods i try to cut the long big stuff first,you will get many boards as a byproduct.Long timbers its critical to line the log on the mill properly,raise the head and measure boath ends before cutting ,as Jim says best to box the timbers,smaller stuff I don't worry about.Frank C.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 07:38:29 AM »
From a safety standpoint, when handling logs, always wear safety(steel) toed boots.  I never leave home without them.
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Offline solidwoods

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 08:35:09 AM »
Congrats on the new mill.
Felling/skidding/handling logs is one of the most risky parts of milling.
Using a cant hook can be dangerous if you have a misshap.  Cant hooks are something foreign to us and some very strong and quick forces are involved.
Also if you get a small piece of wood hung up in the mill, stop the moving parts or use a long stick to move it.
Don't remove/install a blade with the engine running.

For the project:
Work shop to make wood products.
Kiln with greenhouse on the south face.
Sell them as a kit.
Mill shed.
Lumber storeage shed.
Kids playhouse (later use storeage shed)
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If you mill, you'll be interested in some of my work in one way or another.
We ship from our showroom.
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Offline Bear

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 04:04:51 PM »
Hey piston congrates on getting a mill. I was looking at you lumber list and you must have some good size trees laying around for a 24 ft long top plate. My only suggestion would be make sure you have alot of help when your moving those pieces around. PM me if you need some help i'm not to far from your area and would love to give you a hand.

Offline Piston

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 06:41:57 PM »
I'd use a bit more lumber and add rafters to the list.... :D 

haha, hey thanks for pointing that out, you made me realize I posted the wrong list....Here is the real one, although probably still some errors!                       

Name                        Qty   W   D   L(ft)   L(in)   BF
Sill-8X8X14                 2   8   9   16   158   192.00
Sill-8X8X20                 2   8   8   28   288   298.67
Top Plate-8X8X24         2   8   8   28   288   298.67
Tie Beam-8X8X14          3   8   8   16   152   256.00
Post-8X8X10                 6       8   8   14   124   448.00
Floor Joist-5X7X14       10   5   7   16   152   466.67
Rafter-5X5X12 (Mortised)   10   5   5   16   144   333.33
Rafter-5X5X12 (Tenon)   10   5   5   16   144   333.33
Girt-5X5 WallB                 2   5   5   14   124   58.33
Door Post-B1-5X5         2   5   5   10   86   41.67
Girt (back) 4X6                 1   4   6   16   154   32.00
Girt 4X6                         3   4   6   14   133   84.00
Loft Joist-4X6X12         5   4   6   14   132   140.00
Girt (front) 4X6   2         4   6   8   52   32.00
Girt-WB 4X6 for Door Post   2   4   6   6   30   24.00
Collar Tie-3X5                 2   3   5   12   102   30.00
Header 3X5                 1   3   5   8   62   10.00
Brace-3X5   14                 3   5   6   39   105.00
Total                               79                3183.67


I can't seem to make that format work!

Quote
why not try TF something smaller first?
That cerainly would be the smart thing to do...  :D


Quote
I'd be available with an appointment to come to your site and help you get started milling timbers.
Jim,
That is an excellent idea, I will PM you as I can't call, away at work right now.  Might even have to have you bring me a slick if your making the trip!

 
I was looking at you lumber list and you must have some good size trees laying around for a 24 ft long top plate. My only suggestion would be make sure you have alot of help when your moving those pieces around.

Well....not exactly laying around right now, still standing  ;D  But yes I do have a good supply of some nice sized EWP that I will be using.  Thanks for the offer to help out, I'll shoot you a PM.  I do have an old backhoe and CUT with pallet forks on the 3pt hitch to help us out with moving timbers/trees/lumber around.

I don't expect to get all the timbers milled up that are on my list.  In fact I'm thinking it may be better to do about half of them or so, and then work on cutting some joinery, and then mill the rest.  Is that a better idea?  I'm just thinking that it is going to take me a looooong time to cut joinery, especially considering I'm gonna mess up a lot!  I am planning on cutting many 'practice' joints in a sacrificial timber before I start on the frame. 

I still need to set up a staging area for the logs, cut down some trees, and get them to the staging area.  Also need to set up an area for stickering and stacking.  I don't have any dry hardwood yet and I know I'm not supposed to use wet stickers, so I may be forced to buy some cheap 1x and rip it into 1X1's.  That will kill me to spend money on stickers...but what am I gonna do? 
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

Offline Thelittleguy

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 10:08:04 PM »
As the owner of the new mill and co-worker of Piston I just want to say thanks in advance for all the help guys as a new owner and new Sawyer I feel like I will be spending alot of time on the forum and asking lots of questions and looking for any advice I can get. I also plan on buying some new tenon cutting tools for starting on the log furniture side of things so all those smaller logs and limbing does not go to waste.

Offline Piston

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2009, 11:19:47 PM »
HA!  I knew I could get you to join! 8)
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2009, 12:27:11 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, Little guy.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2009, 12:28:46 AM »
Welcome to the Forum, Thelittleguy!

The method I use to make a nice square timber is to flip 180 after I open up the first face. If the mill is aligned properly, then this gives you two parallel faces. Then I turn 90, and use a framing square to square the log to the bed then take off another slab. If you were square to the bed, you now have  a perfectly square corner. Over 180 again and you have a square timber. I usually don't open up any of my faces to the finished timber dimension. I like to leave one 1x board on each dimension so that I have a clean up board on the last cut. As you remove boards on different faces, the cant may have a tendency to crown a little. By flipping frequently, you can minimize that. I know you don't want to hear that on a manual mill. White pine doesn't move around much, unless you have a lot of reaction wood. Leaning trees typically move the most. Don't be disappointed if your timbers aren't perfectly square. You can compensate for that with your layout, however it does make it easier if they are as square as possible.

I wish I was closer to help you with getting started. Fortunately you have Jim out your way. :) The best advice I have to offer regarding the TF portion of your project is that layout is vitally important. If you have a slight error in marking out your joinery, it can be very frustrating when you start cutting. For example, I was having trouble getting good end cuts on timbers, and square shoulders. It turns out that I wasn't getting my layout lines lined up around the end of the timber properly. I was using a pencil that was too blunt, and getting the lines just a little off. I sacrificed a timber and made a bunch of end cuts until I felt comfortable that I could make a square cut.

What books, if any, do you have on Timber Framing? I like the Sobon books myself.
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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2009, 07:44:25 AM »
Welcome thelittleguy and congrats.  Put me on the list of folks willing to help and wanting to hear the progress you and piston are making.

Captain

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2009, 07:45:51 AM »
Piston:
I got your email and will respond to that.

Welcome Thelittleguy, all I can say is read, read, read.....so you'll have the benefit of the group.....

As for stickers, you can use the edgings of your own stock, if you want to use them for the timbers you can. You may get some sticker shadow on the timbers but if it's just a shop frame you may not need to worry about that. Sometimes a 2x2 maybe better for timbers.

What you can do is make up some pallets from your extra stock so that you have a place to stack your stickers and once you start making them stack them up nice and neat and they will dry so you can use them for your own boards and planks.

Some people may call this a skid as it doesn't have any bottom boards but this is what I call a home made pallet, for storing stickers on:



The vertical pieces are 2x6x4' and they are usually just pine. Spaced 36" to the outside of the runner or leg (two different names I have given them). Next is the deck boards, in this drawing they are just 1x6x4'(low grade pine boards, sometimes with worm holes and waney edges). Above the deck boards are some of my stickers and these are nailed to the pallet when made so that they stay with the pallet and make an air space for the bottom row stickers to dry.

I make my stickers out of edgings off the mill, and therefore they are 1" thick. As we edge lumber if it doesn't clean up at say 10" wide then we'd drop two inches and cut again, to make the board an 8" piece. This produces a 2" wide piece of scrap with some bark or waney edge. This strips of wood are cut to 4' lengths to create stickers.

Here is a shot of some of my stickers and a pallet of them being created:



I put some stickers between each row and create a pallet full of these for drying.

You'll need to measure your forks and see how wide they will open up to in order to understand how to space your runners or legs of your pallet, so that you can easily pick up and move your stack once created. Or just use the dimension I have suggested. Also you need to measure the height of the forks so that the pallet doesn't get too tall and be taller then the back rests of your forks if you have back rests. This will prevent the pile from tipping off the stack when moving the pallet in your yard.

Here is a drawing of a full stack of stickers that I would create and store for drying:



In real life these stickers may have some waney edges, but they will do the trick once they have air dried for a while.

I have used two different ways to cut the edgings to length to create stickers. One way is to use a chop saw and set up a fence with some marks on it so that you can see how long 4' is and slide the edging over to the mark on the fence and then cut this to length. Then slide over and cut another one.

Or if you don't have electricity at your site you can create a cutting block and cut them with a chain saw.

To do that what I have done is cut out a block say 5x5x12' long and attach some scrap stickers to it with some nails. To make it easy to understand where to cut them I place these stickers vertically onto the cutting block and space them so that the gap between the sticks will be where the chain saw bar will slide down when cutting the stack. So what this means is the cutting block does the measuring for you. You lay it out once, like this:



Then you stack your long edgings into this cutting block like this:



Now you can take your chain saw and cut off the ends and cut down between the upright stickers and this will create stickers 4' long.

The cutting block in this drawing is 5x5x12' long and the edgings are 14' long, but when you stack your edgings in and they are different lengths you just adjust where you stack them and make one end flush with one end of the cutting block if that end is good. If the end isn't good then let it hang out and trim it off. The upright stickers hold the entire stack in place while you cut them. Sometimes I have added an outrigger to the bottom of the cutting block so that the stack is stable and won't fall over while your stacking up your edgings, while you're cutting your stickers, or unloading the block after cutting.

Once your block has fallen over, you'll know what I mean...


Hope this helps....


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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2009, 01:41:21 PM »
Nice drawings Jim. Have you ever used green pine stickers on green pine lumber for air-drying? Just wondering if there is a mold problem.
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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2009, 02:13:36 PM »
Thanks Jim, a great idea for stickers, both makin them and storing them.
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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2009, 02:15:33 PM »
what program do you use to produce the nice drawings here?
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

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Re: Brand new mill, brand new 'sawyers'
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2009, 03:16:01 PM »
Dave Shepard:
Yes, I have stored green pine on green stickers, and yes there can be a mold problem with doing that.
But when you first start out and all you've got is a pile of logs and a sawmill, you have to make what you need, and you have to use what you have. We didn't want to buy lumber to cut up to make stickers. So we created a solar sticker dryer and we dried our own oak stickers for storing high quality lumber.
These Oak stickers have lasted me 15 years.
I make and use pine stickers as well, but we don't solar kiln dry them just air dry them. And they seem to work ok.

Woodmills1:
Those drawings are from my professional timber framing drawing program....

Ernie: Thanks for your comments.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
Woodmizer 1994 LT30HDG24 with 6' Bed Extension


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