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Author Topic: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing  (Read 2182 times)

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Offline climber2

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Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« 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...
Timber Harvester 36htd25, 06 Ram 2500 5.9, 95 Chev 3500hd, 445ct Bobcat w/ Wallenstein winch, Bandit 200+, Morbark M12r, Countless chainsaws...

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #1 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.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline Doug Wis

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #2 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.
A man who says he can do everything at 65 that he did at 25 sure wasn't doing much at 25.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Larry

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #4 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.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 08:50:43 PM »
Steel at work, belted at home. Much much much perfer the steel.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #6 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.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #7 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.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #8 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.
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
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Offline SineWave

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #9 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!

Offline Alyeska Pete

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #10 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.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #11 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.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline gmmills

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #12 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.
Custom sawing full-time since 2000. 
WM LT70D62 Remote with Accuset
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Offline Larry

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #13 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.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #14 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
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline climber2

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #15 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
Timber Harvester 36htd25, 06 Ram 2500 5.9, 95 Chev 3500hd, 445ct Bobcat w/ Wallenstein winch, Bandit 200+, Morbark M12r, Countless chainsaws...

Offline slider

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2018, 05:20:25 PM »
I think your question has already been answered . The high production sawyers lean towards steel wheels.
al glenn

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #17 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
Boy, back in my day..

Offline highleadtimber16

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #18 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.
2011 Wood-Mizer LT 40 hyd w/ 12' Extension, Patrick Model A Loader, 75 Hitachi, Stihl 461, 2X066, & ms 192

Cutting Old Growth Cedar from Queen Charlotte Islands.

Offline starmac

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Re: Steel wheels vs belted wheels for winter sawing
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2018, 12:57:57 AM »
Interesting, do they even make steel wheels for a woodmizer?
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.


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