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Author Topic: Sawmill work flow  (Read 2715 times)

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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2018, 09:55:39 PM »
I took a video of my current work flow today:




Itís not perfect but it works well with 3 ppl. 
Iíll have more to add later.
Boy, back in my day..

Online Busysawyer

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2018, 10:37:55 PM »
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to post great advice. Yes 4x4 your hair looks great,  thank you for sharing.  I haven't paid for a cut in about 20 years. My hair don't grow so good up top so I do the clean shave thing. It's really the only option for male pattern baldness as far as I'm concerned. I bought a couple of gravity roller conveyors for cheap on the Craigs list, once I get set up I'll post a video for you guys to critique.  Thanks again everyone
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2018, 07:21:26 AM »
I personally am not a big fan of long, stretched out linear systems.  I want to take the least amount of foot steps as possible, with the least amount of board touches possible.  However, every site is different and folks have to do what works for them. I am more a fan of an optimized work triangle approach, otherwise known as the "kitchen triangle".


I am tuned-in. We handle our material WAY too much...A lot of it is speciality material, like quartersawn, slabs, high-grade small runs, but need to get better methods. Was so stupid hot here this week, moved the mill and cleaned-up the site, so redoing the layout a bit. It sits outside, so put under some shady pines.

By Fall, want to have under roof and go to electric. Anyone go from gas/diesel to electric? Any comments?
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2018, 08:47:15 AM »
I mill mostly by myself and have a triangle setup where I can run the mill controls, drag back the boards onto the pallet without moving, start the next cut, take one step back to fine tune arrange the board I just dropped onto the pallet full of boards, and get back to the auto feed controls as the band exits the cut and repeat.  When I saw off the opening face slab, I drag it back onto a roller table, take two steps, press down on one end to lever one end in the air, then a rotate it onto anothe roller table and take three or four steps pushing it into a rack where my loader is already positioned with forks underneath.  

I can mill about 6 decent grade logs this way, maybe 600 to 1000 bdft, before the slab rack fills up and my log deck (a couple sloped crossties) is out of logs.  I hop on the loader that is pre positioned, lift up on the hydros and unload the slab rack, dump it and get more logs, set the forks back in the empty slab rack, and repeat the whole process again.  

My total radius of movement is maybe 10 to 15 feet if all goes well.  Some guys know that I played a little too much ball when I was younger and have an artificial hip and a bad knee, so I take significant effort to reduce my steps.  Since Iím the sawyer, I have to keep sawing to keep my business humming, but I have to reduce the pain and the load.
I donít saw for speed, but I do saw for efficiency, and can generate two 800 bdft packs pretty easy by lunchtime, when I quit sawing for the day and switch to kiln work, SLR edging, jointing, planing, racking lumber, etc.  So 1600 bdft give or take a day, 5 days a week, starts to add up pretty fast and sometimes I have to throttle back to keep from oversawing, choking my air drying yard, or the kilns.  My only goal is sawing is to produce enough wood to keep the 3 kilns fed and wood on the rack in the showroom.  

Iím always tweaking things, and looking for a better way, as reducing pain is a good motivator.  For examaple, in 2014, when recovering from my hip replacement at age 52, I calculated that we (mostly me) cut and moved 1,140,000 pounds of wood that year alone, and that was unacceptable to long term health and survival.  So we changed our business plan, and since then we have made a concerted effort to reduce effort by sawing smaller quantities of higher grade wood, simplifying things, tightening things up, invested in new and better machines, forklift, etc.  In many ways, simplification is the key to efficiency.  
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline 4x4American

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2018, 10:19:18 PM »
Ok Longtime Lurker, get the dust outta yer eyeballs and open your ears!!

1.  Yea I know it's a pita to shovel sawdust, I've shoveled alot.  Don't like doing it.  Wasn't sure what way to go, blower vs conveyor and how it would affect my future setup in the next stage and been spending alot of $ on logs and insurance.

2.  The slabs through the edger thing lasted maybe a week for me.  I tried it because everyone else was doing it and I wanted to see for myself how it worked.  I didn't have any other video to post of the way that I was setup, as my phone had kicked the bucket and I lost alot of photos/videos.  That's all I had.  I can see many benefits from doing it that way, but, the way I was setup at the time it really sucked.  It would have worked much better if I was setup more like a scragg mill.

3. I flip 180 almost always.  It's easier to square the cant, it makes less boards to be edged, reducing work load on your edgerman, and when your edgerman is like mine (half blind) I want him to do as little lumber ruining edging as possible.  I also think that it balances stress better but that's just me.  Flipping 90 has pros and cons as well, but, I prefer flipping 180, it works better for me.  I flip 90 when I can't clamp/clear the log with a 180 flip.  

4.  Having the edger where I have it right now is great with help.  If you would just buy me a few conveyors I'll have it just how I want it.  The way it was setup at Boonville.  Everything goes in a big circle.  Slab comes off the mill and onto the green chain where the kicker kicks it off onto a shaker conveyor feeding a chipper/grinder/hog/whatever.  Flitch comes off, goes onto greenchain, rides to end, falls into conveyor that carries up to another green chain that carries board right to edger that is 3' away from the sawyer's booth.  Edger sends board and edging strips onto the #1 greenchain and they all fall into the conveyor and come back to the #2 greenchain to be stacked.  Cants and ties same thing.  That's where I wanna be.  Need a much bigger building and a couple conveyors and another green chain.  I think it'd be a great system.  And if I wanted to I could have my pallet resaw and chopsaw on the other side of greenchain #1 and have a guy pulling cants and making cutstock.  Also a log deck to feed the mill.  It just doesn't happen overnight.

Now lets see a video of your setup and how you cut wood, please.
Boy, back in my day..

Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2018, 10:24:42 PM »
I keep hearing about this boonville setup.
Does anyone know of a video or could draw a layout for me? I'm more of a visual learner :D I like looking at pictures
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2018, 11:56:46 PM »


Boy, back in my day..

Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2018, 11:04:27 PM »
Thanks 4x4

Busy Beaver I'm looking forward to seeing how you're setup goes I'm always looking for that perfect setup.
Did you do anything to exhaust the mill or edger?
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Online Busysawyer

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Re: Sawmill work flow
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2018, 07:31:52 AM »
Pa, we haven't done anything for exhaust yet. Two reasons,  my barn has a lot of the steel off for the log deck to feed the mill and exhaust hasn't been an issue yet. Wood mizer says it will void the warranty to modify or extend exhaust.  I think we have come up with a plan. We are going to build a 30x30 lean to extension off the gable end of the barn to house the mill and run everything into the barn on an incline conveyor.  I built a little control cab to run the mill from that will sit just outside the lean to. I'll post up a pic of the new and hopefully improved plan. 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile


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