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Author Topic: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA  (Read 1629 times)

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Offline LimerickMill

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Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« on: July 11, 2018, 02:34:59 PM »
Hello All,

I've been a "guest" for the past several years.  My wife and I are restoring a Frick circle saw in SE PA.  I've benefited greatly from the discussions on this Board and thought I’d offer up some pictures of our mill.  We’re up and running but we have a long way to go before we’re fully restored.  I’ll post a couple pictures and, if there’s interest, I’ll detail a few of the things we’ve done.

The guys at FrickCo traced the headblock castings back to pre-1911 and seemed to indicate it was most likely an 1890’s construction.  My father-in-law (Bud) combined parts and pieces from several mills as well as lawn tractors, pipe-threaders, washers and dryers etc. (no exaggeration) to make the mill work from about 1975 until about 10 years ago.  Even so we basically tore it down to the foundation in order to get it functioning.


 
We started with a lot of rust and…well… you all know the drill…

Let me know if you want to see more!


 

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 02:57:47 PM »
More please...


Offline Onthesauk

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 08:19:47 PM »
I'm impressed when someone can get a mill running, using as you say with lawnmower parts, washers and dryers, but am especially impressed when someone like you goes through the process of doing everything correct, rust free, painted, everything precise.  Love seeing the pictures!
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 04:52:50 AM »
LimerickMill,welcome to the forum.
Yes more please. :)
Power unit,what is it?
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 08:18:10 AM »
That's beautiful. You even kept the flat belt drive. How much h.p. from the M.M. ?

Offline LimerickMill

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 11:31:31 AM »
Thanks for the comments.  It's hard to know where to start but since there are questions about the engine I'll go there.  I'm getting a video from a year before we started working on the mill when my brother-in-law decided to see if the thing would start.  I'll post that later tonight along with a current video showing it's current condition.

It's a 1949 Minneapolis Moline 403-4A, four cylinder, 60 horse industrial Power Plant.  After several years (part time) of tracking down parts, like a new manifold, gaskets etc. the governor keeps the blade spinning at 600 RPM and only drops to 560 RPM in a good straight cut.  It's apparently the lowest HP recommended for the 54" saw.  Slower cuts than I see many of you making with your diesel power plants and I have to be careful not to push it or the saw starts to dodge.

I know it's inefficient (gas) but it has a bit of nostalgia.  It reportedly came out of a local factory that used it for it's lineshaft.  I'm trying to get more info on that.  The mill itself was originally salvaged by my father-in-law from a farmers field.  It was so rusted and overgrown he used a sledge to get some of it apart.  I put a foundation under it.  Bud had it sitting on wood beams floating on the ground.  He had a lot of trouble keeping the belt on.

I finally had the MM purring when the radiator blew and covered me in radiator fluid.  Amazingly enough the local radiator shop made one call and had a replacement in a day. I had a custom gas tank made for it and we have the metal covers that will be restored. It seeps just enough oil to let you know it's old. I'll post the videos later. Here's a couple pictures of the current state of things.  


 

 <br

 

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 09:06:21 PM »
LM, very good work you have done. For nostalgia that flat belt is fine but for serious milling you want multiple Vee belts. A long flatbelt will start to wave as the load comes on and off and that will affect the arbor and saw. Years ago that's all the sawyers had. MM is not very common up here in the northeast, if you need parts that power plant would be the same as a MM tractor model and there are vendors that cater to the old tractor market. That engine has a long stroke and is torquie and will punch above its weight class. Frank C.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 06:04:55 AM »
Thank you. :)
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline ddcuning

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2018, 10:31:16 PM »
Looks like you are doing an awesome job and I love seeing another Frick being restored!  8) I know it is a lot of work but it is worth it in the end. I love sawing on my Frick now that the restoration is done but it sure was a challenge during the restoration stage. Keep up the work on it and keep the pictures coming. Love to see a video of it sawing!

Dave C
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Offline LimerickMill

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 04:49:46 PM »
I'm not sure if this will work but here is a video from this morning running some Red Oak Through.  You'll notice a few things:

1. I had an issue with the belt tensioner so I ran it with it off today.  You can see the belt bouncing as the log goes through the saw.  I added this tensioner.

The belt expands and shrinks with the weather.  Bandmiller2, you are correct that the flat belt can stress the arbor.  I assume by "arbor" you mean the assembly of the driven pulley, mandrel and bearing(s).  The old mandrel was way undersized and I felt that having that 200 pound pulley with the added stress of the belt was the cause of many of my issues from the start.  I remedied this with a 2 5/8" mandrel and replaced the pillow block bearings with the bearings (and tensioner)  I purchased from D&D Sawmill in Chambersburg, PA.  Sean and his Grandfather are a wealth of knowledge and spent hours with me on the phone and at their place to help me with a lot of these issues.  I used 3 bearings as you can see.  I wanted to isolate the pulley and give it support on both sides.  This combined with the belt tensioner eliminated a lot of bounce.

2. My off-bearer is taking the video so she wasn't able to knock that board off after the cut.

3. There are still too many grooves in the cut.  I had to replace some teeth recently and I'm not sure if I should attempt "swaging".  I'm open to suggestions on that.  There is no wobble in the saw.  The boards are the same thickness one end to the other.  I do have 3/32" lead-in.  The saw is cool from the collar to the bits.

Here's the video...maybe...

Red Oak

Offline LimerickMill

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2018, 04:55:38 PM »
Thanks DaveC.  The project is going on 5 years.  Sometimes it's 2-steps-forward-one step-back.  Sometimes it's 3-steps-forward-4-steps-back.  All well worth it for the rewards and I have the best Sawyers Assistant in the world!

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2018, 04:59:20 PM »
It worked!

Nice Frickin' job ;D
Mick
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Offline LimerickMill

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2018, 05:01:00 PM »
I also wanted to ask about the appropriate amount of contact between the saw and the log on the gig-back.  If you're able to view the video you can hear the scraping.  How do you know if it's too much?

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2018, 10:02:09 PM »
Limerick, That is a real good question. My answer is just barely, on a perfect day. If you have not sawed a lot it will be confusing but it is always an indication as to what is going on. If you saw too close to the heart on hard wood the log will spring as it is being sawed and rub badly gigging back. this the sawyer knows be fore it happens. If it rubs hard on short fat logs something is out of wack. If the saw is staying cool and making square squares an   decent last boards, things are not that bad. Sharpening, swedging  and the condition of the saw plate and of coarse the lead all play a part in this.  All these things have to be considered and something will always be a little off. If a sawmill has more than one thing wrong you are headed for trouble because you can't easily identify the new problem.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 06:36:23 AM »
LM, if the lead is set right the saw should just tick the cant when gigging back, light contact. Too much lead and the saw will tend to pull the last board away from the far headblock. So much of being a sawyer is sight, sound and intuition. Its like learning to ride a bicycle you just have to do it. Hard to give you a lead value as every mill is a little different, probably something around 1/8". Frank C. 
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 11:33:47 AM »
Grooves in the log can be the teeth that aren't up to snuff, unbalanced saw, too much lead, the collars need milled, the saw needs hammered or the sawguides aren't adjusted quite right.

If you need help, I'm about 1˝ hr away.  My sister lives in Sanatoga and she's about 1Ľ hr to her place.
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Offline ddcuning

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2018, 09:20:25 PM »
Thanks DaveC.  The project is going on 5 years.  Sometimes it's 2-steps-forward-one step-back.  Sometimes it's 3-steps-forward-4-steps-back.  All well worth it for the rewards and I have the best Sawyers Assistant in the world!
I completely understand but in the end it is worth it. My saw does great now but it took a long, long time to get there. Keep it up, you will get it done and it will be a joy when you are finished.
Glad you were able to connect with D&D in Chambersburg, they helped me so much along the way to getting my mill done. I had my carriage made by them and bought most of my parts from them. 
Dave C
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2018, 09:47:52 PM »
It's good to here that the mandrel work was done professionally. To get a beginner to understand how important this is is hard. My mill has 3 bearings and is built so that husk is moved to set the lead. Saw wobble problems I had for years and it turned out to be 2 things: slight bearing heat and saws hammered with to much tension. When I went to lighter grease and got a stiffer saw it was like nothing was ever wrong. Getting someone to hammer a saw for a slow running mill can be a problem. They will show you the saw stands up to the straight edge and it's done but there is a lot more to it than that. I will also say that of my 4 saws, the new one runs the worst. When you get the rub back fixed, please post.

Offline Leigh Family Farm

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2018, 10:29:43 AM »
Really cool to see the old mills still going strong. I sent you an email about visiting since I am from the same area. Let me know if you're open to a visit. 
There are no problems; only solutions we haven't found yet.

Offline LimerickMill

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Re: Frick Restoration in Limerick, PA
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2018, 03:17:08 PM »
Thanks for the advice and offers to help.  I have a few obvious fixes to make and this weekend I'm getting the saw hammered.  It's been through the wringer the past year or so and it's definitely the weak link right now.  

We're now cutting the siding and internal framing members for the post and beam my wife and I are building.  The frame is up and waiting for the roof deck and walls.  Very satisfying to be getting the majority of the wood from our own mill.

Rob G.


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