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Author Topic: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill  (Read 1436 times)

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Offline smartecosse

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Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« on: November 23, 2018, 03:52:48 PM »
Well, having been looking at all the mills that other forum members have built I decided to have a go building one myself. With zero experience of anything similar I'm sure there may be some cross words along the way.

I bought some new 40mm square hollow section to make the frame out of but then was offered some off cuts in 80 x 80 so decided to use those instead.......going to be extremely heavy though! All of that as well as some 5mm plate offcuts was £20 :)



 

After getting all of that home I decided to have a go making the frame, just in case I made any mistakes or had issues with the mill down the line I decided to make it so that the top crossmember on the posts was bolted on rather than welded. Not such a good idea as all the brackets for it had to be cut with a not so powerful angle grinder and they seemed to take forever to cut out.



 



 

Wasn't until I'd welded the two uprights onto the base I realised I'd forgotten to drill the holes in the top for the cross members :(



 

Completed one side and then repeated the process and then cut the cross members to length and the brackets to bolt them. Really wish I had a metal chop saw for all this cutting rather than just an angle grinder.



 

Then I had to try and work out how wide to make the mill. I've gone with a distance of 80cm between the insides of the upright and with the centres of the shafts being 1207mm that will allow me a full cut at that width if needed - well hopefully if I've measured it all properly.



 

After that I started on the sliders for the main posts for the saw head to run on. As luck would have it one of the pieces of scrap that I got was 100 x 100 which fitted over the uprights nicely. I've welded a small piece of 3mm plate  inside on each edge which gives about 1-2mm clearance altogether. Hopefully that won't be too loose.



 

Eight tabs for each slider really had me wishing for a metal chop saw but got there in the end. Then put the sliders on the uprights and tried to work out the length of the bars needed for supporting the motor, pillow blocks and bandwheels etc.



 

Then tacked them in place, took it off welded them all up and refitted it, still slides up and down nicely and still level which is nice as a bit worried the welding would twist it a little.

Thats pretty much as far as I have got and it seems to have taken for ever, well at least a whole weekend so far.

I cant decide whether I should mount the pillow blocks directly to the bars themselves or on a plate on the bars.



 

Any suggestions would be much appreciated........I'd rather have a problem pointed out now than later :)

Thanks

Offline kenfrommaine

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2018, 06:45:50 PM »
Looks like you are off to a good start. What size and type of band wheels are you using? Keep the pics. coming.

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2018, 04:25:34 AM »
Nicely done!  Considering the pillow block mounts, allow for adjustment  s.  I would lean toward using the plates with slots instead of round holes to mount the pillow blocks.
Built my own band mill with the help of Forestry Forum. 
Lucas 618 with 50" slabber
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Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2018, 04:35:38 AM »
Looks like you are off to a good start. What size and type of band wheels are you using? Keep the pics. coming.


I couldn't find any second hand ones and the wheels in the bandsaw that I bought to cannibalise were 14" and looked like they would be too small so I sold that on and bought some new 19" cast iron wheels, along with the bearing etc.



 

Nicely done!  Considering the pillow block mounts, allow for adjustment  s.  I would lean toward using the plates with slots instead of round holes to mount the pillow blocks.


I was just  thinking about that as I wanted to try and get them mounted today. I'd been going to use oversize holes to allow them to be moved about a little to aid in tracking. How would the slots work as that would just allow movement along the slot rather than a little in all directions that a larger hole would, or have a I misunderstood how the slot would work?

Actually having looked at the size of the mounting holes in the pillow blocks even using an M12 bolt there is quite a bit of room for adjustment, perhaps I will get away with standard sized holes for the mounting bolts and be able to make fine adjustments with the room in the mounting.

Thanks

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2018, 05:14:41 AM »
For the height adjustment I'd like to be able to use lead screws, however, none available 2nd hand and the cost of the new ones with associated bearings is more than I want to spend at the moment.

With using a winch though does it not end up being a differing adjustment with each turn as the cable wraps round the drum? So one turn would be a different height adjustment every time?

Perhaps one lead screw moving a cable? That way the adjustment would always be the same but then I might as well buy two :(

Any suggestions?


Offline Crusarius

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2018, 12:46:53 PM »
instead of metal chopsaw a harbor freight horizontal bandsaw is a great investment. mine is well over 15 years old and has cut a ton and is still going very strong.

I cant decide whether I should mount the pillow blocks directly to the bars themselves or on a plate on the bars


use a plate. remember the other end of the mill will slide so you use 2 different thickness plates so when the frame is assembled the bearings are in the same plane.

With a proper pulley setup you will pull one end of the cable and everything will go up evenly. Just don't ask me what the proper setup is. One of my thoughts was to mount the winch on the sawframe then run a cable up and over a pulley at the top and back down to the frame. This option will be easier to balance the head.

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 01:37:20 PM »
Well progress is slow but at least a little closer to the end....

Winch mounted, made some pulley blocks as well so had a go raising and lowering it, seems to work okay.



 



 


I used cable that I had already which is 4mm and good for 1100kg or so, hopefully it will do the job to save having to buy some more.

Likewise, sheaves for the pulleys I already had, they are delrin and were actually left over ones from a pop up camper refurb, increased the bore to 8.5mm and used M8 bolts, again hopefully they will be strong enough. Not enough material to go up to M10 or M12.



 



 

Of course having got carried away getting that done I'd forgotten to remeasure the clearance from the engine base to the pulley on it - and sods law I'm a couple of cm short and its going to foul on the cable. I was going to mount the engine on a plate anyway so I guess I'll just use a few risers and have the plate up a little and the cable will just run underneath it.

For the spacers does anyone use a hard rubber to reduce vibration or should I just mount it with steel ones?



 

Solved the drive wheel issue by buying a 14" pulley to run behind the 19" bandwheel - didn't really want to spend the money on it but not really any other option without starting to chop the saw head apart.

Any suggestions much appreciated :)

Thanks

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 01:41:19 PM »
Whats the purpose of all the nuts welded to the tube in the last pic?

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 02:08:13 PM »
The left hand side in the photo is on runners / slides that go about half way through the saw head to allow tensioning of the blade.

So I thought I spend half an hour adding some holes and nuts before welding the saw head up as if I'm having issues tracking / aligning the non driven bandwheel from just the pillow blocks themselves I can adjust the angle by using bolts to move the slides about.

Might never need it but then again.....

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 04:34:07 AM »
Found time to have a go at milling the keyways for the band wheels.

 

Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 07:18:00 PM »
Wait!  You have a milling machine but not a chop saw?  Something's wrong here... ;)

Just found this thread.  Looking pretty good! 

How high will your track be off the ground and how high will that put your head?  Wondering if you are going to be able to reach your winch handle.  I'm thinking you may have to replace your Derlin pulleys with some steel or cast iron ones.  There is going to be some significant weight on them and I think you will see them wearing out quickly.  A little late now but you could have a rod running across the head (on top) that lift cables from each side wrap and only form a single layer of cable.  Then they will stay in sync.  Using the number of clicks or rotation on you winch will work to start with, you will quickly see you  need a log scale to make your life much easier.

I'm not sure how you are planning on adjusting your tracking.  You need to be able to rotate the axles (both driven and idle side) as viewed from above so the wheels toe in/out.  Then you also need to have the idle side slide in/out to change/tighten the blade.  You might not want the design that will have a big arm that swings forward and back to adjust the toe in/out.  That will cause alignment issues with your blade guide rollers.  Hope that's clear.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 07:41:53 PM »


Likewise, sheaves for the pulleys I already had, they are delrin and were actually left over ones from a pop up camper refurb, increased the bore to 8.5mm and used M8 bolts, again hopefully they will be strong enough. Not enough material to go up to M10 or M12.
I question if the pulley's you are using for raising and lowering the head will be strong enough.  I don't recall where I got the pulleys I used but I noticed a couple days ago that all of mine are bent out of shape.  With the unsupported length of the 8mm bolts I would worry about them bending.  I also question if delron will stand up to that type of use.

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 07:50:44 PM »
The left hand side in the photo is on runners / slides that go about half way through the saw head to allow tensioning of the blade.

So I thought I spend half an hour adding some holes and nuts before welding the saw head up as if I'm having issues tracking / aligning the non driven bandwheel from just the pillow blocks themselves I can adjust the angle by using bolts to move the slides about.

Might never need it but then again.....
I built similar adjustments on everything on my mill.  Over time the ones that I actually used had to be so tight that they mushroomed over the ends making them impossible to remove or adjust unless I grind of the nut and put a new one on(although I haven't had to adjust any of them since the first time truing things up.   The ones that needed moderate pressure mostly ended up vibrating out eventually.  In areas where clearance wasn't' a problem I double nutted them to allow them to be properly tightened up without binding on what they were keeping clearance with.  For where clearance was a problem I put a tack weld between the nut and bolt when it was adjusted right then cut everything that was sticking out.

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 02:01:37 AM »


Likewise, sheaves for the pulleys I already had, they are delrin and were actually left over ones from a pop up camper refurb, increased the bore to 8.5mm and used M8 bolts, again hopefully they will be strong enough. Not enough material to go up to M10 or M12.
I question if the pulley's you are using for raising and lowering the head will be strong enough.  I don't recall where I got the pulleys I used but I noticed a couple days ago that all of mine are bent out of shape.  With the unsupported length of the 8mm bolts I would worry about them bending.  I also question if delron will stand up to that type of use.
I've also been thinking that the M8 bolts arent enough....can't machine any more out the sheaves so I'll need to add some some additional brackets closer to the sheaves.If that doesn't work I'll need to cut off the brackets and start again with larger sheaves in the future.
The delrin should be okay....they are the same as the ones in our hardtop camper for the lift cables for the roof which is pretty heavy and they have lasted 30 years.

Offline smartecosse

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Re: Taken the plunge and started to build a bandsaw mill
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2018, 02:07:19 AM »
Wait!  You have a milling machine but not a chop saw?  Something's wrong here... ;)

Just found this thread.  Looking pretty good!  

How high will your track be off the ground and how high will that put your head?  Wondering if you are going to be able to reach your winch handle.  I'm thinking you may have to replace your Derlin pulleys with some steel or cast iron ones.  There is going to be some significant weight on them and I think you will see them wearing out quickly.  A little late now but you could have a rod running across the head (on top) that lift cables from each side wrap and only form a single layer of cable.  Then they will stay in sync.  Using the number of clicks or rotation on you winch will work to start with, you will quickly see you  need a log scale to make your life much easier.

I'm not sure how you are planning on adjusting your tracking.  You need to be able to rotate the axles (both driven and idle side) as viewed from above so the wheels toe in/out.  Then you also need to have the idle side slide in/out to change/tighten the blade.  You might not want the design that will have a big arm that swings forward and back to adjust the toe in/out.  That will cause alignment issues with your blade guide rollers.  Hope that's clear.
I've just discovered a model engineering club about 20 minutes away that has a complete workshop with every machine I could ever need......too late for all the cutting but great for doing the keyways...
Tracking I'm planning on adjusting the pillow blocks as there is a fair bit of movement in them.....non driven side slides out with a worm screw to adjust the tension.
It's a braked winch and I've the minimum amount of cable on it so hopefully each turn will be a close to being the same height as makes no difference.
Track is going to be almost on the ground as it's not a mobile unit. Worst case scenario I can move the winch to the rear upright to lower it.


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