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Author Topic: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!  (Read 5467 times)

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Offline ahiggins1

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Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« on: October 15, 2009, 08:39:10 AM »
I just bought an old Belsaw A-14D sawmill - or what is left of it.  Actually I think most of it is there but it is in a pile.  It has an old 36 inch solid tooth blade, but has two teeth in a row that are shorter than the others, so I don't know if it will saw or not.  I think I will put it on a steel frame (like a mobile home frame) and make it portable.  Does anyone have any good pictures of one of these mills, so I can see just how to set it up?  The main thing that I am unsure of how it works is the feed unit to run the carriage.  We used to have an old mill when I was a kid(not sure of the brand), but that was years ago and it was bigger than a Belsaw.  My dad can help me with it some but he is 81 years old now so he is a little slower than he used to be.  The good thing is that we both like to tinker with stuff and can run a torch and welder.
We will probably run it off the PTO of the tractor - quick and easy power source.
Any information or photos would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Andy

Offline apm

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 08:55:25 AM »
Welcome to the forum. There is some information on the older Belsaws at owwm.com. just search on Belsaw and it'll bring up a page of publications that have been scanned. Lots of stuff from the 40's including some parts lists. Lots of the pubs have pictures that will let you use your imagination. Speaking of pictures, can you post any of what you've got?

Greg
Timberking 1600 now

Offline KyTreeFarmer

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 09:12:13 AM »
Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for help. Lots of guys on here have Belsaws and will be offering plenty of great info. You can check out my pic gallery if you want.

KTF
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Belsaw from Sears & Roebucks
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Online Jeff

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2009, 09:16:43 AM »
Welcome to the forum.  :)

Try this link
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

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Ezekiel 22:30

Offline Ga. bow-man

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 09:43:45 AM »

Andy

Glad you joined us, sharing of info is what this site is about.
You need to look at all the past threads Jeff has suggested for info to
get started. Then just post those questions, and help will be there.

Ga-bowman


Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 12:20:55 PM »
Welcome to the forum
Built my own band mill with the help of Forestry Forum. 
Lucas 618 with 50" slabber
WoodmizerLT-40 Super Hydraulic
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The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work. --Tom A. Edison

Offline ahiggins1

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 12:39:27 PM »
Thanks for the replies already guys.  I don't have any pictures right now and the mill is down at my dad's house in Missouri and I am in Indiana.  I will check out the links and the pictures. 
The logs that we will be sawing will be mostly oak, so I was wondering if the solid tooth blade would be OK for that.  The mill we had years ago had insert teeth - one blade was a Diston and the other a Simonds.
Thanks,
Andy

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 12:52:20 PM »
First thing I would say is hang up the solid tooth unless you have lots of saw experience and get an insert.  You'll have nothing but grief trying to make it saw.
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Ezekiel 22:30

Offline DanG

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 01:17:57 PM »
Welcome aboard the board board, AHiggins!  You struck the Mother Lode when you found this place.  You'll be hard pressed to come up with a question these folks can't answer.  We'll look forward to celebrating your success with you. :)

Oh by the way, we like pics. ;)
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2009, 05:00:05 PM »
Welcome Andy,a good saw running on a true arbor with good collars is pretty much the whole ball of wax with a circular mill.The industry dropped solid tooth saws 100 years ago.Belsaw offered them as a low cost option.As Jeff said retire the solid tooth blade,Keeping them gummed and swedged is a hassel.Most hammer smiths and saw shops have used saws for sale.You want something in the 44-46" range with few teeth.If I recall belsaw's have a little smaller arbor than the standard 2" hole in most saws, you would need a bushing.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2009, 07:38:13 AM »
Andy probibly half the sawyers in this country and Canada got their start on a Belsaw.Theirs alot on the internet I have even seen plans for the base and parts lists.If your mill has the later feed works its basically a box with two gears and four "V" pulleys two belts and an idler to alternatly tighten each belt,driven from the arbor shaft.Some early mills used flat belts for feed.Wire cable is wraped around the drum,the gears have a three to one ratio to allow gigback at three times the feed speed and direction change.I've worked on them but never owned a Belsaw myself,outhers will be along,we have many Belsawyers here.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline ahiggins1

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 08:16:30 AM »
Thanks, Frank C.  I am pretty sure the arbor shaft has a diameter of 1 3/8".  I was kind of thinking the same thing of needing to go with an inserted blade. 
The feed on this old mill to run the carriage is still the flat belt, so I hope we can make it work.  My dad is pretty handy with sort of stuff so we will see what skills he still has at 81 years old.  I bought the mill and dad told everyone that I was buying it, but he wanted it just as bad or worse than I did.  I think he was afraid the rest of the family would give him the devil for wanting to mess with a mill again at his age.  I think it is good for him to have something to think about and keep him going.  I guess once you have sawn it kind of gets in your blood.
Andy

Offline apm

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 10:29:41 AM »
Andy, the advice to go with an inserted tooth saw is good. You'll need to be sure it's hammered for approx. 540 rpm if you're going to use your tractor PTO. The mandrell is 1-3/4" through the bearings, then turned down to 1-3/8" where the saw mounts. Unless you happen upon an original 40" saw from Belsaw, you will need a bushing. The bushing can be a little tricky. The saw collars are hollow towards the center. If you make a bushing the thickness of the saw, it has room to work out of the saw while running (between the collars). If you make the bushing too thick, it will prevent the collars from clamping tightly enough on the saw. I don't know about yours, but the newer Belsaws don't use drive pins in the saw. They rely on friction alone. Seems to work fine, but that's why the caution about the bushing you'll need to have made.

Working with a circular mill might reverse the clock. Your 81 year old dad will get younger rather than older. Good for him!

Greg

Timberking 1600 now

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2009, 02:33:38 PM »
Andy,I don't know this for sure but I think the older belsaw flat belt feed was heavier duty than the newer system that was cheaper to manufacture for Belsaw.Once a sawyer always a sawyer, listen to dad, the mill will be good for boath of you.Timberking was Belsaw and has some parts and instructions possibly a saw bushing.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline ahiggins1

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 08:26:44 AM »
Hey guys,
I got some angle iron over the weekend that I hope will be heavy enough for framework for the Belsaw.  It is 1/4 inch wall and 3 inch X 5 inch.  It is in 20 foot lengths and darned heavy.  I figured it will work as long as I have plenty of supports underneath.  It was thinking every 5 feet and I doubt if it would ever bow.  If it doesn't work, atleast the price was right - free from a friend.
My sister took some pictures over the weekend and should be sending them to me soon.  Will try to post them here when I get them.
I went to the owwm.com website and read through several of the old scanned publications on Belsaw mills that was really interesting.
Thanks everyone,
Andy

Offline ahiggins1

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2009, 01:40:12 PM »
Greg (apm),
If we can find an inserted tooth blade, my dad has a neighbor that is a retired machinist that may be willing to make us a bushing.  He can be a little contrary but he may do it for us.  I saw a 48 inch blade for sale, but was wondering if that would be too big on this little mill especially since it has a smaller madrell?
Andy

Offline apm

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2009, 03:09:41 PM »
A 48" blade is fine for the mill, if and only if, you've got enough power. One of Belsaw's secrets with their mills, was to supply saws customized for their setup. A Belsaw blade was 40"  (36" and 42" options, I think) and only had 22-24 teeth in the saw. At 550 rpm and a relatively slow forward speed, you could cut easily and accurately with very low horsepower. When you take a Belsaw mill and try to install a conventional inserted tooth saw, say, 48" with 40 or so teeth, it takes a heap more power to pull that saw. All kinds of problems get blamed on the mill when it's really wrong saw/low power combination causing the trouble. On any circular mill, if you can maintain rated speed in a full heavy cut, 90% of your problems are licked.

If your neighbor gives you grief about the bushing, give me a shout. I can whip you one out, no charge (We've got a CNC production machine shop). We make lots of sawmill parts in support of our hobby ;)

Post some info on the saw, how many teeth, style of teeth (some are getting hard to come by) you'll need to make sure it's for a right hand mill, etc.

Greg
Timberking 1600 now

Offline sparky

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2009, 10:02:39 PM »
When looking for a blade, stay away from Disston. They were bought out years ago and replacement teeth are hard to find. They are a white elephant at this time. I have a Disston blade that I only use when cutting trash.

Sparky
I'tnl 2050 with Prentrice 110, Custom built 48" left-hand circular and 52" Bellsaw right-hand circular mills, Jonsered 2171, Stihl 084, and too many other chainsaws. John Deere 3020 and Oliver 1800 with FELs. 20" 4-sided planer and misc.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2009, 07:39:28 AM »
Andy,all good advice given,I would consider 48" to be at the upper limit of what you would want to spin on a Belsaw due to the diameter and stiffness of the arbor shaft.Most handset mill have arbors 2 1/2" and up.You don't want too many teeth on the blade something like 32-36 would be best.Larger saws take more HP to turn.That said it comes down to what you can find and afford for a saw,as stated just be sure you can get bits and shanks for it,mayby have a sawsmith inspect it.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline ahiggins1

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Re: Hello all! I am new to the forum and need help!
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2009, 08:57:30 AM »
Thanks for all the info guys.  The blade that I had seen on the internet for sale was a 48 inch inserted, but the guy said it is from a scrag mill and is a heavier blade and only has 10 teeth.  I don't think this blade would be right for us.  Would a blade with so few teeth cut decent lumber?  I haven't seen one like this before, but I haven't been around that many mills either.
Andy


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