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Author Topic: Circular Sawmill  (Read 36746 times)

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Offline HPPDRoss

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Circular Sawmill
« on: August 19, 2012, 04:44:59 PM »
Hey Guys, Im new on here and needed some help/advice on an old circular sawmill.  I saw an add on craigslist about an old mill for sale several miles away from my home at a tractor shop.  I stopped by and began talking with the seller.  Come to find out, the mill belonged to my great grandmothers brother.  When I learned of this, I had to have it.  The only information I located was on the 16ft headblock.  It is stamped with (Liddell Co. Charlotte NC).  All and all, the mill is in decent shape but was considering replacing the wood with steel.  I am also having a little trouble figuring the best way to construct the track section since the track part of the mill was dissasembled.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

Offline lyle niemi

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 04:49:25 PM »
welcome to the site, if you can post some pics

Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2012, 05:23:35 PM »
I'll try and get some pics tomorrow.  any thoughts on rebuilding the husk frame. I was considering replacing the wood with 8" wide I-beam.  If I just replaced the wood, what kind should be used?

Offline lyle niemi

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2012, 05:38:53 PM »
I'll try and get some pics tomorrow.  any thoughts on rebuilding the husk frame. I was considering replacing the wood with 8" wide I-beam.  If I just replaced the wood, what kind should be used?
Im not sure what the best wood be to use but if your gonna rebuild I would suggest useing steel.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2012, 06:02:50 PM »
There are several ways to attach track to I beams.  Most weld onto it, and that works well as long as you're a decent welder, and you don't draw the track off line.  You can also do it in sections, but these get pretty heavy to move around.  Most put the steel down first, then put the track on top of it.

If you are going to rewood the sections, I've seen Doug fir work out pretty well.  You might be able to find some that is quarter sawn, which would be more stable.  That works very well for the husk. 

You can also use steel for the carriage.  But, you don't necessarily want to weld the headblocks to the carriage.  The old Frick mills were designed so that you could move the headblocks on the carriage.  If you wood the carriage, you want a hard pine like the southern yellows.  Doug fir also works well.
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Offline sealark37

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 08:55:47 PM »
Welcome to the forum.  You have come to the right place.  Post pictures with your progress and problems.  You will get the benefit of many years experience.  The members can point you in the right direction, no matter how deep you have gotten yourself.  Let us know where you are located in NC.  Regards, Clark

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 09:20:23 PM »
HPPDRoss,welcome to the forum. Ever been around a mill before? Good luck to you. Build a roof over it once you are all done and you will all set than.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 09:26:18 PM »
Do you know if it is a Frick mill? It should say somewhere if it is. Or is Liddell the brand name of the mill?

There are a lot of old Frick mills around the Carolinas.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 10:02:27 PM »
I was told that the original husk was replaced by the high school ag shop many years ago so the nameplate is missing. It looks like a frick to me other than the liddell carriage. Every moving part on the mill is free and appears to opperate like it should. Im located in upstate sc Anderson Co

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 10:18:03 PM »
Ah, I work out of Easley, not too far away. We have a Frick we're trying to sell, too, but it sounds like you need that one since it was in your family.  :)
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2012, 11:18:34 PM »
Your not far away at all okrafarmer, I actually live in Honea Path.  Im just trying to decide the best was to rebuild the husk frame and find out the best way to build the foundation so the mill will stay level and run true.

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 11:28:38 PM »
It isn't super easy from what I understand.  :-\
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

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Offline steamsawyer

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 01:24:54 AM »
Welcome aboard Ross.

I always like hearing about the resurection of an old circulat sawmill. It's not every day that you get to restore a family heirloom  8)

A lot depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want to rebuild it historically I would use wood, but if you are looking for strength and indurance, you may want to use steel. ;D

My mill is a J.A. Vance, made in Winston Salem NC. I am guessing about 30s or 40s vintage. The track stringers are PT pine laid on RR cross ties and the rails are 1 1/4" angle iron. All my stuff is old and I do everything the old fashion way.  ::)

Check out my photo gallery and my you tube videos... Nothing special, but you can see how things are constructed and how things operate.

Alan
J. A. Vance circular sawmill, 52" blade, powered by a 70 HP 9 1/2 x 10 James Leffel portable steam engine.

Inside this tired old mans body is just a little boy that wants to go out and play.

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Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 12:18:03 PM »
Thanks Alan, those pics and youtube videos helped me out alot. What is the distance between the 4x4 track and your sawblade?

Offline steamsawyer

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 12:58:55 PM »
I can't remember right off. I'll measure it this afternoon. That demention will depend on how high the carrage is when you replace the wood. I think the wood in my carrsge is six inches, the bunks for the headblocks is four inch channel and the wheels and mounts make up about eight inches. I am guessing that would make it about 18" from the rail to the top of the saw blade collars. Let me get you some close up pix and dementions.

Alan
J. A. Vance circular sawmill, 52" blade, powered by a 70 HP 9 1/2 x 10 James Leffel portable steam engine.

Inside this tired old mans body is just a little boy that wants to go out and play.

Great minds think alike.....  Does your butt itch too?

Alan Rudd
Steam Punk Extraordinaire.

Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2012, 02:07:42 PM »
 

  

  

  

 
I finally got some pics on here thanks to my wife.  The carriage is in good shape, everything moves smoothly like it should and the wood is in good shape.  The wood where the madrel sits looks to be sagging a little.  The winch drum has got me a little confused on how to connect it to the track.  Liddell Co is stamped on the headblock

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2012, 03:15:16 PM »
I would just replace the wood that is split on the husk.  When I put in an old handmill, I put the cable drum under the track. 

Here's a blurb I found about Liddell:

"In the early 1870s, Walter James Forbes Liddell was working in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisc., in the rail-car-building industry. In 1875, Liddell and his wife, Anna, moved from Milwaukee to Charlotte, NC. There Liddell founded Liddell Machine Co., with manufactory Charlotte Iron Works. Based on patent records, it appears that Liddell made boilers, furnaces, steam engines, hay presses, and cotton presses. By 1881 the company was also making circular sawmills. By 1889 Walter J. F. Liddell's son, Walter Scott Liddell, was running the works and Liddell & Co. and it seems that the father was no longer active. The business remained active until at least 1936."
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Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2012, 04:00:05 PM »
Thanks Ron, thats probobly what i am going to do.  Southern yellow pine or douglas fir right.

Offline whiskers

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2012, 04:16:09 PM »
welcome, this will come in handy rebuilding and operating your mill.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/misc/circsaw.pdf.
many irons in the fire.........

Offline HPPDRoss

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Re: Circular Sawmill
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2012, 06:14:30 PM »
Thanks Whiskers, that looks like alot of good material.


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