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Author Topic: Building a old style circle mill  (Read 2224 times)

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Offline Jesper Jepsen

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Building a old style circle mill
« on: October 26, 2016, 04:06:19 AM »
Hi

Iím looking into acquiring a sawmill possible building one my self to fit my needs and demands the best.
I want to saw both lumber for building a log house, that means up to 18-20Ē beams and to be able to make special boards/beams/planks for furniture.
Iíve have been looking into bandsaw mills but my main issue with them are that they have a limited capacity both in width and height. I probably wonít have the power to run a big electric motor when we move (and thats when I need the sawmill ) and building it with an petrol engine calls for the need of a clutch and I just don't like sharpening blade thing  :-\ 

The other option Iíve looked at is a old style circle sawmill to me thats a prober saw mill. Sadly here in Denmark we donít have many left behind that can be bought and restored. Iíve looked at the small simple versions from the time of steam and until the 1940-60, the belsaw and like. Powered by a tractor PTO or stationary engine of a kind.
I do have the connections to have metal part made and thinking of building the frames both for the saw, carriage and rails out of oak beams or larch.
My biggest problem is that I canít seem to figure out the system to pull the carriage, how does it change direction?
Yes I could go the rute of using a hydraulic motor but I don't like that when the solution is out there.
Yes I must admit that I'm a sucker for history and it's not about producing the most in the shortest time but to be able to do it and learn how and do it in a steady pace and enjoy the process as much as getting the wood I need.

The other thing is that I really like the concept of being able to change teeth on the saw blade but it seems to be impossible to find any makker or seller of that kind of blade in Europe, any one know if there are a place where I can by such blade in Europe?

Any drawings or other things regarding building a circle mill I would be very thankful for.
The timeframe i around 4-5 years before we move to Sweden and I need the sawmill both to make wood to build with and to make products to sell and earn some money from.

Jesper

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2016, 04:14:09 AM »
Just a thought... A garden tractor hydro tranny would work great for
Moveing your carriage. One handle forward and reverse.
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2016, 04:44:43 AM »
There is a book titled "Building a Circular Sawmill" by Richard Buxton.  I have a copy. If you will PM me your mailing address I will send it to you.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 07:43:28 AM »
Welcome Jesper, your biggest problem will be finding a suitable saw blade called the "head saw'. They are expensive new and if found used bits and shanks may not be available. I would not consider a saw that did not have replaceable bits. You will run across smaller solid tooth saws but most of them are for cross cutting firewood.  You should consider building a swing blade mill, the saws are smaller and available at a reasonable price new. Good luck mate. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Jesper Jepsen

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2016, 11:24:37 PM »
Yes indeed the headsaw is a expensive piece to by from new but the problem with at swing blade mill is both that I need to able to make 20x20" beams but mostly be able to saw the odd pieces and ways in knotted logs to make boards with the most intriguing patterns. and should the headsaw blad be the only really pricey thing I need to by to a saw my (hopefully coming) grandchildren can fight over I don't have that big a problem with buying it.

Jesper

Offline Ianab

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 12:28:53 AM »
There is no great problem with cutting a 20x20 beam with a swing blade mill. Now generally you don't move the log when sawing with one, but there is nothing that says you can't. Roll the log over , and cut off everything that's not a beam from each side. Heck I could cut out those with my baby swing-blade, given a gantry or forklift to move the log around at least. 

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,61982.msg913324.html#msg913324

OK, so that's only 12 x 16", but they are 42ft long, which is another plus for the swing blade.

The thing with an old school circle mill is that it's got to be built big and heavy. For the size cuts you are wanting, ~100 hp, a carriage and dogs to support a 30" log, and tracks to run that carriage 2X the log length. No way to avoid some serious engineering to put all that together.

A swing blade mill you are looking at ~20, driving a blade maybe only 20" dia that you can buy "off the shelf". The mill itself only needs to support the mill carriage with the motor and blade, and you have basically no limit on how long the track can be.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 06:12:43 AM »
I've always been of the school that you can blend the benefits of a carriage with the benefits of a swing blade mill, if you are going to build it from scratch.  The other type of mill that uses a circle blade is a dimension mill.  That also would benefit from a carriage type system. 

The only drawback is that the size of the board isn't as wide as with a bigger saw.  The smaller saw is easier to maintain, and is also cheaper.  Both the swing blade and dimension mill do away with the need of an edger.  The carriage makes indexing easier and can make log handling easier and quicker.  It can also be more compact than the traditional mill. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Building a old style circle mill
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2016, 07:50:43 PM »
Jesper, the internet is your friend look on youtube under circular saw mills. Belsaw has a very simple feedworks two "V" belts and two common gears. Our older heavy duty mills used what's called a Heacock feedworks just using two flat belts. Have you considered a sash up and down saw their fairly easy to build and don't require a lot of power.?? Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece


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