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Sawmills and Milling / Re: End of a long search (long story)

« Last post by doc henderson on Today at 04:11:05 AM »
nice stuff, good story,  made me anxious just reading.  congrats.
Sawmills and Milling / Re: Whatcha Sawin' 2021 ??

« Last post by doc henderson on Today at 03:39:58 AM »
when you say... "Piddle in the Barn"  ...  I have to say, it conjured a little different image than I think you intended!   :o :o :o   8)   :D :D :D
Health and Safety / Re: Just the Facts, the Crown virus.

« Last post by doc henderson on Today at 03:12:34 AM »
the military chain of command including the medical folks will make that determination.  If it is determined needed to be combat ready, then there will be little choice.  (severe allergy, medical condition, religion)  we are seeing parainfluenza 3, normally a spring and fall event, pushed back by mitigation.  causes croup in kids under 5 and laryngitis in adults.  It will not be mandatory al least until after fully approved.  still on experimental approval now.  Remember the "immune" include folks who got the disease and the immunized.  if enough people are not immune, it can float around enough to mutate, and then if the vaccine and previous strains did not confer immunity to cover a new strain, we start all over a gain, but with more knowledge.
:D I wrote that after a similar day, the last foot of the dig was jackhammer and shovel work. Just off the top but fairly close, from those relative humidity numbers your equilibrium moisture content is going to want to be around 14% outside and 7% inside in winter. The tangential grain outside is going to shrink twice as much as the radial grain inside. It's looking to me like if you start out tight you won't end up too bad in the end. Great in theory, in the real world knots and abnormal grain get into the mix.

Checking, or, severe checking is the shell drying over a still green and swollen core. If the client can live cooler for the first winter till the core is shrinking that internal stress reversal will help keep checking from becoming severe, it begins pulling on the shell.

If you drive bright nails in, I suppose galvy's would work too and hook the meter to them it will read the point of lowest resistance, the wettest place along the nail, which is probably the tips. I have insulated 3" prongs that only have the metal on the tips exposed so you know where the reading is coming from as you drive them in. I can see the moisture gradient as I drive them in. I think I have an old pic in my gallery..

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
Pretty bad pic but it shows the slide hammer and probes. A couple had bought this kit and asked us to build it. The logs were cypress, supposedly kiln dried to 17%. The first few cutoffs let me know that was a lie, the core was obviously still above FSP. I didn't have to hammer the pins in far to peg the meter. Running a lag in squeezed water out, dead green. I took those pictures just in case anything happened but they were happy with it.

Don,the extent of your knowledge and understanding,And your ability of telling it so clearly is Outstanding.
I can't thank you enough,and want to make sure that you know that it is greatly appreciated.
(i don't understand the internet none too well,but i think these kinds of forum topics often come up in searches,and so this will benefit a very large number of people).

I'm sure you're right about the planing.
I had to plane today,finally,to  knock the twist down on two logs.
With an 1806(6 3/4") it was very fast and painless.

The scary part is that i can actually See planing All top surfaces right after the logs go in place.

Even scarier-logs can be placed/planed flat on top/inverted onto a straight surface and bottom side planed in plane with the top!:)

But it'd be a crazy amount of time and effort...

There's a forging term,a "one-armed smith",i don't know the woodworking equivalent...
In the forge working alone changes Lots,some actions require special tooling,or cannot be done at all,without a striker(or two, or five:))

Log-building site is similar,of course.I'm not building no 5000' sq. palace,but ...By my rough estimate i'll be on the walls till end of August.
That's including milling the 2+(maybe more) courses of 8" D-log that i'm missing.
That'll leave +/_ 6 weeks to mill,assemble,and set-up all roof trusses,stringers,and everything else for the roof,gable ends,the works.

The windows will be visqueen(way warmer than glass),but that tin Must go on.

Then a barrel stove gets stuck in the and-magically-i've a Shop!!!

Tons of stuff to do inside there during the winter,taking care of the interior of the logs first and foremost,but also building lots of stuff for the house.
Our tin has been paid for,and delivered by barge,our budget is now nonexistent-this is It,the siege is on!:)

Just out of pure contrariness alone i'd like to see just how much i can do inside the place with driftwood lumber alone.
Kitchen,for sure,but lots of other stuff...(in place of closets many nice Scandinavian-style blanket chests along all walls:))

My strength here is the ultimate versatility-i can mill Anything i want,and have some wonderful trees to do it with.
I just need the brain to plan it correctly,with sound strategy there're no limits.

I've all sorts of evil ideas(not necessarily plans for this house,but,who knows).Things like a edge-set&bisquited&glued 3"x3" or so flooring...
Or one like in some Swiss chalets-t&g 2x12's angled slightly fan-shape,with a central master driven in from outside,through special through-mortise in the wall...(Where it protrudes outside,you set your pot of begonias on:)...and on the wall next to it hangs a mallet for regulating your floor..). 

But,for Any of that fun-i Must get closed in before end of October.
Once you no longer capable of handling a fastener with bare fingers or -20F,is pretty much a done site...

Sawmills and Milling / End of a long search (long story)

« Last post by Roundhouse on Today at 02:03:05 AM »
Last Friday I concluded a long search for a new-to-me loader for use around the sawmill. 

First a little history.
When I bought my mill five years ago I had an old 1979 Ford CL340 skid steer that I had been using for earthwork around my woodlot. I had picked it up some years earlier for $2500 with a bucket and forks and was continually surprised by its capability. 

Ironically the same summer I was putting together my HM130 and preparing to move it to the woods my old machine developed a problem that left it unusable. I was in the midst of a fresh case of sawdust fever and quite concerned that my old skid steer may be down for the count. I started shopping for a cost-effective replacement, considered a lot of used skid steers when against all odds I found another CL340 for sale several hours away, also for $2500 and also with a bucket and forks. 

The second CL340 did a respectable job pinch-hitting for the first while I hauled that to a shop for evaluation. That fall I would have the first one back in working order for $600. I was glad to have it back. My first machine had the operators ROPS intact and had been repowered with a larger 65hp Wisconsin engine. This made it a much better choice for working around the woods and mill. Also I had gotten in the practice of hauling the skid steer home for winter and snow removal duties. With two functional machines the "new" CL340 would come home with me where it has lived ever since and the original has held down duties around the mill as intended. 

In the years since the old skid steer has performed well only occasionally needing a bubble gum or bailing wire repair by me. It continues to earn its fuel but the more I mill the more I run into inherent limitations due to its design and size. As I mill nicer logs it is not uncommon to max out the lift and be inching around on tip-toes. The ground speed is also very slow meaning I need to trailer it for use even short distances from the mill. I've worked it pretty hard and know it won't last forever (part of the reason I bought another CL340, if one dies first it becomes the parts donor). My long term thought was to save and eventually find a decent used skid steer for around 10K. In the meantime I've read all the equipment/loader threads here in great detail. Taking in the various approaches from forum members has been priceless and enlightening. Maybe another (newer) skid steer isn't the only or best answer...

I found myself drooling a little everytime someone shares photos of a telehandler. They look like almost the ultimate tool. As with so many things in life big issue is the price. Online searching turned up some nice late model Genie 5519s that really turned my head. Even if I scraped up the money I couldn't justify investing 30K to support my small scale and occasional operation. There were some much older and cheaper telehandlers out there but the condition and complexity of them kept me from getting serious about that option. 

Comparing what I had to what I needed helped refine my search. My priorities were:
Bigger lifting capacity, double or better than the CL340
Side entry machine with the lift in any position

On the "nice to have" list were:
Something I could transport myself with my current truck and trailer
Four wheel drive
Newer than my current machines (or at least younger than I am)

I read a lot of strong arguments for rough terrain forklifts on these pages and broadened my search to include those. Last summer I was starting to casually look and attending a few live auctions that were still happening. My interest peaked in a "backwards" tractor reminiscent of the old tractor based rough terrain forklifts some use at sawmills. It was a backwards 1938 Allis Chalmers WC loader that I picked up for $1300, not the ultimate solution but it runs good and was pretty useful. For starters with "road gear" I'm able to run around the property and grab a log a ways down the trail and run it right back to the mill. However the capacity of the of the loader isn't any greater than what the skid steer will lift, and judging by the previous repairs to the arms I didn't want to push it. It is super handy around the property though for tasks like scooping up the sawdust and relocating it, moving trailers etc. 

Last fall my needs ratcheted up when I added another 10 acres with plenty of trees of a size that are perfect for the mill would max out the skid steer or the backwards loader. There is also an unfinished cabin on the property that I plan to move before finishing it. More reasons to keep shopping. 

When going larger for my next machine many of the candidates exceeded the width and/or length of my trailer. Even those that fit ran into the hurdle that I take my pulling truck and skid steer trailer off the road in the winter, even if I were to hire a transporter to move a new machine from the seller to my mill, I don't plow and maintain access to my mill in the winter time. I had my eye on a nicely refurbished 1960's vintage Pettibone Super 4 forklift for most of the winter. I was waiting for the snow to melt, the price to drop, and to find a hauler and when I followed up on it come spring it had just sold. So the search continued, an International 300 rough terrain forklift that sold before I could enquire, a Case 530 rough terrain forklift a couple hours away that sold before I could look at it, then a Harlo forklift (based on an International 240) that sold at auction for $2600, I didn't bid on the Harlo because by the time it sold I had my eye on a Waldon 5500 that would sell a week later, I was bidding on the Waldon but somebody else wanted it more than me once it hit 10K I let it go. The online auction prices have been particularly strong this year so I started searching for live auctions again.

I found a live farm auction half an hour away with a nice medium-sized loader tractor, old enough that the price could be close to my sweet-spot, an Allis Chalmers 6060 MFWD with cab. It checked a lot of my boxes although slightly on the large size for my operation. The day of the auction I looked over the tractor and started to doubt my chances, despite being close to 40 years old the cab was spotless inside. This was a very nice tractor. It would sell for 14.2K considerably more than I could justify even though it was worth every penny. I had devoted a day in the blazing heat to the auction and hated to go home empty handed. A couple places ahead of the 6060 in the lineup was an old Allis Chalmers B, I picked it up for 1000 of course not as my new loader. Basically it ran and I've always thought they were neat, on the practical side it's perfect to do a lot of the small jobs I currently do with my old Yamaha 4 wheeler, slow speed stuff pulling a drag and such that's pretty hard on an old air-cooled 200 cc machine.

As fun as that was it didn't solve my need. A nearby online auction saw a Bobcat 2400 payloader go for $8100. At an auction 2 hours away dominated by farm equipment was a rough terrain forklift that caught my eye. Could this be the one? An Owatonna 770 articulated loader rough terrain forklift. I started a new round of research, not a lot of comparables for this machine. I did find some similar sale results and part of a manual digitized online. The manual was very helpful providing dimensions, an idea of the weight and lift capacity for the forklift. Again, this machine checked a lot of boxes and may be old enough to keep the price reasonable. Another detail that intrigued me was that engine had been replaced with a John Deere diesel 200 hours ago. I made plans to be at the auction.

The day of the auction the online component of the auction was still a rather sedate with online bidding only at $900. Given the order of how things were lined up it took about 5 hours to come around to the forklift. I was encouraged but cautious, the machine itself showed 2300 hours, had not been babied with some nicks and a couple cracked windows, blown out seat, not a beauty queen but started right up, ran well and everything worked. The prices were pretty fair all day but there wasn't anything like the forklift so I remained cautiously optimistic. When the time came I got in on the bidding early and we went up to 7K even where all the competition dropped out, I had my loader. Once I had the key out of the forklift (I swear half the crowd tried out the machine in the 5 hours leading up to its sale) I paid and started to load the 770 on the trailer. I had hours of driving ahead of me. It fit on my trailer but filled it up completely. To simplify matters I put the forks in the back of the truck before putting the machine on the trailer. The forklift approaches 9000lbs according to the manual and this is the biggest load I've hauled, larger that I care to haul again. Thankfully the first stretch was on some quiet county roads where I could get a good feel for things, then a couple hours of rural highways, finally long stretches of deserted forest roads. I reached the woodlot right at dark.

The next morning I put the forks back on and started to really look over the new purchase.

I put the forklift to work right away, not on logs but with a pallet to move some blocks out of my truck to be stored at the mill for future use. 

To say the least I'm pretty excited about this new addition, it's more than I've paid for any other piece of milling equipment (including the mill itself) but expect a lot benefit in both added capacity and safer operation. In researching the engine update, the 4024TF270B, I see that used versions are selling for north of 4K. It's hard to go wrong if that sort of value has been added to the machine. Original power plant would have been a Ford 172 industrial gas engine.

Thanks for letting me share my excitement. If anyone has experience with an Owatonna 770 or even the John Deere 2.4L please share any pointers you may have. I have a lot to learn but am looking forward to such a big leap forward in log handling capability.
Sawmills and Milling / Re: Stolen sawmill

« Last post by Woodpecker52 on Today at 12:53:33 AM »
So if he won't finish the story I guess we will have to for him:

It was 3 am and the phone rings, I stumbled out of bed and reached for my I phone on my nightstand, there  was a  raspy voice on the other end, and he says " Is this bruce 29" and I says who in the heck is calling me at this time of night?
Sawmills and Milling / Re: OH Boy, My Mill Is Ready!

« Last post by sawguy21 on Today at 12:21:45 AM »
Patience grasshopper :D You will plenty on your plate just assembling and setting it up. What did you get?
Sawmills and Milling / Re: Should I sell my mill?

« Last post by donbj on Today at 12:03:27 AM »
If it's not a burden financially, keep it, that simple. It's obvious it add to your life in a good way. The days will come when you can use it and enjoy it. Even if it's just once in a while. I almost sold mine when I retired but just could not do it, glad I didn't. It's just a hobby level thing for me now, I don't "need" it, but still want it. Just can't do it at this point in time.

Got a chainsaw addiction to go along with it!
Drying and Processing / Re: Yellow pine drying and sterilization

« Last post by Southside on Yesterday at 11:55:40 PM »
More of a setting the pitch. 
Drying and Processing / Re: Yellow pine drying and sterilization

« Last post by GeneWengert-WoodDoc on Yesterday at 11:39:27 PM »
I am curious why someone would want to sterilize syp.  What insect is likely to cause damage when at 9% MC?
General Woodworking / Re: What should I do with this log?

« Last post by Nebraska on Yesterday at 11:38:56 PM »
Solubor it good 
Sawmills and Milling / Reeves & Co Circular Sawmill Help!!

« Last post by BassCreekBruce on Yesterday at 11:31:08 PM »
Well, let me start off by saying I have never been around a circular sawmill before in my life!  With that said, I am now the proud new owner of a Reeves & Co circular sawmill that I saved from the scrap yard.  From what I was told by the previous owner, the mill was in day to day operation through the first 2 owners.  The husk is original but track and was updated from wooden to steel by the second owner. The mill was sold to the 3rd owner, broken down and never put back together.  3rd owner had stored it for decades before the 4th owner did the same.  I got it from the 4th owner after he stored it for the better part of a decade.  I have been looking at buying a sawmill for over 2 years now and stumbled across this forum researching the benefits of both bandsaw and circular saw mills along with the possibility of building my own.  It is because of this forum that I felt like I could tackle the job of getting this sawmill back up and running.

As I mentioned, I have a early 1900's (1905-1912) Reeves & Co cast iron husk on top of 3" steel pipe base with a 44" blade.  I have 50' of steel track (2-25' sections) on top of a 3" steel pipe lattice frame in excellent condition.  My carriage is approximately 14' and set works is in good shape.  I have an absolute boat load of questions that I hope you can help me answer as I slowly get needed parts and start putting this mill back together.  Forewarning, I don't know the names to most of the items I am looking at so I will try my best.

One of the wooden "drive" pulleys needs to be replaced on the husk.  It was a wooden or laminated wood pulley around a steel pulley but it has sat for quite awhile and mother nature did her thing.  What are my options?  Are there replacement pulleys I can buy?  Ask a woodworker to make something?  What size do I need?  I know that I do have some adjustment but don't want to screw something up if I replace with too small or too big.



Next I will need belts!.  I was planning on either round baler belt or going down to the local Amish community and get some flat belts.  My question is what size (It looks like 4"-6") but could be wrong.  Do you have any recommendations on material of belt (leather, rubber coated canvas, etc.) or type of lacing used for the belts?  I know there are different kinds of lacing used for flat belts and didn't know if certain lacing was better than others.  Also, how do I know the length (or size) of belt I need?

I plan on powering the saw with a Ford 860 tractor which should be between 40-50HP.  Is that going to be too small?  I suppose it depends on blade and tree size as well as tree type but want to know what I can expect to cut with that horsepower range.

Now blade shanks and bits.  My current blade is 44" and that's the good news.  The bad is it has old Disston C-9 shanks and bits.



Now everyone that I have talked to has told me I have some nice art for the barn wall but wanted to ask you guys to make sure.  If I am going to be buying a new blade, what size what be ideal for "hobby" sawmilling oak, ash, cedar, etc.?  I bought the sawmill to mill timbers to fix some barns in need of some TLC.  I have access to bigger tractors so horsepower wouldn't be a limiting factor.  When buying a new blade, what are some things I should be looking for?  Is there certain shank and bit styles that you would prefer/stay away from?

That's all the questions that I have currently.  I want to thank you all in advance for your help and advice.  Like too many things, the knowledge of running and setting up these circular sawmills is a dying art and if we don't pass it along to the next generation it will be lost.

Sawmills and Milling / Re: Stolen sawmill

« Last post by Nebraska on Yesterday at 11:29:40 PM »
In tractors i think it leans toward insufficient caster angle pretty often.  Not adjustable.
Mike is correct on that. Ever watched a shopping cart front wheels wobble when the cart had no load in it? (I refuse to push one that does that and grab another). OCD I guess. Not enough positive caster. Same holds true on the “Ford Death Wobble”.
Much work has been done on this. Not just Ford trucks. I’ve even seen Jeep CJ5’s do this. Positive caster adds stability. Manual steering vehicles back in the day had less positive caster to make steering a little easier. Add power to an old late 60’s manual steering F-250 4x4 and spin the wheel sitting still with your finger. 
Don’t get me wrong, worn components such as tie rod ends and track bar bushings will also contribute to this scary phenomenon.
Be safe,

Sawmills and Milling / Re: Should I sell my mill?

« Last post by Southside on Yesterday at 11:10:34 PM »
Well the only thing guaranteed is that things are going to change. The question is what will the future look like.  My business in NO way resembles what I had planned.  Could things turn around tomorrow?  Absolutely, so I want to be in a position where I can adapt and having multiple avenues ready to go provides options.  If the mill isn't costing you anything then I would say keep it.  You may find it saves you when things change.  If the mill makes a financial difference in your monthly income, and you can sell it for a profit, then move it - but make sure you use that money wisely. 

I still have all of my logging equipment, including a CTL processor.  Yup - it's old, but it will run right now if needed and if the lumber market crashes and I can't sell boards, then I will be the guy who can sell logs at what will be the "new normal" bottom prices and still keep a roof over my head.  
Chainsaws / Re: Castrol Super Snowmobile oil

« Last post by barbender on Yesterday at 11:06:28 PM »
Al, I run the miracle 100:1 oil, but at 32:1...I should be triple protected, right?😁 
Sawmills and Milling / Re: Twisted power feed chain

« Last post by Southside on Yesterday at 11:03:05 PM »
Can you turn the chrome end retainer enough to straighten it out?
Come to think of it I did have that happen once, would have been back in the 80's, and yup - still remember exactly where I was. 
Forestry and Logging / Re: Skidder modifications/accessory's?

« Last post by Southside on Yesterday at 10:59:00 PM »
With a pusher on there I suspect a tree snapped off a time or two and crashed down between the arch and the cab - thus the chain - which was a cheaper option than replacing hoses and such each time.  
Sawmills and Milling / Re: OH Boy, My Mill Is Ready!

« Last post by Jay B on Yesterday at 10:58:22 PM »


This is the delivery truck backing down the drive. Wife said when she took this picture one of my kids told her she just became my "side chick".


There were two pallets, the one was the mill and one was basically the resaw attachment and a little hardware.


Good day around here, hopefully tomorrow goes OK. Will we make sawdust tomorrow??

Jay B
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