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Advice for a beginner

Started by Jack jr, December 31, 2023, 05:35:09 AM

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Jack jr

G'day I am trying to learn how to mill timber on a breast bench, specifically tasmanian hardwood.

I have a few questions how smaller gum tree is it worth cutting ? I find under 12 inches and I struggle to get 4 good 4x2s out of it due to tension.
Hear are some pics of the mill, the current power unit is a 1950s farmall super a. I am keen for any advice.


Cheers Jack jr


Welcome to the Forestry Forum.
Click your profile and there you will see where to click to see the pics in your gallery. There are some duplicates, so you are successfully managing to get them loaded to your gallery.
Now just "click here to add Photos to post" when you modify your original post and then select the photo you want to show. You will see how to do that when going to your gallery.

A photo primer on the home page if you scroll down near the bottom of the list.

south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Jack jr

Thanks for that I can be a bit special with a computer.


Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher


Happy New Year.
I have never seen a saw like that. Must make that little A open up the governor!
Woodmizer LT 40
New Holland 35 hp tractor
Stihl Chainsaws
Ford 340 Backhoe

Jack jr

Thanks for the welcome and happy new year to you all, yep the A does bark going though hardwood, I am going to track down a diesel engine for it, those old c113 and c123 engines are gutsy for there size,

That style mill was the standard mill used around Australia,
I still know of one being run commercially near by, he is still using a chainsaw to breakdown logs.
Cheers Jack jr


Please post more pictures of your mill setup, I'm not sure how you feed a log to that blade and keep it true? Just an animal I have never seen before. Welcome to the forum.   :)


Cool!  Cheers! and Happy New Year!

Tension/compression will always be a problem, specially if milling branches vs the main beam.  I'm guessing you're only milling short stuff with that?  4 feet?
2016 LT40HD26 and Mahindra 5010 W/FEL WM Hundred Thousand BF Club Member

Jack jr

I have milled up to 12 feet long but it's easier under 10, the smaller logs are the main trunk but are from fairly young trees I'll get some pictures to show how it runs.
Cheers Jack jr

Jack jr

Here are some pictures you balance the cant on the moving trolly freehanding the first few cuts then move the fence over and cut using that, if I haven't cut the tension out right then the cant walks off the fence as your cutting,

Is quarter sawing the log the best way to get timber out of small springy hard wood?

Life will be easier once i get better at breaking down trees with a chainsaw.
Cheers Jack jr




That rig  would be called a bolter in the U.S. The carriage on a track I have not seen. That chain shift is common on big edgers however.  Bolters where once common for valuable hardwood from short logs. The well known Bellsaw sawmill originally had a hand push carriage made of wood. This machine more of a bolter than sawmill.   Thanks for showing us this interesting machine.


I have seen that sort of bench saw displayed in the Kauri museum up North (NZ).

How it was used historically was in conjunction with a mostly wooden steam powered sash mill. Logs would be broken down into say 2" flitches using the big sash mill, then edged using the bench saw, also steam powered.

It would be a different sawing job handling big softwood logs compared to dealing with the tension in small eucalyptus, but it was obviously a system that worked at the time.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Jack jr

G'day, I was milling a pine in 5x1s that I had broken down with a chainsaw and and most went OK but some of the boards started to walk off the fence, what would make this happen? Once it starts moving away from the fence nothing I can do will make it cut where it should, except for flipping the board and cutting from the other end. Any advice would be appreciated as I have ruined a few boards now when edging. Cheers Jack jr


Likely due to growth stresses in the tree that you are releasing when you make the additional saw cuts.

It is an art to understand what these stresses are and how to keep them balanced as you make further saw cuts. Not easy to answer as to what you need to do differently.

As a tree grows and lays on new layers of wood, these new layers have more tension, thus they will shrink up when released. This shrinkage causes the banana peel effect.
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Jack jr

Sounds like I just need to practice more,
What would happen if I run a blade under hammered rpm? I suspect the blade is hammered for 900 but the farmall turns 540.
That problem will hopefully be resolved soon as I have a lead on a 3 71 detroit.
Cheers Jack jr

Jack jr

G'day, bit of an update, I have been quizzing benchmen and practising on the bench and there is finally straight timber coming off it. The feller who sold me parts for the first bench showed me a pattern for cutting tension out of small trees, he also sold me an old 3120 husky which I now have running. The 36 inch bar makes all the difference in breaking down logs.

I have been cutting garden stakes and started selling them, its not great money but it's a start. 
I also have a framing order for a mate and some jetty timbers for another guy.

I have also bought an old airport tug out of a paddock that I am hoping to turn into a log handler.
Cheers Jack jr


Sounds like progress, congratulations.  ffsmiley

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