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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 12:52:42 PM

Title: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 12:52:42 PM
I have been struggling horribly with wavy cuts on my HM126... I have spent tons of time diligently going through the set up trying to weed out the problem to no avail.   It has the 9.5hp kohler engine and runs 144" blades.  I have varied the blade tension, checked the bandwheel bearings, levelled the bed, ensured the guide blokcs are properly set.  Still got a case of the wavies.  

I just got off the phone with the fella who sharpens my blades and he told me he usually sets them for 28 to 30thou and by time he grinds them they end up being around 25 to 28 thou.  I then told him I am running a 9.5hp engine and he said "oh..maybe they should be set less... maybe around 22 thou" (my fault i never communicated my set up to him)  .  Not sure if this could be an issue but wanted to ask for some opinions on the matter since I have seen quite a few post on blade set but couldn't seem to find anything that fit my specific parameters. 

Also been thinking of trading up amidst this frustration and found a Mobile Dimension Saw portable mill for sale locally and have been thinking this might be a better choice for me to get out of the manual bandmill game and do more sawing than tinkering.

thoughts and comments?

thanks Mitch
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: nativewolf on July 24, 2019, 12:55:58 PM
Wish I could find a nice one down here.  I'd love to have a mighty mite or mobile dimension to saw fencing.  If you are doing dimensional lumber it seems like a great way to quickly put out some wood, provided you have some equipment.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Crusarius on July 24, 2019, 01:27:25 PM
What material are you cutting? I can cut hardwoods smooth as silk but I am always fighting to get good cuts on softwood. The blade wanders terribly. I have 22hp and 158" blade.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 24, 2019, 01:29:33 PM
Hi Mitch, another NB'er here.

Are you possibly getting pitch build up on your blade, especially on one side? If pitch build up accumulates higher than the set of the teeth, then that will cause deflection and waviness and also require more power to pull your blade through the cut. Running a thinner kerf will take a little less power but it will also take less build up on the blade to deflect it, especially with build up more on one side.

Ray
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 01:45:30 PM
What material are you cutting? I can cut hardwoods smooth as silk but I am always fighting to get good cuts on softwood. The blade wanders terribly. I have 22hp and 158" blade.
Crusarius,

I am cutting fairly big white an red spruce, fairly clear logs, some logs have knots...i do notice i am guaranteed to get a wave right after a knot. I have been peeling bark off down to the wood on the "blade in" side of the log.

Hi Mitch, another NB'er here.

Are you possibly getting pitch build up on your blade, especially on one side? If pitch build up accumulates higher than the set of the teeth, then that will cause deflection and waviness and also require more power to pull your blade through the cut. Running a thinner kerf will take a little less power but it will also take less build up on the blade to deflect it, especially with build up more on one side.

Ray
Hey Ray,  not much for pitch build up i keep my eye on things and always run a good amount of water..i think the blade options for my mill are fairly limited



Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Crusarius on July 24, 2019, 02:03:05 PM
Same boat I am in. I put a sharp blade on the mill and it made a world of difference. I definitely had pitch buildup on my last blade. So the new one cut so much nicer. I need to get a lube tank.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 02:08:13 PM
Same boat I am in. I put a sharp blade on the mill and it made a world of difference. I definitely had pitch buildup on my last blade. So the new one cut so much nicer. I need to get a lube tank.
last time i cut i needed some stagging planks and cut about 7  2x12 out of one log the blade was starting to get dull before i started but i wanted to push it to see what would happen and the waves arent horrible but still in my mind there shouldnt be any deviation it should be straight 
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: btulloh on July 24, 2019, 02:20:32 PM
The 9.5 hp closes off a few options but we have quite a few in spite of that.

What make and degree bands are you running?

I started with a box of 10 degr lennox I ordered with the mill. Switched to 7 degr kasco and got much better results on almost everything. I wont even use the 10s anymore unless its an extreme emergency. People have great results with Timberwolf but I havent tried them.

As long as I do everything right I get really straight cuts. My biggest mistake is pushing a blade too long. I dont get the bd ft Id like before the blade needs changing but thats just the way it is. If I keep a sharp blade on and keep the pitch off the blade and wheels I make straight cuts.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Crusarius on July 24, 2019, 02:37:57 PM
If I had my own sharpener I would definitely change my earlier than I do.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Southside on July 24, 2019, 02:43:12 PM
Even before I got to your statement I figured you had to be sawing spruce given your description and location.  You really can't push a dull band and expect good results, especially when sawing spruce.  It might help to go to a 7 or maybe even a 4 band.  Even with our high HP mills a dull band will cause issues.  I have not tried it yet but Kasco has a 4/40 band, it is a wildcat as it starts as a 7/40 and is ground down to a 4/40 and works very well in our yellow pine, the 4 makes it even easier to pull, so although it may be non-traditional to think of using a 4 for a softwood it might help with your Spruce issue.  
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 03:05:37 PM
The 9.5 hp closes off a few options but we have quite a few in spite of that.

What make and degree bands are you running?

I started with a box of 10 degr lennox I ordered with the mill. Switched to 7 degr kasco and got much better results on almost everything. I wont even use the 10s anymore unless its an extreme emergency. People have great results with Timberwolf but I havent tried them.

As long as I do everything right I get really straight cuts. My biggest mistake is pushing a blade too long. I dont get the bd ft Id like before the blade needs changing but thats just the way it is. If I keep a sharp blade on and keep the pitch off the blade and wheels I make straight cuts.
Yeah i am running the lennox 144" 10deg  that i ordered with my mill.  I will see if i can find some of those Kasco 7 deg blades here in Canada.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 03:14:05 PM
Even before I got to your statement I figured you had to be sawing spruce given your description and location.  You really can't push a dull band and expect good results, especially when sawing spruce.  It might help to go to a 7 or maybe even a 4 band.  Even with our high HP mills a dull band will cause issues.  I have not tried it yet but Kasco has a 4/40 band, it is a wildcat as it starts as a 7/40 and is ground down to a 4/40 and works very well in our yellow pine, the 4 makes it even easier to pull, so although it may be non-traditional to think of using a 4 for a softwood it might help with your Spruce issue.  
Thanks for the input, if i gleaned anything from your post it sounds almost as if what i am dealing with is just the nature of the beast with cutting spruce and my current set up.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: btulloh on July 24, 2019, 03:26:53 PM
So true about the nature of the species being sawed. Thats just one of the many things I learned along the way and still learning. Some of it I learned the hard way and some I learned from the people here.

I learned I dont like hickory. More than once. I dont even care to make firewood with it. Plenty of people here make beautiful stuff out of hickory though. They are welcome to all my hickory logs.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 24, 2019, 03:41:14 PM
I also started out with Lennox 10 degree blades. I'm currently awaiting on delivery of Kasco Woodmaxx 7 degree blades. Mine are a custom length and are being made up in Mexico, then delivered to the head office/depot in St. Louis, then forwarded to the Montreal office/depot and sent on to me from there.

I'm also soon to be upgrading my engine from a 13HP manual to a 15HP electric start. I currently have the new engine.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: ladylake on July 24, 2019, 03:41:51 PM

 Forget the 7 go right to 4, I get the best results in ugly knotty spruce using a 4  3/4 pitch with a shallow gullet (more blade body)  with a heavy set.  I wont even try to saw spruce with a 10 blade.   Steve
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 24, 2019, 03:47:35 PM
A blade that has dulled more on one edge than the other due to possibly contacting more abrasive on that edge will tend to veer away from that duller edge. The harder you push a dull blade, the more it will deflect.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 03:55:45 PM
I also started out with Lennox 10 degree blades. I'm currently awaiting on delivery of Kasco Woodmaxx 7 degree blades. Mine are a custom length and are being made up in Mexico, then delivered to the head office/depot in St. Louis, then forwarded to the Montreal office/depot and sent on to me from there.

I'm also soon to be upgrading my engine from a 13HP manual to a 15HP electric start. I currently have the new engine.
How did you order those Kasco's and what was the price tag like...being Canadian Im sure you can share in my frustration of how difficult and expensive it is to get something from the US
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 24, 2019, 03:59:13 PM

 Forget the 7 go right to 4, I get the best results in ugly knotty spruce using a 4  3/4 pitch with a shallow gullet (more blade body)  with a heavy set.  I wont even try to saw spruce with a 10 blade.   Steve
Who makes a 4 deg?..Just a quick look through the Kasco Site and blades that meet the spec for my mill are only available in 10deg
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: btulloh on July 24, 2019, 04:03:07 PM
Kasco makes them for your mill. Theyre not listed on the website but they are a standard item.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: btulloh on July 24, 2019, 04:07:37 PM
Kasco Canada : 1-800-361-3329 
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: John Bartley on July 24, 2019, 04:10:35 PM
I started with 10' blades and quickly resharpened them at 7'.   For anything spruce or pine etc, I set at 28 to 30 thousandth's.  With a sharp blade your 9hp should be fine with an extra 7 thousandth's of set each side.

My experience in knotty pine / spruce::

sharp and set low (21-22) = cuts fast with waves
sharp and set high (28-30) = cuts fast and straight
dull and set low (21-22) = cuts slow with waves
dull and set high (28-30) = cuts slow and straight.

NOTE 1 :: the sharper the tooth, the bigger the chips and less pitch/sawdust buildup.
NOTE 2 :: I always runs more lube when in pitchy wood - it's cheap and it works to keep the bands clean
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: ladylake on July 24, 2019, 05:11:28 PM

 Yes Kasco makes 4 blades , If you can try and get them with a heavy set.  I buy mine at 10 but sharpen them to 4 and set them heavy for spruce.  Steve
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 24, 2019, 10:32:25 PM
I also started out with Lennox 10 degree blades. I'm currently awaiting on delivery of Kasco Woodmaxx 7 degree blades. Mine are a custom length and are being made up in Mexico, then delivered to the head office/depot in St. Louis, then forwarded to the Montreal office/depot and sent on to me from there.
How did you order those Kasco's and what was the price tag like...being Canadian Im sure you can share in my frustration of how difficult and expensive it is to get something from the US

The Kasco's I ordered through the Montreal office. Approximately $28 each delivered. Minimum order is 15.

The Lennox ones I ordered last summer were from the NW part of the province, I think maybe St. Leonard. Price was comparable. The fella has a saw sharpening business on the side of his regular job.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 24, 2019, 10:36:22 PM
What part or area of the province are you in Mitch?
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 25, 2019, 07:26:11 AM
I started with 10' blades and quickly resharpened them at 7'.   For anything spruce or pine etc, I set at 28 to 30 thousandth's.  With a sharp blade your 9hp should be fine with an extra 7 thousandth's of set each side.

My experience in knotty pine / spruce::

sharp and set low (21-22) = cuts fast with waves
sharp and set high (28-30) = cuts fast and straight
dull and set low (21-22) = cuts slow with waves
dull and set high (28-30) = cuts slow and straight.

NOTE 1 :: the sharper the tooth, the bigger the chips and less pitch/sawdust buildup.
NOTE 2 :: I always runs more lube when in pitchy wood - it's cheap and it works to keep the bands clean
good info thanks a lot
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on July 25, 2019, 07:34:20 AM
What part or area of the province are you in Mitch?
I am from Sussex area.  How about yourself?
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on July 25, 2019, 11:59:26 AM
What part or area of the province are you in Mitch?
I am from Sussex area.  How about yourself?
I'm in the Moncton/Memramcook area. I occasionally do some milling in the Anagance area.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on August 10, 2019, 12:21:24 PM
I also started out with Lennox 10 degree blades. I'm currently awaiting on delivery of Kasco Woodmaxx 7 degree blades. Mine are a custom length and are being made up in Mexico, then delivered to the head office/depot in St. Louis, then forwarded to the Montreal office/depot and sent on to me from there.
How did you order those Kasco's and what was the price tag like...being Canadian Im sure you can share in my frustration of how difficult and expensive it is to get something from the US

The Kasco's I ordered through the Montreal office. Approximately $28 each delivered. Minimum order is 15.

The Lennox ones I ordered last summer were from the NW part of the province, I think maybe St. Leonard. Price was comparable. The fella has a saw sharpening business on the side of his regular job.

Hey rayar,

Did you receive your new blades yet and have you had a chance to try them out?

I called the Kasco folks in Montreal and im looking at 400 delivered for a pack of 15 set at 7deg.

I tried cutting a log last night with a sharp 10 deg and the results were still wavy...so frustrating.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on August 10, 2019, 11:14:22 PM
Hey rayar,

Did you receive your new blades yet and have you had a chance to try them out?

I called the Kasco folks in Montreal and im looking at 400 delivered for a pack of 15 set at 7deg.

I tried cutting a log last night with a sharp 10 deg and the results were still wavy...so frustrating.

I called them a while after my order was due and somehow my order didn't go through, so re-ordered and still waiting on them.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on August 12, 2019, 12:33:48 PM
I took 4 blades to the fella who sharpens my blades in hopes he could grind a 7deg hook angle on them and when i told him about the advice i received on here about running 7 deg blades for spruce he just looked at me funny and said he has 130 small mill customers that he sharpens for and everybody uses 10deg blades with no issue except for a few that cut cedar exclusively.  He is blaming my tension or engine speed. He seems to think 7deg blades are bunk marketing wank...so I dont know what to think about blades now....

I did figure out that I need to change my drive belt since i cant properly set the tracking...wonder if this is causing me my waviness grief.  If changing the belt doesnt resolve the issue guess i will move to replacing bearings.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Madtrapper01 on August 13, 2019, 07:48:23 AM
I have the same mill and had the same issue. First thing I did was check the mill to make sure it was actually level, every bunk and rail, then did a measurement at each bunk from the blade to the bunk on the left and right sides and made sure they were equal.
Then what I think the problem was is the ceramic guides, there was too much play allowing the blade to twist. I dropped tip guide down to just barely touch the blade, then brought the bottom up to just barely touch as well. 
Then I looked at the rollers at the back of the guides and they were too far back, so I brought them out so they were about 1-2 mm from the back of the blade. Re-tensioned to the 25 ft lbs and it is sawing pretty well perfect. 
Make sure the guides are not pushing on the blade but so close they almost rub.
Im using the Lenox blades that I bough from woodland as well, sawing spruce and pine.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: thecfarm on August 13, 2019, 12:08:57 PM
I am no expert,but I tried and tried is the word,to cut spruce with 10 blades. Never again. I only saw for me,don't have a lot of spruce,so makes no sense in me getting different blades to saw something I don't have much of.  ;D I can cut pine and hemlock fine,knots and all.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: ladylake on August 13, 2019, 12:28:02 PM
I took 4 blades to the fella who sharpens my blades in hopes he could grind a 7deg hook angle on them and when i told him about the advice i received on here about running 7 deg blades for spruce he just looked at me funny and said he has 130 small mill customers that he sharpens for and everybody uses 10deg blades with no issue except for a few that cut cedar exclusively.  He is blaming my tension or engine speed. He seems to think 7deg blades are bunk marketing wank...so I dont know what to think about blades now....

I did figure out that I need to change my drive belt since i cant properly set the tracking...wonder if this is causing me my waviness grief.  If changing the belt doesnt resolve the issue guess i will move to replacing bearings.
  Your sharpener guy needs to get educated, a 4 blade cuts spruce WAY straighter than a 10 blade.  Steve
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on August 13, 2019, 09:05:08 PM
I took 4 blades to the fella who sharpens my blades in hopes he could grind a 7deg hook angle on them and when i told him about the advice i received on here about running 7 deg blades for spruce he just looked at me funny and said he has 130 small mill customers that he sharpens for and everybody uses 10deg blades with no issue except for a few that cut cedar exclusively.  He is blaming my tension or engine speed. He seems to think 7deg blades are bunk marketing wank...so I dont know what to think about blades now....

I did figure out that I need to change my drive belt since i cant properly set the tracking...wonder if this is causing me my waviness grief.  If changing the belt doesnt resolve the issue guess i will move to replacing bearings.
  Your sharpener guy needs to get educated, a 4 blade cuts spruce WAY straighter than a 10 blade.  Steve

I believe you...the funny thing he has 35 years experience sharpening literally every blade imaginable.  Used to work for Irving Lumber sharpening their big industrial sawmill blades...i guess if you never see a customer bringing 7deg blades to have sharpened how would he know.  Anyhow i may just have to get my own sharpening gear and start maintaining my own blades since he didnt seem too keen on changing his equipment to sharpen any 7s for me..

  Any recommendations on grinders and setter? Those suckers seem expensive.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on August 13, 2019, 09:10:48 PM
I have the same mill and had the same issue. First thing I did was check the mill to make sure it was actually level, every bunk and rail, then did a measurement at each bunk from the blade to the bunk on the left and right sides and made sure they were equal.
Then what I think the problem was is the ceramic guides, there was too much play allowing the blade to twist. I dropped tip guide down to just barely touch the blade, then brought the bottom up to just barely touch as well.
Then I looked at the rollers at the back of the guides and they were too far back, so I brought them out so they were about 1-2 mm from the back of the blade. Re-tensioned to the 25 ft lbs and it is sawing pretty well perfect.
Make sure the guides are not pushing on the blade but so close they almost rub.
Im using the Lenox blades that I bough from woodland as well, sawing spruce and pine.

Thanks for the input. I never used to be very fussy with setting the guideblocks and bearings until i started having problems then i started being very picky with the process you describe which helped a bit but not enough to solve the problem....got some new belts today...my follower belt had a fair bit on run out when i rotate the wheel and my drive belt had sunken almost completely down below the edge of the drive wheel so i think I am due for some fresh belts hoping this helps the situation if not looks like i am ordering some blades.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: moodnacreek on August 13, 2019, 09:17:29 PM
Sawing spruce is often a problem for circle saws also. In my case I use wider kerf chrome teeth and sharpen often.  What is seldom said here is that the thicker [and wider in bands] the less trouble but trouble never goes away.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on August 14, 2019, 01:03:09 AM

Hey rayar,

Did you receive your new blades yet and have you had a chance to try them out?

I called the Kasco folks in Montreal and im looking at 400 delivered for a pack of 15 set at 7deg.

I tried cutting a log last night with a sharp 10 deg and the results were still wavy...so frustrating.

Hey rayar,

Did you receive your new blades yet and have you had a chance to try them out?

I called the Kasco folks in Montreal and im looking at 400 delivered for a pack of 15 set at 7deg.

I tried cutting a log last night with a sharp 10 deg and the results were still wavy...so frustrating.

I called them a while after my order was due and somehow my order didn't go through, so re-ordered and still waiting on them.



My blades just came in today (Tuesday), picked them up this evening. Looked at the shipping papers and the label on the box and they got the wrong size. Have to try one on the mill tomorrow. I ordered 12'-7" (173 teeth = 151-3/8") They sent me 12'-8" (174 teeth = 152-1/2") @7/8" pitch. My mills' ideal size is 12'-7". My mills' tensioner works on a hinge (Cooks style), not a slide and the 12'-8" is near its' limit.

These Kasco Woodmax blades look great. Will have to call Kasco and find out what's going on.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: mitchstockdale on August 14, 2019, 07:35:33 AM


My blades just came in today (Tuesday), picked them up this evening. Looked at the shipping papers and the label on the box and they got the wrong size. Have to try one on the mill tomorrow. I ordered 12'-7" (173 teeth = 151-3/8") They sent me 12'-8" (174 teeth = 152-1/2") @7/8" pitch. My mills' ideal size is 12'-7". My mills' tensioner works on a hinge (Cooks style), not a slide and the 12'-8" is near its' limit.

These Kasco Woodmax blades look great. Will have to call Kasco and find out what's going on.
oh man thats sucks hopefully they will work for you.  I hope they come good for it and will pay to send them back if they dont work.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on August 14, 2019, 01:07:51 PM
Tried one on for fit, it will work, but should add a shim, at least 3/8" thickness for a better set-up. I have a Cooks hinged tension set-up and it's on its' up swing creating more deflection at the blade guide. It's very noticeable.

This will be a few hours work in changing things over and setting things back up.

174 teeth is an ideal size as it keeps its' groups of three teeth instead of missing one at the splice.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: Crusarius on August 14, 2019, 01:35:44 PM
Can you just add the shim to the hinge? Then it should still work for the other blades you already had.
Title: Re: HM126 band blade set and maybe switch to circle mill
Post by: RAYAR on August 14, 2019, 02:17:52 PM
Can you just add the shim to the hinge? Then it should still work for the other blades you already had.

I was thinking of adding it to the driven wheel, but looking it over again, will probably add to the hinge side, I can use two pieces of flat bar instead.