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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: stormyweatherman on April 27, 2010, 05:15:59 PM

Title: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 27, 2010, 05:15:59 PM
mud, blood, crud... bud? too wet to work today.  stayed home and made some more boards.  had a bit of a mishap this afternoon but only a scratch.  using a felling lever to move some oak logs and it slipped.  ouch.


(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20589/2828/004.JPG)

sawed up my slabs from sunday.  got my logs set up first and fired up the mill.  two red oaks and i got some pretty nice boards.  its nice how you turn your log and get that cant ready.  then you're on easy street for a few minutes as the mill turns out 6 or 8 nice boards.  and on the last cut you get two for one....  unless that log clamp is just a little too high.  so that's what it sound like to hit metal.  i just barely clipped it.  crap. :'(  i can't believe i did that already. 

starting to rain harder now and a cold wind.  i was gonna duck into the shed and wait for the rain but i think i did enough damage for today.  quit while i'm behind.  i must be a little crazy to be doing this?  then i notice that my window is down in my truck.  starting to feel like an episode of charlie brown. 

i head inside after doing a fast cleanup.  feeling a little incompetent and depressed.  i'm chilly now.  i skip the bud, put on the tea kettle and the propane heater.  i sit down with the dog.  she's ok with the mill.  never said a word about it.  things are a little strained with the wife right now.  i spill tea on my shoe.  tomorrow i'll put on a new blade and finish up the logs i set up.  i really like sawing but i'm not sure it likes me back.  then i think of the boards sitting out on my carefully leveled woodmizer pallet. 

if i can just do this a few hundred more times, it'll get easier.  some of the boards will dry straight.  i'll make furniture with my own lumber.  make a few extra bucks on my carpentry jobs using my own lumber.  do some fencing for the house.  i'm already getting stiff.  i need a log arch, a tractor, a winch and a trailer.  what was i thinking! ::)  roll em easy guys.  even the little ones bite back.  and they shrink between the pile and the mill!


(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20589/2828/005%7E1.JPG)
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: Chuck White on April 27, 2010, 05:26:36 PM
Hang in there  stormyweatherman it will get better.

Even with more experience, something will still bite you.  All you can do is just be very aware of what you're doing.

Milling can be very relaxing (even though you're working), but don't get too relaxed.

Keep your guard up.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 27, 2010, 08:11:41 PM
thanks chuck.  i'm over it.  8) always bumps in the road.  i do try to use an abundance of care.  i'm ripped at myself about the blade but any day i get home with fingers and toes intact i'm not going to complain for too long.  best regards.   
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: PC-Urban-Sawyer on April 27, 2010, 08:53:09 PM
... any day i get home with fingers and toes intact i'm not going to complain for too long.

Stormy, take my word for it, the day you come home with a finger that's not intact can ruin a whole bunch of days, a lot worse than being stuck in the rain.

Be careful, it don't take but a second to make a mistake that you'll carry the rest of your life...

<sermon off>

Herb
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: bandmiller2 on April 27, 2010, 09:00:57 PM
Stormy,hitting parts of the mill is a rite of passage for a new sawyer,One good thing is with a bandsaw your expense is just the band not thousands of dollars worth of headsaw.Don't be too hard on yourself it will come.Do what you can to reduce lifting have everything at a comfortable hight and walk before you run.Frank C.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: ljmathias on April 28, 2010, 07:37:46 AM
Guess I must still be going through my rite of passage- tried to shave the top off the back roller dog last week.  It stands just a hair taller than the front one, and I thought I'd judged the front one alright; cleared it fine and wasn't looking at the dog when I got to the last one- you're right about the noise though, not a pleasant sound.  At this rate, couple more slices and the two dogs will be the same height...  :)

Just an observation on your stack of lumber: excellent start, but if you saw very much, you're going to outgrow it real fast.  Also, having it sitting on untreated wood on the ground means termites (and down here, that means days to weeks before they're in the wood).  I use cement blocks for a base- gets me high enough off the ground so I don't have to worry as much about bugs, then lay down rows of pressure treated landscape timbers on the blocks.  I don't use a block under each sticker stack- the timbers are stiff enough it doesn't seem to be a problem.  Once you have a solid, level base, you can stack pretty high- 5 or 6' is not too bad and many go higher but with care climbing up or laying boards above your head can be dangerous.

Main point is this: you're spending a lot of (fun) time cutting logs into boards, so don't let the boards go to waste.  I did with some of my first wood and still regret it... :'(

Anyway- a great start, and keep at it!

Lj
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: Magicman on April 28, 2010, 07:44:03 AM
I accidentally let a coiled band vibrate off of the mill Monday.  I thought I caught it.....but it caught me.  5 across the chest, and 7 on my arm.....nope, you didn't want pictures.... >:(
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: ljmathias on April 28, 2010, 07:49:49 AM
Ouch, Magic- must have been fresh sharpened.  One reason I don't coil at all: I've got the space to hang them uncoiled so why take the chance with a spring loaded bear trap just waiting to bite you?

And why don't we want the pictures?  We like pictures here- good lessons for all, and a little blood and gore goes with the job, no?  Sounds like it might hamper the sawing a little though... :'(

Lj
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: Magicman on April 28, 2010, 08:27:23 AM
Well, we have ladies on this forum, and I'm not posting nekked pictures......especially bloody nekked pictures.... smiley_thumbsdown   :o    :D
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 28, 2010, 09:09:04 AM
thanks for the tips on stacking lj.  i'm actually going to need to move that whole pile inside within the week.  i just figured i better not stack it up without air space in case i didn't get to it right away.  getting ahead of myself a bit.  i was reading about stickers elsewhere on the forum and i read that several people used plywood.  i have some scrap 3/4 cdx that i could rip into strips.  i guess i'm going to go for it.  i was thinking about maybe using that little addition on my shed as a solar kiln.  you can see it a bit in the picture.  its got that clear corrugated stuff for walls, a pt floor frame and plywood floor, and it faces south east.  i'm thinking that its going to get pretty warm in the summer.  its only 8 x 8 feet right now but the shed is 20 and i can make it bigger.  it should be easy to vent and then i'll need a couple of fans.

sorry about your accident magicman.  sounds like your '2 weeks off' is well-timed.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: Radar67 on April 28, 2010, 05:49:18 PM
I learned to build stacks on here.

This is the first step,
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12911/519/20091031_Saw_003.jpg)

And here is the last....
(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12911/519/20091031_Saw_006.jpg)

Spend the extra time stacking it right and you will be able to save yourself some time down the road.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 28, 2010, 06:17:03 PM
that is a thing of beauty radar.  ;D  i know my stack is not kosher but i just finished sawing the last logs that i have here today.  today i had a much better day in spite of the weather.  got about 20 nice 1x10x6' red oak boards out of 2 short butt logs.  tomorrow i'll clean up and then i have to try and take the show up to my buddy's place in the berkshires.  he has lots of spruce and we both need framing lumber for buildings.  i'm going to rip up the 3/4 ply that i have into stickers and stack my first little pile in the greenhouse part of the shed for now.  it will have good air circulation and 4 to 6 hours of solar heat.  not exactly scientific but i'm hoping it will be gentle enough to dry the wood a litte sooner than outside.  i'll just have to keep an eye on it. 

one thing i've noticed is that if you cut short boards they are a problem for stacking.  i see that you have shorter boards all nicely organized at the top of your stack.  i'm thinking that i should have a separate pile for 6 and under boards because i can zip them out on the lt 10 and make lots of stuff with them but they screw up the pile of longer stuff when there's nowhere else to put them.  just trying to learn as i go.  thanks for the input guy.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: Ernie on April 28, 2010, 06:52:12 PM
I would definitely stack each length and thickness in it's own separate stack. I usually need the ones at the bottom of a tall stack first and it's a real pain getting at them.  The other option would be to stack with big enough spaces between each different length/thickness to use the tractor forks to shift them.  don't ask how I know this :(  It's also a lot easier to cover the stacks if they are all the same length.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: bandmiller2 on April 29, 2010, 06:06:04 AM
Stormy,what are you planning to do to keep your bands sharp,send them out or do your own.??Frank C.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 29, 2010, 07:36:19 AM
planned to send them out.  why?  do you sharpen blades?
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: bandmiller2 on April 29, 2010, 09:12:22 PM
Stormy,yes I sharpen usally just my own,if someone is in a bind I'll sharpen their bands.I have used resharp and they do a good job.I really don't know the cutoff point where it pays a miller to invest in sharpening equip.Probibly a weekend sawyer would be better off with resharp.There are ways to touch up the teeth and extend cutting times between sharpenings. Frank c.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on April 30, 2010, 06:18:08 PM
frank,

thanks for input.  i was thinking i would do the resharp program.  i don't expect to be cutting more than 5 or 6 mbf over the summer.  fortunately, i'm pretty busy with other work for a while.  if i can avoid the clamp and stops, i should be able to run with 10 or so blades for now.  i just came back from peru, mass. today.  i started cutting spruce for framing lumber up there.  the property has a good number of trees that were broken off in a bad ice storm two years ago.  owner is happy to be getting lumber rather than letting them rot.  i will be figuring out how to move the mill this week.  should be interesting.  hopefully in a good way.  cheers.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: bandmiller2 on May 01, 2010, 07:03:26 AM
Air movement is the whole ball of wax when it comes to drying boards.When I use the outdoor wharehouse to stack lumber I save less than perfect boards to overlap like clapboards on the top of the pile, higher in the middle.A good space under the pile is important cement blocks smooth and leveled maked a durable base.Frank C.
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: shinnlinger on May 01, 2010, 07:54:00 AM
Stormy,

THis is a good thread, thanks for starting it and admitting your not perfect YET.  I think too many guys buy mills thinking it will make getting lumber like a trip to home depot and get discouraged and loose interest when they find out it ain't so easy, but they don't pipe up about it and others sometimes make the same mistakes.  I bought mine cheap off a guy who thought it was the answer to his lumber needs, but he wasn't up for it and sold it to me after using only 3 bands in 3 years.  The first full week I used mine I felt the same way, that I was NOT cut out for it either, but hang in there. 

Take your time, read as many posts in this forum as you can ( your lucky, I didn't stumble on to here until AFTER I had sawn most of my house), use the peavy to move even little logs and think about where you can make improvements in efficiency, and it will get MUCH easier.

It can be hard work, but it is very rewarding to use your boards in building projects.

Dave

PS  There are two types of sawyers...  Those who have have sawn steel and those that are going to saw steel, and invariably, you hit the steel after just changing out a new band.  It's just the way it is....
Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: stormyweatherman on May 01, 2010, 09:03:17 AM
thanks shinnlinger,

you are right about this forum.  it helps immensely.  and to be able to search back through the threads makes it an awesome research platform. :P  its very seldom that i can't find information about something i'm interested in or need to learn more about.  as i was deliberating on whether to invest in a mill, what to get, support equipment, etc.  i benefited from reading experiences of others.  i know that experience doesn't come easy, but i think that, for me, the mill was a good decision.  i didn't expect to start making money right away doing this.  that will take some time.  that's one of the reasons i bought one of the least expensive mills on the market.  but the experience of investing in myself has been a good one so far.  its a lot more interesting than watching stock numbers go up and down on my computer screen every day.  i also know people that have spent more on exercise equipment that sits in the basement collecting dust.  one thing i've already learned--manual mills are great exercise AND they make nice lumber!
this morning, i'm going out to cut slabs and build a couple of log benches with my wife's grandsons.  teaching kids how to do stuff like that is an investment that can't be measured in dollars.  have a great weekend ;D











Title: Re: new guy--observations on small-time sawing and getting older
Post by: ljmathias on May 01, 2010, 10:40:30 AM
Right on!  Teaching kids and grandkids stuff is what it's all about.   ;D  Did that some yesterday with my oldest grandson- he's in the trying pre-teen and pre-pubescent years: he'll try to get away with anything as long as it doesn't involve work.

Enjoy the saw and the lumber it makes: second best thing is using your own lumber to make stuff (hopefully stuff you need) and if you combine that with teaching grandkids, why it don't get any better.  :)

Lj