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Author Topic: Sawing in cold freezing weather  (Read 2265 times)

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Offline adirondacker

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Sawing in cold freezing weather
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:46:23 AM »
This is a question for all of you in cold climates. Those of you who saw lumber with portable band saw mills.....how do you handle the water lube system in cold weather? And I'm talking minus 32F. I assume an antifreeze mix would be harmful to blades and everything else including band wheels. One 'ole boy here claims they don't use any water at all???
Would like to hear feedback on that. Thanks

Offline Magicman

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2019, 07:55:01 AM »
Not cold climate here but I do still saw when the temps drop below freezing.  Windshield washer fluid is the accepted/recommended antifreeze and of course the fluid's rated temperature would determine your mixing formula.  I can only get 0 here so I have to add 2-3 gallons to the tank to keep it from freezing down to our "normal" lowest temps of ~20.  If you normally see temps below 0, then I would use 100% WW fluid. 

RV fluid is also used but it is normally higher priced.
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Offline millwright

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 07:57:50 AM »
I saw as long as it is above zero, winter time I stay stationary . For blade lube I usually use windshield washer fluid, but use it very sparingly as it tends to freeze my dust blower at times. Saw works good when cold  once the hydraulics warm up aliitle. 

Online Southside

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 09:11:27 AM »
There is no profit potential to sawing in -32 weather. Band lube will be the least of your worries, broken hydraulics, frozen bearings, cracks in steel will keep you busy enough. When it got that cold we would leave equipment running 24/7 all weekend long with a hydraulic function such as a rotary bucket turning the entire time just to be able to get back to work when temps got back to zero. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 09:37:32 AM »
With temps below freezing or 0, you may not saw in it, but you need to take the steps to prevent freezing. I always purge the system with straight WW fluid to protect the pump, etc.
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Offline blderman

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 10:45:18 AM »
I briefly did some sawing in negative temps last year.  The biggest issue I had is the washer fluid would stain the wood I was cutting.  I ended up have to cut everything an inch bigger than what was needed and then mill it down in my woodshop to get rid of the stains.  It was a royal pain and I wouldn't want to do it again.  If I HAD to saw in negative temps I would figure out a way to get some kind enclosure and heat with a fresh air source. 


Offline mart

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 11:03:53 AM »
I regularly saw in below freezing weather. I'll admit if it gets below zero I stay inside and do woodworking or reloading or house projects. I don't have to make a living at the sawmill so I have the flexibility to stay inside when it's that cold. I will say I like sawing in the winter and don't mind it down to 0-10 above.

I've use a lot of WW fluid and have never seen the staining to which you refer. I mix mine. I'll start with a 1 to 4 mix and if that starts to slush up, change to a 2 to 3 mix or even 50/50. At zero or above that always seems to keep flowing. Of course up here the WW fluid is all the -20 stuff.
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Offline boonesyard

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 12:40:44 PM »
I've been using RV antifreeze mixed to keep it from slushing. Buy it for less than $1.90/gal by the case, works well. As soon as it gets below 0, I too shut it down and move in to the shop (got to get that sawmill shed built next year). 
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 12:48:04 PM »
I just stoped milling today because of rain.
I'm running straight -20 windshield washer fluid and mill dry as a bone ash today with no staining. 
I will mill in the winter but not below zero .
I will pick the days
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Online WV Sawmiller

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 12:52:07 PM »
   I saw very little when it is below freezing. I sometimes add some windshield washer fluid to my lube. Lots of wood I saw, such as tulip poplar, do not need lube anyway. I remove the tank at the end of sawing session and put it in my well house where it cannot freeze and I blow out the line so it can't ice up. I make sure to lift the hydraulic arms up to the travel position so the arms don't freeze to the ground and damage any hoses.
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Offline RAYAR

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2019, 12:56:27 PM »
For the most part, you likely won't need lube in the sub freezing temps.
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Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2019, 02:59:02 PM »
I will saw down to about -10C or 15F. 
I buy pure methonal and mix my lube to the temp I need. When done I purge with air and add enough pure methanol to the lines/pump/valves to ensure no freezing issues arise. 
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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2019, 04:37:51 PM »
We are forecast to see a possible 25 edit: 19 next week....


 
So I purged the Lube-Mizer with pure 0 WW fluid today.

I also cleaned the ashes from the fireplace insert and loaded it with wood.  fire_smiley
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Offline blderman

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2019, 09:15:11 PM »
I regularly saw in below freezing weather. I'll admit if it gets below zero I stay inside and do woodworking or reloading or house projects. I don't have to make a living at the sawmill so I have the flexibility to stay inside when it's that cold. I will say I like sawing in the winter and don't mind it down to 0-10 above.

I've use a lot of WW fluid and have never seen the staining to which you refer. I mix mine. I'll start with a 1 to 4 mix and if that starts to slush up, change to a 2 to 3 mix or even 50/50. At zero or above that always seems to keep flowing. Of course up here the WW fluid is all the -20 stuff.
What kind of WW fluid do you use.  I live in a small town in NE Oregon and the only off the shelf is blue and it definitely stains the wood.  I had to re-cut a Juniper mantle last winter as there was blue splotches all over it and wouldn't come off. 

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2019, 10:19:27 PM »
I run diesel when it is freezing no problems.  Just added a separate tank and drip line. And yes Robert Duvall (Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore)  I Love the smell of Diesel in the morning!
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Offline esteadle

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2019, 08:31:16 PM »
I have a drip system on the Timber Harvester, which uses the main 3x6" tubular steel cross member as the drip tank. This member is directly in front of the engine cooler air path, and so gets heated up to engine air temperature. That warmth, and a little bit of soap in the drip water would keep the lube dripping until it hit about 0 outside air temp. 

But the truth is that you don't need it. Just saw dry when it's below freezing. 
Lube is there to save fuel, and it's not a big enough savings in $ cost to worry about mixing this and that and etc.

Southside has it right -- you'll be worrying about a whole lot of other things besides lube when its cold out. Everything shrinks in the cold, and expands when it warms up. Cold things are brittle, and break. Rubber, plastic, wet sawdust.... anything pliable at 70 will turn into so much concrete at -10. Lube will be the least of your worries.

btw.... Antifreeze is not harmful to metal to your saw blades nor any ordinary materials that sawmills are made of. Antifreeze contains anti-corrosive elements. It is meant to be in contact with metal engine parts, and also rubber hoses. it's totally compatible with your sawmill and you could certainly run it as lubricant mixed with water. it breaks down in the environment fairly readily, and in dilute quantities hasn't harmed any lumber I've ever cut when using it. 

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Offline DbltreeBelgians

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2019, 10:43:51 AM »
Nah, aint happening. And I even use diesel and used hydraulic oil for lube. Calling for a low of 7 tonight. Got the Heatmor cranking out the BTUs
Jake out running  smiley_horserider  in the pasture and dont seem to mind though




Offline DWyatt

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2019, 11:01:26 AM »
Nah, aint happening. And I even use diesel and used hydraulic oil for lube. Calling for a low of 7 tonight. Got the Heatmor cranking out the BTUs
Jake out running  smiley_horserider  in the pasture and dont seem to mind though


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4" of snow in Ohio in the first part of November is a crime. I'm getting too used to 50 degrees and rain at Christmas that we seem to have.

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2019, 11:10:17 AM »
I remember doing trick or treat (as a kid) in Ohio with snow on the ground. Up hill both ways.😆

Offline mart

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Re: Sawing in cold freezing weather
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2019, 01:24:17 PM »
I remember doing trick or treat (as a kid) in Ohio with snow on the ground. Up hill both ways.😆


 
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