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Author Topic: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find  (Read 681 times)

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Offline Charbuckles

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Hello Community, 
    First and foremost, thank you for the add.  I have been reading the forum for some time now but have never needed to comment so did not join until yesterday.  I look forward to my time here and learning all that I can from all you more experienced operators.  With that being said, let me give a bit of background and info on what my hope/ plan/ goals are with this build.  I am hoping to build a bandsaw mill primarily for cutting slabs but that can also cut Lumber or three- face logs for cabins.  Basically a good all-around Mill that can handle just about any size log I throw at it (within reason). I live in interior Alaska so our most common species of tree that I would be milling are  Birch and Spruce.  Because of the permafrost and harsh climate the diameter of these trees rarely exceeds 36 in. However in southern Alaska trees get much larger and I'd like my mill to be able to handle some bigger stuff as well.  I have watched lots of different videos people have made about mills they have built and the one that Matt Cremona built is what I think I would like to work towards. His videos are super informative, finished project is awesome, and I'm comfortable doing most everything in those videos (welding, wiring, fabricating, etc) If you're not familiar with his build I will attach a picture of his finished  project  just to give you an idea of what I'm trying to create.  I don't currently have any plans drawn up myself nor have I purchased any and I'm not an engineer so this should be interesting.
     Anyways sorry for the long winded post but my first questions are about recycling a contraption I found. At the junkyard I scored this contraption which I believe will eliminate a lot of work and be a great starting point for the carriage system of my mill. Honestly, I have no idea what it was used for in its previous life but it seems to take care of a lot of things for me and would save me the headache of having to figure them out for myself.  If anyone knows what it was used for, I would love to know. So basically I'm just wondering what your guys's thoughts are on using this thing, possible problems you see, suggestions on how to set it up, etcetera. I've attached lots of pictures from different angles to give you an idea of what the features are.  If you cant see something clearly let me know and I'll upload more pics. My plan I think is to mount a gas motor of some sort on the whole center shelf thing that raises up and down on the vertical threaded rods. Use the part that moves side to side with the horizontal threaded rod for my blade guide. And mount my two bandsaw Wheels on the holes that are already there on the front. I would lose the wheels on the bottom, cut out the bottom support bar. Add some angled support brackets (forward? Rear facing? Both?) and re-work the whole base into two legs with a system so that it can slide up and down the track and actually make the cut down the log.  Oh, and the whole thing is made from aluminum, not steel.  Again, my bad for the long post and thanks ahead of time to anyone who reads the whole post and double thanks to those that read and offer suggestions. <junkyard contraptionultimate goal is something similar to thisthis basic plans off youtube<side shot<view of vertical threaded rods for raising and lowering blade height  front view.  Holes for mounting bandsaw wheels
 


Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 12:39:57 PM »
Greetings from Nova Scotia, I have no idea what that thing is/was but if it works for you why not!

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 10:12:38 PM »
We are due for a good mill build, good luck, don't forget photos xD.

No idea what the contraption is either, something for lifting/placing something during installation or manufacturing =/. I'm sure it could be adapted to work, is it well built in terms of tolerances and rigidity? If it grabs or wobbles etc it will drive you nuts as a mill head.

Look forward to seeing what you do with it...

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2020, 01:47:30 AM »
Interesting find.  Something military?  Look at any threads or bolts.  If they are non-standard, it must be military! ;)  Are the rollers adjustable on the "lift" portion?  I would be worried about wear of the aluminum over time.  Looks like some of it is missing.  On the "cross slide", it looks like a plate or something should be sliding between those 8 rollers.  Both sides of my blade guides are adjustable but I never move the drive side (pulling side) guide so your find should work great for the idle side guide.

While the pre-made holes are in the right spot for band wheels, you still need to be able to adjust the angle on them to get the blade to track correctly.  The blade guides are merely to provide support during the cut, not to hold the blade in place in lieu of good tracking.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Satamax

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2020, 05:39:48 AM »
Interesting find.  Something military?  Look at any threads or bolts.  If they are non-standard, it must be military! ;)  Are the rollers adjustable on the "lift" portion?  I would be worried about wear of the aluminum over time.  Looks like some of it is missing.  On the "cross slide", it looks like a plate or something should be sliding between those 8 rollers.  Both sides of my blade guides are adjustable but I never move the drive side (pulling side) guide so your find should work great for the idle side guide.

While the pre-made holes are in the right spot for band wheels, you still need to be able to adjust the angle on them to get the blade to track correctly.  The blade guides are merely to provide support during the cut, not to hold the blade in place in lieu of good tracking.
Charbuckles, may be ask alaska energy services, if they know what this is. 
Ljohnsaw, the rollers could be repurposed as track rollers may be?  I ,like you, see the cross slide as blade roller support. But putting it underneath.  Mind you the screw type might be  a bit slow. Cutting the bottom tube and welding it at the top might not be easy. I would not use the holes for the wheels. But rather to fit a sliding square tube in front, to hold the wheels. And put the motor behind on the two aluminium existing square tubes. Sumthing like this. 
French CD4 sawmill. Latil TL 73. Self moving hydraulic crane. Iveco daily 4x4 lwb dead as of 06/2020. Replaced by a Brimont TL80 CSA.

Offline charles mann

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 02:00:33 PM »
I too am building a mill based off of cremonas plans. I would have been done nearly a yr ago if i would have built exactly to his plans. But i want to be mobile, so i opted for a diesel engine. 
That mill size is an undertaking, esp with the sawhead and having to custom most things to accommodate the heavy diesel. 
Temple, Tx
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Building my own custom bandsaw mill - Recycling a junkyard find
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 11:50:00 AM »
Welcome. I agree, its time for a new build thread :)

Decent start with what you have. I would put pillowblock bearings on the bottom side of that main rail and not try to use the holes.

Before you get to far into it your going to want to figure out what you actually want for cut width and blade lengths. I recommend highly you get a standard length so you do not need to special order  blades.

19" wheels would be a minimum in my book.

Biggest horsepower to drive it you can afford. 

Definitely do not get to far into putting all the hardware on it before you get an engine and make sure it fits. As I work on modifying my mill from the original build I realize I have no space to do anything. When I built it I thought making everything as tight and close as I did was great. Not so great for future changes I am doing now.


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