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Author Topic: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:  (Read 1151 times)

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Online Bandmill Bandit

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I've been thinking about this topic for a few days and after a bit of research on the forum I decided this could be a good place to post helpful information that our experiences with sawmilling et el has taught us along our journey.

Everyone has learned and/or developed little things and some significant things over the days, weeks, months & years of the "addiction" that have become ingrained into who we are in that Sawyer/milling mode so much so that we don't even think about it at all any more.

All of what we as members of the forum group have experienced and learned can help the new members short cut and hopefully avoid pitfalls and errors that will save both time and money on the addictive journey to one of the worlds most satisfying, gratifying and profitable(???) occupations.

Questions, answers and helpful descriptions/pictures etc. of what works for you/us to keep these little and not so little things from wasting time and and causing frustration for others members both new and old.  

How to ?s, what for ?s, what if ?s, why not?s etc. etc.

Ill start by asking a question that came up yesterday as doing my annual one over through maintenance process in the shop.

I found that the spring on the carriage head lift chain on my mill was a little stack of broken coils. After disassembly I decided that the spring was a bit on the light side so I installed a valve spring from a 5.9 Dodge cylinder head that I had in my tool box.

Since my mill owners/service manuals had an unfortunate baptism by immersion last summer I no longer have the ability to look up procedure and related info for the adjustment of the lift chain.        

The questions I have are these;
1. Why is the spring required in this location?
2. What is the spec for acceptable adjustment for the spring.

Heres a pic of the spring I installed; little bit at the top is what is left of original spring


Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
2018 F150 FX4, Husqvarna 340, 2 Logright 36 inch cant hooks and a bunch of stuff I built myself

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 03:19:09 PM »
BB,

 I am not sure if this is the kind of thing you are talking about but since I mostly try to saw mobile when I go to set up, since more often than not I am on unlevel ground (This is WV after all), I take along 3-4 2'-4' 1X6 boards as levelers. When I get the mill almost in position I stack a couple to several of the boards directly in front of the low side mill tire then drive up on to the stack of boards which immediately raises that side and if I guessed correctly on the number of boards needed, leveling the mill in the process.

 Another tip we have discussed before but if the log is not centered on the mill loading arms and no MHE is handy or available to move it I roll it up limb or 2X4 just enough so that both ends are off the ground. You want the pivot point to be near the center of balance on the log. Once off the ground any at all a small person can spin a big heavy log till it is pointed so it is centered on the loading arms then roll it on to the arms with your LogRite/cant hook.

 Another way to accomplish the same thing, that I think the MM described, is to chock one end of the log with a second cant hook or a rock or cut off log cookie to hold that end in place. Rotate the log with a cant hook toward the chocked end. The chocked end stays still and the other end moves closer in the direction you want to move it. When pointed to the position you want the log, remove the chock and roll it up on the loading arms.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 03:28:21 PM »
YUP! 

You nailed it WV. I didnt even think of those and I do them all the time on both counts.
 
I keep a 2" chunk of 3" to 4" fence post at the mill or on the truck for log move trick. Also keep a come-along and short chain close for bigar logs.  
Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
2018 F150 FX4, Husqvarna 340, 2 Logright 36 inch cant hooks and a bunch of stuff I built myself

Offline Magicman

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 03:42:53 PM »
 

 
This chock sees regular service and never for chocking a wheel. 
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2021, 03:56:52 PM »
A 6 digging bar is a very handy tool to carry in the truck on portable jobs.  It works well for holding the end of a log for pivoting This method takes two people one to hold the log with the digging bar stuck in the ground and one to roll the log with a peavy of cant hook.  The log slides/rolls easily against the bar and its stout enough to lift the end of logs. 

A digging bar is also helpful for lifting the end of a log that gets between the bunks on the mill bed. Using a rolling toe board on the opposite end of a log, the digging bar can lift and move the log onto the bunk. 

It also is a very useful tool for lifting a slab or board so you can back out of a cut when you get stuck.

If leveling the mill requires digging out under an outrigger foot, the digging bar chisel blade works wonders in hard ground or on packed gravel. 

Some say a peavy will do all that but I find the hook gets in the way. Plus I have more than one digging bar. A digging bar from the box store is less than $50 last time I checked. A peavy is nearly three times that. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 04:11:35 PM »
  Yep, I keep one with me on every job plus sometime I actually use it as a digging bar in case one of the landing gear happens to land just a fudge higher than the bed height.

  I have had helpers and tried to describe the process of chocking the log with the second cant hook and one would grab the log with the hook instead of the back side and try to hold it while his partner tried to rotate the log which, of course he could not do. They'd look like 2 monkeys with a football.

  Don't forget the Magic Hook if you are using a hydraulic mill.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2021, 04:36:04 PM »
Yep theres no differential in the middle of a log!  😂 
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Online Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2021, 04:41:18 PM »

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
This chock sees regular service and never for chocking a wheel.
I Like this one!  Like MM just did, include tools you have made/adapted that can't be bought to make life around the mill easier.
Skilled Master Sawyer. "Skilled labour don't come cheap. Cheap labour dont come skilled!
2018 F150 FX4, Husqvarna 340, 2 Logright 36 inch cant hooks and a bunch of stuff I built myself

Online terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2021, 05:02:26 PM »
I see a Buyers chock looks like that on Amazon, it is 8 x8 x 15.  Is that about the size of yours?
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Online RAYAR

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2021, 07:19:50 PM »
Log positioning:

On a manual mill, I have a manual winch that I also use to position the log fore or aft when needed. I wrap the cable around the log three times and have a length to hold the cable taught as I crank the winch to cork screw the log against the back stops in the direction needed. Knots won't be a problem catching on a bunk as it will eventually clear as it rotates.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 08:32:20 AM »
I see a Buyers chock looks like that on Amazon, it is 8 x8 x 15. Is that about the size of yours?
Mine is a "Single Fire Truck" wheel chock.  It is ~6"W X 7"H X 12"L  It's the smooth one with the hole in the back listed at the bottom of the attached:  LINK

Google found others:  LINK   LINK

I am quite sure that there are other sources.
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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 09:14:41 AM »
   Another handy item I take with me is an old bumper jack. I guess a small to medium farm jack would work just as well. I sometimes use it to lift one side or one end of the mill when the board trick does not work well. I find the jack is much easier to use than the built in leveling jack, especially those 2 hard to reach ones in the center on the back (opposite loading arms) side. You may sometimes have a need to lift a log or stack of lumber or such.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2021, 02:53:15 PM »
One of my regular portable jobs customers attached a 1 dowel 36 long to a 12 sheetrock knife with zip ties to make a long handled sawdust scraper.  
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2021, 03:07:12 PM »
   I take the 12" drywall knife with me everywhere and even picked up one that is 16"-18" but I never tried adding the handle. Usually, since I have a walk along instead of one of those fancy riding seats on my mill, as I walk along the cant sawing my next board I scrape the sawdust off the last cut.

    One of the absolute handiest items to have with the mill is a leaf blower. They should come as a standard accessory with every mill IMHO. Use them to blow the sawdust out of every nook and cranny you can't reach with any brush and I generally blow the sawdust out from between stickered stacks of lumber.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online RAYAR

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2021, 08:25:59 PM »
One of the absolute handiest items to have with the mill is a leaf blower. They should come as a standard accessory with every mill IMHO. Use them to blow the sawdust out of every nook and cranny you can't reach with any brush and I generally blow the sawdust out from between stickered stacks of lumber.
I agree, takes about 1/10 the time and does a much better job. I have two, an old Echo and McCulloch, same fuel as the power saw.
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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2021, 10:06:24 AM »
   A tip I picked up over in the sawmill mods thread was adding/mounting a couple of small RV levels on my mill. Since I prefer to saw mobile that is a very quick, inexpensive and easy way to determine if the mill is or is almost level on the new site.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2021, 02:35:52 PM »
.......Don't forget the Magic Hook if you are using a hydraulic mill.
ok, i'll bite, what is a "Magic Hook"
i use some 1x scrap to make a t-square to center the center of the log.
place it across the mill on the big end, and place a spring clamp to mark the center.
then move the t-square to the small and raise the end till the center lines up with the clamp. then back to the big end and repeat
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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2021, 03:16:32 PM »
 

 


 


 


 


 


 
Magic Hooks are very useful for handling and adjusting logs.


 
I made mine from broken logging tongs, but the hooks from discarded cant hooks/peaveys can also be used as well as buying new ones from: LOGRITE
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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2021, 05:08:15 PM »
 

 The MagicMan is the first one I ever knew of to use one so I made mine off of an old cant hook head I bought at a flea market and attached it to a 3' length of 1/4" chain with a hook on the other end of the chain. I keep a couple of 6' long 1/4" chains and when i get a big log or one with so much flare or a knot that it won't roll (I know - YH says if it won't roll it ain't a log yet) I hammer in my Magic Hook and attach as much chain as required and hook the other end over my movable hydraulic clamp then I can move the log about 2' at a time, reattach and repeat as needed. Often just moving the log a foot or so shifts the balance to roll on the loading arms. You can also use it to hold the log on the during lifting till it shifts the weight into the cradle of the loading arms.

  Mine is in the picture just below my bumper jack along with the other tools I take on a typical load-out for a mobile job.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Mill Setup & Maintenance; Tricks, Tips, Proceedures & Methods:
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 01:11:36 PM »
I recently figured out the magic hook idea on my own, but this thread has shown a lot more uses for it.  Thanks!

As a manual mill owner with very little equipment, I find this little beast to be invaluable.



 

It helps me load logs onto my trailer either by straight pulling or using the log arch, and also by recovering my truck from the mud (2 weeks ago).
It takes time to set up, but as poor-man's muscles, I'll take it!
Josh
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