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Author Topic: Why not make a circular sawmill?  (Read 35854 times)

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Offline Jesse Frank

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Why not make a circular sawmill?
« on: May 19, 2007, 08:55:12 PM »
Why not make a circular sawmilll? I noticed that darn near everyone that makes a mill makes a babdmill, and I was wondering why that is. it seems like a circular sawmill would be easier to make..

Anything I'm missing here? ???
There are absolutely no absolutes in life, and that's a fact.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 09:39:29 PM »
For one thing,  unless you can pick up a good used blade in good condition and the right size dirt cheap, a new circle saw blade, inserts, teeth, etc. will set you back more than the rest of the mill.

Also,  there are a lot of used circle mills available at prices lower than the cost of the metal to build one.

Also #2,  A circle mill of any size will need a substantial power source.  We’re talking 4 to 10 times the HP required for a band mill.
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Offline PawNature

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2007, 09:45:04 PM »
You can also forget portability as is the case with most band saw mills, 2-3 people are almost a must for circular mills.
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Offline Trent

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 09:45:39 PM »
The pros can correct me if I'm wrong, But I think a band mill can cut more with less energy, has less waste, and less sawdust. Its because of the thin Band mill blade. I don't know how wide a circular sawmilll blade is, but being thicker, it is surely doing more work to cut its path.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2007, 09:54:22 PM »
While there is always some danger with bandmills, circle mills are much more dangerous.


Dave
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Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2007, 10:31:06 PM »
The wood produced on an old circle saw tended to NOT be as accurate. It give another meaning to "Rough Sawn".

There is a reason that a standard 2"x6" is 1.5" x 5.5". After shrinking, and planing, miscuts, that was what was left.

In good tune, they were fast, and made alot of sawdust.

N
I know less than I used to.

Offline brdmkr

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2007, 10:41:31 PM »
We have a few members here who have built their own swing mill.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2007, 10:46:18 PM »
The wood produced on an old circle saw tended to NOT be as accurate. It give another meaning to "Rough Sawn".
........

Nate
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Offline Modat22

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2007, 11:09:14 PM »
I like the thinner kerf, much less waste than a circle mill IMO.
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Offline thurlow

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2007, 11:11:44 PM »
The wood produced on an old circle saw tended to NOT be as accurate. It give another meaning to "Rough Sawn".

HEY, HEY, HEY!!!!   :o  I resemble that.   ;D
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Offline DanG

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2007, 12:45:19 AM »
I ain't even gonna get into this, except to say, GO FOR IT Jesse.  You can do this.  A circular mill isn't any harder to build than a bandsaw.  After all, it is just a disc with teeth on it, equipped with a way to either move the log through the blade or the blade through the log.  You're welcome to come out and study mine, anytime. ;)
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2007, 01:25:38 AM »
You're welcome to come out and study mine, anytime. ;)

Was that your disc or your teeth?   ???   

 :D :D :D
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2007, 06:56:40 AM »
I see there are quite a few people who don't know much about circular mills. 

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline arkansas

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2007, 07:45:28 AM »
Just wanted to add my $.02 into this.  While most of the above statements have some merit to them, Bibby has the one thought that holds the most true in my opinion.  Last new saw we bought ran right around $3000.00.  While that is not alot in some peoples eyes, it is possible to build an entire band mill for less that that by far.  That said, it is entirely possible to build a circle mill, very simple machine, yet also very unforegiveing of misalignments but I suppose all mills are somewhat that way.  Only thing is when a 54" metal disc with teeth on it hits the end of a headblock everyone around is in danger, when a little band blade saws the top off a dog, we stop and put another one one, both get alittle exciting but one is much more dangerous. Now about the labor, it is much harder run a circle mill with 2 or even 3 guys, due to the much higher production rate and the over all layout of this type of mill. The wood produced on an old circle saw tended to NOT be as accurate, while this statement maybe true in some areas of the country, I tend to think, the mill right and the sawyer would be having a long talk about this one.
Now with all that said, this is one opinion, circle mill equals higher cost of start up, higher labor cost but in turn produces higher production, by far.  Band mill lower cost for start up, lower cost for labor, and in turn lower production.
As I said, only my $.02, your mileage may vary.
Michael
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Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2007, 11:17:31 AM »
"Not as accurate".

Whelll, my neighbor has one. An that is what I see.

N
I know less than I used to.

Offline DanG

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2007, 11:36:16 AM »
Gary, Jesse is just a young fellow, so I'm sure my discs and teeth would serve as a good bad example for him.  Might save him some grief down the road. :D :D

Y'all be careful telling Jesse what he can't do.  He might make a monkey outta ya! :D

Got to thinkin' about this blade expense issue.  I got a couple of old buzz saw blades laying around.  Any reason a fellow couldn't silver-solder some teeth like the swingers use onto them?  You could make a circular saw blade pretty cheap, that way.

As far as accuracy is concerned, I have customers who come to me because the lumber from my mill is accurate.  There are a couple of bandmill guys in the area that have almost ruined the portable/small sawmill business because they can't cut a straight board for love nor money.  Now, we all know that bandmills can and do make excellent lumber, but ya gotta do your homework first, then stay right on top of blade maintenance to make that happen.  The accuracy of ANY sawmill depends largely on the skill of the sawyer, mainly the skill of maintaining the saw.  That's the entire saw, not just the blade.  Example: How many of you bandmill guys have wasted hours or days chasing blade problems, just to find that a worn bearing was causing the trouble?

More work?  Not even!  I'll put my old Mobile Dimension saw up against anybody's mill on that count, especially sawing alone.  It all depends on how the lumber is handled after the blade gets through doing its thing.

BTW, I lied in that other post when I said I wasn't getting into this. ;D  Lord, forgive me and bless all them little pigmies in New Guinea.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2007, 12:18:45 PM »
One thing that is missed on the blade issue is that a circle blade lasts a whole lot longer than those small bands.  My blade costs are somewhere in the $1-2/Mbf, and that's considering the high cost of steel and the high cost of the initial investment.  I get about 5-10 Mbf between sharpenings and a set of teeth last me up to 75 Mbf.  I could get more, but production is more of a factor than the small cost of a set of teeth.  Cost to a set of teeth is about $60.  This is for a big blade.

I never had problems with accuracy on any circle mill I run and I've run some old clunkers.  It isn't all the equipment's fault.   ;)  Feed rates, misfiled teeth, dull teeth, and a host of other things can all cause problems, no matter what size blade you use.

I think the inserted teeth would make a better blade than those old buzz saws.  You could get some old head saws and have them cut down and have new inserts put in them.  I know it isn't cheap.  New edger saws are $600 each.  24" with 22 teeth.  Less teeth will make it cheaper.

Kerf savings may be a factor in high quality wood.  Most often the kerf savings is offset by lower production rates.  If you're addressing niche markets, band saws make sense.  If you're addressing low or medium grade markets, circle mills will keep product flowing.

If a guy wants to build a mill with circle saws, I believe there is a lot of room for innovation. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline jim king

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2007, 12:40:19 PM »
OK guys I just cant help it.  Below is a photo of a saw we made out of scrap bloodwood, purpleheart and shihuahuaco.  We made it because not one of the big 10 inch band headrig bandsaws in town could cut our wood without more waves in the board than a wind blown lake plus two boards meant changing the blade for resharpening.

This simple little beast lets us cut over a cubic meter of 1/2 inch boards from chainsaw cut cants  a day or 400 plus bf with two people and they are straight.  And 1 and 1/8 inch boards with two men we can get on a good day cutting wood that makes oak seem like styrafoam up close to 3000 bf.  We use 20" blades.  We made our sharpener out of a $30 Chinese waterpump as we removed the pump and made an adapter for the sharpening disc.


 


 





Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2007, 12:48:10 PM »

 These guys don't really know HARD wood, Jim.  ::) :D :D :D

  Nice looking set up. Down here, everything is steel, and the welds make ya wonder, sometimes. I've watched 2 guys resawing with electric motors, and they nearly stall the motors, shoving wood into the blade so fast. Guessing 7.5 HP, and the wood is usually semi-hard or softer. Speed seems to impress everyone down here  ::) ::) ;D
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Why not make a circular sawmill?
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2007, 01:04:19 PM »
I especially like those rollers.   8)  Not very often you see wooden ones. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.


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