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Author Topic: PTO circle mill  Good or Bad  ?    (Read 14327 times)

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Offline WV_hillbilly

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PTO circle mill  Good or Bad  ?  
« on: January 01, 2004, 04:41:25 PM »
   I was on Sawmill Exchange the other day and saw  some PTO circle mills that would be in my price range.  I want to buy a mill to get started sawing but just can' t get the wife past the sticker shock of some of the band mills.  I have a  Ford 3000 diesel tractor already that I could run it with.  My question is what is the good and bad about these types of mills.   Big production is not a real concern right now . I would like to just get my feet wet and cut some boards for my own use .   :P
Hillbilly

Offline Corley5

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2004, 05:32:05 PM »
What model PTO mill are you looking at?  Most any circular mill can be run with a PTO.  Grandpa used to run the Corley 5 with his W-6 McD ( same as a Farmall M).
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Offline D._Frederick

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2004, 05:37:03 PM »
WV.,
The first thing you should know about a circle mill is that they are dangerous, they will throw things at you at over 80mph. If you hit metal in the logs, you are looking at $100 or more. Your Ford tractor is not quite enough power for good sawing. To saw with a circle mill you should have an off-bearer to speed things up and to reduce the danger of the blade catching things and throwing them.
On the plus side, you can get into a mill for a couple K. and if you have enough power, at least 80hp, you should be able to saw  2- 4mbdft a day.

Offline cluckerplucker

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2004, 05:43:35 PM »
I have a belsaw m14 that I converted to run off the PTO .I hook up to a 245 MF. You need to have the blade hammered for 540 RPM. and use a shaft with a built in  clutch for equipment safety ,so when the blade gets dull and the blade gets pinched in a big oak log. the tracter pto clutch does not fry.   cecil
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Offline WV_hillbilly

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2004, 03:52:02 AM »
  Corley                                                                                              I was looking at the Belsaw or Timberking M-14  . I think they are the same machine  just built at  different times.


D Fredrick  

     I have seen some of these mills operating around here for years . But the oldtimers that ran them have been dieing off so no  one to ask Questions . If I remember right they used tractors smaller than mine to run them .


Clucker  

  Most of the ones I seen for sale were already set up with the PTOshaft so I wouldn't have to modify that part or have the blade hammered   correct ? .  The  clutch thing on the PTO shaft is probably like the one  that came with my brushhog .                
Hillbilly

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2004, 04:11:32 AM »
The only problem I've seen with these mills are that the carriage seems to be pretty small and light.  You can't get a log longer that 12 or 14' throught the mill.  They also run a much smaller blade, which means you will have problems with any larger logs.

I'm seeing some handset mills with power over at the Sawmill Exchange for less than 5K.  There were some even at 3K.

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Offline WV_hillbilly

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2004, 04:20:04 AM »
  I also noticed that some of the mills  have 2 headblocks or 3  headblocks . What would be the shortest log you could cut on this type of mill  ?  Some of the times I would want to cut  some crotches that are 3 to 5  foot long .
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2004, 04:42:05 AM »
Same way as a band mill, for sawin short stuff.  Lay a couple 2 X's across the bunks and put the crotch on them and then dog it. Can't remember the spacing on my Corley. Seems it was 5' or so. I had 2 headblocks and still sawed 18 foot long. Had to watch and see if the log or cant moved. Had to pick the logs better for long stuff.

 I had a 50 tooth blade and a 4--71 Jimmy. I believe they are 100 HP ??? Didn't run the edger off the Jimmy.
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Offline woodhaven

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Re: PTO circle mill  Good or Bad  ?  
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2004, 05:53:26 AM »
For whats its worth.
I wouldn't trade my circle mill for a dozen band mills.
I like the power, speed, sound, hard work, very little repair,
fun, easy to modify, they can do more work than you want to.
Anything can be dangerous if not used with a little common sense.
Richard

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2004, 09:14:05 AM »
On some of the older mills, you could move the headblocks.  I would lag my front headblock, so it was stationary.  But, you could move the 2nd headblock, if necessary.  Fricks were movable like that.

You could also just put a piece of steel in as a sleeper block.  It would be the same height as your headblocks.  I've seen that on longer mills.

You could also add another headblock.  I would prefer to see you use at least 2 dogs on anything you saw.

Those old handmills also had great tapers.  I had an old Ireland that you could set as much taper as you needed.  It worked similar to today's linear positioners, but was mechanical in nature.
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Offline dail_h

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2004, 10:36:56 AM »
    One of my older neighbors had a Sears Belsaw,and I used to pull it with my JD B. Couldn't saw fast or big ,but could saw
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Offline KiwiJake

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2004, 12:29:04 PM »
Good on ya woodhaven, I've heard some nasty stories of bands breakin off and shootin out. At least a circle blade will stay on until you want it off. Riving knives, guards, correct protective gear and sawing correctly leads to a safe circle mill.

Offline WV_hillbilly

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2004, 02:09:18 PM »
 What about the   blades themselves are there  any types or stlyes to stay away from ?  
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Online Don P

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2004, 04:03:20 PM »
I'm still running the IKS blade that came on my Timberking M14 so can't help you there. My dogs are about 3' apart, I saw branches and little stuff into 4' bunk wood all the time. The carraige and setworks are too light...well the whole saw is, but it works for my uses. My pto shaft came with shear bolts, I've busted several. I've seen old Fricks go for less than I paid but was afraid of buying used for my first saw...I wouldn't hesitate with the support group that's available now. My taper is a shim set behind the log. Max board width is 17", max log dia is about 28".


I found this pic I posted some previous winter day. Feel free to come pull the handle if you're in the mood to try one.
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Offline N.Dodge

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2004, 04:11:23 PM »
My nieghbor has a M-14 that he bought new before i was born.  We have cut a lot of lumber with it with no problems.  He runs it with a MF that has 52 HP at the PTO.  When I decided to buy one of my own I wanted to see if my tractor -a JD with 36 PTO HP- would run it.  It did alright- but i decieded it would be too rough on it.  I opted to buy one with a power unit.  I ended up buying a M-14 with an Industrial 6 cyl. Chevy motor.  It sat in my barn for a year before I "loaned" it to a friend.  He set it up nicely and cutting every weekend.  I only paid $2,200.00 for it.  Im about ready for it back.  At least till I buy a WM.
NSD

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2004, 04:51:38 PM »
Saw blades come in different patterns.  For hardwoods, we use mainly the B and F patterns.  These are stamped on the shank (ring holders).  

Softwood saws are mainly the 2 1/2 and 3 pattern.  I've never run a number pattern.  

Ones to stay away from are Disston shanks, like #33 or #66.  Impossible to get teeth.  Another one I would shy away from is the ABC pattern.  Just stick with the ones most popular.

Another thing is the number of teeth.  I'm running a 54", B pattern with 46 teeth.  I've run these with 42 teeth with good results.  The F pattern will have more teeth, but less gullet capacity.

If power is a problem, you can just run every other tooth.  I've never tried it, but heard it works good.

You can get into smaller saws, down to about 44".  But you will have some serious problems with the size of log you can handle.  My 54" will clear 21" of cut.

I've run Simond, IKS, Payne, and Hoe.  Most any saw will work, as long as you can get replacement teeth.
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Offline D._Frederick

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2004, 04:55:45 PM »
WV,
The old timers sawed with anything they could gets there hands on if you could call it sawing. The No. 2 American mill my folk had they bought second hand and it came with an All-Work tractor. The main saw had 20 teeth and the tractor was about 45-50 hp range. Sawing fir logs, there was enough power that the carriage did not  need to be stopped to allow the engine to regain speed. Years later, I tried a Farmall M on it, you could saw, but it was no fun. I bought a Case LAE that was fitted with high compression pistons which gave it about 70-75 hp, which was a great improvement in sawing. The thing is that you can't have a 50 inch saw with 52 teeth in it and power it with a JD- B, it will bog the saw speed down and you will then have to wait for the engine to regain speed. You saw about 3 inches then wait.

The re-placement cost for an insert tooth blade is more than the value of some of the mills that are for sale. If they are pitted and rusted bad, I would pass on that mill. If you find a mill that you are interested in get a tooth and take a picture of it and let one of the guys tell you if teeth are available.

Online Don P

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2004, 06:37:31 PM »
I'm running on every other tooth, switched soon after we talked about it a year or so ago. Been working pretty good. My blade is a 46", no drive pins, smooth collars, but its never slipped. I think its about $1200 to replace my blade. I'm running either my to35 or a Ford 600 both are too small, the 600 is not too bad if everything is set up right. Harder hardwoods give me trouble, I've pretty much quit fooling with locust though I like the wood inside. When I have to do what D Frederick was talking about I often get into heat problems and then things slow waaaay down.
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Offline WV_hillbilly

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2004, 09:06:32 PM »
 The pic of the teeth is what I will have to do . cause if I try to pick one on my own it will be the hardest ones to replace. Just my luck .  ;D     I 'm just kicken ideas around I want to saw my own wood,   If i keep  waiting I 'll never   own one. I thought maybe this route woud let me start and then work into something bigger and better.                                                                                  The main problem I have getting wood for my projects is that I usually can't get  .  Most of my lumber for plaques could come from what the loggers leave in the woods or  by the landings. Around here there is alot of logging going on usually and people have let me go get some of the crotches  and short logs that were left after the loggers left. I also have 16 acres of standing timber of my own  plan on cuting a few occasionally.  It is a shame for some of those pieces to rot away or end up as firewood.


 I think my Ford  has about 45 hp  . But I wouldn't pass on one that is powered seperately either  if the price was right.
Hillbilly

Offline Frickman

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Re: PTO circle mill Good or Bad ?
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2004, 01:48:31 PM »
WV Hillbilly,

An inexpensive pto powered circle mill is a good way to get started if that is all you can get, but any of the conventional circle mills are going to be very dangerous to use sawing the logs you want to cut. Short logs, especially ones from the fork of a tree, are very scary to saw. It is very easy for the log to slide off the headblocks, or to "twist" into or out of the saw. The way our mill is setup the second and third headblocks are 30" apart, so technically I can saw down to about 34". However, that is shorter than the diameter of the saw, and if it moves a little, watch out. When long logs move it is bad, but not like small ones. We don't saw shorter than 5' for this reason.

If I was to buy a mill for the logs you want to saw, I'd get a bandmill. I don't own one yet, but have been around them and feel they do an excellent job on difficult to saw logs.
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