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Author Topic: swing saw  (Read 3146 times)

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Offline jdunmyer

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swing saw
« on: March 28, 2004, 12:13:55 PM »
I've seen the term "swing saw" mentioned here a few times, and looked at the brandxmill site, but found the pictures unclear. Exactly what are these things, and how do they work?

TIA:                           <<Jim>>

Offline Jeff

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2004, 12:19:01 PM »
Sponsor, Peterson sawmills, near the top of the sponsors list is also a swing saw.  they have some video clips on their site.

Basically its one saw blade that cuts one dimension on one pass and then swings 90 degrees and cuts the other dimension on the return pass.

I have never seen one in person so I am sure someone else would have a better description.
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Offline BW_Williams

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2004, 01:24:13 PM »
Your all over it Boss,  the 2 cuts meet at a 90 angle. Here's a link to Lucas www.bbaileys.com/Mill-2.htm BWW
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Offline Captain

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2004, 02:44:47 PM »
Yes to all of the above.

Hey Jeff, we've gotta get that remedied at Nelsonville this October.  Heck, you'll probably come out of there having operated one.

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2004, 03:47:31 PM »
OK, I think I understand the basic principles. What controls the cutting thickness when the saw is horizontal? I assume that you move the head side-to-side to adjust the width, is that correct?

Will they really cut the BF/day that is claimed? The best I ever did on my circle mill (admittedly a bit underpowered, and totally manual) is 2000 BF; that included bucking up the slabs. My 2nd cousin always said that you should do "1000 BF/day/man" on a manual circle mill. Although that seems reachable, it'd be a bit longer than 8 hr days, and the guys would have to work harder than I am able to anymore. (maybe ever!)

What's the relative advantages between a conventional circle mill, small band mill (WM, Baker, etc.) and one of these swing-blade outfits? Like Jeff, I've never seen a SB mill, and only became aware of their existance when I joined this site.

                                  <<Jim>>

Offline Ianab

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2004, 04:26:50 PM »
Hi Jim
Quote
I assume that you move the head side-to-side to adjust the width, is that correct?

Yes, the blade and engine are cranked from side to side on the carriage to control the horizontal cut. And the carriage is raised and lowed to control the vertical axis.

Advantages of this system?
Very portable
Able to cut huge logs
Relatively cheap (never cheap enough of course)
Low blade maintaince
Able to cut hard, knotty and/or tough logs relatively easily

Downside?
Manual operation
Loose a bit of timber because of wider kerf
It's not Orange  ;)

As for production, I'd suggest that lack of support equipment or manpower would be the main holdup to production, not the mill itself. I think the figures claimed would need a couple of extra guys and a mechanical loader of some sort to minimise the down time and 'keep the blade in the log' . Also what you are cutting and the log type has a big effect. Cutting large lumber from big softwood logs is much faster, although it kills your offloader faster. ;) You can run one of these mills by yourself, but it's hard work and a lot slower than 2 guys.

If you get the chance to see one working take it as I'm sure you will be impressed by the simplicity of the system

Ian
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Offline woodbeard

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2004, 05:20:27 PM »
Jim, if you are referring to the claims of 800bf in an hour and such, all I can say is that I can cut 800-1000bf in a day with someone offbearing and helping move logs/slabs. This is an 8 or 9 hr day, working hard with my 20hp 8" Peterson WPF.
I am still pretty new to this, but I have a real hard time seeing how they can claim the production rates they do.
Another big advantage is that the boards are edged when they come off the mill, no seperate edging process.

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2004, 05:30:31 PM »
Woodbeard, if you spend the time to prep a bunch of logs , line them up in a row ready to roll in to the bunks, have at least one helper and a fair amount of energy, 2500 bft plus is not undoable. Its all in how organized you are, no matter what you saw with. I am organized once a month, weather I need to be or not! :D
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Re: swing saw
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2004, 05:52:55 PM »
What keeps the log stable when you get more than half of it cut?

It seams that  with all the weight gone there would be little to keep the log from moving while cutting?

Whats the trick to keeping the log stable?

Thanks
Kirk

Offline Ianab

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2004, 06:39:24 PM »
Yeah Kirk, that is an issue, but usually only when you are down to the last couple of boards from the bottom of the log and there is not much weight left in the log. The wooden bunks that we sit the smaller logs on have notches cut in them that help stabilise the log, some metal teeth (like chainsaw dogs) and maybe some little wooden wedges if it still wants to rock. Peterson and some of the other members have been working on more positive dogs, involving sliding teeth into the side of the bottom slab etc. The saw doesn't actually put a lot of force on the log when it's cutting smoothly, but then you can allways hit that big ugly knot and that can kick your slab out of place  >:(
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Offline HORSELOGGER

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2004, 07:17:30 PM »
Hey Kirk. I use BrandX mills log dogs on my Peterson set up. My logs dont move . Ever. Even a little.Never. ;D Actually, that is the biggest gripe about the 2 main swing blade builders. (Lucas And Peterson) after you drop the big money for a mill, you are on your own to find a really dependable log doging set up. After spending 10-15k on a sawmill, a guy shouldnt have to finish engineering it. ???
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Re: swing saw
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2004, 07:27:34 PM »
So what I hear you swingers saying is that we need to come up with a GOOD fix for holding the log in place?

I

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2004, 07:29:09 PM »
I agree. Bit like a car without the jack, right? Hey, do all new cars come with jacks?? Sorry, never bought a new one yet...

Maybe we can do something about the logdogs...I'll go check the piggybank.
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Offline HORSELOGGER

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2004, 07:43:34 PM »
Actually Kirk, I am saying that there is an excellent fix available, just a bit disapointing that it did not come with my mill. :(
Heritage Horselogging & Lumber Co.
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Offline DanG

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2004, 09:01:04 PM »
Mobiile Dimension has some very secure dogs on their mills. They might sell you a couple for your swingers, if you talk nice to them. :)

BTW, Jdunmyer, they make sawmills, too. ;D  I know that, 'cause I have one of them. It's a dream to operate, particularly if you work alone and are not an athlete. The operator stands in one place, and the mill brings the finished board back to him. He sets it aside, turns a little crank (approx one turn per inch of travel), pulls the handle and it brings him another board.  I timed myself one day, cutting 16' 2x4's, and was making one board per minute and five seconds, including stacking and stickering. Now that was in a large, clear, fresh pine, and only as I worked across the log once. You lose a little time moving the mill back to the left side of the log and lowering it to cut the next row of boards. That takes about a minute and a half, and you're off and running again.
Sounds expensive, don't it?  I got mine for $9,000, turnkey!  Drove 300 miles round-trip to pick it up, replace the truck's alternator along the way, and sawed lumber that same day. You really ought to check them out.
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Offline jdunmyer

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2004, 04:52:53 AM »
quote
Sounds expensive, don't it?  I got mine for $9,000, turnkey!  Drove 300 miles round-trip to pick it up, replace the truck's alternator along the way, and sawed lumber that same day. You really ought to check them out.
/quote

Actually, I'm quite happy with my present sawmill. I'd like to see one of these swing saws operate some day, but haven't any desire to buy one (or a mini-bandmill, for that matter) I have been curious about how the swing saws operate, and you guys have been a great help.

Thanks!!                       <<Jim>>

Offline Captain

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2004, 05:11:35 AM »
A word about speed.  A few months ago I had an opportunity to cut a tulip poplar log, 49" in diameter on the small end and 9 feet long.  It scaled just over 1000BF.  I cut it after setting up around it in 42 minutes with my wife helping.  It was cut into 2x8s wherever possible.  That's about 1400BF in an hour, and absolutely unrealistic to obtain all of the time because there is always time to move logs, remove slabs etc.  I does, however, show you that the sawmill is not what slows the operation down.

Now, I can't wait to get into the automated.....gonna need some more support equipment than what I have to realize its potential.

Captain

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2004, 05:28:41 AM »
The bigger the logs the better the thruput on the swing saws. They certainly can eat into the 40+ inch logs with some excellent results.

I would tend to think with 2 factory perfect saws. in mid size sawgrade timber 20" or so the band mill tailed by and edger would win out, without an edger probably pretty close. The big stuff over 36" only the swing saw. ....  ;D

A friend of mine bought a swing saw. I can't wait to try it. He's had it for a year and just brought it down last week. I think it needs a little alignment adjustment though, it seemed to really bog down in an 8 inch cut...? And I know it can do better than that ( I've seen em run..)

Eric

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2004, 12:59:05 PM »
Eric

Please don't be a DIY junkie - when you get that mill running, give us a ring. Lucas or Peterson, we can give you some quick adjustment advice either way - a 2 minute phone call could save a day of frustration! Just take some of the milling symptoms down, and jump on the freephone 1877 3271471. And if you don't get the time difference right, our phone is on divert to my home until 10pm....and don't worry about cost, they only charge us 18c a minute - thats NZ Dollars!!
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Offline jdunmyer

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Re: swing saw
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2004, 05:16:12 AM »
Quote

A word about speed.  A few months ago I had an opportunity to cut a tulip poplar log, 49" in diameter on the small end and 9 feet long.  It scaled just over 1000BF.  I cut it after setting up around it in 42 minutes with my wife helping.  It was cut into 2x8s wherever possible.  That's about 1400BF in an hour, and absolutely unrealistic to obtain all of the time because there is always time to move logs, remove slabs etc.  I does, however, show you that the sawmill is not what slows the operation down.


Years ago, we sawed a cottonwood log that was 16' long and 36" diameter, no taper. It scaled 1000 BF and sawed out the same. Took us about 3 hours.

Our normal rate (2 guys, edging on the mill) is 250 -> 300 BF/hr, sawing mostly 1" boards. Naturally, we do better when sawing thicker stuff. More power would help, the old Case is only 62 HP, not the 85 that the seller claimed.


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