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Author Topic: Hi All Starting Band Mill Build Couple Questions OKAY more than a couple  (Read 3038 times)

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Offline biggkidd

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   Hi I'm Larry
   First let me say thank you to all those who post. I've been reading for days.

 A little background on myself and family. Early 40's single dad of two girls 8 and 14. I also have MS so not the fastest worker anymore. Been off grid since 08 living in a small house we built ourselves on 36 acres of timberland. Since living here I've had about 10-12 acres timbered. What's left is a good mix of hard and soft woods. I haven't ever built anything like this from scratch. I have however built a lot of things. IE: 1 ton dump truck, 32" log splitter, 10 second 79 Camaro,  42" bushhog for ATV trails, ETC. So I'm fairly confident I can do this. I want to build the best mill I can with what I have on hand. If I have to buy a few small items I can but having just lost my job the less the better. Wish I had internet and had found this forum back when I was buying for this I would have made better purchases. My goal here is to build a Bigger Log house up the hill from where we now live. Also the other smaller buildings a homestead / farm needs. Using materials from the land.

 The plan was to build an all manual mill that could take up to a 24" x 16' log. Now from what I've been reading I'm thinking maybe a few more power options might be better. Actually I am rethinking the whole build method. After doing extensive reading on here.

 From my reading it looks like bigger band wheels are better. Is that right? I have two size tires that will fit what I'm working with the ones I bought for the blade to ride on measure about 16" but I have some other old wheels and tires the same bolt pattern that measure 20"+- . With the smaller tires it can have a wider throat plus they are new. (at some point might get a bigger engine) I also already bought a set of blades from Norwood 144" IIRC. The engine I got is a new 13 hp Honda clone from HF.  All that stuff is new in boxes, but I bought it several years ago. Been to busy the last several years since I bought all this stuff to get the build done. Since I recently lost my job now is the time to get it built. For the track and frame I have an old camper frame 21 or 22  ft long, and another shorter one for additional steel.

 A few of the parts I already have;

 1) 13 hp new gas engine
2) a 10 pack of new blades
3) 4 heavy duty greasable castors (not V might need others)
4) a harbor freight trailer kit which includes wheels, tires, spindles and some misc. steel this is to make the saw carriage
5) 2 trailer jacks for raising and lowering the saw carriage (not sure that's gonna work)
6) 4 2 ton bottle jacks to get the logs level with the frame and carriage
7) an old camper frame for the saw base and towing package 5" C channel
8.) a set of trailer fenders to make a shield around the blade
9) misc bearings
10) pullies for the engine and wheel for the blade (still need to get an idler)
11) 1/4" plate steel
12) 2.5" 12 ga galvanized box tube
13) other misc steel and parts (read a decent junk pile)

 I had also bought two heavy duty trailer tongue jacks to lift the carriage head. Not sure that is a very good idea now some five years later. They only allow about 15" of lift. I also have access to a few 1" X 36" threaded rods that might be a better option. I see many are built using a winch and pulleys using a cable, for some reason I really don't care for that.

  So I'm hoping some of you who have mills and or built mills can share what works and what doesn't. Also any hindsight ideas of things you wish you had done different. Pictures would be a big help! I have a little time a day or two while I get these two campers torn down for the frame steel.

  Thanks for reading! If you can help with any advice it is appreciated. 

 Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)

Offline thecfarm

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biggkidd,welcome to the forum. Can't help you much,that is beyond my building skills. But if you have the material,build it long. I have a manual mill that can cut 20 foot logs. Gives me 4 feet of space when I cut 16 foot logs. It also allows me to get the head out of the way.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Joe Hillmann

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If you are trying to keep things cheap you could do what I did.  I ran the belt from the pto on the engine directly on the tire that the blade rides on.  Dong it that way you can just mount both of your wheels on trailer spindles. 

 

A five to six inch pulley on the engine gives about the right surface feet per minute to the blade at 3000 rpm of the engine.  (that works no matter what the tire size as long as the blade and belt are on the same diameter wheel)

If you do end up having to buy new caster wheels the v groove ones usually run about $50 each. But there is a guy on ebay who always has them for sale for about $6 each.  That is what I went with and they appear to be identical to the $50 ones a friend bought for his chainsaw mill.


Offline Joe Hillmann

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If you take a look at my mill this was about the cheapest way I could build a mill.  Someone broke into my garage and took everything I had planed to build it with except the metal that was out back.  I had to buy alot of the parts twice because of that so I figure I have about $750 -$800 into it. (They also stole all my tools so in that estimate are a few hand tools that I needed to build it.)

Offline biggkidd

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  Thanks for the welcome I have seen some of your pictures Joe  smiley_clapping thanks. 

 Laid a band out around the wheels I have. With the 16" tires I can have a 31" wide throat  and 15" depth. With the 20" tires I only have a 18" wide throat and 19" depth. From what I've been reading   :P  a saw speed of 4000 FPM is about right for a 12-13 hp engine. Does that sound right? If so then I would want a wheel / tire speed of about 900-950 rpm. Does that sound close? The blades I have are 144". WOT is 3600 rpm.

  Also did a walk around looking at some of my trees. I don't think an 18" wide throat is going to do it. Many of my nice oaks and other hardwoods are 24" + on the stump. Not that I couldn't trim them up with a chainsaw. But I also have a few that wouldn't even fit in the 31" throat.

  Do you want the sawmill head heavier or lighter? I'm thinking heavier is going to be more stable.

  Thanks for the help sure I'll have many more questions. I tried loading some pictures but no luck so far.

 Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)

Offline glassman_48

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biggkid,
welcome to the forum, hope you can figure the pics out.  welcome again,,,,,,,,,ed

Offline Den-Den

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    • Dennis Wood Art
You have some conflicting requirements but should be able to build a functional mill.
The 16" dia wheels would cause early fatigue failure of thick bands but might be OK for .042" bands (I would expect a few resharpens before failure).

4000 fpm would be good for narrow cut widths but that blade speed will bog down your small engine on wide cuts.

31" throat width is asking a lot of a 14 hp engine (even with 3000 fpm blade speed).

My mill uses thread rods for height adjustment; it is an accurate method but is best suited to powered lift (hand cranking the adjustment is very slow).
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline Hilltop366

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Hi Biggkid and welcome.

The trailer jacks lift height could be doubled by using a sprocket if using chain or pulley for cable (think fork lift).

Offline biggkidd

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 Thanks again guys.

 DenDen
  I know what you mean. I am thinking the wider setup would be better as down the road I may come up with a higher hp engine. Most of what I will be cutting at first will be small logs for a log house. After that though there is no telling. There are some nice trees here and around here. Plus I have a neighbor in the tree business who is always dumping less than perfect 30"+ logs to rot or burn. Might be better off ordering some 18.75 CI pulleys off line and running belts under them. But that would only get me back upto a 20-22 inch throat. Of course since I am building it I may be able to make it adjustable enough to run longer blades next time I order some.

 Hilltop not sure I am following you. Never been around forklifts much either. But I am glad you mentioned that it gives me another idea. I know where one of those small walk behind lifts is that can be had for the asking. (needs repair)


 Thanks
Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)

Offline Joe Hillmann

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My mill is 31" between the upright posts with about 20" outer diameter tires and 150 1/4 " blades  so very close to what you are thinking of.  I had also planned on going with 16" or 18" wheels (I have a set of both) but ended up going with the biggest I could for extended blade life.  I also didn't plan to do many large logs but I find 30"+ logs being given to me quite often.  The biggest issue I have run into is my dogs are a little to far to the side so I can not take off heavy slabs.  Instead I have to take an extra cut which doubles the amount of (blade dulling) bark I have to cut through.

If you have a 30 inch log and want to get a square cant out of it your widest cut would be 21" which can be handled by putting one 45 degree cut on one corner.

Offline Joe Hillmann

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I had also planned on building my mill to be able to mill 20foot logs (I had half a truck load of 18 footers given to me) but after quite a bit of thinking I decided I didn't have any use (at the moment) for boards that long so I decided to build it so I could squeeze on a 10 foot log or do an 8 foot log with plenty of room.  In the end I was given a bunch of metal roof trusses that I built the bed out of so the max length I can cut is 11'9".  I figure if I ever need longer boards I can build an extension.  Since you are building a log house you may have a use for extra length right off the bat.

Offline ljohnsaw

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ERRR - try this again...

Larry,

I am using 20-" tires for my build.  With a 184" x 1- 9 band and that gives me 39" a throat and a max cut of 46" (post spacing) for thinner boards.  I can have a max depth of about 16", but I doubt I will ever do that.  If I'm making a big beam, my understanding is I would approach it from the outside in, keeping the heart centered.

I have a need to make ten 32'+ beams for my cabin (making five 60 footers is out of the question...) so I made two 16' and on 8' section of track.  That gives me lots of space to plop down the log.  My rails are 2"x3"x" angle tacked on to 2"x5"x" tube with 2" spacers for the four moveable log bunks.  This layout copied from others here and beefed up a little.  Each will have four 2,000# (IIRC) leveling jacks - 24,000# should be enough to support a big log, I hope ::).
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 BCsaw

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BK glad to see you pop by. I am just finishing up a "facelift" of my DIY band mill. I am going to put up a post here shortly showing my construction and upgrades.

I waited to buy my blades until I mocked up what I wanted/needed. Some people might disagree with that but blades are easy to order in any length you require. I took a long time to put mine together to ensure that I had something that would cut straight and true. No exceptions. Tires/wheels for band wheels would probably be your best bet.
I purchased some of my parts for the mill. (guide wheels, brass nuts for the raise lower threaded rod, etc.)
I too used an offshore 13 hp motor. I was pleased with its performance (for an offshore item).
I have since acquired a Kubota diesel which I will install this winter.
I am not a fan of a winch and cable raise/lower system, but it does work and will get you up and running cheap.
The cast v groove wheels are a great option. Find the cheaper ones.
Ensure you build proper covers for the band system. Fenders alone I would not consider safe. Maybe add to the fenders to provide more coverage.
Make your goal to get this up and running to cut accurate lumber and keep in mind that you can always upgrade things like a better raise/lower system, engine, etc.

From your list of accomplishments I see no real issues with you building a mill. You always have the years of experience from all the people on this site to bounce ideas or problems off of.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Al.
Inspiration is the ability to "feel" what thousands of others can't!
Homebuilt Band Sawmill, Kioti 2510 Loader Backhoe

Offline 36 coupe

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My mill has a cable lift that works fine.Driving a tire with the bottom of a V belt doesnt sound  good.A V belt drives with the sides of the belt with a wedging action.I can see that the belt stretches during heavy cuts.13 hp works fine on my mill,keeping the blade sharp is the answer to easy cutting.My mill has an auto clutch which I think is better than an idler if something goes wrong.Ill give you the advice that an old friend gave me 20 years ago.Build it right the first time.Being in a hurry or cutting corners makes you do it over.Theres a lot of hard work in running a manual mill.

Offline biggkidd

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Thank you everyone for the great replies and ideas. It's raining here again today and since I have no garage or building to work in looks like another day of research for me. Many of you have built some very nice mills thanks for sharing. I need to figure out the picture posting here so once I do get started building I can return the favor and share pics as I go along with this build.

  Thanks Again
Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)

Offline Magicman

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Hi biggkidd, and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.   :)
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 bandmiller2

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Welcome Larry, many folks use rubber tires, their cheap and seem to work OK. Vee sheves with belts are easier to use and much more compact. Tires tend to have high spots and runout that can lead to flutter. Don't limit yourself because you bought shorter bands. Sell them here to someone that uses that size or mayby the manuf. will let you return for longer, ask. Best advice I can give is look at as many band mills as you can find and emulate the one you like best. If you take your time and build with precision you can have a mill to be proud of. Remember to make everything adjustable, just think of adjusting a belt sander. Good luck mate. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Joe Hillmann

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I figured I should also include some of negative points about using trailer tires and a cable lift system .

When using trailer tires you can't get near the tension that you can with steel wheels.  If you try by adding more air pressure the wheels will just bulge around the band, the band won't get any tighter but the rolling resistance goes up way up.

When the wheels get up to speed the centrifugal causes the wheels to expand a bit which probably helps to tighten the band.

When using a cable lift system it is difficult to get both sides of the head to be even when lifting and lowering.  On mine when raising the side closest to the operator wants to be 1/2" higher and when lowering it wants to be about 1/4" lower than the other side. To make things consistent I have to lower the head about 1/2 inch below where I want to cut then raise it back up to the proper height.  It makes it very difficult to get large square beams, but since I mostly cut smaller pieces they aren't out of square enough to be an issue. 

Using a pair of lead screws for raising and lowering would prevent the problem altogether.

With that said I have no plans to change anything on my mill any time soon since it works well for what I do with it.

Offline biggkidd

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Thank you MM and Bandmiller2.

  Joe you couldn't have timed your last post better. I had just about decided to go with the cable lift system due to it would be easier and cheaper. Thanks for the tip I will go back to the idea of using 1" all thread.

  Bandmiller2 I've had the blades 3-5 years they are NH goldline 144" 1 1/4" and cost way more than other bands do now. They have a little surface rust where they've been stored. But if someone is willing to buy them for the 350 I paid I would happily sell them and order longer blades. It's a set of ten. I'll even pay shipping.

 I got one of the campers torn apart for the frame steel and it's no good. Rusted through. The other two are fine though I checked.

   Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)

Offline biggkidd

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Re: Hi All Starting Band Mill Build Couple Questions OKAY more than a couple
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2014, 11:52:58 AM »
  A few more questions mainly about the carriage. Is heavier better or worse. Bigger or smaller for the castors it rolls on? The best deal I've found on V castors are 5" with greasable bearings. 1/4" plate steel ok for the back side of the saw head? Did I read correctly that saw bands can be made / bought in any length?

  Thank You

 Larry
Echo 330 T, Echo 510, Dolmar 7900, Jinma 354 W/ FEL, & TPH Backhoe
 Building a Band Mill  :)


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