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Author Topic: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!  (Read 4877 times)

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Offline JoeyLowe

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Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« on: March 13, 2002, 07:55:03 PM »
 ;D  The county cut down a 60 foot pine that was 36" dbf and left it laying in this man's yard.  They told the fella that moving it was his problem since they didn't have the equipment to and because they did him a favor of cutting it down.  So I get the call and arrive on the scene.

The county guys were nice enough to limb it and bucked it to twenty foot lengths.  I cut it down to 10 1/2 foot lengths and rolled these logs onto my mill.  Purtiest pine I have ever seen.  After I cut my cant , no matter which way I turned it, I was getting wide clear boards.  I cut some 1 bys and some 2 bys and some 4 bys and even some 6 bys out of these logs.  And herein lies the lessons that I learned today.

For instance, I went through three brand new blades today.  I mean I messed all three blades up after they became lodged in the slabs that I was cutting.  I have a good idea of what caused this, so tomorrow I'm replacing the rubber tires on the wheels.  I also figured that inadequate blade lube was a culprit too.  Question though?  This is a Woodmizer Super 40 and the manual says to keep the blade tension around 2000lbs.  Seems like after two or three cuts, I'm constantly re-tensioning the blade.  Is this normal?

I also discovered that one of the nuts holding one of my blade guides had worked loose.  So I retightened that nut and the blade guide worked fine.

Finally and I would reason probably the most important lesson that I learned today is that when you replace a chain on the chain saw, run it a little, then shut it off and readjust the tension on the chain.  I did not do this today and I had a little kickback on my Stihl 029 and the chain went flying off and struck me in the left knee.  No damage or injury other than a slight bruise.  Could have been much worse though.
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Offline Bud Man

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2002, 08:25:36 PM »
Joey    My the time you get to be my age I'd love to here the story about the one that got away. :D  That tree has grown 10 feet in height and 12"s in diameter since yesterday !!    :o :o Either  your embellishment skills are unequalled or adrenalin has kicked in, either way don't lose your head of steam and keep on keeping on !! 8) 8)
The groves were God's first temples.. " A Forest Hymn"  by.. William Cullen Bryant

Offline Tom

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2002, 08:35:14 PM »
Joey,

I'm surprised that you need new V-belts (tires) on your saw.  Usually you can run for months on a set without them giving up.  The way to tell if you need V-belts is to look for shiny spots on the metal of the wheel beside the belt.  If you find some then the belt isn't holding the blade up and needs to be replaced.  When you see shiny spots you may also be suffering from premature blade breakage as well.  

Just because the V-belt begins to flatten doesn't mean that it is worn out.  Your blade guides are ultimately responsible for blade alignment.

If you had a loose bolt on your blade guide then I would suspect that it was causing you more trouble than V-belts.  The guide is what holds the blade parallel to the bed of the mill.  If it is allowed to wander from lack of support, then it could rise or fall in the cut and bind.

Blade guide alignment is one of the most important points of your saw.  You need to become proficient with it and understand exactly what each adjustment does.  It is one of those things that can't be "good enough", it is either right or it is wrong and when wrong will cause you much grief.

Tension of the band on the old saws (like mine) was recommended to be 2100 lbs. Later, I hear, they recommended 2500 lbs.  I tighten initially to 2500 lbs and try to let the blade settle in at about 2100.  It will move around due to heat generated by sawing (stretch).  You will notice that your pressure will rise when the sun comes out from behind a cloud and drop when it goes behind another.  Ambient temperature will effect the length of the blade as will  cutting hard wood, pushing a dull blade or misaligned guides.

Like driving a car where you learn to watch the road, rear view, speedometer and gauges in a pattern you will learn to watch the critical points of the saw as well. I watch the blade in the kerf for variation and gumming, then the dogs and clamp for clearance, the guides for spinning wheels, the blade pressure gauge and the log or cant for stability.  Sometimes I let my eye wander to the sawdust chute or blade lubrication or blade wheel covers but it seems that there is always a pattern depending on how the saw is operating.

Chainsaw.  Please be careful with that rascal. It only took me once cutting my knee from resting the saw on my thigh out of weariness.  When I'm tired now, I put the saw on the ground and when I'm cutting wood, my legs are not near where the bar could go and I have extended arms and a death grip on the handles.  Nope, it's not going to get me again.
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2002, 08:36:49 PM »
Yes Joey, the joys of the real world of the woods and sawmilling.  You might consider placing a wedge under the slab as you run you saw through the log.  Just a guess on my part as I do not know much about band mills.  Secondly, YOU should ALWAYS wear protective shaps when running a chainsaw.  One of my ex-students pertnear lost his left leg a few days ago due to that same idea no shaps and a kick-back.  The doctors save his leg for him, but he is sure laid up for a few months.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2002, 11:49:27 PM »
Another thing to watch is your engine drive belt tension.  It has to be TIGHT TIGHT!  Something you wont notice easily as your engine will not bog down when making a heavy cut, pushed too hard or hit a hard knot because the drive belt will slip.  The engine RPMs will sound right or even like its running under light load but your blade speed is slowing down.  Slow blade rotation speed will then cause it to not keep up with the sawing and jam its little teeth right into the wood and cause the blade to jump off.  (Main drive belt slippage can cause wavy cuts for the same reason.)

If your mill has a manual clutch lever,  youll get accustom to how hard it is to pull when the belt is at the right tension and know when to adjust it.  On our old 96 Super,  Mary about had to lock her arm and break one knee to get enough oomph to pull the lever.  :o

Go to your manual and check your main engine drive belt tension.   :P
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Offline JoeyLowe

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2002, 05:29:40 AM »
 8) I bought the mill used (1998 model).  Had a little over 300 hours on the mill when I got it and it was very well maintained.  The v-belts were orange and ribbed.  I called Greg at Woodmizer and he didn't recognize those tires so he sent me 4 replacements. (2 for spares)  These are black vbelts by BF Goodrich.  I plan to change those today.

Buddy, I'll try an attach a photo here.  If it don't work, I'll post them to my server.  I may get a little excited, but honest injun when I saw this tree is huge.  When I actually got out to the site, there were 2 more logs tucked behind the big ones.
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Offline Bud Man

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2002, 08:37:20 AM »
Joey  You know I'm picking at ya !! :D :D  But sounds like you may need to put some rocks in your pockets to keep yourself grounded !!  Saw ON  Saw ON
The groves were God's first temples.. " A Forest Hymn"  by.. William Cullen Bryant

Offline Bud Man

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2002, 08:42:35 AM »
And I forgot !!  Be careful, accidents happen quick--especially when working on  " 80 ft.Tall  :o  45" Diameter  :o Trees". 8) 8)
The groves were God's first temples.. " A Forest Hymn"  by.. William Cullen Bryant

Offline Tom

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2002, 02:24:47 PM »
Joey,

There is a good chance that those orange, ribbed belts are the neoprene tires that Timber Wolf (Suffolk) has offered to replace V-belts recommended my manufacturers.  They have done a lot of blade research and think highly of their results. Much of their strategy is built around their low carbon blades. Some folks are followers of those preachings and some follow the recommendations of the manufacturers of their mill. I would be the last to say one or the other is wrong but remember that companies depend on Marketing to sell their products and some sell harder than others. ;D
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2002, 07:14:25 AM »

Quote

Yes Joey, the joys of the real world of the woods and sawmilling.  You might consider placing a wedge under the slab as you run you saw through the log.  (snip)

  Oh yeah, I think it was the Thomas bandsaw site or another that I was looking at recently and their pictures showed an regular lineup of wedges under the slab. I had in fact wondered if that was standard operating procedure as it looked like it would be laborious to place those each time. Of course, this was a picture of the BIGGEST dog-gone log I'd ever seen. Did anyone else see this one? Like I say, I was thinking it was Thomas but it might have been some other ref on the board.   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Tom

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2002, 07:28:47 AM »
That was a picture of a Redwood being cut by an Alaskan (chainsaw) mill I think, LW.  There is no need that I've found to wedge a bandsaw blade because it is long gone before the kerf falls shut.  That is the reason for the set in the teeth....to clear an area for the body of the blade and the blade is too narrow for the wood to close on it.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2002, 11:31:27 AM »
   yeah, might've been. lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline JoeyLowe

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2002, 05:52:39 PM »
 :D  Once again, I learn something from this board.  The orange belts definitely came from Suffolk Machine as did some of the blades that I bought with the mill.  I have no idea how loose they are supposed to fit, but I did realize a definite improvement when I changed to the B57 v-belts, a tru-sharp blade and tensioned the blade to 2500 lbs and let it settle back down to 2100 lbs.  It also helped to tighten the blade guide bolt too. 8)
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Offline tom_the_sawyer

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2002, 03:44:33 PM »
 8)  I have only been sawing for two years but have learned some valuable lessons  if you are cutting a 36 inch diameter log  IT is VERY important to use the correct blade and tooth spacing  I have cut many huge logs and found that a 7/8 tooth spacing .042   1   1/4 width    works well for me I get my blades from suffolk machinery  you can contact them at www.suffolkmachine.com tell them you want a free blade they will send you one for free thats all I use and have tried many others 90 percent of sawing is using the right blade with the right set  good luck tom the sawyer  

Offline Tom

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2002, 04:21:28 PM »
Welcome to the forestry forum....Tom the Sawyer.  

How right you are. The blade is what does the work.  The rest of the mill just makes it move.

There's lots of good blades out there.  Suffolk is one of them.  Their claim to fame seems to be that they do everything differently from everybody else.  I guess it's good to have variety though. "different strokes for different folks'. :D
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2002, 05:09:04 PM »
I just completed a course call Seven Habits of Effective People.  Im an old dog and I wonder why the company spends good money sending me to these things.  Anyway,  how that ties in here is that the seventh habit was Sharpen your Saw and was in reference to continual training to improve your skill set.

As with most every new experience or idea,  you usually try to relate it to some old experience.  In this case for me,  it as the days training at Wood-Mizer when we got our first mill.  Half the day was spent on blade terminology,  concepts,  sharpening, setting, handling, etc.  When you look at it in the balance, it appears odd to spend half your time training on the blade when it makes up an insignificant amount in weight of the total sawmill.  But Wood-Mizer felt it so important that the sawyer had this background in blade knowledge that they devoted this much time on the topic.

I think Ive said this elsewhere in this forum but there comes a time when you reach an understanding that the very outside cutting edge of the tooth is the focus point.  Every other aspect the blade, blade guides, wheels, motor, sawhead, rail or rails are all in support of accurately pulling that tooth through the wood.
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Offline JoeyLowe

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2002, 06:17:50 PM »
I took that same course a couple of years ago.  Excellent in my opinion. The zen of sawing came to mind as I read Bibbyman's post about everything in support of the tip of the blade. :D  I can see the importance of using the right blade for the job and I can see the importance of not forgetting what the purpose of the mill is for. (i.e., to cut wood) 8)  I sometimes feel at a disadvantage since I haven't had the woodmizer training yet.  I guess that is why I consider this forum so important.   It's like getting the undivided attention of an entire staff of experienced sawyers and all I have to do is ask questions.   This is too cool as my teenagers would say. ;D
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2002, 03:04:46 AM »
Covey at his best no doubt.  ;) guess you sawyers can really relate to number 7.

Gordon

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2002, 01:54:47 PM »

Quote


snip

I think Ive said this elsewhere in this forum but there comes a time when you reach an understanding that the very outside cutting edge of the tooth is the focus point.  Every other aspect the blade, blade guides, wheels, motor, sawhead, rail or rails are all in support of accurately pulling that tooth through the wood.



snip

  Doggone right you are, with that comment and also the next post about it being a Zen concept (although Zen teaching sometimes strikes me as rather more devious, trying to teach almost by distraction. Your point, in contrast, is the ultimate focus.)

  While it is always dangerous to try to go too far in analogies, I find this concept is one I am going to look at frequently. I suspect that in most of the larger and more apparently cumbersome machinations of life, there is a similar focal point; with all the rest of it designed to support and complete the pivotal work at that focus. To detect that pivot point is to find an area of leverage if you want to exert some change.   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Cedar Eater

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Re: Milled a big old pine today & learnt a little!
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2002, 09:46:33 PM »
That reminds me of an old saying about single engine airplanes. The propeller is just a fan to keep the pilot cool. If you don't believe that, just watch him sweat when it stops turning. ;)
Cedar Eater


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