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Homemade Band sawmill #1: Building the frame

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Blog entry by geekwoodworker posted 10-03-2014 07:37 PM 8991 reads 18 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Homemade Band sawmill series Part 2: Gantry with height adjustment mechanism »

I have been thinking of building a small band sawmill for about a year or more and finally decided to make one. I built a bandsaw from Mathias at woodgears and love it. So I decided to use the same design but modify it to cut horizontally. It will only be used for small logs 6 feet long and no bigger than 28 inches in diameter.
It needs to break down easily for transport to my dads and back. I like the lumber smith saw so I think I will make it similar. http://www.lumbersmith.com/

The frame is made from scrap 2×6 lumber. It has 5 layers glued with right wheel mount mortised in.

The wheel mounts are made from ash and maple. They are a split design with axle hole routered on each side. This way it is easier to get axle straight. Axles are then held in place with 1/4” lag bolts.



The wheels are 13” and are three layers of 11mm ply glued together. If the bearings fail I plan on making new wheels with trailer bearings and hub with a stub axle.

The motor mount is made so I can easily remove it when I need to take it from one area to another. Or from my dad’s place to mine.

I managed to get it put together today to test the fit of the blade and the tracking. Everything works perfectly. Still no power but that will come in time. The blade is from R & D bandsaws and is called a ripper37 with 1.3 tpi. http://www.tufftooth.com/

Next is the gantry to allow me to raise and lower it.



12 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2466 posts in 1770 days


#1 posted 10-03-2014 08:41 PM

Sean, you have beat me to the punch buddy. I have been wanting to build one of these for a couple of years. I built Matthias 16” band saw and contemplated building his portable mill. I like your approach. Have you decided on what to power your mill with yet?

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 927 days


#2 posted 10-03-2014 09:15 PM

Thanks Lee. I too built the 16” from Matthias and it works beautifully. I am powering this saw with a 2 hp table saw motor with 3450 rpm.
I sure hope it performs as well as I think. May need bigger motor but will see how this one works.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2466 posts in 1770 days


#3 posted 10-03-2014 09:53 PM

Sean, what are the diameters of the pulley on your motor and the pulley mounted to the back of your 13” wheel? It looks like about 4” and 6” respectively. If that is the case, and my calculations are right, your blade is moving at about 7828 S.F.M. (Surface feet per minute) or 2300 rpm. That might be a tad fast for a wood cutting blade, but please check out my math buddy.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 927 days


#4 posted 10-03-2014 10:33 PM

Lee. The motor pully is 3” and wheel is 8” which calculates to 4400 fpm. I did quit a bit of research on the speed and there are many different opinions on this. I have been told that upright bandsaws should run under 2800 fpm but my homemade 16” runs at 3500 fpm and works better than my old one which ran at 2500 fpm. Sawmills run faster and I figure a small one should run between 4000 to 5500 fpm which is why I went with this configuration. If it turns out to be too slow then I will increase the motor pulley to 3.5” which will give me 5134 fpm. I am gonna have a water cooling system for the blade so this speed or faster should be fine.

thanks lee

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#5 posted 10-05-2014 03:41 AM

Curious about how the water cooling will work with wood wheels over time. Looking forward to more updates!

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 927 days


#6 posted 10-05-2014 11:11 AM

Rick. I have sealed wheels and sawmill with 4 coats of varethane and used titebond III glue for entire sawmill. Hopefully the water won’t affect it this way. The only thing not varethaned is the gantry lift as it slides wood on wood and needs some friction. But it is to the rear so shouldn’t get wet.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7708 posts in 2309 days


#7 posted 10-05-2014 11:18 PM

Don’t know how I missed this . I usually get a notice. Got one on the third blog. I’ve watched Mathius’ video on his milling. Building it in wood is a challenge. And most electric mills have big motors which are costly?

I’m looking forward to this challenge. Thanks for posting.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View hoosier0311's profile

hoosier0311

702 posts in 1492 days


#8 posted 10-06-2014 01:03 AM

Very cool ! Imma be watching this to see how it goes, good luck with it. I would think about a gas motor though, gives some more portability? One can be had on the cheap from craigslist and such.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View hoosier0311's profile

hoosier0311

702 posts in 1492 days


#9 posted 10-06-2014 01:03 AM

Very cool ! Imma be watching this to see how it goes, good luck with it. I would think about a gas motor though, gives some more portability? One can be had on the cheap from craigslist and such.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1727 posts in 1668 days


#10 posted 10-30-2014 08:12 AM

I bet if we gave you enough tme you could build a space shuttle… Impressive work there Geek….

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Lazy_K's profile

Lazy_K

111 posts in 1657 days


#11 posted 11-01-2014 04:01 PM

if the wood is green still you shouldn’t need the water. nice job/build

-- Kai SaerPren

View davidwalker1036's profile

davidwalker1036

1 post in 407 days


#12 posted 11-08-2015 08:44 PM

Very nice job. Do you have any pictures of the frame layers? I was most interested in the frame, about how the right wheel mount was mortised in.
Again fantastic job.

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