LumberJocks

Amazing Tools #7: The Circular Swing Blade Mill

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 1790 days ago 7921 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: The Bench SlideMount Part 7 of Amazing Tools series Part 8: SAWSTOP on TimeWarp »

Just stumbled upon these tonight. I’ve never seen them before. Very clever! It’s basically a band saw mill with a circular saw instead which can swing from horizontal to vertical blade alignment, and thus be run across a log 2 times to saw out a rectangular piece of dimensioned lumber. It helps to watch these 2 videos to understand what I mean:

Obviously, no large through-cuts, so no very-wide slabs, but if you need to turn a big pile of pine, or a very huge tree into dimensioned lumber, it seems these are designed to be quickly set to swing and slide to make those cuts in 2 fast passes with a swing of the large lever between each pass. Push it forward, pull the lever, pull it back, and you have a dimensioned plank. I think I saw some 4×6s at the end of that second video, but it looks like the larger ones could make at least up to 8×8 beams.

There’s a good write-up on these saws by Peterson Sawmills here – the link at the end of the first paragraph goes to a PDF of the steps taken to saw out boards. The other name I keep seeing is Lucas, and their page on these saws is here.

One final late-entry – I found another video by Peterson of them milling a log into lumber in under 10 minutes. They really get going at about the 1/3rd mark in the video, and they have a bunch of other videos under their account that obviously I will be digging through next :)

Edit: Timberline has a version that makes both cuts in a single pass, using a secondary ‘edger’ blade pair, with several other little clever enhancements:

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator



14 comments so far

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2613 days


#1 posted 1790 days ago

I like that. Very cool!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Broda's profile

Broda

313 posts in 2144 days


#2 posted 1790 days ago

There’s a few company’s in aus that make these. One is called a Lucas Mill and its absoloutley huge in austrailia. I’m surprised you guys haven’t seen them in the US before.
Just about every saw miller that I know has at least one of these. There allways doing demo’s at the ww shows.
they come with slabbing attachments too,which is basically a huge chainsaw bar.

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View degoose's profile

degoose

6992 posts in 1980 days


#3 posted 1790 days ago

Petersen and Lucas Mills ar very popular here in Australia.. Also have the bandsaw mills..
Check out here

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View spanky46's profile

spanky46

977 posts in 2015 days


#4 posted 1790 days ago

Very interesting, thanks.

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View jeffreythree's profile

jeffreythree

38 posts in 1801 days


#5 posted 1790 days ago

Those are pretty sweet on the big logs. You should check out one can do with a slabber attachment on a big walnut crotch.

-- My Etsy store: http://jtcwoodcrafts.etsy.com

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2447 days


#6 posted 1790 days ago

Thanks, Gary. Those are some interesting sawmills.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View drfisherman's profile

drfisherman

33 posts in 1795 days


#7 posted 1790 days ago

WOW! nice large logs and a very effective way to make short work of them…

-- "The worst day fishing is better than the best day working!"

View Innovator's profile

Innovator

3584 posts in 2038 days


#8 posted 1790 days ago

Interesting videos Gary, Thanks

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View glynn's profile

glynn

296 posts in 1945 days


#9 posted 1789 days ago

I used one in australia called a lewisaw it was just great. Two men could pack it into the bush and pack out finished cut lumber

-- jim nevada

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2298 days


#10 posted 1789 days ago

Looks like an amazing tool.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Jimi_C's profile

Jimi_C

506 posts in 1860 days


#11 posted 1789 days ago

I told the wife that I want one, but I don’t think she’s having it…

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3133 posts in 2221 days


#12 posted 1789 days ago

I don’t dare ask the wife for one of these

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View StevenAntonucci's profile

StevenAntonucci

355 posts in 2563 days


#13 posted 1788 days ago

I’ve seen this type of mill before, and that sawblade in the first one would scare me senseless!

I think we’ve all thought about how great it would be to saw our own lumber, but I can tell you that there is no such thing as “free wood”. I helped a guy once on his bandmill and we were slabbing some walnut. A 3” thick slab that was 20” wide (give or take) and 8’ long took 3 guys to carry and stack. Wet wood is heavy.

It cured me of wanting to cut my own lumber very quickly :-)

Great videos. Thanks for posting

-- Steven

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2007 days


#14 posted 1788 days ago

Seems you guys in Australia in particular know all about these.

socalwood – I had a feeling you’d either know what these are, or actually have one in your inventory. You didn’t disappoint!

Steven – that is one massive slab in my book.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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