|Project by Mark A. DeCou||posted 05-09-2013 01:54 AM||8116 views||23 times favorited||54 comments|
Not really a long posting tonight , I’m exhausted, and I need to get back to the shop and work on something that has to ship soon. But, this was too exciting of a day to not toot my horn a little. The rest of the week, and next week will be so busy, that if I don’t do it tonight, I may not get the posting done.
After about 30 years of dreaming, and going on about three years of building, today we ran the maiden voyage of our new home built band saw log mill. My goals with this project are to do large slabs with natural edges for Nakashima sized table tops and boards, bigger than the typical mill will allow, producing large slabs that are hard to find if a guy wants to buy one. I also wanted it to handle cutting the tops and bottoms off of large log stumps to be used for table bases, so that affected the sizing and design.
From the measurements we took today, the maximum width for the “Angry Beaver” log mill will be about 51”. There are a few things we could modify a little to go 3-4 inches wider if that were ever necessary.
The first log was Osage Orange that has been laying down for more than three years waiting for the log mill to get built. So, it wasn’t easy wood to mill.
The trial run showed a few things we need to modify a little, a couple of things to fix, for instance we think that we need a bigger engine, and have to chase down a leaking hydraulic fluid tank. We built the oil and diesel tanks in the framing of the trailer, and the diesel held fine, but a nagging drip in the oil tank means we need to work on that a little. It passed an air test somehow, but the oil found a pin hole in the welding today. The tank held just about a whole drum of oil, so we need to fix the hole before we need another oil drum. I used to have an old Shovel Head Harley that I kept a big pan with cat litter sitting under it, and without fixing this leak, the log mill will need the same sort of pan…..we’ll fix it.
The diesel engine drives a hydraulic pump, and all of the movements are provide by hydraulic power. We need to modify one gear ratio on the forward travel movement, which won’t be a big deal, just more money and another day or two welding and painting again.
We used Wood Mizer’s blade guides, which are awesome, and well suited to adjust and change all three axis of the blade guide rollers.
We used a Ripper 37 blade, but trying to back out of a cut (I counseled against it, but was overridden) we drug our new blade off the tires, and a few teeth were damaged on the fender guards around the wheels. So, blade number one is a little more dull now.
Once we get things dialed in and the modifications made, I’m hoping to spend some time this Summer and Fall cutting up Osage Orange large slab boards, some good sized walnut, a couple of oak logs, a big elm, and a few other things while I look for more logs.
All in all, it’s amazing to see a dream develop, find a partner, gather steam, and come to fruition….and a couple of good friends working together to build something from scratch, without any drawings.
That’s it, no videos tonight, the videos I took are too large to load-up using my slow satellite internet speed.
thanks for reading along, I know you are rooting for us,
decoustudio.com (yes I know the website has a virus right now, the guy is working on that problem)
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com