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Planning a Bandsaw Mill build

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Forum topic by Jeff2016 posted 01-14-2016 06:00 PM 803 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jeff2016

72 posts in 329 days


01-14-2016 06:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw mill shop built question tip

Greetings all!

I’m the new guy on the block and began telling my story Here on my LJ Blog.

I hope I landed in the right forum for this question!

While I have already begun my homework on building a band saw mill, I am hoping to gather better information all in one spot.
There is so much to absorb, and my bookmark button is just about wore out. Not to mention my memory at remembering which ones I want to refer back to at any given point.
What I am hoping is that some of you would like to show off your mills, and toss in anything you would change if you had to go back and build it over again.
I am currently running with a homemade chainsaw mill I put together. While it does perform beautifully I find it back breaking work and have access to far more logs of my choice than I can possibly get through with it.

So a few questions to start with-

What is best gas or electric? I will be setting up in one place and a power source is close at hand, so it’s more of a cost/ efficiency question.

What HP is optimal? I am planning for nothing larger than a 36” diameter max.

Best material for wheels? There seems to be a lot of controversy over using car/ motorcycle wheels. Pros and cons?

For blade lubrication, does water alone suffice? This seems to be another controversial point across the internet.

I am not worried about the “convenience” items such as lifts to load the logs as I have access to a decent sized front loader to handle that.

The bottom line, I will be assembling the mill from whatever materials I can scrounge up on a strict budget. College tuition is brutal! Especially when multiplied by 3!

Alright, who wishes to show off their mill?

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!


16 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#1 posted 01-14-2016 06:06 PM

I bought one, so I can’t answer all of them but I can tell you that the higher HP you can get, the better. HP will come into play when you’re figuring out how wide the maximum cut will be. You can go look at the websites for Woodmizer and other sawmill companies to see what horsepower their machines are. Most of them, have options to upgrade to a larger motor.

For blade lubrication, I used to use water but there is still some sap buildup so I started adding Dawn dishwashing detergent to the mix. That really made a difference on blade buildup.

As for gas vs electric? I’m sure I would prefer electric but mine is built on a trailer to keep my options open if I ever need to go and mill at a different location.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 684 days


#2 posted 01-14-2016 09:10 PM

welcome,jeff!!
glad to see ya getting into a build. the only advise i really have is to head over to both of these sites

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php

http://www.arboristsite.com/community/

lots of great knowledge there.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22021 posts in 1803 days


#3 posted 01-14-2016 09:56 PM

I hope you have a lot of space to stack lumber. :-)

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

72 posts in 329 days


#4 posted 01-14-2016 11:38 PM

AZWoody- Ya know I started there, but haven’t thought to go back now that I better understand the components. I’ll have to slap my own head for that one.

Dawn soap got it.

That is my biggest con with electric too. I’m using it in my maintenance yard at work. I know I have a job as long as I want it, but sooner or later it will have to be moved. I’m not sure the next destination will have power before it gets there. Our final home will be on 10 acres up north, but Holy Cow at the money they want to run power lines in!

tomsteve- Thank you, I have been lurking around the forestry Forum, but I hadn’t come across the Arborists site.
Glad the evening is still young!

Monte- Beautiful build Sir!
Two questions:
1) Am I seeing right that your sled slides rather than rolls?
2) Did you try wheels and find sliding to be better?

I have space, albeit not as much as you!
We spend time up north, so the thicker it is the more likely I will transport it north. But I’m not talking about a constant flow of lumber either. During the summer my wood working time comes to a screeching halt. So I only need to keep enough lumber in the proper stages to maintain a modest flow of seasoned boards.
Although I brought one slab home to show off a bit, and now there is a list on my desk written in the hands of both daughters and my better half. They scoffed when I set down a large glass jug with a piece of masking tape that read : Chainsaw Fuel Fund

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22021 posts in 1803 days


#5 posted 01-15-2016 04:43 AM

It’s on rollers. We will cut about 10,000 board feet a year with it.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

72 posts in 329 days


#6 posted 01-15-2016 12:21 PM



It s on rollers. We will cut about 10,000 board feet a year with it.

- Monte Pittman

That’s a lot of wood! Thank you very much for sharing pics.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#7 posted 01-15-2016 05:53 PM

I love the pics here. One day I’m going to need to build either a dedicated slabber or a sawmill that can do some of the larger logs I get in. Maybe something cheap that can pare the larger ones down so then I can use my regular sawmill which can handle a 24” cut tops.

Btw, don’t forget the cost of bandsaw blades into all this. You can run through them pretty quick and unless you have a place to sharpen them regularly, you’ll need to keep a pretty decent stock on hand.
Also, then you need to have a couple different types for different woods. It’s a fun hobby for me, but definitely not cheap, haha.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22021 posts in 1803 days


#8 posted 01-15-2016 05:57 PM

I have absolutely nobody local for blades or sharpening. I use probably 30 blades a year from Cooks.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#9 posted 01-16-2016 01:18 AM

Monte, Post the pics showing why you need covers over your wheels! I see you still haven’t done yours :(

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#10 posted 01-16-2016 01:28 AM



I have absolutely nobody local for blades or sharpening. I use probably 30 blades a year from Cooks.

- Monte Pittman

What woods are you cutting normally? I go through so many because I’m in the desert and it’s mostly mesquite and eucalyptus which are both brutal on blades. That, and they’ve all been through sandstorms constantly over the years and no amount of washing can get it all. I can get at most, 3 2’x6’ logs per blade with mine before I get a lot of serious rippling.

I had to buy my own sharpener and setter which is expensive and a very time consuming job.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22021 posts in 1803 days


#11 posted 01-16-2016 02:45 AM

A couple “little” scratches and people think I am unsafe. They didn’t need stitches. :-)

I have cut elm, oak,poplar black walnut, walnut, Hackberry, maple, honey locust, Boxelder, spruce, cottonwood, Russian olive, red cedar,ash and lots of Beetle Kill Pine.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

72 posts in 329 days


#12 posted 01-16-2016 03:22 PM

AZWoody- I have not forgotten about blades, however since I have the chainsaw mill I have considered exactly what you said, to build a smaller mill and use the chainsaw mill to bring the bigger logs down to size.
That could possible make it a comfortable size to have at home, and storing it much easier.
I spent some years running a firewood processor and became pretty good friends with the owner. I can pick and choose the logs I want and pay for them by running the processor.
Since I am only looking to supply my own wood working habits, it seems a reasonable way to go.

Monte- Sounds like you are a pro with your mill! And what pro doesn’t get a scratch her or there?

To my knowledge I have no one local for saw sharpening either. I still have a mountain of 10 and 12” blades for my table and miter saws I can’t find any decent place to sharpen. Local hardware store ships them out. I tried that but was so unhappy with the result I bought a new blade the day after I picked up the newly sharpened one.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 684 days


#13 posted 01-16-2016 10:55 PM

jeff, check these guys out for your bades to get sharpened.
http://www.dynamic-saw-blade-sharpening.com/pricelist.html

View Jeff2016's profile

Jeff2016

72 posts in 329 days


#14 posted 01-17-2016 03:22 AM

That could be a handy link thanks!
Do you use them? If so are you satisfied?

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3553 posts in 1232 days


#15 posted 01-17-2016 02:35 PM

There is a guy near where I live that makes some really good looking band saws. He can make me a 42” saw with 20HP Honda engine for $4500 without the trailer. Somewhere around $5200 to put the 16’ rails on wheels.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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