Re: Band Mill Plan Query

On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 04:07:27 GMT, "john moorhead"

I use a Wood-Mizer LT-15
It's impractical to build a band mill from scratch. You're going to buy in the engine, and you need to source wheels from somewhere. They're big enough that turning them is going to need a really large lathe. So if you're buying wheels, where from ? Can you get something like Wood-Mizer wheels as spares ? I know that things like the roller guides are available.
With the Wood-Mizer, I can saw veneers to a thickness that's limited by the tooth raggedness, not the blade stability. Now I'm not going to achieve that on car tyres. For some uses, the simpler home-build designs might do, but a S/H LT-15 isn't that much more expensive then building your own. I'd certainly look at that route.
One thing I would think about is making some bed rails. Wood-Mizer rails are expensive, relative to their manufacturing cost to someone with a metal bandsaw and a stick welder. If this machine was going nto a permanent timberyard location, then I'd certainly make my own bed.
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There are plans on ebay and several outfits sell parts. Woodmizer is overrated, in my opinion. It's a nice machine but not as stable as a four post head type.
There's no reason you can't build a good mill. I haven't seen one with car tires, but it would be great if it worked. I think with proper guides it should be fine, but try to find one running if you can. A couple of the commercial ones look very much like what I would build. Wilson http://www.linnlumber.com /
http://forestry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cooks saw.com%2F
http://www.sawmillexchange.com/band.htm
http://www.bandmill.com/boardm.html
http://www.burgbandsawmills.com/index.html
http://www.hud-son.com/index2.html
http://www.jcsaw.com/default.htm
http://www.linnlumber.com /
http://home.pacifier.com/~mytmite/bandopt.html
http://mixonmills.com /
http://www.jcmsoh.freeservers.com/oliver.html
http://www.portablebandsawmill.com /
http://www.norwoodindustries.com/lumbermate.htm
http://www.nashenterprises.com/portbandsaw.html
http://www.premierbandwheel.com /
http://www.bandmill.com/shipping.html
http://www.sawmillexchange.com /
http://www.oregon-web.net/sawmill.htm
http://www.timberking.com /
http://www.southernbandsaw.com/modc.html
http://www.turnermills.com/index.htm
http://www.linnlumber.com /
http://forestry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cooks saw.com%2F
http://www.sawmillexchange.com/band.htm
http://www.bandmill.com/boardm.html
http://www.burgbandsawmills.com/index.html
http://www.hud-son.com/index2.html
http://www.jcsaw.com/default.htm
http://www.linnlumber.com /
http://home.pacifier.com/~mytmite/bandopt.html
http://mixonmills.com /
http://www.jcmsoh.freeservers.com/oliver.html
http://www.portablebandsawmill.com /
http://www.norwoodindustries.com/lumbermate.htm
http://www.nashenterprises.com/portbandsaw.html
http://www.premierbandwheel.com /
http://www.bandmill.com/shipping.html
http://www.sawmillexchange.com /
http://www.oregon-web.net/sawmill.htm
http://www.timberking.com /
http://www.southernbandsaw.com/modc.html
http://www.turnermills.com/index.htm

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I have built several based around a booklet which I purchased from Bill Rake 7 years ago. Using brand new steel and components, you can build the saw for about $1500 or less, powered by a brand new 13 hp engine.It sounds like you have someone to help that has the skills to build it. A skilled fabricator can build the saw in two full days, three at most.Tires and wheels are balanced, and you offset the center-line of blade guides (bearing bottoms) 3/16" to 1/4" off center-line of bottom of tires. In doing it this way the blade under tension is kept true between guides, even if your tires are slightly out of round. The mill when built right will cut lumber as good as any manufactured band sawmill. Regardless of what some have said in this thread, you can cut veneer with this saw. If you can build the saw accurately, it will cut accurately. Below is a link to the first I built, and the second link are some pictures others have shared with me recently of their own success. I am not affiliated with Bill Rake in any way, just given credit where credit is do.
http://www.smnet.net/pmwinston/Mill/thumbnails.html -my first mill
http://www.smnet.net/pmwinston/Kruppt/thumbnails.htm -recent others
http://www.homemadebandsawmill.com/ -Bill Rake
Kruppt
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pixelated:

Pretty cool. Did you have fun building that? </rhetoric> What kind of mileage do you get from those tires? That Gravely "riding" log splitter is a hoot.

2 questions on the
http://www.smnet.net/pmwinston/Kruppt/sawmill03.jpg
picture: Is that a blade engaging lever on top, and didn't you get thickness fluctuations by having the flat track getting sawdust under the carriage wheels? I noticed that most of the others had vertical tracks. (Or was it there but I couldn't see it?)

Judging by this statement, some of the questions he fielded must have been doozies. "Must be able to Cut, Weld and THINK." Har!
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LOL! Mileage? The tires will out live me I'm sure. Yes, I did enjoy building the mill/s. Yeah, the Gravely splitter makes my wood splitting chores around here a little easier.

The saw in the picture here is being built by a well known boat designer/builder from Vermont, it is not a mill I built. He is going to saw lumber for a house he has started building. In these pictures the mill has not been fully completed. I helped him via email in the process of building it. The lever on top of the saw carriage is a idea I came up with, he liked it, so he built one for his, it is not part of Bill's original plans. When you complete a cut, you push down on this lever and it raises the sawhead 1" or so up from the cant, so the blade does not rub or catch on the cant when running the sawhead back for the next cut. When you release the lever the sawhead sets exactly at the same place you were on your last cut/setworks, so you can do quick calcs for your next cut/board.
As far as sawdust under the carriage wheels. It does not show up well in the pictures, but the v-caster wheels on the carraige ride on top of a 1" by 1" by 1/4" angle iron. The legs of the 1" angle rest on top of the 3" leg of the 3" by 5" by 1/4" angle in this position ^ . That said, the v-caster carraige wheels ride on top of this smaller angle where no sawdust collects.(falls off the 45 degree incline) You can saw all you want and the dust does not settle on the angle, and cause accuracy problems. Most of the sawdust is shot away from the mill up 10-15 ft. to the side of the mill, very little dust ends up around the track section, to the point of the track being buried in dust.

LOL!, yeah I'm sure he has. When I purchased the "plans" a while back, (he was not on the web at the time, saw one of his mills in a sawmill mag) all he had were some pictures of various mills he had made, and the components in a 21 page booklet.(very sparse on measurements) It was not a "plan" in the normal sense most people think of, when you think of plans/blueprints where every detail is spelled out for you. All measurements were not there, you had to figure these out for yourself. Since that time he has added much more to his plans. There are more drawings, measures, and helps I have heard. I have heard from others, that a person can email him during the building process, and he will assist you, if you can not figure something out for yourself, (if a person is of the type that needs to know the "measures and abouts" for everything) That said, I think that is what he means by being able to THINK.
Kruppt
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John, We are still working on our band mill. We started out by buying bearings, axles, and band wheels from www.linnlumber.com The gent there sent a video tape of assembly instructions for his series of kits which we have been reverse engineering in places to use as a start.
His price for pillow block bearings was as good as I could find at the time. The band wheels he sells are a browning pulley with a v belt on them. Browning pulleys can be had at your local bearing supply. Suffolk machinery sells a poly belt to use in place of the v belt according to the brochure that I recieved with a recent purchase.
We are also doing a lot of scrounging. We have a 9.9 hp Onan opposed engine plus a spare that we got for free. Maybe a bit under powered but we are not looking to be a commercial interest. The engine was set up to use a gear reduction box so output shaft didn't have a oil seal since it was enclosed in a gear box. There was a bore that we could drive an oil seal so we measured it and put one in.
The rails we are using is 3" angle, 3/8 wall that my brother in law had left from a job which he gave to us. He also gave us an axle and tire assembly that fits nicely. We plan to remove axle assy when on site to get frame low to ground and use leveling jack screws to true things up.
The screws to raise carrage are nothing more than 1" 8 pitch threaded rod bought at a steel supply. We have an old variable speed gearbox/motor/controller we have attached to help speed raising and lowering. The thing runs on 110 ac but we plan to attach an inverter to truck for power.
Guide wheels for track and guide wheels for band are home made. I have access to a lathe at work and another brother in law that was able to supply stubs of 4140 stock for round parts.
We are well under a grand at this time. We made one test cut on red pine but need to make some changes and get blade guarding in place.
The only thing that gives me pause is that we are using a tensioner idler system to engage the engine with band wheels. Basically, we move the idler away from belt when we want the engine to be de-clutched and spring load the idler to engage. It doesn't work so well. Not enough resistance from band wheels so they start spinning right after starting he engine. I'd like to find a resonably priced source for a 1" bore centrifical clutch that can handle 10-15 hp. Linn lumber has one but I don't care for his price.
Steel for guarding, I get from work from the scrap bin. We use a lot of sheet goods for custom products we make. Sometimes the scrap is decent sized material.
As far as is this worth it. If your desire is to do commercial work, then get commercial equipment. If your desire is to handle some work for family and friends and have fun building something useful using your ability to create something useful from others junk then go for it. There is no way we would have spent 4-6 grand on a mill. Less than a grand using what we can scrounge makes it 500 bucks each for uncle and me.
Wes
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