Given all of the angst over the small circular saw on a stick, thought I
would add some perspective. Remember, people actually used the following
setup and most likely in less than ideal conditions (you have to join the
lines, Supernews is too friggin' stupid to recognize that this is not a
commercial posting and rejects it if I post the whole link.
Not associated with the seller, just a browser of that web page
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Think about that for a second. Yeah, the *saw* stays in place -- the
operator does not. The operator is pushing wood through that blade with no
guard, no protection if he trips on the way to the saw, no protection if
the ground beneath becomes slippery (as it might during the winter when
something like this was very likely to be used), or if he slips while
pushing the wood through the saw. Also bear in mind that the operator's
objective is to saw as much wood as possible in a short amount of time.
I know which of those two machines I'd rather be using.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
I've run sawmills of very similar design but much larger than that one
-- it's not as bad as you're trying to make it.
I'll still take the fixed, heavy machine over the possible flying
handsaw, thanks... :)
To amplify, actually _a_ sawmill of similar general style.
When got out of school and moved to Virginia, first time I'd ever been
anywhere there were trees sufficient to actually have sawmills and
outside the high school shop, first opportunity to start shop on own.
Found several small mills around Lynchburg, one in particular between
Lynchburg and Alta Vista--a one-man mill run by a crotchety old man who
had been there all his life which was getting on towards 80 by then, I
expect although I never knew just how old he actually was.
His mill was powered by an old Case 930 tractor which had been stripped
of running gear, etc., in place of the original (I think) steam engine.
It was a 42" blade but did have a cable-drawn carriage but was as open
as the one you posted link to.
I bought lumber from him for a couple of years and gradually got to know
him so that eventually I worked weekends and some evenings with him at
the mill for the chance to get first dibs on the walnut and better oak
logs. The prime output of the mill was ties for the N&W and timbers for
the coal mines. We cut everything else on a as-time basis -- rough 1x
stuff for barn siding, etc., black locust landscape small timbers for a
local garden store, occasionally some poplar for the Lane factory just
down the road when get enough stacked up to make a kiln loading.
Learned most what I know about wood from that old fella' ...
I spent hours working a saw similar to the one shown in the link in
the late '20's - early 50's. Our "saw rig" was a bit different - the
tilt table was outfitted to the back of the frame of a "former" Model
A pickup truck. The saw - probably 36" - was mounted to an arbor with
a flat belt pulley on the other end.
To operate it, a suitable level location was picked, the front wheels
blocked and the rear axle raised up by using a long pole, so that the
tire came up and made contact with the pulley - both rear wheels off
the ground - voila! direct drive! Wish I had photos...
Start the engine, shift into gear, and set the throttle for the right
speed, by ear. We used to cut up 8 - 10 cords of firewood to see us
thru the winter here in Maine. Slabs and small round wood could be
stacked and cut in one pass - big bolts sometimes required cutting
part way thru and then rotated to finish the cut. I was allowed to
operate it about when I turned 10; before that I was only allowed to
"take away" and stack. Splitting with a maul and sometimes wedges came
after - usually about the time of first frost - split easier then. The
wood warmed us several times; once felling and yarding, again cutting
up, again splitting and getting it in the shed, and finally burning.
In later years - 2000 - I had a Sears tilt table saw - about 24" blade
- that I hooked to the front PTO pulley on my Simplicity lawn tractor
with a long v belt. Worked great! Have photos somewhere....
And yes, I still have all my fingers!
A few years ago the L/A Maritime built a couple of 95 ft Brigs in
their parking lot.
Talk about old & large wood working machinery.
They had a bandsaw that rotated around the stock to make angular cuts
while the stock laid flat on infeed & outfeed roller conveyors for
Don't have a clue where they found some of this old and very large
machinery or what they did with it after the project was finished.
Remember Rube Goldberg?
Had an uncle who took his 1940 vintage John Deere farm tractor and
fitted a saw blade, probably about 24" dia, on the front and used it
to cut up brush for for firewood.
Never saw it in action, but just looking at it gave me the shivvers.
If you want a place that'll make you think you might want another career
path, try looking in on one of the shingle sawyers' mills! Those guys
slice a shingle off a billet essentially freehand while the world turns...
The "mostest-scariest" feeling I've had around a piece of woodworking
was at a BC veneer mill even though it was fully automated the size,
speed and just something about the sound (an evil hiss :) ) just gave me
the chills being beside it. (Working for company which did a control
system upgrade job there years and years ago...I did much of the
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