Ebay has plans for bid
I've seen the second one, not too hard to follow.
Ideas from various commercial units at
I'd like to build one of the bandsawmills. And I've been
thinking about how you might design the mounts for the
If you have the two wheel axels under tension, what type
of bearing is best/standard/normal for this type of application?
I was thinking that a roller or ball bearing wouldn't be quite right
sort of thing. But I don't know much about bearings, or bearing
And second, I was thinking that one wheel could be fixed, while the
other one would need atleast the tension adjustment. But is this true
a good idea, because you might need to adjust each wheel to keep the
band from jumping off.
I was thinking that an excellent way to begin to mount these wheels
would be to take a solid bar and put it on a vertical mill and make
both axel sides as accurate as you could get it, with some sort of
slide provision for the tension adjustment.
But then I thought maybe this would be wasted effort because the wheels
might not be available to take advantage of this precision. IE. Can
super balanced, super true wheels?
I've been scrouning parts for a bandmill for a while, there's a
group on yahoo for milling (lumber). I've picked up an old
front wheel drive car and plan on using the rear axle
parts for the band wheels. Some plans specify a
trailer axle set, cast wheels would be ideal but more than I
want to invest.
The mini spare tires are
said to work nice in this application. I've been hoping
for steel prices to come down a bit before I start. I'm
going to use hydraulics for tensioners, feed ect. I want to
use a 20hp 3ph electric motor for power.
The tracking adjustment is simular to a standard shop bandsaw. A
1.25" blades needs a* lot* of tension . My main concern is to
operate remotely away from the blade, non of this pushing the carriage
by hand for me.
Use tele tubing with roller bearings for guides. The plans on ebay
are worth looking at along with some of the web sites. A lathe/mill
would be very helpfull.
Yep, cast wheels are available from some of the manufactures
also used mills are sometimes cheaper than building a mill.
going to use hydraulics for tensioners, feed ect. I want to
use a 20hp 3ph electric motor for power. </b>
Are you going to use the motor to power a hydraulic system then use
hydraulic motors to sping the band and move the carriage?
(keep me filled in on this, if you are)
I hear you about staying away from the thing. I'm also going to put a
fairly hefty cowling around the thing, a balistic shield.
I thought maybe I would pony up for the wheels and build everything
Go price your steel. I needed some the other day, and was expecting
something outrageous, but the total wasn't that bad. Shop around.
Finished goods made from steel warped my expectations a little bit for
the raw metal. Things made from steel sure have skyrocketed.
I saw pictures of a well used home made bandsaw mill. The drive wheels
were actually drive tires. Yup, regular car wheels, with inflated
tires on 'em. It looked as if the wheels were mounted to axles and
axle housings that had been cut down. It was a pretty big setup in
that it could handle large diameter trees. I'm sure it's still out
there on the web.
On Mon, 02 May 2005 16:42:16 -0700, the inscrutable Eric R Snow
Y'mean this one: http://www.gardenofwar.gq.nu/mill/millnotes.html
Here's one for a metal bandsaw:
Wow I just posted something similar before I saw this thread,
I'm going to use those mini spare tires for wheels and spindle assy's
from a geo storm or Pont grandam. Just bolt a CV axle thru the assy
cut off the other CV joint and attach a pulley or two for the drive.
I'm leaving some of the obvious items like pillow blocks to support
the cv axle but by using one cv joint it will allow you to shim the
spindle assy's without binding up the drive shaft.
Those spindle assy's cost around 60 bucks new in KY and a new CV axle
costs 75 bucks.
Same here. But - what about this...why? Could you start with, say,
a 14" Delta, add a riser block to get the opening you want, and add rails
to that? While DIY is a wonderful thing, all the fiddly bits are in
getting the wheels & band & bearings all tweaked just right. Why not
start with a saw that has done all that already?
I've got the Delta (well, Rockwell) 14" saw, and I can't see a compelling
reason not to try rail-mounting it for sawmill use. What am I not
What am I not thinking of?
If it would handle the tension required to keep a 1.25+" blade
tensioned and be power fed into a log I'd say nothing. I want
hydraulic tension for a couple of reasons and that would require
some mass to stand up to the higher tensions. The longer the blade
the sharper it stays.
If you are sawing along and hit a hard spot heating up the blade it
will expand and I want something to keep the tension on the blade.
That would be either a big spring or hydraulic.
I have to agree about the fiddly part, a friend had a cabin done
by a man with a bandmill --top of the line with all the goodies.
It did some great work and fast but a 40k investment in the saw alone.
Also know a fellow who built a cabin with a chain saw mill---talk
about detemined, said he wouldn't do it again.
Well, I have a resaw blade for it, and it handles 6" of wood in resaw
just fine, so that's nearly there for logs.
Makes sense - less passes per tooth, when there are more teeth.
The big spring is already on a bandsaw, so ... ???
I don't use that much lumber to justify that sort of thing, but if
I can do this for 500 bucks plus the saw I already have, then it's
attractive. Doubly so if I can make the saw a temporary member of
the sawmill, and bring it back into the shop when I'm done.
I've seen chainsaw mills used, and I'd tend to agree. Maybe for
the challenge, but not as a routine. Too much kerf loss if nothing
I always see this mentioned in regard to chainsaw mills, "too much kerf
loss" and I guess compared to a band saw mill, it does chew out a wider
cut, but have you ever seen one of those old Bell-Saw circular saw rigs?
The kerf on those runs as bad if not worse than a chainsaw mill! If it
gets the job done and you are not paying for the trees, a chain saw mill
is the cheapest solution. If you are talking about production work,
then even the lower end bandsaw mills could be called "too much work"
I am not the original poster of this thread, I was just chiming in on
the apparent bias against chainsaw mills, often being faulted for having
too wide a kerf and being too work intensive.
I pointed out that a chainsaw mills kerf is not any wider than the old
Bell-Saw traditional circular saw blade mill. ( I have helped run one of
those and even with a tractor with a bucket it is WORK to get the logs
up and possitioned on the cart and dogged in place for sawing) A chain
saw mill lets you position a relatively light weight saw on the log, a
much easier proposition.
Secondly in regard to the criticism of a chainsaw mill being "too much
work for production work", I would suggest that setting up the small,
lower end (lower price) bandsaw mills, without the automatic or remote
controls for return, depth of cut, etc. is ALSO a lot of work, similar
to the work required for the set up of a chainsaw mill. Thus my
statement that even a lower end bandsaw mill could be called "too much
work". Yes, a small bandsaw portable mill may make a board cut faster
than a chainsaw mill, but the real work is the set up and dragging the
saw back for a second cut. Production work, (lots of board feet)
requires a high end mill, which for most folks is way beyond their
budgets, I know it is for me.
a good bandsaw mill for production work, will run over $5,000, and more
than likly, for real production work, you are in the over $10,000 range.
When you compare a chainsaw mill setup which will usually run under
$1,000, less if you already have a suitable saw, I don't think that a
Chainsaw mill is such a bad deal. They are highly portable, relativly
easy to sharpen, replace you cutting medium (chain) and they do get the
job done. I find that the major work with making your own lumber is in
the handling of the trees and then the proper stacking of the lumber,
not so much in the cutting. With whatever method you choose,
traditional circular sawmill, bandsaw mill, Portable or stationary, or
chainsaw mill, you still have the back breaking work of moving the wood.
Sorry for the long reply, but logging and milling wood IS hard work no
matter what saw you choose to use.
Well...I guess I at least made you make your point.. <G>
But your points are well made. Seriously.
I agree that unless you are making/paying max $/weight for your wood,
a chainsaw mill is no worse than a bs mill, and a lot cheaper on bang
for the buck basis.
I guess the only "work" difference might be pushing the chainsaw
through the wood ( this is another aspect of wider kerf), and also the
feeling I get that c/s chains take more care than BS blades to perform
their job. However I base this on cutting clean wood with thye BS and
bush wood with a C/S.
If you have a look at the plans for these things, a 14" delta would
simply not cut it. It's way out of the ballpark. The mills are
designed to tear through large quantities of wood, mlaybe up to 12" or
more, at high speed.
The Delta simply could not take the tensionming of the 1.25" band
This is true. IIRC, the largest blade the Delta 14" was
designed for was a 3/4" one. Getting a proper tension on a wider
one would be nearly impossible...although I do seem to remember
hearing about some low tension blades out there...
I have had really good luck with using my Delta 14" for
resawing lumber, and, for preparing bowl blanks for the lathe. It is
a bit slower than some other machines...but, then...I am not trying
to make a profit here. There is a big difference between hobby
milling and milling for profit. If I was going to go into the
small-scale sawmill business, I suspect I would just go ahead
and drop the cash for a small commercial mill. After all, my
goal would be to make money off sawing wood...NOT to burn
a lot of expensive time building a kit.
my problems with using a 14" bandsaw for any serious milling
are as follows:
1) unless serious surgery is done, 12" is the biggest chunk
of wood that will feed through it. That is pretty small for lumber.
If you do the surgery to build a frame to hold the two parts of the
saw in sufficiently rigid alignment, then, you will have done so
much work that you might as well have spent the extra 20 minutes
to cobble together the mounting plates for a couple of car tires
for the band to run on.
2) awkwardness. That Delta is cast iron...and pretty heavy,
so getting it mounted would be an issue.
3) As a part of that...it is DESIGNED to be used upright.
While I have seen a few mills that cut with the band vertical, most
of the smaller, hobby mills run the band horizontal. Mounting
it vertically means that there is a lot of work to raise the
log up to it. Mounting it horizontally means that it MAY not
be rigid enough to withstand both the force of gravity AND the tension
of the blade, so, might well be hard to align.
4) To get the full benefit of the blade, one would really have
to remove the table and rework the guide mechanism...not only is that
more work, but, it means that the saw becomes useless for anything
BUT sawing logs. realistically, it is unlikely that anyone would take
the 30 minutes to an hour or more to get the removed parts remounted
and the saw set up for other uses around the shop.
Now, having said all that...I think that by building an
infeed and outfeed table that provide good support for a log carrier,
it would be quite possible to use the saw for SMALL sawmill projects.
Frankly, I find that with the WoodSlicer blade from Highland Hardware,
I can feed a full, 6" board through the saw pretty much as fast as
I like without bogging the saw down (I have a 3/4 HP motor on my saw,
too), so, I suspect that with a manual saw like this, it should be
"fast enough" for hobby work.
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