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Author Topic: Setting up a Lucas ?  (Read 8956 times)

Offline runningalucas

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Setting up a Lucas ?
« on: January 08, 2012, 07:48:18 PM »
Hi All,

This is a question primarily to Stevem; hopefully he'll see it;)

I've been taking my time setting up my Lucas; there's not much snow, but when you start trying to drag 'stuff' through it, and set other stuff up, is when you realize there's still a good 4 inches.... Hence the reason it's taken a while to get the mill set up. 

Finally, I've got the mill up; the water reservoir was full, and now is frozen; it's now sitting next to me, inside the house; hopefully I can get the mill running tomorrow for some initial trials.

Where I'm having some issues, and would like advice are as follows, the mill, I thought was on very level ground; however, the rails/tracks aren't quite parallel.  The one back corner is apparently about an inch, or two low, and is what's causing the issue.  I believe I can get it close by simply putting a 1 x, or 2 x board under it.

There in lies my question, how critical is it to have the base of all four corner posts leveled?  Can they be 'close', or will any difference affect my cutting adversely?  Do I need to have them leveled within an eighth of an inch, a quarter, or ? 

Also, in that same thought process, how critical is it that the actual posts be 'plumb' to the ground, or does that not matter? 

Let me know if I made myself clear, or if I need to expand on what I'm asking,

Thanks In Advance:)

Joe

Offline Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner"

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 09:13:32 AM »
Joe, I am not sure of the answer you need, however, when Steve set his unit up here a couple three times that issues did not seem to matter.  We were using the slabbing device on a four foot plus Sequoia. Howeverm I will difer to him for the correct answer. ;D

Offline runningalucas

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 05:19:23 PM »
Okay, I did some reading....  Supposedly, you just need to 'sight' the two tracks to make sure they appear 'parallel'; which still doesn't answer how 'critical' it is. 

It would seem that to have slightly off, your boards would still be dimensionally accurate, but possibly have a slight twist to them.

Also, I called Bailey's, and talked to a Doug Morgan(I believe it was Morgan ext.  228).  He normally deals with the planers, and I believe logosol stuff, but was very knowledgeable regarding general Lucas operations.

In talking with him, he stressed many things, such as checking your blade with a framing square, to insure it's flat all the way across; not bowed.  He also mentioned the importance of using chain wax on all the lift chains, and cranks on the ends.  Apparently, the lift chains are metric, and only available in the US from Bailey's; Doug expressed they're an expensive item that won't need replacing as long as you take care of them. 

As far as blade maintenance, Doug recommended, a man out of Portland Oregon, I believe the company was 'Alright Saw'.  He said the man who ran the place is very good with retipping the blades, and general care. 

So today, I changed the oil in both the engine, and transmission.  I hesitated with the brass plugs in the aluminum gearbox.  I got them just a touch past snug, "I think"  25 degrees, cold hands doesn't facilitate a real good 'feel'. 

Along with the oil change(s), I also filled the gas tank full of Premium(non Ethanol) gas, and mixed with the gas, was a can of SeaFoam; I put that in to help clean up any gum build up in the carb.

So I loaded a log into mill, and took my first cut.... It cut like shit:(  The saw felt as though it was actually trying to ride up out of the cut, and the overall carriage became heavy to push.

I decided to take Doug's advice, and put a framing square on the blade.  It appeared to bow upwards from the spindle.  It was slight, but it did 'cup' upwards on the edges.

So....  I did get a chance to try the saw, and it was neat.  I'm in the process of trying to change the blade, which is held on by 5 bolts.  The locknuts on the back side came off real easy, but three of the 5 are seemingly frozen.  I went ahead, and sprayed them with penetrating oil, and will go back out in a little bit to try to break them free.

Overall, I didn't want to change the blade, and use the brand new one; as the log is covered in ice, and I don't think that'll be too 'great' for the new teeth.

If anyone has any advice, or question, shoot:)

Offline Stevem

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 05:27:59 PM »
The rails need to be parallel, say within 1/4", but it's all done by eyeball.  Level end stands work too but not necessary.  If your off, only three wheels on the trolly are on the rails.  What you don't want is a severe lean right to left from the operator position.  Not so bad if you have the sidewinder options but I have to push or pull the saw across and too much lean is a real hassle.  Also tends to allow the saw to drift off line if the lean is away from the log. You can either raise the low "corner" or dig down the high corner.  Every inch you raise the saw is an inch of wood you can't cut.

Slope, up or down, can be worked with but too much is a real labor.  Lucas will tell you to cut either level or slightly down hill with the chainsaw attachment which is all push for cutting.  As far as I can see the saw doesn't care but I don't like to pull the saw up hill either direction.  Prefer the saw just stays put if I take my hands off of it.  

Might mention about how far the end stands are from the ends of the track.  If you get too much track past the end stands the saw can do a "wheely" on you and a chance that the saw will tip down into the dirt.  Never had it happen but have raised one end that I had to grab and pull back down.  I've got a little c-clamp I sometimes use as a saw stop to prevent that on the rare occasions sawing short logs.  A rag draped over the rail works too.
Stevem
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Offline Stevem

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 05:51:31 PM »
Quote
So....  I did get a chance to try the saw, and it was neat.  I'm in the process of trying to change the blade, which is held on by 5 bolts.  The locknuts on the back side came off real easy, but three of the 5 are seemingly frozen.  I went ahead, and sprayed them with penetrating oil, and will go back out in a little bit to try to break them free.

Were you cutting in the direction of the arrows?  Saw should tend to pull itself into the wood.  Climb cutting can be real scary.  Don't ask me how I know that.

The bolts on the back don't hold the saw blade they are only there to stop the screws from coming lose.  They don't need to be real tight. Just tight enough to insure that they and screws don't come off.  Use the box end of the wrench, not the open end.  The screws need to have a little anti seize grease applied.  A little dab will do you.  That info is a one liner in the book that I didn't read soon enough.  Had to get a hand impact tool and special metric socket allen to get mine loose once.  Of course I was 30 miles from home at the time I needed to get the blade off that had hit a nail.  Never again.  Carry the grease in the tool kit now.   Heat from a propane torch might have worked.  When you tighten the screws I suggest that you first snug all of them then tighten every other one rotating the blade, two complete rotations to get all 5.  That way the blade settles in evenly.  Just going around once can put a torque strain on the blade.  I've seen it happen on car brake drums.

Good that you're plugged into Baileys.  Lots of good info there.  Don't forget the Lucas web site.  I've actually had Warren Lucas answer questions vie e-mail and the phone.  Also met him at a workshop.  Neat guy.

Sorry I was late in answering but one of my cars died and been chasing a solution.

  
Stevem
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Offline runningalucas

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 08:29:12 PM »
Thanks Steve,

As to the cuts, yes, correct direction.  I think the slight 'cupping' on the blade is what caused it to 'ride up', but don't have it off yet.  

The three bolts as you mention above are frozen  >:( >:( >:(  I'm really frustrated with them, and the original allen wrench that came with the mill, isn't up to 'snuff' for getting them out.  At this point, it's a little rounded off; I 'hope' the internal of the bolts aren't too messed up.

I made a trip to town, and no one in the near area had a single 5mm socket, let alone an impact socket.  I ended up at home depot, and bought a Dewalt set guaranteed for life...'supposedly'.

I got a fairly good grip with the dewalt tool(minus a little 'give'), but they are definitely frozen :-[  So, tomorrow comes the Propane torch approach as you mentioned.  

The only impact tool I have is a larger impact wrench, and I think it might be too much for the 5mm allen tool.

Offline Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner"

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 11:19:21 PM »
You might try a  product I use often, called PB.  I get it at a Napa auto parts here, in town.  Or, some such material to break lose the bolts.  You will have to let it soake for a while.   Maybe several soakings.

Offline Carl Middleton

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 04:54:26 AM »
PB Blaster that will break em loose

Offline runningalucas

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2012, 01:40:02 PM »
Okay, so PB, and Liquid Wrench penetrating oils didn't work.  I had to leave town again, and it'll be a few weeks until I get back there.  I don't want to screw anything up, and am just going to take the saw head down to the local screw shop; that's all they do at the place is taps, dies, and work on screws, bolts, et el. 

When I go to fit the new blade, I'm putting some anti seize that they put on the snowplows, and heavy machinery.

Offline Stevem

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2012, 11:53:42 PM »
I used a hand impact driver from Harbor Freight and a metric allen  (not impact) from NAPA to get them lose.  Baileys has new screws to put in or you may have some in the kit,  Throw the "rounded" ones away when you get them out.
Stevem
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Offline runningalucas

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 12:58:07 AM »
Hey all, it's been a long time, but it's been a long time without progress on the mill.  I finally had the time, and opportunity to get moving on trying to get the last three bolts out.... what a mess!

I ended up taking the mill head to town, and went to an industrial screw shop; they do nothing, but work with threads, bolts, and tapping.  They tried a hardened easy out, that they weren't entirely sure of, but at the same time felt fairly confident. 

It worked by widening out the allen slot, and then screwing the easy out in; it broke on the first try....  So, it was off to the regular machine shop, where they had to grind the bolt heads off, to relieve pressure.  The blade was already warped, but the grinding for sure finished it off.

As it stands now, It'll be a while before I can get back to the mill, but have a good blade, new bolts, and anti seize ready to go.

The lesson is easy, don't forget the anti seize!!! ;)

Offline Stevem

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Re: Setting up a Lucas ?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2012, 09:41:38 AM »
Yea, don't forget the grease. Hard won experience.

As far as the "ride up" of the blade goes, check that the rubber limit stop is pretty close to the rail, say within 0.020".  It's the one that is on the opposite side of the operators position and under the trolly rail.  Too tight and the saw won't slide, too loose and the saw can rise on the leading edge.  It needs adjusted every time you raise or lower the far side.  More hard won experience.
Stevem
Because you can doesn't mean you should!