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Author Topic: New to the saw milling world  (Read 9435 times)

Offline builditbill

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New to the saw milling world
« on: May 20, 2013, 02:31:05 PM »
I just joined and i am sure i will need some advice from the experts as soon as I start sawing.  We lost so many trees in hurricane sandy that we saw (pardon the pun) the need to make use of the wood they contain (tree-cycling)  so we did some research and on sat they delivered our new LT35hd from wood mizer. It was when the dealer asked "do you have any experience with saw mills"  that I said to myself, " self, what have you gotten yourself into"  so that is the dilemma in which I find myself. I hope to saw a few logs tomorrow. We have poplar, red oak, black walnut, cherry, white pine, hickory, maple. the first question I have is which of these would be the best to learn on? any input would be helpful. Thanks

Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 05:26:02 PM »

 Well, DO YOU, Pilgrim ?? :D :D :D :D

 Welcome to the funny farm.  :laugh:

 Where abouts in the world do you live ?? maybe there is a member close enough to drop by and do the shake out run with you ??

 I would start out with a log about 12" across or so. 8' long is also good.

 Have you had the mill lined out ?? Adjusted, set up correctly ?? Can't believe WM did not offer a couple hours of instructions, seein as how ya got logs.  ::) ::)

 If no pre adjustments were arranged, forget about sawing that first 12" log, until you do some reading in the manual. You DO have one-o-dem, correct ??

 First thing I would do, is, stretch a string real tight from the closest bunk to the farthest bunk and see if ALL the bunks are exactly the same plane. Check in 3 widths of the bunks, so one side isn't different than the other.

 If all is well, then, find something VERY lightweight and straight, like a 12" plastic level or similar. Install a blade, correctly,  ;D, and lay the straight thing gently ON the blade, as it would be cutting. Move the sawhead to the first bunk and carefully measure the height from one end of the straight thing, and then move so you measure the height from the other end of the straight thing. IF they are exactly the same measurement, you are good to go. If not, ya gotta adjust the blade guides to have the blade exactly level with the bunks.

 The blade should have approx. 1/8" of down pressure from the guides, and, the flange on the roller guides (you DO have roller guides, correct ?) should NOT have the blade touching the flanges when running and NOT cutting. That should also be about 1/8" or so, from the back of the blade to the flanges. Rollers need adjusting, also, in a different way.

 Give us some info, and, MAYBE, you can start sawing that first log, more quickly, IF you DO have everything adjusted.

Offline builditbill

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 09:18:46 AM »
Thanks for the info on setup. To start with I am in Oyster Bay, long island, New York. WM assured me the mill is adjusted and ready to run and they did spend 2 hrs with me setting it up and we cut a poplar log 20" dia x 10' long into nice 1" boards.  he did say that it would take about 20 hrs before i was comfortable with the saw and also advised I read the manual, Which I am in the process of doing. I need to know  what is the best wood to learn on?  and what are the cutting characteristics of the different wood I mentioned?

Offline Stevem

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 12:04:01 PM »
Welcome to our little world Bill.

I can't help you much with a band mill as I have a wheel saw, but I can root for you success.   Lots of good people here that can offer their experience.  And as far as experts go, somebody once defined an expert as "somebody from out of town".  

Biggest thing with any mill though is having a sharp blade.  If it's cutting weird, change/sharpen the blade.

Some of the hardest woods to saw are those with a lot of big knots.  The knots can deflect the blade from cutting straight.  

Save the walnut 'till you have a little experience. It's a high dollar wood. You might ask around and try and find a home (buyer?) for the walnut and cut it according to their needs.

Lots of jargon to learn and I can and will help with that a little if asked.    
Stevem
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Offline Kirk Allen

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 12:11:17 PM »
Ill try to pipe in as time permits with the clean up we have.

Got hit by a tornado last night!   :'(   

Lost the whole west half of the Barn my Great Grandfather built and lots of out building damage.  Lucky over all compared to OK.

Amazingly, three stacks of stickered lumber and not one board lifted off the pile yet 60 yards away it removed the entire roof structure from the barn and sent it 100 yards north taking out anything in its path before wrapping it around the Maple tree just west of the house.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching!

Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 12:25:27 PM »
 DAMN KIRK. Sorry to hear that, but, glad all is OK people wise?? This is one reason I don't like the mid west. We had a small Tornado start right near our Arkansas house. Threw off the blades on the wind turbine, and, proceeded North, to kill several people and destroy many houses and mobile homes.

 Ed was in bed, jumped down to the landing in the middle of the stairway, then, jumped down to the floor, yelling, There is a TRAIN outside. WE lived in the woods  ::)

 Sounds like WM set you up properly, Bill. I would take the worst log of the size I said, and try sawing it. IF you have 1 log to waste, I would take thin cuts, and keep turning the log, looking at the grain structure, as I cut it up, so I had a better idea of what a log has in it, once I got into decent logs.

 Steve is right on about that $$$$ Walnut log.  ::) :laugh: ;D ;D  Them's wirth milyuns.  :laugh: :laugh:

Offline Post Oakie

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 03:01:33 PM »
Kirk, glad you're ok.  Tornados can do some amazing things.  I live 20 miles south of Joplin, MO, and it sure is strange to see all this activity right at the second anniversary.

Builditbill, welcome to the forum!  Without knowing the size or condition of the logs, I'd suggest that poplar would be a good one to start out on, since it is pretty easy to mill, but it will let you know if the mill needs any adjustments.  White pine should be easy to mill, too, but watch for pitch build-up-- a little Pine-sol in the lube will solve that issue.  Cherry & oak are tougher, but mill straight with a sharp blade.  Hickory will be the toughest.  Sometimes, it just doesn't want to cut straight no matter what you do.  Walnut is easy to saw and may or may not have much value, depending on the log.  Cherry can also be valuable, depending on the log.  Your first task will be to cut some 6x6 blocking to hold your boards off the ground as they dry (oak would be a good choice), and "stickers" between the layers of boards as they air dry (the oak or poplar would be good).  Hardest part is waiting for the wood to dry.  By the way, you'll need a good supply of blades.  Even if you don't hit a nail (or clamp), you'll probably average around 4 hours between blade changes.



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Offline Carl Middleton

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 06:54:16 PM »
Damn Kirk, glad you guys are ok. Sorry to hear about the barn. At lest you have lumber to rebuild with.

Offline builditbill

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 08:48:28 AM »
Kirk, Glad you and yours are ok. Isnt it amazing  what the weather can do. awesome power! after hurricane sandy scored a direct hit on us I went to see my parents summer cottage That is on a small island on the south shore of long island and although the house was still standing the docks, decks, bulkheads and walks were all gone and it looked like a lumber yard exploded. this weekend we will start rebuilding. 
thanks for the input so far from all you guys. it sounds like i'm in the right place for "out of town" advice. I will let you know how it goes.

Offline SDB777

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 07:03:44 AM »
The easiest answer for the 'best kind of wood to learn on?' question....

Whatever you have laying around!  Hardwoods generally don't need anything added to your water drip mix, but them pines will(I actually use Pin-Sol, just a cap full in the jug of water) to keep the bands clean.

Oh, and if your going to be cutting a lot of trees from a neighborhood....some sort of metal detector is worth it's weight in gold(can be found at HarborFreight rather inexpensively).




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Offline Larrywoodsaw

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Re: New to the saw milling world
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 09:28:52 AM »
I just joined and i am sure i will need some advice from the experts as soon as I start sawing.  We lost so many trees in hurricane sandy that we saw (pardon the pun) the need to make use of the wood they contain (tree-cycling)  so we did some research and on sat they delivered our new LT35hd from wood mizer. It was when the dealer asked "do you have any experience with saw mills"  that I said to myself, " self, what have you gotten yourself into"  so that is the dilemma in which I find myself. I hope to saw a few logs tomorrow. We have poplar, red oak, black walnut, cherry, white pine, hickory, maple. the first question I have is which of these would be the best to learn on? any input would be helpful. Thanks
.           I have a lt 35 manual mill I find it very easy to use. One thing that I had to get used to is feed rate. Once you you figure that out so your getting no checkered marks on your boards everything else falls in place. Good luck to you and welcome to the forum :laugh: