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Malus

Bandsaw mill build

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Hi all. New member to the forum but I've been reading on and off over the past few years, had some brilliant second hand advice so thanks for that. 

 

I've just started building a bandsaw mill and thought it might be of interest to some of you. I'm unsure about a lot of things so no doubt will have some questions. I'm going in a bit blind, I've never used a bandsaw mill but I understand the general principles. 

 

A few years ago I bought an elm log off a friend and sought quotes to have it milled in all the local mills. The cheapest quote I had was over £350, way more than I expected. This led me to buy a Chinese copy of a Stihl 660, and I made up a milling attachment. This cost about £400 all in for the saw, bar, 4 chains and steel for the mill. I've milled a fair few logs with this set up, enough to realise that there's a lot of setup work involved and a it's bit unpleasant to use. I'm hoping the bandsaw will be more ergonomic and a bit quicker too.

 

All of the wood I mill is for personal use but if all is successful with the mill I think I'll try to get a few local jobs. If I can mill enough logs for people to pay for the mill I'll be happy.

 

The mill is going to be built on a trailer so I can move it around. It's going to have a max cut width of around 700mm and should be able to cut a log about 4m long.

 

I've started building the trailer chassis first. It's made out of 50x50x3 box. I'm hoping the truss design will keep it stiff enough to take a bit of abuse from log loading etc. I spent the time to prep all the weld areas, grinding off the mill scale and bevelling square edges to help with weld penetration. Over the 6m truss length there's a 2mm dip, I can live with that.

 

I'm hoping to get the other side welded up today.

 

 

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Hi what a cool project do keep us informed of your progress not many home made mills on hear I have seen a lot in the US when looking through youtube ,good luck with it .

Cheers Mark

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Good luck with the build. Will be interesting to see how it progresses. 

 

It might be worth taking the time to have a closer look at a Woodlands, Woodmizer or Logosol Bandsaw as there is a lot of engineering gone into the designs that will allow you to fine tune the Mill. Being off by as little as a 1mm will throw your cut right off and even more so at the widest setting. 

 

I've found myself spending a good 24 hours fine tuning my Logosol so that its cutting true, and that with getting the Saw Head delivered pre-assembled with all the built in adjustments available. On my Logosol there is adjustments to the Band Wheels on each side, there is adjustments to the band guide bearings on each side, there is adjustments on the guide arm that comes in and out depending on the size of log you're milling and there is adjustments to the raise and lower chains on each side of my Mill and a few others pre-set for the Saw Head itself from the factory, so at least 4 sets of adjusters on each side to ensure you cut true. When any one of these adjustments is off you'll cut badly. A 1-2mm Band is far less forgiving that a Chainsaw Bar for cutting true. 

 

 

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Looks like its going to be a well constructed with all those struts in there. Where in south wales are you based ?

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That's exactly what I found - loads of info on forums, videos etc etc but all from the states/Canada. I've seen a few builds in the UK but not so many. Parts availability in the UK has been a pain in the ass, at least to be able to get stuff on a reasonable budget. I've got a lot of what I need now.

 

I'm not too worried about the chassis being slightly out, the logic being that the rails for the sawhead will be dead level and parallel. The log bunks will also be parallel to the rails, so cuts should all be nice and level. I see what you're saying trigger_andy, I've factored most of those adjustments in to my plans. Which logsol saw have you got? 

 

I've scoured the main manufacturers websites and looked at a lot of the details of different mills. One big help has been the woodland mills website, they've got manuals and scale drawings you can download.

 

Have you got any photos of your build watercourse managament? Would be interested to see if you can point me in the right direction? 

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Today I managed to weld up the other side of the chassis. I can see why people don't use a truss for a chassis, there's a lot of work to do. My original plan was to have some folded channel made 50x200x5mm for the chassis but it was only available in 3m lengths and had a week or two lead time so I didn't bother. I tacked up a couple of cross braces so have an idea of the size of the bed. The spacing is 950mm between the chassis sides so plenty of space for clamps etc, hopefully easy to reach over from one side to the other. 

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1 hour ago, Malus said:

I see what you're saying trigger_andy, I've factored most of those adjustments in to my plans. Which logsol saw have you got? 

 

I've scoured the main manufacturers websites and looked at a lot of the details of different mills. One big help has been the woodland mills website, they've got manuals and scale drawings you can download.

 

Have you got any photos of your build watercourse managament? Would be interested to see if you can point me in the right direction? 

I have a B751. Logosol have their manual on-line, its quite detailed and covers all the adjustments so you'd be able to see them in some kind of detail.

 

Im not sure if I have a picture of the water/lube system? I'll have a look. Its quite basic though and not like some of the other mills that now has an auto lube function, but it would be simple to add I think. 

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I’ll get some photos up in a couple of days as I’ve some ash to slab, I made mine to take a 42” diameter log 5 meters long and trailed so mobile. As I was making it from scratch and I have a large supply of large logs I went large

 

As Andy said earlier accuracy is very important for keeping the band going in the right direction also in reducing vibration in the band. I would also try and steer clear of using pillow block bearings for the band.

if you get stuck let me know I’d be happy to help Simon 

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