Header
Carnation Construction
Contact Dave
Carnation
T-10-02 Page loading indicator

Home Site Map - Techniques - Tools -

Saw Mill

Star If you have a forest and you are building a house then you need a SawMill.

 

Intro

My plot is 24 acres of forest.  Even though my house is made of concrete there is a lot of lumber needed in the process of building it and for the interior trim.  What's needed is a sawmill to cut the trees into planks.  Note that in my house design, none of the lumber is structural so there is no need for the lumber to be tested and certified.

 

SawMill Supplier

After researching what sawmills were available, I purchased a bandsaw type from Linn Lumber in Oregon.

Linn Lumber 1900 sawmill 

In my case I chose to have a 10HP electric motor rather than having the noise of the gas power variant.

http://www.linnlumber.com

http://www.linnlumber.com/page4.html

It can handle logs of up to 36" diameter and with the 30 feet of track I purchased it can cut 26 foot long logs.

Chris King,
LINN LUMBER LLC ,
30094 Ingram Road,
Lebanon,
OR 97355
541-367-6900
LinnLumber (at) live.com

Here are some pictures of my sawmill during manufacture...

My sawmill during manufacture 

My sawmill during manufacture 

 

Cutting a log

Start by cutting a flat edge on top.

SawMill log first cut 

Depending on the log, it is good to cut a 2-by off the top as part of cutting the top flat.  Vertical metal posts (the outer one with a tooth) are used to hold the round log.

SawMill second cut 

Once you have a decent flat surface then rotate the log 90 degrees and cut a second flat.  Then rotate the log again so there is a flat side down and a cut right angle against the little tooth (on the left of the picture).  You do not now need any vertical metal posts to hold the log so remove them so they are not in the way.

SawMill cut after rotate 

Now cut planks.  Eight turns of the height crank will cut a plank 1.5" wide.  Be careful as you successively move the blade lower that you have remembered to remove the vertical metal posts.  If you ever have need to move the log, make sure the log is still square to the blade (you can judge this by moving the stationary blade back across the surface and seeing if the saw dust is scraped evenly).

SawMill cutting planks 

SawMill cutting planks 

SawMill more planks 

 

I typically cut the planks to as wide as possible with a straight edge just on one side.  I then cut off the ragged edge using a table saw.  I also clean up the straight edge using the table saw.  I then cut the plank to the required width for the specific job using the table saw.

Even though I cut to lots of custom sized based on what I need for a specific job it is worth keeping in mind the standard sizes (as you would get from HomeDepot or Lowes.  The standard sizes are...

    2x12        1.5" x 11.5"
   2x10        1.5" x 9.5"
   2x8          1.5" x 7.5"
   2x6          1.5" x 5.5"
   2x4          1.5" x 3.5"

Even when I used to buy lumber from HomeDepot and Lowes I would trim the width down a bit to get a nice clean edge, ie a 2x6 only actually yields a usable width of about 5".

With the fine smooth cut that the SawMill produces it is not necessary to plane the planks.  If you do want a totally clean finish then you can use a palm sander, or better still a 4"x24" hand-held belt-sander.

 

Sawmill with log 

 

Instruction Manual

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

SawMill instructions 

Track details...

SawMill Track 

SawMill Track 

SawMill Track 

SawMill Track 

SawMill Track 

SawMill Track 

Sawmill Contactor 

Sawmill Thermal Overload Relay 

 

Sawmill shed

It is worth building a small shed to shelter the sawmill cutting head when not in use.

Sawmill in shed 

Big Logs Ready For Saw Mill 

Sawmill Big Logs Waiting 

Log Measure

Blades

Suitable blades are 158" 1-1/4 x .042 x 7/8" available from CooksSaw in either black or silver.  My preference is black as it seems like they waiver less.

http://store.cookssaw.com 

Black

XCEL132427B Linn Lumber 1900

"The Xcel blade incorporates an industry standard tooth profile while providing a superior body for performance sawing.  Having this tooth profile will allow sharpeners set up to grind common profiles found on brands such as Simonds, Lenox, Munkforsager, and Woodmizer, to grind the Xcel blade as well."

"Features:  T4 Metal Fusion™ body composition - T4 Metal Fusion™ body - proprietary blend of metals that produce increased blade rigidity allowing for increased feed speeds.
Increased tooth hardness compared to other performance blades.
Standard common tooth profile which can be resharpened on most any sharpener.
Unique tooth finishing process guarantees a sharper blade out of the box."

Silver

"The Xcel blade incorporates an industry standard tooth profile while providing a superior body for performance sawing.  Having this tooth profile will allow sharpeners set up to grind common profiles found on brands such as Simonds, Lenox, Munkforsager, and Woodmizer, to grind the Xcel blade as well."

"Features:  Triple Metal Matrix™ body - proprietary blend of chromium, silicone, magnesium, and one other secret ingredient that produces a super long blade life body.
Increased sharpenings
Standard common tooth profile which can be resharpened on most any sharpener.
Increased blade flexibility making for a blade that works well with almost any sawmill or resaw setup."

Hand sharpening

Lots of useful info at https://www.kmstools.com/blog/sharpening-bandsaw-blades/ 

 

Log handling

Getting the logs gathered and onto the SawMill track is no easy task.

Winch on jeep

Logging Winch On Jeep Forest 

I made a couple of these wheeled contraptions to help in the process...

Logging carts 

The following photos show a previous older implementation of the carts.

Log handler wheels 

One of these is attached to each end of the log using straps.  The cart at the back also has a strap to tie its handle to the log.  The wheel diameter is 12 inches.

Log on wheels behind car 

Log on wheels behind car 

Big Log On Trailer 

Even better is to either buy or make a log arch.

Log Arch Junior 

Here are some useful links...

http://www.logrite.com/

http://www.logrite.com/store/Item/Junior-Log-Arch

http://www.logrite.com/docs/JUNIOR.pdf

http://www.logrite.com/store/Item/fetching-arch

http://www.logrite.com/docs/FETCH.pdf

https://youtu.be/fsYFkGjNFoI

https://youtu.be/qzbL8mhPi2U

https://youtu.be/ZSfr6XZV-FA

 

When doing work in the forest, use head protection.

Head Protection Helmet

Drying the wood

Live wood straight from the live tree has a high water content.  Wood shrinks as it dries.  The shrinkage is mainly across the rings rather than along the length.  The shrinkage can be as much as 7% between the freshly cut planks and the dry planks you will use in construction.

We cut the planks with a thickness of 1-5/8" and after drying they end up at about 1-1/2".

The lumber you buy in the big box stores is dried in a kiln because that is a quick way to dry it.  We don't have a kiln so it takes about a year for the wood to dry.  To dry it over the year you need to make a wood pile, but it needs to be done right or the wood will warp.

Start with making an accurately flat base...

Wood drying base 

Wood spacers (called snickers) are accurately cut with a height of 1".  The width is less important but I use 1.5".  The snickers are placed every 2 feet.

Wood Drying Pile 

Add more snickers between each later as you build up the pile...

Wood Drying Pile 

 

Once you have a straight edge on one side of the wood you can use a table saw to cut it to the desired width.

TableSaw Ryobi

 

 

*