Photos are of a old sawmill I brought back to life. I was told why fix it when you can buy a cheap new bandsaw that will do the same thing.
Old and rusty doesn't scare me, but that giant spinning blade sure does!
It's good to see a fine job of restoring the carriage and feedworks but the new bandsaw will usually do a better job with much less waste.On the other hand with a small crew and 100 hp you can saw 5 times more lumber with the old sawmill in the same time!!! Been there done that Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
Where's the Like button? That is wonderful. I'd like to find an old time shingle mill and feed it some of the cedars that are taking over this part of the country.
Nice save and fun to see.
Nope I don't believe a cheap band saw can keep up with that nor last as long. Good Job!
There are some further requirements for this thread :
1. More pictures - Show us the details and features of the saw.
2. u-tube video of the saw in action.
Sooo ... get busy Mr Miller
P.S. That is a truly great resurrection.
Beautiful work. Who do I turn my lumber order into?
Wonderful job. You've preserved history for another generation. Thank you!
Wow!, what a fantastic job you did!
I have a couple fallen oak trees I could use wood from to build my runabout.
Neat! I love it.
Norman, very nice mill. It reminds me of our old Corley Mill we used to have. Lots of fun, lots of work, and very dangerous. Please be very careful, put lots of safety's in place (both mechanical safety's and safe work practice) , and treat it like it wants to kill you and everything around it. (It really does want to). Are you planning on sawing with it or just a display piece. If you want to saw, is your blade properly hammered (dished). It should "stand up" or the dish straighten out between 450 to 600 rpm if properly hammered. Please check the eye of the blade very well for stress cracks. If there are any cracks, get another blade. I saw the aftermath of a blade that exploded. When the blade explodes it does not always go into two pieces. It can turn into a wobbleing, gyroscope, spining, man killing, building shredding, machine. One other thing is the rails for the carriage should be on wood beams. We had ours set on steel beams when we first started sawing, and we could not keep the carriage on the track. It would start bouncing and bounce right off the track. A old Sawyer from back in the day said to put wood under the tracks or we would never get "her to saw right" He was right. We put 6X6 inch oak beams under the track and she settled right down. We could saw a 20 foot log with less than a 1/16 inch run out on the boards. Most of the run out will be from the tree itself, and not always the mill. A tree from the north side of a hill will always saw better than a tree from the southern exposure of a hill. And a lightening struck tree is a nightmare. Have fun and be safe ..... Donnie Brown
Wow, it all takes me back 20 years when I had my own circle mill and band mill. I was cutting a lot of black walnut and white oak in Southern Minnesota and did a lot of onsite custom milling. For sure you're going to want 60+ horsepower to run it, a properly hammered blade and the proper lead in the blade. A couple good cant hooks, a pickaroon, a good chainsaw and build a substantial deck. Wear your ear protection, a hard at with a good chip screen, safety glasses and steel toed boots with metatarsal protectors. Put up a good sawdust drag chain or a blower and always keep your work area clean. I envy you a lot.
Gee thanks, Norm!
You made me think about the mill a few miles from me, that is owned by a widow. She wants it removed. It was cutting lumber one year ago. Flathead Willys inline six. It has it's own roof built over it. I don't have the time to invest in the project, but I want it soooo bad.
The old man on the next farm had a good sized mill with 54 and 56" insert blades and a 36" top saw if needed.The farmer/welder/fix anything/and sawmill owner put a 110 hp Wakushaw gas engine in a old 22-36 int/md and ran the saw with a flat belt.There was also a pto hook and if the wood was big enough i have seen two tractors on it at once.Often board warpage is caused trying to run under powered and heating the saw!!Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
That's an amazing transformation. Great job,Norman!
Very nice job!
I will have to post a photo of my dad's 3 headblock American with DE case power unit sometime.He brought it home on the back of a 49 chevy pickup and a small trailer. He put the track on steel and reworked everything. We dont have a dust chain rig but just clean out from under it every 7 or 8 logs. Not a big production outfit!
My uncle and grandfather's Turner is still under the shed but has not run in years. Has a ford 223 6 cylinder still on half a 55 ford chassis with the transmission in 2 gear.Sawed many 1000 board feet with that outfit years ago.He wants to get a new band mill because he is by himself and no body wants to work at a circle mill.
Folks will tell you a band mill will give you more lumber. That is true to a point because the saw curf is not as wide. But,a bandsaw will hit a knot in a log and lead off and you will have 1 inch on 1 end and 2 inch on the other!
My dad can take a pine log and saw off a few thin slabs and a couple edging boards and come up with lumber that is true on both ends and alot easyer to work with.
They have one of those at the Stumptown antique engine show, near me, working with different steam engines every year. Nothing like the sound of those steam engines when that log hits that blade and the govenor kicks it.
Draws a big crowd of spectators.
That restored sawmill is a work of art. If I had it I would be afraid of scuffing the paint!
My dad said he started working in his dad's sawmill when he was 8 years old in the early 1940s. He has lots of stories about accidents like sawmill fires, sawing a log dog in two, or the saw slinging its teeth when it hits a piece of iron grown into a log. I worked at sawmill a few times when I was young. My dad would often show me the places where it was safe to stand and the places where you should never be. I knew several old men who had lost an arm to the saw or a planner. So one should have a healthy respect for an antique sawmill. I am amazed that I haven't heard any horror stories about accidents at engine shows. There are usually a lot of bystanders at the sawmill demonstration who are standing in the "wrong place."
A sawmill at the "Stumptown" engine show?!
Greg - you made my day with that post!
In addition to the size of the curf the fact that a bandsaw also saves much wood at the plainer!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
I always get pieces or assemblies that are old and rusty. If someone has messed with it by cleaning and painting...I stay away. First, they will expect compensation for their efforts and increase the price and two, there is no way in knowing what is under the *improvement*..
Give me old and rusty any time...I am not afraid of it.
If you're on the west coast this summer, the Brooks Steamup is worth catching - acres of antique engines and related equipment, including a steam sawmill. The Rose City Model T Club will be there too (July 26th).
Guys, First I NEVER operated a sawmill before. Stuff I learned. In the one photo my daughter is holding a pull rod. If you twist the rod CCW rod "A" will lower 5 dogs and move headstock and log forward till it hits peg "D" ( each hole is 1/4" ). If pull rod is twisted CW "A" dogs up and "B" dog down this will move headstock back.
"C" pointer shows distance from back of headstock to the blade. "E" shows the new Babbitt bearings I poured. "F" headstock Forward gear. "G" headstock reverse gear. "H" headstock "I" lever controlled bar that moves out from headstock to support curved log
That is fascinating. I know nothing about it, but what a great restoration. Congrats from MN.
Everything looks really good. Did you replace any of the parts? Did you replace the bearings? If so, where do you get parts for an antique sawmill?
Yes a lot of cast iron parts were broken and I made replacements ( Many Many Hours I'm retired and the sawmill is for my daughter so that's OK) One photo is of the roller needle bearings that I took apart polished and reassembled they were the bearings for the four axles 1 1/8" Next photo is the large blade shaft bearings ( 2 3/16"), each bearing has two sets of Timken tapered bearings which were easily replaced. Last photo is new shaft and new pillow block bearings for the cable drum 1 9/16". The 1 9/16" shaft was the hardest thing to replace because believe it or not its NOT a standard size
Thank you for saving something Old
Thread bump. I am dragging home an old mill this weekend. It was converted to pillow block bearings and run for a few years. Has not sawed logs for at least 15 years. It is set up on a concrete footing now. The building has fallen on it. The engine is stuck. It's a small 4 cylinder gas power unit that resembles the front of a tractor. I plan to power it from the PTO of my Massey 35 diesel. I have an abundant supply of good logs, and a Gafner short wood forwarder to handle them. Pics as I go
Maybe I missed it, but how are you powering it? It's beautiful!