Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: BlackWater, Ohio
Harbor Freight sawmill....
I'd been wanting a sawmill for a long time but never could justify the expense for a "mostly" personal use "toy". I finally pulled the trigger on the HF mill 3 years ago when it went on sale and I could use my 25% off coupon on it. It has given me my share of grief on occasion, but what can I expect for $2k?
This week has been adventurous - I started milling White Ash and snapped one of the cables that raise and lower the carriage. Spent the afternoon fixing that, and the next day milled some more Ash. I started getting "wavy" boards - time to change the blade ( I figured this out with help from you guys on WWT). First question: I seem to only mill about 200 BF before my blade goes dull - Is this due to excessive blade speed, tension, or is it the mill?
So I changed the blade right before I put the nice big Ash log on, and three feet into the fist cut I hit a nail! Changed the batteries in my metal detector and found 3 more, all concentrated in the middle of the log. So now I have 2 shorter logs. Changed the blade again and went to fire it up - the engine was seized! Must have thrown a rod. Am I cranking the RPMs up too high?
So today I installed a brand new 8 HP Predator (HF $239) and went back to milling ( after a two-hour break in). I started on one of the 4' logs that used to be 9' and 12" diameter. Got it squared up and took it slow, but had considerable movement of the cant while milling even though it was securely clamped down. Ash is hard wood! The last board I milled ended up tapered at the end, and my blade dropped a good 3/8" at the end of the cut. I ran it across again and shaved off maybe 1/8" from the end. Has anyone experienced this before? I'm used to having to lift the blade a little to bring the carriage back to start, but 3/8" or more? My guides are set right, roller bearings recently replaced (they freeze up now and then), and a fresh blade! Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated!
Last edited by BlackWater; 12-30-2016 at 06:07 PM.
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