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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am milling some two sided logs 8 inches flat to flat. I want to build a machine to dado a 2"x2" groove across the ends with ? I am thinking maybe a set of blades like a dado set stacked on the shaft of an electric motor. I have been making the grove with my chain saw mill making about 8-10 cuts 2" deep. What type of horse power would you say is needed..(dead spruce) Also I would like to rig up some type of debarking setup. I have been using a log wizard but its slow and hard on the old back. The logs I am milling are 6-10 feet long. I was thinking of some sort of lathe like operation turning the log with a rotary head that travels along the log but following the contures, not making it perfectly round. I have about 100 logs to do. Am I nuts?

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I think that you are going to spend more time and effort trying to invent new machines than it would take you to continue with your current operation. Ever now and then I get cute and think I am going to make "something" that will allow me to do a specific job easier. Even when I succeed at "inventing" the "something" I find it has taken me longer than if I had of just gone ahead and done the job.

Good luck.

George
 

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This could turn into a good discussion. Could you give us more on production goals and species? Is this a one-time job where any tools/jigs you make for it will not have application in future jobs?

Not knowing any better, I'm leaning toward a heavy router and a jig to make the mortises. It would be more flexible and would (except for the jig) have other uses around the shop.

I've come to hate the log wizard too. It's dirty, and it's not agressive enough on thick-barked species. One guy I read about elongated the slots on the knives for the screws so he could make it more agressive. But he also made other modifications - I just can't remember what they were.

Time of year, species, and limited delays between felling and debarking can make the job much easier.

I fear that a rotary tool following an irregular profile would leave obvious tool marks. Would that be ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well there would always be opportunities if a "new way" to tackle tasks they people might want to do. While I admit that timber framing and log work may be on it's way out in our way of life I still have an unfinished piece on piece structure I would prefer to finish in as short a time span as possible. I have about 100 logs to process that given the current available means take about 1-1.5 hours each on a good day. I would prefer to use the chainsaw head as sparingly as possible. I am willing it live with some tool marks depending of course how they are oriented. I have developed this piece on piece system and I'm not sure how it will work out but I am in pretty deep at this point and won't/can't back out now.
A debarker unit would be desirable to have in a number of applications I would think. I really don't want to get complicated about it as GeorgeC said it wouldn't be worth the expense. Unless of course it was marketable. Who knows where ideas can lead. As they say "necessity is the mother". Certainly resources the "father"?
Most of the timbers I use are beetlekill spruce about 10"-12" in diameter. I will post a simple diagram of the PoP system later. Its basically a post and beam structure with horizontal logs stacked between the posts and "mortised" into the vertical posts . Log floor joists at the second floor. Log trusses planned at the roof. I milled the beams, joists and deck for the main floor. It's about 1200 sqft. I of course, use wood heat :thumbsup: while I am living in a 6" D log garage/cabin I built a few years ago.
 

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I love this kind of thing. I built an octagon shaped hybrid log/stick frame house several years ago, it was a blast. The roof was a system of 8 hip logs landing on a center spruce log with small angled logs from the center log out to the hip logs. The whole thing looked like a log umbrella. We had to "invent" a jig for all kinds of things along the way. The pictures are on film, I'll see if I can't scan a couple and post a few.
Back to your project.
Can you get some welding done? Are you the kind of guy that has a few decades of parts and scrap iron laying around?
My ideas would require some of that, I think
The 2" slot on the end of the log could be cut with 2 inches of dado cutters stacked on a mandrel pushed by a 5 horse motor. The rpm's would need some experimenting. Then we would have to look at which would be easier to do the moving, the log or the saw set up. If I had access to some sort of scissor lift that could handle the weight of the log, I would look at dogging the log to it and passing the log past the blade. I think the blade set up would be better to stay stationary as that seems like it would be difficult to keep the vibration out of the moving parts. (maybe not) Seems like the weight of the log and a decent scissor lift would help keep the vibration to a minimum through the mass of the two.
If that proved to be not worth the hasssle. I would build a jig for a 3 1/2 horse router and use a roughing bit, probably 1/2" diameter. With a good bit I would think you could do it in a couple of passes.
Check out Vortex toolng company out of Wisconsin for a roughing bit. Call them and talk to Brian and he can recomend the one for the job.
I gotta run, but I'll be back
 

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When I was dong the GC thing in Colorado and playing with logs, Myself and my main man toyed with a log stripping idea. It never materialized but I always regreted not giving it a shot.
I wanted to pin the log on the ends like a lathe so they could be turned and locked at any angle. Above there would be a carriage in which a radial arm drill press could slide down and lock in to drill holes at any angle for all the handrail parts including next to the stairs.
Also on that carriage would ride a helical head "draw knife. The idea was to get a helical head for a jointer and put it on a swing arm that you could control the depth of cut and rate of feed by hand as you walked next to the log. The thought was that we could get a draw knife look with less effort than the real thing. A little clean up with a draw knife was always expected.
My partner ended up building a drill rig using a big H beam with a drill that slid down the side web. The whole thing was quite impessive but the electric draw knife never materialized.
I hope the brainstorming helps out. This is fun
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Gus

Yeah you got the idea. I'm going to brainstorm on the cad program and sketchup to solidify some of my thoughts. Stay tuned. Keep posting yours. The log wizard I have does a fine job of removing bark. It wouldn't take much to adapt it to a carriage and electric motor/belt drive...however that wouldn't address the grooving needs...or would it? (thinkin) hmmm.
 

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You can buy electric chain saws for under $100.00 and mount the log wizard directly to its bar. Many a firewood cutter has rigged up either an electric or 2-cycle chainsaw at their yards to function as a chopsaw on a log processing table. They would mount the hinge to the bar studs. I think Baileys has the replacement stud-nuts(?) that make this possible. But maybe you don't like the chain drive? That was another failing of the log wizard.

Your design might work. My concern would be in controlling the downward force on the cutter. The simplest would be hand pressure. You can quickly develope a "feel" for it. But you may want to fix a handle and a piece of safety glass up so you can operate it more comfortably.

I have the feeling you've allready made a number of these so it's probably too late to consider using a commercial dowling machine. There's some PTO-driven models. But finding one you could hire could be impossible.

A pressure washer has been used to great effect debarking some species. I don't know how it would work on the spruce. Also, the look may be different than the ones you've allready done. But, if it works, you could go back and pressure wash the ones you've allready done. I don't think a 1500 psi unit would be very effective. But a commercial 3000 psi unit seems more hopeful. They can be rented.

I'm concerned about the weight of the rafters not sitting directly on top of the walls. Their entire weight is at the end of the cantilever. Will it break at the wall?
 

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Now you're talking!
I would take a serious look at a helical cutter. The little 4 sided cutters are easy to change and they won't tear out much.
You'll probably need a counter weight so you are not working too hard.
I would think the handle coming off the side might be nice so you can walk along side
Keeping those rollers clean will need some attention too

But that is pretty much what we were dreaming up. Nice!
Can't wait to see some real photos

What are thinkin in lines of your splining tool?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
spline grooves

Well a cutter head with 3 blade inserts that would make the 2" deep 2" wide cut in one pass would be nice. But I'm wondering what type of horse power I would need. A .5 or .75 rotary roughing bit would take too many passes and probably more rpm than a standard motor will supply. I'd like to keep it simple. the chain mill does work pretty well. Even building the carriage for the debarker/skinner will be a couple of days work. I am now thinking that a easily removed motor mount on the existing carriage might be the ticket. Electric chain saws don't have the power to operate the wizard...the husky 51 is heavy and its getting old and hard to start when its cold..bad recoil and the wizard makes a dirty bad....and the wizard seems to work best for this application at lower RPM which isnt all that great for a 2 stroke. ...the jonsered is new but I use it for cuttoff and miters. Water pressure might work ...somewhere it isnt 15 degrees. The planer head works good because there are knots and some of the beetle kill is dead not to mention ice on some of it. Keep you posted.
 

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I have always thought of sandblasting for a method of debarking, but have yet to try it. I think it's rather inexpensive to set up, and there is plenty of enviro-frendly medium out there to shoot. Would save on labor time by minimizing sanding. As far as your dado, maybe some type of CNC router, or some way to cut more than one at a time. I think an investment in these ideas would only be worth your while if you were going to mass produce this project.

Thats my 2 cents. Good luck with your project mics.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I decided that the chainsaw with the wizard already mounted was the most expedient method but I am mounting a guide of sorts on the wizard to allow me to rest the wizard on the log without holding it up. The depth of planing would be then controlled by the angle of attack by raising or lowering the saw head. Simple and effective and I remove the guide which clamps on to the saw blade to use the wizard for other purposes. KISS

Blasting isnt really an option I consider viable for several reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The end notches are easy enough on the chain mill but the long 2"x 2" dado would be nice to do with a big router mounted on my saw carriage. I did the ones that are done already with a wormdrive saw and pried out the lath... slow!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"Prazi Beam Cutter"
I could use one of those for square cutting the ends!

The problem cut is the long groove in the length of the log. If the same tool could rotate to do the end notch that would be a plus but I can do that one with the chain mill although it requires rotating the log onto its round side and leveling it. It would save lots of time if I had a "router" mill that rotates on all three axiis

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