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Old Hack
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I finally got a band sawmill (from HF, cheap, but it seems to work) and have a few questions that the manual didn't cover.

1. The first log I sawed produced some beautiful Cherry boards. Later I sawed some Ash, and got very "wavy" cuts. An old sawyer I talked to said to increase the tension on the blade, and that seemed to work (the manual said between 1/4" and1/2" play, which seemed to be fine with a brand new blade). How tight can you go, do you have to go, before the blade breaks?

2. Water flow. I had to replace the cheap in-line valve - the stock one didn't last long! I have been setting the flow to a "drip-trickle" - about 10 - 12 drops per second. Is this enough or too much?

3. The steel wheels seem to gather caked sawdust quickly (especially on the discharge side) and make smooth rolling along the track difficult. Any solutions?

4. Any thoughts on when it's time to replace the blade? My old 20" Crescent in my shop is easy to tell, but with the noise and vibration of this machine........... How many board feet can I expect from a Woodmaster CSharp?
 

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Your wavy cuts can come from many things.....check your blade rollers, make sure they are tight. Blade tension must be right. 1/2 " play sounds WAY to loose....I run mine a lot tighter than that (I have a norwood). Not enough kerf can cause wavy cuts. Lousy quality blades can do that as well. MOST important....keep your blade sharp, as soon as it dulls, it will start cutting like crap.

You need more water! Steady stream! Put some pine sol in your water, cuts the pitch on your blade and helps with your roller problems.

I made a small bracket to hold a piece of foam rubbing over the rail on the discharge side. Soak that in diesel fuel each day.

In clean softwood, expect 500-600 feet out of a blade before it needs sharpening. Any dirt dulls it very fast. When you start seeing wavy cuts, its time for a sharp blade. We buy ours from Cooks (online), box of ten is around 175 dollars with shipping and are excellent quality blades. You can send blades out to be sharpened and set but if you have a bench grinder, take the guard off it, flip the blade inside out, dress the wheel to the profile of the gullet and sharpen it that way. You can also buy many different tooth sets, I set mine every other sharpening.

Hope this helps! Happy sawing.
 

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Old Hack
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, FishFactory, for the response and great advice! I just had to take down a Walnut and a Hackberry here at BlackWater - 4 good 16" Walnut logs and some even bigger Hackberry after I get it all sorted out. I'm not a production sawyer - just when I have logs to saw from here or close by, but I want to get the best lumber I can!

I'll try your suggestions - can you show me a pic of the bracket/foam you did? Also, I'll try the Pine-Sol in my water and set the flow so it's a steady stream but doesn't over-shoot the blade.

I just ordered 10 blades from Cooks. At $16.55 a blade, worth a try! Thanks again!
 

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I'm also a Norwood sawmill owner/operator, so everything might not apply to your HF mill. "Play" is a pretty ambiguous term. 1/2"runs the risk of the blade slipping or coming off the bandwheel altogether. To come up with a repeatable way of measuring tension, I moved the guides 16" apart, hung two one-gallon jugs of water from the blade, and measured the deflection. 1/8" seems to be about right for my mill. If tension is not adequate, you'll get wavy cuts, and risk throwing the blade off the bandwheels.



My experience with cutting between blade sharpening is similar to FishFacotry's-- about 400-500 board feet in our Ozark hardwoods. I seldom us water, though-- only when sap build-up is an issue. The carriage slowly gets harder to push as the blade dulls. If the carriage is a lot easier to push after the blade exits the end of the log, it is time to change blades. You'll get a feel for it. Just take your time, pay attention to what you're doing, and stop to figure out why the mill is doing what it does, and you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Your brain will get to where it filters out all the normal noise and vibration, and you will be able to pick up on things like changes in engine pitch and feed pressure.
 

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I'm considering a Norwood for it's modular design (being able to upgrade different parts as needed).
How do you like you mill?
 

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where's my table saw?
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I'm considering a Norwood for it's modular design (being able to upgrade different parts as needed).
How do you like you mill?
You probably will not get an answer on a thread that's 6 years old.
You have started other threads here, so ask that question in one of those.
 

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I'm considering a Norwood for it's modular design (being able to upgrade different parts as needed).
How do you like you mill?


Hello Ken,, Norwood,,, What model?
maybe I can help you.
I have an old manual 4 poster MK4 & I just started to use it again, AFTER 3 YEARS,,,, (now that I'm retired & have a slew of projects to build for my daughter & 3 grandkids!)

FYI,,,, #1,, I would always choose a 4 poster for stability, over a two,,,,, but everything depends on how much wood you plan on ripping, & how large the logs will be? (& how strong you back is! lol,,)
#2,, At least an 13hp,,,, 23" cut, 16' long bed.
If money is a big issue,, Have you seen Norwoods 'IMPORT UNITS'?

YOUTUBE should be your friend. There will be a comparison video there, on every mill ever built.

Where-a-bouts do you live?
If you 'click' on the persons name, you can choose to have a private discussion & be notified by Email.
 

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Thank you for the info! I'm in Ventura, CA. I plan to process logs I've saved, and offer milling service for folks . So, something easily transported for possible milling curbside.
 

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Thank you for the info! I'm in Ventura, CA. I plan to process logs I've saved, and offer milling service for folks . So, something easily transported for possible milling curbside.

'Milling Curbside'. That's interesting,,,, Please keep us posted,, I'd love to know how that works out.

I bought the stationary Norwood off an old PA friend who build a huge cabin way back in the woods. He retired, & said he didn't use or want it anymore!
So I snatched it up quick.
I build a dual axle trailer for it,,, 8' 6" wide, out of an old mobile home trailer frame. I was thinking the same thing,, 'MILLING FOR OTHERS',,, on the side, mostly Just for the fun of it!
I did one or two 'jobs',,,, & then parked the whole deal under one of my overhang, lean-to's, & there it sat!
Too many hobbies,, Not enough time.

Back when I bought the saw, everyone was charging about $.25 a BF.
I wonder what the RATE would be now!? $5 a CUT MIGHT pay for the blade?
What, 30-40 boards per blade?


lol,,, That's a good topic to start.?
 

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@Ken C.:
Go visit Angel City Lumber in Los Angeles. Check their hours first or make an appointment. Our woodworking club got a tour, but what we saw was in public view anyway. They harvest urban lumber and turn it into boards. People call them about trees that will come down. They inspect the tree and decide whether it is worth harvesting.

If they are interested, they have different methods of dealing with trees, depending on where they are located on the property. They haul trees back to their location, but they also have portable mills where they cut the lumber onsite. One kind of mill that they have is assembled around the tree, which is cut in place.

In my opinion, it would be worth your time to see their location and learn more about their operations. I have heard of similar "urban lumber" businesses starting to appear, but am not familiar with them.
 

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they're getting $.50/bd foot in these parts of pa.


I build a dual axle trailer for it,,, 8' 6" wide, out of an old mobile home trailer frame. I was thinking the same thing,, 'MILLING FOR OTHERS',,, on the side, mostly Just for the fun of it!
I did one or two 'jobs',,,, & then parked the whole deal under one of my overhang, lean-to's, & there it sat!
Too many hobbies,, Not enough time.

Back when I bought the saw, everyone was charging about $.25 a BF.
I wonder what the RATE would be now!? $5 a CUT MIGHT pay for the blade?
What, 30-40 boards per blade?
are you in Pa?
 

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I well remember Darren Nelson who ran an urban lumber service.
Her and Texas timbers are sorely missed.
johnep
 

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'Milling Curbside'. That's interesting,,,, Please keep us posted,, I'd love to know how that works out.

I bought the stationary Norwood off an old PA friend who build a huge cabin way back in the woods. He retired, & said he didn't use or want it anymore!
So I snatched it up quick.
I build a dual axle trailer for it,,, 8' 6" wide, out of an old mobile home trailer frame. I was thinking the same thing,, 'MILLING FOR OTHERS',,, on the side, mostly Just for the fun of it!
I did one or two 'jobs',,,, & then parked the whole deal under one of my overhang, lean-to's, & there it sat!
Too many hobbies,, Not enough time.

Back when I bought the saw, everyone was charging about $.25 a BF.
I wonder what the RATE would be now!? $5 a CUT MIGHT pay for the blade?
What, 30-40 boards per blade?


lol,,, That's a good topic to start.?
I was thinking charge by the hour, with a minimum.
 

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they're getting $.50/bd foot in these parts of pa.
are you in Pa?

Bet that's a stationary mill, Right?
I had so many people turn around & walk away, after I said $.25 BF & YOU buy the blade. (@ $15-$18 e back then.
lol,,, I guess they never went to the store & priced a 1" x 6" x 8" oak or cherry board.)


Pa? CLOSE,,,,, Just outside of Y-town,Oh,,, Very near the Pa line.
(I should take the time to fill out my PROFILE.?)
 

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where's my table saw?
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I well remember Darren Nelson who ran an urban lumber service.
Her and Texas timbers are sorely missed.
johnep
Her?
Daren was a guy. Texas Timbers and I were good friends although we never met and then I learned he had passed away suddenly. Yes, both were very valuable contributing members here way back.
 
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