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Sawing and Drying

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what type of sawmill

Michael Member

Hi all,

I am in the planning process of building a mill to process root balls. Taking into consideration of the debris in the root system, dulling or destroying teeth, the cost of cutting bands or chains, etc...what is the best type of mill? Band or chainsaw. Please state the reasons for your opinions.


12/30/14       #3: what type of sawmill ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

It would help to have a little more information. What size root balls? Just a few, or will this be the foundation for a business?

I have milled walnut root balls with both chain saw and band saw mills and, in general, find the band saw mill to be much better IF it has a clamping system that can adapt (my Norwood mill is very good in that regard). Whatever you use, you WILL destroy chains or blades. Band saw mill blades are quick and easy to change and are less expensive than chain saw chains. Band saws cut much faster and take thinner kerf. Also, don't overlook the possibility of other specialty cutting, such as slabs. Band saw mills are much faster for this. They are also cheaper to run, and are designed for milling, as opposed to chain saws, which are not meant to run under full load for extended periods of time. Hope this helps.

12/30/14       #4: what type of sawmill ...
Michael  Member

Thanks for your input. The business foundation is to process root balls, large slabs and other specialty cuts. I am in the planning process of building a mill large enough to cut about 60".

12/30/14       #5: what type of sawmill ...
Tennessee Tim

Website: http://www.tsmfarms.com

Are YOU actually building or you having it built???? I would like to see pics. Hud-son has a new wide unit. I've dreamed of a wider mill also...debating the cost/income ratio for my area.

12/30/14       #6: what type of sawmill ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

If you are routinely cutting slabs that size, you may want to consider a swing blade mill (Peterson or Lucas) with a slabbing attachment. I have several friends that run them with good results. There are a number of Youtube videos showing them in operation. Designing and building your own band mill may set your business back, due to the time invested.

12/30/14       #7: what type of sawmill ...
Michael  Member

I (or my team - a fab guy, a mechanical engineer/draftsman and me, the crazy guy wanting a huge mill) will be building it. The plan was a 60" but I am now rethinking since I have a heavily burled maple log laying here that is 9' long and is 7' across. This is what got me thinking of a chain mill. I can buy a 102" bar. My biggest problem with a band mill that large is the width of blade needed for tension, strength and ability to cut straight and not dive into the log at that span. The cost of that blade then risk rock and debris in the root balls???? Has me questioning.

12/31/14       #8: what type of sawmill ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

Your logs keep getting bigger! Visit the Hearne Hardwoods web site http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/ if you haven't already. Better yet, you & your team should go pay them a visit. Nice folks, doing some amazing work with a band mill.

12/31/14       #10: what type of sawmill ...
Keith Newton

I like Dave's idea of visit the Hearne Hardwoods, and maybe even take that log you mentioned to them to custom it saw for you. this way, you get to start working on marketing. You might find that building the mill is the easy part.

Here is a link to another mill that can saw large slabs that built their own mill.

Logs to Lumber

4/16/15       #11: what type of sawmill ...
Ron Goff

Video of my diy chain mill with 650 Mag. Will handle a 62" dia log Was pleased with speed and accuracy. Now have my diy swing blade mill near completion. It will make a 10.5" cut with 32 hp gas engine. It will be controlled from end of track via hydraulic motor to power saw carriage forward & back on same 62" track width. . The swinging of blade function will be done with wireless remote controlled 12vdc boat trim/tilt pump and one outdrive ram.
Also started a diy dedicated slabber, fabricated needed parts and purchased other parts for another chain mill using 18 hp B&S riding mower engine powering a jackshaft to get proper chain speed. Will use it as a dedicated slabber to run on same track as the other mills.
Am retired, 30 plus years owed a tree service, am a sawdust addict! Like to build projects.


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