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Sawing and Drying Forum

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Stationary Log Carriage for 40' Logs - Best Options for a Newbie

Robert Douglas Member

I wish to acquire/customise/fabricate a stationary log carriage or deck for the sole purpose of milling recycled Australian Hardwoods. I have been involved with the recycled hardwood industry for many years, but I'm afraid that I'm somewhat mechanically challenged as I've predominately sub-contracted the milling and processing to contractors. Therefore please excuse my lack of correct terminology etc...

Due to the limited options available in Australia I am now looking abroad for suitable alternatives and I would greatly appreciate any advice on the subject and/or directions to acquire what is needed.

The key points are as per the following:-

1.) Australian Recycled Hardwood - very dense HWD such as Ironbark with a Janka Rating of 14-15 (compared to American Oak of 6);
2.) Sole purpose of producing boxed-heart posts and beams;
3.) Minimum finished milled dimension: 6" x 6";
4.) Maximum finished milled dimension: 17" x 17";
5.) Log Diameter: 81/2" - 26";
6.) Log Length: 71/2' - 40' (to produce finished lengths of 12" increments from 7' up to 40');
7.) Maximum Log Weight: 5,500 pounds;
8.) Log Carriage to be stationary;
8.) Hydraulic Log Handling (turning, straightening, levelling, clamping etc.;
10.) Saw - Circular Saw - vertical or horizontal will depend on the style of the carriage or deck (apologies as I am unsure of what term you use for the stationary hydraulic decks you see for the overhead frame bandsaw mills);

Option #1: Carriage 5 Head Blocks:-
- the idea would be to customise the headblocks and construct a 35' long fixed, stationary carriage;
- please note that the members we'll be milling are very structural and will easily handle a 3' cantilever/overhang - the long sections will generally be milled to 14" x 6" and above;
- I appreciate that 5 HB carriages are harder to come by and that they generally may be too large for my requirements (as my max log diameter is only 26");

Option #2: Carriage 3 Head Blocks x 2off:-
- I am guessing that it may be easier and more feasible to locate 2 matching 3 HB carriages and customise to produce a 6HB Carriage of 35' long;

Option #3: Stationary Hydraulic Log Deck:-
- along the lines of stationary bunks/decks (?) used for bandmills
- with log turners / clamping tongs / dogs etc.;
- I presume that if I can find a suitable second hand unit that I will need to extend the rails to 45';

Option #4: Stationary Deck:-
- am I better off sourcing a heavy duty skeleton frame or trailer and retro fitting the hydraulic log handling components;
- I'm sure that there may well be other existing bit and pieces that I could utilise and customise?;

This will not be a high production mill as the posts and beams produced are generally quite varied and specific. However due to the weight and lengths of the logs I will make it all hydraulic/mechanical.

Thanks in advance.

8/26/16       #2: Stationary Log Carriage for 40' Log ...
Dave Boyt  Member

Website: http://www.norwoodsawmills.com

Peterson & Lucas mills can add as many extension as you want. I'd contact them first, if you're leaning toward a circle mill. If you're considering a horizontal band mill, Norwood can be built to any length and is modular, so you can add whatever hydraulics you need.

1/7/17       #3: Stationary Log Carriage for 40' Log ...
Steve McGuire

Janka rating. I've never seen Janka expressed in metrics Different for sure.

Boxed hearts may not be the best sawing pattern for the larger logs depending on market demand. Free of heart center (FOHC) is a premium grade if the log will support it less splitting of the finished timber. I understand that larger timbers also get a premium.
I own both a swing blade (Lucas) and a band mill (TimberKing). Contact Warren Lucas for his opinion of what he'd do (Warren@lucasmill.com.au). He's a lot closer than most people here and if you bought from him youd have a lot better support.
For the diameter of logs your talking about I'd consider a band mill very strongly. Very hard band blades can be purchased but they are expensive but a lot less sawdust.

Cutting 40' of log is a real challenge. Not many mills can or even want to cut that length just because of handling problems. In the states anything over 16' cost a premium and over 24 is more yet. At 80' don't even ask the price just order it.

I'd be looking a ground mount manual mill because of the 40' lengths (Lucas can do any length) and have some sort of auxiliary equipment (skid steer) to move the logs.
Your not looking for a carriage but a set of bunks to hold the logs. Gonaa need a real flat piece of ground. Carriages move. You build/make the bunks.
Lots of good mills out there. Not mentioned was D &L in Canada which makes a180 degree swingblade mill. Might be worth looking at. Looks like they should be able to go the 40'.
Hydraulics that span 40' get real expensive
A 17" x 17" any length doesn't need a lot of clamping it just kind of lays there. lol

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