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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

anyone running a sawmill off a tractor?

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steve

07-10-2004 19:50:14
64.12.117.10



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I am setting up an old cicle mill.I have a 6cyl. ford power unit,but it is not ready yet. I have a friend that told me he has sawn with his JD B hooked up to his mill.he said you have to go slow, but you can still saw. is anyone here running a circle mill with a tractor? and if so,what kind? any input would be appriciated.




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steve

07-12-2004 18:18:28
152.163.252.193



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
lots of good input,keep it coming.to the fellow that asked where I'm from....central NY. we have a few shows around here that have a mill set up and running.I have alot of video footage of it. a local retired farmer that has a mill,and has set up a half a dozen others,will be helping on this one too.he's 85, so I want to make darn sure I get to use his expertise while I can. not alot of circle mills around here, much less people that know anything about their setup.

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Sam#3

07-11-2004 22:01:54
12.215.183.4



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Back in the time before electricy most of the mills around were powered by some form of auto engine. One that was tractor powered sometimes used an F-30 farmall and sometimes a 30hp McCormick.



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John S-B

07-11-2004 21:26:50
64.12.117.10



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Steve where are you from? The Miami Valley Steam Threshers are having their annual show in Plain City Oh. and they have a permanent sawmill setup that they run usally with a steam tractor. If you can to central Oh. this coming weekend they probably could be a great help. It's a great show to attend anyway.



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Bus Driver

07-11-2004 17:44:35
66.226.37.69



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Lots of good posts already. The 2-cylinder JD's are my favorite antique tractor and I have two of them. But they are not, comparatively speaking, smooth for belt work. Use a long belt with them. The 3 cylinder Detroit Diesel is 2-cycle and runs the crankshaft as smoothly as an ordinary 6- cylinder. A 75Hp electric motor will outsaw a 125HP combustion engine, and is the smoothest of all, so it is the best choice. Steam produces higher torque at lower speeds and is wonderful for sawing, especially two cylinder steam engine. Lumber for our house built in 1947 was sawed at a stationary sawmill powered by steam. Sawing with less than 65HP will be tedious.

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Ray

07-11-2004 13:14:09
158.222.225.54



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Hi, I was asking the same question about 9 months ago, and will pass on the benefit of what I found. I'm setting up a Belsaw, you can run it off as little as 30 hp., but will be slow, esp. in hardwoods. The rule of thumb is 3 hp./blade tooth, which for a 40" Belsaw is 25 teeth = 75 hp. More is always better to a point. There are several types of govenors (sp?), the best for sawmills and generators is a hydraulic type, which responds to oil pressure. Much steadier at maintaining the proper rpm. In gas vs. diesel, gas is way cheaper initially, but cost a lot more to run. I ended up buying a Detroit Diesel 3-71, about 80 hp. at 1800 rpm. It was the least expensive diesel in that power range. Really noisy though. Haven't cut a stick yet, hope to get it together by next year. Good luck,
Ray

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Paul Janke

07-11-2004 08:28:47
216.166.168.53



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
I used a MM UTS to run my Belsaw sawmill. I think it was a 40" blade, very old blade with close to 3/8" kerf. It ran that with no lack of power. I'm kind of sorry I don't have it any more.



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Bill in Ohio

07-11-2004 07:22:31
64.12.117.10



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
We have a Belsaw mill that we demonstrate at several shows in SW Ohio. It is using a 46 inch blade and I have put non functional teeth in half the sockets and it does a lot better job with basically whatever tactor that volunteers to pull it. The theory of tooth operation is that each tooth requires so much horsepower, whether it is just skinning the wood or cutting up to the point of filling the gullet with chips as it goes throught he log, so you either speed up the travel, or reduce teeth. It works for me, plus, teeth stay sharp longer and its half the effort to file them and half price to replace them! Bigger chips are easier to handle and you have less fine dust floating around, too.
At home, I power it with a PTO on a little 1520 John Deere and it does good. I have a rope over to the throttle so you open it up on the cut and let it idle while you are setting up. The worst problems I have at shows is generally slow speed issues and unresponsive governors.
Good Luck!

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phil

07-11-2004 06:56:52
142.176.61.227



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
A lot of fun and a lot of "friends" will suddenly appear, which is good.
I don,t have the brand name but locally the tractor driven portables are common. Any discussion forum about mills/sawing etc should link up to various web sites by the builders.Maybe try www.logstolumber.com they might be on the web[local dealer] or start a path to search by.
I would like to suggest one thing: Install a pull cord/emergency stop, the length of the mill. Be it ignition circuit or fuel pump,etc that is available from any position you may be operating the mill from. Did not enjoy responding to a limb loss, because it was normal to walk out to the tractor to shut down, didn't help when he tripped/fell on the arbour shaft, going out for the lunch shutdown.
As i was told one time: Don't be scared of it but be blankly blank sure you respect it

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Bill(Wis)

07-11-2004 05:42:08
167.206.63.162



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Our local sawmill was powered by a Rumely Oil Pull (I wish I knew which model) for about 40 years. That Rumely was used to pull & power the threshing machine in the summer and the clover huller in the fall and then it would go back to sawmill duty all winter. They surely got a lot of work out of that tractor. It probably had about 50 belt HP. 2 cyl but an immense flywheel which made it surprisingly smooth on the belt.

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Eric Rylander

07-11-2004 05:23:21
68.85.13.253



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Back in the early to mid '70's we had all the lumber sawed for our house on a sawmill built mostly of scrap farm machinery parts by an old Finlander and his son in Todd County MN, and I can assure you niether had more than about 8 grades of formal schooling.

The mill was run by an unstyled "A" John Deere, belt powered with a tire on the mill end as a pulley. I was 7 years old at the time and my job was to shovel the sawdust off the elevator, I think that part was made from old grain elevator parts.

At my mom and dad's they have some old photos of this mill and I will scan some one day.

They eventually built a shed over the rig and used gutter pipe to duct the A's exhaust out the wall.

I sure don't recall any type of saftey gaurds anywhere on that thing!

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Bob

07-11-2004 02:24:55
216.143.211.146



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
There are 2 Keck-Gonermann sawmills in our area my brother-in law owns and runs one. We set it up with a 15" truck tire against the belt pulley for the sawmill. It works great and is a slip point if something goes tight, which can be adjusted by more or less air in the tire. We simply used a 1.5" shaft between two pillow blocks and coupled it with a sliding PTO shaft. This we run off of 540 pto with a 4020 or an 806. The other sawmill owned by a neighbor uses a 13" wheel set up in the same manner. He uses the 1000 RPM PTO and a 4020. The comment by the other guys about the cup and blade being hammered is on the mark. It is something to watch a pro (usually an older experienced sawyer) hammer a saw blade. Constant speed is important and it is amazing to watch the blade "true up" when it hits the log.

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Roger

07-10-2004 22:06:16
63.234.222.66



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
There is more to running a sawmill than meets the eye. You need to know the speed at which the blade will turn. Every blade is "Hammered" for a certian speed. The blade has a slight "cup" or "disk blade" shape to it. This is done so that when the blade is runniong full speed it will pull out straight and run true. If you get the saw blade hot, it will expand. When it cools it will shrink back, but never be right. The blade will "wobble" and is unsafe. NEVER, have a saw blade "hammered" for a low horse power tractor and then belt up to a high horse power tractor. The differance in speed will cause the blade to over center ( break over to the opposite side ). Steam Engines or John Deere 2 cyld. tractors with bad govenors will wreck a saw blade. The power source needs to be constant and very steady. You will need to know how fast the blade will turn and use the same tractor every time at the same speed. You can use any tractor, but you need to use the same one all the time. Before the JD guys start posting, I am speaking from 25 years experiance running a saw mill, and not just at tractor shows.

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sjh

07-11-2004 16:32:49
66.66.116.30



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 Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to Roger, 07-10-2004 22:06:16  
Your saw should never have a dish in it. See this link.



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Roger

07-11-2004 21:01:27
63.234.222.181



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 Re: Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor in reply to sjh, 07-11-2004 16:32:49  
The saw blade needs a slight dish so when it gets up to speed it will pull out and run true. If the blade is perfectly flat, it will whip and wobble. I learned this from a man that ran a sawmill for over 50 years.



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sjh

07-12-2004 04:33:30
66.153.12.184



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tra in reply to Roger, 07-11-2004 21:01:27  
The guy who is hammering my blade right know sad no dish. He has done this by hand for 30 years.



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Roger

07-12-2004 04:59:17
65.133.129.136



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a in reply to sjh, 07-12-2004 04:33:30  
Then what is the purpose of having the blade "hammered"? When a saw heats from sawing and cools it has to have some way to expand and contract with out loosing its shape. It is no different than a wheel on a car. As the wheel gets hot from the heat from the tire it will expand sligthly. A perfectly straight rim or saw blade has no strength. Not sure what "hammering a blade" means in your area, but around here it means -to put a slight dish or curve in the blade so it will run true at operating speed.

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sjh

07-12-2004 06:08:01
66.153.13.189



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill o in reply to Roger, 07-12-2004 04:59:17  
When you hammer a blade, you are putting tension in the steel. Every time the blade is hit with the hammer the more tension is put in the steel. IIRC the faster the blade speed the more tension you need on the outside of the blade. When the blade spins it causes it to expand. That is what hammering does. It controls expansion. When it heats up the blade expands more then you loose your tension. When the sawer is done with my blade it will be completely sraight edge flat. He told me a guy one time wanted his money back after hammering because it was not dished. He told the guy to go some place else. He only makes them flat. He is so busy it will take 2 months to gat my blade back. I do trust him with my life.

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Bob

07-11-2004 02:33:23
216.143.211.146



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 Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to Roger, 07-10-2004 22:06:16  
One thing I forgot. The sawyers set the speed on the tractor not by the PTO speed on the tractor tach but by looking at the blade and when it trues up.



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Kelvin

07-10-2004 20:53:21
64.12.117.10



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
I've seen my cousing saw with a MM ZTU (approx 30 hp.) Before he bought the mill the other guy used a larger Case tractor. (Set up like a power unit with the wheels off.)

I know another man who uses a MM UB. (45 or more hp.)

I read that circular saws intended for low hp. applications had fewer teeth. (Of course, you have to work with what you have.)



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Les...fortunate

07-10-2004 20:10:46
216.177.30.56



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
Nope, but we run our Lane #1 mill with a Case LAE and have another LAE that runs a planer. (And another LAE for parts!)
What is a "circle mill"? Do you mean a circular saw mill?



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Brad-fromTN

07-10-2004 20:03:36
207.48.34.42



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 Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to steve, 07-10-2004 19:50:14  
My brother is. I think it's a Case 930.



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RJ-AZ

07-10-2004 20:42:59
216.31.90.71



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 Re: Re: anyone running a sawmill off a tractor? in reply to Brad-fromTN, 07-10-2004 20:03:36  
Hey Brad thats pretty good my Dad ran a neighbors sawmill with his Case 930 back around 1974. Dad's tractor/neighbors mill and it seems my brother and I did all the work. Ran it off the PTO and had a hydraulic circuit for the sawdust drag chain.



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