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Thread: Model Sawmill Dreaming---

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Model Sawmill Dreaming---

    Now that I have finished the Atkinson engine, its time to start thinking about another machining project. I don't think I want to build another engine of any type, as I am somewhat over-ran with engines now. I have 10 different steam engines and 3 internal combustion engines. The steam engines, which I run off my air compressor are fun to look at, but rather gutless in terms of power when compared to the i.c. engines. My favourite i.c. engine is the Kerzel hit and miss that I built a couple of years ago. Even it would probably not have sufficient power to run a circular saw blade, but I am thinking in terms of the old mills which were water powered and had a vertical blade that moved up and down like a jig-saw. These sawmills didn't require a lot of power to drive them. The log wasn't fed into the saw by a cable driven carriage, but there was a ratchet and paul device that would move the log into the sawblade during the downstroke (which was the cutting stroke) and "pause" the log during the sawblades upstroke so as not to put pressure on the blade when it was lifting. I have to do some more research on this, but it might make an interesting project. A fine toothed sabre saw blade would probably be close to the right size, and the "logs" to be sawed would be peices of 1" diameter wooden dowel.----Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    West Michigan
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    1,858

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    Brian,


    That sounds like a fun project and I will be looking forward to watching it unfold as I just know it will.

    Thanks so much for sharing your projects so un-selfishly with us.

    Brian
    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

    THINK HARDER

    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Poplar Bluff, MO
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    They used that type of saw mill around here in the 1900's and have a few examples at some state parks...

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    north bay area
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    Brian neat idea.

    "Upper Canada Village" has that same saw, it was often refered to as a "Muley" saw from what i have read.
    I watched it work , very interesting, think it had about a 6in wide blade much like a crosscut saw blade, filed as a rip style tooth for cutting with the grain.
    Been awhile, (like maybe 28 years ago,), but i think it was activated with hardwood gears?
    This was water powered.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2011
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    SW Michigan
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    Greenfield Village in Dearborn had one last time I was there about 3 years ago.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich theory of life." Theodore Roosevelt

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    north bay area
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    Just Googled "Upper Canada Village Muley Saw",,, a bunch came up with videos of these saws working. Fascinating technology!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Years before I made two of these mill. one circular blade and one reciprocating. I you want them to run for real you can't scale down exactly. You have to run the blade faster than the original. You also had to reduce the feed. On My circular mill the blade is 7.25 dia. It had to run close to 1500 rpm. Also remove 2 tooth every three. To reduce the feed on the cable drum I use the gear box of a small electric drill. The reciprocating use a length of band saw blade. Also remove tooth. I don't totally remove them only grind them low, so they do not cut. It take too much power if you leave them all. The ratcheting mechanism is there but can't use it. There is a weight at the end of the pulling cable.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Thinking about this some more. It will be no problem to run the sawblade up and down. All that requires is an offset, a connecting rod, and a pair of guides to make the blade run true. However, advancing the log intermitantly will be a challenge. Obviously the log will have to be secured to a carriage, which will run on a pair of inverted V tracks to guide it. Now on a circular blade sawmill, there is a winch drum which winds an endless cable to pull the carriage and log thru the saw in one continuous movement. Then the winch drum is reversed to return the carriage to the other end and the log is "dogged over" for another pass thru the circular saw. On the type I am proposing, the carriage will only advance while the saw blade is being pulled down thru the cut, but must stop while the sawblade is pushed back up to the top. This intermittant advancing of the carriage is accomplished by a ratchet and paul mechanism that is geared to the movement of the sawblade.The amount of carriage advance with each downstroke of the blade will be very small, probably only .030" or so. Since it is geared to the sawblade mechanism, if the saw speeds up, the carriage advancement speeds up with it, but still only advances the same distance with each downstroke. ----Brian

  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    Germany
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    Everything you need is in the form of a metal shaper as far as mechanisms.
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Brian, your carriage mechanism will have to have some form of "fast return," if you want it to actually cut dowels.
    I watched the unit at Upper Canada Village, and it was not very quick. Of course, for a "show and tell" unit, that is a real advantage. However, I got the distinct impression that if it ever wound up to a worthwhile rate, it would shake the whole building to bits! The reciprocating frame is quite substantial, and it has to reverse itself every stroke. This particular saw was salvaged and relocated in 1967. It was probably over 100 years old then. It is now coming up on 150 and in the last 45 years, it has run, albeit slower, for more time than in its entire previous life. Remember, in our climate, water-powered mills were seasonal as well as dependent on rainfall. Another point, the whole unit is pretty much built of wood, and from what I could see, the "fit and finish" was showing its age. This means that the saw frame, for example, was no longer as rigid as it really should be. I suspect also, that the pitman arm and the rest of the running gear is in a similar state, mostly due to "pseudo-historians" wanting to leave "unsullied" what is, in reality, a machine that constantly tries to tear itself apart.
    All of this to say that it will be a great project, but you are REALLY going to have to go over to the "dark side," and work with, (gasp,) WOOD for a LOT of the build. To that end, I strongly recommend that you go down to a good hardwood supplier and get, at the very least, some good dry maple, but preferably some tropical hardwood like purpleheart or padauk. They are much more stable and durable for fine construction.
    By the way, that saw is driven by a vertical turbine. It probably BEGAN life with a wheel, but in the great industrial revolution in the later ninteenth century, someone convinced the mill owner that he could get more horses from his headworks with a turbine.
    Good luck with your build!
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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