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  • Old sawmill arbor

    I have a small sawmill that has a 1 1/2" dia by 51" arbor shaft running in pillow block bearings. The circular saw blade is 51" in dia.
    I need to replace the arbor shaft but I am not sure what steel to use. I think the old arbor may be cold roll (spark test) but I will now be running this thing and I don't the shaft to fail while I am standing three feet from it. Anyone know anything about these old sawmills?
    Norm

  • #2
    I think you would be pretty safe using C1045 which is a fairly typical steel for use in shafting.---Brian
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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    • #3
      I've had an old Belsaw & a Mobile Dimension from Oregon. I'm not sure but I think you'll be fine. If it's inserted teeth there one style that you can't find the locks for & might want to check before putting a bunch of time & $$ into. Go to sawmillexchange.com which is a buy sell but has parts advertisements & call one about the locks & the shaft.

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      • #4
        flylo, Six saw blades from 40" to 52" all insert tooth came with this sawmill plus four boxes to teeth plus a bunch of the holders and the required tools. I should be Ok for the time I will use it. I do know what you are talking about, I was at the Yoder mill a while back ( A 100 year old circular sawmill with a Canby Oregon address) He is having a problem you are talking about but he is still able to get the teeth and gullets he needs from Mobile Dimension also in Canby.
        My sawmill will be an "Old guy toy" to cut mature second growth from my farm. I am too cheap to give it to the loggers!!
        I have the tools to make a new arbor but I will visit sawmillexchange.com first. Thanks for the tip and advise

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        • #5
          Please post what you come up with. I have an old belsaw I wish to restore as the main shaft has babbit bearings. Ditto on the bits and shanks, mine are outdated and no longer available.

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          • #6
            Abner, I have ordered a length of C1045. After looking up The specs and normal uses for it I think it will work fine. I haven't used 1045 for years and kind of forgot about it. What size tooth are you using? Google "Mobile Dimension sawmill in Canby, Oregon" and they may have the teeth you are using. I hope to have the new arbor made in a couple of weeks and will post pictures if I can figure out how. How are you plan to power your saw, stationary engine, PTO, or flat belt? Mine will be Tractor PTO.

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            • #7
              Brian, Thanks for the tip on C1045. I usually don't use it in my shop and forgot about it. It looks like the best fit for this project

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              • #8
                I thought they were in Troutdale? I actually bought mine from Mr Mays the inventor & was called a Timber Champ. He re started in business at 83 years old. I drove 36 hours straight thru & a blizzard. The 1st week I used it I lost one whole day with rain but cut 18,750 bf of lumber. All done, no re-sawing, no moving the logs, worked very well & I got 20% over scale so I wrote the only product letter of my life & sent to them. Mr Mays passed away & his son in law bought the assets & I had a friend that wanted a mill so I ordered him an info pack & on the back of the brochure was a copy of my hand written letter. What a suprise. I went thru Mobile Dimension plant, nice bright & clean then went to meet Mr & Mrs Mays, old dark dingy pole barn with several old machinists but what a bunch of great people. After the drive I thought I'd never remember a thing after the trip but it all came back & really miss running it.

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                • #9
                  When I was in school I used to work Saturdays etc in a timber yard, they cut big logs and seasoned them in a shed, there was a big circular saw, must have been 6 or 7 foot with inserted teeth, worked fine till an old oak tree was found to contain a gate hinge, stripped half the teeth out that went flying and bent the shaft, the shaft was replaced by a blacksmiths shop up the road, I think he just ordered a length of round bar, nothing fancy, whatever will do.
                  The thing was still working 10 years later, bandsaw replaced the saw.
                  Mark

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Anvils View Post
                    Abner, I have ordered a length of C1045. After looking up The specs and normal uses for it I think it will work fine. I haven't used 1045 for years and kind of forgot about it. What size tooth are you using? Google "Mobile Dimension sawmill in Canby, Oregon" and they may have the teeth you are using. I hope to have the new arbor made in a couple of weeks and will post pictures if I can figure out how. How are you plan to power your saw, stationary engine, PTO, or flat belt? Mine will be Tractor PTO.
                    I last used mine 16 yrs ago. Powered by a 6cyl car motor and V belts. Very old - had babbit bearings throughout- replaced all of them but the saw arbor ones. Teeth are 4 1/2 8/9 gauge 5/16 kerf - they are long gone. I have enough bits to do any sawing I want and I built a Horizontal band mill a few years ago and I use it because there is so much less sawdust. The big reason I would rebuild my old circle mill is because of the saw marks. Lumber with those circular scratch marks are beautiful in their own way. I figure I could cut double thick siding (+5/16") and then split them with the circle mill. If I rebuild mine it will be PTO driven as well. Good luck on your project. What brand of sawmill is it?

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                    • #11
                      Here's an old video of one http://www.mobilemfg.com/portable-saw-videos.html showing the block & board method no one has used for years. I'd never have a band mill, these have 3 blades & the log stays in one place while the saw cuts & brings the board right back to you. You can cut a 2x4 this pas & a 1x8 the next, all you do is guide it onto the pile. Jim May designed it to replace helicopter logging instead of hauling the logs out you could cut & sticker the lumber & haul out 60% less weight. Most lodges in remote Canada are built wit these as the longest pc is 10' & the heaviest part in the engine about 200# & can be brought in by float or ski plane. My hanger & shop are all northern Hemlock I cut.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by flylo View Post
                        Here's an old video of one http://www.mobilemfg.com/portable-saw-videos.html showing the block & board method no one has used for years. I'd never have a band mill, these have 3 blades & the log stays in one place while the saw cuts & brings the board right back to you. You can cut a 2x4 this pas & a 1x8 the next, all you do is guide it onto the pile. Jim May designed it to replace helicopter logging instead of hauling the logs out you could cut & sticker the lumber & haul out 60% less weight. Most lodges in remote Canada are built wit these as the longest pc is 10' & the heaviest part in the engine about 200# & can be brought in by float or ski plane. My hanger & shop are all northern Hemlock I cut.
                        interesting.

                        that's exactly what i proposed building here http://www.cnczone.com/forums/uncate...6-sawmill.html and most everyone told me it wouldn't work.

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                        • #13
                          Flylo--thank you for posting that video link. I haven't seen one of those units before.---Brian
                          Brian Rupnow
                          Design engineer
                          Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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                          • #14
                            I'm sure they are many more new videos & info around. If set up semi permanent I'd go an electric motor.

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                            • #15
                              Flylo, I don't know if Mobil Dimension has anything in Troutdale any more. I will look next time I am over there. We went to the fair in Canby last summer and while driving behind the fair grounds we drove past a large building with Mobil Mfg sign and a side lot full of sawmills. Dave from Yoder mill said that was where he bought his saw teeth. Yoder has a large modern mill they cut a lot of fir timbers for timber framing then they move them down the road where they are recut with the antique circular mill $$$$

                              Abner, I think my mill started life as a belsaw but the only thing still belsaw is part of the carriage. The frame is 1/4 x 6" channel. The arbor is 1 1/2 " dia with heavy pillow block roller bearings on each end adjustable for side to side adjustment. The old farmer I bought the mill from said he could cut a 20 ft log but I measure the track at 38 ft. There is a second part under the center of the frame ( husk ?) that is also 1/4 X 6 channel with an axle mount on it. No axle came with the mill and I don't plan on moving it after it is set up. I didn't want a Belsaw but the frame sold me,
                              Plus all the extra blades and stuff that came with it. You might google Pacific/Hoe in Portland, Or. They still make saw teeth and circular saw blades. I have their web address some where.

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