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Old School Sawmill Edger

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  • Old School Sawmill Edger

    I'm all "engined out". I've been thinking about something to build and run with one of my engines. I already have a sawmill, a buzz saw, a steam donkey winch, a drag saw and a wood splitter. I have been thinking of an edger. Once a log has went thru the main-saw in a sawmill, the resulting boards have bark on the outer edges. This requires a second cut to be made to remove the strip on each side of the board which are known as "edgings". Old school edgers had two sawblades on a common shaft. One sawblade was "fixed" in position, while the other sawblade could be moved on the shaft to accommodate different board widths. They also had powered pressure rolls on the outfeed and infeed to draw the uncut board into the saws and to feed it out the other side when the cut was finished. A later development were "Bull-Edgers" which had multiple blades with spacers between them, so a wide board could be fed in and finish size narrower boards and two "edgings" would come out. The edgings on each side fell down onto a conveyor that took them to the chipper, while the boards passed on thru to the sorting shed to be sorted, graded, and stacked to dry. I think that one of the old style edgers might be fun to build. The blade on my buzz saw is about 3 3/8" diameter and I can cut "logs" of 1" diameter into stovewood lengths. (about 1 1/2" long). I want to do a bit of research and see if there are blades about 2" in diameter.--I could probably use slitting saws intended for metal work.
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...hlight=sawmill
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...hlight=sawmill
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...hlight=sawmill
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...ey+steam+winch
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...highlight=drag
    Last edited by brian Rupnow; 10-14-2019, 07:30 PM.
    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    I did find some 2" diameter sawblades. The sawed lumber from my sawmill is only about 1/8" thick, so these blades should be about right. The actual thickness that a circular blade will cut is half of the saw diameter minus half of the hub diameter.
    https://www.amazon.ca/Proxxon-28020-.../dp/B000S6DTT0
    Brian Rupnow

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    • #3
      Well I have my beer and popcorn ready to again watch a very instructive and informative thread from the master.
      Look forward to following this build project.

      Harold

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      • #4
        Hi Harold----Happy thanksgiving. I find sawmill machinery fascinating. There were four sawmills in the village where I grew up, near Bancroft. Of course I only seen them from a kid's perspective. By the time I was old enough to understand what all the different machines actually did in a mill, all the sawmills were gone. I did spend a couple of years as an adult designing high production sawmill equipment and installing it. The thing I like most about the old sawmill tech, is that it was so "In your face". Very little was covered with guards and you could see all that beautiful machinery doing it's thing. Very unsafe and dangerous for the people who worked in them (My dad lost a couple of fingers running the "resaw" in the Bancroft planing mill), but very pleasing to the eye when done up as a model. Even the models are dangerous--You have to exercise good "finger awareness" when running them.---Brian
        Brian Rupnow

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        • #5
          Brian
          Check these out, a lot cheaper should work fine in your saw mill.

          https://www.harborfreight.com/pack-o...inch+saw+blade


          Gary
          Gary Davison
          Tarkio, Mo.

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          • #6
            Thanks gld. I will look into that. We don't have Harbor Freight in Canada but we do have the Canadian Equivalent, BusyBee Tools.---Brian.
            Brian Rupnow

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
              I have been thinking of an edger. Once a log has went thru the main-saw in a sawmill, the resulting boards have bark on the outer edges. This requires a second cut to be made to remove the strip on each side of the board which are known as "edgings". Old school edgers had two sawblades on a common shaft. One sawblade was "fixed" in position, while the other sawblade could be moved on the shaft to accommodate different board widths. They also had powered pressure rolls on the outfeed and infeed to draw the uncut board into the saws and to feed it out the other side when the cut was finished. A later development were "Bull-Edgers" which had multiple blades with spacers between them, so a wide board could be fed in and finish size narrower boards and two "edgings" would come out.
              I worked part-time through high school and college running a rip saw with a setup similar to that. We would take the 4/4 and 8/4 kiln dried random width planks and rip them to a consistent width so they could run through the moulders (we had a 5 head and 7 head) to make various trims, moulding, and handrails. Very similar setup, but with a fixed fence and we would run up to 4 blades on the arbour, spaced out with rings on the arbour. I'm interested to see what you come up with here. Also interesting - the lead hand who did all the blade profiling/sharpening and moulder setup was also from Bancroft area.

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              • #8
                You can get 2" carbide tipped saw blades from Proxxon
                https://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/...S80-28734.html
                Helder Ferreira
                Setubal, Portugal

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                • #9
                  Brian, Busy Bee tools are owned and run by the same family as Grizzly tools in the States, Princess Auto and Harbor freight are connected, but I do not know exactly how ,frequently we notice shipping boxes boxes labelled Harbor Freight being unloaded at Princess Auto stores.
                  While I own and use tools from both Busy Bee and Princess Auto I really prefer British, German, and American made tools,they seem to feel better, live longer and keep their value better than most modern Asian imports.
                  My latest project is to revive a WW2 era Atlas horizontal mill. While it has obviously had rough handling in unknowing hands all the basic parts are still fully usuable and apparently little worn.
                  Regards David Powell.

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                  • #10
                    I really enjoy following your projects. I learn something I didn't know on everyone
                    of your projects.
                    I like going to the old steam engine days around our area. One of my favorite
                    stops is watching the guys run the saw mills being powered by a steam tractor.
                    olf20 / Bob

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                    • #11
                      Okay--Lets think about what I need. Engine with a governor--Yep, I have half a dozen of those. 2" diameter sawblades--Yep, I can order them from Proxon or Harbor Freight. Shafting will be cold rolled steel in "stock" sizes . One sawblade is fixed--no problem. One sawblade has to be able to slide along the shaft but still be powered by the shaft, to adjust for different board widths. Maybe a double keyway, one on both sides of the shaft and long keys, with two keyways in the moveable sawblade hub.Two powered rolls, and two pressure rolls for infeed and outfeed. Not sure at the moment, but maybe diamond knurl 4 pieces of cold rolled steel to act as textured finish on rolls. Some profiled pieces of flatbar to act as anti-kickbacks on the infeed side of the edger. A frame to hold all the bearings and shafts, etc, in place. An infeed and an outfeed table---This is where I broke one of my own rules---NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY!!! When I was building my sawmill, some kind fellow in USA sent me a whole bag of 3/4" square oak. I used it to build my sawmill carriage, and hung the bag with the rest of the oak on a nail in my storage closet. Couple of years ago in a cleaning frenzy, I thought, "Aw heck, I'm never going to use that stuff", so I pitched it out. Dumb Bastard!!! The sawblades are going to have to run at engine speed 1200 rpm or a bit faster. The infeed and outfeed rollers are going to have to run at considerably lower speeds, so some gearing is going to be called for. What have I missed?---Brian
                      Brian Rupnow

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                      • #12
                        I think all metal cutting saw blades won't have enough gullet for wood in that application. maybe the blades for a "Biscut" joiner but they are way to wide a kerf . I would imagine (I havent use one) the cutters for a horizontal mill will be too large a bore to use. I think, if you have the capability, to grind out maybe two or three teeth of every 4 on one of the slitting saw blades and deepen the gullet there it would be the easiest way to get a blade that will work. Would require some indexer and a surface grinder to do it right . :-)
                        ...lew...

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                        • #13
                          The 2" diameter blades sold by Proxon state that they are intended for cutting non ferrous metals, plastic, and wood.
                          Brian Rupnow

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                          • #14
                            I just found out that Harbor Freight no longer sells nor ships to Canada.
                            Brian Rupnow

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                            • #15
                              Amazon was happy to take my money for two of the Proxxon blades.
                              Brian Rupnow

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