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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Planning and calculations

After retire and moving permanent to south Mexico, I got interested in the fantastic hardwood existing in Mexico. The most common are Tzalam, Che-Chen and Zapote. Density of Pine is 0.35, compared to 0.85 for Tzalam and Che-Chen and fantastic 1.04 for Zapote.

I fast found that very often the wood is cut with motor saw and when cut with band saw, the wood is not cut according to some kind of existing standard dimensions. This means when I buy wood it comes in variation of thickness and width. On my Mexican ranch in the wood (jungle), the most common is Tzalam, but also have some tree of Che-Chen and Zapote.

So, I decided to build or buy a horizontal band saw mill. Soon realized to buy was not an option (too expensive transport), so I must design and build a mill. I started to study various YouTube solutions, blogs and other pages. The most are in metal, but decided it's easier to do a combination of wood/steel or pure wood. Found that exist two variants, one with rotating axle with pillow bearings and the most common with bearings in the wheels. I actually bought some parts for both solutions but in the end started to go for the most common solution.

But first it needed to have some idea about the necessary horsepower to cut such hard hardwood. On the net, there are various theories for how to calculate the needed horsepower. The best (my opinion) is presented on page: https://www.thinkerf.com/formulas.php. Setting up in Excel and calculating for a certain saw band I got (144×1.25×0.042) that minimum 4.5 hp was needed with a forward cut velocity of 5 fpm rate.
Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Number


Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Pattern


Note the calculation is made for a certain band which I have purchased. If adapting the general solution of geekwoodworker here on this forum, the base will be 1771 mm long (69.7 inch) with 18-inch wheels. An estimation thickness & width of geekwoodworker solution is 225 mm (8.9 inch). A picture of his solution looks like;
Building Wood Wood stain Flooring Window


Now this showed to be quite a lot of wood! Bought some wood but discovered was not enough so was searching for every scrap wood I had. The demand is that the surface down must be pretty straight, but hopefully all surfaces will end up straight. In order to achieve this, I cut all wood in 800 mm parts to be straighten with saw table and planer. On the saw table I used a guide to force straight cuts.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Gas Composite material


This is the stage at this point. I will appreciate comments and ideas!
 

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Planning and calculations

After retire and moving permanent to south Mexico, I got interested in the fantastic hardwood existing in Mexico. The most common are Tzalam, Che-Chen and Zapote. Density of Pine is 0.35, compared to 0.85 for Tzalam and Che-Chen and fantastic 1.04 for Zapote.

I fast found that very often the wood is cut with motor saw and when cut with band saw, the wood is not cut according to some kind of existing standard dimensions. This means when I buy wood it comes in variation of thickness and width. On my Mexican ranch in the wood (jungle), the most common is Tzalam, but also have some tree of Che-Chen and Zapote.

So, I decided to build or buy a horizontal band saw mill. Soon realized to buy was not an option (too expensive transport), so I must design and build a mill. I started to study various YouTube solutions, blogs and other pages. The most are in metal, but decided it's easier to do a combination of wood/steel or pure wood. Found that exist two variants, one with rotating axle with pillow bearings and the most common with bearings in the wheels. I actually bought some parts for both solutions but in the end started to go for the most common solution.

But first it needed to have some idea about the necessary horsepower to cut such hard hardwood. On the net, there are various theories for how to calculate the needed horsepower. The best (my opinion) is presented on page: https://www.thinkerf.com/formulas.php. Setting up in Excel and calculating for a certain saw band I got (144×1.25×0.042) that minimum 4.5 hp was needed with a forward cut velocity of 5 fpm rate.
Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Number


Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Pattern


Note the calculation is made for a certain band which I have purchased. If adapting the general solution of geekwoodworker here on this forum, the base will be 1771 mm long (69.7 inch) with 18-inch wheels. An estimation thickness & width of geekwoodworker solution is 225 mm (8.9 inch). A picture of his solution looks like;
Building Wood Wood stain Flooring Window


Now this showed to be quite a lot of wood! Bought some wood but discovered was not enough so was searching for every scrap wood I had. The demand is that the surface down must be pretty straight, but hopefully all surfaces will end up straight. In order to achieve this, I cut all wood in 800 mm parts to be straighten with saw table and planer. On the saw table I used a guide to force straight cuts.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Gas Composite material


This is the stage at this point. I will appreciate comments and ideas!
My woodmizer has a 9hp motor on it but they make them with as low as 7. Don't think you'd want any lower than that. I've seen some nice chainsaw mills lately that look interesting and well thought out. Something like that would be cheaper but would take a bit longer per cut. It all depends if you have more money or time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Planning and calculations

After retire and moving permanent to south Mexico, I got interested in the fantastic hardwood existing in Mexico. The most common are Tzalam, Che-Chen and Zapote. Density of Pine is 0.35, compared to 0.85 for Tzalam and Che-Chen and fantastic 1.04 for Zapote.

I fast found that very often the wood is cut with motor saw and when cut with band saw, the wood is not cut according to some kind of existing standard dimensions. This means when I buy wood it comes in variation of thickness and width. On my Mexican ranch in the wood (jungle), the most common is Tzalam, but also have some tree of Che-Chen and Zapote.

So, I decided to build or buy a horizontal band saw mill. Soon realized to buy was not an option (too expensive transport), so I must design and build a mill. I started to study various YouTube solutions, blogs and other pages. The most are in metal, but decided it's easier to do a combination of wood/steel or pure wood. Found that exist two variants, one with rotating axle with pillow bearings and the most common with bearings in the wheels. I actually bought some parts for both solutions but in the end started to go for the most common solution.

But first it needed to have some idea about the necessary horsepower to cut such hard hardwood. On the net, there are various theories for how to calculate the needed horsepower. The best (my opinion) is presented on page: https://www.thinkerf.com/formulas.php. Setting up in Excel and calculating for a certain saw band I got (144×1.25×0.042) that minimum 4.5 hp was needed with a forward cut velocity of 5 fpm rate.
Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Number


Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Pattern


Note the calculation is made for a certain band which I have purchased. If adapting the general solution of geekwoodworker here on this forum, the base will be 1771 mm long (69.7 inch) with 18-inch wheels. An estimation thickness & width of geekwoodworker solution is 225 mm (8.9 inch). A picture of his solution looks like;
Building Wood Wood stain Flooring Window


Now this showed to be quite a lot of wood! Bought some wood but discovered was not enough so was searching for every scrap wood I had. The demand is that the surface down must be pretty straight, but hopefully all surfaces will end up straight. In order to achieve this, I cut all wood in 800 mm parts to be straighten with saw table and planer. On the saw table I used a guide to force straight cuts.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Gas Composite material


This is the stage at this point. I will appreciate comments and ideas!
JCamp, thanks for your comment!

I have tried motor saw mills. Bought some different also tried circular saw with Prazi extension (and burned the circular saw). Didn't work good, due to so such hard wood.

Something like your Woodmizer I wanted to buy but turned out expensive in transport from China and internal Mexico. So now I will make a pretty cheap for thos trees I have plus I can help some neighbor's.

Planning on 7 hp gasoline engine, not electric. I have an idea about the design but can changed during building.
 

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Planning and calculations

After retire and moving permanent to south Mexico, I got interested in the fantastic hardwood existing in Mexico. The most common are Tzalam, Che-Chen and Zapote. Density of Pine is 0.35, compared to 0.85 for Tzalam and Che-Chen and fantastic 1.04 for Zapote.

I fast found that very often the wood is cut with motor saw and when cut with band saw, the wood is not cut according to some kind of existing standard dimensions. This means when I buy wood it comes in variation of thickness and width. On my Mexican ranch in the wood (jungle), the most common is Tzalam, but also have some tree of Che-Chen and Zapote.

So, I decided to build or buy a horizontal band saw mill. Soon realized to buy was not an option (too expensive transport), so I must design and build a mill. I started to study various YouTube solutions, blogs and other pages. The most are in metal, but decided it's easier to do a combination of wood/steel or pure wood. Found that exist two variants, one with rotating axle with pillow bearings and the most common with bearings in the wheels. I actually bought some parts for both solutions but in the end started to go for the most common solution.

But first it needed to have some idea about the necessary horsepower to cut such hard hardwood. On the net, there are various theories for how to calculate the needed horsepower. The best (my opinion) is presented on page: https://www.thinkerf.com/formulas.php. Setting up in Excel and calculating for a certain saw band I got (144×1.25×0.042) that minimum 4.5 hp was needed with a forward cut velocity of 5 fpm rate.
Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Number


Font Rectangle Material property Parallel Pattern


Note the calculation is made for a certain band which I have purchased. If adapting the general solution of geekwoodworker here on this forum, the base will be 1771 mm long (69.7 inch) with 18-inch wheels. An estimation thickness & width of geekwoodworker solution is 225 mm (8.9 inch). A picture of his solution looks like;
Building Wood Wood stain Flooring Window


Now this showed to be quite a lot of wood! Bought some wood but discovered was not enough so was searching for every scrap wood I had. The demand is that the surface down must be pretty straight, but hopefully all surfaces will end up straight. In order to achieve this, I cut all wood in 800 mm parts to be straighten with saw table and planer. On the saw table I used a guide to force straight cuts.
Wood Flooring Hardwood Gas Composite material


This is the stage at this point. I will appreciate comments and ideas!
That's a neat project. I have a 94cc chainsaw and Granberg mill to guide it, but I can confirm that it takes a long time to get through harder woods because of the width of the chain. Most chainsaws aren't really designed for that kind of work either. I'd love to have a bandsaw mill eventually, but time, money, storage, and probably some other excuses are in my way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gantry with height adjustment

Finally, after various problems I can show some progress!

The frame:
I made the frame by gluing together 800 mm long 2×4 wood (about…). The first 3 layer I used Dewalt planer to get straight surfaces. This whole process took some time. If I would do it again, I would do this hollow for less weight.
The frame showed to be too heavy and having too large torque arm to the gantry, so I later cut away 3 cm longitudinal

This saved about 4 kg and reduced the torque arm with 3 cm (the most important).
Window Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood


The legs:
Usually, I would calculate almost everything, but this time I just estimated necessary length and the gantry location on the legs. This showed to be less good, so I had to calculate this. Later on, I glued extra 15 cm on front part, calculating that will be a motor weight.
Wood Floor Flooring Automotive tire Hardwood


The Gantry with locking mechanism:
Here I copied the solution of geekwoodworker. However, the gantry box is slightly different ball bearings on the sides.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plank Plywood


However, here I did a mistake by painting the gantry grey. This showed later to have too much friction. The meaning was also to put marine barniz (lack) but didn't happen. With Gekkwoodworkers solution of locking current position:
Wood Wood stain Building material Hardwood Plank


The height adjustment mechanism:
Really wanted a general system for height adjustment. The geekwoodworker solution may be more accurate, but first I tried to put a winch with wheels in various systems solution. Together with the gantry friction I found out that it was needed more wheels to force the winch wire to lift equal on both sides. Below picture just show's one system that didn't work good, but I made several.
Wood Floor Hardwood Flooring Wood stain


I didn't have that, but I had the same 1" threaded rods which do 8 turns per inch. I switch to geekwoodworker solution, but still had too much friction in the gantry (no picture). The handle for height adjustment I had to make two times as those in pine repeatable broke in pieces (with the high friction), so I finally made these in Tzalam wood. It takes some time to work with Tzalam.

The picture below shows updated gantry with no paint.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Plank Cross


Final solution:
I had to remove all paint on the gantry, sand them and put used oil on sliding sides. The attachment to the gantry box is very similar to the geekwoodworker solution.
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Gas Natural material


The final solution works great! I even put the motor on one side for a test.
Wood Window Floor Flooring Hardwood


Next I will start with the wheels. Actually I have already started. To investigate the best position of the gantry in relations to the wheel mounts, I made two 18 inch wheels and stretched the band. This was to know how much extra space was needed to put on the band. The tension adjustment must be able to adjust of 10 mm less then wheel distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wheels, wheel mounts and alignments

After several interruptions (vacation, other things needed to be done), I have finally made the wheels, wheel mounts, tension system, motor attachment and alignment. After some adjusting of the tension and alignment, it runs great!

But let's start from the beginning;

Wheels
The wheels are 18-inch size, where one wheel have a 16-inch drive belt wheel attached. To achieve about 35 mm wide wheels, 3 pieces 9 mm plywood wheels were glued together.

However, before gluing together, I roughly determined location and the amount of imbalance (grouping as 1 or 2). I drilled a small hole in center, pushed in a thin rod and marked where the imbalance occurs, as shown in the picture below. This procedure was used for all wheel parts.
Wood Floor Gas Flooring Hardwood


Selection of three pieces of 9 mm wheels depending of amount of imbalance. These were glued together with 120 deg between each mark of the 9 mm wheels.

Then the wheels must be made reasonable round. However, for the first wheel I didn't have any pulley so I made a small temporary plywood wheel attached to rotating axle with bearings of wood.
Table Furniture Wood Hardwood Workbench


Running the finished wheels showed on good performance, but improved further by applying a small balance weight.
Saw Cold saw Mitre saws Abrasive saw Miter saw


For bearing I used flange bearings. There are several who complain that these bearings can move, so I put a small wheel with tight fittings around the bearings to prevent any movements. Finished, balance wheels are shown below;
Wheel Automotive tire Wood Tire Rim


In a picture under 'test run' it can be seen, that I have glued a 16-inch bike tire on the 18-inch wheels. This functioned very good during running, though some on YouTube says its needed up to 4-inch less size of the bike tires.

The mountings
For the mountings, I adopted the solutions of geekwoodworker here on this platform. However, one with tension screw and one without (in difference to his solutions). The wheel alignments about the z-axis (alignment of wheel to left or right due to tension) was implemented. These mountings were made by gluing small pieces of hardwood (Tzalam) and with the needed screws for alignment & tension. The head of screws were tight fitted and glued with Sayer hard glue (takes long time to dry). The mountings can be moved by tensions or alignment inside a relatively tight pine box.
Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain Hardwood

Wood Wood stain Hardwood Building Plywood


The alignment
During the test runs with saw blade I discovered that an additional alignment was needed per side. Alignment about y-axis (up and down of the wheel axle). This was solved by fastening the mounting boxes with 2 7.5 mm Spax torque screws on one side and the alignment with a strong 13 mm thick bolt on the other side as shown in the picture below. This picture also shows the mounting without tension.
Wood Hardwood Wood stain Plywood Machine


Motor attachment
The motor needed a wood plate with adjustments for rubber belt tension. Again, copied the geekwoodworker solution. This is seen in the picture below under 'test run'.

Test run
After adjusting tension and rather similar adjustments on each side, it runs great! However, discovered that the blade is moving in wrong direction! Investigation on how to reverse this 3.1 KW (4.2 Hp) induction motor. I opened the motor and determined the wiring system. It showed to be typical. However, with start and main winding soldered together inside the windings.

This showed to be difficult to reverse. Contacted Mattias Wandel, who is kind of famous (seen on YouTube). He gave me some advices but said that perhaps it's not possible to revert. Went to a shop for motors, who also said the same. However, suddenly the worker who is helping me with some things at my ranch, came up with idea that the saw blade can be reverted. And we reverted it! Problem solved
!
Wheel Wood Gas Machine Automotive wheel system
 

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