Band Mill Blade Speed

      Determining the feet per minute that a band should run at on a home-built mill. May 11, 2005

Question
I'm looking for information on building a band mill. I need to know what the band blade speed in feet per minute should be. Is there an actual set number? I need this information to figure the pulley sizes from the output shaft to the input shaft of the band wheel. I'm using a 14hp Kohler, 20 inch band wheels, 158" standard 1 1/4" band blade. The band wheels I'm using are rated for 1240 rpm. They are Browning pulleys. That would be 5.236 feet per revolution x 1240 = 6492 feet at the max RPM of the pulleys. The max blade feet per minute would be 6492 BFPM. If I'm doing this wrong, please let me know. One guy told me that 42 blade feet per second is minimum speed.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor G:
I have a 20hp, 18" wheels at 5000fpm and would not want anything less. Max log is 30". I read on this site a long time ago that Wood-Mizer runs at 4500fpm. With 14hp you will want to stay at the lower end because you will find you lack hp. Nothing wrong with that, you just feed slower. Your math looks correct.



From contributor D:
There's a bandspeed calculator at the link below. There's also a pulley calc partway down the index at this link, under "Machinery".
http://www.ls.net/~windyhill/Calcs/CalculatorIndex.htm


From the original questioner:
Thank you, contributor G, this will help me out a lot. I can work the pulley sizes from here.


From contributor A:
What is important to know is the rpm of the motor shaft at full (cruise) speed. The 1240 rpm rating for the band wheels is only an approximate figure. And the length of the blade is not a factor here, I think.


From contributor M:
I run a 10 hp 3 phase with 24" wheels at 4800 fpm. I used to be higher, but in large oak - 24" - I would have problems. On some advice from Tim Cook at Cook's Saw, I slowed it up. I was at 5600. It runs a lot better at 4800.


From the original questioner:
Is it better to run slower (FPM) on hardwoods and faster on softwoods? Or reverse? Does the hardwood heat up the blade faster than softwood? I'm thinking the softwood might tend to heat the blade up faster because of it having more sap, creating friction. Or does it just take more torque/HP to cut the hardwood versus soft? It would be better in the long run if I set the mill up so that I can vary the speed, instead of having to change sheaves for soft or hardwood.


From contributor M:
I don't know of a mill that changes speeds for hard or softwood. Usually that's more changing the blade set and hook angle. Suffolk Machinery (they make blades) really gets into that in depth. Not being on any production schedule or time clock, I buy Simmond's Red Streak blades from Cook's, 10 degree hook, and use them right out of the box. I send them back usually twice to get resharpened. There is a new Munkforsager blade out I've heard is good, but I haven't tried it yet. I don't know how you can easily vary the blade speed. I can't without changing sheaves. With an engine, I'm pretty sure you want it at maximum rpm so the governor works depending on the load. If I remember what Tim told me, the 10 degree hook is trying to pull the blade into the log. With 10 hp there isn't enough power there to run 5600 fpm on large logs. This was almost 10 years ago, so it's a little fuzzy. I just know it runs a lot better at 4800 fpm.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Sawmilling


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article