Turning logs on a manual mill
The bridge is 24' long and 11' high. It is very light, made of plywood with two pieces of angle iron for trolley tracks.
I use a large snatch block that was originally made to handle line cable on telephone poles. It is big enough to put a chain hook through. I put the block on the hoist and run a chain through it around the log. Then the log is simply spun around whichever way you want. Turning a log end for end is easy and lots of fun.
Take a block of paraffin to the bed of the mill where the log rests. Pull on your peavee. Do you have wheels on the top of your vertical stops?
I also have an LT40 manual mill that I retrofitted with a Wood-Mizer log turner. I bought the hydraulic turner arm kit from Wood-Mizer - not the lighter manual turner. It was intended to be welded to the mill, but I welded it onto a couple of brackets so it bolts directly where the manual turner would be. No welding on the mill itself was required.
I also added an old style Wood-Mizer hydraulic toe board on the end toward the operator, as I always try to saw little end to big end. I also put the toe board on the inside of the rail rather than the outside. I added about 4" to the length of the toe board to help it reach the small logs. This required cutting about a half-inch notch out of the bracket that holds the back support.
Power came from a 2hp 220v ac motor that ran a hydraulic pump. I had a local hydraulic supply house make up the unit but a similar one could be bought. A 12v dc pump for a snowplow or dumpbed could also be used, but it would need double action. The pump unit sets on a pad under the hitch end of the mill. The switch is mounted on the motor. I turn the pump on and turn the log and when it's sawn down to a cant that's easy to manage with a cant hook, I turn the pump off.
The valves were placed on a plate I bolted to the support brace on the frame. They are to the left of where you stand to clamp the log.
I did not convert the clamping system or upright supports to hydraulic. This lets us still operate the mill without the hydraulic. We saw a lot of cedar logs and smaller logs and it's just as fast or faster to use the cant hook or hands to turn a small log or cant.
Every thing is bolted on. The system works quite well and we haven't had a log yet that caused it to strain. The toe board (that has the cylinder built in) cost a little less than $100 and the turner arm kit was a little over $200, cylinder not included. I probably had another $1100 into power unit, valves, cylinder for turner arm, hoses, filter, oil, etc.
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