Unusual Bandmill Ideas

      Sawmillers consider custom adaptations such as hydraulic drive or double-bladed sawmills. January 12, 2015

I have been thinking about using a hydraulic motor to run a bandsaw mill from a tractor. What is the downfall of this idea?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Contributor Y

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In extreme cold the hydraulics will be sluggish, especially with the long runs of hydraulic lines. You'll need to design the mill so you don't cut the hydraulic lines. If you are thinking of a portable mill, you'll need to move the hydraulic power supply when you move the mill. Other than that, there is no problem.

From the original questioner:
Maybe just to make it simple I'll just put on an air cooled gas motor.

From Contributor Y

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An air cooled gas motor would be the simplest. I believe LogMaster uses a gas motor to power a hydraulic pump that drives the bandwheel, but that seems kind of complicated. Another option I've seen is a 3-phase generator to power an electric motor on the mill. Generator could be tractor-powered or stand-alone. Advantage: you've got backup handy when the power goes out. If you have access to three-phase, electric would be a good option.

From the original questioner:
I was thinking of a water cooled motor, but I figure a water cooled motor is still cooled by air, plus all the extra stuff for the water cooled motor has to have plus the extra weight. I'm starting to like the idea of having nothing attached to the mill like hoses or wires. I like the idea of having two blades cutting at the same time.

From the original questioner:
I think the two band head is a great idea. I figure if I could make something like that it would double my production. Like 100 cuts would turn into 50 cuts and so on. I used to have a bandsaw, so I know a little bit about how they work. I sold all my trees and sawmill back in 2006. Now I'm back full circle to having trees again. No big rush though.

From Contributor Y

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What I like about the two-blade band mill is the wow factor. It sure would be satisfying to design and build one. It'd take at least two off-bearers to keep up with the sawyer! An old-fashioned scragg mill would be another possibility to square up the logs.

From the original questioner:
Maybe I'll just make it simple like the mill I had before. I had one like this but it had an electric motor on it. This time I'm going to be mobile so I can move the mill away from the lumber, slabs and sawdust that builds up when you’re not mobile.

From the original questioner:
I also like the idea about bolting a Norwood together. I might try building one along those lines.

From Contributor Y

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The kit form of the mill does offer some very interesting possibilities that I've been thinking about. Still considering the two-blade concept?

From the original questioner:
I think the two blade might work. It looks to me all you would need to do is just have two separate saw head hooked together somehow, and make it so they could be unhooked and ran separately if you wanted to ran one blade. Most of the time cutting logs you cut the slab and then cut a board then flip the log tell you get a cant. It looks to me it would be a great time saver. I can't think of too many things that could double production so easily.

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