I am in the planning process of building a mill to process root balls. Taking into consideration of the debris in the root system, dulling or destroying teeth, the cost of cutting bands or chains, etc...what is the best type of mill? Band or chainsaw. Please state the reasons for your opinions.
It would help to have a little more information. What size root balls? Just a few, or will this be the foundation for a business?
I have milled walnut root balls with both chain saw and band saw mills and, in general, find the band saw mill to be much better IF it has a clamping system that can adapt (my Norwood mill is very good in that regard). Whatever you use, you WILL destroy chains or blades. Band saw mill blades are quick and easy to change and are less expensive than chain saw chains. Band saws cut much faster and take thinner kerf. Also, don't overlook the possibility of other specialty cutting, such as slabs. Band saw mills are much faster for this. They are also cheaper to run, and are designed for milling, as opposed to chain saws, which are not meant to run under full load for extended periods of time. Hope this helps.
If you are routinely cutting slabs that size, you may want to consider a swing blade mill (Peterson or Lucas) with a slabbing attachment. I have several friends that run them with good results. There are a number of Youtube videos showing them in operation. Designing and building your own band mill may set your business back, due to the time invested.
I (or my team - a fab guy, a mechanical engineer/draftsman and me, the crazy guy wanting a huge mill) will be building it. The plan was a 60" but I am now rethinking since I have a heavily burled maple log laying here that is 9' long and is 7' across. This is what got me thinking of a chain mill. I can buy a 102" bar. My biggest problem with a band mill that large is the width of blade needed for tension, strength and ability to cut straight and not dive into the log at that span. The cost of that blade then risk rock and debris in the root balls???? Has me questioning.
Your logs keep getting bigger! Visit the Hearne Hardwoods web site http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/ if you haven't already. Better yet, you & your team should go pay them a visit. Nice folks, doing some amazing work with a band mill.
I like Dave's idea of visit the Hearne Hardwoods, and maybe even take that log you mentioned to them to custom it saw for you. this way, you get to start working on marketing. You might find that building the mill is the easy part.
Here is a link to another mill that can saw large slabs that built their own mill.
Video of my diy chain mill with 650 Mag. Will handle a 62" dia log Was pleased with speed and accuracy. Now have my diy swing blade mill near completion. It will make a 10.5" cut with 32 hp gas engine. It will be controlled from end of track via hydraulic motor to power saw carriage forward & back on same 62" track width. . The swinging of blade function will be done with wireless remote controlled 12vdc boat trim/tilt pump and one outdrive ram.
Also started a diy dedicated slabber, fabricated needed parts and purchased other parts for another chain mill using 18 hp B&S riding mower engine powering a jackshaft to get proper chain speed. Will use it as a dedicated slabber to run on same track as the other mills.
Am retired, 30 plus years owed a tree service, am a sawdust addict! Like to build projects.
If you are seeing this message, your version of flash needs to be upgraded to view this video. Click here to get the latest version of the Flash player.
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
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.