Sawdust Removal for a Circular Mill

Drag chains or augers beat blowers. July 7, 2011

My old system of sawdust removal using a drag chain has worn out its welcome. I have heard of blowers being used to remove the sawdust. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for type, size, specifications, etc.? Anything would be appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor E:
Modern day drag chains are hard to beat, even the old chain worked pretty well.

From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
I agree with Contributor E. I did see a dust system out West many years ago, I think it was a cedar mill. I cannot recall seeing one in an Eastern or Southern U.S. mill.

From contributor C:
Some of the midsized circle mills near me use blowers. The trouble is they put dust in the air somewhere. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they dump out into a bin or just on the ground, some of the dust remains airborne and is always in my eyes when I was around them.

However, most if not all the drag chains I have ever seen in person were homemade and worked very well. Most of them just used a single chain from an old hay conveyor or manure spreader floor. My vote would be for a chain or just fix what you have. What’s worn out on it?

From contributor N:
I followed my sawmill guru's suggestion and found an old grain elevator for $100. I rolled it under the blade and made extended wings to catch the dust. It works real nice except that I think I will try to add a piece of metal where the chain and paddles come back around the drive gear because they bring a little sawdust back down and dump it out under the blade.

From contributor G:
I did some work at a sawmill once that was previously a cow. The owner took a piece of 12" (or maybe bigger) green PVC pipe and sliced it in half and set it in the trough. Then he placed an auger that was driven by electric motor inside. Sawdust was directed to the trough then to a concrete pit and then to an elevator to the pile, which was still under the roof.