Running a band sawmill can be very productive and enjoyable. It can also be a frustrating waste of time. It all depends on how you approach it. If you plan ahead, you can save time and frustration. Here are 5 time saving tips for operating a band saw sawmill.
1. Always cut with a sharp blade
Have your ever left that blade on the sawmill just a little bit to long? We have all done it. Thinking we can get just one more log cut and then it happens. The blade starts to dive and pops off. Now the blade is stuck in the wood and you either have to cut the half sawn board off or try to work the blade back out.
Frustrating situations like this can be avoided if we just take the time and change the blade when we should. One sure sign that your band saw blade is getting dull, is if you have to tighten the blade frequently while cutting. A dull blade gets hot, and therefore expands, causing loose tension.
2. Avoid breakdowns
Routine maintenance takes time, but it is time well spent. Think of all the time and money you will save. Every time the saw breaks, you have to repair it, and that takes precious production time. How long does it take to grease your mill every morning? 20 minutes? Compare that to how long it takes to replace bearings on your band wheels, not to mention how much the parts cost.
3. Prepare Your Logs
You can save time by properly preparing your logs before they go on the mill.
Trim the bell of a butt log as close to the diameter of the rest of the log as you can. This will prevent having to adjust the mill to compensate. While you have your chainsaw in hand trim any limb numbs or protruding knots flush with the rest of the log.
If you are cutting logs from the trees in someones yard then grab your metal detector. Chances are there is at least one nail left over from someones yard sale sign or tree house. You don't want to hit one of them with your blade.
Wash dirty logs. Next to metal, dirt is the band saw blade's worst enemy. If your logs are dirty it is well worth the extra effort to power wash them before you start cutting.