This project goes over the build of a simple Homemade Bandsaw mill that can that turn hard maple into smaller lumber .
The first step is to make the wheels of the mill. Here we use a three quarter MDF board to make this. The wheel size is 16 inch. We use a beam compass to cut circles and cut two wheels out of them.
We make a seven and half pulley for the wheel using a three quarter inch plywood and drill a five eighth inch hole into the middle where the shaft goes.
We take some hot melt glue and glue the stock collar onto the pulley and tighten it with a set screw so as to stop it from spinning.
Before joining the wheel and pulley together, we make another small disc to go in between to act as a spacer .We glue the pulley to this spacer and from spacer to the wheel.
Two wheel bearing blocks are bolted to the wheel on both sides using 4 three eighth inch threaded rods. Make sure that the threaded rods are tight inside the hole in the wheel, but the bearing blocks itself can move around. One way to keep these bearing blocks in place so that they dont move side to side is to apply some construction adhesive to the corners.
Next step is building the frame for the saw from salvaged 2 X 4 boards. Make sure that the 2X 4’s are straight. Take the bench hand plane and smoothen the edges so that the boards sit flat. It takes several shallow passes flipping the woods each time to get rid of all the twists and warps.
Two frames pieces hold the wheel in ,the stationary drive wheel is placed eight and half inches from the end. Two five eighth inch holes are drilled on both the frames so that axles fits in there neatly. On the other side, one holes are drilled that gives the room to adjust the wheel. We also make an adjustment collar out of plywood that is bolted into the frame and the shaft . The collar can be moved to adjust the wheel.
We also place couple of pieces across the frame and secure them tight so that the supporting boards are locked in position.
On the other side we install the front wheel or top wheel. This wheel needs to move back and forth to put tension on the blade. It also must have a tracking mechanism. For that we make a two small piece that locks into the shaft on the front wheel and slides back and fourth. A guide piece is drilled onto to this piece . A one inch hole is drilled into our slider piece and a three eighth inch threaded rod is secured in there with a nut and washer. These rods help put tension on the blade and also adjusts tracking.
Before putting the blades on the wheels, we put silicone caulking on the wheels to smoothen it out .These have advantage over bicycle inner tubes as it doesn’t drape down over.
The legs are attached to the frame using gusset blocks.
To put the motor onto the frame , we take a melamine board and screw them aside the stationary wheel using a cross board. This piece of melamine not only supports the motor, it also helps to brace up the top to keep that from rocking. Secure them tight so that it resists moving while the cutting is going on.
Next we make blade guides near the bottom to make a guard for the blades just in case it snaps and flies off. The blade guides are made of small piece of steel angle that is glued to a ceramic piece.
The way blade guides work is that they don’t actually touch the blade when it is running. It is only when the blade tries to move up or down that it will constrain it and keep it on track and prevent it from twisting.
A thrust bearing made of regular size ball bearings is bolted onto an aluminum angle that is further attached to the blade guide.
We make a dolly cart out of 2 X 4 boards and some castors to place the big maple logs and move it effortlessly through the blades . The castors are screwed in the ends using quarter inch holes. The castors are fixed in such a way that it moves only in one direction back and forth.
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