Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Installing a new sawmill

 My old sawmill, which I installed in 2007 has always had a little bit of problems with the feed mechanism. I fixed it so that it was able to go in reverse something that it was unable to when I bought it, but the change of forward speed never worked really well. It was technically worn out, and I didn't want to invest the time in rebuilding it completely when it worked OK for my use.

About two years ago, my old friend Gert (who had sold me the sawmill) called me and told me that he had bought himself a Woodmizer, since he was getting a bit older he felt that he wanted something that could automatically wrestle the logs instead of having to do it manually on the circular sawmill. 

So he wanted to ask me if I wanted to buy his circular sawmill that he had bought back when he sold me the old one.

I immediately confirmed that I would love to buy it, and we agreed that I should find a time to come and test it and see it in action. 
That new saw was somewhat bigger than the old sawmill, and it has got a different feed mechanism that works flawless. 
My wife got diagnosed with breast cancer (she is all well now) so I told him that I couldn't come and get it as quickly as I had hoped for, but he was completely cool with that, and last autumn I found the time to go down and dismount the sawmill and transport it home. I think it took about 5 trips with the car and the boogie trailer, but I was able to get it all home on my own. Luckily the saw could be divided into manageable sections, and that was a huge bonus compared to my old sawmill.

The sawmill sat in the machinery shed for the winter and the spring, and at a point Asger our youngest son asked me if he should help me sell the old saw on Facebook marketplace. 
I doubted that anyone would want to buy it, but it wouldn't cost much energy to try and sell it. Within the first week, we had 4 potential buyers, and one of them even offered more than the asking price and was willing to come and get it fairly quickly. So suddenly the sawmill was dismantled and out of the barn.

After a weeks hard labour removing the old concrete pillars, we started mounting the new sawmill. Asger suggested that we painted it as soon as we installed it, since he reasoned that I would never get around to doing it later on. 
So I settled on a nice blue colour, and the entire thing received a coat.

The individual sections were moved into the barn and lined up, after which I dug out underneath the mounting frames and cast some concrete with threaded rod to hold it to the floor. The reason for digging out after moving it into the barn was so that I could use some pieces of pie as rollers to move the sections on the concrete floor, something which would have been much more difficult if there were a lot of holes in the floor.

The new sawmill utilizes the electric motor as a flywheel, and since I don't have enough amperage to run the electric motor (it needs 60 A fuses on a 400 V 3 phase grid), I am going to do the same as with the old sawmill which is to run it off the PTO of the tractor. 
I just need to make an adapter so I can mount a PTO spline shaft on the rear end of the electric motor where the cooling fan normally sits. This is something I still need to do.

 So the sawmill isn't fully operational at the moment, but it is close. So next time I get home I might be able to fix the spline shaft adapter, the extraction fan and join the two table parts. That's all that needs to be done for me to have a functioning sawmill again.

Beginning the installation, 3 section out of 5 are in the barn at this point.

The first 4 sections are assembled and roughly aligned.

The electric motor is installed and painted. The blade is a 40" blade, so it is a bit bigger than the blade of the old saw (36"). That coupled with a lower table means that there it much more of the blade above the table so I can split bigger logs now :-)


  1. Hey Jonas, so good to read your stuff again. It's been a long time. Good luck with the new saw mill. It looks like a beast!

    1. Thanks, For some reason blogspot sent your comment to the spam folder.
      I have no idea why, but I found it :-)
      I am really looking forward to sawing with the new saw mill. It is quite a bit larger than the old one.
      The old sawmill was 48' long, with the table being 24', the blade was 36" but due to the construction with the rollers for the table a lot of height was lost for the blade.
      The new saw is 60' long, with a 30' table and the construction of the roller system is completely different, so there is something like 16" of free blade above the table (as far as I remember).
      I hope that my old tractor will be powerful enough to drive the blade, but I reckon that since the feed is actually working, I can go at a decent speed and that should greatly help in load on the saw.
      Brgds Jonas

  2. Wow, it's great to hear from you again. What a fine addition to your barn. Glad to hear that your wife is better, and that Asger is still there making you look good. :)

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for the nice words :-)
      I think that my problem has been that I pretty much blogged about projects that I made on the ship, and on this ship there is so crappy Internet, and a ton of other excuses :-)

      Asger is really starting to make me look bad! especially car-wise. He has a Jaguar X type as daily driver, and he just bought a Volvo Amazon as a Sunday car. That thing is beautiful! It was the project car of my regular mechanic, and he has put in an upgraded engine and it goes like a rocket.
      It is hard to compete with that when our cars are a Nissan Micra and an Opel Antara :-)

      Brgds Jonas

  3. Nice to hear from you again.
    It must be a work of patience to get such a long machine straight, horizontal and untwisted. Are you using laser equipment? How precise does it need to be?
    Where can we see your ship related posts?

    1. Hi Sylvain,
      thanks for the nice comment.
      Actually this sawmill was a lot easier to setup compared to the old one. This one has got feet that are part of each frame, and the longitudinal stiffeners slide into one another and helps with the lining up.
      I just lined it up using my eyesight. The way it bolts together it can't really twist or turn much. The only thing I did was to make sure it was level with the floor. This was done also just with eyesight.
      It is much more important that the blade is aligned with the table, and that the blade support blocks are set perfect to minimize the blade from wobbling.
      On the old saw the table itself was sort of bowing out in the ends, but as long as you made sure that the side had contact with the fence it was still good.

      I didn't make any ship related posts other than those that are in here. For some reason it never occurred to me to blog about the world circumnavigation since much of the anticipated fun was destroyed by the covid 19 pandemic.

      Brgds Jonas

  4. I was just wondering about you recently, so glad to see a post that you are still kicking and woodworking. Hope to hear more of this new sawmills adventures moving forward.

    1. Hi Jeremy

      Good to hear from you :-)
      I am still kicking (albeit a bit slower than 10 years ago), but I still get a bit of woodworking done. It is just the blogging that sort of slowed down to almost a halt.
      I'll try to make a video of the new saw once I get it up and running.
      Brgds Jonas

  5. I love to read about the sawmill, but even more tho know that Mette is OK!

    1. Hello Pedder
      Thanks for the nice comment. It was a bit of a shock last year when she got the diagnose, and due to the specific cancer type etc. She just completed her treatment 2 weeks ago so 13 and a half months where the disease has sort of loomed in the background.
      But we are back on the right track now :-)

      Say hi to the family
      brgds Jonas

  6. Here I was thinking that 'blogging had gone the way of the once mighty dinosaurs, just then you reappear with positive news.
    Can you explain, if possible, the enthusiasm for buying your older saw? And does this mean that you must rename the weblog?

    1. Hi Mitchell

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      The saw that I sold was my old circular sawmill, not the mulesaw :-) (So I'll kjeep the name of the blog).
      I think the enthusiasm is rooted in a TV show in Denmark called "bonderøven". the most fitting translation would be "the homesteader"
      It is a uneventful TV show where a guy tries to get by living a bit like yesteryear, with horses and doing some timberframing and general homesteading. He has got a sawmill, and I think that a lot of people are intrigued by it and that they can see that it is possible to make stuff yourself. But it could also just be that there are others out there like me who can see the idea of having an old sawmill.
      Plus we sold it rather cheap, around 850 US$. I have to say that I am still amazed at how easy it was to sell compared to how small a potential group of buyers that are out there. I mean it isn't suitable for shipping and it does require some space and determination both in terms of disassembling it and even more in the effort it takes to get it installed somewhere again.
      Brgds Jonas