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Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

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Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:52 pm

A friend invited me over to his wood this morning to watch him planking some oak with his Stihl 660 and a Logosol Big Mill Basic & Timberjig.

Its a similar set up to an Alaskan Mill, but the 'Logosol Basic' comes with two clamps that screw on the ends of the log, and an aluminium rail that runs between the clamps along the length of the log. That enables you to get a straight cut along the length, and after rotating the log through 90 degrees to square the edges, leaving a large squared beam of heartwood ready for planking with the 'timberjig'. The timberjig is an L shaped bracket around the saw that sits and slides along the top and edge of the squared beam. With the Big Mill Pro system you can extend the number of rails to one on each side and combine two facing timber jigs you create a rigid frame sitting between the two parallel rails, for a cut accurate to 1mm along quite wide butts, up to 53" wide.

I was impressed by the finish and by the speed Jon's MS 660 zipped along the oak. It was an encouraging demo which makes me think a mobile chainsaw mill isn't rocket science to use and will suit my needs. Basic Alaskan or Logosol are pretty much doing the same thing, but the main cost is the saw @ around £1000.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzluOS2nZno

http://www.logosol.co.uk/sawmills/big-mill-system/
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby ballibeg » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:33 pm

Are you planning on seasoning the planks yourself? That seems a dark art in itself.

Dave
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:50 pm

Are you planning on seasoning the planks yourself?


Absolutely. I thought a marinade in soy sauce and garlic, then sprinkled lightly with sea salt. Delicious pan fried I'm told, and very good roughage for the digestive tract. Nothing like a good 8ft length of 4 x 2 to clear the colon out, puts an interesting patina on the wood too. :?
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby ballibeg » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:20 am

?
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby Dexter's Shed » Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:50 am

ballibeg wrote:?


it's what OCP call's a sense of humour, some just don't see the funny side....

looks good paws, but at £1k I'd be looking either to the Chinese for a copy, or a Dexter's shed home made one and keep the grand in my pocket,

bit like this

http://youtu.be/57ogwrcuNx4
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby oldclaypaws » Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:26 am

That looks more like a half completed sideboard or sink unit than a sawmill. Not entirely sure why he cut a small tree along the middle, can't see him making much use of that timber. A bit too Heath-Robinson. Entertaining but rather ineffective. You could also see the shaking reflected in the jagged cut.

Chainsaw mills are in effect a rigid frame that braces a saw in place as it moves along the tree. For strength, portability and rigidity a metal mill is clearly the way to go, but if you tried to source all the various components to make one yourself I think you'd find it cost more for an inferior home made design; £150 to £200 isnt a huge sum for a basic mill such as a small Alaskan or the Timberjig.

I doubt you'll find any Chinese Knock-off to rival the performance of a Stihl 660 or 880, they have a lot of grunt and will take a 48" bar. Considering that the value of one cut and dried decent oak will be more than the cost of the saw and mill (£25 per cu ft x 100 = £2500), they will soon pay for themselves.

Regarding seasoning, as long as they are carefully stacked level with spacers under cover and dried gradually, I don't see any problems. Its in the interests of commercial sawmills to make out its a difficult mystical art, but people have been felling and using trees for centuries with very simple techniques. Logosol sell their own seasoning 'kilns', and its not difficult to make your own. A sealed space such as a container with a £200 dehumidifier in it will do the job over a few weeks.

I realise my position isnt typical, I have a substantial number of very large crowded 130 year old oaks that do need thinning to benefit the wood. If I can take out half of them gradually over the next 30 years, milling and putting value added into the timber, it'll improve the wood in a low impact way, make attractive useful stuff, and return me a very useful pension, keeping me fit, happy and creative too. Can't be bad.

I'm not proposing to have mains lecky at the wood as the cost of so doing would be prohibitive, but virtually any finishing I might need to do to the planked timber for small to medium rustic items such as sanding, cutting, drilling and carving can be done mechanically with the newer generation of 18V 4ah cordless tools. A couple of decent batteries charged in 30 minutes at home the night before will enable me to work for most of the following day in the wood, sitting outside my shed assembling chairs, tables or whatever. I've been researching rustic furniture techniques and it all seems theoretically quite viable; time and experience will tell how successful it'll be. Certainly having your own vast free timber supply gives big advantages v. other would-be makers of crafted wood items.
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby ballibeg » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:35 pm

Think you're passing over lots of issues which will separate oak worth £25 a cu ft from firewood.

If of interest there's a 660 for sale on Arbtrader with only 10 hours running. Seller is regular Arbtalk contributor.

Dave
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:57 pm

you're passing over lots of issues


Really? I'd have thought milling and drying timber requires care but isn't rocket science, unless you know different. I have friends who do exactly that, starting with the felled tree and ending up with assembled furniture items. I used to sell the finished items so have picked up quite a few hints.

I tend to take a 'can do' approach, and have often proved doubters to be pessimistic. Obviously a degree of guidance and experience are beneficial, but its clearly not impossible. I'm not proposing to produce planed tongue and grooved flooring or Makepeace-style boardroom tables @ £50,000 a throw, just simple craft items or air dried timber.

Thanks for the pointers on the 660, I'm trying to contact the vendor to establish availability and price, although I think first preference would be for an 880, always better to have a bit of umph to spare.
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby Wendelspanswick » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:09 pm

I have a large collection of high quality cordless power tools (Bosch Professional and Makita) that I use day to day in my occupation and I think you will be disappointed in the performance of all cordless tools apart from the drill and the jigsaw/reciprocating saw.
As an example my Bosch 4 1/2" angle grinder with a fresh 2.6ah lithium battery will give me about 6-8 minutes of cutting/grinding/sanding before needing a new battery.
You'd be better off investing in either decent handtools or an inverter generator. A small inverter generator is light and quietish and you could run mains powered tools with ease.
One of the machines that gets used most in my workshop is a 12" table saw. You can rip, crosscut, groove and tenon on a table saw and if it has a quality blade the timber would need minimal finishing. A 3hp 12" table saw will run off of a 3000 watt generator.
http://www.axminster.co.uk/jet-jts-315-s-site-saw-bench
The one above is £400 but you can buy less fancy ones for around £250 and are light enough to lift into a trailer or van on your own.
I have a galvanised 110V saw that lives outside under a sheet that is used just for firewood.
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Re: Planking oak with Logosol Big Mill & Timberjig

Postby oldclaypaws » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:10 pm

Cheers Wendelpan, I'll look further into the claimed run times of cordless tools, it stands to reason that some of the power thirsty ones will have limitations and 240v might indeed be more versatile for further uses such as bench and band saws. At least I wouldn't have to buy another angle grinder, quite fond of my Makita 240V.

As I'm 1/4 mile from the nearest mains, being on the electric grid isn't a option, but I believe a diesel generator which will pump out 5kv can be had for around £500+, and will run legally on Red at a cost of about a litre (67p) per hour, so If there are days I need 240v in the wood for angle grinders, band saws or whatever, its not insurmountable, just need to have a van and keep a genny in the back. Having juice might be useful.

Successful enquiries today on pre-fab buildings for use as a wood store/seasoning shed, following leads from a farmer chum. They are more affordable than I thought, seems these farmers drive hard bargains and keep the prices down. Might plum for a large basic pre fab shed as a wood & bulk store, then construct something more aesthetic in my own time as a 'shelter'.

Stage one is site clearance and measuring up for a building, starting soon as the wounded paw is rapidly improving now.

Onwards and upwards.
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