Log Wins, Welding Begins

I own and run a TimberKing 1220 manual sawmill. The manual part means that it is not automated and less expensive than other bigger models. I have had several other sawmills, and overall I am happy with this one, though I would always like a bigger and better one. It is a small entry-level mill, but can still cut a log up to 30″, which is big.

In most ways my TimberKing mill is strong enough to handle the bigger logs, even though it is not really made for them. However, there is one area that I have found severely lacking, and that is the log supports. You see, when you put a log on the mill it may roll off, so the mill has two or three posts that can be raised into a vertical position to catch and hold the log during milling. They also can be lowered out of the path of the bandsaw blade when needed. The posts need to be strong enough to support the log in a resting position, and be able to handle the pressure placed on them when turning a log. They also need to be square to the bed to help make a round log into square lumber.

The log supports on my mill don’t do any of these things well. They are made from dainty little pieces of steel that can bend quite easily and are never square to the bed. Through the years I have bent them back – never to square, but back enough to support the logs. When I want a square cant (squared up log), I take the time to shim the log and use a carpenter’s square to make sure that everything is copacetic.

Both uprights (red) bent like wet noodles

Close-up of the upright, which used to be close to vertical and somewhat straight

Well, this week I finally did it. I put a large elm log on the mill, and I was adjusting it with a big loader when the log just rolled over the supports and off of the mill. It didn’t even notice they were there. The uprights looked like limp noodles, and it is obvious they aren’t going back to any acceptable shape. I bent them more than enough to finally provoke myself into making new ones.

The good news is that I bought the steel to do it a while ago, but have just never taken the time to do it. Looks, like now is the time.

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About wunderwoods

Hi! My name is Scott Wunder and I am the owner of WunderWoods Custom Woodworking. We build wine cellars, built-ins and furniture from local woods, here in St. Louis, MO. Recently, I finished a three-year term as the President of the St. Louis Woodworkers Guild, which had me writing a monthly article for our newsletter. I love to write, especially about wood, and found that I still had more to say. Every day I run into something wood related that I realize some of my customers don't know and this seems like a great forum for sharing what I have learned (instead of telling the same story to each person). The main thing to remember is that I try to keep it light and as my wife always reminds people that have just met me, "He is joking."

2 responses to “Log Wins, Welding Begins”

  1. Matthew Laposa says :

    I know exactly what your talking about. I never liked them much either. On my Woodmizer, the supports are much thicker and square to the bed. But I don’t
    like the adjustable holddowns as much. It takes two hands to get it clamped.
    The Timberking was alot easier if your trying to do it with one hand.

  2. Tony Piel says :

    Ouch!!

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