1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #24[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Home built bandsaw mill"It's got features you won't find on commercial sawmills that cost $10,000 or more," says Joseph Balsam, an 80-year-old retired farmer who spent "about $550" to build a bandsaw mill that'll handle logs up to 36 in. in dia. and 18 1/2 ft, long.
Balsam used all junk parts to build the mill except for the lumber he used to construct the saw table, and some other miscellaneous parts he bought new. It's powered by a 9 hp. Wisconsin motor. "That's not a lot of power fora mill but it's enough for my purposes. The saw has a small 1 1/4 in. blade so it doesn't take much power to run it."
The saw carriage is powered back and forth the full length of the 20-ft. saw table by a 20:1 reduction worm gear and is also powered up and down, making it easy to set the depth of saw cut. The operator rides back and forth with the saw carriage con-trolling movement of the saw with a simple joy stick and levers that control clutches on belt-driven driveshafts..
One feature Balsam's saw has that you can't find on commercial mills is that the log holders that keep the log in place and square it up for cutting are pushed over by the saw carriage and brought back up automatically when the carriage reaches the end of the saw table. "On most commercial units you have to turn them down manually and then turn them back up again. It's a nuisance and takes time," he says.
Balsam uses his mill to cut lumber for a nearby campground.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joseph Balsam, 220 Bobwhite Trail, Fayetteville, Penn. 17222 (ph 717 352-7419).
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