2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
2-Bladed Sawmill Makes Octagon Logs
"This is a totally new concept. It produces a warmer cabin because of the increased depth of the joint between logs. I use a foam gasket sealer as well as a layer of chinking. This also allows for tighter corners," Fraser explains. "Octagonal logs are a lumber-like product that still has the log-look appeal that people are after."
Fraser turns each log four times to cut eight sides, saving a lot of time.
His "one-man mill" has two steel skids under it for easy set up and leveling.
The saw consists of two 40-in. long chainsaw-type blades. Next to them sits a 25-hp Kohler motor, and the whole assembly runs down a 24-ft. long track as it cuts the logs. The chains are belt-driven by the Kohler motor and the blades are adjustable up to 2 ft. wide. An electric fuel pump forces oil to the chains, and all parts for the drives are available at any small engine outlet.
To lift logs onto the mill, Fraser built an 8-ft. crane, powered by two electric winches. This crane is for setting the logs in position and eliminates the need for a tractor. It also removes the finished logs and stacks them on the other side of the sawmill.
Fraser designed and built this system himself from scratch, through trial and error. He used to work for a log house builder and continually tried to find a better way of producing more consistent logs.
"Using my saw, I start with a raw log, and finish with one that's completely ready to build with. Unlike other log cabin builders, I don't have to peel the bark off or æscribe and fit' the logs. These octagonal logs automatically fit together, one on top of the other. You do have to start with logs that have at least an 11-in. top. When finished, the logs are 10 1/2 in. thick and uniform. The left-over slabs can be sawed into 1 by 4 and 1 by 6 lumber, which can then be used for interior flooring and roofing in the cabin."
Fraser sells various spruce and pine cabin design packages, pre-fit to the customers' approval, labeled, and shipped to the desired building site. He's also willing to sell raw logs and/or plans for his mill. The price for his cabins is in line with other milled log cabins.
Fraser says his prototype mill cost him about $9,500 (Can.) for labor and materials, and the crane was about $3,000.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lil Paint Ranch, Don Fraser and Sylvia Piercy,
R.R. #1, Busby, Alta., Canada T0G 0H0 (ph 780 674-3859; email: lilpaint @ telusplanet. net; website: www. lilpaintminiatures.com)
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