Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

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Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by Watch Ryder » Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:03 pm

I got a nice treat from a neighbor a few weeks back, the opportunity to use his Alaskan Sawmill!

It's more than just the chainsaw conversion, but a proper carriage-driven engine thing with a great hooping sawblade!

I had a roof to build and got stuck in.

Image

Here's the roof I built with it!

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Here's how the machine is used:

Last edited by Watch Ryder on Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Alaskan Sawmill!

Post by TacAir » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Spank'n! You building the Citadel of Doom?

That's some serious roof timbers...
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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Alaskan Sawmill!

Post by Watch Ryder » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:40 pm

TacAir wrote:Spank'n! You building the Citadel of Doom?

That's some serious roof timbers...
LOL, indeed I am building my very own fortress of Rohan, worthy of the LOTR heros themselves! LOL

On that note, here's part two!


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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Alaskan Sawmill!

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:54 pm

MOAR!!!!!
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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Alaskan Sawmill!

Post by Watch Ryder » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:42 pm

It's more than just the chainsaw conversion, but a proper carriage-driven petrol-engine thing with a great hooping sawblade! :D:

Turning these logs:

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Into beams like this!

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Beams, beautiful beams!

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I worked out each beam costs me roughly $3 or so (plus my time to work the mill), compared to about $40-50 each for the price of the beams, plus transporting only about a handful each trip all the way from a big city many miles away. The Sawmill was much closer and saved much time and energy.

DIY techniques for sawmilling are very much an art, not a science. In the video I try to explain things as I learned and was taught by the master saw miller but it's best to learn by experience as you rip them boards and beam!

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by ineffableone » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:15 pm

I have been looking into portable sawmills for several years, ever since learning about the Woodmizer mills. I am planning to get land and build a homestead and having a saw mill could cut costs dramatically, as well as offer a possible alternative income resource to be able to cut lumber for others.

While I started out really liking the Woodmizer mills, they are expensive. Though from all reports I hear worth the price if you plan to cut lumber semi commercially. But as a hobbist, a bit hard on the wallet.

I also looked into TimberKing, and while they seem like quality mills they are still rather high priced and well to be honest they seem a bit sleazy in the marketing dept. Most of their marketing seems to be oriented at trying to bash and undermine the quality of other company's mills especially Woodmizer. TimberKing's marketing just sort of comes off as used car salesman a bit too much for me.

I heard about the Harbor Freight ones a while ago, and while there was a lot of initial buzz about them being affordable options. I have since heard more and more reports of problems with them. Which I had suspected might happen, quality issues being rather typical of Harbor Freight.

Here is one video discussing some problems they had, and I have seen other issues discussed on mill forums and other places. BTW the maker of this video originally was pretty happy with his mill, it was only after some time went by the problems started to become apparent.



Now not trying to bash the Harbor Freight mills, and I have to admit I don't have personal experience with them. But figured it was worth mentioning and sharing the info I had discovered while researching them.

I might as well also add, the mills I have found that I will likely end up getting when I find land to buy are the Norwood mills. While not as high end as Woodmizer or TimberKing, they are significantly less cost. Plus unlike other mills Norwood actually has built into their mills the ability to upgrade as you go. You can buy one of their mills with no frills, and later as you have money to spend add on upgrades you feel you need. This I feel really makes Norwood my top choice, as I won't have to dump all the money in all at once. Instead adding things like hydraulics at a latter date when my budget can afford it.

Not trying to be a gloomy cloud on your excitement with your Harbor Freight mill Watch Ryder. I would rather have the Harbor Freight mill than a chainsaw mill, or no mill at all. Just thought I would share a little info I had uncovered while researching mills so anyone else who is interested might have a little jumpstart on what to look for.
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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by Watch Ryder » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:42 pm

Hi Ineff,

No bad vibes from me friend. The Harbor Freight one isn't perfect, there was a snapped clamp-lever we had to redneck a threaded bolt, washers and nuts to fix, also there was frost-heave on the latter portion of track, causing a mild rise in the last four feet of cut. A plainer can solve this issue, or not at all if the tolerances of the build are minor (which mine always are).

One thing I will say is, for all sawmills make sure you remove the tension from the blade at the end of each working day. Leaving them tensioned for more than a few days can result in weakening and snapping prematurely.

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by the_alias » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:47 pm

Have worked with a Woodmizer, you need to be hyper aware when doing larger logs in a team. Pretty easy to learn to use though.
Image

One guy I was working with had seen someone do it the more budget way with chainsaw.
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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by juan25625 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:50 am

Watch Ryder wrote:I got a nice treat from a neighbor a few weeks back, the opportunity to use his Alaskan Sawmill!

It's more than just the chainsaw conversion, but a proper carriage-driven engine thing with a great hooping sawblade!

I had a roof to build and got stuck in.

Image

Here's the roof I built with it!

Image

Here's how the machine is used:

That's going to help out in long run

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by juan25625 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:51 am

That's going to help out in The long run

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by Watch Ryder » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:07 pm

Yeah, I hope to get my main cabin rafters cut with the sawmill too.

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Re: Make Your Own Lumber! The Harbor Freight Sawmill!

Post by KGBrick » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:40 am

Pretty awesome stuff.

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