Sawmills come in handy when working on a wood project especially when cutting massive logs for timber. The history of sawmills dates back several centuries ago when these tools were invented for the best woodcuts and easing work in timber yards. Over the years, with the advancement of technology, these blades have undergone tons of improvements and enhancements for excellent performance. The present-day sawmills are uniquely technical, sophisticated and computerized for ease of operation.
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How does sawmill work?
What is a sawmill?
The best description of a sawmill is a blade used for cutting wood logs to finished lumber and timber products. Modern sawmills employ the use of motorized saws for cutting logs into dimensional lumbers depending on preferred size and standard measurements. Portable sawmills are easy to operate and often do not require much expertise like complex sawmill setups. Chainsaws and customized jigsaws with a horizontal operation are the most basic saws you will find in any sawmill.
Just like for other tools, operating a sawmill requires high-level expertise, experience and skills. This is because these blades a serious potential danger to their users. As such, when used wrongly, the tools can cause fatal injuries that can result in amputation or even death. Therefore, it is only right to use the saws in a safe and secure environment with the necessary safety precautions. Using a saw blade can be an exciting and enjoyable experience but can also prove to be a death trap. It all depends on how well you are versed in operating the tool as well as the environment you are working in.
Guide for a sawmill- The do’s and don’ts
Operating a sawmill is dependent on the preparations and measures you put in place. For woodworkers looking to accomplish the best results in the mill, it is crucial to do everything right. Here is a guide on the do’s and don’ts to observe while working at the sawmill:
Always use sharp blades
Sharp blades and saws are known to produce clean cuts that are accurate and high quality. In line with this, always check whether your saws and blades are sharp. It is worth noting that dull and blunt blades not only interfere with the quality of work but are also a safety hazard. This is because blunt blades pop off from the wood easily and can thus cause grave injuries to the hands or other body parts. Always inspect the blades regularly to ascertain that they are sharp at all times. Consequently, this reduces the effort and time that you will spend in cutting logs to desired sizes and specifications.
Breakdowns not only slow down the working pace but also increase your operational costs. Every time your sawmill breaks down, you will have to put in your time, money and effort to get it running again. The repair work that goes into a sawmill can be a lot especially depending on the cause and source of the breakdown. To lower the likelihood of the machine breaking down, it is recommendable to undertake routine maintenance on the sawmill. This helps you identifying and replacing worn out parts before they fall apart. Grease all moving parts regularly to ensure that they are sufficiently lubricated at all times.
Prepare your logs
Preparation is the key secret to efficiency and excellent performance in a sawmill. You save a great deal of time by preparing your logs before putting them into the mill. Trim the logs well so that you do not need to keep adjusting the mill because of uneven surfaces on the logs. Remove the protruding knots on logs for a smoother and even surface. Always ensure that there are no nails or other metallic pieces in the logs before feeding them to the mill. Such foreign objects can cause great damages on the cutting blade and saw; damages that may include making the blades blunt. Remove dirt and muddy patches from the surface of the log for clean cuts.
Never operate a sawmill without the necessary skills and protective gear
It seems pretty obvious but there are people who may be keen on operating a sawmill without any skills or experience whatsoever. Such acts expose the operator and any other person working within the vicinity of the saw to potential safety hazards with far-reaching consequences. Additionally, always wear the right protective gear and follow manufacturer’s instructions on the operation and handling of the machinery. What is more about the sawmill is that you should not push it beyond its working capacity and handling capability.
How a sawmill works
Despite there being different types, makes and brands of sawmills currently, they use a similar working principle and concept. Logs are fed into one side of the mill and come out at as lumber and timber pieces depending on your preferred sizes and dimensions. After the logs are prepared, they are secured using solid clamps so that they remain in a fixed position during the sawing process. The logs are then moved into the cutting chamber by carriages that push them into the saws. As the carriage moves forward, it is cut depending on the preferred measurements and custom sizes. The frequency with which saws cut through the log depends on the performance capabilities of the sawmill in use. Highly sophisticated mills have high frequencies and high handling capabilities.
The sawmill processes are based on different intentional decisions. Modern sawmill are computerized to ensure that these decisions are accurate and not a matter of guesswork and approximations as with traditional sawmills. The best thing about modern sawmills is that you can manipulate them to make sophisticated cuts most of which are nearly impossible when using traditional sawmills.
When looking to invest in a sawmill, always opt for machinery that meets your standards will perform according to your expectations. The size of a mill to settle for depends on the volume of logs you want to cut. If buying a sawmill for use in your backyard, you do not need to settle for a complex one. However, if it is for a commercial setup, always prefer sophisticated mills to the simple ones.