Lumber Smith - A True Portable Sawmill


Lumber Smith Portable Sawmill FAQs, Tips & Help Videos

Help Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

How wide a board can I cut?
How Hard is a Lumber Smith to Use?
Can I use a different motor with my sawmill?
Can I use a Lumber Smith to Re-saw?
Can I use a fine tooth blade to cut with?
Any tips for good boards?
How difficult is the sawmill to assemble?
What should I use for a track to run the saw on?

Tips

Get your tracks parallel
Get the tension on the blade right
Maintain your blade
Get the bandsaw blade wheels aligned properly
Rack and Stack your wood right away
Don't push too hard on the saw
Give wood away
Blade Break-In Procedure

How wide a board can I cut?

You can easily square a 24 inch diameter log. Please see the Cut Table for details concerning maximum board width and thickness capabilities.

A 24 inch diameter log can produce boards of these dimensions:

Material Thickness
Maximum Cutting Width (provides ½” margin)


1/4”
18”
1/2”
17 1/2”
1”
16 1/2"
1 1/2”
16”
2”
15 1/2”
3”
14 1/2”
4”
14”
5”
13 1/2”
6”
12 1/2”
7"
11”
8”
9 1/4”

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How Hard is a Lumber Smith to Use?

A Lumber Smith is easy to use but with any portable sawmill there is a “learning curve”. Using a portable sawmill is similar to using a chainsaw. When we were learning to use a chainsaw, we pinched bars, jumped chains and took a while to get the work done. A portable sawmill is like any other tool – the highest level of productivity requires patience.

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Can I use a different motor with my sawmill?

Your Lumber Smith comes with a Honda 5.5hp engine. This is a great engine that starts on the first pull. The engine is a professional grade engine and has a 6:1 gear reduction ratio. It weighs about 30 pounds.

It is possible to use a different motor, but the engine bracket will require machine work.

A more powerful engine will not result is cutting wood faster. The limiting factor is how quickly the blade can remove sawdust – most engines a size or two bigger still run at 3200 RPM (533 RPM after the 6:1 reduction).

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Can I use a Lumber Smith to Re-saw?

Yes, sometimes it is necessary to split a two inch board into two one inch boards. To re-saw, we anchor the board to a larger log.. Once anchored then just cut as normal.

Can I use a fine tooth blade to cut with?

A fine tooth blade gives a better finish to the wood but cuts much slower.

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Any tips for good boards?

Yes, push the saw through at a slow and steady force. Many folks want to push through at a steady speed but constant force works much better than a set speed.

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How difficult is the sawmill to assemble?

Assembly is easy if you follow the instructions carefully and use the videos included with the saw. If you want to “go fast” and skip instructions, assembly will take a while. Adjusting the saw takes more time than actual assembly. See the assembly videos to get a good idea about what assembly is like.

As a part of the Lumber Smith design philosophy, nuts generally have a capture so only one wrench is necessary and most parts are replaceable at the local hardware store if something is lost.

With close attention to adjustment, the Lumber Smith will cut a 1/16” thick board with a .015 per foot thickness variation.

Front View Assembly Drawing

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What should I use for a track to run the saw on?

The Lumber Smith Sawmill comes with detailed instructions concerning track assembly. Tracks can be made with 2x4's or 2x6's and some simple shop tools.

Some folks have good luck with track made from a straight 2 by 4 with an edging screwed to it to for stiffening and then securing the log and the track to the ground with wooden stakes – although we prefer the track system detailed in the manual.

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Tips

Get your tracks parallel.

If the tracks your saw rides on are not parallel then of the wheels will roll off the track. Tracks should be parallel when viewed from the side or boards cut will be twisted.

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Get the tension on the blade right.

We didn't think folks could over tension the blade, but some do! DO NOT OVER TENSION THE BLADE OR YOU WILL BURN OUT THE BEARING! Eight pounds of pressure (the weight of a gallon of water) should move the blade about 3/16”…use the tension adjustment tool and procedures.

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Maintain your blade.

Long blade life is one factor that makes cutting wood better. You can improve blade life:

• Regular blade maintenance – Keep your blade clean and sharp. Use a wire brush on a drill to remove resin from the blade, clean both the upper and lower surfaces of the blade. A clean blade runs cooler. Keep your blade sharp. Use a 3/16” or ¼” wheel and an engraving tool to sharpen blades. A sharp blade runs cooler and will go through wood more easily. To determine if your blade is sharp, look at the sawdust coming out. If the sawdust is mostly wood chips, the blade is sharp. If the sawdust is really dust and flies around; the blade is likely dull. Take the wood into consideration, the harder the wood the more the sawdust will be dust-like as opposed to larger chips. When you stop the saw after a cut, feel the teeth of the blade to determine sharpness.

• Before each use – Inspect the blade. Insure the blade is sharp; a dull blade will require more time to make a cut through a log and will run warmer. Replace a cracked blade as it will break soon.

• Lubricate the blade while in use – The Drip Kit was developed with this in mind. Water solutions work well. Water only is inexpensive and effective. The Drip Kit is a “drip” not a “stream” kit. If you buy the Drip Kit, adjust the flow so that 2-3 drops fall on the blade each second.

• After each use – Spray the blade with a rust resisting and lubricating substance of some kind. That is especially true if the saw remains outside overnight. Keep the saw indoors or cover the saw if possible. Inspect the blade.

• When not in use – Release blade tension or remove the blade. We suspect that since the blade is not tensioned, blade stretching is reduced, resulting in lowering metal fatigue and cracks in the blade take longer to develop. Don't forget to tension the blade properly before you use it next!

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Get the bandsaw blade wheels aligned properly.

The wheels need to be aligned to let the blade track correctly. Take the safety cover off after disconnecting the spark plug and put a straight edge on the motor drive wheel. Adjust the idle wheel using the screw on the far right of the machine. Do this when the blade is tensioned properly. Turn the motor over by hand and measure and adjust again to get a good average. Check the idle wheel for up and down alignment and use the tilt adjustment screw to get it aligned with the motor drive wheel. Once done correctly this should not need to be done again.

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Rack and Stack your wood right away.

It is easier to prevent wood from warping than to get a warp out of a board.

After you cut your wood, stack it in a dry covered place with at least ½” spacers between the boards spaced about 12 inches apart. Cover the boards for a few days or so initially to prevent the wood from cracking.

It is very important to cut the sap wood off the boards right away. The sap wood on the outside just under the bark on a tree is saturated with water and will shrink dramatically as it dries and crack your board. With large timbers we often wrap the wood in shrink wrap to slow the drying and avoid splitting.

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Don't push too hard on the saw.

When cutting, don't push on the saw; guide the saw at its own rate. Pushing too fast will cause the saw to cut upward, cut downward and possibly cut the blade back bearings.

The gullet in the saw blade, the little notched out place between the points, is only so large and this is where the sawdust goes before it is expelled from the log. As the gullet between each tooth fills up, the saw cannot cut faster no matter how hard you push.

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Give wood away

Neighbors love free wood. Forty minutes of work and you can give the guy next door some premium hard wood for his project. He won't forget it and his free help will be worth more than money.

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(804) 577-8613

Copyright © 2009 Woodwrights, LLC, all rights reserved
Terms and Conditions of Sale
 

Bandsaw sawmills are inherently dangerous, and must be handled accordingly. No amount of caution is unfounded. As a condition of sale, Woodwrights LLC accepts no liability for injury to persons or property beyond the purchase price of the saw.  Call (804) 577-8613 to clarify any question about our warranty. Consulting by Whichard Consulting.. Created by Webs By Sheridan