American Sawmill #1
Not really much information is available on this machine. What I have is from memories, the machinery itself, and the web.

** PLEASE NOTE ** Most all of the pictures are on another FTP server. When you click on them and you can not see them; IEXPLORER, and possibly other browsers), right click and logon on as anonymous with the password guest. (anonymous ftp server)

Here is a link I found on the web:
Here is an interesting read, a must for anyone trying to operate a mill of this type. Great information, mostly lose to memories. This reference the is the only most complete I have yet to find anywhere. If you have a circular saw, please save a copy!
  Circular Saws and Their Efficient Operation

This particular setup was purchased from the late Mr. Thompson, in Crewe Virginia, sometime around 1965 or so.  A companion planer/edger was also purchased for a complete setup.

Back in those days,up until maybe 1976 or so, we cut a large amount of wood on this setup.  Mr. Thompson, for many, many years, cut most of the wood in the surrounding towns nearby, to name a few.  Crewe, Burkeville, and Blackstone.

Power was supplied by a McCormick-Deering power unit, likewise also with a McCormick-Deering 10/10 Tractor. The power Unit has been sitting in a pasture for the past 30 years or so. The Tractor has been sitting as well, but in a barn, sleeping.

Power now days is supplied by a Allis WD-45 Diesel tractor, supposedly rated at 45 Hp on the pulley of 9" diameter, FT-Lbs of torque is unknown. Tractor is ran somewhat close to full throttle, given a saw speed of approximately 600 RPM. Mandrel speed is between 325 (minimum) and 625 (maximum) when powered by the WD-45 tractor.   The tractor has a 9" pulley, while the driven pulley of the mill is 24", giving a reduction of somewhere close to 3.21:1.  So for calculations, shaft HP available at the mandrel would be close to 100 HP.  The sawdust extraction chain drive uses quite a bit of power to operate, so we take quite a bit off for that as well.

We normally use two Blades. Shanks (inserts), bits are still available.

44", with 44 teeth, insert F, gauge 8/9, 17/64 kerf.  Unknown as to the speed the blade was hammered to, but as a youngster, I do remember taching the mandrel for 600 RPM. Per calculations I have found, this blade feed-rate should be about 242 feet per minute. Bite per tooth about 0.011 per inch. Horsepower requirements are set about 11 HP per vertical inch cut.

52", with 53 teeth, insert 2 1/2, gauge unknown, and unknown kerf. We rarely use the larger blade. I presume, this blade was also hammered for perhaps 600 RPM, but still unsure.

Currently the mill is down for maintenance. Researching to find a belt set, for both forward and reverse. The original belts (I believe) were of cloth type construction, and allowed to slip. Rarely, did they ever not slip. So new belts need to be able to "slip" and are particularity difficult to locate.

Two fellows can operate the mill, but I strongly suggest a minimum of 3, but 4 would be much better:-).
1 - Saw Master - Me
1 - Log positioner - My Dad
1 - Board/scrap handler - My Brother

It is a family thing. Of course, visitors and those who enjoy Manual Labor are always strongly encouraged to attend!

Here is a photo of the building housing just the mill.  The planer and such is not currently setup for production.  Another project to finish....sigh....

The Original Name Plate!

Picture of the Drive portion, tractor is to the left.  Belt hanging down is for the chain drive.

Mandrel photo showing the pulley arrangement. (With Labels)

Another photo showing the drive section. (With Labels) Here in this picture, to the top, you can see two electronic guages. One is to show mandrel RPM, while the other is showing Feet per Minute the carriage is moving. (Great to keep the carriage moving at the correct rate!)

Another photo showing the drive section, semi side view to show complete mandrel. Looking closely at the carriage rails, you may spy the 3x4 steel angle iron, placed to keep the rail set (perctly aligned). Best upgrade we ever did!

Carriage and complete mill rail set.  OSHA was not around in those ole days!

Here is some photos of the belts.  They are truly antiques!  The two belts are different as to type of belt.  I cannot remember of the life of me, what the truly original belts were.  But these two have been inuse since I can remember.  Both belts are 3" wide, but really should be 4" since the pulleys are 4".  Replacements will be 4".  Never had a problem with the 3" though.
 Belt Sets

The "forward" belt is 15' 3" in length!

The "rear" belt is 7' in length
 Reverse #1
 Reverse #2

The belts are show, as to the type material they were made from and their construction.
These belts use "CLIPPER CLIPS" manufactured by Flexco and some good training instruction are located
here! and the same is stored locally here

Any questions, please email me!


Last Updated at: 02 Nov 08