View single post by Herb Kephart
 Posted: Sat Aug 29th, 2009 07:17 pm
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Herb Kephart

Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 6017
The sawmill "building" is more like an open shed. This is the end where the cut lumber would come out. Rather high for loading into a wagon but it is the only logical way with the existing layout, which is an exact copy of how things were.

But things get worse! The next is a shot inside, at the far end. The opening (on left side of building in the above view) is the only one on ground level, and is where the logs come in--

Notice what's wrong? The logs are on the WRONG side of the carriage!  DUH! We made an overhead wooden bay crane to lift logs over the carriage track. Not original, we have NO idea how the previous operators handled this. Simply rolling the logs over the carriage track would have destroyed it in a short time
This, and following pix were taken a few years after the restoration- we had everything painted and shiny. We took all the above floor parts to our place, sandblasted, and painted, the castings, replaced almost all the wood (because of rot) and all the shafts (rust). The handle high up with the loop on the end is pulled towards the operator to move all three uprights a predetermined amount to give the desired thickness to the board being cut. The upright round wheel on left controls the speed at which the log moves into the saw. The opening to the far right is a duplicate of the (shown) other end, but is even higher off the ground, with the spillway directly below it. The spillway is where water coming down the head race excess to the needs of the mill overflows

This it the adjustment for the board thickness. By moving the block along the serrated arc, the thickness can be controlled

This is the speed control for the carriage. The now rusty cast iron wheel, driven by a short belt from the saw spindle, has two friction wheels that run against it. The far one runs the carriage on the return for the next cut. The near one is adjusted by the upright wheel (two pictures above) across the iron wheel--near the center is slow, moving across the wheel to the edge is faster. Note that the reverse wheel is at the other edge of the iron wheel, which gives the fastest speed, and also reverses direction The black object on the left is a cast cover to keep wood chips out- certainly not to keep fingers out-- there are lots of ways to get hurt besides this!

The horizontal lever moves in the direction that you want the carriage to move. By moving it you press the appropriate friction wheel against the cast drive plate Here you can also see the saw spindle belt coming up through the floor from the large
drum below

The saw blade from the other side. You don't sharpen saws this big (and this is by no means a large blade!), they have replaceable teeth. The wheel to the right of the blade is called a splitter. It runs in the kerf (the slot cut by the saw) to keep the wood from closing the kerf and pinching the blade. Blades like this have to be periodically "hammered" This is getting to be a lost art. It is a process where the blade is places on a flat block and tapped in a circular pattern with a hammer, expanding the center and making the whole blade like the bottom of an old time oil can- slightly convex.
When the saw starts to revolve it wobbles all over the place- until the centrifugal force is enough to stretch the rim at which point the blade suddenly snaps true. If this is not done the blade will wander in the cut. Blades are hammered to snap true at whatever speed they are going to run at

a couple other overall shots- hook from bay crane hoist visible on left

Handwheel on black shaft in photo above is the control for how much water goes to the water wheel

Well, as they used to say at the end of the cartoon  That's all folks!

The mill operates four times a year and is open to the public at those times. Those of you who live close enough, can see corn being ground and logs being cut. If you like, you get a little bag of corn meal to take home. If you like you can have all the sawdust you can carry- cleaning up afterward brings a new meaning to the letters PITA!

The mill is located on PA Rte 625, at the South end of the town of Bowmansville. In the winter, when the leaves are off the trees you can catch a glimpse of it from the PA turnpike, if you know where to look (and are quick!)

The open dates are flexible, and dependent on the availability of Mason Maddocks, a fellow who operates a mill at Colvin Run VA during the week. If interested, PM me with an Email addy and I will let you know when the next date is decided---And say Hi to Mason, and the Lienbachs, father and son who do the sawing.  Look up my son Ken also, he is around whenever the mill is running, just in case

Herb Kephart---Who now has two VERY tired fingers!:old dude:


Last edited on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 06:13 pm by Herb Kephart

Fix it again, Mr Gates--it still works!"
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