A sawmill enables custom lumber production on site using locally available timber. An easily replicable sawmill creates real value for the producer at a low cost of entry, a necessity for self sustaining community decentralized economy.
Sawmill - highly versatile and valuable lumber if woodlot is available - or lumber may be bought from neighbors.
Decentralized sawmilling may obviate clear-cut lumber companies in a new economy. Many uses.
Background and previous work
2007 - http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?OpenSourceEcology/Sawmill
2008 - Swingblade_Sawmill
The ecological impacts of commercial logging are devastating. Much of that lumber consumed is harvested by means that are unsustainable clear cutting forests and devastate ecosystems. Timber is BIG business, the inertia the logging companies have continues the cycle of centralized production and unpractical philosophies of every growing industry. The sawmill we aim to develop has the capabilities to restore lumber as a local resource using local woodlot that is harvested in a responsible and sound way. Thinning of forest, fallen trees, cleared lots all afford the opportunity for usable lumber while the scraps and sawdust are used for fuel and/or mulch. This method lends itself to a closed circle product cycle that returns production back to regional economies.
We have narrowed down the design to something similar to the MDS. The current prototype is a dimensional sawmill. In a dimensional sawmill the log is stationary while the blades and motors move. They have 3 circular saw blades: one main vertical blade, and 2 smaller horizontal blades. They cut a whole piece of lumber, like a 2 inch by 4 inch board, in each pass.
A space frame (for stability) on two 'I' beams for x and y axis movements, a chassis surrounding the space frame with bearings to grip it on all sides, a vertical plate or beams on the chassis with another plate attached with bearings and adjusted vertically with a pulley for the z axis, the MDS like saws are mounted on the vertically moving plate and powered with hydraulic motors and pulleys to get the correct RPMs.
Preliminary 3d pictures of the sawmill are here.
The first 3d view shows the x axis track onto which we mount a carriage.
The carriage holds the entire cutting head apparatus: