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Thread: Anyone flatten slabs after drying on their mill?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    WNY
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    Anyone flatten slabs after drying on their mill?

    I recently saw a new product offering from Woodmizer for flatten slabs. Can't remember the name but it looks a lot like their sawmill trailer and mill base with a gantry riding on the rails with some kind of power head in it. That got me to thinking about making a similar device to fit onto my sawmill, maybe using a large router for the powerhead. Alternatively, a small vertical shaft gasoline engine with something like power carver head on it would be even faster. I've flattened quite a few slabs using a router sled but doing it in my shop generates a large mess. An arrangement outside on my sawmill would keep the mess outside and eliminate the need for the router sled at all. Has anyone done something similar to this?

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    1,061
    Sorry but no experience here.

    You could set up your router sled outdoors.

    You propose to make a router out of a lawn mower? I could come to WNY to see that in operation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hill, NC
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    John, we flatten slabs with a planer blade installed on our swing blade mill. Works ok, but not great.

    I saw several of the sawmill based flattening systems a couple of weeks ago at the Paul Bunyan show in Ohio. The best ones seemed to be a dedicated piece of equipment instead of a sawmill attachment.

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    black river falls wisconsin
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    Might be thinking of their "slabmizer".

  5. #5
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    Whitewater Ks
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    Im getting ready to build a 20 spiral planer head on a carriage to ride on my LT 15 wide Woodmizer. Fingers crossed
    Only one life will soon be past
    Only whats done for Christ will last

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse Busenitz View Post
    I’m getting ready to build a 20” spiral planer head on a carriage to ride on my LT 15 wide Woodmizer. Fingers crossed
    Look forward to seeing how it works for you.

  7. #7
    We took a 8 inch spiral head, put a 2 horse motor on it, and made a roller sled for our lucas mill. It works well. The link shows a video from our early tests....hence no guards handles or safety features.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B6oBWvXA...=11nlzbarmhyy8

  8. #8
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    Very cool Joshua. Does it have a tendency to want to ride up, forcing the operator to hold it down, or can you just push it along w/o much attention? It looks to be a pretty fast and low cost solution for sure. Thanks.

    John

  9. #9
    John,
    Between the motor, cutter and steel plate it is mounted on it weighs in excess of 100lbs so it does not tend to ride up at all, allowing the operator to just push it along. I have found it is best to take off 1/16ht a time but i can rough down high spots an 1/8th at time. We were able to to plane that board flat in a mornings time, about 3 hoursish

    Josh

  10. #10
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    Thanks Josh. 3 hours for one board? Hmm, I'm not so enthused now. But thanks for the honest feedback. Much appreciated.

    John

  11. It was pretty cupped and twisted, and was a huge mess. Its size 2 feet wide and 11 feet long. It started at 3 inches thick, ended up at just under 2 inches. A better slab would not take that long.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    514
    I have an Amish friend who builds post and beam homes. He built a rail system similar to that used for bandsaw mills, took a 15" planer head and mounted a Honda 4 cycle engine on it to plane exposed beam surfaces. The feed rollers pull the whole head down the length of the beams. But it does want to ride up, so often as not, you see a young Amish carpenter riding the thing. Or, at least those guys claims it's to prevent the machine lifting up - I think they just like riding it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN.
    Posts
    201
    I recently looked up the Slabmizer and really think from my perspective as a wood worker, CNC owner(CNC will handle 72" x 144" and beyond x 19" tall) and a WM 50 mill owner this is going backwards. At $17,000 list plus options for the Slabmizer your approaching CNC machines pricing and capability and in addition the operation can be automated on the CNC. If you own a bandsaw mill and your width is not wider than your cut allows on the mill not sure why you wouldn't be better served investing in a carbide tip blade to cut at the proper speed and feed rates to get an acceptable cut that might be needed. We regularly cut very hard exotic on our commercial re-saw with carbide tipped blade all the time; such materials as ebony and other very hard dense hardwoods minimal light sanding is all that is needed to clean these up. If all else failed and required larger material than could be processed why not purchase one of the wide sawmills available from Cooks Saws that start at $19,900 and use a carbide tipped saw blade over buying such an obsolete piece of equip such as the Slabmizer......... my two cents....... Couple of other things that will also work; invest in a used wide belt sander with widths up to 60" and roller tables behind and in front of the unit and use 20-40 grit paper, and if money is the only consideration a used commercial floor sander and anchor the material to a solid bottom object and sand away.

    The YouTube video is not only scary but dangerous!
    Last edited by Kevin L. Waldron; 01-22-2020 at 1:56 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I recently saw a new product offering from Woodmizer for flatten slabs. Can't remember the name but it looks a lot like their sawmill trailer and mill base with a gantry riding on the rails with some kind of power head in it. That got me to thinking about making a similar device to fit onto my sawmill, maybe using a large router for the powerhead. Alternatively, a small vertical shaft gasoline engine with something like power carver head on it would be even faster. I've flattened quite a few slabs using a router sled but doing it in my shop generates a large mess. An arrangement outside on my sawmill would keep the mess outside and eliminate the need for the router sled at all. Has anyone done something similar to this?

    John
    Hey John. We use a planning attachment on our Lucas Saw Mill and it works just fine. Fast and smooth. It takes a little adjustment, but after a couple of minutes of trial you get a clean and smooth cut. We can plane down a 15 foot, 42 inch slab in about 15 minutes per side. I would recommend it for sure.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Nowak View Post
    Hey John. We use a planning attachment on our Lucas Saw Mill and it works just fine. Fast and smooth. It takes a little adjustment, but after a couple of minutes of trial you get a clean and smooth cut. We can plane down a 15 foot, 42 inch slab in about 15 minutes per side. I would recommend it for sure.

    Thanks very much Robert. That planing disk looks a great solution. Now to figure out if I can adapt one to my bandsaw mill.

    John

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