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the solar electric sawmill

 
master steward
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Here is my electric sawmill when I first bought it:



And the video on how it (the Peterson Skillmill) is to be used:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7QtGmuRSPQ

It was used on two other occassions after that, and then packed away for about five years.

Once I got land, it got unpacked:







The solar cart was designed to get married to the sawmill, but so far the two have not yet met:



Yesterday, Caleb was telling me about the 2.0 design of my mill:






 
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Location: Land of Oz
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That is an awesomely useful bit of machinery!
What are the laws regarding chopping trees for lumber in the US? Is it very strict?
Its a big fine if you lop a native tree here (Aus) without prior permission, so would have to source logs from a mill.
 
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Post details when you have them sorted, Paul. Would be good to know sizes and source of batteries, inverter brand and size, total running time, etc.. Amazon has some great deals now on 100W mono-crystalline panels now. It's so inspiring how all the widgets have come down in price - making it really affordable. That looks like a nice cart - we built a very small one (with just one 20W panel) for our moveable chicken coop. It runs the portable netting.

Juan Pedro Ortiz wrote:That is an awesomely useful bit of machinery!
What are the laws regarding chopping trees for lumber in the US? Is it very strict?
Its a big fine if you lop a native tree here (Aus) without prior permission, so would have to source logs from a mill.

 
paul wheaton
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All solar.
solar-electric-sawmill.png
solar-electric-sawmill
solar-electric-sawmill
 
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OOH! SHINEY!

I must have one!

The next part of the process is drying the lumber.
It's the perfect use for a greenhouse in the summer when it's too hot to grow plants.

Juan Pedro Ortiz wrote:
What are the laws regarding chopping trees for lumber in the US? Is it very strict?



In some cities and towns there are regulations for tree cutting, but these have more to do with safety, insurance, and commercial licensing.
To take down a tree in your back field, all you need is an axe.
 
paul wheaton
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Another shot of Tim running the solar electric sawmill

solar-electric-sawmill.jpg
solar-electric-sawmill
solar-electric-sawmill
 
Noah Jackson
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You know, Paul, detailed write-ups about how these pieces are connected might be an interesting income stream for you. I know someone that sells, for example, conversion plans and kits for gas mowers to electric. Several creative websites, some that I subscribe to, offer high quality advice. I know you are always looking for income streams - this might be a good one someone could work on under someone's supervision at the LAB. Keep it up, Noah

paul wheaton wrote:Another shot of Tim running the solar electric sawmill

 
Noah Jackson
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I'll add that when I bought our panels and hooked up the regulator to regulate our battery charging for our chickens, the information wasn't available without some good research time. I think I had to spend time digging into amazon reviews and looking things up in our library. But then again, that's why some people pay us - to figure those things out!

Noah Jackson wrote:You know, Paul, detailed write-ups about how these pieces are connected might be an interesting income stream for you. I know someone that sells, for example, conversion plans and kits for gas mowers to electric. Several creative websites, some that I subscribe to, offer high quality advice. I know you are always looking for income streams - this might be a good one someone could work on under someone's supervision at the LAB. Keep it up, Noah

paul wheaton wrote:Another shot of Tim running the solar electric sawmill

 
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Awesome! What's your sawing pattern? Doesn't seemed like the traditional plain saw or a quartersaw. How are you sawing it flat then how are you taking boards off the rabbet edge?
 
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What size electric motor is that at Wheaton Labs?
 
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Paul's new video about some modifications we made to their electric sawmill!

 
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Those are some very fine enhancements for making consistently sized boards. Much flatter floors and smoother walls - nice.

And you're not short on sawdust, are ya?

 
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Now that's a very cool conversion! Just one more thing to add to the "one day" list...

Juan Pedro Ortiz wrote:
What are the laws regarding chopping trees for lumber in the US? Is it very strict?
Its a big fine if you lop a native tree here (Aus) without prior permission, so would have to source logs from a mill.



Bit off topic but I'm curious what part of Oz you're in, Juan. In Queensland at least the legalities of chopping natives depends on how your land is zoned with regard to the Revegetation Management Plan. Eg Dad doesn't need permission to fell trees on most of his property because it's classed as regrowth forest. Of course that's in a rural area so I expect the urban/rural zoning would play a part too.
 
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I'm curious: if you had a wood gasifier connected to a generator, would the amount of sawdust created by milling one log be sufficient to generate enough electricity to mill another log? I realize there are a lot of variables that go into such a question (wood hardness, size of resulting lumber, etc.). Still, it would be interesting (to me) to know how much power is consumed in milling a log (got a Kill-A-Watt meter handy?) and how much (by weight) sawdust is created. From there, I can apply some math...
 
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Hi all: I am new to the site and I am trying to get some pictures emailed to me from people who have one of the Skillmills. I am designing a small mill for homesteaders and I like the Skillmill design but I will be modifying the design so there will not be any manufacturer's or copyright infringement. Any help would be appreciated!!

Thanks

Steve B.
 
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The Solar Electric Sawmill
4E1FF54B-DC06-48DA-9AFE-9BC0C8788A74.jpeg
Solar electric sawmill
Solar electric sawmill
 
paul wheaton
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Ben Peterson has offered his full ebook of plans for portable solar stations to be free for a while.



Get is here.

Thanks Ben!


 
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Paul,

The first thing that comes to mind when I see that is that it would be an awesome bush sawmill, especially for more stationary applications.

I didn't see, does that have a battery bank?  If so, is it just to buffer occasionally cloudy skies, or can it run for an extended time on solar panels?

Awesome!!

Eric
 
paul wheaton
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Eric Hanson wrote:Paul,

The first thing that comes to mind when I see that is that it would be an awesome bush sawmill, especially for more stationary applications.

I didn't see, does that have a battery bank?  If so, is it just to buffer occasionally cloudy skies, or can it run for an extended time on solar panels?

Awesome!!

Eric



The solar cart you see above is the predecessor to the solar voltswagon which has a huge battery array.  Later, we connected it to the solar leviathan - more solar panels, less battery.
 
Eric Hanson
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Paul,

Very cool.  I am imagining some homesteader deep in the Alaskan bush building/adding to his home using one of these without worry for running out of gas.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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A couple other things,

Is that 48 volt array a system having 4 12 volt batteries connected in series to get to 48 volts?  Off hand do you remember the specs for that?  Such as amp hours, total solar wattage?  Its a cool piece of equipment and I can just see it running alongside the sawmill.

Eric
 
paul wheaton
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Eric,

I don't remember.  But maybe one of the boots could do a bit of a video tour of the innards?

 
Eric Hanson
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That would be amazing to see.

Eric
 
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Very cool!
We don't have a full sawmill here, but we do have a bucksaw we use for sawing logs (for firewood and post-and-beam construction), set up with a DC motor so it can run directly off our main solar array (which also runs our pump, grain grinder, blowers, machine shop, etc.), no battery required. Makes short work of a pile of logs on a sunny day.

Here's a short video we made of our solar saw recently:
 
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Absolutely brilliant, that is so impressive. Its a shame some of the images aren't compressed better by the forum admin as they take ages to download or have I just got a bad BB speed :-(
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