Yes, we are here!

At GRIT and MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-803-7096 or by email. Stay safe!

Hud-Son Homesteader Sawmill: Make Lumber The Easy Way

| 2/13/2012 1:26:00 PM

Tags: sawmills, lumber, farms,

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.I've had it in my shop for a few months now, and the Hud-Son HFE 21 bandsaw mill is a real performer, but I wanted to report on my initial experiences receiving and setting up the saw. When the tractor-trailer driver called to let me know that my Hud-Son HFE 21 was minutes away, I jumped in my pickup to meet it at our off site storage facility, which comes equipped with a forklift and a certified operator. Within minutes we had the 500 pound pallet transferred to the back of my truck and I was headed south to the farm. Unloading the pallet from my pickup was as easy as attaching forks to our tractor-mounted loader and conveying it to the shop. If you don't have the means to lift a 500 pound pallet, no problem because the individual pieces to the Homesteader saw are not so unwieldy that you and a buddy or two can't get them from the bed of the truck to the ground safely.

Hud-Son HFE21 Bandsaw sawmill in action at Hank Will's farm. 

Once I had the pallet in the shop, I went about putting the Hud-Son HFE 21 saw together. The first step was to grab the manual from its conveniently located storage tube and then I proceeded to identify all the parts and unpack them from the pallet. The next step was to locate a nice level spot in my shop where I could set up the sawmill's track. My Hud-Son came with a bolt together track system -- it took me about an hour to get it all together the right way with the rails parallel, but I am pretty meticulous when it comes to squaring things up or getting them plumb.

Hud-Son HFE 21 bandsaw sawmill as received on its pallet.  

The next step was to mount the saw and carriage to the track. I managed to do this alone, but it would have been a little easier with a partner. When rolling the saw back and forth on the track, I noticed that a couple of joints between rails were a little wider than they should be. So I loosened a few bolts and tapped things closer with a hammer. Getting it all square again was a breeze with the saw already on the track and within no time I was ready to install the blade. After removing a couple of guards and releasing tension from the drive wheel, I was able to slip the blade into place and position the blade guides as outlined in the manual. I torqued the tension nut to the specified amount, reattached the guards and went to work on the engine. My saw is equipped with the 6.5 horsepower gasoline engine. I checked the crankcase oil and to my delight found that it was clean and full. Next I filled the tank with unleaded regular and fired it up. Modern small engines are so easy to start.

Next I added a very dilute soap solution to the blade cooling tank and operated the valve to be sure I understood how it worked. I just happened to have a nice American Black Walnut log in the shop -- it was 20-inches in diameter at its butt end. The HFE 21 is equipped to saw logs up to 21-inches in diameter. I rolled the log onto the track and pinned it in place with the log dogs that were included as part of the kit. I checked and rechecked and then just went for it. I adjusted the depth of my first cut, fired up the engine, turned on the cooling water and adjusted the throttle to full-speed, which engaged the centrifugal clutch. Wow, I was sawing.

3/1/2012 6:02:49 PM

The Kubota came in handy with the log rolling, Dave :-) It also came in handy hauling the log in from the snag out by the pond dam. I managed to chain it to the loader and carry it out of the dirt back to the shop.

2/15/2012 2:19:44 AM

Hank, you get to play with some of the neatest stuff. I wish I lived closer so I could be an assistant in your projects. Well, maybe not. I wouldn't get any of my projects completed. :0) Wait, you're telling me you rolled a 20 inch in diameter log the length I see in the picture on the tracks to be sawed. Whoa, you are a better man than me. It was all I could do to roll a chunk of Mulberry tree about three foot in length with a hollow center. Have a great winter project day.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me