Ye Olde Sawmille

There seem to be a number of timber processing industries around the Yarra Valley – one I dropped into had a massive sign on the road, and a gate made from wrought iron proclaiming its existence, but sadly I just missed its final closing only 2 years earlier.  Guess it might almost be time for that sign to come down.

However, another I passed was still definitely a going concern, only closed for the Xmas period.  Located with an amazing backdrop, and has a combination of old and new machinery.  The oldest thing I saw doesn’t look to be running anymore (which is sad, but probably very good from an OHS point of view!).  I wonder if they even ‘see it’ as they walk past each day.

Millgrove Sawmill

Millgrove Sawmill

It was a strange weather day – sunny and warm one minute, belting down with the heaviest rain I’ve seen in a long, long time.  The weather would be typically changeable Melbourne except for the heavy rain bit – the drought continues.

Front Shed

Front Shed

It was the two large disks you can see here that caught my eye.  They’d look great mounted either side of my shed doors!  On closer inspection, the machine looked reasonably intact, with the drive wheels and belts still in position.  Not the sort of belts on a modern tablesaw though!

Resawing the old way

Resawing the old way

The blades are looking rather rusty now, but they were obviously in good condition once, as there is still a mirror finish in the non-rusted areas of the lower blade.

They are serious cutting tools – each a good 4 – 4.5 foot diameter.  They obviously run where they are currently located, counter-rotating, splitting logs down with blades cutting top and bottom simultaneously.  Imagine a SawStop on those puppies!

Shame it isn’t worthwhile keeping a tool like this in at least a functional state, but I guess the cost of maintenance outweighs the sentimental.

Thats not a sawtooth.....this is a sawtooth

Thats not a sawtooth.....this is a sawtooth

To try to give you a sense of scale, here are the individual teeth.  This is a SERIOUS rip blade!  Wonder if you can get teeth like this on a 10” blade?

Timber, Timber, and more Tools

Timber, Timber, and more Tools

There were also more modern machines apparent, and some would look quite at home in my workshop, both in function, and scale.

Woodworking Tools

Woodworking Tools

A dust extractor, a large 20” thicknesser, a small wheeled sheet goods carrier among others.

A Familiar Flash of Orange

A Familiar Flash of Orange

Even an old Mark 3 Triton Workbench looking rather out of place amongst the other large machines.  But it is always a matter of the right tool for the job.

Log Lifter

Log Lifter

Their version of a log carrier certainly put that old one from the previous post back in its place!

Cyclone Dust Collector

Cyclone Dust Collector

There is also a cyclone dust collector, but I guess they generate a bit more sawdust than me, with a collector and catcher ½ the size of my entire shed.  Wonder what size fan they have driving that?

Quartersawn Boards

Quartersawn Boards

Just as I was leaving, I caught a glimpse of a familiar fan shape – quarter sawn weatherboards.  This district reminded me of New Zealand in a lot of ways – the weather, foliage, abundance of trees and green, and wooden houses.  Not like the brick and concrete jungle that Melbourne is becoming.  Estate after estate of 1 & 2 storey (and bigger) McMansions, fake front lawns and the previously existing trees cut down and chipped before the area is flattened, and the next estate rolled out.

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