Riding Along With a Log Through a Saw Mill Is Absolutely Terrifying

It’s not uncommon for cartoon characters to find themselves unwittingly dragged through all the chaos of a saw mill. From the audience’s perspective, it’s usually hilarious. But when you send a small camera on a log through a saw mill, scary doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of being pulled through all that machinery.


You’ll never watch cartoons the same way again after seeing this video from the production line of New Zealand’s Red Stag Timber. The giant saw blades you’re fed through might not even be the scariest part. It’s the darkened tunnels with the spinning teeth-covered wheels that spark my anxieties the most. You won’t catch me on an amusement park’s log ride ever again.

[YouTube via Digg]

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Here’s a video of the view outside the log. It is amazing the kind of scale they are using for this operation.

My department at New Mexico State University was assisting Freeport McMoran in a project involving handling big copper blocks. The blocks were roughly cut off of a continuous bar that was generated after the copper was purified and molten. These hot bars, about four feet long, were conveyed to a stage, where two men with hooks would wrestle them onto a pallet and stack them in layers. This was a dangerous job.

We were trying to design machines to automate, or semi-automate, this step. I am not an engineer (I was the computer guy who kept the PCs running), but I figured that sawmills have similar actions, with manipulating large, heavy objects and stacking them, so I studied a bunch of videos of sawmills, and then came up with this system. It is drawn in SketchUp, and animated using the SketchyPhysics plug-in.

They did not give us the grant to work on it, but I thought I did a good job making an alternative machine.