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Author Topic: comparisons  (Read 2571 times)

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Offline mroldstyle

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comparisons
« on: April 16, 2018, 03:38:33 PM »
So in looking at a lot of different mills for possible purchase a few things stand out that  are different from one mill to the next, lets discuss the pros and cons possibly. FYI this will be my first sawmill, but have been around mills, lumber and logging including 8 years working at a commercial circle sawmill. I'm only looking at manual mills in the 5-10 thousand range, primarily for personal use but maybe a little custom work down the line. Probably set-up stationary.

1: push versus crank which do you prefer? In watching videos of the lt-15 it seems you have to crank pretty fast and it looks like it would get pretty tiring. The 1220 TmberKing appears to have a longer handle and seems a little more comfortable, while others are simply pushed down the track.

2: which side is most productive to walk on, the two crank models above both have operator on sawdust side of mill, while others have you on log loading side which would require operator to step over or move any log ramps or deck.

3: Guides - roller bearings or ceramic guides?

4: Track - TimberKing appears about the heaviest built, mostly all welded construction, but again Hudson uses simple angle iron track and seems to have a decent product.

5: clutches - centrifugal, electric, or direct drive?(moving engine to engage)

I'm really liking the Norwood LM 36 with its expand as you go features, and like the idea of pushing the handle and having the blade engage and water start flowing automatically.

So what are your thoughts
Thanks

Offline SW_IOWA_SAWYER

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 02:49:53 PM »
I have a Norwood HD36  mill, before that I had a Norwood Lumbermate2000 for many years. I am still getting used to the HD36 there are some things I don't like on it, but overall I would buy it again. I also looked really hard at Timberking which was my first choice when I upgraded. I visited their factory and talked to Will and was ready to buy but the mill length would not work in my application. I also talked to Woodmizer same problem with mill length. So I went with Norwood I am not sold on the ceramic guides but I am trying to get them tuned in, so far not as well as I would like. I am considering buying the rollers and installing them as that what I am used to from the Lumbermate2000. I just added power forward and back and so far I think I am going to like that a lot. Mine has pretty much everything I want except setworks and debarker which are available now but seem pretty expensive so I am going to wait and decide if I really want that or not.
I also looked at Cooks video and they seem to make a good mill, I am not sure you can go wrong with any of them it all boils down to how much do you want to pay and what features you are willing to pay for.
As a side note my Lumbermate2000 was a great mill I never had any issues with it and only replaced a roller bearing in all that time and it stayed straight and true the whole time.
I owe I owe so its off to work I go....

Offline dmoore1983

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 04:24:30 PM »
The LT15 is a push or crank. You don't have to use the crank but some people prefer it.
May the Lord bless and keep you...

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 06:01:03 PM »
Please fill in your profile.
If you are young and strong or like me who is neither young nor strong, the advice will be Germain to your questions.
Older and weaker means more hydraulics etc.
Pete
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Offline mroldstyle

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 08:20:54 PM »
Please fill in your profile.
If you are young and strong or like me who is neither young nor strong, the advice will be Germain to your questions.
Older and weaker means more hydraulics etc.
Pete
I wil fill that in when I get to a computer on phone now. For what it's worth I'm old but strong but fail to see what hydraulics have to do with any of the comparisons I mentioned.  I have equipment for moving logs and lumber

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 08:30:54 PM »
Hand set circle mills are cheap.

Online bandmiller2

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 09:16:39 PM »
Moodnacreek speakth the truth, Handset circular mills can be had reasonable and will run with the best of the band mills. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Skipper11A

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 10:10:56 PM »
I have an EZ Boardwalk 40 but I am going to comment on your questions that I have an opinion on.

1: Push vs. crank: Push, I prefer push.  I can feel everything that is happening inside the log and I can feel the moment when the blade begins to dull and I resharpen it.  I just don't see the point of the cranking, at all.

2: Which side:  I really like walking on the sawdust side.  You'll never be walking in mud and the sawdust is so soft that your feet don't get sore after a day's sawing.

4: Track-  I really like heavy, welded frames which is one of the reasons I bought the EZ Boardwalk 40, but even my heavy guage, one piece frame flexes when I do something stupid with a 3,000 pound log.

One question that you didn't ask that I think is most important is, "how do you turn the logs?" If the mill doesn't have a log turner winch option I wouldn't buy it.  You're not going to be able to turn the big ones with a cant hook and a simple hand crank winch with a J hook makes the job really easy.

Offline mroldstyle

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 10:27:57 PM »
I have an EZ Boardwalk 40 but I am going to comment on your questions that I have an opinion on.

1: Push vs. crank: Push, I prefer push.  I can feel everything that is happening inside the log and I can feel the moment when the blade begins to dull and I resharpen it.  I just don't see the point of the cranking, at all.

2: Which side:  I really like walking on the sawdust side.  You'll never be walking in mud and the sawdust is so soft that your feet don't get sore after a day's sawing.

4: Track-  I really like heavy, welded frames which is one of the reasons I bought the EZ Boardwalk 40, but even my heavy guage, one piece frame flexes when I do something stupid with a 3,000 pound log.

One question that you didn't ask that I think is most important is, "how do you turn the logs?" If the mill doesn't have a log turner winch option I wouldn't buy it.  You're not going to be able to turn the big ones with a cant hook and a simple hand crank winch with a J hook makes the job really easy.
Thank You for your response that's what I was looking for. I will keep in mind the log turner but that should be pretty is to fab up if it's not offered as an option

Offline f350rd

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 11:36:40 PM »
I agree with skipper11a, I also have an EZ Boardwalk 40. I have modified mine. I have installed carriage drive and carriage up and down controls, I have also built chain style log turners and leveling jacks because I travel with mine. I have sawn those 3000 lb logs. the log turner wench work fine but I need production with my mill. I would buy an EZ again because the quality of workmanship.

f350rd
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 11:18:57 AM »
I failed to read your initial post carefully and apologize for getting off track.
Manual mills certainly have their place and i have no problem with those that prefer them.
I had an LT15 in 2000 for 4 weeks.
The second log I tried to saw was a 26"x 10'  Beech.
Couldnt turn the log or the cant by hand.
Knocked it off of the foundation twice turning it with my 4020 tractor.
Was extremely hot to operate due to engine heat in the hotter days of the summer which is when I had it.
I pushed rather than cranked too.
Took it back to WM and bought a used  lt40 hydraulic and never looked back.
Upgraded to the 40 super hyd in 2008.
LT40SHDD51
Kubota 8540 tractor, Farmi winch
Kubota 900 RTV
Polaris 550 Sportsman ATV
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Offline Skipper11A

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 01:39:04 PM »
I had an LT15 in 2000 for 4 weeks.
The second log I tried to saw was a 26"x 10'  Beech.
Couldnt turn the log or the cant by hand.
Knocked it off of the foundation twice turning it with my 4020 tractor.

Took it back to WM and bought a used  lt40 hydraulic and never looked back.
Petefrom bearswamp's experience is precisely what I'm talking about! A log turner is what I think is MOST IMPORTANT in a manual mill....you have to be able to turn the big logs in a controllable and safe manner, and you're tractor just isn't going to be able to do that!  Don't get me wrong, your tractor will turn them, but in an uncontrollable manner and you will constantly be knocking your frame off the foundations and if you have a bolt together frame, I imagine that you will be constantly readjusting all the bolts to get it level again.  A log turner winch is the perfect answer for this problem short of going to hydraulics, but if the mill frame isn't designed for a winch, I'm worried that it won't be strong enough for a winch!  And that brings us right back to the strength of the frame issue you asked about.  F350 ford modified his EZ Boardwalk 40 with a hydraulic log turner but he had a massively thick, one piece frame to attach to. 

Online thecfarm

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 02:34:36 PM »
I've never seen a EZ Boardwalk, But from what I hear,sounds like the Thomas that I have. I have thumped and banged mine,and it's still level.
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Offline mroldstyle

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 02:57:31 PM »
Ez is on my list. Price is good. Like the Honda engine. Website not real clear on which side you push from

Offline mroldstyle

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 03:27:34 PM »
I have a Norwood HD36  mill, before that I had a Norwood Lumbermate2000 for many years. I am still getting used to the HD36 there are some things I don't like on it, but overall I would buy it again. I also looked really hard at Timberking which was my first choice when I upgraded. I visited their factory and talked to Will and was ready to buy but the mill length would not work in my application. I also talked to Woodmizer same problem with mill length. So I went with Norwood I am not sold on the ceramic guides but I am trying to get them tuned in, so far not as well as I would like. I am considering buying the rollers and installing them as that what I am used to from the Lumbermate2000. I just added power forward and back and so far I think I am going to like that a lot. Mine has pretty much everything I want except setworks and debarker which are available now but seem pretty expensive so I am going to wait and decide if I really want that or not.
I also looked at Cooks video and they seem to make a good mill, I am not sure you can go wrong with any of them it all boils down to how much do you want to pay and what features you are willing to pay for.
As a side note my Lumbermate2000 was a great mill I never had any issues with it and only replaced a roller bearing in all that time and it stayed straight and true the whole time. (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

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Offline dgdrls

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2018, 06:45:58 PM »
Have you considered a swing-mill?

"
1: push versus crank which do you prefer? In watching videos of the lt-15 it seems you have to crank pretty fast and it looks like it would get pretty tiring. The 1220 TmberKing appears to have a longer handle and seems a little more comfortable, while others are simply pushed down the track.  

Push for me, otherwise hyd.

2: which side is most productive to walk on, the two crank models above both have operator on sawdust side of mill, while others have you on log loading side which would require operator to step over or move any log ramps or deck.

You'll want to develop a log to plank "flow", some mills you walk in the sawdust others not so much,
I work my Lucas from behind the carriage moving left to right and moving cut lumber out behind me

3: Guides - roller bearings or ceramic guides?

Rollers, with a band

4: Track - TimberKing appears about the heaviest built, mostly all welded construction, but again Hudson uses simple angle iron track and seems to have a decent product.

I'm a big fan of lots of steel when log bunks are used, logs are heavy

5: clutches - centrifugal, electric, or direct drive?(moving engine to engage)

If a fan of some kind of clutch  I have a centrifugal style  

Best
D

Offline Skipper11A

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2018, 10:00:59 PM »
Ez is on my list. Price is good. Like the Honda engine. Website not real clear on which side you push from
The EZ 40 is pushed from the sawdust side.  It also loads from the sawdust side, which is a little different.

I've never seen a EZ Boardwalk, But from what I hear,sounds like the Thomas that I have. I have thumped and banged mine,and it's still level.
The Thomas mill is a great comparison to the EZ Boardwalk.  If I ever want an upgrade in a manual mill, I will buy a Thomas.  But the Thomas can't compare with EZ Boardwalk on the price.  In fact, there aren't any mills that can compete with the EZ 40 on price.

Offline mroldstyle

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2018, 10:57:15 PM »
What is it you like about the Thomas above the EZ?

Offline Skipper11A

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2018, 11:18:43 PM »
What is it you like about the Thomas above the EZ?
I like their tracks!  Look at how much steel they have in their tracks.  That's how I would build a track.  And on their big mills, the bunks are so tall that you can load with a forklift, The EZ's bunks are not tall enough for a forklift.  I've got a lot of confidence in the entire mill when I see how over-engineered their tracks are, but I've never actually seen a Thomas.  I don't go to Maine because they don't have chicken fried steak up there.  That's just uncivilized!

Offline WLC

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Re: comparisons
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2018, 12:23:36 AM »
I have a WM LT28.  It can be pushed or cranked.  I sawed today and purposely pushed it on several boards vs cranking it.  I'll go with the crank any day.  Still work, still gonna be tired at the end of the day, but my back and shoulders like the crank better than pushing.

On my saw you walk on the sawdust side.  Kinda nice having that soft sawdust layer to walk on.  When it builds up I just use a shaving shovel and push it out of my way till I can scoop it up with the tractor.
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