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Author Topic: Portable milling support equipment  (Read 1404 times)

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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 12:18:19 PM »
A mbf an hr is pretty lofty. Thats on the upper end of what I can do with th BP Dominator at work over the course of the day, week or month.

As LL put it so well, never go off the manufacturer sawing rates as they are inflated perfect logs perfect help perfect weather.  You'll likely never put out what they say you can.

200bdft an hr is bookin it with a mill that uses a chainsaw for a power plant.  I can avg. about 100bdft and hr sawing 8ft in to 1in edging onthe mill by myself with my 40.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

1.8 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 10:59:21 PM »
Maybe I should give you a old rule that still stands today . 1000 feet per man and 5 gal of fuel for a thousand feet .

I've been tossing stuff like that around in my head a lot lately - lost a couple seriously big jobs because the lead time was too short for us to do it so naturally my head turns to upgrades.

It's sort of true, and sort of not. It's true if you're using the same type of gear as the old days and getting the same type of logs. You'll come in under it with old gear and the modern log resource in most places because of declining log size. Go over it with modern gear in the old log resource where you can get it.

Really there has been no advancement in band or circle technology for a couple hundred years... the maximum speed the saw can cut wood hasnt changed much in that time. The upgrades have been in the areas of mechanical log handling, material movement through the mill etc etc: we use a machine now to get the log onto the deck, position it for the saw, a belt carries the lumber away, and that has replaced a lot of labour and given a fair bit of production increase. The saw still travels through the log at the same pace now as it did in grandads time though.

But thats only one side of the picture - thats the "new traditional" viewpoint.... mechanical log handling on a saw that remains unchanged since 1830.

The new technology viewpoint blows that 1000 per man per day out the water by 8.30 am every morning. The saw hasnt changed its speed, but optimisation technology is replacing the mans brain in the way that hydraulics took his strong back away from the carriage knees. And if you dont need his strong back and you dont need his brain then- you dont need that man.

The reality is that right now today you can go and buy a setup where from the time the log hits the infeed chain until its strapped down in a pack at the other end of the line no mans hand touches the wood. The computer scans the log, works out the optimum yield, positions it, saws it while scanning it continuously after each cut to check that things are going to plan, sends it to the resaws that do the same scan and consult with the electronic brain each time, send material to an edger that is again scanned and positioned and sawn automatically, cuts it to length and drops it through a stress grading machine at the finish before finally automatically stacking it into the correct pack and strapping it down. One guy drives a loader one end, one guy drives a forklift the other end, one guy runs the whole sawline from his computer (which doesnt even need to be on the same continent as the actual production line) and somewhere theres a sawdoctor sharpening saws and a coupel monkeys running around changing lightbulds and pumping grease into bearings.

The argument against it all of course is cost. But cost is relative... you replace a guy, you remove the need to pay his wages. And worry about his insurance. And his need for a day off occasionally, or some extra money when you want him to give you an 80 hour week. Instead you got a payment that is fixed which covers the machine whether it does a 20 hour day or a 10 hour day. It might be a big payment but its fixed and that makes it easy to budget around.

The other argument that gets used a lot is that "thats the big boys, it doesnt apply to us". But that kind of stuff always filters down, and I imagine that 50 years ago there was a lot of guys felt they had job security because they were capable on a handset carriage. 20 years ago digital setworks was "big boys only" too.

Kind of a long way from the OP's post and for that I am sorry. But its interesting stuff no?
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
LtL- very Interesting stuff indeed!  Your musings are right along with the spirit of why I started this thread. I really appreciate your thoughts!  We will keep on keeping on, as long as our old thinkers keep thinking :)
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 02:20:24 PM »
We started our business with me sawing a few hours after work, when I got home, after a full days work, like many people.  Production was key, minimum effort with max return.  We sold a lot of wood, and I didn't have a lot of time.  So productive time was my goal, and still is.   

Material handling is a key to production.  A true Cat Loading Dock forklift probably halved our pallet and lumber handling time, they are built for speed and maneuverability on gravel or solid ground.  Nothing beats a true forklift for forklifting.  If ours went down, we would be down.  I'd have a rental company on the phone as quick as I could dial.  But these are worthless in mud, so we put enough gravel down in our forklift paths, that I believe the Earth shifted on its axis.   

We have a second fork lift piece of equipment dedicated to handling logs, lumber waste in muddy ground, etc. because the ultimate in quick detach accessories is another whole machine.  I've used telehandlers quite a bit and they are wonderful.  They aren't maneuverable and aren't quick compared to a true forklift, but are very strong and can do amazing things.  I'd have one if I could afford one.   

End loading containers is easy with long forks on a truckers mast forklift.  That's what they are built for. Telehandlers can also do it, as well as skidsteers.  The pallet geometry you settle on would be very important to that.  BTW we build our own skids and pallets depending on our needs.  Everything is standardized.  Nothing is random length.  I have steel carts that can be lifted from the side, but also have fork pockets so can be lifted from the end to move a unit of wood from the narrow side.  Very handy.   

Sawdust takes forever to shovel.  Or just suck it up with a blower and shoot into a dump truck.  We have to empty our dump truck about once a week.  Easy. Turn the key, drive off, dump, come back.

Waste wood goes off the mill into a roller table into a slab rack, with the front end loader already parked with the forks under it after reloading the log deck with a bunch on logs.  When we run out of logs, we dump the waste rack and come back with more logs.  One round trip to the logyard resets everything. 
Without doubt, one of the best ways to incease production is simple......I installed a wall clock staring me right in the face....every time the mill isn't making sawdust and I look up and if the hand has moved, I know I lost "non value added" time.  The solution is to figure out why time was lost and fix the gaps.  10 minutes lost an hour adds to not making sawdust real fast, real quick.

Lots of other ways to save time and be more efficient.  Surprisingly, maintenance is key.  The old adage "stop chopping wood long enough to sharpen the axe" really applies to a sawmill operation.

Offline redbeard

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 06:51:50 PM »
Been around a Lucas mill to know that reaching in too get bigger cants or even flipping the half log to saw down the other side too get a big wide slab.
A far reach fork lift (Telehandler) is a big plus.  You do need hard ground they are heavy 12-18 ton  uneven ground is no problem and they can turn     in a 20'circle. Average used price in our area PNW is 25-35 k
I use both 50 hp JD orchard type FEL with forks and a 10 K far reach lift. Mine is a short boom no out riggers it's big but it gets in and out of tight spots. Works great for picking logs off of log decks. The uses are unlimited not just for sawmilling. You pretty much see one parked at every large construction site. A big plus buying used is resale your not gonna lose a dime on one.   06 B-20 Timberking 30hp gas.  Hud-son 60 Diesel wide cut bandmill    86 F-700 boom truck    JD 2240 50hp Tractor with 145 loader IR 1044 all terrain fork lift  Cooks sharpener & Setter

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