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Author Topic: Buying A used Mill?!? Questions Hit List  (Read 528 times)

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Offline quadracutter222

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Buying A used Mill?!? Questions Hit List
« on: September 17, 2018, 12:33:41 AM »
Good Day!  or Evening...

I have the opportunity to purchase a used Woodcraft 30-20A, 20-foot track with 12-foot extension, full hydraulics, sharpener, and setter.  The mill was locally made, parts can be found locally and common replacements with some like track wheels being custom milled.  It runs on a Kohler.  The motor has a fair number of hours but sounds like a replacement is possible.  

Anyways, can anyone suggest things to look for?  I am reasonably mechanical, plus the Navy vet I'm buying it from is a great fellow, who would indulge me in looking in more detail.  Not having a milling or hydraulic background it would be great to head up there next time with an inspection list of sorts.

We are looking at this purchase to support the growing list of homestead projects, as well as offer a part-time portable milling service in our area (which tbh is going to need it as the older millers are phasing out).  Milling would be primarily second growth douglas fir, with some old growth fir and cedar in the mix.  

Any information would be great!  Happy Fall.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Buying A used Mill?!? Questions Hit List
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 12:58:19 AM »
   Check all the fluids, paint, tire tread (if mobile), belt conditions and look for rust and any obvious wear and abuse but more importantly can you see it run and cut wood? That would be the first thing I would want to see. Have him run a sample log through with several different thickness cuts and see how straight it cuts. I like the part about local parts and such being available. Good luck.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Ianab

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Re: Buying A used Mill?!? Questions Hit List
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 01:53:22 AM »
Main things would be that the mill is still straight, and the motor is sound. Those are the expensive parts to have to replace.  There are about 100 other little things that could go wrong with a mill, but there are relatively minor . Bearings / belts / hydraulic hoses etc, but if those are easy to obtain locally you just repair as needed. Things can break and need some attention with a welder etc. That sort of thing is all just part of operating any mill. 

But even a sick motor isn't the end of the world, if the price is right. May need a little basic engineering to adapt a different motor if you can't get an exact replacement, but it can be done. 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

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