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Author Topic: Journey of family run sawmill  (Read 6259 times)

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Offline Busysawyer

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Journey of family run sawmill
« on: April 09, 2018, 10:49:37 PM »
Hello everyone. I wanted to start a thread documenting our progress and hope to get some advice along the way. I have been bombarding yellowhammer with questions via pm and he has been a ton of help. He suggested starting a thread to get some advice and opinions from the other very knowledgeable members. So far we built a 30x50 pole building with 12ft ceilings over the winter. It was a fun project to work on with my dad  and went well despite weather here in Michigan.  The floor is still sand and we are still working on getting 3phase power to the barn. Also need to insulate.  We have a woodmizer lt70 wide head being built and expect delivery early May.  In the meantime I have been clearing land around the barn for a work area, kiln and log storage. We plan on building a 12ft wide 50ft long lean to of one side of the barn for air drying lumber before kilning.  As of now the plan is to copy yellowhammer kiln build. Our land is very hilly and I can see issues with run off being a problem. There is so much more to turning this dream into a reality than I had imagined but I think with a lot of hard work and some guidance we can pull it off. We appreciate any advice or ideas from others . I'll start off with some pics of the project so far. Thanks for looking. 

 
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Offline starmac

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 11:10:40 PM »
I could be all wrong in my thinking here, but instead of a leanto off of your barn for an air drying shed, wouldn't it be better to have a stand alone shed, where air can run through the lumber without hitting a wall?
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 11:20:09 PM »
That makes sense to me and is definitely an option. Thank you
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 11:38:46 PM »
Will you be storing logs and lumber near the building?  I am thinking winter, snow plowing, etc.  What are your plans for dealing with sawdust, slabs, and other waste?  Will you have support equipment with the 70? 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 08:28:12 AM »
So far we are still in the research phase on support equipment.  I have a t300 bobcat to move logs around snd to remive snow.  Still trying to make a decision on edger. We would like to be portable and are leaning towards the cooks ae344p. Planning on burning s lot of the waste in a boiler to heat the barn, house and supplement heat for the kiln in the winter. What kind of support equipment would you reccomend?
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 08:41:03 AM »
   Nice thread I will be following. If you are going to be sawing portable I'd read this thread for any pointers that may apply to your specifics:
General Sawing tips for portable sawyers in Sawmills and Milling

   Good luck and enjoy the time with your dad and kids.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 09:16:30 AM »
Well the support equipment list is determined by a couple of factors.   What and how much are you going to be producing?  You mention a 70 wide, so I am guessing you plan to produce a lot and big stuff, which is heavy.  Humping ties or 2" slabs by hand is not going to work for more than about half of the first day before someone gets hurt or just quits.  Conveyors, rollers, sort tables, green chain come to mind.  The more mechanical you can make the handling of your lumber the happier you will be.  
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 09:22:50 AM »
I am very interested in this journey. My dad is close to retiring. Man would I love to do something very similar with him.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 08:24:25 PM »
  Nice thread I will be following. If you are going to be sawing portable I'd read this thread for any pointers that may apply to your specifics:
General Sawing tips for portable sawyers in Sawmills and Milling

   Good luck and enjoy the time with your dad and kids.


Thank you. There is a lot of good info in that thread.  We plan to do some portable milling but our main focus will be to stay based at the house. 

Well the support equipment list is determined by a couple of factors.   What and how much are you going to be producing?  You mention a 70 wide, so I am guessing you plan to produce a lot and big stuff, which is heavy.  Humping ties or 2" slabs by hand is not going to work for more than about half of the first day before someone gets hurt or just quits.  Conveyors, rollers, sort tables, green chain come to mind.  The more mechanical you can make the handling of your lumber the happier you will be.  

I have looked into the incline conveyor,  transfer table and Green chain but haven't done much on that yet except for looking and pricing. I need to get with someone that can help me figure out what I can stuff into a 30 x 50 barn.


I am very interested in this journey. My dad is close to retiring. Man would I love to do something very similar with him.


My dad has been retired for about ten years now. He can't really offer much help and I am 100 percent fine with that.  Wouldn't want the old man to hurt himself. He makes me extremely nervous running a chainsaw. He mostly come over for about 5 hours everyday and "supervises " to make sure I don't do anything to stupid. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 08:36:40 PM »
Well today was a lesson on tension. 12 hours of work with little progress.  First couple hours of land clearing went well then problems. We had a couple of fairly large beech trees to cut down so I got out the stihl 880 with 47in bar. About 5 seconds into the first cut it threw the chain. I checked tension before starting and thought it was tight enough. I was wrong.  Screwed up the bar a little so I spent about an hour opening the channel back up because the chain was binding.  Once that was fixed I went to town and made short work of those beeches. After dad got hungry and went home for dinner I was running around in the bobcat cleaning up the mess we made with the chainsaws . Threw a track on the bobcat,  second lesson on tension for the day. So after fixing that and 12 hours of work I'm sitting down for my first bite of food for the day.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 08:43:25 PM »
 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 10:23:25 PM »
Thanks for starting the topic, I'm sure it will be an inspiration and learning experience in both directions.  Lots of smart and experienced folks here on the Forum.   
Looks like you had to move a lot of dirt formfill in that building.  Such hilly ground will have its challenges, but looks like you have the equipment and energy to deal with it.  
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Offline starmac

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 10:50:15 PM »
There is a small mill 150 miles or so south of here that is set up extremely well  for just a guy or two to run. It is big for this country, but small compared to the big mills. 
Anyway they have a sawdust and chip burner that is automated and supplies all the heat for their two dry kilns, and all of their buildings, and it is in extreme cold country. When they are sawing, the sawdust is augered straight into the burner. They chip and store all their slabs and also supply fuel for two different schools that heats with with the chips too. I think they built most of their green chains,and sorting tables and such themselves. It is owned by a couple of great guys, I can probably get you their number if you want to talk to them, I looked their burner system over once, but couldn't tell you a lot about it, myself. They also burn all their planer shavings, all of their scrap as far as I know, it really is a very efficient run outfit. 
There main business is 3 sided tongue and groove house logs, but also make log siding and tongue and groove lumber too.
To tell you the truth, for what you are doing, it might pay you to take a mini vacation and tour their outfit, like I said they are great guys, and would show you the specifics of their whole operation.

When shopping for an edger, don't overlook the thomas edgers, they make some good products too, and have a reputation of being good to deal with too.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 08:19:41 PM »
Thanks for starting the topic, I'm sure it will be an inspiration and learning experience in both directions.  Lots of smart and experienced folks here on the Forum.  
Looks like you had to move a lot of dirt formfill in that building.  Such hilly ground will have its challenges, but looks like you have the equipment and energy to deal with it.  
Thank you. Definitely a lot of earth moving going on. Almost done with the cutting and clearing then I need to get the excavator in here to rip stumps.  We accomplished a lot today.
There is a small mill 150 miles or so south of here that is set up extremely well  for just a guy or two to run. It is big for this country, but small compared to the big mills.
Anyway they have a sawdust and chip burner that is automated and supplies all the heat for their two dry kilns, and all of their buildings, and it is in extreme cold country. When they are sawing, the sawdust is augered straight into the burner. They chip and store all their slabs and also supply fuel for two different schools that heats with with the chips too. I think they built most of their green chains,and sorting tables and such themselves. It is owned by a couple of great guys, I can probably get you their number if you want to talk to them, I looked their burner system over once, but couldn't tell you a lot about it, myself. They also burn all their planer shavings, all of their scrap as far as I know, it really is a very efficient run outfit.
There main business is 3 sided tongue and groove house logs, but also make log siding and tongue and groove lumber too.
To tell you the truth, for what you are doing, it might pay you to take a mini vacation and tour their outfit, like I said they are great guys, and would show you the specifics of their whole operation.

When shopping for an edger, don't overlook the thomas edgers, they make some good products too, and have a reputation of being good to deal with too.


I would love to take a vacation but with ten kids that's not happening. I wouldn't feel right leaving the wife to fend for herself and we don't leave the babies with anyone for more than a couple hours. The Thomas edger looks nice but we really want to stick with diesel. Mostly because the bobcat and mill run on diesel and don't want to deal with two transfer tanks.  We are talking about setting up our camp village up north for a month or two this summer and milling at one of our other properties. 

Pics of today's progress

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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 07:52:41 PM »
If I had the building pictured, I would put a sawmill under a shed roof attached to the 'back gable end'. I have suggested this before with no response. This was never my own idea but I have seen it done and think it is a very good layout for a 1 story mill. This way the sawmill feeds lumber on a green chain at waist level into the building that contains the edger and a way to separate and move out the slabs and sticks and sticker the green lumber. This is a huge advantage in wet weather.  Beginners tend to worry about handling logs and sawing [I know I did] but the real drudgery is handling the stuff that has been sawn.                                              What makes an edger is the diameter of the mandrel. Bigger is always better.  Also the edger should have one side of the infeed table open so you don't have to dead lift every board. The good ones are made this way either r/h or l/h.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2018, 01:34:23 PM »
If I had the building pictured, I would put a sawmill under a shed roof attached to the 'back gable end'. I have suggested this before with no response. This was never my own idea but I have seen it done and think it is a very good layout for a 1 story mill. This way the sawmill feeds lumber on a green chain at waist level into the building that contains the edger and a way to separate and move out the slabs and sticks and sticker the green lumber. This is a huge advantage in wet weather.  Beginners tend to worry about handling logs and sawing [I know I did] but the real drudgery is handling the stuff that has been sawn.                                              What makes an edger is the diameter of the mandrel. Bigger is always better.  Also the edger should have one side of the infeed table open so you don't have to dead lift every board. The good ones are made this way either r/h or l/h.
Thank you for the suggestion. At this point we plan on having the mill in the barn . I was going to cut a 16ft wide about 5ft tall rolling door on one side to roll logs on ties into the building to feed the mill. One of the Amish mills we visited was set up like that.  I hope to be able to work in a heated environment through the Michigan winters which seem to last about 6 months. We are looking at both the cooks and woodmizer diesel powered edger but don't know enough about them . Also a little put off by cooks due to my uncle having issues with his ac36 mill. He tells me that he had a bad experience dealing with cooks and is salty about the whole deal. Do you have any specific edger you think I should check out. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2018, 06:02:06 PM »
I have been very happy with my WoodMizer ED26 edger. The only issue is the width of flitch that will fit through it. For really wide flitches,  I either edge on mill,  or rip some of the edge off with a cordless circ saw. The ones that give me trouble are usually heavily tapered butt cuts.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2018, 06:23:38 PM »
Beaver,

   I like the idea of a roll up door on the back side of the building for log access. I am pretty sure I would want it at least 18' if not 20' though. I find 16'6" logs are pretty common as people tend to want 16' rafters and such. A roll up door is pretty high tech for this application IMHO. An air curtain or roll up tarp would work too but the roll up door is probably more air tight. 

   Keep the posts coming and include pictures of your setup as it progresses.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2018, 08:10:47 PM »
B .B.
A heated sawmill? Some times I wish I had one.   Meadows Mills has several size edgers including the smaller Miner brand they own.  If you only do 1" boards on the edger , that's one thing. But if you get orders for 2" and thicker hardwood that's something else and who wants to take those heavy planks back to the head saw. When you put thick hard stuff in a inexpensive, light edger the mandrel vibrates and you can't saw straight. The real problem here is the cost of the real machine.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2018, 11:06:17 PM »
I have been very happy with my WoodMizer ED26 edger. The only issue is the width of flitch that will fit through it. For really wide flitches,  I either edge on mill,  or rip some of the edge off with a cordless circ saw. The ones that give me trouble are usually heavily tapered butt cuts.
At this point it's really looking like the cooks is the one we want. That is pretty much based on specs alone seeing as how I've never seen or used either one.
Cooks ae344p
34 1/2" wide capacity
2"-21" edge cut width 
Hydraulic speed control
14" dual stobe saws
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On specs alone the cooks looks like a lot more of a machine and I have been quoted almost the same price for either machine.
Beaver,

   I like the idea of a roll up door on the back side of the building for log access. I am pretty sure I would want it at least 18' if not 20' though. I find 16'6" logs are pretty common as people tend to want 16' rafters and such. A roll up door is pretty high tech for this application IMHO. An air curtain or roll up tarp would work too but the roll up door is probably more air tight.

   Keep the posts coming and include pictures of your setup as it progresses.


Good advice on the opening width.  I can make it as wide as needed I guess.  Just have to size the header appropriately for the span. I was thinking a sideways rolling door . Like I had on my old barn. Definitely doesn't seal up tight like an overhead rollup would but I can build the rolling door and save thousands. I will post pics of progress regularly along with questions as they come up. 
B .B.
A heated sawmill? Some times I wish I had one.   Meadows Mills has several size edgers including the smaller Miner brand they own.  If you only do 1" boards on the edger , that's one thing. But if you get orders for 2" and thicker hardwood that's something else and who wants to take those heavy planks back to the head saw. When you put thick hard stuff in a inexpensive, light edger the mandrel vibrates and you can't saw straight. The real problem here is the cost of the real machine.
I was planning on spraying the barn with closed cell foam and heating it anyways. We will be using a large wood fired boiler to heat the house, barn and supplemental heat for the kiln when needed. Those meadows mills edgers look really heavy duty and well built put I didn't see a portable option or diesel option.  Also they look like they are really expensive. I will look at them more and call them. Thank you.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 10:00:39 AM »
There is a post about having the coolant from the motor running under your feet. I think they put in a pan on the floor to run the fluid through. Could also do it with the boiler too. I suppose you will have a command center at the sawmill?
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 12:07:41 PM »
I don't understand how you plan to have a sealed building and run all diesel equipment? I would think the fumes would be a huge issue.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2018, 01:18:57 PM »
There is a post about having the coolant from the motor running under your feet. I think they put in a pan on the floor to run the fluid through. Could also do it with the boiler too. I suppose you will have a command center at the sawmill?


Never heard of that. Sounds interesting.  We planned on using the self contained coil with fan heaters that has the hot water from the boiler running through it. The boiler guy said that in floor wouldn't really work well if we are opening and closing the doors often.
I don't understand how you plan to have a sealed building and run all diesel equipment? I would think the fumes would be a huge issue.

We are planning to copy the mill that we visited. They had the edger exhaust ran straight out the roof and the mill on a flexible exhaust ran out as well. Similar to how they had the sawdust blower blowing dust out. Similar to how a dyno shop runs the exhaust from cars out. They said they had been running that way for 7 years with no issues. I'm not coming up with new ideas , just copying what works well for others.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2018, 01:32:08 PM »
Pamizerman. Sorry if that last comment came off as snotty.  That was not my intention at all but after posting and reareading it it sounded a little snotty to me.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2018, 02:29:28 PM »
Here is the layout we were going to try and copy from one of the mills we visited. Please excuse my drawing , art is not my strong suit. They said they averaged 7000bf grade sawing walnut in 8 hour days with 3 guys. One guy running the mill , one guy edging and stacking, one guy in the yard in the bobcat running logs through a debarker and feeding the mill. The kid running the edger and stacking was busting his butt. Their barn was larger. Probably 40 x60 instead of 30 x 50 but it looked like I could run the same setup in my barn, just less storage space. 


 

 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2018, 03:32:39 PM »
Aup,just like this.  

But I would think yours would be bigger.    This unit is about 18 inches square.  I did put a varible speed control on mine,because of noise. On a slow speed it does not make much noise. Wide open it's loud. I know with the sawmill noise is not a big deal.                
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2018, 03:39:06 PM »
Aup,just like this.  

But I would think yours would be bigger.    This unit is about 18 inches square.  I did put a varible speed control on mine,because of noise. On a slow speed it does not make much noise. Wide open it's loud. I know with the sawmill noise is not a big deal.                (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
That's what she said. Haha. Boiler guy suggested two of these 100k units seeing as how the doors will be opening and closing often.

 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2018, 05:29:43 PM »
Did not come across that way to me at all.  I thought it was a great explanation. The only reason I asked is because I have a diesel mill and was curious. I was looking into the same scenario with the exhaust pipe. Glad to hear it works! Good luck on your endeavor! Looking good so far.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2018, 05:32:04 PM »
The exhaust pipes. Did they have an exhaust fan hooked to them?
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2018, 05:46:28 PM »
The exhaust pipes. Did they have an exhaust fan hooked to them?

That is a good question.  I was talking with my dad about it the other day and neither one of us was paying enough attention to that detail. We are going down for another visit soon. The first time we went there it was to demo the lt70 and I should have paid more attention to the details of their setup. I did notice the kicker on the back side of the edger was homemade and operated by a pulley hanging from the ceiling at the front of the edger. So when it was time the edger operator would reach up and pull a handle connected to a rope hanging from the ceiling and it would kick the board off onto the return conveyor. I took note of the design but over looked many other details of the operation.  
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2018, 07:08:05 PM »
If you run the exhaust out run it out a side wall . A snow slide on that steel roof will wipe the pipes right off or at least cause leaks . If you have no choice then keep them near the peak . Also run your logs in from an end wall for the same reason . Looks like you are in lake effect country .
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2018, 07:56:54 PM »
If you run the exhaust out run it out a side wall . A snow slide on that steel roof will wipe the pipes right off or at least cause leaks . If you have no choice then keep them near the peak . Also run your logs in from an end wall for the same reason . Looks like you are in lake effect country .


Excellent suggestion. The shop I used to rent about a mile down the road was a large pole barn construction with insulated roof and no ceiling 60 x120 . One of the reznor shop heaters was piped out the eave side of the building near the roof line. Three years in a row the landlord had to pay a tin knocker to come out and replace it due to ice slide offs. That building would build a foot thick ice and when it warned up it would slide off in massive sheets. Even after experiencing this I probably still wouldn't have thought of it when doing my exhausts here and would have ran them to the most convenient location.  Thank you for the reminder. Although my building dies have 1ft overhangs on all sides so if I kept it short it should be ok. But then I would assume I'd get the diesel soot all over my pretty new barn.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2018, 08:08:07 PM »
I'm not sure if you have ever seen this video but I like this setup and plan to do something similar when I move to my new location. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2018, 08:41:48 PM »
I'm not sure if you have ever seen this video but I like this setup and plan to do something similar when I move to my new location.

I had not seen that video. I have seen similar setups. Looks pricey, I would like to get there someday.  The mill we visited was much less automation but honestly I have to say the lt70 was kicking out boards much faster. I don't see the point of the long conveyor. Their edger was set up basically the same except you had to pull a handle that was dangling from the ceiling to kick the board onto the return conveyor. The lt70 would kick the slabs, flitches and boards off to the return table where the off bearer would grab them and send them to the edger,  cart or finished pile.  The way it was setup he didn't have to move around very much at all and minimal automation and space was needed. He would get behind on edging but would get caught up when a new log was being loaded on the mill. The edging was the only bottleneck in the system. The only thing I could see improving production would be an edger that could keep up with this guy cranking out cuts on the lt70. He said he had about 16000 hours on the machine and the way he manipulated controls and the speed he was able to rotate clamp and cut was nothing short of amazing.

 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2018, 11:23:07 PM »
I agree to buy it would be very pricey. I plan to build it myself. I believe I have the air valves and solenoids figured out. I like the setup because I work by myself and I can let the flitches pile up while i saw. I  see nothing wrong with you're setup and was not questioning it. If I had a full time helper I would use the setup you have. I just liked the video. As I'm sure you're aware there's only 100000 ways to set up a sawmill :D. Every time I think I have it figured out I see something else I like.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2018, 07:02:56 PM »
I agree to buy it would be very pricey. I plan to build it myself. I believe I have the air valves and solenoids figured out. I like the setup because I work by myself and I can let the flitches pile up while i saw. I  see nothing wrong with you're setup and was not questioning it. If I had a full time helper I would use the setup you have. I just liked the video. As I'm sure you're aware there's only 100000 ways to set up a sawmill :D. Every time I think I have it figured out I see something else I like.
I liked the video as well and if things go as planned we will add more machinery to lessen the work load. It doesnt look terribly difficult to fab conveyors, transfer tables, log loader deck or green chain.  I had my own fabrication and welding shop for about 6 years and have no doubt I could make them. The problem that I found was most things like that I was better off buying and using my time for the more custom items and specialty tig welding. I made very few things for myself when I had the shop. For example , one of my larger welding tables I could have very easily built but I bought it used in great condition for what it would have cost me to just buy the materials.  
This weather here is slowing my progress.  Everything is a snow and ice covered muddy mess. I figured it would be a good time to start spreading crushed concrete and stay in the cab of my heated bobcat. I called the plant that I normally buy at which is 2 miles down the road and they are out and won't be producing again until some time in June.  They give me a good product for 10 bucks a yard. So I called around town and best price I could find was 25 bucks a yard and that is 30 miles round trip. I have no idea what I'm going to do now. If I just needed a dump truck load or two no big deal but I need about 250 yards.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2018, 09:02:09 PM »
If your are going to open doors all the time and run exhaust blowers you need a thick walled oil tank to make into a giant stove for burning your slabs. Nothing new about this, just has to be fire prof around the stove. It will actually save work.   On my edger I made a sweep bar that is controlled with an automatic log splitter valve, foot operated. Are you going to bring logs inside? You are going to have a lot going on in that building.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2018, 09:26:35 PM »
If your are going to open doors all the time and run exhaust blowers you need a thick walled oil tank to make into a giant stove for burning your slabs. Nothing new about this, just has to be fire prof around the stove. It will actually save work.   On my edger I made a sweep bar that is controlled with an automatic log splitter valve, foot operated. Are you going to bring logs inside? You are going to have a lot going on in that building.
We were planning on opening the door a few times a day to bring logs in. The mill we visited would bring in about a dozen or so logs in and set them on ties then use a can't hook to roll them to the living arms of the lt70. Do you have a picture of the sweep bar contraption you made? We were planning on getting a large boiler to heat multiple buildings and sizing large enough to handle another building if we build more. I realize this building may be to small and we might outgrow it sooner than later but that's ok. Here is a pic of the burner we have been looking at. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2018, 09:39:10 PM »
Look at other OWBs too.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2018, 09:46:59 PM »
^ *2 on the advice given by thecfarm there, do plenty of research.  
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2018, 09:51:44 PM »
Look at other OWBs too.


^ *2 on the advice given by thecfarm there, do plenty of research.  


I think I know what your getting at. Found a lot of complaints about central boiler. Products, service and warranty. Do you guys have any brands you think I should check out.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2018, 06:22:51 AM »
Portage and Main,Heatmor. They all have big ones.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2018, 01:15:06 PM »
Would love to post lots of things but it's not easy for us. The computer has to be in just the right mood to recognize the match book from the camera. Also not sure what I am not allowed to show. If I had your mailing address or fax I would send diagram of sweep table I copied when I made mine.  This sweeps off to the side. A tailer runs the edged boards straight and drops the sticks. This set up takes a lot or space behind the edger and that is why I didn't build one and why [as I already said] the sawmill should feed the main building.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2018, 10:43:37 PM »
Portage and Main,Heatmor. They all have big ones.
Thank you for the suggestions I'll check them out. 
Would love to post lots of things but it's not easy for us. The computer has to be in just the right mood to recognize the match book from the camera. Also not sure what I am not allowed to show. If I had your mailing address or fax I would send diagram of sweep table I copied when I made mine.  This sweeps off to the side. A tailer runs the edged boards straight and drops the sticks. This set up takes a lot or space behind the edger and that is why I didn't build one and why [as I already said] the sawmill should feed the main building.


I will message you my address. I'm curious and would like to learn more. 



So the weather has been beautiful and my acre of mud is drying out quickly. Had my neighbor stop by. He owns a tree service and is interested in trading trees for me milling some things for him. He said he sells a lot of logs to another mill about 30 mins from here right now.  He told me he doesn't like the guy and would rather work out a deal with me. He's a really nice guy and came over to help me drop a few trees that were next to the barn.

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2018, 06:24:23 PM »
BB,

   Sounds like a real good deal with your tree service neighbor if y'all can work out the details. We had some recent threads on bartering for logs that I hope you read. Easiest way is cash on the barrel head for his logs and him buying back sawed lumber, beams, etc if you both need/produce what the other has/needs. I like bartering but you do have to be careful there is not a perception, real or imagined, that one or the other is taking advantage of the other. Good neighbors are worth more than money. Good luck.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2018, 10:07:49 PM »
BB,

   Sounds like a real good deal with your tree service neighbor if y'all can work out the details. We had some recent threads on bartering for logs that I hope you read. Easiest way is cash on the barrel head for his logs and him buying back sawed lumber, beams, etc if you both need/produce what the other has/needs. I like bartering but you do have to be careful there is not a perception, real or imagined, that one or the other is taking advantage of the other. Good neighbors are worth more than money. Good luck.
Thank you for the advice. I have read the bartering thead. He said his guy pays him 2 dollars a bf for walnut logs and that's what he wants from me for the walnut. Every thing else is negotiable I guess.  He wants to trade some logs for milling but I don't think he wants much so I am going to offer to pay him for anything after his milling work is done. He has also proposed that I could come to his jobs after he has limbed out and cleaned up to cut and take the main trunks myself. I agree with you about good neighbors being valuable.  I'm easy going and don't care if I lose a little money or time helping him out with whatever he needs. Since I stopped over at his house and introduced myself a couple weeks ago he has been over here just to talk and check on progress about half a dozen times. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2018, 10:24:53 PM »
He has also proposed that I could come to his jobs after he has limbed out and cleaned up to cut and take the main trunks myself


I would be extremely leery of such an arrangement.  First, there is the whole liability issue, arborists have very expensive insurance for a reason, it's a 100% claim category.  Second is the reality that he is getting paid to remove the tree that you are now coming and getting for him.  What happens when the lawn gets torn up?  Who is going to load the logs and what happens when something goes wrong?  I take in yard trees, but I don't pay for them.  I do take in the stump grindings, chips and tops that would otherwise cost the tree service money to get rid of, so we both benefit from the arrangement.  
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2018, 10:25:48 PM »
Only 8 more trees to cut down and clean up, then I can get the excavator out here to rip up the stumps that are left. Any tree 16in diameter and smaller I just pushed over with the bobcat and uprooted them so only about 20 big stumps to pull then I can start filling and leveling. It is taking me a little longer than expected to remove all the trees but I'm doing the vast majority on my own. I'm not ready for the mill yet but the wait for it is killing me. Placed the order almost 6 weeks ago and I have looked at the woodmizer catalog about 1000 times. I can't wait to start posting in the sawmill and milling boards with the rest of you guys. Also I had lunch with a guy that I worked for 20 years ago that owns a custom cabinet and furniture shop now. He stopped by the house and we talked wood for about an hour. He does a lot of slab tables and bars. Said if I could match his suppliers pricing he would buy from me exclusively.  So now I have to small cabinet and furniture customers lined up and a wholesale buyer for quantity.  So it's really looking like this is going to come down to two things. Can I produce an acceptable quality product and will it be profitable? I am very optimistic but nervous at the same time.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2018, 10:35:18 PM »
He has also proposed that I could come to his jobs after he has limbed out and cleaned up to cut and take the main trunks myself


I would be extremely leery of such an arrangement.  First, there is the whole liability issue, arborists have very expensive insurance for a reason, it's a 100% claim category.  Second is the reality that he is getting paid to remove the tree that you are now coming and getting for him.  What happens when the lawn gets torn up?  Who is going to load the logs and what happens when something goes wrong?  I take in yard trees, but I don't pay for them.  I do take in the stump grindings, chips and tops that would otherwise cost the tree service money to get rid of, so we both benefit from the arrangement.  
I hear you there. I'm not too excited about that idea.  I do need to get my own insurance though.  I have made arrangements to buy trees from three different friends of the family and need to be insured.  Two of the properties are within a mile of me and there is about 50 really nice walnuts between the two. Another family friend has over 100 sizable walnut about an hour from here and he wants to sell them to us as well. None of these people need the money but I said I would pay them fair market value.  One of the properties wasnts them all taken at once but the other 2 said come and get them as needed and I can pay them as I go.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2018, 07:06:20 PM »
Southside,

  The liability is a very good point but I would not consider it a stopper. I'd just discuss it with the arborist neighbor and tell him I was concerned about the liability and who would pay for any damage caused  by me during transport.

  Yes, he is likely getting paid for removal of the logs but if I needed them and could get first pick and had the time and equipment to pick up the logs with reasonable liability I would do it, especially if that was what it took to make the deal work.

  I don't get many logs from others. I did get some from an arborist and he loaded them. I backed my trailer where he told me, he loaded and we both benefited from that deal. I have gotten several loads from friends who cut them in their yards and I hauled and together we loaded them. There may have been some liability there but these were close friends and they were not concerned about the potential damage to their yards. Of course they were down to earth country folks who understand you don't remove large logs without big equipment and big equipment leaves marks and not some hooty tooty "don't step off the sidewalk" kind of snobs.

  There is risk but just weigh the risk vs the reward and make your best decision and adjust as you learn from the real life aspects.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2018, 11:44:46 PM »
Yellowhammer can tell you some horror stories about trying to make it work on site with arborists.  Once the logs are out of the customers yard the situation changes, but until then - you know how some people can be.  
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2018, 12:53:15 AM »
The only thing worse than being chewed out by my customers is being chewed out by someone else's.  When I worked with tree guys, the last one who leaves the site gets chewed out by the customer, and guess who is the last one leaving?  The guy with the logs.  Some times it worked, some times it didn't, and when it didn't, it was memorable.  

I now only take logs from arborists if they deliver to my mill, or stage them at their own logyard for me to pick an choose which ones I want.  Arborists are paid a dump fee by the customer, and they would have to transport them anyway, either to the dump or to another sawmill, so they have to get some separation between my business and their business before I will buy them.  

Arborist insurance is very expensive, and is different than loggers insurance, which is also very expensive, which is different than log truckers insurance, which is also expensive.  Although it's important to have insurance to protect from damages to other persons property, insurance is required if you or someone working for you gets hurt.  There are state laws concerning Workmans Comp and how many employees need be hired to kick in.

Hauling on the roads for a business, even if hauling your own personal business property, i.e. you logs, requires a whole new round of regulations and insurance.  Some states have adopted the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association, FMCSA, regulations and if hauling for any activity where money changes hands, then either over 10,000 lbs or 26,000 lbs requires different liscenses and insurance.  It's easy to check, got to your state DOT website and it will tell you what you need.  No matter what, if you are over 10,000 lbs combined tuck and/or trailer stickered vehicle weight, and haul across state lines, you will need a DOT number, medical card, and a spreadsheet full of stuff to make you legal.  Over 26,000 lbs, you need a CDL and even more stuff.  Take it from me, the Smokies can and will write a "knee banger" ticket even if completely unloaded.  Many states have allowances for farm tags but typicllay that applies to in state, short hauls and places significant user restrictions on the farm truck that make them unattractive for business use.   

Our business was shaped as much by the insurance requirements and costs, state and federal regulations, and lawyers as much as by what we wanted to do.  I may be beating a dead horse, and you already know all this stuff, but until you get the little yellow certified envelope naming you in a multimillion dollar lawsuit, or have a state trooper pull you over for doing "nothing" and the only reason you don't get to spend time in jail is because he was "nice" to you, it's hard to explain how important it is.  

That being said, there is nothing more gratifiying or enjoyable than having your own business and making a go at it.  If you ever need any help, you have my number, I'll be glad to help all I can.  


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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2018, 02:17:42 PM »
Hammer,

   I think you need to just write a book on the woes of collecting free logs from arborists.

   I think the solution would be a little advance work to determine whether to put your AU sign on your truck or wear your Alabama hat and shirt when you arrive. That would prevent most of your issues. Of course you might wear your Alabama shirt to the Alabama fan customers and leave them happy then get pulled over on the next block by the county sheriff with the AU plate on the front of his cruiser. :D
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Offline barbender

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2018, 10:12:45 PM »
Free logs are typically the most expensive, in my experience👎
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #54 on: April 24, 2018, 07:42:59 AM »
Yeah, nothing's free. Even if it's free.  
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #55 on: April 24, 2018, 08:12:47 AM »
Thank you for all of the advice guys. You all seem to be right on the mark in regards to my experience with dealing with people in general. I did get a really nice 36in x 14 ft walnut log yesterday for free though. Technically not 100% free. I had to pay for fuel to trailer my bobcat 2 miles up the road and back but I did get a nice log and 2 beers out of the deal. I don't drink beer but the guy really wanted me to bs with him and have a beer so I obliged.  Threw the log up on his trailer and he brought it here for me. I you figure in the fact that it took 2 hours due to the chit chat session it cost me about 5 bucks in fuel and 2 hours of down time i still did pretty good. He also had 2 other monster walnuts 45 to 50 in dbh in the woods out back he is talking about getting rid of. While over there the neighbor across the street came over and wanted me to look in his woods. Only 4 acres and he had about a dozen nice walnut and some cherry . The area i live in is loaded with nice walnut and cherry. If I decide to start buying trees it looks like I'll be able to stay pretty busy right near the house.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #56 on: April 24, 2018, 12:22:19 PM »
Free logs aren't free
I get tree service logs dropped at my mill it's more work than you think.
Some times you get a mess. 
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #57 on: April 29, 2018, 05:01:14 PM »
Just a few more trees to go and I'll be done playing logger for awhile. Excavator will be here Tuesday to rip out about 25 stumps for me. I cut down one of the little walnuts today, now there is only one really nice one left in the way. The one I cut today is about 24in inside the bark. I got one nice log and a couple decent ones. The next walnut isn't huge but she's a beauty.  About 30in dbh clear and straight with very little taper for about 25 ft. 

 

 

 

 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2018, 10:06:15 PM »
Today was a big day for us. All the trees we needed down are down and the stumps are ripped up. I wasn't sure what to do with the stumps so I just stacked them into a wall of sorts.  The morning started good with the excavator making short work of the stumps and I piled them up with the bobcat as he tore them up . Took about 2 hours to pull around 25 to 30 stumps and stack them. After he left I was working on piling up some branches on the burn pile and took a good sized limb through the windshield and about smashed me in the face. Luckily I'm alive and closed mu eyes quick enough that i only got a little glass in one eye. After I showered and shop vac the bobcat out I got back to work. I had the pleasure of meeting Furby from the forums today as well. He stopped over and we had a nice talk . I had a couple hours to start leveling land with the bobcat and made a pretty good dent in it.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2018, 10:30:09 PM »
But where is Furby??  Oh never mind, I see him now.  ;D
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2018, 11:20:01 PM »
Is that a lake shore just through the tree line?
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #61 on: May 01, 2018, 11:52:47 PM »
Is that a lake shore just through the tree line?
Not sure what you are seeing there. The barn door faces north east. There is an industrial complex to the north west. It sits in whaat used to be my great grandparents sand pit so it is set about 150ft lower in elevation to where my barn and cleared land is. To the west of the barn we have a 1 acre pond and about 150ft south of that pond we have a large 16 acre pond. I'm not sure if you can see those through the trees or not. Here's a pic of part of the big pond.

Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #62 on: May 02, 2018, 08:12:12 AM »
I think he is seing the complex,the building. I wondered about that too.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #63 on: May 02, 2018, 08:24:45 AM »
The third from the last photo you posted and the one with the excavator pulling a stump from a distance, behind them through the woods, it looks like a combination of open and frozen water like one would see this time of year in a northern lake with the ice going out.  Optical illusion.  
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2018, 11:26:55 PM »
Update with pics. I have been helping my mom set up and open her antique store so progress is going slower than I hoped but momma comes first .
Took a break from excavating and added more slabs to the pile. Red oak, hard maple and hickory.

 
My little bobcat is getting the job done. 

 

 
The hill I have to level was mostly sand under the layer of topsoil and clay so I pushed all that to the side and made my own temporary ssnd/gravel pit. Will fill this hole in with topsoil and the clay and cover it with sand/gravel when I'm done pulling out all the sand and gravel I need to cover my whole area. Pic of the wife standing in our sand pit. 

 
Pic of a cool cherry tree with wifey again to show size.


 
Figured I'd put up a few pics of our land and water.
The little pond. About an acre.

 
The big pond. About 15 acres or so.


 
From the back of the property behind the pond looking towards our woods.


 

 

 

 
One last pic of our cute little 100 year old house from down in the woods


 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #65 on: May 06, 2018, 12:50:25 AM »
Nice property!!  I love the house!!!!
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #66 on: May 06, 2018, 07:46:10 AM »
And you are getting the hang of telling a story with your pictures.  Now drop your narrative below the picture that you are describing and it is even easier to follow.  Thanks.  :)

I see a lot of work that has been done and more to do but it seems that you have a good plan.  :P
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #67 on: May 06, 2018, 08:12:30 AM »
   I did to get to look at the house. i was too busy looking for my fishing rod and canoe paddles. :D Nice looking place. Looks like a great place to raise kids.
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2018, 08:41:31 AM »
X2 on a great place to raise kids.  They're going to have fun around and on those ponds.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #69 on: May 07, 2018, 08:15:39 PM »
Nice property!!  I love the house!!!!


  I did to get to look at the house. i was too busy looking for my fishing rod and canoe paddles. :D Nice looking place. Looks like a great place to raise kids.


X2 on a great place to raise kids.  They're going to have fun around and on those ponds.

Thank you.  The kids love it here and so do we.  The big pond is loaded with large bluegill and bass, at least by MI standards. The oldest boy wants a kayak for his birthday to paddle around and fish out of so we will oblige.  My great grandparents built this house and great grandpa did a lot of the woodwork himself. Every time I look at the hand hewn fireplace mantle I think of him and how much hard work he put into this place 100 years ago. The floors are all original and need refinishing but the trim and doors still look good.

And you are getting the hang of telling a story with your pictures.  Now drop your narrative below the picture that you are describing and it is even easier to follow.  Thanks.  :)

I see a lot of work that has been done and more to do but it seems that you have a good plan.  :P
I'm starting to get the hang of it 


Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #70 on: May 07, 2018, 08:57:35 PM »
Seeing as how we love this place and some of you guys seem at least a little interested I figured I'd post some pics of the little things that I really like. I think this place is all red oak but would appreciate it if someone could tell me what kind of wood this is.


 

 
Fireplace mantle . 4in x 16 in. Every time I look at this I think about great grandpa working with hand tools. 


 

 
Inside front door and vestibule entry door. They don't make them like this too much anymore.


 
All the doors are a solid 1 3/4 thick and still have the old glass handles.


 

 
I really like this old door handle and light fixture.


 
The family crest. The brick this house was made from were salvage by my great grandparents from a tower in grand rapids that was built in the early 1800s. There is so much character and history here. I feel honored and privileged to be able to live here with my kids and hope it stays in the family until it turns into dust.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #71 on: May 08, 2018, 09:52:32 AM »
What a special place, and what a wonderful place to raise your family.  Your great grandparents would love the fact that a family member is preserving their hard work.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #72 on: May 08, 2018, 11:01:43 AM »
Beautiful place! Thanks for sharing.  Great family history there.

Offline Autocar

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #73 on: May 09, 2018, 07:25:45 PM »
Great story and a beautiful home thank you for sharing with us.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #74 on: May 10, 2018, 08:18:25 AM »
Great story and a beautiful home thank you for sharing with us.


Beautiful place! Thanks for sharing.  Great family history there.


What a special place, and what a wonderful place to raise your family.  Your great grandparents would love the fact that a family member is preserving their hard work.
Thank you all for the kind words. 

Progress update.
I tore a track on the bobcat a couple days ago so I haven't made any progress on the site excavation, been monkeying around with some other projects.


 


Slabbed a few logs with the chainsaw mill.




 

 

 
Setup the filters, ground off the rust and started painting the transfer tank that was gifted to me. It's looking much better.



 

 
Went to the big box store and grabbed some treated 2x12 and made a simple sandbox for the kids. Had two of the older ones helping fill it with sand.

I called woodmizer to order 1 1/2in rollers for the lt70 and to talk about log decks.  They just happened to have a 20ft deck sitting there that someone ordered and canceled.  They threw the rollers on the order for free and made me a deal on the log deck.  They will be bringing the deck on the 23rd with the mill so no shipping charge. 

Today I am going to work on the bobcat. I need to pull the old tracks off and will do some other maintenance. I'm going to pick up a new set of tracks tomorrow morning and should be back up and running tomorrow afternoon. 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #75 on: May 17, 2018, 12:18:45 AM »
Been working hard and making good progress. Pretty amazing that this bobcat has done all this work in a relatively short amount of time. 


 

 
Driveway down yo the barn and mill. Logger stopped by and said he'd have no issues getting his b trains in and out.  


 

 

 
Excavation and site prep is pretty much done.


 
Little driveway up to the house,  just for my personal vehicles.
I've been very happy with the progress and the way every thing turned out. I was lucky to have a sandy gravel based soil . Even after days of rain no mud and everything is solid.  The mill and log deck will be here in one week. Tommorow I am going to start organizing my log pile and cutting to length. 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #76 on: May 17, 2018, 09:29:10 AM »
Nice work plus you story line is now easy to follow.  smiley_thumbsup
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #77 on: May 18, 2018, 04:41:27 PM »
Motoring right along!! 

It is amazing what can be accomplished with a skid steer.
We have a case with grouser tracks. That thing goes like a tank.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2018, 09:32:17 PM »
Yes sir motoring along full speed ahead. The weather has been off and on n rain the last few days but I'm trying to not let it slow me down.  


 

 
Organized, power washed and cut to length, I'll have quite a bit of practice logs ready to go.


 
Picked up a few concrete slabs from right up the road. They were free and close by so I figured why not.


 
Truck and trailer didn't like it much but the old girl did it. I think I may have been a few pounds over weight and tongue heavy lol


 
Decided to put a 2ft by 2in Styrofoam rip around the barn to insulate the floor before the finished floor goes down.


 

 
It's starting to look like something around here
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2018, 09:40:41 PM »
Yup, we sticker our concrete slabs too.  Makes um dry straight with no cupping at all.   ;D
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2018, 10:02:41 PM »
Nice ground you have there. If I did that here the piles of rocks would make that pile of logs look small.
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Re: Journey of family run sawmill
« Reply #81 on: June 04, 2018, 08:12:59 PM »
It's been awhile since the last update.  I've been busy over here. The mill and log deck are set up and running. Haven't spent a whole lot of time on it yet, been busy getting everything situated and working on our material handling plan. Decided to build a couple solar kilns so I've been working on that the last couple days. It's taking longer than I anticipated but should have both done in 4 days working on then by myself. Also finally got the flex hose delivered and hooked up to a wood master 5 horse blower. Works like a dream. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile


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