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Author Topic: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......  (Read 1600 times)

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Offline guttery_gipe

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New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« on: May 10, 2018, 11:45:30 PM »

I have been reading lots of great insights about how to modify/spec a given machine for Solo operation, but not too much on which machine to get from the outset. 

My situation:
(A) custom saw in an urban environment (lots of hobby woodshops and lathe turners). 
(B) Primarily oaks, hickory, maples - arborist casualty/cull from leafy suburbs - maybe disease or insect damage so I dont want to haul. Too many good logs are going into chippers and landfill. 
(C) Solo operation to supplement farm - have compact tractor with FEL/forks. No grapple.   
(D) Gator/ATV for skidding from back yards.           
(E) Some customers could air dry their own lumber. 
(F) Now starting my 2nd half century on this planet. 

Current thinking: Wood Mizer LT35 Hyd or Timber King 1600
LT35 differences: 
(1) Hydraulic Toe Boards 
(2) Hydraulic Log stops.
(3) Bi-Plane Hydraulic Log clamp. 
(4) Easier solo off-bearing. 

TK 1600 differences: 
(5) 6" wider cut (for live edge guys) 
(6) Stationary Command Post
(7) Fine adjust outrigger
(8 ) chain log turner

I have demo experience with both machines (with helpers) but nothing that would provide insight into long term solo operation. I dont have enough experience to convert any of these advantages into real world productivity so I apreaciate any hands-on insight.

Market conditions: 
(i) Timber King are quoting 15-17 weeks lead time on the 1600 -makes me very nervous about parts availability and supply chain mangement. 
(ii) Wood Mizer Summer sale opens up a $5K price difference. That could cover the cost of a CSM for those customers who might need a >26" live edge slab. 
(iii)  Dont see a big difference in the LT35/LT40 in this environment. 
(iv)  Prefer diesel given the hardwoods and logs not from managed woodlots.
(v)  Should I forget diesel and take the additional $$ and go for the LT40 Super gas ?
Pretty sure I would become a productivity bottleneck. 

OK - Appologies for the long post but most I have read start out asking for more info. And I didnt want to have anyone repeat advice already posted unless I havent fully understood.

Thanks. 

Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 02:28:59 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

It sounds like what you've narrowed it down to is like the difference between ketchup and catsup.  A lot of fine points that come down to your personal situation and preferences.  No matter which one you get, within a couple of weeks you'll realize you should have bought the other one.  So go ahead and do that now.  8)

It's been said a few times on this forum that a milling operation is a material handling problem with a saw in the middle of it.  I'd try to visualize that process completely, from the logs coming in to the lumber, sawdust, and scrap going out.  If you're not going to have offload helpers, perhaps some consideration should be given to an off-feed table?  I don't have any specific suggestions, I just know that it's easy to focus on the saw when the bottleneck is likely to be somewhere else in the process.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 05:50:34 AM »
Thought about a swing blade mill?

Super portable, ain't afraid of oversize logs, can be operated solo etc, 
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2018, 06:12:54 AM »
What Ian said.

As soon as someone says "urban log" I hear bands being destroyed. 

In that kind of situation circles are a far better way to go IMHO
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 06:28:41 AM »
milling operation is a material handling problem with a saw in the middle of it.  I'd try to visualize that process completely, from the logs coming in to the lumber, sawdust, and scrap going out.


True words indeed!! I learn more about this every day. Get your handling/processing all figured out and setup, then plop a saw in the middle of it. In fact, doing it all over again, I may have setup the entire process, then just hire a saw to come in once or twice a week. (except that I really enjoy sawing). 

Best wishes.
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
LT40HD Wide 35HP Diesel
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WoodMizer KD250 Kiln

Offline Cedarman

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2018, 06:41:57 AM »
If you are going to saw urban logs, a metal detector would be very valuable.  It is valuable when sawing non urban logs.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2018, 07:45:54 AM »
  I have and love my LT35 but the LT40 does have a 5" wider cut. If you really think you will be doing a lot of wider slabs why not get the LT40 wide?

   You mention a UTV/ATV to pull logs from back yards. Sounds like you will need a logging arch too. I  pull logs with my ATV and homemade log arch and a rear log dolly all the time but you will be able to saw bigger logs on your mill than most ATV arches will pull. in some cases it might be easier to just pull the mill to the back yard and saw there, situation and terrain permitting. I pull my mill all the time with my Kawasaki 650 and suspect a Gator or other UTV would do even better.

   Good luck and keep us posted.
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 Southside logger

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2018, 08:07:09 AM »
Now to complicate things, the 5" wider cut on a LT40 is a bit off base. The 35 and non wide 40 take the same bands and if you jig / roll a log to the left of the back stops you can get the extra 5" out of a 35. Not sure why they are advised the way they are but it can be done. 

Now sawing 28" of white oak and the extra torque of the 40 will make a big difference.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 09:25:04 AM »
Buy all the cheap roller racking/ conveyor belting you come across on CL starting now.  


Get the diesel.  I cannot keep fuel in my gas powered skid steer.  Board feet per gallon, the diesel will outproduce.  They last longer thanks to lower rpm operation too.  
  We are conditioned to think "diesel fuel costs a bit more than gas" bit it doesnt.  Road diesel does.  Red diesel is cheaper than gas.
Revelation 3:20

Offline guttery_gipe

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2018, 09:26:03 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions. 
I hadnt given swing blade enough considersation so thats probably worth another look. 

Log arch and outfeed table would be great - I need to figure out how to make these mobile.
Some creative 'engineering' required :-)

Offline guttery_gipe

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2018, 10:14:32 AM »
Heart says diesel - dont recall too many posts where the diesel was regret. But head is harder to convince. The additional $4-6k these days is hard to take. Would burn alot of gallons to make that back.
Resale would be better but I seldom sell anything 🤔.

Offline mad murdock

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2018, 12:13:34 PM »
I would second a swing blade mill. For one man operations a mill such as te Turbosawmill M8 auto allows for high production, low running cost and a minimum of equipment. Quarersawing is accomplished with out ever needing to roll or reposition a log. The auto features allow for one person to be milling moving and stacking all at the same time. Maximum efficiency. Resharpen ing the blade takes less than a minute and you are off again. I have cut through 3/8 metal spikes with my sawmil before(though not desirable) does not mean any major damage. Retip the blade and go. For one guy worth minimal support equipment a swingblade cant be beat. Add to that the slabbing options and you have a winning combo. 
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline slider

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2018, 06:48:17 PM »
You need to think about waste removal if you are sawing in someones yard  be up front to start with so you are both on the same page. 
al glenn

Offline guttery_gipe

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2018, 10:06:29 PM »
Thanks Slider. I can see how that could be a big disconnect. 

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2018, 08:29:24 AM »
You need to think about waste removal if you are sawing in someones yard  be up front to start with so you are both on the same page.
For me, the only advantage in milling at somebody else's place is not having to deal with the waste.  

Offline opticsguy

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2018, 09:55:11 AM »
" Timber King are quoting 15-17 weeks lead time on the 1600 -makes me very nervous about parts availability and supply chain mangement. [/quote] "

No worries about TimberKing. They provide excellent service and rarely will you need parts unless you manage to break something on your own.  Although my TK is a manual mill, It has performed excellently for 7 years with nothing broken.  

Good luck on whatever you choose, you will be having too much fun!!
TK 1220 band mill,  1952 Ford F-2, 1925 Dodge touring, too many telescopes.

Offline guttery_gipe

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Re: New Solo Sawyer - decision time.......
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2018, 12:43:57 PM »
Thanks Opticsguy. Thats reassuring to read. 
I could break an anvil so availabilty of parts is something Ive been concerned about. 


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