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Author Topic: Purchasing my first sawmill  (Read 1659 times)

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Offline Skipper11A

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2018, 12:27:48 PM »
Welcome Vender.  I would make sure that you get a mill with a log loading/turning winch which gives you some of the benefits of a hydraulic mill but at a much lower price.  The only manufacturers who make a manual mill with a log turning winch that I'm aware of are Thomas, Norwood, and EZ Boardwalk.  The EZ Boardwalk JR is the only one of those under $5,000

MODEL JR
Junior Sawmill.........................$4300.00
Junior Trailer Package............$400.00
Log Turner (Model JR).....$225.00
Electric Start.....................$250
Total: $5,175

And I say yes to the electric start for two reasons:
1)  You will save a lot of fuel because you will turn the engine off in between cuts.
2)  Your mill will already be set up with a battery and alternator so that electrical modifications in the future will be easy. These mods may include power feeding, power raise/lowering, even hydraulics with 12v hydraulic pumps.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 12:35:58 PM »
You will absolutely need a cant hook:  Standard Series Cant Hook - Logrite Tools LLC

I favor the 60".  Contact Tammy and tell her that the Forestry Forum sent you. 
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2018, 12:58:04 PM »
 :)YMMV - "your mileage may vary"  just a way of saying your circumstances might produce different results/needs. ;)

A list of some tools/things I didn't have follow.  Some are small items and some duplicate tools in my shop but when needed they are irreplaceable.  You might be stationary - I do mostly portable milling so most of this stuff is dedicated to the sawmill operation.  I hate having to spend time going to get tools.  I just load my truck and go even if I'm sawing here on the farm.

Cant hooks - 2 long ones - 48" to 60" for log handling.  Short ones 30" or so for rolling cants on the mill.  Logrite makes excellent cant hooks and peavys.  
Several plastic wedges for opening the kerf if you need to back out of a cut.  You will need these less as time goes on.
Extra water jug to fill the lube tank.  It just makes it easier than going to the spigot if it's a long way.
Blade storage and transport containers.
A 12" sheet rock knife for scraping sawdust off finished boards-sawdust left on the boards at best hides the beauty of the wood, at worst starts staining and mold/decay.
A handheld leaf blower (the back pack was a hassle) to clean the mill periodically.  
Extra tape measures - I had several in my shop.  They all seemed to migrate there or to the sawmill truck.  Seemed like I didn't have a tape where I was working.  I bought extras of a different color so some are for the mill the others are for the shop.
I usually wear an apron when sawmilling.  It just helps keep my pockets and clothes freer of sawdust.
A small framing square and a good tri square for checking cants for square and for checking mill alignment. 
A Magicman chain/hook log turner- it is essentially the hook off a cant hook attached to a chain.  It is a simple way to turn or roll a log.  Others use a tow strap.  Look in Magicman's photo gallery, there's a photo there I'm sure.
A carpenters axe or hatchet for trimmimg an odd knot or limb or for driving wedges to open the kerf to back out.
A small collection of wrenches, pliers, Allen wrenches etc for quick repairs or adjustments.  I have a small orange toolbox that goes where the mill goes.
Anchorseal or similar product for end sealing logs and lumber.

Ten blades is a good start.  My suggestion would be get smaller numbers of blades in different profiles- maybe 5 of one and 5 of another (4, 7, 9, 10 degree).  That way you can try different profiles until you know what works best for your sawing needs.  When you purchase your mill talk with them about what species you will be sawing, they will be able to recommend what works with their mill.

As a general rule, you are correct that building fine furniture with air dried lumber is a bad idea if the item will move inside to a heated and air conditioned space.  At its best the moisture content of air dried lumber will be somewhere around 12-15%.  As mentioned above, you can get to the ideal 7-9%  by moving well dried lumber indoors prior to use.   

Again welcome!
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline Vender

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2018, 02:35:20 PM »
You will absolutely need a cant hook:  Standard Series Cant Hook - Logrite Tools LLC

I favor the 60".  Contact Tammy and tell her that the Forestry Forum sent you.
Wood handle?  I have a metal one that I just folded in half. 

Offline Vender

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2018, 02:49:06 PM »
:)YMMV - "your mileage may vary"  just a way of saying your circumstances might produce different results/needs. ;)

A list of some tools/things I didn't have follow.  Some are small items and some duplicate tools in my shop but when needed they are irreplaceable.  You might be stationary - I do mostly portable milling so most of this stuff is dedicated to the sawmill operation.  I hate having to spend time going to get tools.  I just load my truck and go even if I'm sawing here on the farm.

Cant hooks - 2 long ones - 48" to 60" for log handling.  Short ones 30" or so for rolling cants on the mill.  Logrite makes excellent cant hooks and peavys.  
Several plastic wedges for opening the kerf if you need to back out of a cut.  You will need these less as time goes on.
Extra water jug to fill the lube tank.  It just makes it easier than going to the spigot if it's a long way.
Blade storage and transport containers.
A 12" sheet rock knife for scraping sawdust off finished boards-sawdust left on the boards at best hides the beauty of the wood, at worst starts staining and mold/decay.
A handheld leaf blower (the back pack was a hassle) to clean the mill periodically.  
Extra tape measures - I had several in my shop.  They all seemed to migrate there or to the sawmill truck.  Seemed like I didn't have a tape where I was working.  I bought extras of a different color so some are for the mill the others are for the shop.
I usually wear an apron when sawmilling.  It just helps keep my pockets and clothes freer of sawdust.
A small framing square and a good tri square for checking cants for square and for checking mill alignment.
A Magicman chain/hook log turner- it is essentially the hook off a cant hook attached to a chain.  It is a simple way to turn or roll a log.  Others use a tow strap.  Look in Magicman's photo gallery, there's a photo there I'm sure.
A carpenters axe or hatchet for trimmimg an odd knot or limb or for driving wedges to open the kerf to back out.
A small collection of wrenches, pliers, Allen wrenches etc for quick repairs or adjustments.  I have a small orange toolbox that goes where the mill goes.
Anchorseal or similar product for end sealing logs and lumber.

Ten blades is a good start.  My suggestion would be get smaller numbers of blades in different profiles- maybe 5 of one and 5 of another (4, 7, 9, 10 degree).  That way you can try different profiles until you know what works best for your sawing needs.  When you purchase your mill talk with them about what species you will be sawing, they will be able to recommend what works with their mill.

As a general rule, you are correct that building fine furniture with air dried lumber is a bad idea if the item will move inside to a heated and air conditioned space.  At its best the moisture content of air dried lumber will be somewhere around 12-15%.  As mentioned above, you can get to the ideal 7-9%  by moving well dried lumber indoors prior to use.  

Again welcome!
Thank you!  Thankfully I have that tool list. I use Makitas 18v tools and they sell a 18v blower.  I HIGHLY recommend it. It sounds crazy but that little blower is probably my most used tool. I love that little blower and use it all the time. 
I have heard guys bringing wood inside to finish drying. If I can get down to 7% that will work. 
Again best forum and you all rock!  Most people would bitch me out for not searching but truly reading is next to impossible for me. Double vision. If you are curious I have bilateral Internuclear opthalmoplagia. You all just helped with information. This is really appreciated!!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2018, 06:39:46 PM »
@Vender,did you click onto one of the pictures that came up in that link? These are aluminum handles. I doubt,under normal usage,these will bend. Get someone that weighs 350 and says I will bend it.....,well that's diffeant.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Magicman

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2018, 08:08:16 PM »
You will absolutely need a cant hook:  Standard Series Cant Hook - Logrite Tools LLC

I favor the 60".  Contact Tammy and tell her that the Forestry Forum sent you.
Wood handle?  I have a metal one that I just folded in half.
It was not a Logrite.  ;D
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Vender

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2018, 09:38:48 PM »
@Vender,did you click onto one of the pictures that came up in that link? These are aluminum handles. I doubt,under normal usage,these will bend. Get someone that weighs 350 and says I will bend it.....,well that's diffeant.
I did. Time for a good one. Thank you. 

Offline MAF143

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2018, 11:42:25 PM »
We have a HM 126 with the 9.5 hp engine.  We saw almost exclusively hardwoods and my neighbor saws old oak barn beams.  We use 7 degree blades and can't complain.  The smaller motor works fine for us since we aren't out to set production records.  It starts pretty easy also, no harder than our push mower.  We didn't much care for the 10 degree blade that came on the mill.  We bought Woodmizer 9 degree blades and when I sharpen them I grind them to the 7 degree setting and it seems to work best on the hardwoods.  I have an egraver and mark each blade when they are sharpened to keep records of the times sharpened and set, etc...  Figure out how you are going to handle your blades so you have a plan on keeping them sharp.  I'm a blade changer...  If I even think it might be starting to get dull, CHANGE IT.

Welcome to the world of owning a sawmill.  We got ours because we have 63 acres of woods and hate to see any of it go to waste.  We will have it commercially timbered when it is ready, but the cullings and smaller stuff works for most of our lumber needs around the farm here.

That EZ boardwalk Jr. looks like a pretty good set up too.  
Always having a great day!
041 farm boss, MS 391, MS 250, HM-126, Ferguson TO-35, '97 Ram 1500 wood cuttin' truck, splitter, Woodland Mills Grindlux 4000 sharpener, Vogelzang Ponderosa keeping us warm

Offline Vender

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Re: Purchasing my first sawmill
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2018, 01:25:31 PM »
Im with you on a sharp blade. Im the same way with my chainsaws.

OK I am ready to order my Woodland Mills HM126.
I am going with the bigger motor. I like HP.
ANYTHING you can suggest before I push the button?
Discount codes??


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