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Author Topic: Power Options  (Read 1103 times)

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Offline Pete1959

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Power Options
« on: November 05, 2018, 10:42:12 AM »
Starting to make decisions about purchasing a sawmill with a partner who owns a tree cutting service. Sawmill will be stationary and will be partially enclosed to protect from Midwest weather. Looking for advice on the power options offered by most of the popular “portable” sawmill manufacturers. Gas, diesel, or electric power? Looking to mill max of 36” logs. Thanks in advance. Learning a lot from the forum!

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 11:11:33 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, Pete1959!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline muggs

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 07:49:17 PM »
Pete if you go with electric, it should save you some money.    Muggs

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 07:53:37 PM »
I thought about going electric but my mill is so far off the road it was gonna cost a bundle to run 3 phase to it.
So I went with gas and finally diesel. I should have went to diesel to begin with.
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 08:35:40 PM »
Electric is the best option, if you have the 3 phase supply available, or can get it connected for a sensible price. 

Cheaper running, less maintenance, more reliable and better torque curve from the motor. 

Otherwise diesel.

Gas engine is usually the cheapest option, hence it being common, but it's not the best.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline muggs

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 08:38:00 PM »
I thought about going electric but my mill is so far off the road it was gonna cost a bundle to run 3 phase to it.
So I went with gas and finally diesel. I should have went to diesel to begin with.
How big a bundle was that Poston? That is why I build large single phase motors just to get around that issue.  Muggs

Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 09:39:54 PM »
Another thing to consider is if the mill will be run every day? One upside that diesel has over electric is if for some reason the mill isn't producing it's not costing you anything to sit there. With electric there is always a monthly bill. 
Woodmizer lt40 super remote 42hp Kubota diesel. Accuset II
Hydraulics everywhere
Traverse 6035 telehandler
WM bms250 sharpener
WM bmt250 setter
and a lot of back breaking work!!

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 10:06:11 PM »
For stationary, I’d go electric, then Diesel, then gas.  I’d also go with a phase converter if three phase wasn’t available.  If nothing more to save on noise.  I have a diesel and it gets old hearing it roar all day long.  
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 10:16:06 PM »
How big a bundle was that Poston?   Muggs
A little over 3000 bucks but cheaper if they went through my dads house but he needs a place to live.
The distanced was about 225 yards.

But what I spent on my 2 Kohler engines I could have had 3 phase.

If you ever think you may wanna travel and saw or just move your mill outside to saw.....
I would think about the diesel.
But the electric motor would be nice and quite. 
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 10:29:10 PM »
That is why I build large single phase motors just to get around that issue


Muggs - how big of a single phase motor can you build?
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2018, 10:31:08 PM »
I would agree with the electric if it's feasible as all the new diesels are going to Tier 4 emission control  and that brings a whole new degree of complication with it.    
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2018, 10:33:53 PM »
A little over 3000 bucks


Back in '04 I was quoted just over $100K to run 3 phase to our shavings plant - distance was under 300 yards, 1000 amp service - cash up front, no pay over time option, and if anyone else in the future tapped into the line we would get "something back".  I bought a big diesel generator and fed it fuel instead, turned out to be cheaper that way all around.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 08:26:41 AM »
We built a new barn and the closest utility pole was 300 yards away. Just for a single phase line we were quoted over 
$20,000. Things are getting out of hand.
Woodmizer lt40 super remote 42hp Kubota diesel. Accuset II
Hydraulics everywhere
Traverse 6035 telehandler
WM bms250 sharpener
WM bmt250 setter
and a lot of back breaking work!!

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 09:23:17 AM »
The power company here will put up to 750ft of pole and 1ph lines to a meter socket for free.  Its $2/ft therafter.  What a deal.  


I have a 10hp 3ph lathe and compressor to run in addition to all the other smaller 3ph stuff so it was generator or sell it all.  Got a 500hr onan with a 4cyl deere diesel for $1200 thats just big enough to run any one thing i have.  Will convert it to waste vegetable oil and start collecting battery bank when the shop is built.  Charging up the house gives me a good excuse to tell the wife im going out to run the lathe for a bit, meaning ill see you tonight hunny.  And no i didnt hear you calling over the sound of that sweet generator drowning your noises out.  In years to come, i intend to play deaf because of it.    ;D
Revelation 3:20

Offline muggs

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 02:12:16 PM »
That is why I build large single phase motors just to get around that issue


Muggs - how big of a single phase motor can you build?
Right now I am running a 20 hp motor on a 100 amp service. The limit is probably around 30 hp. But keep in mind, electric is around double the hp compared to a similar gas engine. For those considering having 3 phase brought in. Be sure to ask about demand and minimum monthly fees. Different power companys ,  different rules.   Muggs ::)

Offline waho

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 03:38:34 PM »
Muggs, are you running this on 110V? From what I found running a 20hp on 230V takes around 80amps.

Offline muggs

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2018, 04:02:08 PM »
Muggs, are you running this on 110V? From what I found running a 20hp on 230V takes around 80amps.
No it has to be 240V. It pulls 76 amps on 240 full load. The biggest motor to be run on 110V is around 3 hp. And that really is not a good idea. I have a dyno. I put a 3 hp single phase motor on it. On 240 V It put out the full 3 hp. On 110 V it put out 2.3 hp. Voltage drop. :embarassed:

Offline maple flats

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2018, 08:14:11 PM »
I'm hearing some good prices for single phase grid power. Here the utility only runs 100' for free, after that for a 200A service they charged me at my sugarhouse in 2012 $8000, to run 1 pole, 250' (past their 100' free) and a transformer, meter socket and all. We had to run 240' more from the pole to the meter, underground in conduit, using 350 MCM wire. All for a 200A service. Now, with my solar power they charge me about $24 each month line charge for me to send them power, which in turn is credited to my home electric bill.
I think their charge per foot was $8.50/foot back then.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 08:17:12 PM »
Muggs - 

Do you sell motors?  I have a spot where a 15HP electric would work very well.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline killamplanes

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Re: Power Options
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2018, 08:24:22 PM »
I have a tk b-20 220v 10hp, 3hp for hydros. 60 amp breaker of 200 amp service. Not a powerhouse but it takes alot of hours and loads of logs to get a 100$ electric bill. If power flickers in a lightning storm mill would shut of. By that time I'm already in the house!!
jd440 skidder, western star w/grapple,tk B-20 hyd, electric, stihl660,and 2X661. and other support Equipment, pallet manufacturing line


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