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Author Topic: Looking to look at some sawmills  (Read 3309 times)

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Offline sideburnz

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Looking to look at some sawmills
« on: January 03, 2019, 07:54:27 AM »
New member here.  My wife and I are looking into getting a mill to use at our place.  We live on a woodlot that consists of probably 50% or 60% ash.  The emerald ash borer is here, and it seems that we could make better use of some of these trees than just cutting for firewood.  We would probably use most of the wood for projects ourselves.  Possibly sell some, although I'm guessing there is going to be a serious surplus of ash lumber in the coming years which might make that not worth the trouble.


There is an old asphalt tennis court on the property that seems like the perfect place to put the mill and air dry lumber as it's still relatively flat and stable.  We have Ford 4000 industrial loader backhoe for log moving, so I think for the most part we're pretty well equipped aside from the actual mill.

We're looking at mills like the LT15start, Norwood LM29, Woodland Mills HM126 and EZ Boardwalk Junior.  My question isn't so much about which one we should buy as that seems to have been covered here many times, and with many differing opinions.  I'm guessing any of those would probably serve our purposes anyhow.

What I'm wondering if there is anyone with a mill of these sizes and types in our area that would be willing to let us take a look and maybe give us a little mill tour so we could see some mills in person, and maybe get an idea of our unknown unknowns at this point.  We live in West Central New Jersey, generally in the New Hope/Lambertville area.  Happy to trade cookies, or move boards in exchange.

Thanks,
Matt

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 08:16:51 AM »
sideburnz,welcome to the forum.
Thomas Bandsaw Mill in Maine would be another one for you to look at.
There will be a woods expo in Bangor ME in May. All sorts of sawmills will be there. Probably other shows will be closer to you. :) Have fun!!!
You will need a Logrite cantdog or a peavey to turn logs. Sponsor on the left. They will be at the Bangor show too. Made in the USA and nice people!!!
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Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 09:55:22 AM »
Thanks, I'll look into the Thomas Mills.  And I'm sure a nice long peavey would be useful cutting firewood as well.

Offline Southside

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 10:28:21 AM »
Welcome to the Forum. Don't be afraid to look at used mills too, especially those with hydraulics. Sawmilling is hard work, running a manual mill even harder. It would be time well spent to visit both a manual mill and a hydraulic mill for a day so you can have a real world understanding of the difference and evaluate your needs with first hand experience.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 10:47:10 AM »
SideB,

  Welcome to FF. I'd suggest you look at the WoodMizer site. There are a number of Pro-sawyers listed under the Services Tab under the Find a Local Sawyer. If any are close to you I'd give them a call and see if you can come offbear and observe. I suspect all are hydraulic mills but as mentioned you may find a good used hydraulic mill. The principles of milling are the same whether you manually turn and clamp or use the mills hydraulics.

  Good luck.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2019, 11:10:59 AM »
Welcome. 

I also highly recommend giving used mills a serious look. I bought my Wood-Mizer LT40 used.  It's hydraulic and didn't cost that much more than a new LT15. Repair/upkeep costs have been minimal. Hydraulics have been a real back saver that I would have had to forego had I bought a new mill. Just my $0.02 worth of advice. 

Please post pictures of the mill you choose. 

Oh, one more reason to buy a used mill is so that some of us can afford to upgrade. The guy I bought my mill from upgraded to a LT70 Super. 

8)
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Offline opticsguy

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 11:20:50 AM »
My experience with Timber King has always been excellent.  They could provide you with owners close to your area and of course they make a great saw!!
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Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 02:11:18 PM »
Thanks for the tips.

I've not found too much in the way of used mills in the area.  

I also wouldn't know what to look at when evaluating a used mill.  I'd hate to spend just a little more for a mill that is a lot better on paper, but totally beat since I don't know what wears or what to watch out for.  

There is an LT40 for sale nearby, for what seems like a reasonable price.  I supposed I could go check it out if you all can give me anything I ought to be on the lookout for.

Thanks again!
MAtt

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 02:43:03 PM »
I have a Tiber King 2000.  It is a good mill and I bought it because they are made in Kansas City.  I went to see how they are made, and I have a great relationship with staff in the office.   There are several high quality brands that are also sponsors of this forum.  I imagine they are all good quality and offer great support, but I only have experience with TK.  Matt is my guy there and you can tell him Doc told you to call.  If you are buying new, I would check all the main brands.  They can all give you names and number of people with their mill near you.  The used mill may be a good experience and see if he will run it for you.  Prices have gone up and you may get more mill for your money.

Offline Southside

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 03:09:48 PM »
As mentioned there are several very good brands out there.  I deal a lot with Timber Kings sister company Wood Master on my down stream equipment and they are excellent.  You are only about three hours east of @MartyParsons who is a member on here and the Wood Mizer dealer closest to you.  He would be a good one to reach out to for questions and such and won't steer you wrong.   
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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 05:56:14 PM »

I also wouldn't know what to look at when evaluating a used mill.  I'd hate to spend just a little more for a mill that is a lot better on paper, but totally beat since I don't know what wears or what to watch out for.  
Member Electric Al posted this video on YouTube a few years ago, you may find it useful.



I think the information provided would be useful no matter which brand of used mill you're looking at. 
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Offline WLC

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 06:11:12 PM »
I know, as has already been mentioned, about Woodmizers pro sawyer network, but if you can't find someone here on the site close enough you may want to contact the individual manufacturers of the mills you are considering and see if they could put you in touch with an owner that is near enough to you.  
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Offline tacks Y

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 06:51:43 PM »
I bought a used mill also and happy with it. The last time I asked ash was selling for good money. Shipping to China. I hope to cut mine to sell if the price is still good and it dries up here. 

Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 09:32:58 PM »

I also wouldn't know what to look at when evaluating a used mill.  I'd hate to spend just a little more for a mill that is a lot better on paper, but totally beat since I don't know what wears or what to watch out for.  
Member Electric Al posted this video on YouTube a few years ago, you may find it useful.



I think the information provided would be useful no matter which brand of used mill you're looking at.
Thanks, this was a big help.  I think I may make contact and go take a look at the LT 40 for sale locally.  It's advertised as having about 550hours on it, I have no idea how that adds up for a mill.  Almost new, or getting on in age?
I had not considered a hydraulic mill to be necessary for us, but after hearing so many suggestions I'm second guessing myself.  Just to get some idea, where does the hydraulic mill help out the most?  Loading logs or turning cants?  I don't know if this makes any difference, but most of our trees are in the 18" diameter range.
Thanks again,
Matt

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 09:45:05 PM »
all the lifting turning and rolling up and down the rails in under power.  might hold value longer.  I think for production would be better.  log loading and turning, toeboards and log stops, gantry movement all hydraulic.  I would think safer since to stay in one spot at the back of the mill.  watch the videos.  manual might a way to start while you are young.  I choose the b 2000 cause it will mill big logs but not as fast as the biggest, but has all the setworks ect.  You can mill by yourself and get good production

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2019, 09:58:47 PM »
If the mill hasn't been beat to death, 550 hours is not much.  Difference between a manual mill and a hydraulic mill would be: probably 3 to 4 times the production with the hyd, and not having to take a muscle relaxer when you go to bed.  Banjo 
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Offline Southside

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2019, 11:28:16 PM »
550 hours on a LT40 hydraulic has had three oil changes if the factory schedule was followed to give you a reference.  I have always used an hour of machine time to be the same as 50 to 60 miles on a vehicle, so that would be in the 30,000 mile range on a vehicle.  

For me the difference between a manual vs a hydraulic mill would have been giving up and selling my mill if it was only manual, or keeping it as just a once in a while hobby instead of a decent part of my income.  I am not putting manual mills down, several members on here started with them and have done very well, but in my case I am glad I was talked out of buying one.  
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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 06:37:56 AM »
     Near the top of this page is a drop down menu called "extras."  Under that is a "Finda-Data-Base"
That lists various services in various places, including several in New Jersey.  You might have a look at that to find people to talk to.
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 07:28:34 AM »
For the hobby sawyer with a machine for log management, a manual mill is plenty. I have had my Norwood LM2000 since 02'. Are there times I wish I had hydraulics? Sure! but with a 60" Logrite peavey I can get the job done.

By the way, Logrite makes the best peavey's I have ever used. I now have 3. I think it's the single most important piece of support equipment after my skid steer with grapple.

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2019, 07:41:47 AM »
Welcome to the forum! I started with a manual mill and learned a lot. Besides the obvious of the heavy work like loading and turning logs. The thing that stood out the most for me going hydraulic was how many trips walking around the mill it saved. Ive ran 2 marathons and the Hood to Coast relay 3 times, so Im not afraid of a little foot work by any means and I like being able to adjust side supports, roller toe boards, load log, turn log, and clamp the log from one place. As for the 550 hours on a used machine, I believe there are a few guys on here who have over 10k  on there machines. Keep us posted, its an exciting adventure buying a mill...
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