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Author Topic: Looking to look at some sawmills  (Read 3312 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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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

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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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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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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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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2019, 09:59:20 AM »
500 hours on an lt40, ain't broke in good. Mine has 8200 hrs, I know of one locally with over 17,000 hrs on it, still in use. The biggest killer is rust from caked on wet sawdust. Keep it clean. Gas engines are usually good for 4-5 thousand hrs, diesel maybe twice that. Electric motors, don't think you can wear one out. At 8000 hrs, I have gone through a bunch of belts and a few bearings and brushes, swapped the motor out at 5500. On hydraulic woodmizers, the shortest life major item is the 12 volt motors that drive the hydraulic pump. Repair is not a problem, any good automotive starter shop or replacement from woodmizer. Go for the hydraulics if you can. I've had both, so speaking from experience.
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Offline John S

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2019, 10:37:34 AM »
I am on my third Woodmizer, an LT40 Wide(not for sale).  I am in Sussex County near Stokes State Forest.  You are welcome to stop by for a demo anytime that weather permits.
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Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2019, 05:37:39 PM »
Went to take a look at that LT40 today.  It is a non-hydro one, but I spent about 2 hours chatting with the guy selling and learned a lot so that was great.

It's looking like a hydro mill is not going to be in the budget unless I find an unreal deal.
I am on my third Woodmizer, an LT40 Wide(not for sale).  I am in Sussex County near Stokes State Forest.  You are welcome to stop by for a demo anytime that weather permits.
John S, thank you for the offer.  I'll be in touch to take you up on that offer.


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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2019, 06:42:55 PM »
Budgets can change (save more, find a way to make more).  The decision to go manual or hydraulic came down to a couple specific factors for me.  1)I wanted the Woodmizer beam planer which runs on the sawmill track but can only be used on the LT15 track.  2)Most of my milling is for beams and sometimes long beams which require the use of up to 3 track extensions.  3) Your age/physical ability is a definite factor in your choice of mill.  Turning big logs or cants by hand can be difficult, as well as wedging one end of the log when you don't have toe boards.  If they offered hydraulic turner, clamps, and toe boards on the LT15 mill as an add on option, I'd get it.  I've lived without it and have gotten by, but I am not milling to sell wood.  I'm using all my wood to build.  Hydraulics would be much faster and greater output, but when it comes to beams, most are not using a lot of extensions on hydraulic mills.  Hydraulic mills (which include power feed) excel at making boards and lumber of normal sizes without using extensions.  So If you're making boards, lumber, or slabbing smaller logs, Hydraulic would be the way to go.  If you're getting on the older side, hydraulic is the way to go as manual moving will get old fast.  Just handling the sawn material is enough of a work out.  
Also, make lumber air drying pallets right from the start to stack your wood on.  I learned the hard way and had to do all the work of restacking recently.  Have pallets for 4, 6, 8feet, and if you need longer.  Organization and proper stacking and stickering of your lumber will help keep from having to restack it one or two additional times.
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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2019, 06:56:19 PM »
Brad speaks the truth....

Stretch to buy the greatest capability/capacity in a mill you can afford.  Otherwise you have an option, use support equipment to handle logs and cants or use your back.  I know which one I'd choose.....
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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2019, 09:19:35 PM »
Depends on how much you going to use the mill.
I go in the woods,cut down a tree,cut it to length,bring it to the sawmill,saw it into lumber,put what I need on to the loader arms of the tractor,the rest gets stickered,bring tractor over to where I am building,build with whatever I have on loader arms,when done, go back into woods to get another log and start all over again. Most of you hyd guys saw in a week,takes me a year to saw. I'm a slow builder. ;D  Than I would of gone with hyds. But I wanted a mill that I have moveable bunks,I can cut a 20 foot log,and I levered my mill only once,when I set it up about 10 years ago. I have turned some big ones on that mill and made it shake a few times.
If I was using a mill a lot and wanted some production and wanted to make money,hyds all the way. Hobby mill,manual all the way.
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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 08:41:12 AM »
Depends on how much you going to use the mill.
I go in the woods,cut down a tree,cut it to length,bring it to the sawmill,saw it into lumber,put what I need on to the loader arms of the tractor,the rest gets stickered,bring tractor over to where I am building,build with whatever I have on loader arms,when done, go back into woods to get another log and start all over again. Most of you hyd guys saw in a week,takes me a year to saw. I'm a slow builder. ;D  Than I would of gone with hyds. But I wanted a mill that I have moveable bunks,I can cut a 20 foot log,and I levered my mill only once,when I set it up about 10 years ago. I have turned some big ones on that mill and made it shake a few times.
If I was using a mill a lot and wanted some production and wanted to make money,hyds all the way. Hobby mill,manual all the way.
This makes a lot of sense to me, but maybe I'm just hearing what I want to hear.  Not looking for super high production, and I have enough flexibility in setup that I think I can do some things to make log handling a bit easier.
I had initially written off the used non-hydro LT40 I looked at because it was stretching the budget already, and I was crossing my fingers it was a hydraulic unit.  Now I'm thinking it might actually be a pretty darn good option anyhow.  In comparing with the LT15Start we would most likely buy new, I would gain the following for about $2k
21' cut length vs 11' cut length
24hp vs 14hp
electric power feed, and electric cut height adjustment
trailering ability
Hand cable winch operated log loading and turning.
Comes with about 30 blades
It's here locally right now- no delivery charge, no sales tax, no assembly.
I am thinking I could build a loading dock of sorts even with the deck of the mill to drop logs on with our tractor.  This way I wouldn't be dropping logs directly on the mill, and they would just have to be moved sideways instead of lifted onto the mill.

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2019, 09:08:00 AM »
Sideburnz, I just saw a sale on WM. LT15 6k, LT35G25 16.5k  the 35 is non hydraulic so close to the one you are looking at. Plus tax from dealer, if in a year you hang it up the 40 will give you your money back if bought right. Good luck, they do have the 35 hyd for 22.5K or LT40 26.8k also.

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2019, 09:47:30 AM »
A used hydraulic 35 would be a very good compromise on price and capacity.  They are a very good mill, and no mine is NOT for sale.   :D
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2019, 10:19:25 AM »
Sideburnz, Wood-Mizer sells the manual LT40 with different options, the best of which they called the "Logdeck Package". Basically this was all the options of a hydraulic mill operated manually. Loading arms and log turner are operated with a manual winch and toe boards are also operated manually. This option is a bit slow but also very much a back saver. If the manual LT40 you're looking at has this option it would be a sweet deal. 
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Online richhiway

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2019, 12:40:41 PM »
I recently purchased a used LT 40 with a manual log deck. It is extra work but if you are not sawing for production or others it's fine. 

Check my posts there are some videos of it.

It has the manual log turner, it works very good for large logs, it's faster to turn small ones by hand. 
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2019, 05:28:24 PM »
sideburnz,
I think that is a fine mill.You could be sawing wood in no time.I paid 8k for my 97 Lt30 in 2010,it had 300 hours on it.I have since added a lot of hyd.functions.
For 8k you could run it to see if sawing was for you and sell it for what you paid if you wanted to upgrade or felt you didn't enjoy the sawing process.
Welcome and good luck.
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline Don P

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2019, 08:55:54 PM »
 Ive ran 2 marathons and the Hood to Coast relay 3 times,
Just catchin up, Soo, on the Hood to Coast relay, did you happen to see a kid in gold lame? If you do it again, introduce yourself to my nephew :).
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2019, 01:37:52 AM »
Ive ran 2 marathons and the Hood to Coast relay 3 times,
Just catchin up, Soo, on the Hood to Coast relay, did you happen to see a kid in gold lame? If you do it again, introduce yourself to my nephew :).
Lol, the last time I ran H2C was in 2008. Its a pretty big event, at the time I believe it was limited to 12,000 runners, but some of the costume stand out for sure lol i dont have a corporate sponsor anymore, so Ive probably run my last H2C relay. It was fun though
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, l8000 Ford dump truck, hr16 Terex excavator

Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2019, 06:54:52 AM »
After a weekends worth of hemming and hawing I called early yesterday morning to commit to that used LT40.  Unfortunately it was already gone.   You snooze you lose I guess.  

The guy selling it is getting a new hydro LT40, so I'm going to head over and help him move boards and see what I can learn.  Missed out on the mill, but made a new friend so it's not all bad.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2019, 09:38:25 AM »
One option seldom mentioned is buy a manual mill, use it for a while, then buy the parts and pieces to add hydraulics. Do-able but not really practical. Better to trade up. I went that route, but with home-made hydraulics on my old wm lt40. In daily use for several years, no complaints.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2019, 10:20:19 AM »
I run a lt15 start with 14hp and have never been underpowered on cutting anything oak, pine, or cypress or even steel log stop!  I just bought a used bed section and now it will cut 14' no trouble.  I fitted mine with power feed for the @#$##@ of it to see if I could do it but with a good blade it really is easy to push the head.  As far as turning a log on the bed I thought about building a log turner but I have cant hook large and small and just a few squirts of ATF on the bunks and a log turns no sweat so I think a turner is off the drawing board.  One thing that is needed is rollers on the stops.  It does great for what I got it for my own use and not production or business.  It is perfect for my pocketbook and making the wife happy.  The log holders are simple to use and I made a bunch using old pony clamps, the screw tops hold great and the bottom slides hold the cant and keep them from sliding on the bed. I think I paid 6K from dealer new no shi

 pping.  I am impressed by woodmizer though I would change a few things Which I will do eventually.
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2019, 10:23:13 AM »

added clamps and rollers

 
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2019, 10:27:08 AM »
I see you have chain drive . Got a good pic of how that is set up.
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2019, 10:43:07 AM »
Dc Dayton 3/4hp with ac to dc converter and speed control Ebay $240, gear reducer I had, 4, 17 tooth idlers 1, 24 tooth fixed sprocket, 3/4 in shaft and two pillow blocks some pulleys # 40 roller chain and free time, started with ac motor that I would start forward and reverse but thermal protectors did not like this cycle.  At that time I had the ends of the chains connected to the head pins.  I finally figured out that you really only need to catch a ride on the chain like a cable car does so I just let the chain continually run in a channel beneath the head and engage a fixed sprocket to pull ahead and when finished with the  cut disengage and pull head back by hand (faster).  Have a on off switch on head and kill switches at each end.

 

 

 
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2019, 10:53:48 AM »
This is the setup, through the head, square tubing with hole cut it top front section, just hand fit perfectly between the bottom of main beam and top of pins chain just runs through the channel not fixed to the head in any way no rollers etc.  I just drop the sprocket down and it engages the chain and the head goes along for the ride.  Its as simple as a ten speed gear change on a bicycle.  No worry of sensors blown fuses, fried this or that just simple, keep it simple and easy to fix.

 

 

 
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline Cappy

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2019, 10:57:40 AM »
Sideburnz, I too am fairly new to the forum as well, though I do follow the conversations quite a bit. I run a Norwood HD-36 on the east coast of New Jersey, a bit south of Toms River. My mill is all manual and I use it for mostly home projects and some dinner money for the wife and I. This mill cuts 28" wide, and will handle a log about 34" in diameter at about 12' long. I've done full 28" wide cuts without any worries. I seen that you've been looking into Woodmizer and they do make excellent mills. I've researched about 20 mill companies and they all are really good in their own ways. I went with the Norwood only because it seemed to fit all the features that I was looking for. If you wanted to swing by and take a look at mine maybe even try it out, your more than welcome.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2019, 11:12:25 AM »
I was looking to buy a used manual mill or one of the really cheap new ones. Hydraulics were way out of my ballpark. Figured I'd be driving at least 5 hours if I bought a used one. I wasn't planning to mill really big logs and my dad has a tractor with loader so didn't seem like it should be a real big deal.

And then miraculously I stumbled on an old Timberking B-16 right here in town that had been sitting in the weeds for 12 or more years. It has hydraulic feed, loader, clamp and turner. Raising/lowering the head and backstops are still manual. It took a lot of work and some money to get it back in shape again but I sure do appreciate having those hydraulics.

I most appreciate the turner. I can't help but smile every time there's a 2-3000 pound log on the mill and I can roll it wherever I want. Can't imagine trying to turn them by hand. Hydraulic backstops and head up/down would be really nice too but I'll take what I can get.

I need to replace one of the lift cylinders so I've been loading logs manually with a skid loader (soon learned my dad's tractor didn't have enough lift capacity). It works but is a  little dicey. A loading deck would be nice.

If I'd gotten a small manual mill I'm sure I would have adapted and gotten along ok but having a larger hydraulic mill makes a lot more things possible. In just the little while I've been doing this I'm surprised how many logs I've sawn that have maxed out the mills capacity. With a smaller mill I either wouldn't have been milling them or spending a lot more time and effort to manually break them down beforehand.

Alan
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Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2019, 03:33:22 PM »
I run a lt15 start with 14hp and have never been underpowered on cutting anything oak, pine, or cypress or even steel log stop!  I just bought a used bed section and now it will cut 14' no trouble.  I fitted mine with power feed for the @#$##@ of it to see if I could do it but with a good blade it really is easy to push the head.  As far as turning a log on the bed I thought about building a log turner but I have cant hook large and small and just a few squirts of ATF on the bunks and a log turns no sweat so I think a turner is off the drawing board.  One thing that is needed is rollers on the stops.  It does great for what I got it for my own use and not production or business.  It is perfect for my pocketbook and making the wife happy.  The log holders are simple to use and I made a bunch using old pony clamps, the screw tops hold great and the bottom slides hold the cant and keep them from sliding on the bed. I think I paid 6K from dealer new no shi
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 pping.  I am impressed by woodmizer though I would change a few things Which I will do eventually.

Thats great to hear!  The pony clamps are a great idea, Id never have thought of it probably because its so simple.  I think were probably back to looking at the Lt15 start.  Maybe the regular lt15 if I can convince the CFO

I also kinda like the idea of making some modifications.  I like to tinker and problem solve

Offline nybhh

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2019, 05:10:38 PM »
I just "saw"  :D this thread.  My wife and I have 40 acres not too far from you in NY.  12446 zipcode, mid-Hudson Valley.
I didn't read this entire thread but I bought an LT15 start last year for the same exact reason, lots of projects, lots of trees, and didn't want all the ash to go up the chimney.  I also bought an extra track section so I can saw up to 17'-something.  I've been very happy with it and you are welcome to come take a look one weekend and even saw a few logs yourself if you want ;).  PM me if you have any specific questions or want to arrange for a visit.

I only saw for myself as a hobby and I feel like this mill is more than enough for me in that use.  If I was running a business or trying to make money at it, a hydraulic would be a no-brainer but the majority of my time is spent cleaning up after felled trees, processing firewood out of the tops, building stuff out of the lumber, etc. - NOT milling.  I basically do between one and a few trees at a time, from start to finish, and the bottle neck is not the mill but all the other upstream parts of the process.  If you have loggers delivering wood to your mill, its a different story but a faster mill is sort of a waste if you can't keep it fed.  I certainly can't by myself.
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2019, 12:59:31 PM »
nybhh, your situation reminds me of mine.  I too think hydraulics and other fancy add-ons are likely out of the question for me.  I agree that it is the lifting, moving, stacking, drying, planing, etc. etc....and no the cutting per se, that will be taking up most of my time.  Quick question;

Does the LT-15 allow you to simply push unit, rather than using crank?  I watch (and watch, lol) youtube stuff where WM guys are cranking that handle, their necks bent at a funny angle, heads down, peering into blade area, all the while trying to crank that goofy handle.  Then I saw some Norwood manual mills where the push bar is mounted on the opposite side (from where WM does their crank) and it just looks much more natural to walk and push from that side, and it appears one can actually watch the progress of the cut much more easily.  What am I missing?  I generally like the WM stuff, but for price and actual usability (for my limited needs), I sense that I could easily get along with a Norwood unit.

thanks,
tom

Offline Darrel

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2019, 10:58:11 PM »
The drive on a LT15 is done with a rope connected to the crank. Untie the rope and it pushes nicely. 
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2019, 08:17:32 AM »
Thanks Darrel.  

Offline nybhh

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2019, 04:51:28 PM »
The LT-15 Start doesn't have the crank - push only.  I was never a fan of the crank either and one of the reasons why I felt comfortable "downgrading".  Most of what I mill is pine so a few horses is less of a problem as well although I haven't had any problems with the small quantities of ash and maple I've milled.

Woodmizer LT15, Kubota L3800, Stihl MS261 & 40 acres of ticks trees.

Offline H Ray G

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2019, 08:03:37 PM »
I've only been sawing since last May and it is for my projects, using winter blow overs that have been going to waste mostly White Pine, Spruce, Fir and cedar. I have a Timbery M100 manual mill with 1 bed extension can cut 16 ft 8ins X 26 ins, up graded to 9 hp motor. I cut enough wood to build a 11' 8" X 15'8" shed cut all 2X8, 2X6, 2X4, and sheeting from 1X4,6,8 I had to haul the logs 8 miles to where I set up the mill the shed at this time is covered with tyvac and the roof is shingled. This summer I plan on using Cedar for reverse board and batten. The manual mill for me was not hard to push as long as I had a sharp blade, i need the exercise since I retired, I was not walking in the sawdust like some mills. I haul the slabes to the road and put a sign free firewood the slabes are always gone in a day. The complete mill delivered was under $4K that included tax. It took me over a year to make up my mind going to wood working shows and lumbering product shows.

Offline sideburnz

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2019, 06:15:56 PM »
Went ahead today, called up Woodmizer Shade Gap and ordered an LT-15 before the sale ends.

Looking forward to heading out and picking it up!

Offline nybhh

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2019, 06:10:54 PM »
Good call!
Woodmizer LT15, Kubota L3800, Stihl MS261 & 40 acres of ticks trees.

Offline Darrel

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2019, 07:36:05 PM »
Good deal! A LT15 is a good investment. 
1992 LT40HD

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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2019, 11:25:20 PM »
I will second that.
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2019, 09:30:09 PM »
Just got back from my trip to pick up my new mill!  Very excited about the mill, I'd have some photos, but I got back a lot later than expected...

About 70 miles from home my truck decided it no longer wanted to have any transmission fluid inside of it and ejected it all over I-78  :'(

I made the last 70 miles of the trip with my truck on a rollback, and the mill towed behind on my trailer.  Super glad I had my AAA card with me.

I'm sure glad to be home...

Offline Darrel

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2019, 09:15:03 AM »
Sorry 'bout your truck, glad you're safe and you got your mill.  Good luck getting them both running!
1992 LT40HD

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Re: Looking to look at some sawmills
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2019, 07:19:42 AM »
Thanks Darrel.  Difinately could have been worse!

Got the mill unloaded and mostly set up yesterday.  Not sure Ill be able to cut anything until we get some colder temps on Saturday.  Its a soggy mess here right now.

I wanted to give a big old thanks to everyone who posted and helped me with this decision.  Especially all of you who offered a mill demo.  I didnt make it out to see most of you,
But I still appreciated the offer a lot!


 

 


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