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Author Topic: Is there anybody out there?  (Read 4272 times)

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Offline Mobilesawyer

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Is there anybody out there?
« on: November 03, 2003, 10:07:23 AM »
Hey folks what about the Mobile Dimension sawyers out there. I presently am working with a Peterson 8Ē WPF and am interested in selling it and moving to the MD 128 or similar mill (other possibilities include the D&L Double Cut or the Mighty Might).

I have not heard much if anything from this part of the milling world on this or other forums. The band blade fraternity seems to be the strongest group and in their numbers the Orangemen (and women) represent the majority. The other side of the field (I am amongst their numbers) are the upstart swingers. The numbers in this group are growing steadily. There are even a few who have both systems. Yet those who own the twin blade or 90 degree systems donít seem to have much to say about  the merits of these mills or why they chose them. I for one am very interested in learning from you first hand if these mills truly are able to produce the numbers claimed by their manufacturers, the ups and the downs of this type of mill, and any warnings you might want to pass along about buying a used mill.

Hey variety is the spice of life, what type of mill is better band, swing  or twin. I know this topic has been run up the flag pole before but I donít recall any comments from the twin saw folks. :-X

Another conversational bone I thought I would throw into this forum is What Up with the folks over at IS&WM magazine. They are still highlighting their May Ė June issue on their web page. Talk about your stale information. The magazine is great and the articles for the most part are well written and well targeted but to allow your web site to be so out of date is inexcusable. The sawmill community is very computer and more importantly Internet literate and forgetting about this medium is only going to hurt them long term. Hey guys take a hint from how inactive your forums and classified sections are. ???

Offline D._Frederick

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2003, 10:49:36 AM »
Mobile,
I think that it can be safely said that blade mills will out saw the 1 1/4 band mills. The main draw back is the kurf, the two saw mills throw a one inch board into the sawdust every 3 cuts.  With wood going for $1/bdft and up, this adds up quick. If you use them for making cants and then resawing with a band, they would add a lot of bdft production. Mighty Mite have mills with diesel engines in the 100-120hp range that with there log and lumber handling equipment can saw 10-20M bdft/day. The problem is that you are looking at over 100K for this set up. THey sell these mill to the big lumber companies to break down big logs now that they have converted to 2nd growth. The swing mill are for the young guys, there is just too much walking/running for each board. I think that they are on the lite side for on site sawing on an every day basis.

Offline DanG

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2003, 11:22:25 AM »
Hey, Mobile. We've had plenty to say about our MD mills. Much of it is sorta buried in some of the threads about swingers.
I have a '86 model 128, and I'm very pleased with it. I chose it because I had used one before, and had been fascinated with it for years. It is a very durable machine, and simple to operate. The design is "low-tech" so there isn't a lot of complex and unique hardware to break, or fix. Mine is mounted on a trailer, so the size logs I can handle is limited, but still larger than most bandmills. I could remove it from the trailer and cut any size log, but would give up my portability, somewhat.  You can saw an entire log standing at the operator's station, as the machine brings the finished product back to you.
The MD is what I would consider a "production" machine, capable of good numbers, IF you keep the blade in the wood. To do this, you need some support equipment. I have an old forklift that I handle logs and lumber with. It enables me to spend more time sawing wood, and less(none) figuring out how I'm gonna get that next log on the mill. The mill can cut a lot more lumber than I can stack, so production is more than adequate, and this is with the mill doing most of the offbearing work for me. :)  With a helper or two, I don't think the manufacturer's figures are far off.
I wouldn't be afraid of the used machine. Most things are pretty obvious, and easy to tell if they are in good shape. The MD folks are great to work with, prompt with their shipping, and reasonable with their prices for replacement parts. What more could you ask?
If the mill you purchase doesn't have the larger, single edger option, I recommend purchasing it. I don't have it yet, but will add it soon. It will give you a lot better flexibility in planning your cuts and maximizing the quality of your product. The double edger setup is great for speed, but limits you to a 4" horizontal cut. The single allows you to cut over 8" horizontally, while you can cut 12"+ vertically with both setups.
I just finished rebuilding my engine, and expect to be sawing again very shortly. I did my own mechanicing, and saved a wad of cash, but it took me a long time and I probably could have made out better to just let MD do it for me. If I were making a living with it, the latter option would be a no brainer.
I watched the bandmills work, once again, at Moultrie. They made me even gladder I chose the Mobile Dimension Saw. :)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline KURT_STURZ

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2003, 12:52:33 PM »
Hey Mobile,
You had mentioned your interest in the D&L Double Cut mills. I had written to them and asked for their brochures and lititure. I am very impressed with the double cut swing blades on a stationary frame like I am used to. I think this would be the hot set-up. I'm not familar with swing blade and maintenance costs vs. the band blade world. I too would like to hear from anyone out there who is operating a D&L outfit.
Kurt
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Offline Paul_H

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2003, 04:18:35 PM »
Mobile,
I have an old 127(circa 1979) that mills D- fir for the local builders market here.The tie market we had last year has dried up,too bad, it helped pay the bills.

I found a couple of links to past threads for you,but if you dig into past pages you will find plenty of good info on MD's and every other thing related to food and milling.
MD Thread

More MD

eg  tregar  meste  pŚ  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2003, 06:46:15 PM »
I agree with D._Frederick on the resaw.I have milled alot of 1" stock this year for flooring,siding and fencing and am sure production would be improved as well as yield if the MD took out cants to be resawn later.The MD makes short work of big logs and their dragback has had no problem with 7x10 x20' cants and their simple roller stand accessories allows them to be handled and stacked by one person.(Douglas Fir)

Noble told me about his Go Fast resaw,and I sent away for their video and also got a package from Baker on their ABX.

Both will cut bevel siding,and appear to be well built.A resaw will probably be my next purchase.
eg  tregar  meste  pŚ  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2003, 08:19:56 PM »
Hello, Mobile.  I have two Model 128s :)I would not change for any other mill that is on the market today, other than a much, much updated version of a 128, or even a 129, like Steve has in the Islands. 8) I am on the verge of purchasing a third MD 128.  The wife even said it was ok, yesterday morning. and she has not yet changed her mind.  What a woman, I have. 8) 8) 8) 8)
Frank Pender

Offline DanG

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2003, 08:39:21 PM »
Another thing that impresses me about MD is that they did it right the first time. I got my first look at a new one at Moultrie, a couple of weeks ago, and I had to look close to tell the differences from my '86 model. This design is so solid, that it is still competetive with the best of all the portables that have evolved over the years with one redesign after the other. There is really very little difference from the 127 to the 128 models. I understand there is a new model in the works that is inlarged to accommodate a pair of the larger edger blades, but the basic design will be the same.
While it is true that the kerf is a bit on the fat side, I can pluck that extra 2x4 out of the top and side slabs without having to re-handle or re-edge it. While my sawdust pile may be bigger, there ain't much to my slab pile. :)
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Offline oakiemac

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2003, 05:50:10 AM »
Hey Mobile,
I bought a used MD this spring. I got it at a fantastic price since it was part of an estate and the kids just wanted rid of the thing. I had to do alot of cosmetic work (painting) because they had left it outside for 3-4 years. Fortunately the engine was put in the garage.
I have never ran a band mill so I won't comment on them except to say that I never have to worry about wavy boards! I did a lot of research before I bought the MD. Bottom line is that I wanted a saw that needed only one person (me) to run since my son is in school and other activitys most of the time. I need no off bearer! All the lumber comes back to me, already edged and if it is 5/4 thick and 6" wide at one end of the board, it'll b 5/4X6" at the other-every time.
Two options I want to get are the electric motor to lower and raise the setworks, and like Dang said, I want the larger bottom edger blade. It allows you to quarter saw and cut bigger cants.
I'm not sure the kerf issue is all that important, because I can recover boards from the slabs that a band mill would just throw away. The one thing I wish the MD's had was a hydraulic log loader like some of the band mills have. I bought a fork tractor from ElectricAl that does the job, but when I'm at a customers site, I have to load them with winch and ramps.
Oakie
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Offline Mobilesawyer

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2003, 06:24:36 PM »
Hi Guys:

Sorry I had to step away from the computer for the last few days to mill up some beams and cedar siding for the 40x50 Coverall barn I will using as a mill house.

Ok D. Fredrick so I get the point, you are really happy with your band mill and you are determined to prove that you made the right decision and the rest of us didnít. First of all if we cut a ľ inch kerf  (and the teeth on my mill take 3/16)  then consider that when what ever mill takes the  first cut off the log that is our starting point, Now at ľ of an inch kerf per pass it would take four passes to lose 1 inch to saw dust. In reality the first five passes would equal 1 inch lost to saw dust or ľ inch per layer of boards depending on the size of the logs. The saw kerf issue has been argued to death, and frankly when you consider the above and that there is no porpoising (yes like the swimming mammal) of the blade we really are arguing very tiny fractions of an inch not he quarter mile you make it sound like. As for them looking like they are on the lite side I must ademit they are a little airy but you must remember that they do not have to carry the log on a carriage system but instead the logs lay on the ground.  The other really cool thing about the Peterson is that it is made primarily of either aluminum or stainless steel (no rust). Again we could argue both sides and still not agree. I will agree with anyone who would say that the two swing manufacturers are sorely missing a real dogging system. They leave their clients looking for some effective way of holding small or light logs. The dogging system should be included with the mill and I as a client should not have to design it.

DanG old buddy Iíve seen the name pop up on a variety of threads and am glad to hear you are an MD owner and proud of it. I have to admit the 128 is the apple of my eye. Although what is this I hear about the 129. Is Mobile Manufacturing talking about the new model yet? As for your setup you said that you are on a trailer, is it the factory trailer? I would love to buy a new rolling mill with 4 foot end stands but ouch the cost. How hard would you think it would be to weld up a worthy set of wheels?

Kurt the D&L doublecut mill is one sweet looking mill and I was a simple stroke of the pen away from owning one. I must have watched the video Lindsey Flett sent me 100 times. So why didnít I buy it? Well a couple of things; first I am not convinced that the second 5 hp. motor used to drive the power head up and down the carriage by friction was better than a hydraulic drive system. Second every time we spoke there were new costs to consider. Like shipping, now if you decide that you are going to live so far back in the bush that you have to come out to hunt than you are going to some how have to compensate for the added cost of shipping from your manufacturing facility, and what is a dock fee please. Anyway if you can wade through and not be insulted by some of these condiment charges it may well be a good mill. They did not show very well at the shoot out this year, in fact the mill I am selling to gain production speed more than tripled the board foot per hour scores achieved by the D&L.

Hey Paul those threads were cool I appreciate the prospective of the MD millers. Thanks. Although I did not anticipate wanting a band resaw quite yet but seeing what is down the road canít be all bad but letís not tell my wife just yet

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2003, 07:13:54 PM »
Oh no,no,no Mobile.I don't think D-Fredrick was touting bandmills and putting down circles.Check out some of the circle saw threads and you'll see he has a lot of experience on both types of saws.

Circle saw link
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Offline Mobilesawyer

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2003, 07:36:01 PM »
I stand corrected.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2003, 07:40:53 PM »
OK,I won't tell your wife about your pending resaw purchase.

For now. ;)
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Offline DanG

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2003, 08:21:24 PM »
You could build a trailer for a MD saw, but I'm sure you could more than pay for the trailer by sawing, in less time.  I have heard that the 129 is in the works, but don't have an ETA for it, and don't know what all enhancements it will have, other than the larger, twin edgers.  Frankly, I don't use the top edger very much, anyway, so that feature wouldn't be worth a whole lot of bucks to me.
I chose mine for 2 reasons:  The first was the aforementioned fascination I had always had for this concept. The second was that it was absolutely the most mill I could buy for the money. I paid $9000 for it, and the cheapest automated band mill I could find, at the time was going for $16,500, and was a lot further away.  I did blow the engine, but that was my own fault, and probably would have happened with a brand new one. I have now read the owner's manual. ::)
BTW, the "Shootout" is a joke, imho. Give the teams equal logs and a day's sawing to do, and the results will be vastly different.
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Offline D._Frederick

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2003, 10:58:10 PM »
 Sorry I didn't proof read my entry no. 1 very well. I had ment to say that the circle blade mills will out cut the 1 1/4 inch band mills most any time. The Mighty Mite and the MD mills have kurf of 3/8 inch  on the MM and the MD is 5/16, three cuts on these mill is an inch in my book. These two mill will turn out a lot of lumber in a day with support equipment and also a big pile of sawdust. I have  seen the swing blade mills operate at shows for a number of years, with two people and big logs they turn out a a big stack of lumber in a short time. If you are approaching retirement age (65), (in my state of health),it would not be my choice.  Band milIs with hydraulics are less physical to operate and have a little more safely factor.  I would also look at Double Cut and Brand X, they have a lot of steel, and should handle a lot of abuse in on site operations. There are a of ways to hack a piece of lumber out of a log and now they all cost big buck.

Offline duke401

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2003, 11:34:55 PM »
   i have a D+L sycro saw, the saw i have is limited to a 8 by 6 cant. which is fine with me.
 i built a band last winter an after useing it for a while i could see it wasnt for me, i can cut the whole log an never turn it. sharpen twice a day say 7 min. total an run 30,000 bf an pop the teeth out an go again six in each blade.
  shippage is a problem but it works
  i dont saw for a living so my needs may be diffrent, than others but i will NEVER go back to bands full time. i would like to have a wm to resaw some cants some day.
  the friction drive works good simple, i have had no problem with it at all. lets all the hp at the saw stay there.
  the saw as a hole is very simple easy to use but then again i dont saw for a living,
  at this point i would not trade it for enything that i have see so far in it price range.
duke

Offline oakiemac

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2003, 05:38:29 AM »
Hey DanG, how did you blow your engine???
Inquirying minds want to know :)
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Offline KURT_STURZ

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2003, 06:00:14 AM »
Duke,
Thanks for your reply. From everything I've seen the D&L looks the the saw to beat. I know you WM guys bleed orange, and you MD guys think you've got it right, but I'll bet the D&L will make more money at the end of the day. My next step will be a D&L.
Kurt
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Offline DanG

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2003, 06:31:38 AM »
It involved several factors, Oakie, not the least of which was my own stupididity. :-[  I was cutting some SYP that had been down for a while. It gets real stringy and tough at some point, and this was at that point. The logs were dirty, with lots of sand on them, and I didn't clean them well enough, so they dulled the teeth right away. I was taking a 2x4 horizontally, so the bottom edger was in as deep as it would go. The teeth grabbed and pulled the blade into the log too far and jammed everything up. Here's where the stoopid part comes in; I sez "I can force my way through this mess."  So I backed off and hit it again, and then again until I got through it. When the saw got back to me, it was spurting oil out the filler tube. Turned out a rod bearing had given up the fight.
I must have had the belts too tight, too. I would think they should slip before you damage the engine. ???
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline oakiemac

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Re: Is there anybody out there?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2003, 04:24:04 PM »
DanG,
that's DanG scary since just today I tightened mine up because I thought they were slipping too much. :(
Mobile Demension sawmill, Bobcat 873 loader, 3 dry kilns and a long "to do" list.


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