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Author Topic: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?  (Read 6390 times)

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Offline Ianab

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 04:09:45 AM »
Depends how serious the hit is. A bit of soft fence wire or a small nail it will probably breeze through.

You might take the edge of the carbides, and need to stop and give it a serious sharpening from a nail or 2.

Or worst case you will bust some carbide tips right off, and need to swap blades for your spare(s).  It costs me $40 to get my blades re-tipped, but you can buy a jig and do it yourself for about $2 tip.

You can also keep sawing with a few tips missing. Heck I wondered why things were slowing down one day, think "must need a resharpen", checked the blade and only had ONE tooth left.  :D

So hitting metal on average probably has about the same effect on your pocket as it does with a band saw.

Ian
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 08:52:05 AM »
Dutchie,just about everything has been said.A swing mill would do what you want,without alot of equipment to move logs.They usally come with sharpeners.When your done it can be dismantled and stored in a garage or cellar.The only thing your giveing up with the swinger is those wide boards and there not manditory for building. Frank C.
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Offline tjhammer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 09:19:12 AM »
welcome 54dutchman

  I have two swing mills one I built and one I bought,the brand x can use 2 blade sizes I run a 8 1/2  mostely also have a 9 1/2 blade that I can double cut 19 in wide board but all the trouble wide boards bring I usually stay with the 8 1/2 and when I quarter saw its just a matter of changing the way the log is cut,I made a jig to weld the saw bits on the blade it takes 5 min to change a blade and no time to sharpen and like Ianab said I have finished up a log with one tooth
         tj
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 09:26:01 AM »
That's good to know, Ianab! Now all my objections to buying a swing mill have been overcome, except price.  :-[ Not to mention I don't even have enough money to buy a band mill right now.  :-[  :-\  :'( I have been using my boss's band mill and would really like to step up to something like the Peterson I looked at. It had the 8" blade (by the way, you can actually make a 16" board with an 8" cut) and it had the clip-on slabber, it had a 6" gearbox as well as the 8", and at least 2 of each size of blade, and it had the lap-siding attachment. It had both high and low track, and an optional stabilizer bar. Seems like there may have been other stuff.

What I would plan to do if I had a mill like that, would be to make a lot of 8" lumber, but also as much 10-16" as I could by going backward with the head, and also, whenever I wanted to make a bunch of wide lumber, I would finish a large log to a cant, and stick it over out of the way until I had several of them, then switch over to slabber and work through the cants.  Ultimately I would like the dedicated slabber to be able to make those cuts interchangeably. Dreaming here, but I am totally sold on the swing mill now, I just need the money to make it happen.

But it's a goal now.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2012, 09:29:54 AM »
And one more question-- I think I know the answer, but how do swing mills do in really hard wood, like oak, hickory, persimmon, not to mention whatever hardwoods those of you in other countries have? I know the entry level band mill I use struggles more and more the harder the wood is.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 09:57:29 AM »
I watched Meadows Miller (Chris) saw a Red Oak log at our "Chickin Crispin" last year.  I do not believe that those blades would know the difference in hardness between any of the species.
 

 
Chris used the sawmill's built in sharpener to do a touch up on the teeth before sawing.  Jonnywood from Columbia, Tn. looks on.
 

 
And then made short work of the Red Oak log.
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Offline Nomad

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2012, 10:27:17 AM »
     Last log I milled with my Lucas 10-30 was a hickory about 16' long and roughly 34".  The owner wanted 2x8s.  It was slower than cutting pine.  But it was still faster than my 2 offbearers!
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Offline zopi

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2012, 10:45:34 AM »
I think Peder has nailed it...just own both! lol
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Offline Dakota

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2012, 10:50:04 AM »
Every time I have hit a big nail, I've had to change the blade and have it retiped.  For this reason, I keep three extra blades ready to go at all times.
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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2012, 11:08:25 AM »
Damage is going to depend whether you hit it crosswise or sideways.  Nails will probably be the least of your metal worries.  Bolts and parts of your mill are worse.  Make sure you have full face protection on, if it can put out your eye it can also tear up your face or possibly worse put a hole in your neck at the wrong place.
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Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2012, 02:23:55 PM »
Yes, I'm sure the swing blades can fling objects (including broken teeth) much harder than a bandmill. Hitting a horseshoe in the middle of a tree could be bad-- An old circle mill hit a horseshoe once while I was there-- not RIGHT there, but on the property and I got to see the cut and the damage afterward. Shut down sawing for the day. It was a club demonstration and I was hoping to get my cherry logs milled for free, but it was not to be. Hitting a horseshoe would be a bad day for any mill.  But not so bad for a band mill, only $25 worth of damage and a few minutes to replace.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

Genesis Hardwood Lumber

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2012, 02:29:18 PM »
I watched Meadows Miller (Chris) saw a Red Oak log at our "Chickin Crispin" last year.  I do not believe that those blades would know the difference in hardness between any of the species.
 
Chris used the sawmill's built in sharpener to do a touch up on the teeth before sawing.  Jonnywood from Columbia, Tn. looks on.
And then made short work of the Red Oak log.

What size or model of mill is that? (obviously Lucas, based on Chris's trendy garb).
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

Genesis Hardwood Lumber

Offline Magicman

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2012, 03:51:36 PM »
I will have to defer to Chris for that answer, but I think that it was whatever size is their largest.

Chris is probably in the air or about ready to be by now.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2012, 04:49:07 PM »
And one more question-- I think I know the answer, but how do swing mills do in really hard wood, like oak, hickory, persimmon, not to mention whatever hardwoods those of you in other countries have? I know the entry level band mill I use struggles more and more the harder the wood is.

They do well on hardwoods, especially if it's nice straight grain and chips out nice and clean as you are cutting.

Some of the hardest cutting I've done is crazy grain Port Orford Cedar which is pretty soft, but the knots and crazy curly grain and tension gave me some trouble. Same place with some really hard bluegum eucalyptus (about as hard as white oak) and I could breeze through that.

But the worst that happens is you need to slow down on the gnarly stuff, there's not much you can't cut. Because the saw head is pushed by hand I don't think there is enough force involved to really destroy a blade and throw shrapnel like a big circle mill can. Even if you hit a horseshoe, the carbide tips chip off and you stop cutting. Main hazard is stray bits of wood, knots, small limbs etc that get cut lose and tossed by the blade. Those CAN hurt, hence the chaps and face shield recommendations, and keep bystanders away from that side of the mill.

Ian
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2012, 05:34:02 PM »
I see the Lucas 6/18 is $12,999.99, it is like apples to oranges but I would at least compare it to a band-mill around the same price for a $ to $ comparison of what you get, the Wood-mizer lt 30 is $12995.00,

A Cooks MP32 $12,587.00 30hp Kohler

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Which basic mill is faster - bandsaw or swing mill?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2012, 09:37:14 PM »
I think if a person is mainly working woods under about 1,000 on the Janka scale, and/or mainly logs under 20" diameter, a small band mill works great. The more expensive hydraulic bandmills can handle larger and harder logs, especially with the use of a debarker to keep the blade sharper longer. Maybe I would have better luck with the hardwood logs if I were to use a blade specifically designed for hardwoods-- the ones I've been using are the ones that are supposed to work for hardwood and softwood. Maybe I should get some better blades. Then again-- that would take away from my "saving-up-to-buy-a-swing-mill" fund.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Reduced to Uber Driver and a broken MS290 Stihl

Genesis Hardwood Lumber


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