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Author Topic: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35  (Read 4068 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« on: November 11, 2015, 05:33:41 PM »
   Is anybody cutting cross ties on an LT35 hydraulic mill? If so what do you consider a reasonable number to cut on a daily basis.

  A guy called me and wanted a few hardwood 2X4's and I happened to have a few ash logs my son brought up last week from his FIL place. I cut them yesterday and he picked up his order that afternoon now he wants me to cut a bunch (said several hundred) cross ties (7"X9"X8') for him and is willing to pay $10 each to have them cut. Less than my normal fee but he does not want to keep any of the side lumber so basically just 4 cuts on most logs. He'd provide logs, a helper and MHE and I just provide the mill and sawing services.

   I agreed to go look at his site this week and told him I'd think about it. He is about 10 miles from me. I know a bigger mill would be better suited to this size work but have any of you tried cutting large numbers of ties with similar mills?

   Any gottchas I need to be looking at in something like this? Any experience you have would be appreciated.
Howard Green
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2015, 05:58:55 PM »
I see no gotcha's  other than heavy slabs at times, I would probably saw out some outside lumber just because,, getting them off the mill is the only task I see, other than handling after that.    four side slabs can go fast, so you could be looking at well inside five minutes a log for just the tie, it still seems like a bit of a waste, but whatever winds the clock,   hope it goes well for you both,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2015, 06:08:43 PM »
   Not saving the side lumber sure seems wasteful to me too but since I'm just providing sawing service not my issue unless I wanted to try to make a deal with the guy for the side lumber and try to resaw it and market the short hardwood lumber generated.

    Its the customer's logs but I was always led to believe a successful sawmill operation was supposed to market every thing but the woody smell.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 06:08:56 PM »
I don't think an LT35 is ill equipped for such a job, give the girl credit, she can handle it, no problem... 5 minutes a tie? Sure, with decent logs, a decent environment, some help or support equipment... Won't leave any room for breaks, you'll be runnin'. Like you said, looking at the location, and log quality will be key. If you think you can do 7-8 per hour or better, and not kill yourself, deal in!!! Good luck, let us know how it progresses...
bk

Offline drobertson

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 06:45:37 PM »
If a fellow can't saw four sides with help in 5 minutes, then something is wrong,  and I will add, I would save the slabs for firewood,  I just found an extra board per side to make sure the wane is off, it can be tricky going for it with just four cuts,  but I am pretty slow thinking, so whatever,  I have done the deed on quick ties, and it still is hard to do, and gets heavy at the same time,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 07:20:04 PM »
Heavy quicker with age, that's for sure...5 minutes per tie, with help, key phrase, with help, or nice logs...without help or ugly logs, and one quickly finds one's self hussling hard, killing yourself, and doings things that will haunt you for weeks...I too, am a slow thinker, and often spend as much time looking at a cant as I do sawing it...too maximize its potential... At times, counterproductive... I have a simple, stupid procedure that I use on logs that are barely worth sawing out more than I want, a tie, a 6x6, or whatever... Whenever you don't want side lumber...I put the small end on the operator side, take my tape and mark the end of the log for the product I want, center and level the pith, and let her have it...with the occasional minor adjustment of an 1/8" or so...but it helps me, one of the thinkers, to move on quicker...
bk

Offline snowshoveler

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2015, 07:32:39 PM »
I don't know squat about what you can do with your LT35 ( cause I don't really know bandmills).
However I am pretty sure you could run 50 a day with a bit of help.
10 bucks a tie is 500 bucks isn't it.
The side lumber is gravy even if its firewood, that is good gravy here at this time of year.
I would have to look at the logs first and maybe look at the help.
Seems like a good job to me but I have made errors once or twice.
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Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2015, 07:38:58 PM »
Your LT35 (with hydraulics) would do that just fine. Although you are working for basically just over what it costs to run the saw. Smaller logs, I'd make firewood, larger ones I'm to lazy to lift the slabs so I'd cut boards anyway. At that price I'd negotiate to keep whatever isn't turned into ties.
Stuart Caruk
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Offline Cypress Man

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 08:38:03 PM »
I'm obviously not doing something right.  I've been sawing full time for 16yrs now. I'm currently running a Lt70 wide head with log deck, power conveyor, transfer table,and twin blade edger. I only saw cypress lumber and cants. I usually average cutting about 30 logs per 8 hour day. Some days less, some days more. I'd say you would be hard pressed to cut 50 logs a day on a Lt30 with support equipment.  I also have two catapillar telehandler forklifts hauling logs to the log deck, hauling lumber/cants from the mill, hauling away slabs,sawdust,and edger waste, stacking boards etc. This is being done with 4 experienced people. I'm not saying you can't do it. I just think it won't be fun or sustainable for any length of time.  Good luck with your job. If I can be of any assistance or advice just message me.
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Offline ncsawyer

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2015, 09:43:48 PM »
A 7x9x8 cross tie is 42 bdft times 50 is only 2,100 bdft.  I know on my old manual LT40 that 2000 bdft per day of 2 inch lumber with one off bearer was pretty easy.  I cut nearly 3,500 bdft of 8x8x16 white oak cants for trackhoe mats in a day with two off bearers and a small track loader with forks and didn't have to push myself all that hard. 

And at $10 per tie, that is $0.238 per bdft. and not far off from my normal rate of $250/thousand (when sawing by the bdft).  Sounds like a good opportunity and a fairly easy sawing job to me. 
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2015, 09:50:45 PM »
I'm obviously not doing something right.  I've been sawing full time for 16yrs now. I'm currently running a Lt70 wide head with log deck, power conveyor, transfer table,and twin blade edger. I only saw cypress lumber and cants. I usually average cutting about 30 logs per 8 hour day. Some days less, some days more. I'd say you would be hard pressed to cut 50 logs a day on a Lt30 with support equipment.  I also have two catapillar telehandler forklifts hauling logs to the log deck, hauling lumber/cants from the mill, hauling away slabs,sawdust,and edger waste, stacking boards etc. This is being done with 4 experienced people. I'm not saying you can't do it. I just think it won't be fun or sustainable for any length of time.  Good luck with your job. If I can be of any assistance or advice just message me.




Are the 30 logs, mostly 1"?
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Offline Cypress Man

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2015, 10:28:14 PM »
Just to make sure everyone understands what I'm saying, think about this. To cut 50 logs per day on any bandsaw in an 8 hour period you must cut one log every 9.6 minutes continuously for 8 hours. Yes if you have everything set up to start sawing, ie. Logs cut to length, staged at log deck, etc... Don't forget you will change blades multiple times during this 8 hour period, it's possible to do one day. The next day it will take hours to clean up the sawdust, slabs, edger waste, sticker cut lumber, sharpen saw blades etc... Sustaining 50 logs a day is verrrry difficult. Not to mention the wear and tear on your body.
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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2015, 10:53:12 PM »
With one helper I definitely agree with cypress man.  Thats a lot of wear and tear on you and the equipment. 
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Offline Ohio_Bill

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 11:18:44 PM »
Yes the mill is capable of doing that numbers of ties in MHO. Keeping logs in front of the Mill, slabs out of the way and handling the ties is the challenge. A set of gravity rollers at the end will help.  Most days I saw 40 in about 6 hrs.  You need a straight 12inch log to get a 7 by 9.

 

 
 

 
Bill
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Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2015, 11:38:50 PM »
it all depends on the logs. when sawing with the tk b20 some days we work hard to get 25 7x9 some days we will cut 60  but i am sawing big logs mostly and sawing all the lumber i can get. :)
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Offline Wallee

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2015, 11:58:54 PM »
I saw ties on a lt15 so it can be done. What you have to do is figure out if it is cost effective for you. On my little lt15 with power feed I can only cut about 20 per day. I am a green horn and still learning so I am sure it could be a lot faster. I would kill for the hydraulics but being that your mill has hydraulics and a bigger power plant, I don't see why given your situation it wouldn't work. I would suggest possibly chipping the side cuts or something to at least not be wasting a product that could be sold in some way.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2015, 07:32:51 AM »
Slow down and enjoy yourself think long haul too much rush and you will burn out. Set your mill up with roller tables and do everything to make handling easy. No contracts or quotas mix it in with your regular customers. Can be a good filler between other jobs. The outside boards would be good for pallet stock and probably be most of the profit. Watch your back ties are heavy. Frank C.
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2015, 07:49:43 AM »
Not quite 30 years ago I took a job sawing ties with  an LT30 manual mill.  We sawed 7x9, 7x8, and some 6x8 depending on the log size. The owner had a loader, kept logs on a deck, moved all slabs , ties, and boards if we made any.
Also had an off bearer.  Ties were never lifted.  After sawing, we placed a 2x with a curved steel flange to fit over the round roller guide and rolled the tie off  and onto a stack next to the mill.  When there were 12 ties, stack was moved by loader.  Sawed for about a week.  Usually about 45 and up per day.  One day we sawed 77, but the logs were perfect size.  Remember, manual mill.  Also had to sharpen blades at night.  This was before resharp came along.  No debarker, but logs were pretty clean.  Even some hickory in the mix.
Would you rather make $500 in a day and be tired or watch your mill all day and not be tired?  Mill depreciates whether you use it or not.
Who pays offbearer?
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline Ohio_Bill

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 08:41:47 AM »
If the ties are going to be sold to a treatment plant you might want to spend some time understanding the gradeing rules. There are rules regarding wayne, barkseam ,holes,hart placement,  shake and these rules also change for the rail barring area of the tie . Its not that hard to understand but something to keep ties from being rejected.
Bill
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Offline John Grange

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Re: Anyone cutting cross ties on an LT35
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 09:21:24 AM »
I have a TK 1600 and am fairly new to cutting. We have a Skid Steer with Forks, Grapple, and Clam Bucket. makes moving everything easier. I have a portable 8' long cross buck near the mill and put my cants on it. When loaded out comes the Stihl 028 and I have 2' chunks of firewood.  The $10.00 each is his offer, why not counter and state your rate? He evidently knows what the going rate is and wants a better deal.
Give him an hourly rate with the price of replacement blades thrown in, then his "help" can be evaluated for productivity and you will not be paying for their "schooling". Just saying.
I cut for enjoyment and to clean up the farm and get some cash for other "tools", sounds like a pretty good opportunity if price gets right.
John Grange


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