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Author Topic: Portable milling support equipment  (Read 2912 times)

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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2018, 12:18:19 PM »
A mbf an hr is pretty lofty. Thats on the upper end of what I can do with th BP Dominator at work over the course of the day, week or month.

As LL put it so well, never go off the manufacturer sawing rates as they are inflated perfect logs perfect help perfect weather.  You'll likely never put out what they say you can.

200bdft an hr is bookin it with a mill that uses a chainsaw for a power plant.  I can avg. about 100bdft and hr sawing 8ft in to 1in edging onthe mill by myself with my 40.
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Over 2 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 10:59:21 PM »
Maybe I should give you a old rule that still stands today . 1000 feet per man and 5 gal of fuel for a thousand feet .

I've been tossing stuff like that around in my head a lot lately - lost a couple seriously big jobs because the lead time was too short for us to do it so naturally my head turns to upgrades.

It's sort of true, and sort of not. It's true if you're using the same type of gear as the old days and getting the same type of logs. You'll come in under it with old gear and the modern log resource in most places because of declining log size. Go over it with modern gear in the old log resource where you can get it.

Really there has been no advancement in band or circle technology for a couple hundred years... the maximum speed the saw can cut wood hasnt changed much in that time. The upgrades have been in the areas of mechanical log handling, material movement through the mill etc etc: we use a machine now to get the log onto the deck, position it for the saw, a belt carries the lumber away, and that has replaced a lot of labour and given a fair bit of production increase. The saw still travels through the log at the same pace now as it did in grandads time though.

But thats only one side of the picture - thats the "new traditional" viewpoint.... mechanical log handling on a saw that remains unchanged since 1830.

The new technology viewpoint blows that 1000 per man per day out the water by 8.30 am every morning. The saw hasnt changed its speed, but optimisation technology is replacing the mans brain in the way that hydraulics took his strong back away from the carriage knees. And if you dont need his strong back and you dont need his brain then- you dont need that man.

The reality is that right now today you can go and buy a setup where from the time the log hits the infeed chain until its strapped down in a pack at the other end of the line no mans hand touches the wood. The computer scans the log, works out the optimum yield, positions it, saws it while scanning it continuously after each cut to check that things are going to plan, sends it to the resaws that do the same scan and consult with the electronic brain each time, send material to an edger that is again scanned and positioned and sawn automatically, cuts it to length and drops it through a stress grading machine at the finish before finally automatically stacking it into the correct pack and strapping it down. One guy drives a loader one end, one guy drives a forklift the other end, one guy runs the whole sawline from his computer (which doesnt even need to be on the same continent as the actual production line) and somewhere theres a sawdoctor sharpening saws and a coupel monkeys running around changing lightbulds and pumping grease into bearings.

The argument against it all of course is cost. But cost is relative... you replace a guy, you remove the need to pay his wages. And worry about his insurance. And his need for a day off occasionally, or some extra money when you want him to give you an 80 hour week. Instead you got a payment that is fixed which covers the machine whether it does a 20 hour day or a 10 hour day. It might be a big payment but its fixed and that makes it easy to budget around.

The other argument that gets used a lot is that "thats the big boys, it doesnt apply to us". But that kind of stuff always filters down, and I imagine that 50 years ago there was a lot of guys felt they had job security because they were capable on a handset carriage. 20 years ago digital setworks was "big boys only" too.

Kind of a long way from the OP's post and for that I am sorry. But its interesting stuff no?
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
LtL- very Interesting stuff indeed!  Your musings are right along with the spirit of why I started this thread. I really appreciate your thoughts!  We will keep on keeping on, as long as our old thinkers keep thinking :)
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2018, 02:20:24 PM »
We started our business with me sawing a few hours after work, when I got home, after a full days work, like many people.  Production was key, minimum effort with max return.  We sold a lot of wood, and I didn't have a lot of time.  So productive time was my goal, and still is.   

Material handling is a key to production.  A true Cat Loading Dock forklift probably halved our pallet and lumber handling time, they are built for speed and maneuverability on gravel or solid ground.  Nothing beats a true forklift for forklifting.  If ours went down, we would be down.  I'd have a rental company on the phone as quick as I could dial.  But these are worthless in mud, so we put enough gravel down in our forklift paths, that I believe the Earth shifted on its axis.   

We have a second fork lift piece of equipment dedicated to handling logs, lumber waste in muddy ground, etc. because the ultimate in quick detach accessories is another whole machine.  I've used telehandlers quite a bit and they are wonderful.  They aren't maneuverable and aren't quick compared to a true forklift, but are very strong and can do amazing things.  I'd have one if I could afford one.   

End loading containers is easy with long forks on a truckers mast forklift.  That's what they are built for. Telehandlers can also do it, as well as skidsteers.  The pallet geometry you settle on would be very important to that.  BTW we build our own skids and pallets depending on our needs.  Everything is standardized.  Nothing is random length.  I have steel carts that can be lifted from the side, but also have fork pockets so can be lifted from the end to move a unit of wood from the narrow side.  Very handy.   

Sawdust takes forever to shovel.  Or just suck it up with a blower and shoot into a dump truck.  We have to empty our dump truck about once a week.  Easy. Turn the key, drive off, dump, come back.

Waste wood goes off the mill into a roller table into a slab rack, with the front end loader already parked with the forks under it after reloading the log deck with a bunch on logs.  When we run out of logs, we dump the waste rack and come back with more logs.  One round trip to the logyard resets everything. 
 
Without doubt, one of the best ways to incease production is simple......I installed a wall clock staring me right in the face....every time the mill isn't making sawdust and I look up and if the hand has moved, I know I lost "non value added" time.  The solution is to figure out why time was lost and fix the gaps.  10 minutes lost an hour adds to not making sawdust real fast, real quick.

Lots of other ways to save time and be more efficient.  Surprisingly, maintenance is key.  The old adage "stop chopping wood long enough to sharpen the axe" really applies to a sawmill operation.



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Offline redbeard

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 06:51:50 PM »
Been around a Lucas mill to know that reaching in too get bigger cants or even flipping the half log to saw down the other side too get a big wide slab.
A far reach fork lift (Telehandler) is a big plus.  You do need hard ground they are heavy 12-18 ton  uneven ground is no problem and they can turn     in a 20'circle. Average used price in our area PNW is 25-35 k
I use both 50 hp JD orchard type FEL with forks and a 10 K far reach lift. Mine is a short boom no out riggers it's big but it gets in and out of tight spots. Works great for picking logs off of log decks. The uses are unlimited not just for sawmilling. You pretty much see one parked at every large construction site. A big plus buying used is resale your not gonna lose a dime on one.
Whidbey Woodworks and Custom Milling   06 B-20 Timberking 30hp gas.  Hud-son 60 Diesel wide cut bandmill    86 F-700 boom truck    JD 2240 50hp Tractor with 145 loader IR 1044 all terrain fork lift  Cooks sharp

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2018, 08:29:16 AM »
JCB makes a skid steer (tracked) like nine I have ever seen, quick attach features with many options. Have any of you ever seen one of these in action?
 Very interesting little critter!!
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D

Offline Darrel

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2018, 09:28:13 AM »
Yes, very interesting for sure. 
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2018, 09:48:41 AM »
Years ago(maybe 40) I read a practical book on "engineering economy".  A search today says that term has changed to engineering economics and the amount of higher level math applied makes my eyes glaze over, this is not what I remember reading.

What I do remember is there are two different aspects in manufacturing anything-material flow and accumulation points.  Bottlenecks can form in both areas hindering the overall process and the economics of what should be done to maximize profit sometimes hidden or not so obvious.  The 'time value of money' was one concept that was discussed in detail.  I wish I had a book to recommend.

With the rising cost and serious shortage of labor locally it isn't as easy or fun as it used to be.  Labor is in charge of wages!  I had a fellow business owner telling me they had someone with zero experience demand $17.00 an hour to start doing basic labor!  A good employee will make you money and it worth a higher price.  Deciding who that will be from a brief interview not so easy.  Labor is more flexible and equipment isn't.  Equipment doesn't get sick, show up late, or change it's price.

My 2 cents, fwiw.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2018, 01:17:06 PM »
With respect to loaders and time there is no bigger waste of time than dropping a stack of logs, boards or slab pile off the fork loader because it bounced off, and then chasing them all around to reload.  Ive done this with every medium many times.  Pickup sticks ruins your day.  

After that is when you cant tip far enough to dump the load on the forks.

Bounce is the enemy.  Forks that cant curl back against the back board are the enemy.  Forks that dont have a hydraulic finger for log clamping are the enemy.  

Skid steer positives. very tight manueavering, tons of attachments, great traction, forks dump vertical.  But they rut everywhere, bounce stuff off the forks, limited lift, hard to enter with a load, rain on your lap, and the cheap fork attachments dont curl back enough to capture a log on a downslope without a finger clamp.  

Indoor Forklifts enjoy extreme maneuverability but always stuck, great load capacity but can only lift and set down.  No dumping.  If you arent stacking high inside a building theyre less likely to be the perfect tool.  The backwards tractor style of offroad forklift is probably a much better sawmill machine, especially if you are running out of space to operate.  I have an articulated 4wd nasco but they made a lot of the 2wd for this.  Good simple machines from alabama i think. Still a forklift though.  Limited curl range and needing tons of room to operate is their problem.  

4x4 Tractor loaders are versatile.  Their problem is the steer knuckle weakness. Thus the loaders must be capacity limited to save the front axle housing and planetary parts.  So theyre almost perfect, except for load capacity and longevity when overloaded.  Only other gripe might be turning radius in tight yard.  Theyre half way between skid steer and articulated steer. 

Wheel loaders have an ideal mast setup for log yard work and a solid axle to handle the load.  Full range of curl and dump wins the fork articulation contest.  no other machine can lift as heavy and manage offroad too.  

If i needed one machine to support a portable sawing operation, i would find a waldon loader with R1 or R4 tires on it and rig up a quick change to swap from bucket to forks with a top clamp.  Thats a dead simple, do it all machine that will load heavier than you think and not tear up the customers yard like a bobcat.  With a truck winch it can also do some light skidding if you are going in the woods after your own lumber.

Revelation 3:20

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2018, 05:56:48 AM »
Mike, your advice is good, I am wondering if you saw the video of the JCB teleskid. What are your thoughts of it vs a wheel loader? I am drawn to it due to its compact size and its ability to handle good sized loads along with its increased versatility. I will be getting some proposed scenarios for it, as in lease cost vs purchase, etc. I am interested in you assessment of this machine. Thanks! mad murdock
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2018, 12:06:02 PM »
I keep thinking for just where you are cutting lumber that a mini excavator with a thumb would be the best all around option.
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2018, 12:20:38 PM »
Saw various JCB equipment and a few others in action during Hurricane Matthew cleanup here in Savannah.  One looked much like a moon rover and it took whatever was on the ground, lifted it over the sides of dump trucks and "Kaboom" let it go.  Those thing didn't grunt or even like they were going to tip over.  Just wish I had the place that they could have just dumped them for me to saw them.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2018, 11:53:56 PM »
If your dealer will allow, have them drop the piece of equipment off for a week at your place.  I've done it several times.  Try it before you buy it.  
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Offline mad murdock

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2018, 01:36:28 AM »
That is definitely an option that is under consideration. One other key consideration is ease of moving the machine from place to place. If need arises to have it available to prep a job, for example I have a couple OG doug firs on my tree farm (7 1/2 dia dbh x about 200+ ft tall) I will need some sort of machine to prep a bed for the tree which will also serve as working area to cut it into finished product or cants on the spot, as a tree this size is too large to move by todays standards. My mill on the other hand can cut it to finished dimension or sawable  cants easily insitu. Though most of the time it is nice to try and limit milling to one general locale. 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Portable milling support equipment
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2018, 10:39:18 PM »
I think highly of JCB, they are boundary pushers.  The CX1 really blew my doors off.  

That machine looks to be based off the "robot" side boom.  I sat in one of the them once and it was a heck of a lot better than the tin coffin of an old bobcat 7xx.  The engine was pretty easy to get at and visibility was good, side door was nice feature.  I mean i never worked on one and like anything there are gonna be lemons lurking in the batch, there are gonna be parts that are very hard to get at.  Equipment is a gamble in general.  If i were a betting man id be pretty confident in JCB.

Nice thing about that telescope is youll be able to self extract if ever manage to get stuck.  Id be careful about extending it when youre real heavy and running on the toes.   Be a good hard faceplant if you went over at full boom.  telescoping booms are a wonderful feature for grading and finishing over banks and berms.  You just sit stationary and let them rake in and out.
Revelation 3:20


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