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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 10:39:11 AM

Title: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 10:39:11 AM
   After reading the Site visit thread I thought I'd open a post where people can share their experiences with unusual, difficult or otherwise challenging mobile/portable sawmill set ups. I saw an article somewhere here where someone lifted an LT40 (I think it was) to a roof top of a high rise building with a helicopter and sawed up there. I confess I do not have anything that unusual.

 I sawed about a mile from home in the bend of a road. A neighbor needed replacement bridge timbers and sawed the logs and dragged them along the dirt mountain road going to a home place back there. The road was barely wide enough for one vehicle and the only spot wide enough for 2 vehicles to pass was on a sharp bend. I drove up, dropped off the mill, drove to the home place at the end of the road and turned around and drove back passing my mill. Myself and a couple of the customer's helpers picked up the tongue of the mill and swung it around to face the mountainside and the logs laid out there. The tongue was so high I could barely reach the head on mill on the larger logs. We'd drag the logs down the to face the mill with my pickup and a chain and cable. The sawdust and slabs blew or were tossed over the steep hill on the operator's side. The bridge timbers were off loaded and stack on the customers truck he had parked uphill before we brought the mill in.

  I sawed in Bolt WV (Little Jimmy Dicken's hometown) about 50 miles away and got there and found the logs were from a windrow of pines that had been cut at the edge of the front yard which was about 30' from the house. These was no stack - just a long row of logs. I backed in and set the mill up about 6' from and parallel to the front porch. The sawdust blew up against the porch and the slabs were offloaded and stacked at the front end of the mill. The finished boards were pulled off the front and back based on sizes and such. There was just enough room to drag a log to the mill with a small tractor.

  Tell us about interesting set ups you have encountered.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 05, 2021, 12:06:04 PM
Here are some that come to my mind.  I am sure that I will find others.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN0808C.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1331998214)
 
This one was interesting.  After sawing each log, I moved the sawmill up to the next log.  The lumber became wall paneling for the home being built at the end of the drive. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/DSCN1523_28Small29.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1364579641)
 
This one was so wet/muddy that a dozer had to take the sawmill to the logs.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/IMG_8833.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1609899758)
 
This is the one that I tried to saw earlier this year, and finally abandoned.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/IMG_8831.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1609899558)
 
Some of the logs at the above location.  I sawed about 2500bf from the nearest ones on the left.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/IMG_8830.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1609899587)
 
But none of this mess.  I sawed a day and a half before leaving.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Patrick NC on May 05, 2021, 01:46:27 PM
I haven't got the job yet, but I was asked to give a quote to take the extension off my mill and tow it 4 miles up an old forest service fire road and then 1 mile up a mountain path to cut locust timbers for a foot bridge. The job would involve towing the mill behind my tractor because it's not accessable with a truck. I gave a quote, but haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it. I drove the road on my side by side and it's doable, but kinda scary in spots. 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Tacotodd on May 05, 2021, 02:03:02 PM
@Patrick NC (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=49254)  that’s going to be sketchy at best. That might involve a “hazardous” location surcharge.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Patrick NC on May 05, 2021, 02:09:21 PM
Yep. I have a clause in my quote that states that any damages to my equipment that happen trying to access the site or on the return trip have to be paid for by the customer. I'm also requiring a $1500 refundable deposit before I mobilize to the job. 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 03:07:35 PM
Patrick,

   The obvious question is why can't they bring the logs to you or at least to a more accessible location? Then again - that is the same question I have asked before and suspect the MM asked with the nightmares in his pictures.

   I mentioned in the other thread backing through a narrow gate into a backyard, angling the mill about 45 degrees and sawing the logs, which looked like the ones along the road in MMs picture, that we could roll downhill to the mill then pulling up most of the rest with my cable and snatch block and the customer's SUV. I barely got out of that site ahead of a snowstorm which would have left me there for the winter. I still keep asking myself why I did that one as the customer either did know seem to know or care about the extra effort I had put into it.

  I sawed a big walnut log Thanksgiving 2 years ago when my tractor was in the shop. We tied the log to a tree and the customer drove out from under it. It was so big I could not move it with anything on the place so I towed the mill beside it, loaded it with my Magic Hook, and sawed it there. The man took it back to Texas with him but his excitement and appreciation, plus a decent tip, made it worthwhile.

  It is amazing how a customer's attitude affects the work.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Patrick NC on May 05, 2021, 04:03:02 PM
Patrick,

   The obvious question is why can't they bring the logs to you or at least to a more accessible location? Then again - that is the same question I have asked before and suspect the MM asked with the nightmares in his pictures.

   I mentioned in the other thread backing through a narrow gate into a backyard, angling the mill about 45 degrees and sawing the logs, which looked like the ones along the road in MMs picture, that we could roll downhill to the mill then pulling up most of the rest with my cable and snatch block and the customer's SUV. I barely got out of that site ahead of a snowstorm which would have left me there for the winter. I still keep asking myself why I did that one as the customer either did know seem to know or care about the extra effort I had put into it.

  I sawed a big walnut log Thanksgiving 2 years ago when my tractor was in the shop. We tied the log to a tree and the customer drove out from under it. It was so big I could not move it with anything on the place so I towed the mill beside it, loaded it with my Magic Hook, and sawed it there. The man took it back to Texas with him but his excitement and appreciation, plus a decent tip, made it worthwhile.

  It is amazing how a customer's attitude affects the work.
He has spent a good bit of time staging the logs at the bridge site by skidding them with an ATV and log arch. I went to look at the site with the intention of asking about hauling the logs to me, but after seeing it, I agree that it would be easier to bring the mill up the mountain. I can take off one extension and get my total length down to 16' with the hitch in it's shortest position. I'm pretty confident that I can get there without any problems towing the mill with my tractor. There's a couple of switchbacks that will be a little tricky, but it's doable. 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 05, 2021, 04:56:36 PM
In more than one instance I/we have had to turn the sawmill around by hand in order to get back out.  Other times I have had to disconnect in order to make a switchback.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Tacotodd on May 05, 2021, 04:58:24 PM
Patrick, as long as you’re satisfied.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: maple flats on May 05, 2021, 05:37:11 PM
Wow, you guys are dedicated for sure. Back when I did portable milling on their site I had it easy. One site where a camp was going to be built, I had a large parking lot so I drove in, set up beside the logs, and 4 days later when finished, I loaded the mill back on the trailer, then made a big loop around the large area, and back onto the road, by the way, it was on a beautiful quiet lake, inlet, maybe 150' wide there, the main lake was about 200 yds out that inlet.
On another, at a second lake, I had to mill on a fairly steep hill. I set the mill up to cut downhill, for the horizontal cut, and uphill for the vertical (Peterson). I was only cutting 5/4x4 oak which was to become flooring in a new camp. I think that was my hardest to do sawing. On most, I described how I wanted the logs lined up, and when I got there they were pretty much like I'd asked.
Now I know you guys who travel to saw have done more, I think over the years I likely only did about 20-25 days of such sawing, everything else was at my location.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 06:04:13 PM
   The last job I did was 110 miles or so away at a campground where I tent camped 2 nights. By the time we finished we had torn the road and landing up so bad in front of the the mill I could not drive my truck back to the place I had dropped it off. The customer had a small tractor with a backhoe and he hooked the safety chains to one of the fingers on the bucket and was able to spin it 180 degrees to the point I could back in to it and hook up and drive out. One issue common in such cases is by the time you get ready to leave you have a hefty pile of sawdust built up around the wheels chocking it firmly in place. Sometimes you have to dig it out before it can be moved even a couple of inches to fit it on the ball. If he had not had the hoe we'd have had to spin it by hand to get out as MM describes.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 05, 2021, 06:11:35 PM
  MM's comment about spinning and turning the mill by hand reminds me of an old post from Mr. Red Shirt Tom Cadenhead who suggested putting a rounded hubcap under the front landing gear to slide the mill into position. I sure hate he is no longer with us to add some of his experiences here but I think he had died before I ever found this forum. I think he is still up there checking these threads daily though.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 05, 2021, 08:43:41 PM
Actually spinning my sawmill around is not a problem because my tongue weight is only about 75 pounds after I removed the board dragback.  I can also raise the sawhead above the travel pin and allow it to travel back against the safety chain which virtually balances the weight.  That is a slick trick that works extremely well.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Stephen1 on May 05, 2021, 09:11:40 PM
I had a good one yesterday. A nice place on the lake with 5 blow down EWP. 20 logs, perfectly straight 12' by 20". No knots for 80% of the logs.
I had to back in across the front lawn, between 2 ugly stumps, it had been rainning for 2 days,  and jacknife the mill partway. Then finnish turning by hand. To get out we had to come in the other side of the stumps, build a ramp over one stump to pull the mill over. 
We did 2000 bd ft of 1x12 with 3" B&B in 6 hrs.  Only 3 nails in the second last log, 2 Blades and a $50 TIP
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Tom the Sawyer on May 05, 2021, 10:46:07 PM
The notable ones aren't always nightmarish, sometimes it can be idyllic.  Boats mooring to watch, bikini-clad sailboarders stopping to see what was going one, milling for a couple of veterans older than I am - and a gentle June breeze, can make for a nice day.
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/19572/20160612_01.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1620268619)
 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: chet on May 05, 2021, 11:43:03 PM
Can't say as I ever had any bikini-clad ladies stop by while I was sawin'.   :D
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Crossroads on May 06, 2021, 01:06:46 AM
The most interesting setup I’ve had was was shortly after I got the lt40. The job was in Portland Oregon (before it went completely nuts) the house was built on a steep hillside and the longs were behind the house in front of the basement/garage. The road going in was narrow, steep and made a sharp turn to go behind the house. On one side was the foundation and on the other was a Chan link fence and a 10’ drop. My truck was to big so we hooked the mill to the customers little pickup and started backing in. We got the mill around the corner, but the transition from hill to flat was to steep and the tail end of the mill was going to hit the concrete. We ended up putting a floor jack under the end of the mill and rolled it right into place. Then the mill wouldn’t lift the 16’ log and we had to trim 2’ off the but so I could get it loaded. After the job was done we got the floor jack back out and pulled it back up to the front yard where my truck was waiting. I don’t think I’d do it again....
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: terrifictimbersllc on May 06, 2021, 02:47:05 AM
Can't say as I ever had any bikini-clad ladies stop by while I was sawin'.   :D
I had a state trooper stop to watch once does that count? :-\
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: mike_belben on May 06, 2021, 06:11:56 AM
Only if he was in a bikini
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: terrifictimbersllc on May 06, 2021, 06:23:55 AM
Ewwww! think_not
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 06, 2021, 09:20:59 AM
   I sawed on a city street 80 miles from home one time. Was a short paved street in a subdivision. Super easy to set up on level paved ground. Hard place to find a bathroom. I'd have to stop sawing and drive to a gas station instead of finding a nearby bush like most sites. I threw a couple of cheap tarps down to catch the sawdust. The mayor stopped by about noon to show his authority and make sure we had the landowners permission to stage the logs where they were (We did) and be sure we were going to clean up the mess. He was not wearing a bikini either - thank goodness!

Tom,

   Remember the FF motto - if there are no pictures, it didn't happen. We're waiting with bated breath for the proof here. :D :D

    Here is the scene from last weeks job 110 miles away. No mermaids were harmed in the making of this memory. ;D

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/38064/IMG_2474~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1620307232)
 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 06, 2021, 07:24:50 PM
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/IMG_9671.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1620343388)
 
Too wet and had to park the sawmill with a tractor again today.  

Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 06, 2021, 07:37:57 PM
Not necessarily unusual, but my very first location/set up.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/20011/2410/Copy_of_sawmillcard_001.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1267041239)
 
It's at my property where I first set up and sawed.  That picture was taken over 20 years and over 2MMbf ago.  It is also the picture that is on my business card.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: chet on May 06, 2021, 09:42:10 PM
Thank goodness no bikini in dat last pic either,  ;D
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 06, 2021, 11:03:10 PM
   I don't know - have you ever seen the MagicMan in a speedo? :D :D
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: jpassardi on May 07, 2021, 06:45:26 AM
MM: that's pretty neat - 20 years ago. Good for you.
Is it the same LT40?
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 07, 2021, 07:52:03 AM
Oh yes, same sawmill, but not quite as "orange".  It was 3 years old when I bought it and I have always updated it as manufacturer improvements/options were offered ie; Lubemizer, autoclutch, FAO's, engines, plus some of my custom options.
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Texas Ranger on May 07, 2021, 08:28:53 AM
Not necessarily unusual, but my very first location/set up.


 
It's at my property where I first set up and sawed.  That picture was taken over 20 years and over 2MMbf ago.  It is also the picture that is on my business card.
Pre umbrella
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Magicman on May 07, 2021, 09:46:42 AM
Yup, that would qualify as a "custom option".  It was also pre-Auto Board Return Arm & Table removal.  (Board drag back)

I was so fortunate to find that sawmill when I had no idea what it was nor even what I was looking for.  
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: WV Sawmiller on May 08, 2021, 10:19:31 PM
   I just remembered a job for a local building contractor I did last year. Was his home and it was right on the banks of the Greenbrier River (Actually I think that was the 3rd time I have sawed along it). I had to ford about 6" deep stream getting to it, drive under his raised house, sawed the logs and before I could get out the water was up over a foot deep and lapping at the lumber stacks and up to the concrete foundation under his house. 
Title: Re: Most unusual mobile sawing location/set up
Post by: Lasershark on May 09, 2021, 02:27:01 PM
Since I mostly saw in my own yard, I don't have many unusual sawing setups, I did do some sawmilling at the local native American village here in British Columbia. The WRC logs were so large, they needed to be quartered with a chainsaw 1st. 
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/58892/IMG_0842.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1620584565)