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Author Topic: First Sawmill  (Read 2799 times)

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Offline charlie879

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First Sawmill
« on: May 20, 2019, 12:49:11 AM »
I'm sure you all get tired of these posts, but I really enjoy the wealth of information and opinions on this forum, so here goes. Lots of smallish (14"-24") alder laying around that I don't want to turn into firewood. A few larger (18"-26") firs and hemlocks as well. About 20 acres of Alder, Fir, Cedar. Have tractor and mini-dozer to move logs around. Based on the time I've spent reading here and with a budget of around 6k, started at 3k, but unless I get real lucky with something used in the next week or so, that's not going to get me the features I need. I've narrowed it Woodland Mills HM126 or HM130, Frontier OS23, OS27, OS31, Timbery M100 or M122, just came across the WoodMaxx also. Any of these mills will cut the logs I have ready to mill, but don't want to grow out of it too quick. Having a hard time feature-wise finding the right combo, so how important are these things to those of you that currently own any of these smaller mills?:

Adjustable blade guide, HM130, OS23, OS 31 and M100 and adjust to move closer to the smaller logs, how important is this?

Ceramic sandwich type guides vs. roller guides, seems not to be a real majority either way, thoughts?

Trailer package available on the Woodland Mills and Frontier lines, I think this would be very nice to have, how do those of you that have your mills trailered like it? Those of you that don't, do you wish you did?

Electric start, seems like a nice feature, but again only available on certain models and quite a big jump within some of the lines.

Based on what I've read, I'm leaning towards the largest engines offered, regardless of which mill manufacturer I choose and also one additional set of track.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts, thank you for this forum.




Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 01:41:53 AM »
I've got a HM130 and am probably going to buy the trailer.  The lack of mobility is keeping me from getting the mill to the timber.

There's also the EZ Boardwalk Jr mill.  Not sure if it's in your budget range but check it out if you haven't already.

Good luck choosing!
Woodland Mills HM130

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 03:00:09 AM »
I believe one of your threads was one of many I read about the HM130, which is possibly my top choice in large part because of this forum. I did look briefly at the EZ Boardwalk, but limited info on the site, can't seem to find the max board width or max depth of cut. It's right in line price-wise, depending on shipping costs. I did also just find a used Lumbermate 2000, with all the accessories I would need to get started, I'm going to investigate that also. Thank you for your input.

Offline Dana Stanley

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 07:12:35 AM »
If you haven't got the money for WoodMizer, the Woodland Mills is a good choice. definitely get the trailer and the extra track. All the features you mention make for an easier time of it, or a better job. As I understand roller vs ceramic is like Ford or Chevy! I have an HM 126 But wish I just got the 130 w trailer! I am building a trailer for mine now. Better to be able to do a little bigger, although so far I only had to trim down one log.
Making Sawdust, boards and signs.
Woodland Mills HM-126
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Offline jimparamedic

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 09:30:12 AM »
Go with what you can afford because no matter what mill you get you will always want more. And I am glad you said First mill because once you start you will then you will want a second third and forth ect... ectÖ I started with a home made chain saw mill I now own 4 circular mills 3 Belsaw and 1 American plus a chain saw mill. I gave my home made chain saw mill to a friend that wanted to get started but I think his wife if keeping him in check. Have fun and enjoy. Welcome to the club

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 11:24:08 AM »
Thank you, sounds like quite a few of you on here have progressed from smaller manual mills. I'm getting very anxious, but trying to keep my patience and make a good decision. This 2008 Timbermate 2000 has kind of thrown me a bit. Only about $1,000 less than a brand new HM130 with the XL trailer. The used Norwood has a little bit more capacity, but smaller trailer (just over 12' vs 16') and smaller, pull start engine (Honda 13hp vs Kohler 14hp elec), but does have toe boards, hand winch, ramps, log arch, cants, making it very attractive. It's about 10 hours away from me, so that is one of my hesitations for a used mill, would be quite an investment in time if I didn't end up taking it home.

Offline jimparamedic

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 01:24:40 PM »
What do you want to do? saw just for yourself or make it a business? Mill hold there value so maybe start with less accessories and add later as you can. On used mills check them out really well if it sound like a great deal like half the price of a new mill it probably is not a great deal. that's is band mills. Don't rule out circular mills if you want a really great deal they can be found pretty cheap but are not as easily portable as a band mill.

Offline Magicman

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 01:36:52 PM »
If you get a manual sawmill without a log turner you will need a couple of these: Cant Hooks and Peaveys - LogRite Tools LLC

Heck, I have 5 of them and I have hydraulics.  logrite_cool
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 02:20:01 PM »
I would go with rollers, they just seem that they would be easier on the band, especially since some mills seem top cut better with significant downpressure.

Trailer package for sure.  My old WM  LT15 did not have a trailer package, and in a very short time, I had built one for it.  A trailer package allows easier mobility for storing the mill under cover, cleaning under the mill, and allows the mill to be higher off the ground and at a much more comfortable height.  Less leaning and bending.  Better for leverage, better for my back, just was much more user friendly.  

Electric Start - depends on the engine, but the cost of an electric start will eventually be offset by the fuel you'll burn not shutting off the manual pull start motor, after you get tired of jerking on a rope starter 5 feet off the ground.  Especially if you happen to get unlucky enough to get a hard to crank engine.  I had a cranky 8.5 HP pull start motor on my big pressure washer long ago, pulled on it and cussed it for years until one day I'd had enough, sold it, and came back with an electric start.  :D  Much better to just turn the key and get to sawing.  Then turn the key off and take a break, then turn the key on and get to sawing agin.    
YellowHammerisms:

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If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 03:42:58 PM »
jimparamedic - right now just want to see what some of these alders look like inside, I like spalted wood and it appears that some of these may have started, also building a house soon and need several outbuildings, should be able to get some good beams from the Fir/Hemlock that we have. If I enjoy it and it turns into something else that is great, at least right now, doesn't look like anyone is losing much $ selling used mills if I need to upgrade. So difficult to find a good used one. The Timbermate 2000, manufactured in 2008 is asking $6,000.00, what do like about it is it is all set to go, comes with built in toe boards, loading ramps, winch, nice trailer, log arch, blade sharpener, two cant hooks. I think I would be up to 10k with an hm130 by the time i added all of that stuff, but I would prefer the brand new Kohler elec start 14hp motor to the 11 year old pull start Honda 13hp. I'm curious what engine I could upgrade to easily in the future.

What are the most important things to look for on used mills?

Offline marcnaz

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 03:53:05 PM »
I have the OS 31 and can answer any questions you have about that model. I'm new to milling and have had mine for a few weeks now. I rate the woodmizer as one of the best, but any of the others will mill your logs. I have a friend with a woodmizer and it's a great machine. The frontier is heavy duty and well made and other than a couple of glitches during assembly it's been great. Fit and finish it good. Support from Norwood has been excellent for the most part. I personally haven't seen any huge differences in the cut quality if the blade guide is adjusted in close to the log or a bit wider, but I'm sure it could effect the cut and blade wear and tear. Like any woodworking bandsaw, I imagine you'll get a better cut with more precision if the blade support/guide is as close as possible to the work however, with a properly tensioned blade there is very little play.

I could think of a couple things I could recommend...
- As already stated get an electric start motor if you can. I went with the 24hp Kohler and it's starts first time every time with no effort. Makes life much easier.
- If you haven't ever milled before, the actual cutting of the wood is the easiest part of the process. Things like a log loader, turners etc make things tremendously easier and the whole process much faster. Getting the logs to, and on the mill are the most work. Unless you have a tractor, skid steer or something to help moving logs, plan on lots of elbow grease. If you've never moved logs and
-Get a good cant hook. I highly recommend the Logrite 60" hook or peavey.

Have fun! Let us know what you get and your progress.



USAF Retired

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 04:56:28 PM »
Glad to hear you are liking your os31, it looks like a nice one. The shipping to OR seemed awfully pricy to me on the Frontier, almost double what Woodland Mills charges. Am I correct that the os23 and os31 have the adjustable guide with ceramic pads and the os27 has the roller guides, bit is not adjustable?

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 05:09:03 PM »
I've been moving logs around with a mini dozer and tow rope, probably not ideal, but seems to get them around ok.

Offline jimparamedic

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 05:17:08 PM »
Hours on machine undo wear and abuse try out the Timbermate. You can always upgrade the motor at a later date.

Offline marcnaz

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2019, 05:20:33 PM »
Am I correct that the os23 and os31 have the adjustable guide with ceramic pads and the os27 has the roller guides, bit is not adjustable?
I'd call the folks at Norwood and ask to be sure. They have made a few changes and improvements since the original OS27 came out (dust chute etc). The manuals (for sure) and possibly online info may not have caught up yet. I know my OS31 has the ceramic pads and is adjustable. I was told when researching that the OS27 and OS31 are the same general machine/parts/assembly. If you look at the photos of the OS 27 on their web site, you see the sliding handle that adjusts the guide in and out and it looks like ceramic guides to me. The blade "floats" between the ceramic pads, it really doesn't ride on them. Shipping to OR is likely close to what I had to pay in Arizona. If you are a vet, they gave me a veterens discount which helped offset shipping costs
USAF Retired

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2019, 11:49:00 PM »
Thanks for the info, I may give them a call. One of the videos I saw said "all frontier mills" have adjustable guide arms, but I have not seen a video or pic of the os27 with that feature or with the ceramic as they show on the os23 and os31. I'll dig a little deeper.

Offline Dana Stanley

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2019, 07:17:06 AM »
jimparamedic - right now just want to see what some of these alders look like inside, I like spalted wood and it appears that some of these may have started, also building a house soon and need several outbuildings, should be able to get some good beams from the Fir/Hemlock that we have. If I enjoy it and it turns into something else that is great, at least right now, doesn't look like anyone is losing much $ selling used mills if I need to upgrade. So difficult to find a good used one. The Timbermate 2000, manufactured in 2008 is asking $6,000.00, what do like about it is it is all set to go, comes with built in toe boards, loading ramps, winch, nice trailer, log arch, blade sharpener, two cant hooks. I think I would be up to 10k with an hm130 by the time i added all of that stuff, but I would prefer the brand new Kohler elec start 14hp motor to the 11 year old pull start Honda 13hp. I'm curious what engine I could upgrade to easily in the future.

What are the most important things to look for on used mills?
Whats a Timbermate 2000? Is that the Harbor freight model? Is it a 2 or 4 post model? The Woodland Mills and Norwood are 4 post! Pretty sure it is the same as Harbor freights. Several companies offer them under a different name. Some folks have them and are happy with them, but that would be the bottom of the line sawmill, if that's what it is.
Making Sawdust, boards and signs.
Woodland Mills HM-126
Kabota B-7800 with backhoe and loader
Ford Ranger, Husqvarna 455 20", Mac 610 24", other chainsaws 14", 23 ton log splitter
Matthew 3:10

Offline Magicman

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2019, 08:39:53 AM »
Remember that a "hobby" sawmill is just that.  A hobby sawmill.  Your original post indicated that you have some serious timber/logs that you want to mill.  I read that to be a bit more than hobby.  The sponsors listed here don't sell hobby sawmills and can meet your needs.
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline charlie879

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2019, 01:26:55 PM »
The used mill is a Norwood lumbermate 2000. Not sure how many times I called it a timbermate in this thread, sorry about that. It sounds like a nice mill, possibly just need an engine upgrade in the future. I'm going to take a look at it this weekend. Comes with everything I need, really like the optional stuff he has, loading package, toe boards, ss bunk caps, sharpener and setter, arch.

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Re: First Sawmill
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2019, 01:29:14 PM »
Do any of you take the sawmill trailer packages on the highway. Not sure if I will need to rent a trailer or not?


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