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Author Topic: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb  (Read 2602 times)

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Offline AbbyR

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New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« on: February 07, 2021, 05:35:32 PM »
Brand new LT15 Start. As far as I can tell, all setup and assembly steps performed correctly. Milled one log to get some 6x6 posts so that I could build a loading deck. All good to this point. Noting that while I'm still a newbie, I've assisted my neighbor quite a bit on his 25.

Today, my son came over and we were going to knock out some 4x4s and stickers in preparation of stacking some pine 2x lumber (which comes next). First round comes off fine. After rotation and starting on the 2nd round, the blade dives into the wood and binds. We carefully back everything up and start checking. We noticed that the vertical rail on the loading side has ridden off the bed towards the outside. The wheel inside the rail actually created a deep scratch as it tried to slide down over the edge. This is what caused the blade to dive as this vertical post assembly was no longer riding on top of the bed rail.

The attached picture is after manually lifting the vertical rail back up onto the bed. We took a couple of 2x2s and a C clamp to try and draw it back plumb. Even after this, it's still slightly bowing out at the bottom. Attempting to cut any further simply causes the vertical rail to try and start riding back over the edge.

Other than the one guide near the top, I don't see any mechanical guide for the lower part of this vertical rail. The mill is basically unusable at this point. I've gotten one log out of it since it was delivered a little over a week ago.

I'm not sure how to correct this. 

 
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Offline booman

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2021, 06:35:00 PM »
This is a new mill and you should contact Woodmizer tomorrow.  They have the best service and they will take care of you.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 07:42:47 PM »
Glad to hear they have great service. Having said that, this head unit weighs 800lbs and was shipped to me by truck. Let's say they have to replace something - how does that happen? Would someone ship me a whole new frame? I'd hate to think I'd have to incur any kind of expense here given the thing is 2 weeks old.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 08:22:35 PM »
From your description it's hard to understand what's wrong without my having an understanding of this mill.  Are you saying something about the frame is bent and there is no corrective adjustment mechanism?

Where are you located? Helps if you edit your profile to include that.

Have high hopes and give them a call.  
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2021, 08:47:57 PM »
I saw something like that recently either here or on facebook.  I believe @MartyParsons basically said it just needed to be bent in a bit by pulling on it with a ratchet strap.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 11:31:24 AM »
Spoke with Woodmizer this AM. They do want me to use the "strap procedure". Ratchet that idle post in about an inch and hopefully, it will only spring back 1/2 inch. As it sits now, the bottom of the post is 5/8" bowed out - this over a distance of about 18-20 inches. He says this should be a permanent fix.

For my troubles, they're throwing a couple of blades my way. One to replace the almost certainly wonky blade that's on there and another on top of that.
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2021, 08:22:43 PM »
Welcome to FF AbbyR
Thats great to hear, WM ussually has a fix.
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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2021, 09:02:41 PM »
You might check out "Fall Line Ridge" on YouTube. He had a similar issue with his LT15. Might have to search his video list but he did make a video of his repair. Good luck!
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Offline Lko67

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2021, 09:36:16 PM »
Had the same problem with my LT15 used ratchet strap and just kept pulling in until I got it running in the middle

Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2021, 06:09:21 PM »
Well, it's now happened a second time. I had previously strapped the idle arm and pulled it in an inch as requested. When relaxed, it did not leave 1/2 inch as they thought it might. They said as long as the bearing rides on the top rail, I should be good to go.

I'm a pure hobbyist and don't mill a lot of wood. I probably milled 4 average size SYP log total before it happened again. This time, they said to pull that strap in 2 inches. I pulled it as far as it would go before the idle arm fell inside the rail. I've cut 2 logs since with no problem. We'll see.....

So far they've been very kind and helpful. They've also sent me blades to replace the ones damaged when the idle arm rode over the edge (plus 1 for my trouble each time). I hope this is a permanent fix. 
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2021, 05:37:38 PM »
Update (and not a good one)

After my vertical rail / Idle post drifted off a third time, I once again contacted Woodmizer. This time, I spoke to a fellow that's been with them for some time and has 35 years of experience. He suggested that my problem may not be that this idle post was out of plumb but that it was twisted. (I saw another post somewhere that described this very thing) His thought that, because of the twist, the rail is actually steering itself off the bed. He wanted me to put a straightedge against the post to check.

He was right. Using a framing square, it appears that the post is twisted clockwise. The square showed a 3/16" travel away from the bed over a distance of 18" (the length of my square). If I moved the head assembly to the other end of the bed and measured the other way, I again got about 3/16" of travel over 18". My math shows that the post would want to travel about an inch in total over 8 feet. This just so happened to be about where the post was rolling over the edge of the bed rail and causing the blade to dive/bind. It all makes sense now.

Per the tech's recommendation, I put a wrench on that post and "ratchet-ed" using a cheater bar to see if I could eliminate the twist. I sent them pictures showing how much I was able to rotate (more than I thought I would be able to) the post. I even let it sit overnight under tension. Unfortunately, after releasing the post, any gain was lost. The post is still toed-out by the same amount.

The tech submitted a request for a new idle arm assembly. His manager said I need to build a platform inside the bed rail and ratchet that post IN at least a foot. The platform would be needed to support the post as a foot would pull it inside off the bed rail by 8-10 inches. I asked why we need to do this since the problem has been determined to be a toe-out issue and not one where the rail sits too far out. I was told this needed to be done before they'd consider anything else.

More disturbing was the answer to my question as to who would do any needed repairs. I was told that WM would send me the assembly and that I would basically have to disassemble the head assembly and install this myself. According to their website, I'd then have to return the post assembly at my cost if it weighed over 140lbs. This problem was reported to them within the first couple of weeks after receiving my mill from the factory. Had I known then what I know now, I could have returned under their 30 day policy. Now, it would appear I have to repair their problem and, most likely, incur costs in doing so.

Another user suggested I look at Fall Line Ridge's video on Youtube. He has exactly the same problem as I. One of his last comments was that WM bent over backwards to find out who he was and offered to fix his problem. I'm still hoping that WM does the right thing and repairs my brand new mill at no cost. If not, maybe I need to create a YouTube channel and post some videos? 
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2021, 07:22:52 PM »
Pics below.

If I attached the pictures properly, the first shows how the idle arm is twisted in relation to the bed rail it rides on. The camera angle exaggerates a bit here - I measure about 3/16" of an inch over 18 inches. (the actual idle arm is out of frame to the left)

The second picture is my framing square WHILE the idle arm was being twisted. As you can see, it's twisted back inward quite a bit. Unfortunately, it gave it all back up when tension was released. You can see my cheater bar in the same picture and that it's already started to bend under pressure.



 


 
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Offline barbender

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2021, 07:35:59 PM »
I don't exactly follow what is going on with your mill from the pictures. I would keep trying to go farther up the chain of management at Woodmizer, I can't see where this is something you should have to fix yourself.
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2021, 07:42:34 PM »
Ok I read through the thread again and I think I follow what you're dealing with. I'd still be all over the manufacturer to make it right.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2021, 07:54:53 PM »
This is what the base on the post and bearing looks like on my lt15 start
 forget the brush I added that to help clear dust but the  bearing in the post should ride on the top rail and the post cover rides under the lip. The bearing will eat the paint away but it shows it is tracking on the top of rail.  That post should be firm and square to the bed top if the bed is lined up straight.  The other side is locked on the slide rail you can remove cover over those bearings and make sure everything is ok.  When you look down the front plane of the front post it should line up with the middle support beam in alignment  but as you bring that head down the rail It should not slide off unless somthing is not adjusted right on the other side.  There also should not be anything hindering the raising or lowering of the head in relation to this post at all it is for support and there should be plastic or resin block between it and the head.  That bearing does ride more to the outside of the rail than I would like but the only way to modify that would be to look at the bolt holding it on the backside and move the bearing closer to the inside.  Anyway I am not a big fan of this setup and like how the Lt 15 wide is with that double rail system.  I think this system is a compromise between a four post system and a full cantilever system and it  got the worst of both worlds but for a hobby mill I have enjoyed mine and it has been a great mill for the price.
note how that post lip cover is square in relation to the rail side wing.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2021, 07:35:40 PM »
As directed by the "manager" at Woodmizer, I built up a platform inside the bed and ratcheted the idle arm inwards. He said to do this a foot. With three ratchet straps and my available strength, I got a little over 9 inches. (This after previous attempts of 4 inches) Obviously, the platform was there to hold up the idle arm so that it wouldn't fall down in between the bed arms. When I released the ratchets, the idle arm was NOW completely inside the bed. It no longer reached out far enough to sit ON the bed.

I contacted my support rep and he apologized that he didn't mean literally a foot. He said he should have been specific and had me ratchet in a few inches at a time and then test. I reviewed his previous instructions and they stated one foot. I asked for specific instructions as to how he wanted me to proceed and he asked that I now ratchet it back out a few inches at a time, releasing and measuring after each attempt.

It took 7 of these attempts to get the idle arm back on the bed so that the "L" plate barely cleared the welded bar that it rides under. Since I was pulling outwards now, I was able to use the winch on my UTV which greatly sped up the process.

I lubed the pads and the bed before milling a log to test. I'm hoping all this lubrication will keep the bearing wheel from getting any traction and trying to ride off the edge of the bed. So far so good. However, I'd been getting about 5-8 logs previously before the arm rode off the bed before. I'm going to mill several logs this weekend. Wish me luck.

A question keeps popping into my noggin as I do all this. What other pieces of equipment do we buy (costing thousands of dollars) that require us to perform our own repairs on while under warranty? If I bought a car or refrigerator or HVAC and it failed after two weeks, how silly would it be that I would become the repair person?
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Offline mudfarmer

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2021, 10:15:11 AM »
Yes all this "ratchet strap it in a bit maybe" from WM is blowing my mind and imo you are getting the run around if it came like this. Times are hard all over and they probably don't even have a new head assembly to ship but that is... No excuse and Not Your Problem, as someone that just bought "the Best of the Best". Might as well build your own or modify a garbage harbor freight Mill if you are going to drop top dollar for a mill that doesn't work and then have to fix it yourself. Ouch.

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2021, 09:11:09 PM »
I would guess that if you took your mill to WM they would eventually make the necessary repairs. It seems to be a question of convenience. That was the case with my Cook's mill. Warranty repairs are made at their facility, so a lot of warranty repairs are made at the mill site with free parts if needed.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2021, 11:45:42 PM »
Heard. It is this potential option that has kept me from pulling out the last hair on my head. If I bought a car and it was defective, I'd be expected to drive it back to the dealership. Of course, that dealership would likely be 10 minutes away and my car could drive there. If it couldn't, I'd expect the dealership to pick it up.

I paid hundreds of dollars to have this shipped to me. The closest facility is 90 miles away. I'd have to disassemble the entire head unit, find a way to mount it so it won't tip over, load it on a trailer and spend most of a day to get it there (and me back). If that facility had a way to repair it (don't know that it does), I'm sure I'd have to leave it which would entail another day out of my life to retrieve it and re-assemble. It that closest facility didn't do repairs, we're talking taking it several states away.

I've read other posts that suggest WM used to have a team that travelled around and "tuned up" sawmills for a price. Such a team could travel here in one trip and repair the mill onsite.

ATM - I have ratcheted the idle arm back in to place and have milled one log. Hopefully, this "fix" will hold. One of my  concerns is that this works for 6 months or maybe a year and starts doing it again. Or worse, it waits until the mill is no longer under warranty.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2022, 10:26:35 PM »
I know it's been a while since my last post but I wanted to update where I am on this issue. Nothing has changed with the mill - the idle mast is still twisted. What has changed is my behavior. Before each sawing session, I run a bead of transmission fluid down the bed rail so that the bearing will "slip" as it tries to run off said rail. As a result, I've not experienced the dreaded "mast runs over the edge and the blade dives into the wood" issue.

Unlike the Fall Line Ridge guy, I was not offered a free visit from a technician to fix my mill. It was suggested that I disassemble my mill to the point where I can get it on a trailer and drive 90 miles to Newnan, GA. At one point, they were going to send me a mast but the "manager" kyboshed that and had me perform another ratchet maneuver. Even then, I would have had to take the mill apart and install this new rail system along with gosh knows how many adjustments to get back in business. They also said I'd have to return the old mast at my cost.

I've decided to go the Fall Line Ridge path. I've started taking pictures and videos and writing a script to post a video on my YouTube channel. I don't get as many hits as he does so we'll see if that has any effect.

If nothing comes of that, I'll call them again and rant and rave one more time while my warranty is still in effect.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2022, 11:20:47 PM »
Sounds like the head fell off the rails, as you mentioned in your first post having to lift it back on the rails. 

Also sounds like WM is working with you. Just not to your liking. That is not easy to take, but maybe is what it is. 
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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2022, 09:18:36 AM »
This Forum is here to try and help. I'm looking at your last post, and I see no place where you are asking for ideas on helping you get your mill running correctly, but just a chance to use the platform as yours to bitch.  Its a tough world right now. Don't use the forum to complain about the manufacturer, use it to let us try and help you to figure it out SO YOU CAN FIX IT.  Ive been around sawmills my entire life. The steps are. Identify the problem, form a plan of action, then fix it. If one is incapable of fixing a sawmill, then they really should find another hobby. Mills break ALL THE TIME and especially if you think they wont. Sometimes as they say, the problem can be traced to the loose nut behind the wheel. Never discount that.
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Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2022, 10:42:27 AM »
Wow. Two in a row.

If you're not interested in hearing that Wood-Mizer has not corrected an in warranty product then so be it. Yes, the forum is a self help one but can't one also pass along experiences that others might find useful? I see you're a founder of this forum and for that I thank you. This loose nut understands that a 10 year old mill that breaks is a perfect example of your last comment. Nothing broke here. It was delivered defective. The only loose nuts would have to be with the WM build team in this instance. Specifically, whoever is supposed to measure whether or not a twist exists in a square tube after the weld cools off.

I posted my problem and about 1/2 the responses said to keep pushing back on WM to fix an obvious defect. Another percentage of people said "sounds like WM is working on your problem". How? By having me spend hours on something I didn't design or build?

If you bought a car and the door popped open at highway speeds, you'd expect the manufacturer to fix it. Would it be acceptable for them to have you repeatedly put a strap on the door and try to twist it into its designed configuration? And to admit that "one in a hundred" experience this problem? One branch in Germany just celebrated 5000 mills. One branch. That's 50 defective mills sold at just one branch. How many you reckon they sold in the US across all branches?

Yes I'm bitching. I bought a product that should have arrived in working condition. When it was discovered not to be in working condition and they know the defect happens, I expect THEM to take care of the problem. When they DO take care of an identical problem for a guy that has a successful YouTube channel, it would seem to suggest that they'll grease the squeaky wheel.

I am officially asking the forum to assist me in FIXING a problem that is KNOWN to Wood-Mizer and is under warranty. I've already performed hours of work at their direction without a permanent solution. What, pray tell forum, may I try next? Can someone think of a solution that Wood-Mizer themselves has not already tried? Am I just stuck with a defective product?
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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2022, 07:28:33 AM »
No, you can not use this forum to bitch about a manufacture here. Period. They can't come here and bitch about you here either. 
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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2022, 10:37:38 AM »
AbbyR. I think you've laid out your problem and considered solutions from the manufacturer and from us here. I hope your issue is resolved soon. I have an WMLT15 that runs like a dream. I, too would be extremely upset if it began to fail right away. Twisted metal is not something you should have to fix. It is potentially a sign of poor steel selection or poor welding techniques. Either one is concerning. I'm not here to "bitch" but simply agree that if I bought a mill from a renowned manufacturer I would expect it to work properly. I have about 100 hours on my mill and besides a little carb adjustment, it has exceeded my expectations. I think laying out your customer experience is valuable for any potential Sawyer. It's informative and speaks to a company's integrity. I have two friends who have put deposits down on WM sawmills because of my recommendation, no other reason. If they end up in a situation like yours, I would assume I would have to hear a lot about it. I hope they make it right. My customer experience with them is hit and miss. 

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2022, 04:36:45 PM »
This Forum is here to try and help. I'm looking at your last post, and I see no place where you are asking for ideas on helping you get your mill running correctly, but just a chance to use the platform as yours to bitch.  Its a tough world right now. Don't use the forum to complain about the manufacturer, use it to let us try and help you to figure it out SO YOU CAN FIX IT.  Ive been around sawmills my entire life. The steps are. Identify the problem, form a plan of action, then fix it. If one is incapable of fixing a sawmill, then they really should find another hobby. Mills break ALL THE TIME and especially if you think they wont. Sometimes as they say, the problem can be traced to the loose nut behind the wheel. Never discount that.
My issue with this take is he paid for a product, the product is defective. The purchaser of said product should not bear the burden of fixing a defective product. That's the route we must take when buying crap from China, not a product from the US IMO.  Or are we using COVID to absolve every manufacturer of delivering defective products these days?

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2022, 05:40:11 PM »
OK, I was trying to ignore this thread but now I find I can't. First, the OP here has not asked for help or advice as has already been pointed out. It would seem he prefers to fold his arms and wait for somebody to magically fix his problems. I should not need to point out that purchasing a piece of equipment implies that the new owner understands they will need to gain an intimate knowledge of said equipment to maximize output and maintain it over it's life. There are no 'Sawmill repair shops' in any town I know of. We are all on our own. Nobody doubts this machine should be working properly and WM has a responsibility to help make that happen. But in this industry sawmill builders are used to and adjusted to doing business with folks who are willing to take ownership and be part of the team.
 All that aside, I note that the OP here does not participate in any other conversations on this forum. He has made 11 posts and 10 of them are on the thread. Jeff is the boss and he makes the rules. Those rules are one the vast majority have no problem adhering to.
 I and many others, could suggest ways to help get this machine up to snuff. Personally I feel that my advice would not work for a variety of reasons, none of which have to do with the quality of the suggestions.
 I might point out there is another thread going on right now regarding another piece of WM equipment that several experienced users are having trouble with (brand new units out of the box). Those posters sought help and a great deal of progress has been made both from forum knowledge and WM support. It's a very similar scene with a very different outcome because of the attitude of those having the problems and the fact that they sought help and worked through it.
 I spent 50 years helping customers on the phone get things working and I can tell you that the person with a chip on his shoulder when he calls is gonna fall way down my priority list, but I will get him going IF he will work with me once he calms down. Yell at me and you are pretty much done. Focus on technical facts, perform the tests I ask exactly as I ask them and give me clear results and we can make quick headway to getting it fixed.
 I'll be blunt, maybe even rude, which I have never done on this forum until now. If all you can do is complain, don't do it here. If you really want to solve the issue, ask for help and give good accurate details. My gosh, I can't even count the number of LT15 owners here that would help you and make measurements on their mills or whatever you need. The truth is, I bet there are at least 50 guys here who would have you making nice lumber after a few hours visit at your mill with all the facts and the right tools in hand. Others have fixed this issue in short order. Complaining doesn't feed the livestock.
 Yeah, we get it, you are *pithed off and nobody blames you. But what are YOU going to do about it?
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2022, 06:05:19 PM »
 
 I think any manufacture should fix something that is not built right. plain and simple .  Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2022, 06:32:19 PM »
I agree that a manufacturer should stand behind their product. I think the problem for the Forum becomes when people think it is their own personal loudspeaker to try and get the result they are pushing for. I've never once seen that work here, I've probably been on here over 15 years. The Facebook sites are full of that kind of stuff, maybe try there🤷‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2022, 08:32:57 PM »
I find this an interesting post. It has been almost a year since you last posted about your problem. How many calls have you had with WM in the last year? What have you done to fix the problem. How many logs have you tried to saw with the problem mill? All of us on here feel your pain and are willing to help where we can. Trouble shooting is this Forums specialty. 
I was told years ago that it is my mill and "you have to learn how to fix it yourself". This I was told by Brian and Dave who worked at WM head office in Canada. They spent countless hrs on the phone trouble shooting my old used 1993 mill that was over 20 years old at the time. This forum has answered countless questions on my old mill and even my new mill. 
I know you have bought a new machine and it should work when you receive it. 
The old saying comes to mind, 
"you only get help when you help yourself"
Ask us how we can help?
As someone else says, if you want to bith go to facebook
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2022, 09:48:44 PM »
Seems like a legitimate manufacturing problem and I'm sorry the manufacturer hasn't made it right. I'm glad you shared the problem and the response. I find it helpful. If I were in your shoes I wouldn't want to fix it myself. I could, but I wouldn't want to. Sure, I buy second hand tools and vehicles all of the time and assume the risk it comes with. I bought a new truck a while back, my first one, that had a transmission issue within the first week. I was in a loaner for the month that my vehicle was being fixed. I paid $50 out of pocket for the warranty deductible. They made it right. Good luck with the fix. I would suggest driving it the 90 miles. Where I live, 90 miles is nothing. Help them make it right.

Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2022, 10:28:33 PM »
How many calls have you had with WM in the last year? What have you done to fix the problem. How many logs have you tried to saw with the problem mill? All of us on here feel your pain and are willing to help where we can. Trouble shooting is this Forums specialty.
I've been trying to conduct most of my communications via email. I did let this go for a year. Priorities.... I'm still helping my wife who had a stroke a while back. I work a full time job. I didn't do much milling over the winter. Etc..

Over the last month, I've probably milled about 20 logs. All pine. I'm helping my son build a fence around his property.
I apologize for the bitching I've intermingled with my posts. I didn't realize when I bought the mill just how support works. I guess with all manufacturers, not just WM. I did post a number of pictures along with a lot of notes. My intention was to elicit some sort of feedback that would help me not only with my mill but with dealing with WM.

I stated a few times along the way and will do so again here. The people I have spoke at WM to have been very friendly. I get the impression that they genuinely want to help me.

To the question on why WM had me ratchet the arm inward. There is a bearing that rides down the right hand rail. It should go straight down the middle. Because of the twist in the arm, it actually wants to ride off the right hand side. The ratchet process does not fix the underlying problem. It simply tries to move that bearing more to the left so that it has farther to go before riding off the rail.

WM has also had me try to twist that arm. I took an 18" plumbers wrench and a 6 foot metal bar and twisted counter clockwise twice as far as the current clockwise twist. Unfortunately, when released, it went back to its original position. Fall Line Ridge posted a YouTube video where he describes two WM techs spending several hours performing a similar procedure on his LT15. They were unable to completely eliminate the twist but were able to "mostly" eliminate it.

My last email to WM has been forwarded to management.

I believe most of what I've described above is in previous posts. What has worked for me in the interim is to run a bead of transmission fluid along that right hand rail. The bearing now has a harder time getting a grip and "slips and slides" its way.


 
Wood-Mizer LT15S, Wood-Mizer BMS25, Solar Kiln, Sawmill shed, Portable chicken coop, Pig Pen, 800 feet of 4 picket fencing and other projects for the Homestead

Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2022, 10:42:14 PM »
 I would suggest driving it the 90 miles. Where I live, 90 miles is nothing. Help them make it right.
I may end up doing that, depending on their response to my last email. On an earlier call, they said I could take it to Newnan and drop it off. That would be two days of travel. As noted above, I had no clue when I bought the mill that my participation in a warranty repair would be so involved. I balked at the suggestion when it was originally made and wanted them to come here.
If I can't find another way to get this fixed here, that might get put back on the table. I intend on having this mill til I die and would rather it be "right". Let's hope they send one of their roving tech crews by here and this becomes a moot issue.
Wood-Mizer LT15S, Wood-Mizer BMS25, Solar Kiln, Sawmill shed, Portable chicken coop, Pig Pen, 800 feet of 4 picket fencing and other projects for the Homestead

Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2022, 10:54:06 PM »
I agree that a manufacturer should stand behind their product. I think the problem for the Forum becomes when people think it is their own personal loudspeaker to try and get the result they are pushing for. I've never once seen that work here, I've probably been on here over 15 years. The Facebook sites are full of that kind of stuff, maybe try there🤷‍♂️
Heard. I did post a lot of pictures and descriptions. I only mixed in the bitching as a seasoning - not a full course. I've a fair amount of experience with other forums and you'll often see manufacturers at least monitoring popular sites. I'll admit I hoped this was the case here.

If I wanted to do the personal loudspeaker thing, I guess I could do like Fall Line Ridge and post a video on Youtube  :laugh:. In his own words, "They bent over backwards trying to figure out who I was so they could contact me".
Wood-Mizer LT15S, Wood-Mizer BMS25, Solar Kiln, Sawmill shed, Portable chicken coop, Pig Pen, 800 feet of 4 picket fencing and other projects for the Homestead

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2022, 08:37:41 AM »
As I understand it, the issue is that the bearing does not ride axially down the track so tries to "walk off."   This is presumably caused by the downtube coming out of alignment when it was welded.  

Anyway,
You said you were looking for "suggestions."  So here are mine.  It's been a year, nothing has happened, nothing has changed, things are at a standstill, so it seems you have several options.

Fix it, sell it, or work with WM.

So work on the bearing alignment itself instead of the downtube.  Why don't you just shim the bearing bolt, or adjust or elongate the holes, or whatever, so that the bearing is aligned with the rail instead of trying to twist the downtube?  Or bend the bolt a few degrees, or any number of things to adjust the alignment of the bearing.  You could even move the bearing to the outside of the down tube and remount it.  I had an LT15 many years ago for the pure reason it was sturdy, simple and yet easy to modify, and did lots of modifications to mine.  It's a very basic design.  So adjust the mount and align the bearing.    

I personally don't see twisting the steel downtube a viable option, the force required could easily damage or torque the head and in reality the issue is that a $10 bearing isn't aligned properly with the side rail.  So focus on the bearing, not the down tube.  I don't remember exactly how the bearing was mounted, but I'm sure it was nothing more than a bolt and a few washers...

Or sell the mill.

I also think that if I only lived 90 miles away, and was aggravated enough, I wouldn't hesitate to have a face to face.  I would hop in my vehicle and drive there with or without the mill.  Set up a meeting, talk to them in person, and come up with a plan that you or they can execute.  2 hour drive, 1 hour meeting, 2 hours back.  Half a day.  Or put the head in the back of your truck, drive there and have them adjust it.  Pre-coordinate so that they are ready when you get there and they can work on it immediately.  Then, it they can't fix it in a day, while you are there, it would be in plain sight of the folks there and they could come up with options to help.  If I remember correctly, the entire mill fit in the back of my shortbed pickup truck.

Comparing the warranty of a $5K mill to a $50K car is not a fair comparison.  A better comparison would be like comparing it to a warranty issue on a $5K riding lawn mower.  I would expect to have to take it to the the lawnmower dealer for work, warranty or not.  Transportation costs for warranty work is not uncommon, I was pricing a $100K JCB Track Loader, and would have to pay by the mile for the service team to come to me for warranty work, about a $1,000 for each trip.

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  So dont burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2022, 09:50:26 AM »
Yellowhammer summed it up pretty well.  I say call the dealer, schedule your repair, load the head up on a trailer and take it to them.

A new car under warranty with a defect would still have to be returned to a dealership for repair.  This is also true for cars out of warranty but under recall.

Woodmizer offered to repair the mill with the expectation that you take it to their shop.  Given that their shop will have experienced personnel and the tools and equipment necessary to evaluate and repair the problem, I believe that to be a reasonable expectation.  Expecting a technician to do the repairs in your backyard is like expecting a surgeon to remove your gall bladder on your kitchen table.  

Here's an additional .02 worth.  When I went for training and to pick up my first mill from the Woodmizer dealer, the hydraulic valve body developed a leak.  We noticed it prior to hitching the mill to my truck.  My buddy and I decided to go eat lunch while the technician diagnosed the problem.

Turned out one of the valves had a casting flaw.  The whole valve body had to be replaced.  That delayed taking delivery on the mill for about 3 days. 

Was I happy?  No.  Did I rant and rave about it? No.  Did I clearly express my concerns?  Yes.  Did I give Woodmizer a chance to make it right?  Absolutely, and here is why.  I figured to be sawmilling for many years and I would need the support of the dealer along the way.  As it turned out, I've gotten very good support and am remembered for having been cordial regarding my disappointment.  The owner of the dealership was very concerned that I was a satisfied customer and I gave him a chance to meet that expectation.
LT 35 (Sold) Future Owner Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline AbbyR

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2022, 10:01:54 AM »
So work on the bearing alignment itself instead of the downtube.  Why don't you just shim the bearing bolt, or adjust or elongate the holes, or whatever, so that the bearing is aligned with the rail instead of trying to twist the downtube?  

I personally don't see twisting the steel downtube a viable option, the force required could easily damage or torque the head

Or sell the mill.

Comparing the warranty of a $5K mill to a $50K car is not a fair comparison.  A better comparison would be like comparing it to a warranty issue on a $5K riding lawn mower.  
I'll have to look and see exactly how that bearing is mounted. I do know it's by a single bolt but obviously there would have to be something within that arm to receive the other end. From what I now know, this may be the way to go.
Agreed on the potential damage though this seems to be the method WM themselves used on Fall Line Ridge's LT15.
I would be concerned about selling a mill with a known defect. At the very least, it would affect the price I could get.
Heard. A more thorough reading of the warranty suggests that very thing. I got sucked in by the verbiage on the main page and didn't read the fine print on a different page.
Wood-Mizer LT15S, Wood-Mizer BMS25, Solar Kiln, Sawmill shed, Portable chicken coop, Pig Pen, 800 feet of 4 picket fencing and other projects for the Homestead

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2022, 05:05:33 PM »
Good responses. If you take the mill to WM and they can not fix it at their shop its under warranty and thier problem now. When it's in your back yard it's your problem.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

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Re: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2022, 09:58:41 AM »
It's been a while and I was wondering how you are making out with this issue?
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.


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