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Author Topic: New Woodmizer LT15 Start vertical rail not plumb  (Read 1206 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. 

 

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.
2019 LT15G25WIDE, 2013 LT35HDG25, Stihl MS880 with 59" bar with Alaskan sawmill attachment.  John Deere 5045 tractor with forks, bucket and grapple.  Many chainsaws.

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.

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.  
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

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.

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.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline KenMac

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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!
Cook's AC3667t, Cat Claw sharpener, Dual tooth setter, and Band Roller, Kubota B26 TLB

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. 

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? 

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.



 


 

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?

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.

Offline KenMac

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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.
Cook's AC3667t, Cat Claw sharpener, Dual tooth setter, and Band Roller, Kubota B26 TLB

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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