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Author Topic: Tips for a newbie.  (Read 454 times)

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Offline CelestialSprite

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Tips for a newbie.
« on: October 14, 2021, 03:29:28 PM »
Hypothetically, say this was for research purposes. If you were having a discussion with someone who posed an interest in milling but didn't know much about it, what would you tell them about it?  What are some of your favorite aspects, least favorable aspects, tips and tricks... What piece of information would you be MOST excited to share about your milling experience? Take an informative approach to catch their interest and make them more intrigued.

Looking forward to seeing everyone's thoughts!

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2021, 03:50:55 PM »
Hypothetically, say this was for research purposes. If you were having a discussion with someone who posed an interest in milling but didn't know much about it, what would you tell them about it?
Don't do it, its hard work.  Do something easy like breaking rocks with a sledgehammer.

From a research standpoint, lots of "what if" questions can be answered via the "search" function.
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

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 CelestialSprite

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2021, 03:55:20 PM »
Fair! Though the pay off for milling versus smashing rocks with a sledge hammer seems much more desirable lol

My husband mills and it's always fascinating to watch him work while he does it. I am just curious what makes it enjoyable or not to others.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 04:00:37 PM »
When you open the face of a log (make the first cut) you are seeing something that no human has ever seen before.  Then as you open the remaining faces and saw the log into lumber you are further revealing what nature has grown and it's your joy to be the absolute first person to ever witness what our Creator has grown.

I also gain much satisfaction seeing the joy on the log's owner's face and watch that owner visualize and plan the lumber's use.  I usually also snap a few pictures to share with my wife after the day's sawing is done.

Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline btulloh

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 04:13:10 PM »
Fair! Though the pay off for milling versus smashing rocks with a sledge hammer seems much more desirable lol

My husband mills and it's always fascinating to watch him work while he does it. I am just curious what makes it enjoyable or not to others.
Well itís like most things. Some people like to hunt, some would rather garden or crochet or bowl or climb mountains. Like Magicman said, you reveal something never seen before when you open a log. Some us grew up with woodworking which led to sawmilling eventually. There are many paths and many reasons. People are different and choices are many. 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 04:46:09 PM »
Yep, for me itís genetic.  I found out at my Fatherís funeral that his brother, my Uncle Eddie, used to own and run a sawmill while I was giving everybody a tour of mine. Who knew???

Other than that, I do it for fun, although there is significant money as a reward, many zeros worth.  On the other hand, I spend a lot of money on gravel, so I still think breaking rocks my be equivalent.

As to what makes people do it??? I have met many Sawyerís in my day, and most all are good people, hard working and to be respected.

All are also a leetle bit crazy, ďslightly tetched in the headĒ as we say down south.  Except me.  I keep telling myself Iím the only ďnormalĒ person I know.  I tell my wife the same thing.  She says ďSure.Ē  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

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 GullyBog

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 09:22:45 PM »
favorite thing, making something useful
least favorite thing, making a mess in the process
most exciting thing, years later that wood is still contributing to a better world.
It sounds crazy but milling a tree into something that might last a long time is a lot like planting a tree.  It's the feeling of being part of something above and beyond my own lifetime.  
There might be a little dust on the butt log, but don't let if fool ya bout what's inside

Offline KenMac

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 09:24:39 PM »
I know opinions will vary greatly but one of my favorite reasons to run a sawmill is the people I meet. In 2 1/2 years I've only met one lady that was a genuine pain and she wormed her way into the deal that her Dad and I had made. Now meeting people  had nothing to do with my original reasoning to buy a mill, and I do enjoy the entire process, but meeting so many good people has been a welcomed additional benefit.
Cook's AC3667t, Cat Claw sharpener, Dual tooth setter, and Band Roller, Kubota B26 TLB

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2021, 06:02:35 AM »
I really enjoy sawing. 
But it is A LOT of work. 
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2021, 12:09:55 PM »
I like running my mill because I had a hand in making it. I bought it as a manual mill and added features and accessories that made it labor saving. That has added a lot of pleasure to the sawing process. I have a lot of admiration for those who have built it from scratch. I wouldn't undertake that.
Cook's MP-32, 20HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw setter and sharpener, tandem trailer, log arch, tractor, thumb tacks

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2021, 01:41:56 PM »
   Very good responses above. I like KentMacs best. I started because I had extra time on my hands after retiring and was looking for something to keep me active and may make some money. So far I have been half right. :D The best advice I got was from my wife and an old neighbor who pushed me to get the hydraulics. I often saw alone and have very little support equipment so the hydraulics have made my life so much easier and safer and more fun. You can certainly saw good lumber with a manual mill but you will sure see a lot more people adding hydraulics or upgrading to a hydraulic mill rather than trading in a hydraulic mill for a manual one.

   There are lots of decisions the individual needs to consider and address before they start such as their health, support equipment, source for logs, portable or stationary, selling lumber or just sawing services, using the lumber for value-added projects, working and storage space, marketing or disposal of the by products, etc. 

   I would consider this forum and this thread as a Masters if not doctorate level course for sawing logs into lumber. There is an amazing amount of information here and if you take the time start at the beginning and read the whole thread you will find almost any topic you can imagine has been covered/addressed often many time.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline DesertHobo

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2021, 06:43:12 PM »
I'm going to say what others are saying, in a different way.
I think the most interesting thing about milling is that you're taking something living, or once living, that's relatively ordinary - unless maybe it's got some real age or sentimental value - and help it become something extraordinary that's only limited by our imagination and creativity. Often times, especially for portable millers, it starts out as a nuisance that would have otherwise been left curbside or in the yard/hedgerow to rot. Even when it's not, when it was seemingly grown for a monumental purpose, you're still part of the journey that begins as a sprout and goes on to frame or side a house, or becomes the table that generations spend their holidays around, or the boat and oars that are always ready for another trip around the lake, or...well, I'm sure you get the idea.

Online SawyerTed

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Re: Tips for a newbie.
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2021, 07:15:18 PM »
My motivation to start and continue to saw is much like the othersí.  A retirement gig, a bit of money, fascination with logs and lumber, staying active, using logs on the farm all factor in to a degree.

I like the productivity.  Before I retired I had a job where I could work all day and turn around, as I turned out the office lights, to see my office looked exactly like it did that morning.  I was productive but couldnít always see it.  If I saw all day, I can see the results usually.

Helping others realize their dreams by providing the materials they need is exciting to me.  Similar to the others comments just from a different perspective.

Meeting and talking to other interesting people is absolutely a benefit I unexpectedly really enjoy. 

If sawing as a business, sawing is less than 50% of the actual work of the business.  Accounting, taxes, insurance, marketing, sales, customer service, log acquisition and so on take lots of time to do right.  Know when to hire assistance or ask for help. Did I say get a bigger sign?

If sawing as a hobby, donít let what others want you to cut get in front of what you want to do.  Sawing for others can get out of hand for the hobbyist. 
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins


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