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Author Topic: Sources for Swingblade mills.  (Read 8153 times)

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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Sources for Swingblade mills.
« on: January 05, 2002, 10:13:16 AM »
Any swing-blade users out there?

I have been comparing Peterson swingblade, and Lucas swingblade very carefully this week. One detail that does stand out when you compare the multi-blade circulars to the swing blade design is this: You can instantly change your game plan when you see a shake or other defect with the swing type. It would be a little harder on the multi-circulars, such as Mobile Dimension or Mighty Mite. Also, with a swing design Peterson, set to run "Hi-Lo Rails" you have so much flexibility, you could get by without any in-the-woods heavy equipment. If you are cutting with at least one helper (to help shuffle wood and to move the saw to the next big log) and plan to cut big wood 3/4 of the time, you could put out some real production with a 10" Peterson.

Let's be fair.  Here are all the companies I know of, who make this type of saw.  Do you know of others?  
www.petersonsawmills.com  (sells direct to USA from New Z.)
www.forestor.com
www.baileys-online.com (Lucas North American dealer)
www.lucasmill.com.au  (Lucas manufacturer site Australia)
www.brandxsawmills.com
www.narapelawei.com (EcoSaw)

Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2002, 10:31:31 AM »
Welcome FRP!  I guess this ole sawyer is 'bout to get educated again.  The only saw I ever heard of referred to as a swing saw, are cut off saws. Never heard of a swingsaw mill.
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2002, 10:41:51 AM »
Thanks, Jeff B!
By the way,  I changes to the same user name I use in the Woodweb forums :  "Phil L.".  So from here out, it's Phil L.
Check out the sites I listed.  I have taken the world-wide internet crash course on them during the last 6-7 days.

I am amazed at the lack of exposure they have.  
Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Tom

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2002, 11:40:49 AM »
Phil,

There are a lot of swingblade millers out in the woods and they are quite vocal.  The loudest and most persistant are in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.  Lord help us if you wake them up :D :D
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2002, 12:01:44 PM »
Well, I finally see how these swing saws work.  

If I was looking for a mill, I would probably consider a swing mill.  But, even if you go out to the woods and cut a log into lumber, you still have to carry all that lumber out (unless you are going to use it there).

There are a few things I don't like about most of these small mills.  On circle mills, we saw off the side of the log.  The slab or flitch falls off and can be rolled out of the way by rolls or belts.  When you're done, you just push the dog board or cant off onto the belts.

Sawdust falls down and can be handled by blowers, augers, or drags.  At the end of the day, you just aren't going to be as tired and you'll have a lot more sawed.

When they can efficiently handle waste and the material sawed, then I'll be more enthusiastic.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2002, 06:10:09 PM »
What milling niche do these mills fit into?
They appear to take longer to set up than a band mill, will cut less than a band in one pass but cost about the same.

Offline timberbeast

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2002, 09:27:11 PM »
Someone explain how a swingblade operates differently from a regular multi-blade,  please?  I have seen the Lucas advertized in Bailey's.  Can't see how it works,  tho!
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Offline Tillaway

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2002, 10:20:06 PM »
Lots of them out here.  They are very popular where you have very big logs.  They are very simple, you push the saw head along the tracks and through the log.  When you get to the end you simply pull the lever and it flips the blade from horizontal to vertical and you pull the saw head back to where you started and pull off the board.

The are best suited for cutting dimension lumber, if you cut hardwoods then a band mill is better suited.  I have seen the Lucas and Peterson.  The Lucas has the advantage on the really big logs since it can be configured to cut any log you can get it to.  Production wise, they will put a band mill to shame cutting dimension lumber.

I was at Bailey's one day talking to one of the Lucas sales reps and he told me about one he sold to a guy that salvaged an old growth Redwood out of the Eel River.  Small end on the butt log was 13 feet in diameter.  He cut something like $30,000 dollars worth of lumber from that one tree.

I have seen more portable circle mills working out west than band mills.  A common use for them is as a break down saw for the big new automated mills.  Many of them can't swallow a 28" log.  Pacific Lumber Company over in the Redwood belt has a guy with a Mighty Might on contract that cuts all the salvaged Redwood they get.  The machinery in the company mills is not capable of handling the junk that this mill can.  
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2002, 10:23:50 PM »
Well Timberbeast I'm thinking the same thing. ;D

So much to learn so little time.

Gordon

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2002, 04:42:14 AM »

Don't move log, move and adjust tracks.

If you cut, or have the potential demand to cut big stuff.
  Mobile, Light AND ABLE TO COMPLETELY DEMOLISH
  trees too big for bandmills ( 36" to even 9 ft. thick)

If you cut, or have the potential demand  tree service stuff.
  In competition with metal, the swing blade design would
  take the "Survivor" award, wouldn't it? Heavy carbide replac-
  able teeth.

If you cut, or have the potential demand  tree-huggers stuff.
  Cut up the tree where it is and leave the scrap, sawdust and
  tops to feed the forest.  (I am a "conflicted hugger":
  Love 'em   standing, love 'em cut into beautiful wood.)

Surprise!  Both Lucas and Peterson offer huge chain slabber mills which run on the same track system as the swing blade circular.  Peterson's  has a 20 h.p. Honda motor on  60" bar!
Best of both worlds for really big stuff.  Lucas has two lengths.
Budget ranges:
   SMALL LUCAS     $5K  
   MIDDLE OF THE ROAD  $10K  (8" Lucas or Peterson
   BIG PETERSON                    $11,500
   24H.P. BIG PETERSON  WITH 20 H.P. SLABBER      $21,500
     



Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2002, 07:30:49 AM »
I believe you could cut hardwoods with a swing blade.  The advantage over the MD mills is you can get wider boards, but it may take longer.

The method would be to first edge the board.  One swipe down, another back.  The next would be to cut the board - another down and back cut.  But, to get any production, you should have the ability to turn the logs.  Log turning would limit how many edging passes you have to make.

What is the kerf on these saws?  I saw on the one site that the kerf was the supposedly comparable as for a bandsaw.  

As for teeth, no tooth is going to survive metal.  I know of only one guy using carbide on a headsaw.  Hit a nail and they are gone.  Replacement costs are 3 times that of chrome teeth.  If you are doing yard trees, then the chrome may be cheaper, if they are available.  And you don't need a diamond wheel to sharpen chrome.

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Offline HORSELOGGER

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2002, 07:47:30 AM »
Hey Guys!  I have been so busy over at the other site defending swingblades against the " orange swarm" that I didnt see this post.  Lets see...... I have a 8" Lucas mill that I use to compliment my Horselogging business here in Northern Illinois. It spends most of its time set up in my yard under the mercury vapor light as I saw at night a lot. To tear down the mill, move it set up again and have the blade in wood is a simple one man operation, takes 15-20 minutes at a leisurly pace. As stated above , in dimensional sawing, it will put some big footage out in a hurry and the lumber will be extremely accurate and consistant. One thing I often say to myself when I am sawing is that I cant beleive how accurate the mill is considering how crude and simple the design is. As far as grade sawing hardwoods, that is almost all I do. The mill design allows me to mill three faces at the same time, making grade decissions as I go. If i dont like the face I see taking boards on the horizontal plane I go deep vertically. when I come to a defect, isaw it out  by taking some stickkers from that area untill it is gone.It is not a mill for the non thinking sawyer, because it has a lot of options to the user if he keeps his head in the game. Ispent one third of the cost of a full hydro band mill, but still put out around 800 feet of grade hardwood lumber in an 8-9 hour day, including stacking ,stickering and keeping things tidyed up. I cannot saw wider than 8.5" without jumping through my rear end to flip the mill head around, but if I wanted to I could saw a max of 8x16 beam. anyway..... if this is like the other forum, give me a minute to brace myself and you all can start the beating!
Heritage Horselogging & Lumber Co.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2002, 08:49:20 AM »
Horselogger, if you want a home where no beatings take place. Stick around here. This is not like the "other forum". Will woop on ya if ya start somethun here ;)

Why don't people understand that there are other words then best, only, right and wrong. This forum is not about competing its about learning. I have learned a lot here. I just learned what a swingsaw is in fact. Pretty cool. I just sawed on a bandsaw for the first time last week. Awsome. I saw on a mill that will out produce almost any of the other mills that are on this forum because thats what its designed to do. Is it better? I won't say that. It does what its meant to do.

This forum is different then the "other forum". Is it better? I won't say that. But it does have a different tone. Thanks for the input, I can't wait to see a mill like your's saw someday, and maybe get a chance to saw on it myself!
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2002, 09:21:19 AM »
This is the forum isn't it?  ;)

Horselogger, beatings don't take place here. At least not that I've seen since I've been posting here. That's why I come here because of the people and better yet ----all of the knowledge that I get as well.

I've learned quite a bit since first coming here and keep learning that is what's so great about this place. It's a place you can pull a chair up to the stove and don't have to worry about getting beat on. When I ask my questions they are answered with respect to help teach others. Although they know it and it's second nature for them and would be quite easy for them to say---yada yada yada----they don't.  Guess thats what you call CLASS.

Jeezzz I'm gettin a tear in my eye I better stop  :'(

Gordon

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2002, 01:44:04 PM »
Hey, things heated up, while I was singin' at church!
To Ron Wenrich,
Hey, Ron, I'm going down your points:
   1.  The need to turn the log.    Keep in mind that your first
        left cut down the log can be horizontal, ten inches, just
        skimming off bark and maybe 1/2" of sap wood on the top left of the log.  Keep in mind that the lower surface of the horizontally-spinning blade is flush on the surface of the cut you are making.  On  the return you go vertical, move to the right edge of your "mini-slab" cut and take a quick shallow cut to release this minislab,  or you can use a deeper cut on this return to not only edge deep  enough for the release of the "mini-slab", but deep enough to form the right edge of as many as eight 1" thick boards.  (You have to learn to think "out of the box", as you use this type saw.)  
  Let's choose the deep return cut.  Next, we jump back down track (not cutting), then move farther left for another 10" deep vertical.  With saw farther down the left side of the log, run horizontal deep enough to expose the left face of a cant 8" to 9" tall, freeing another tiny vertical slab with barely any waste.   Last we make repeated horizontal swipes on our  mini-cant, which is still attached at its bottom to the main portion of our huge log.  Each of the next eight horizontal runs down log can result in a complete 1x10.  When we cut that last board free with the last horizontal run down the log, we have used up a wedge shape, roughly 10" by 10" on the left top of the log.  Bear in mind that each "wasted" move up or down track would not be wasted by the experienced swing-blader, because he is planning his next mini-cant or other scheme - of which there are many.  (This is a thinking man's saw, but just think how quickly we have produced straight, edged, square dimensional lumber.)  
   2.  They produce slightly greater kerf than a band.
        The Peterson is 6mm.  which is  approx. 3/16"
   3.  Power feed sawings cutting (tearing) down the log in
        commercial settings really damage teeth.  For these
think of your hand-held circular saw, rather than a fast-moving headsaw:   I can cut a nail and chip one tooth.  Hit another and maybe chip another.  Hit a 40penny nail and break a tooth.    
  Peterson's replacement teeth for the welded-tooth blades cost less than $2.00 each and they provide an optional  jig for welding (brazing) them on.  They also sell a 1/4" kerf replacable-tooth blade (socketed teeth), for about 750.00.  Ouch! Their blades can be sharpened on the saw in approximately 3 minutes with their custom diamond sharpener with jig.  If you plan to cut a lot of residential timber, then go replacable-tooth.  Or plan to buy the brazing jig.
In the near future, I hope to hear more questions.  Maybe I can show in graphics the series of cuts I described above.  They are not fixed in stone.   (Three people would choose four different ways to do it.)
   This design of saw was new to me 10 days ago, but it is amazing, "outside the box" thinking.  As Jeff B says,  each machine has its purpose and strength.  When you combine the benefits of a swingblade design, and, then have the option of throwing a 60" slabbing chain saw mill on that same track, well, ... Kawabunga!
Phil L.      (Nope, I don't know how to spell that.)

Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2002, 07:42:51 PM »
 :o  You guys!
I have learned a lot, ABOUT EVERYTHING EXCEPT WHAT I ASKED. >:(

Okay, okay,... I'm calm now.

"DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANY OTHER SOURCES FOR SWING-BLADE TYPE SAWMILLS, OTHER THAN WHAT I LISTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS THREAD?"
:'(
Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline timberbeast

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2002, 12:45:31 AM »
I don't know,  Phil!  But thank you and the other guys for educating me on the design.  Maybe if we all meet somewhere,  we can build our own,  with everyone's ideas.
Kinda like the  "Sawmilling A-Team".  Should be able to have it working in under an hour,  unless it's "continued next week". ::)
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Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2002, 09:25:00 AM »
Had that thought, too, Timberbeast,
but after reading the history of Carl Peterson's development of their brand of swingblade,  I think we would end up with a whole series of "Junkyard Wars" , before we could match a ready-made one.  Oops there went the cost savings!
On the other hand, . . .  hmmmmm.   :-/  ,
 why don't YOU buy one, then I can copy it !   :)
Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2002, 04:14:55 PM »
I haven't been on for a while so I just caught this thread (Been busy between sawing, splitting, and ice fishing).
Phil, I did a lot of studying on the web like you have, I couldn't find any other manufacturers. To make a long story short, I bought a Peterson 8" 20 HP Honda. I went this way over the Lucas because of a couple of reasons: Engine manufacturer; stainless and aluminum construction; one point for saw head height adjustment; can saw the double width stuff without having to turn the saw head around.
As far as sawing with it goes, it's great (of course I use to mill with my chainsaw  ;) ). As an example yesterday afternoon I cut about 230 bf of walnut and hickory (all edged) by myself in about 3 hours. This included setting up and tearing down, debarking and moving logs by hand (they were small), measuring and trying to figure out what I can get out of the logs, experimenting, fixing what I screwed up because I was trying to take shortcuts (gotta learn somehow), cleaning up and hauling everything out on a trailer. Don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming some speed record here, that kind of production is laughable (cryable?) to most on this board. What it does represent is what a rookie could expect working on his own with this type of mill. I am continuing to learn and have steadily increased my production and the quality of what I'm sawing. I believe that they are in fact capable of the production rates that the advertising claims.
I've caught a lot of grief from people who look at it and figure its a toy, and its hard to make them believe otherwise until they see that it will handle up to a 48" dia. by 20 ft. log without having to move or turn the log. When I'm done I can load the whole thing up by hand by myself and drive it away.
Is it more work than a fully hydraulic bandmill, absolutely! There is nothing there that will move with out you grabbing it. But it is all manageable, and that's what suits my needs for being truly portable.
Jeff, you are exactly 100% right, or well, your well considered opinion appears to make some logical sense.  ;D There are so many ways to go at things that a guy is really limiting himself when he gets to the point that "mine is the only way to go". Maybe I'll have to thow that mill on the trailer with sleds and come visiting if you get some snow over your way.  ;)
Steve

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2002, 07:14:04 PM »
Hey Eggsander,

Considering the board footage, time and all the other chores which you had fit into the three hours, that ain't bad.

Boy, do I wish I had a swing blade right now:
Here is why:
Today I checked a clear-cut area which had caught my eye.  In my work travels I had seen the area several times, but had never stopped.  What I had noticed on prrevious drive-bys, was what appeared to be a few VERY LARGE White Oaks that stood for a time alone in the clear cut, then, lacking the protection which had been afforded by the thick forest before cutting, were blown down.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. Today, at the end of a 150 mile, eleven hour work route, I had to see what I could see.  After clambering over a 1/4 mile of the huge tops and trash wood left behind, I found the first specimen. It turned out to be a twin tree which had grown together at the very base. When it fell, the two trunks popped apart. Each trunk is about 36" at breast height - too big for the mills around here, so it was left by the loggers. It is fresh enough that the dead leaves are still hanging onto the stems.   Each trunk is about 18' -20' of the good stuff, plus a year's-worth of fire wood.
My mouth is watering, and I haven't even gone to find the other proud whites that I had also seen standing a few  hundred yards deeper into the lot. This is the perfect setting for a swing blade. Three thousand board feet just waiting. Too big to wrestle in the mud, but begging for cuttin'!
Phil L.
    P.S.  Why didn't you get the 10"?
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2002, 07:52:35 PM »
Hey Horselogger,

Stay away from my big White Oaks.  All I saw was 'coon and deer tracks today, so I don't want to see hoof prints down there where  a team of eight has been trying their  best to pull those little darlins out before I can get 'em.
Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2002, 02:15:37 PM »
Phil, like someone mentioned on the other board, a whack of oak like that (or is that more than a whack?) would put a huge dent in the cost a new Peterson. At least that's the kind of justification I've been known to use.
I went with the 8" because I was originally looking at the small motored 6"ers and the eight was enough a stretch, yet big enough to produce what I wanted. The 10" would have been great as well as putting the 24 hp on the 8" (which I probably should have) but you gotta draw the line somewhere. ::)
Steve

Offline psychotic1

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2002, 05:09:38 PM »
Hey Eggsander.
How bout some pictures of that thing.  I really do like the peterson, and I'm hoping someday in the future to be able to afford one, just not yet.
Patience, hell.  I'm gonna kill something

Offline HORSELOGGER

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2002, 06:10:59 AM »
Phil........Team of 8?  I just hook 2 and say get up! aint been whooped yet!
Heritage Horselogging & Lumber Co.
"Surgical removal of standing timber, Leaving a Heritage of timber for tommorow. "

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2002, 06:48:02 AM »
 the Peterson and the Lucas both have optional "dedicated slabbers".  What I am wonderig: since I have never really watched one; is, can the slabber be purchased without all the track to run unit within which it is mounted?  I would furnish my own track system. :P :P
Frank Pender

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2002, 07:08:43 AM »
Hey HORSELOGGER,
Just kiddin', but issabigun.  The horses must be, too.

Hello FRANK PENDER,
Yes, it can :

Dedicated Slabber mill with 20hp motor, 2 chains, sharpener
special US customer pricing sheet including delivery/duties    $7,740.00 USD
Less equivalent cost of set of tracks (using mill tracks)             -640.00 USD  This is from a recent quote I obtained from Kerris at Peterson.(subtract the $640 figure)

Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2002, 07:37:11 PM »
Psychotic,
I just moved it home again, I'll try to get some pics when I get set up again. I gotta take my kids fishing some first though  ;D
Steve

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Re: Sources for Swingblade mills.
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2002, 07:37:22 PM »
Now I have to choose which way I want to go.  The slabber is about 1/3 the cost of the Wheeler log loader/haul I want to buy this Spring.  Both are justifiable, however  the Wheeler will bring quicker returns for the investment at this time. ::)
Frank Pender


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