iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Your input on my future milling setup, please

Started by Mr. Buck, March 17, 2022, 05:15:18 PM

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Mr. Buck

I want to say thank you again to all those who gave me opinions and guidance when I originally posted my questions. Your information has been critical.

Much has happened since then. The lead time on my original order of the LT40 diesel mill grew to almost 2 years due to supply chain issues. I ended up canceling and re-evaluating the scope of what I was trying to accomplish.  I downsized my expectations and increased my short term budget so that I can clear more land, build a shelter for the mill and board storage, and add a (smallish) kiln sooner.

That said, I placed a new order for the LT35 Hydraulic (25hp gas).  The mill is supposed to arrive in September (or sooner), God willing.

If any of you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate it if you would consider the following questions and give advice or opinions:

1.  What tools do I need to have available to be productive?  I have a pretty well stocked garage. Is there anything I need to have within arms reach of the mill at all times? (I have 2 cant hooks and a pickaroon already, and chainsaws aplenty)

2.  What replacement / wear parts should I stock besides blades and how many?  I asked the salesman - he added one extra roller assemby and 2 tires.  Should I have more?

3. Blades.  They sold me a box of 15B3751584S, 0.045 x 1.25 x 158; 4°.  Remember that I am new to this.  The rep, who also services and owns an LT35 himself, said that these will cut whatever I want while i am learning. Thoughts?  Should I have more than 15 on hand?  He did not want to sell me the debarker. He said the current LT35 debarker motor is under powered and trips the fuse/breaker constantly.

4.  Assuming the location is flat / level, is it reasonable to begin milling logs within 24 hours of parking the mill? I have to drive it 150 miles or so. They told me that it would not need any adjustment /alignment when I get it home. What's y'alls experience with bringing a "mill on a trailer" home the first time?

5. Besides fuel and water (I'm reading up on various lube additives) do I need any other fluids on hand? Hydraulic oil, grease, lube for the rails?

6.  I'm not yet planning to run full electrical service out to the mill area. Just one 20A 120v circuit for some LED lights and the occasional corded power tool / battery charger.  When I add the kiln, I will add a meter and 200A panel for future expansion and to eventually run the kiln(s).

7. Are piles of sawdust laying outside decomposing in a generally wooded area a fire hazard?  Does it spontaneously combust like compost can?  I plan to spread it on our trails for the most part. But does it need active management for safety?

Thoughts (links) on any / all of this are appreciated and welcome. I have been searching the forums. The info is overwhelming. Thank you!
Mountain Cove Woodworking
Woodmizer LT35HDG25

WV Sawmiller

  I'm sawing with the same mill you have on order. Common lubes and fluids are readily available. I use ATF in a squirt bottle to lube most moving surfaces, rails and mast. I keep a tape measure on the control panel when sawing. I keep a handful of little HF magnets there as well as a cheat sheet for the various thicknesses I saw. I'll attach that below for you to see, copy, use, disregard as you choose. It makes sure I land on a finished board.

   When sawing, especially hardwoods, when I turn the cant to the final face I clamp below the height of the last board and saw to the bed without unclamping. I if I unclamp the thin cant often wants to rise up and that will ruin one board. 

  I throw my flitches on the loading arms and edge them against a stack of boards from the cant they came off. If you're using and edger you may/will use a different work flow.

   I keep a spare belt of every size, a couple of blade rollers, a spare drum switch for the Up/Down and Forward/Reverse functions. 

   I think everything on my mill is standard English size fittings, fasteners, etc but the engine will have some metric fasteners and such so keep appropriate sockets, end and combination wrenches, hex keys, etc. I keep big end/combination wrenches for bolts on the bed rails and such. Multi-meter and common electric fittings to replace/repair broken wires and such should be in your kit.

   I am standardizing on the 4 degree DH blades and only have a couple of other hook angles left so I think you are on the right track with your blades.

   Its a great little mill. It will be a little slower and has less functions than the larger one  but it is pretty easy to use and maintain. I am sure you will be well pleased with it.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2011 4WD F150 Ford Lariat PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Stihl 440 Chainsaw, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once


Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life for 25yrs.
Ezekiel 22:30


All great points from a ton of experience above.

Going to one of the basics...if you are logging your own land to feed your mill, it's important to have the equipment to do this safely, effectively and clean. Logs free of mud, dirt etc prolong blade life and are much more pleasant to deal with.

Unlike you in Georgia, I have the ability to source all my logs in the winter while the ground is frozen and snow covered. While this sucks at times, it is extremely easy to keep logs clean.

I would suggest a 3ph skidder winch for your JD as a good place to start.

I started with a LT35HD, with the 25hp Kohler. It was a great mill. I respectfully disagree about the debarker. I have had zero problems, and wouldn't buy a mill without it. Just my opinion.

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