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Author Topic: Newbie milling questions  (Read 713 times)

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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2021, 09:39:41 PM »
Did not see any buildings on your site, so think if this were my project, would start with a shop building.  You will need a jointer, planer, and a table saw at least for this project.  Maybe a shaper too if you like hardwood flooring, and you can make trim with a shaper as well.  This will not be a 90 day build job.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline Random ROG

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2021, 10:05:45 PM »
I have a suggestion for an early project from your mill.  Look up Jim Rogers video title "Sawhorse assembly".  Make 4 of them, you won't regret it and they will serve you a long time.
Random ROG

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2021, 04:09:31 AM »
Matt congratulations on land and mill!
We have the HM 126 and are very pleased with it.
One thing you may have thought about is debarking. The logs I've milled were all moved with my forwarder, not skidded, much cleaner but bark can still be imbedded with years of wind blown dirt, etc.
I've tried peeling with a drawbar, a "spud" and an axe, and find the axe is best in my opinion. You can buy an attachment for a chainsaw that debarks as well, called the Log Wizard.
That may save time as you could just hit the path where the blade will enter log, although I'd hit the exit side as well if there was obvious mud.
Blade life has been noticeably extended with peeling. Worth the time, again, in my opinion. Takes around ten minutes per log, and I find it most enjoyable. Really gives me time to assess log. Right on the forks, spin with the peavy. This is in White Pine. Hardwoods won't peel as easy.

Offline DanMc

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2021, 07:20:29 AM »
@MattVT:  I'm glad to see that there was something useful in my response.  It's great to see that you have a tractor and all the tools you'll need.  Getting the mill on the trailer solves a lot of problems, so you're in great shape there.  

Our story is similar to yours, except our land, purchased in 2015, came with a small house already built on it.  We are off-grid and loving it.  We weren't starting from scratch, but I had no place for equipment.  There was a good number of trees blocking the view, and those had to go.  That created a small stack of beautiful logs, and I considered it a crime to cut them up for firewood, especially since we don't need all that much firewood.   When I found the mill (lightly used), I immediately went through all the logs and milled them according to what I thought would be the most valuable lumber.  Then the next spring the canvas shelter I bought earlier began to tear (I'll never waste my money on one of those again), so that led to building a 24x28 foot machine shed.  I didn't have time to go back and mill framing lumber because I had one summer, working on weekends and any other free time, to get the building up and enclosed before the snow flies.  But all the 2" planks produced with the mill the prior year served as very valuable planks for pump jack staging, and once the machine shed was available, some of that 2" lumber became a large work bench, stair treads to the second floor, and a small firewood crib.  Some of the 1" white pine lumber was planed and run across the shaper to make wide pine flooring for the house on the land.  The wood was wormy with blue stain, so it is strikingly beautiful once the worm-holes are filled.  I have a bunch of 16" wide 1" planks that will be turned into more flooring as time permits. My problem is I can't plane anything over 13" in width.  
Mill Head shed: That would be a fantastic first project for your own lumber.  But I'm guessing that you'll find other things that are more pressing and urgent.  I ended up putting the mill head in my machine shed and leaving the track out on the mill site.  I don't run the mill all that much because there is such an endless list of things to work on out here on the land, and I worked through all the logs I had.  Finding a source for good consistent logs has been a challenge that I still have not solved.  My daughter and son-in-law built their own little cabin on the land, and that led to another stack of logs, so now I'm close to making another batch of lumber.  Maybe that can go into a mill head shed.  But a semi permanent structure at the mill site is tough when there's still a good amount of site clearing to be done.
On your question of drying times:  I have found that white pine dries in about 3 months during the summer.  People say that oak dry time is 1 year per inch of thickness.  
On stickers:  I also read not to use green lumber for stickers.  I did it anyway and had no issues that I know of with my lumber stacks, other than a little discoloration of the planks where the stickers sat.  But that was gone with the first pass in the planer.    You need a lot of these stickers, and cutting up purchased lumber for this is too hard for me, considering how easy they are to make.  So for stickers, I used the logs that weren't very straight and wouldn't produce good long lumber.  
Milling operation:  Planks were milled, then off-loaded on to the tractor forks.  The left-over slabs are a real nuisance.  I used a leaf blower to clear off all the saw dust at the end of each day.  It gets everywhere.  Then brought the finished lumber to the stack, and stickered it and then put the next log onto the mill.  I ended up with 3 stacks of lumber of various species and sizes.  I found that loading logs onto the mill track using two log tongs with chains around the forks worked best.  I tried picking up the logs with the forks, but that was so much more tricky because it's hard to see exactly where the forks are, and time consuming getting it all aligned so I can roll the log off the forks and onto the tracks without crashing the forks into the mill track.  With the tongs, it's so much easier to lift the log up and then gently set it down onto the mill track.  Eventually a level staging ramp will be nice to just load a group of logs onto the ramp and then be able to roll them onto the track.  But I'm not there yet.  

Woodland HM126 mill
JD 4600 tractor
28 acres of trees.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2021, 08:36:39 AM »
Welcome to the forum!  So much experience and good info here!

For pine, I mill it 1/8th over what I want (Ponderosa in my case and it shrinks less than most).  White pine in my area seems similar to Ponderosa so I don't do anything different for it.

If I plan to use with store bought (or a customer does) I mill 1/8th over and use rough sawn.  Only time I plane or resaw is if I want smooth for something that will be seen and handled, and something of a different dimension.

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Offline luap

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Re: Newbie milling questions
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2021, 12:31:35 PM »
I suggest that you have a rough sketch of what you plan to build so you can make a cut list of sizes of lumber and how many pieces.  And keep this in mind as you drop the trees on the ground and decide how to cut the tree into log lengths. More defects are visible with the tree laying on the ground than standing. Straightness, branches, insect damage, taper all come into play. A single sided planer is invaluable in salvaging miscuts. You are fortunate that you can build with rough lumber.

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