iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Can full hydraulics be had on an LT35?

Started by tmelch, November 27, 2023, 10:12:10 AM

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More than once I've had to pull the head back manually because I was beyond the hydraulic electrical connection on my LT 35. Usually I have to pound in a couple of wedges to get it done. Is there a way to safely extend the electrical connection 5 or 6 feet? It usually happens when I forget to lower my left dogs before I start milling.


There have been several work arounds posted through the years.  Might search the files a bit.  One of the sawmill mod threads has a good representation of it.

Ole Country Vet
MX 5100 for the grunt work
Stihl MS 261 C-M


Basically you add a second battery to the system, search for "hydraulics anywhere mod"
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
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White Oak Meadows


Adding a second battery is the best modification we have made to our LT-50.  We use it on every log.  As I get to the end of the last board in the cant, John unclamps and raises the toe rollers and I roll the bottom few boards his direction.  It was incredibly handy on our last job of resawing the heart pine beams.  

Some folks use winch quick connect plugs, but we wired ours directly from the battery to a solenoid in the hydraulics box.  If we were mobile sawing, we'd use the plugs.  


you can just add the copper strip on the end of the mill and use welding cable to connect it through the frame to the front one,  we made  it that way 6 months after we bought the mill in 2018,   it works good ,  just got to make sure the shoe lines up with it running down the track
lt-40 wide ,,bobcat,sterling tandem flatbed log truck,10 ton trailer, stihl 075,041,029,066,and a 2017 f-350,oh and an edger

Sod saw


We have a separate second battery sitting in a box on the ground with a BIG plug connecting it to the hydraulic pump box.  That second battery is in parallel with the main saw battery when the saw head is near the hitch (front) end of the mill.  As the saw head moves down towards the rear end of the mill, the saw head is no longer connected to the copper strip so that the second battery is not being recharged while the log is being cut.   

We also have a second copper contact strip at the far end of the  bed extension (this saw will not move down the road) to provide 12 volts to the second battery for recharging that second battery while the saw head is parked at the far end of the track bed.

When I am sawing for a few hours I run that second battery down to the point that it no longer will supply power to the hydraulic pumps unless the saw head is at one or the other end of the track bed.  Why?  Because I am constantly turning the log or adjusting clamps etc.  while the saw head is mid way down the track.

We do not have grid power at the saw shed to a keep batteries toped off.  I did install 12 volt solar system connected directly to that second battery on the ground.  It makes a big difference in keeping that second battery up to snuff.

Good luck with your modification and don't shortchange yourself by using too small of wire size.

LT 40 hyd.          Solar Kiln.          Misc necessary toys.
It's extremely easy to make things complicated, but very difficult to keep things simple.


Is this a safety thing to keep the carriage from ramming into a stop or something? Does it make it difficult to mill max length logs? What is the scenario where you end up past this copper strip?


I've never thought in depth about the strip other than the fact that it is shorter than I would like. I've always assumed it was a safety thing. Maybe the powers that be/liability minded people envisioned various scenarios where injuries could occur. Maybe it's a protective measure to help guys like me simply to not break something.

As far as difficulty with max length logs - I normally run off the strip after the first few of feet. The need to lower the back stops or clamp a fraction of an inch is most common with me. And lowering the loader arms after sliding slabs and flitches off the cant.
I suppose one could find sufficient reason to have it. I actually asked the cost to extend the strip a few years ago but I decided I didn't need it as much as I thought. 😉

WoodMizer LT35HD

JD 3720 w/loader. 1983 Chevrolet C30 dump. 1973 Ford F600 w/stickloader. 35,000 chickens.


Thanks for the reply. I'm confused though. You normally run off the strip after the first few feet?   Where is this strip and what's its function? I've been watching a lot of videos trying to decide on a new hydraulic mill and haven't really noticed this strip stopping the flow. So does the mill loose hydraulic function after the head reaches a few feet from its beginning?


On Woodmizer mills, the copper strip is on the main beam.  A contact for the positive side of the battery rides on the strip.  The end of the strip is connected by wires to the hydraulic solenoid.  The negative side of the battery makes a ground connection to the mill via a contact strip that rides on a rail on the bottom of the main beam.

The electrical circuit to energize the hydraulics is completed by the solenoid when a hydraulic control lever is actuated

So you are correct in your understanding that the copper strip is about 6 feet long.  When the head moves off the strip, no hydraulics. 

It is a safety feature especially for the walk along/ride along models because all the hydraulic controls remain at the front of the mill.

While the operator is sawing, a helper or spectator could accidentally or purposely energize a hydraulic circuit and cause damage IF the hydraulics were active.

That is s consideration when modifying the mill for hydraulics anywhere.  It's not as much a concern with stationary controls. 
Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher


Thanks for the explanation. So when you're trying to add the hydraulics everywhere modification it's to enable the ability to lower a log stop or adjust the clamp after passing this strip. I see. Options are wedges and backing out of the cut to adjust. I can see where the lazer might help avoid this if it's not too sunny. Must be kind of a pain with a lot of 8' logs

JBS 181

If you are stationary. Just add a battery out side the hydraulic box and use a couple jumper wires to battery with wing nuts on the posts for good connection and easy disconnect. Use a battery charger to keep battery maintained.  Mine is stationary and fixed it that way at the very first. Even if I was running portable I would do the same thing and run a generator to charger. I use an electric chainsaw all the time at the mill for cutting slabs down to  shorter length.  Would need a generator anyway. Those inverters are nice and relatively easy to pack around.


If you look at the bottom of the page there is a few other threads with similar titles. I added a welding lead through the cat track on my LT70 and it gave me power everywhere on the mill and still works off the main battery. Don't have to worry about the other battery dying. When I quit doing portable work I just added a external hydraulic pump and don't worry about any of it.
Two LT70s, Nyle L200 kiln, 4 head Pinheiro planer, 30" double surface Cantek planer, Lucas dedicated slabber, Slabmizer, and enough rolling stock and chainsaws to keep it all running.

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