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Author Topic: Band-mill recommendations?  (Read 400 times)

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Offline sumpnz

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Band-mill recommendations?
« on: September 13, 2021, 05:57:03 PM »
Ok, new band-mills are looong wait times (at least good quality ones),  and used ones are stupidly expensive.  But, if you had no brand loyalty, and in my situation, what would you buy?

I have quite a few logs starting to stack up.  At the moment maple and walnut.  Alder, birch, spruce and fir commonly available.  Diameters of current logs in my pile range from 15Ē to upwards of 34Ē, with some crotch sections around 45-50Ē (though these could obviously be trimmed down).  Got a few maples that I expect to have to remove in the next several years that are approaching 40Ē DBH right now.  Some cedar in the yard of a friendís neighbor that might be gettable thatís ďbigĒ but I donít have dimensions yet.  But wester WA cedars are commonly well over 36Ē DBH.

Need to double check my breaker but Iím 90% sure I could run an electric motor for a mill.  Got 200A each to the house and detached garage, so with 400A total there should be plenty still available.  Not likely to want to be mobile, so as long as I do in fact have the electrical capacity Iíd much prefer that over ICE power.  Neighbor gets testy over noise and the otherwise most logical spot on the property for a bandsaw mill is the side closest to him.  Iíd still try to mill mostly when heís not home, but the low noise factor of electric would give me a ton more flexibility.

Budget?  Max $20k (assuming a friend is willing to invest with me in it), but would like it a lot better if under $7k.  Definitely willing to wait for the current insanity to abate and for used prices to come back to earth.  So if recommending a used mill figure pre-covid pricing plus maybe 10% because nothing is coming all the way back down yet.  Willing to DIY-build one in order to get price down/diameter capacity up.  

Would I make it a business?  Maybe eventually, but probably would be more like a hobby that funds itself, at least for a while.

 

Offline ladylake

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Re: Band-mill recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 07:24:57 PM »
 Get one with big capacity, maybe a EZ Boardwalk 40 or 50.  Steve
Timberking B20 15000 hours +  Case75xt grapple + forks+8" snow bucket + dirt bucket   770 Oliver   Lots(too many) of chainsaws, Like the Echo saws and the Stihl and Husky     W5  Case loader   1  trailers  Wright sharpener     Suffolk  setter Volvo MCT125c skid loader

Offline Lostinmn

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Re: Band-mill recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2021, 08:52:22 AM »
Might want to consider Woodmizer LT15 Wide with electric motor and power feed option.

If you have separate equipment for log handling as there is no hydraulics on this unit for the larger logs, but puts it in the 15K range.

Great hobby set up and/or for minimal production.

I have the LT15 gas, but wish I'd of went with the wide for slabs.

Offline dougtrr2

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Re: Band-mill recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 09:08:19 AM »
What is the overall game plan?  Are you going to cut the wood to resell, or for your own use?  If it is for your use, is this a business or hobby?   How are you planning on drying all that wood?

It might be worth hiring a couple different portable sawmills to see the features in action.  

I am just a pretty serious hobby cabinet maker.  But, one days worth of a professional sawing may have set me up with a lifetime supply. 

Doug in SW IA

Online SawyerTed

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Re: Band-mill recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2021, 01:41:42 PM »
For some, one day of off bearing with a professional portable sawmill cures them of the sawmill bug. :)

Hiring a portable sawmill and sawyer is a good idea to get some of the logs you have now processed.  Trees are like cows, pigs, chickens and other livestock, once you kill them they need to processed relatively soon or they do go bad.  Not as fast as meat but logs do go bad.  

That will buy you some time in making a decision on a mill.  I agree the Woodmizer LT 15 Wide or the LX 150 with electric motor seems like a good fit for your budget and log sizes.  
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Band-mill recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2021, 02:36:39 PM »
Game plan is to keep enough wood for my own uses and sell the rest to fund the hobby.  Uses include furniture and cabinets for myself, furniture gifts for family/friends, etc.  At some point as a side hustle/semi-retirement gig I could see wood working for money.  SWMBO also has ideas for homeschooling manipulatives and other teaching resources as a side hustle that the lumber would be useful for making.  

For now Iíll stack and sticker the wood to air dry.  Might consider a kiln, but probably can keep the wood stacked for quite a while before that would matter, and could always outsource that to someone local with capacity.

Iíve done enough chainsaw milling (1500ish bf of 8/4 and 12/4 slabs 20-32Ē wide, 5.5-10í long) to know what Iím getting into in terms of the physical work.  

Raise a hundred plus meat chickens as well as dozens of turkeys each year.  Do all the processing myself on them.  So again, not a stranger to that type of work.


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