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Mill base and suggestions for my setup

Started by TriumphTriple, February 28, 2024, 01:27:12 PM

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TriumphTriple

Thank you to those who helped me decided what mill to get. I ordered at Woodmizer LX50Super. I have 5 or so weeks to get ready. I picked the right spot which is right by my wood processing area. I plan to build the platform in the attached picture. The mill is 12'5" and I have a 5' extension, making it 17'5". I am going to make each track out of 2 10' 6x6 joined at the center and joined with mending plates. I'll have 5 posts with one in the middle to join the two sections of 6x6. I'll dig out the footings about a foot deep and fill with 2A modified gravel. I'll use a laser line level. I am going to put wood chips around the mill but eventually a ground level deck. First project will be making wood storage then making a roof for the mill.

So what do you find the best height to set the mill base at? Is there a benefit to lower or higher base?
Should I make the tracks 20' long or make it 17'5"? I will not be putting any more extensions on the mill.

What are some must haves for my new set up? I have a tractor with forks, chainsaw of course, cant hook, 10 blades to start with, I am going to use an existing mower cover for the head. I am going to order a logging tape, electric blower and laser line for blade cut. I don't plan on getting a sharpener for a while.

jpassardi

Top of the bed at knee height is best as long as you have a machine to load with.
I'd make it 17.5' so you don't have to walk around unusable length every time.
LT15 W/Trailer, Log Turner, Power Feed & up/down
CAT 416 Backhoe W/ Self Built Hydraulic Thumb and Forks
Husky 372XP, 550XPG, 60, 50,   WM CBN Sharpener & Setter
40K # Excavator, Bobcat 763, Kubota RTV 900
Orlan Wood Gasification Boiler -Slab Disposer

PoginyHill

Did you use YouTuber TimberJack's set-up as inspiration? It looks identical.
Kubota M7060 & B2401, Metavic log trailer, Cat E70B, Cat D5C, 750 Grizzly ATV, Wallenstein FX110, 84" Landpride rotary hog, Classic Edge 750, Stihl 170, 261, 462

TriumphTriple

Quote from: PoginyHill on February 28, 2024, 02:51:09 PMDid you use YouTuber TimberJack's set-up as inspiration? It looks identical.

Yeah it looks like it. I was looking for images of different base while researching. I didn't built it yet. 

dougtrr2

Just curious.  Have the lead times came down on all Woodmizer products or just the model you ordered.  Seems like it was just yesterday a 6 month lead time was considered fast, and now you are talking 5 weeks.  

Doug in SW IA

YellowHammer

I had an LT15 many years ago, had the same kind of screw feet it looks like in the photo, and got tired of it walking and flexing on the crosstie setup I had, much like the photo.  I eventually removed the feet and bolted a full length piece of 2x6 steel rectangular tubing to the mill frame itself and then my "straight cutting" problems went away, and had a stiff and straight mill frame.     

I do not like putting anything precision on a wooden base unless it is extra reinforced with steel or concrete.   
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

TriumphTriple

Quote from: dougtrr2 on February 29, 2024, 07:25:31 AMJust curious.  Have the lead times came down on all Woodmizer products or just the model you ordered.  Seems like it was just yesterday a 6 month lead time was considered fast, and now you are talking 5 weeks. 

Doug in SW IA

It looks like 5 weeks when I ordered but I didn't look at any other models. I was considering purchasing it last year but the lead time was too much for me.

TriumphTriple

Quote from: YellowHammer on February 29, 2024, 08:54:49 AMI had an LT15 many years ago, had the same kind of screw feet it looks like in the photo, and got tired of it walking and flexing on the crosstie setup I had, much like the photo.  I eventually removed the feet and bolted a full length piece of 2x6 steel rectangular tubing to the mill frame itself and then my "straight cutting" problems went away, and had a stiff and straight mill frame.     

I do not like putting anything precision on a wooden base unless it is extra reinforced with steel or concrete.   

Thats interesting. I was watching lumber jacks videos last night and it looks like 2 years after he built the base it needed to be leveled again. Not sure if that is normal or not. I am sure it would have to be leveled every once in a while though. Do you think bolting the feet to the 6x6 will help, I figure at least with it moving. I think I am going to be doing concrete footers now, not 100% though.

Menagerie-Manor

This setup is working well and can take a beating. Poured 3 reinforced concrete piers.

If you come to a fork in the road take it.....

Woodland Mills HM126
Yanmar YM2310D
Stihl 031AV
Stihl MS251

YellowHammer

Just remember you will be rolling, bumping, and pushing logs in excess of 3,000 lbs on the mill bed.  Imagine what a 3,000 lb hammer will do and make adjustments accordingly. 

These mills take a tremendous beating, even being careful. 
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Dan R

Robert I agree my LT 15 slides all over the concrete slab it sits on. I liked the 6x6 frame idea until your comment was posted. I was thinking of raising the mill up on poured in place and pinned to the slab concrete sleepers. Then drill the mill frame and attach heavy angle iron bolted on and anchored to the sleepers. To level the mill use shim stock under mill rails at anchor points. Any thoughts on this plan..
Dan

YellowHammer

Concrete and steel =  :thumbsup:

If I was going to make a permanent place for an LT-15 style, all manual mill, I agree I would make it knee height, as there is nothing worse than bending over a sawmill.

Concrete isn't real big on side impact loads, i.e the horizontal loads that are making the mill walk already, so be aware of that, some steel rebar in the sleepers would help prevent them from potentially cracking.

You'll need lots of room to get a broom or rake under the mill to clear away all the trash and debris.

The joints on the mill frame, such as an LT15, are fairly weak and only held straight with a few bolts, and if not properly leveled and supported from underneath will "kink".  That's why I chose to bolt each of the mill rails to a straight and true, one piece steel length of rectangular tubing.  That really stiffened upon the mill frame.  Heavy angle, channel, I beam, would also work.

The way to get the mill supported and straight would depend on how you feel most comfortable fabricating, but since the mill frame dictates how straight the mill cuts, especially on mills where the bearings ride directly on top of the frame, a "not straight and true" mill frame will translate into the exact same profile into the lumber being sawn.  

I do remember that my old LT15 cut some of the straightest lumber I've ever sawn.   
  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

NCWoodsGuy

First post for me here
One point I've never seen addressed anywhere, related to where the OP stated he would use a grill cover for the mill head. I do this, but noticed it acts like a sail. When I finish sawing  I usually block my mill head against the stops at one end, just a short 2x6 across the rails. Well one time I forgot that step and a big windstorm blew the head all the way to the other end of the rails and the head jumped completely off the rails and onto the ground ! Just a be careful reminder.
Woodland Mills HM126 16'
Kubota L4710
Kubota L2250

NCWoodsGuy

I'm not expert on mill bases, mine is far from perfect and I'm always releveling. One thing I've learned is I wouldn't want my base to be hard bolted to an immovable object like a concrete base. Several times my base and rails have rocked upwards due to log loading mistakes, mostly because I'm sawing by myself. It's hard to get a perfect view of my tractor forks and mill rails, logs often are not level on the forks etc. I figure if my system didn't rock once in a while I'd be excessively loading the rails and base.

I do like the post pic of an HM126 setup above, same model as my mill. I may mod mine to be similar.
Woodland Mills HM126 16'
Kubota L4710
Kubota L2250

doc henderson

mine is mobile and set level on jack x 6 on top of dunnage.  I have twice had a log hit hard enough to bend the jacks.  once as I tried to push it against the log stops not able to see the back.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

beenthere

Good discussion going.
When the big log or accidentally-dropped log hits the mill, then something has to, or is going to give way. Whatever it is, have it so it is easiest to fix. 
Bent mill frame not so easy. May be easiest to realign for straight tracks or adjust the leveling jacks. Or something in between. 
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

RAYAR

Quote from: NCWoodsGuy on March 01, 2024, 10:08:39 AMFirst post for me here
One point I've never seen addressed anywhere, related to where the OP stated he would use a grill cover for the mill head. I do this, but noticed it acts like a sail. When I finish sawing  I usually block my mill head against the stops at one end, just a short 2x6 across the rails... Just a be careful reminder.
Welcome to this GREAT forum, NCWoodsGuy.

I have a custom built mobile band mill and I have witnessed the carriage roll along the rails many times with a stiff breeze. Just the enclosed band wheel covers is enough to catch the wind and move it along the rails. If and when this is an issue, I just usually lay a stick or something in front of a carriage wheel to hold it in place when needed. My mill being mobile has a carriage lock down that I use when finished with the mill. So yes, the wind is something to consider and be aware of on manual push mill carriages.
mobile manual mill (custom build) (mods & additions on-going)
Custom built auto band sharpener (currently under mods)
Husqvarna 50, 61, 254XP (and others)
96 Polaris Sportsman 500
2006 Ranger 4X2 w/cap, manual trans (430,000 Km)

chet

Seeing as your mill is going to be a permanent or semi permanent setup and if you plan on loading with forks, my suggestion is to load a log deck with the forks. Then load the mill from the deck. In the long run much faster, and a lot safer for your mill.
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

YellowHammer

100% on that.  I had some heavy wall 4x4 steel tubing as a simple log deck and so I could protect the mill and sure nuff, sometime later I noticed I had bent both rails of the log deck, and never even knew when I did it and am just glad it was a "no big deal" vs "Oh no, my mill frame is bent!"   
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Wlmedley

I've always used a log deck to load my mill and so far I've never had to relevel mill.I have a couple short pine 4"x4"s I use to bridge between deck and mill and gently roll logs over onto bunks. Turning logs is probably the hardest on mill as far as jarring it.
Bill Medley WM 126-14hp , Husky372xp ,MF1020 ,Homemade log arch,Yamaha Grizzly 450,GMC2500,Oregon log splitter

thecfarm

Yes on the log deck.
I just use 2 pieces of 1/4 X 4-inch flat stock to bridge the gap.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

hillsman

TriumphTriple, I received my LX50Super in early February and am planning on a temporary setup until I can get some beams milled for the next setup. I am also not sure where I want the permanent location.  I think I  need to saw a log or two before I'll know what works for me and my location.
Glenn

Bostonstrong

This is, indeed, a great discussion, and thank you to the original poster for starting!  I am attaching a pic of my set up.  Sorry for my ugly mug in there!  I did take some of the ideas from Lumberjack.  The basics are 4x4's set 30" apart and  36" deep with mechanically tamped crushed stone.  Each set is cross braced.  Top rails are 4 x 4's topped with 2 x 6 Cedar.  Basically knee height at the rails.  I have had it for 1+ year and typically mill only hardwood.  If I recall correctly, the log in the pic is a red oak, probably 8 ft long, 25" diameter.  Ballparking, I think that I have milled about 30 logs give or take. Monthly, I am doing the "shakedown" and checking flatness of the bunks, blade level to bunks, etc.  Thus far, I have not had any variances.  Now, I do load with a loader/forks with plans to build a log deck.  Could this set up be beefier/sturdier.....probably.  I wonder if a key variable is how the logs are loaded/turned, manipulated.  I have a pretty strong tractor and the ability to borrow larger if needed.  Take this for what it is worth....a newbie's 1st year into it!
WM130Max.jpg
"Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back."
G.K. Chesterton

thecfarm

I noted your log stops go straight up and down.
I put inch marks on mine, so when I saw my slabs I know where I am.  :wink_2:
4 inch mark is really 3 inches and 6 inch mark is really 5 inches and so on. So if sawing my slabs at 8 inches I set the log stop at 8 and I know I am an inch lower.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

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