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Lane #1 Sawmill, maybe or just a pile of parts

Started by, June 07, 2007, 11:49:22 AM

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I've got a line on a cheap pile of parts (junk) that the owner claims to be a complete Lane #1 sawmill. Well complete that is except for what's left of the rotted wood parts.

I've found 1 document in the archives ( and it is a repair parts list it does not show sub assemblies or the entire mill together.

The only pictures I've found are somewhat dark and again don't give a good representation of what fits where.

First I'm looking for a way to positively identify this mill as a Lane #1 or not.
Second I need some kind of parts breakdown to let me do some kind of inventory to make sure all or most all is there.

If I'm successful with those two things, I'm also going to need something (documents, pictures, Chinese blueprint) to help me rebuild the thing.

Anyone have any of this or suggestions...

Jason Weir
Chichester, NH


Welcome to the forum, Jason.
We have several circle sawyers with a "history" who will be along to help, I hope.
In the meantime, this band sawyer just wanted to say "hi" and invite you to have a seat and get into some of the old posts of the forum.  I'm sure you will find them both educational and entertaining..

Hi Tom,

I've spent most of the morning reading past posts and am impressed with the wealth of knowledge here..

Thanks for the welcome.



Jason, with photos, we can help ya decipher what you have and don't have, and help you get it pieced back together. There were a ton of different circle mills out there, but they basically were very very similar. You can interchange components very easily to get a mill up and running.
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


Quote from: on June 07, 2007, 11:49:22 AMAnyone have any of this or suggestions...

I would say before you start researching putting the circle mill back together - lots of work - lots more money than you think - I would spend lots and lots of time researching whether or not you think you should be using a circle mill in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I have two of them but I bought them before I gave it enough thought. i don't want to have that much production and employees it takes to justify setting it up. There is a whole lot more involved in maximizing the production capacity of a circle mill than a banddsaw mill.

Let's just talk about drying sheds alone. You need to start building them now unless you have a ready market for a specific species and product that you know you are not going to stray from. Are you going to cut ties only? And are you sure? Do you have the peripheral machinery to feed the mill and process the lumber after it comes off the mill? Do you have the labor market to keep as many employees as you need after someone quits?
Are you going to be able to afford insurance for these guys? A circle mill is dangerous. Are you going to insulate your private property from the mill (that goes for bandmills too).

Really there are 100 things in my mind right now to throw out there but the post would bee too long. There are circle sawyers who will tell you I am full of it go ahead and set it up, but i say think about it long andhard. I have decided for me, not wanting to have to deal with all the production and employees my hydraulic circle mill will produce, I am just going to stick with the bandsaw. It works me hard enough as it is. i am behind on orders and am waiting for yet another guy to show up at noon to interview for my helper. It's hard enough to keep one good man around wait until that circle mill tells you it need 3 others.

Anyway, that's my 2 coppers on it. Welcome.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.


Thanks for the comments. 

I'm far more interested in saving and old mill from the scrap yard than I am ever making a dime with the machine.

I've spent time sawing with both a manual bandsaw (new Turner) and circular (old Belsaw), and agree if I was going to go the business route I would have to weigh the pro's and con's of each mill type and business need but that is not the case.

My mothers side of the family have always been saywers and most of them are gone now and I just like having the old stuff around, and restoring it is half the fun.

The saw would definitely get used but for personal use only.



Ahh well that is different. I am having a hard time selling my circle mill too, and sawmilling is not prevelant in my family except my grandpappy ran one for a spell.

Good luck to ya. My prediction is once you get it running you are going to get sucked back into it but in a bigger way than before. ;D
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.


You are in luck. I live in Deering New Hampshire and have a Lane # 1 running.   I should be home this weekend we can set up a time for you to see it. I also have spare parts and a source for more. I even have a spare detroit 371 with a twin disk clutch I would sell. I run it as a hobbie. I have logs on the deck we can make some sawdust and a bunch of good boards.


I'd love to come see your setup, I got my first look at the saw last night at dusk and didn't really get a good look or any pictures as everything was buried in the leaves.  If I can get back there tomorrow or Sat to dig everything out and get some pictures I will then take you up on your offer.  I need some kind of reference point to start from.

I also found that Sanborn Farm Mills in Loudon has a Lane #1 setup and running

Looks like I am in luck, I just hope there is enough of the saw left to be worth it..

Thanks again and I will be in touch..



And a hearty welcome to you too, JSNH.  That's the Forestry Forum spirit.  Glad to have you aboard too.


Starting last year, I just did what you are about to do, with an old american circle mill. Would be glad to be of any help I can. Is it wood or steel?
If you don't want to row, get out of the boat !

Dave Shepard

Welcome JSNH and! Now that you've opened the can of worms, we won't let you not fix up that ole saw! ;D

Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!


Always glad to see an circle mill saved from the scrap yard  8) 8) 8)  Welcome a board and looking forward to pics  :) :)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


Welcome and JSNH.What a place.Jason asked for help and a few hours later he's well on his way.Thanks for helping JSNH.That's what this place is all about,helping each other.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79


I grew up in East Barre, Vermont and my sawdust addiction began at a young age from a millwright at Lane (then Lanetech, now Meadows) in Barre.   Here's a copy of a press release from the Meadows aquisition:

Meadows Mills, Inc. has acquired Lanetech Mfg Co. of Barre, VT

Category: News

Ronnie Church, Vice President handled the acquisition for Meadows. Lane and Lanetech had its beginning in 1848. It is a highly respected member of the sawmill manufacturing industry and the oldest active company.
Lanetech joins the growing Meadows family. In years past Meadows had acquired Andrus Sawmill Sharpeners of Portland, Oregon and Miner Edger of Meridian. Mississippi.

Meadows will continue to provide all replacement parts and service for Lane and Lanetech equipment. Lane customers can call toll free at 1-800-626-2282 to order parts.

Meadows has and will continue to have parts available for all Meadows, Miner, Andrus and Lanetech equipment ever built. The companies all built good equipment and Meadows believes you should keep it running.

In terms of units built, Meadows is the #1 sawmill equipment manufacturer in the world with 102 years in the business. Now Lane comes to us with 156 years experience, Miner with 81 years and Andrus with 56 years. You can¹t find more experience anywhere.

Meadows offers complete design, layout and installation services. It is truly your one stop shop for solid dependable sawmill equipment.

Meadows Mills, Inc. 1352 West D St North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 Toll Free 800-626-2282 Direct 336-838-2282 Fax 336-667-6501

Best of luck with your project, I'm dreaming of an old Lane myself someday....



 Welcome , you are starting out right where I'm at - digging out an old mill  8)  :P

The wood is rotten and other parts are bent, broken, rusted, missing ; but the idea is still there  ;D

Thanks everyone for the info..

Couple of things, first off I believe the model I'm looking at is the wood framed model but not sure yet.

Second I believe meadow mills has re-sold lane and lanetech back to a company in VT named  Bornemann & Greene of Morrisville, VT.  See the press release below

I've also started a thread you might be interested in over at

Thanks again for everyone's help - hope to have picture soon..



Thanks for the update on Lanetech Jason.  GREENE was the last name if a co-owner of Lanetech...


Update on the Lane Sawmill...

I went back yesterday to take inventory on the mill and see what he has.

It became apparent in the daylight that he does have a Lane #1, there were many castings labeled with "Lane Manufacturing Co" and "Saywer's Favorite #1".

From the renderings from the 1900 catalog provided by Mr. Bernstein at OWWM.COM I could identify all of the major components with one excption.

I could only locate 1 3' section of the rack gear, I believe there should have been at least 25' of this rack gear.

What concerns me is, now we know that the mill is not complete and I cant be confident there isn't more missing and how rare those pieces might be.

The price he is asking is not bad even with these pieces missing, I just need to find them or another parts machine before continuing.

I will be going this afternoon to the Sandborn Farms to view a up and running Lane #1 and hopefully watch him make some sawdust.

Thanks again for everyone's input.



Sawers favorite is a hold down and taper adjustmet. Great leverage I have one on mine. The track is that the part on the carrage? You should have two. I have spares that are a diffrent type than on mine maybe I have the part you need. What type of head blocks do you have? I have Page belting ones and a spare #100. Is there a blade with it and what size is it? What type of shanks does it have?


I found the two tracks for the carriage, the ones that move the log towards the blade, setting the thickness of the cut. what I'm missing is the rack gear that the carriage moves on.

For pictures see the photos at Photos

Its the flat toothed rack gear on the bottom of the carriage, it looks to me like it goes the entire length of the carriage, I could only find 1, 3 foot section.

No blade and (please go easy)  I don't know what a head block or shank is? 

BTW - I work right across the street from Paige Belting, I've had them make me a couple of belts for another project and they were very helpful.




Head blocks the pieces the log sits up to and has taper adjustments and dogs to hold the wood. The rack on the front is not common. Most including mine have a cable feed that pull the carrage. When you see mine you will understand. The shanks hold the teeth in the blade some are more common then others. I run a 52" blade with 2 1/2" shanks. They are more common than the 50" blade I have that has 3" shanks. I also have a 48" that has 2 1/2" shanks. Mine is a lane # 1 but some of the parts came from other mills. The person who put mine together used the best he could find. I was attracted to it because he rebuilt it with a steel frame and carrage and it has so many head blocks. I need to post a photo.


Yes you do - Please post lots of photos  :) We LIKE photos  :)  :)


Photo of the Carriage

Photo of Mill

Now we have some phots to discuss. And I figured out how to use the wife's camera and resize photos. I think it was easier setting up the mill. :D


Awesome!  8)

When you said you had lots of headworks you weren't kiddin' How long is the carriage? What's the biggest log you have had on there?

I like that train-stopper on the end  ;D

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