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Author Topic: you think you want a sawmill  (Read 5832 times)

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Offline snowman

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you think you want a sawmill
« on: February 09, 2007, 10:43:14 AM »
I read this forum daily for a year as i tried to decide if a sawmill and a small tractor would be cost effective.I'm sure theres a bunch of you out there so ill put my 2 cents in. Just do it!30 k for a sawmill and a tractor sounds like alot but I stickered enough lumber since last summer to break even already.Id say 40 hp minmum for your tractor, it's enough but barely.I have a 13 hp honda on a push bandsaw. It does the job but again, barely. I considered one of those 5 hp things, forget it.My 13 hp is slow enough. In small logs its great but you get into 15 inch stuff its a snails pace unless you want wavy boards.Oh, and unless you live in a park and can back to every log, a winch is a must, not a convenience.I found a used fransgard for 1500,its great, they are out there. Anyway, hope I helped someone out there.One more thing, I've never had so much fun! :)

Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2007, 11:00:56 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread.
I started with an alaskan sawmill. That is an attachment for my chainsaw.

Then, I did the logosol thing.

Now, I have a Peterson.

Now I need a tractor, and a logging arch, and some good loading ramps for my trailer.

Once you get bit by the sawmilling bug, well, it's over. Might as well give in.

Nate
I know less than I used to.

Offline Joel Eisner

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2007, 11:18:25 AM »
I also started with an Alaskan, then got a 1941 Farmall, , then got a 1965 pickup truck, then got a Lumbermate 2000 (13 HP), , then got a solar kiln, then built a timberframe house and it all paid for itself multiple times over, then got a new pickup, then got a 45 HP tractor, now building a 36x46 pole barn and would like to get a dehumidification kiln so we can be set to build the main house addition.......

Check back later.
The saga of our timberframe experience continues at boothemountain.blogspot.com.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2007, 11:26:48 AM »
Started out with a Ford 3600 with platform on 3point hitch. Could borrow my dad's IH 3444 industral tractor set up for skidding and loading logs.  Bougth a Wood-Mizer LT40 manual mill in 94.  Went nuts from there.

Snowman,  sounds like it's time for phase II.... ;)

Wood-Mizer LT40HDE25 Super 25hp 3ph with Command Control and Accuset.
Sawing since '94

Offline solodan

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2007, 12:11:46 PM »
Started with an Alaskan and a husky 268, a couple days later I bought a mini mill to make it easier to edge my boards, Then I bought a 3120 a month later, and an F-350 turbo diesel after that ,  then a used Lucas 827 with 2.4 hrs on it. 8) I really liked the arches that Mark Havel was making at Future Forestry, so I bought two of them, I then found a used 18'  deck over trailer with 6000# tandem axels and an 8000# Warn on it. Then I fiqured this was a great excuse to buy one of those Yamaha Rhinos, I could put tools in the back, take along a helper and tow the arches, plus have some fun. ;) I will build a sawshed this spring, and a kiln. Will add a bandsaw in the near future along with a 4 sided planer/moulder. I also need to get something to move stuff in the yard. I would like one of those old military Terex tele-handelers. I also see a truck and self loader in the future. That's about it. ;D

Offline scgargoyle

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2007, 05:17:44 PM »
I don't have a sawmill- yet. Maybe it's not too late to try an intervention? Is there a '12 step' program for sawyers? :D
I hope my ship comes in before the dock rots!

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 05:27:28 PM »
Ferget it...ya been here too long...yer beyond repair.... :D   :D   :D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline oakiemac

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 06:23:09 PM »
Joel, what type of '65 truck to you get?

I started out with a '69 IHC truck. Sold it this fall to buy a moulding machine. I'm glad I did but I still miss that truck. In weather like we are having where everyone is getting stuck I'd love to take that International out and pull people out of the ditch.
Mobile Demension sawmill, Bobcat 873 loader, 3 dry kilns and a long "to do" list.

Offline Joel Eisner

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2007, 10:00:51 PM »
Oakiemac,

It is a Chevy C10 with a 283 3 on the tree.  I had a brake line go out on it last summer so it is sitting next to the house with lumber stacked on it and grass seed bags in the cab.  When the barn is done in a month or two Ill tow it in and fix the brakes.  I had plans of getting rid of it when we bought the new (2006) Chevy but cant get myself to do it.  We are going to fix it up a bit and paint an old company sign on the door like "Eisner and Sons Construction"

Joel
The saga of our timberframe experience continues at boothemountain.blogspot.com.

Offline PawNature

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2007, 02:42:28 PM »
Started with a procut and a HV 65, bought a 95 sold that bought a used norwood, then a 4 wheeler for skidding. build my own arch, works great. rented a dozer to make roads with. Still want (need) a few more peices of equipment. ITs not the equiptment that I already have it the equiptment that i still want. Would really like to have a team of good mules, or work horses
GOVERMENT HAS WAY TO MUCH CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES!!!!

Offline Percy

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 04:23:12 PM »
Bought a LT40 in early 97,Bobcat in 99, edger in 2000, kept the LT40 for 6 years, sold it and bought an LT70 almost 4 years ago,. Since then, the mill has been my only source of income. I financed it over 4 years at 1173.00 per month. I have 3 payments left, the mill has paid for itself easy and this one has 3000 hours on it and seems barely broke in. Unless WM comes out with some new high zoot unit that increases production big time, Im gonna keep this one a while longer. It seems to get better every day.
GOLDEN RULE : The guy with the gold, makes the rules.

Offline MikeH

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 11:10:23 PM »
Second post ...This is my story.  I have enjoyed reading the many posts on this web site for the past year.  I started with a two bedroom, one-story house.  Added on second level to house, now have five bedroom house with attached garage.  i.e. home value went way up since I did the work myself. 

By the way, I do siding and roofing and thought I might want to do sawmilling on the side.  Seeing as I have tried many ways to make money building furniture/whatever out of wood.  I got some crazy idea that I'll just make the wood, less details that way.   So one year ago this May I stepped out on a limb, midlife crisis.  Mortgaged house, bought LT70, edger, 10 ton flatbed, skidsteer and 7 ton trailer, and just this winter spent every spare minute building a shed and a kiln with help from my two older boys. 

Things to note: Don't try this if you think it is a cash machine, or any thing that has to do with cash.  It is hard work and very rewarding if you like this type of work.  Cheap labor from kids doesn't hurt. Jobs came very slowly at first, even with advertising.  Unlike what sawmill companies will tell you, of course that is just my experience.  Nobody followed me home asking for my phone number.   Things have picked up after Christmas and I plan on doing this for a long, long time.  Maybe some day I will be able to get off a roof and do this full-time.  Time will tell.  I am just a hillbilly from Tennessee who married a Yankee wife and now am stuck in Minnesota, although I have grown to love Minnesota.     

I am currently trying to plane 4500 bf of mostly quartersawn oak with a 5 hp Grizzly Planer with a Byrd head.  Wow!  It seems to take forever.  I hope to have 3500 bf loaded in new kiln by end of the month.  I concentrate on making quartersawn oak.  The key is finding big grade 1 or better logs. 

Life is short, pray hard.   8)

Offline D Martin

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2007, 08:24:59 AM »
Like some of you other guys I started with an alaskin. Powered by an 066, upgraded to a 3120. Didn't like being hunched over so I built a carrige and track for my alaskin to ride in and on. Got sick of spending so much time sharpining chain and blowing up saws so I got me a band mill. I got an atv, built an arch.Building a better arch now, need a bigger motor for my mill, tractor for skidding etc.... I suppose It wont end there either, Next i'll need hydrolics and a skidder. Anyone got the phone number for Sawyers Annomous

Offline John_Haylow

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2007, 08:35:54 AM »
I find this forum most interesting and the folks very helpful. I have wanted a mill for some time, as previous posts show. I had considered buying the LT28, then tried out the LT40 manual and then decided I wanted hydraulics, and I am saving up for the LT40HD.

I have started to clear a site so I can build a sawmill shed and have the future mill under cover. I have a 40hp 4wd tractor and Fransgard winch for getting logs and firewood and just added some forks for my loader.

I look forward to making sawdust.

John
2004 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG28

Offline woodbill2

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2007, 01:15:07 PM »

Things to note: Don't try this if you think it is a cash machine, or any thing that has to do with cash.  It is hard work and very rewarding if you like this type of work.  Cheap labor from kids doesn't hurt. Jobs came very slowly at first, even with advertising.  Unlike what sawmill companies will tell you, of course that is just my experience.  Nobody followed me home asking for my phone number.    


Ditto that. Glad to see I'm not the only one.
Rain doesn't get things wet, it makes them grow. So next time you get rained on, remember you're growing, not getting wet.

Offline Vern

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2007, 10:48:12 AM »
I started with the Alaskan and one session of that I built
a Procut, it was what I could afford at the time. After two and a
hafe years of that I bought a Cooks MP 32..........  wow what a
diffrence in the band saw. I enjoyed sawing before now I can
even walk at the end of the day useing the band saw. Have a
Ford 3400 with a front loader for skidding and lifting. I really
enjoy sawing and skidding. Keeps me out doors and enjoying
the simple things of life.............

   Vern
vman

Offline Stephen1

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2007, 11:34:48 AM »
I have the Alaskan, but to small a powerhead. I have looked at the SkillMill which
I think would be great for a beginner like me. I can carry it into the bush, as I have a 12 white pines on the ground from the storm last year. I do not have the means to get them out of the bush. I have a small tractor Fergusan 2085. it will work for accessing the trails in the bush with a trailer, not for pulling logs out.
My  question is who has used a skillmill? How long will it be before I find it too small? If I can build my garage and side my cottage plus a couple of other projects, i think it would be good.
IDRY Vacum Kiln, LT40HDWide, BMS250 sharpener/setter 742b Bobcat, TCM forklift, Sthil 026,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline treenail

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Re: you think you want a sawmill
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2007, 01:33:28 PM »
Started out with an Alaskan mill and that was great, but got the appetite to have a bandsaw mill. Bought it with the intentions of only sawing a few logs for myself now and then and then all the neighbors found out about it.  Sawing logs for others part time, paid for the entire mill in less than four months so that made my own stuff much more affordable. Have also built a very large house, sugarhouse, woodsheds, and many woodworking projects without the need to purchase lumber anymore. I sure have the millers disease, but it is one that I don't want to find a cure for any time soon.
Norwood Lumbermate 2000 sawmill , Ford 4wd tractor,Grimm/Leader maple sugaring equipment, Ford F-350 12' flatbed truck


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