The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: Hyrb on February 24, 2019, 02:40:22 PM

Title: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Hyrb on February 24, 2019, 02:40:22 PM
Well ya see there was this Auction...

Background - After Michael trashed about 65% of my timber I've been working to salvage some use.  Big pines and oaks laying broken that no logging company will take.  We've been visiting auctions picking up equipment to help with clean-up and I had wanted a sawmill for awhile.  All my research showed Woodmizer to be top notch but out of my price range at the moment.

Here's our camp in SW GA - I've renamed it Tree Magnet (5 pines on it total) - 70+ acres about the same state

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/53588/Dp5ds69WoAIipFi.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1551034008)
 

I joined the forum here to help get ideas and techniques on how to best figure out the clean-up job and use the timber.  I can't let a couple thousand trees go to waste now matter how many pieces they are in!

The info I've found so far has been very helpful - and as soon as I can learn enough to give back I'll do so.

Issue - Here's pretty much where I am


Help Needed

I've got  $3150 in the mill below (yeah, I know, Margaritas and auctions don't mix) and I will pick it up next week.  From what you experienced folks can see from the pics I need to decide a course of action.


I think the biggest issue right now is that I don't know what is missing and how much it will cost to get it cutting right.  I would love to have a high quality mill like an LT15 but don't know if I can afford it right now.

Any sage advice is welcome!

Photo 1
(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(1).jpg)

Photo2
(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(2).jpg)

Photo 3
(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(3).jpg)

Photo4

(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(4).jpg)

Photo5
(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(5).jpg)


Photo6

(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665(6).jpg)

Photo7

(http://nosparts.net/pics4/152665.jpg)
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: SawyerTed on February 24, 2019, 02:58:34 PM
The biggest issue is the motor.  If you can get the motor running, the rest is easily repairable.  The mechanics on that mill are not complicated.  Looks like the feed mechanism and rope are in need of some repair., again not complicated.  Besides needing a lube tank, a battery and blades, it appears to be complete.  Call Wood-Mizer with the serial number and see if you can get a manual for it.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Mike W on February 24, 2019, 03:02:04 PM
Hi Hyrb,

Sorry to see what happened to your property, however I look at it as a whole wack of great potential sawing opportunities there in the making.

by the looks of the photos, doesnt look in too bad of shape, the LT15 is well built, i personally have the LT 15 Wide, and been happy with it this far, good customer service and support from WM, not to mention the folks here on this forum is invaluable.

Does the engine run?  would run through the usual, oil change, plugs, etc. check the belts for cracks, wear and all, including the band wheel belts.  might need to polish up the rails a bit, they are aluminum so hold up well in the weather.  see if the carriage rolls smooth, if not check the roller bearings and track for any pitting or rust.  Contact WM and see if you can get an owners manual from them if you didnt get one already, good to read through it a couple times, well written on alignments, maintenance and overall operation.  will explain such things as keeping the felt between the rollers well lubed with ATF and the like, things you just might not think of otherwise.

by the photos, doesnt look like you ended up with a bad deal, rather a start to a new adventure that will give you the bug if your like most on here.  Nothing better than turning that kind of carnage into usable lumber and a lot of saw dust.

keep us up to speed on how your progressing, and keep those photo's coming, they go a long way in showing how its going with few words.

Best of luck,

Mike 
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: GAB on February 24, 2019, 03:03:34 PM
Wood-Mizer mills come with manuals are those available to you?
At a quick glance it looks like you need a blade lube tank and a battery.
During the auction did they run the engine?  
I think you got an extra section of bed, which allows you to saw longer pieces.  
You could purchase more if needed.
What HP rating is that engine?
You should consider buying at least one but preferably two boxes of blades.
I personally would purchase one box of 15 of 4 for the hardwood and a box of 9 for the softwood.
I would call W-M and inform them that you purchased this mill and register the S/N with them just in case.
At that price if the engine is good I think you did very well.  Had I been there you'd of paid more.
Gerald
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: SawyerTed on February 24, 2019, 03:09:12 PM
An additional thing to consider, any good small engine shop should be able to get the engine running as long as it doesn't have serious issues.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Hyrb on February 24, 2019, 03:17:42 PM
Thanks guys,

I've got my fingers crossed on the engine.  I know it's not seized up but without the battery they didn't run it.  It has the Kohler 15 hp on it I believe.  

Basic maintenance is no problem.  A new engine would be.

I'm thinking about mounting it on the 20ft heavy trailer I haul the tractor on.   The head would be at the front and I could use jacks to level as needed.  This would allow me to move it as needed and the tractor would run right up straddling the mill when I need to haul it.

I would use the grapple to move logs onto the rails..  Anyone tried this?
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: richhiway on February 24, 2019, 03:57:01 PM
I would think you could get that going with out much trouble. Cut some boards and advertise them online and get some of your money back in no time. 

If you like doing it you can sell the mill and upgrade. It's worth a lot more working then just sitting there. 

Looks like you have a lot of cleaning up to do. I'd see if you could not get someone that is already milling to help you and take some of the logs for payment. Or bring in there mill. It would go a lot faster. You can never cut that many logs on that little mill before they rot.  
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: WV Sawmiller on February 24, 2019, 05:24:57 PM
   I'd suggest you call WM and see when the next service loop is going to be in your area and see if they cold swing by. If too long to wait I'd take it to Atlanta to the WM shop there for them to overhaul it. I have found WM to be very fair and reasonable in their parts and servicing.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: firefighter ontheside on February 24, 2019, 05:33:42 PM
I would think your biggest issue would be getting the motor going.  May need to rebuild carb.  Other than that it shouldnt be a big deal.  That extra section of bed is over $700 to buy new.  If you were closer Id offer you money for it.  I only have 2.  Id say a great buy.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: doc henderson on February 24, 2019, 05:57:50 PM
I have that same motor in 13 hp.  high quality.  they sound funny when turning over, due to hydraulic lifters.  change the oil. plunk in a battery, see if it hits on a little spray and if so you got spark.  can buy a new carb for about 26 dollars (a few years ago) and change it out.  get a good penetrating oil spray, prob. 2 cans and start loosening up all the chain.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: doc henderson on February 24, 2019, 06:06:17 PM
If you have a grapple on a loader, you could buck trees into trash vs manageable logs and start staging on sacrificial logs on the ground.  might give you more time.  you need to have a "lumber party"  and have friends with skills come help.  I am sure many are in the same boat, so you could trade time or future lumber for help and use of equipment.  you might get trees from neighbors who do not have a mill
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Woodpecker52 on February 24, 2019, 11:21:00 PM
Bought my lt15 to salvage a few pine trees now it is becoming a full time hobby! You can easily get the motor off and take it to a small engine repair shop if you can't get it running.  Even like it is you can get your money back post it here on forum. The pines need to be yarded as soon as possible.  They will not last long on the ground. Good luck
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Woodpecker52 on February 24, 2019, 11:24:02 PM
Sorry I sound like  Captain obvious!
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Ga Mtn Man on February 25, 2019, 08:03:51 AM
You dont have long to do something with the pines.  The beatles  have likely already started working on them.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: doc henderson on February 25, 2019, 08:29:35 AM
If that motor has sat awhile, you might pull the plug and squirt a bit of motor oil in the cylinder and run the starter without the plug.  you can lay the plug on the metal of the engine and crank it to see if you have spark.  you can then replace the plug and crank with a little starting fluid in the carv, and if it tries to start then again, you have spark and compression.  clean the fuel tank and see if it runs.  Again I would price a new carb as they barely cost more than the rebuild kit.  I got a 13 hp model from a water pump my brother used at his construction co.  The bought a whole new pump and motor, an he gave me the engine.  I have it on a pressure washer.  I felt it was hard to start, but my stihl/small engine mechanic told me that is normal for this engine with hydraulic lifters, that have to build a little pressure.  be sure and give us follow up.  wish I was closer, looks like a fun challenge.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: DR_Buck on February 25, 2019, 08:54:37 AM
Quote
I'm thinking about mounting it on the 20ft heavy trailer I haul the tractor on.   The head would be at the front and I could use jacks to level as needed.  This would allow me to move it as needed and the tractor would run right up straddling the mill when I need to haul it.
It much better to set up a location on flat ground and move your logs to the mill.   Although you said you would use jacks to level, (I assume the trailer) the working space around the mill will be very narrow and could cause safety issues.   When milling you sometimes need to work with the log to get everything where it needs to be.  And, when it comes to turning the log/cant up on the trailer you may find yourself on the ground expectantly.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: schmism on February 25, 2019, 09:52:34 AM
If you dont have a lot of experience with small engines you can check out Mustie1 - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/mustie1/videos)

He has a ton of vids of picking up non-running small engine stuff and getting it back up and running.  He covers how to troubleshoot and fix points/condensers as well as carb rebuilds.

A box blade with a harbor freight winch ontop works well as a poor-mans Farmi winch and can be put together for about $800 instead of the 3K they want for a Farmi. 
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: 78NHTFY on February 25, 2019, 11:23:02 AM
Hyrb--Lots of good advice here.  Feel terrible for you about the storm.  My two cents: given that your downed trees are going to go bad due to moisture/bugs, time is of the essence--hire a sawyer (LT 40 fully hydraulic or bigger) pay him on shares, and feed him logs as fast as you can.  Some rough back of the envelope math: 2000 trees = 6000 logs at 12' 6" each; at 1 hour per log ave. to buck up, twitch out, stage, saw, off-load, sticker, you have 2 years of work ahead of you of 8 hour days.  In your spare time, you can work on that LT 15 ;D.  If what happened to you had happened to me, I'd probably be into Margarita's full time.   :(.  All the best, Rob.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: starmac on February 25, 2019, 01:25:58 PM
That mill is about as simple as it gets, it could probably be up and running in as little as a day.
That said, you have a need for speed, and that mill is not what I would consider fast.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: donbj on February 25, 2019, 04:24:33 PM
I don't understand why the sawmills wouldn't want the wood if cut to their length and specs. Seems like some decent sized logs there and a quick way to deal with the amount you have and save some for yourself.

That, or as mentioned already, hire a sawyer with a mill to cut orders and sell the product. They may be willing to buy the logs outright and mill on your property if they have their own orders.

Just a couple thoughts
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: slider on February 25, 2019, 05:20:24 PM
depending on how far the logs are from the mill i would put that mill on a suitable base weather it be on timbers or concrete then build a loading ramp that you can stage your logs on and then just roll them onto the mill. If you can find some used roller tables it would help for off loading your lumber. I am not too far from you, Irwin county,Ocilla Ga. if you can drop by and see my setup just pm me . By all means contact wm and get in there system so you can buy parts.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Woodpecker52 on February 25, 2019, 06:33:41 PM
Loggers in control do not to run and cut through salvage. Hard to get production and it is all about production.  Most around here use monster skidders and feller bunchers etc. salvage is just salvage.  Plus you would be paid salvage prices which is next to nothing.  In addition there is not shortage in merchantable wood just markets.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Woodpecker52 on February 25, 2019, 06:38:41 PM
In my early days of industrial forestry in Arkansas, I remember seeing potlach corp. Spray and kill about 2,000 acres of nice hardwood because there was no market and they wanted to plant pine.  Just one of many vomit moments in the name of forest management.
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Ianab on February 25, 2019, 07:11:37 PM
I don't understand why the sawmills wouldn't want the wood if cut to their length and specs. Seems like some decent sized logs there and a quick way to deal with the amount you have and save some for yourself.


After a large storm there are probably more logs on the ground in the area than the mills and loggers can handle. They will have lined up all the best salvage jobs they can get through before the logs start to degrade. Means no one available to salvage that patch, and no market for the logs if they did. 

We had a freak wind storm knock down a lot of plantation forest in South Taranaki a few years back. Luckily it was only a localised area, so they could bring crews in from other nearby jobs (that weren't time critical), and get most of the mess cleaned up before the bugs ate too much. And most of the logs were going to export, so it was just a matter of getting the excess logs to the port. But for a few months there were about 2X the number of log trucks on the road, and a lot for out of the province. Once the windfalls were cleaned up, things went back to normal, and the scheduled harvests carried on where they left off. 

But if that sort of event happened over a wider area, it just wouldn't be possible to get all the logs harvested in time. 
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: YellowHammer on February 25, 2019, 07:31:31 PM
I may have had that same model mill, mine was also an LT15 with Kohler 15hp and rope crank feed.  It was a workhorse, solid as an axe.  The rope feed is optional, if you set it up just a little downhill, you can feed it by hand pushing.
I mounted two 2x6 steel channel under my bed rails, and put an axle under it and welded a trailer tongue to the front.  Instant mobility.  
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Southside on February 25, 2019, 08:32:31 PM
I don't mean to be the Debbie Downer here but do you have a market for that lumber?  Pine is horrible right now, has been for quite a while, add to that the market excess in your area because of the storm, the fact it has been down for a while and it's about to get warm, and the simple storm stress damage you have a product that is really hard to get rid of.  The oak is a little better prospect by itself, but again storm damaged trees tend to reveal a lot of issues once they hit a mill deck.  I get what you are trying to do, and having lost around 100 maples in the same storm that are still in an area that is way to wet to even think about going into, I understand the frustration.  Sometimes you can easily throw good money after bad due to an emotional reaction.  Just asking if you have a way to recover some of the additional effort and treasure you are about to put into this endeavor.    
Title: Re: Help I Bought A WoodMizer LT15
Post by: Hyrb on February 25, 2019, 09:14:45 PM
Thanks a LOT for the help and advice.  This is an awesome forum!

I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping the mill.  Even if I lose most of the downed pine I can save much of the oak and other hardwood.  It will take time but I can buck most of them into 12 -16 ft logs and lay it out on railroad ties or limbs off the ground.

Y'all are right in the beetles already working on the pines.  It's a mess.  One of the main reasons I got the wood chipper and will be using the chips to cover most of the ground where we will be building by the creek.  

Much of the logs will go towards building our retirement property there in the next couple of years.  There is little to NO market here right now.  There are thousands of acres in as bad or worse shape than mine.  Essentially a swath of land about 100 miles wide and a few hundred long, from the Gulf Coast to Albany in SW GA.

My timber is not nearly as good as a lot that is down, there are 100 plus year old pines and oaks all over the place and my land was last cut over about 25 years ago except for a lot of the older hardwood.  The sawyers and timber companies can write their own tickets here.  None I know now will pick any off the ground.

Setting up the mill other than as a portable one will be a challenge, my biggest issue is security as We still live an hour away from this property.  I guess I could set it up over by our camp area.  It's a little heavy to run away with.

After I pick up the mill I'm sure I'll be back!