The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: Mesquite Man on October 24, 2002, 10:18:53 PM

Title: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Mesquite Man on October 24, 2002, 10:18:53 PM
All right guys, me again.  If I am bothering anyone with my questions, please let me know.  I am trying to learn as much about milling by reading posts and asking questions.

Can you recommend a good source of information, either printed or on the net, that will give me the basics on how to properly mill a log?  How did you learn?

I know I could probably take a class some where but I do not have the time as I am only doing this as a hobby and own and run my own business that takes up a lot of my time as it is.

I could visit a local mill and ask questions and watch but there are not many mills in the area.  There is a guy I know that has a WM that he uses in his log cabin business but he does not know anything about really milling.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for a hobbist sawyer wannabe?!  I really want to learn as much as I can so that I can be the best I can possibly be.

Curtis
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Tom on October 24, 2002, 11:07:13 PM
Yep, check out the knowledge base under bandsaw milling and then ask a bunch of questions. There is a world of help here on the forum for the asking. :P
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: ARKANSAWYER on October 25, 2002, 05:36:10 AM
CURTIS,
  The best way is to come up to ARKANSAWYER 101  learn how to do it by doing it and watching it done.  It is not easy and you can still learn something after a million bdft.  
  Get some ole junk logs and saw away and look at the boards.  If you know what a good board is you will soon learn how to get them out of the log.  Then you will learn how to read logs and know where the boards are before you open it up.  
 Doc Gene's book "From Woods to Woodshop" is good.  Alot of it will make more sense after you make some sawdust first.
  And if any one does not like you asking questions then they need to log on to OLD CRAB.COM  >:(  but you just ask away and we will have some fun.
  If your new mill came with a tie stretcher and you are not going to use it can I borrow it?
ARKANSAWYER
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Tom on October 25, 2002, 07:57:47 AM
Perhaps, if I ever get that far north again, I'll have stop by and see the wonderment ::) :D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Noble_Ma on October 25, 2002, 08:08:01 AM
Curtis,

I've only been sawing since early March and learn something new every time I fire the mill up.  I've been lucky to get a lot of free logs and have used them to learn on.  Practice is the best learning tool for me and I think most would agree.  I read on a few forums prior to purchasing my mill and learned a lot.  I did buy  some tapes sold by Timber Harvester about grade and quarter sawing.  They were a little expensive but they did go over a lot good info.  Tthey show you on a portable band mill which makes it nice to apply what you see.  They cover how to determine the best face before you make that first cut.  They also show when it's time to turn the log and look for better grade.  They even go over how to grade the boards.  I think that determining grade is something that you need to learn first hand from someone who knows how and can show you first hand.  I know I've heard a few guys on here say that the best thing to do is keep the blade in the wood.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on October 25, 2002, 08:33:11 AM
Speaking of videotapes,  our state department of conservation has a library of thousands of tapes available on loan for free or just for shipping - more than a hundred on sawmill and woodlot themes.  Some I've seen are dated back to the old circle sawmill days but the application is the same - just turn your head 90 degrees and picture the log setting still. ;D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bro. Noble on October 25, 2002, 12:10:58 PM
Bibb,

I learned more about grading lumber and sawing for grade from those videos.  Did you see the one about the BIG MILL at Grandin, Mo.  Jeff would enjoy that.

If they will send those tapes out-of-state,  there's something for everyone on the list.  Some very good ones on forest management.

Those tapes and some marketing advice from other local millers is how I got started.

Noble
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on October 25, 2002, 01:55:53 PM
Noble,

Man oh man yes!  

We bought a copy of it and "Mark of Distinction" for my Dad for a Christmas gifts.  The Mark of Distinction is old footage from a news real from some St. Louis tie company (TJ Moss?)  showing them hacking and sawing ties out, floating them down the river,  haul them out and hand load them on railroad cars. None of those guys had a weight problem!!

Great stuff!
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bro. Noble on October 25, 2002, 03:24:30 PM
Bibb,

What's that old saying about 'Great Minds' working the same?

Also bought the Big Mill tape for my Dad.  Also enjoyed the tie video and one filmed in Maine (I think) where the lumber was transported by sailing ship.

Maybe you could call over to their office and see if they will send tapes out-of-state.  They sure have an exceptionl collection of videos.  The only cost was the return postage which was $1.00 the best I remember, for library rate.

Noble
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on October 25, 2002, 03:36:48 PM
Nob,

Itís been a while since Iíve been over there.  They had a list of tapes and a lady that worked out of a room in the basement.  Iíd go over on my lunch break with my list and see what was in and what was out.  Watched about 20 before I got through with the ones I wanted to see.   The one on lumber grading was done by the most boring guy youíd ever see on video but he no doubt knew what he was talking about.

I looked around their web site this afternoon and didnít find it online so maybe itís the same lady and list in the basement. Iíll see what I can find out Monday.
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bro. Noble on October 25, 2002, 03:45:35 PM
Bibb,

I looked at a whack of the tapes,  I think the boring guy was from North Carolina.  There were several good tapes from there but they sure needed someone else to narrate them.  There was a really good tape ( I think the mill was in Lousiana) on sawing for grade.  It was a big bandmill and the background music was the song "Working at the Sawmill".  I played it over and over.

Noble
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Mesquite Man on October 25, 2002, 04:24:01 PM
Does anyone by any chance have any of the mentioned tapes they woudl be willing to sell, rent, or loan?  I would really like to see one.

Sitruc
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bro. Noble on October 25, 2002, 06:24:53 PM
Sitruc,

Bibbyman will find out if you can get them from the Mo. Dept of Conservation.  If so you can see all of them and a lot more.  The ones Bibb and I bought were historical tapes that they (I'm pretty sure ) produced.  They lend those out also but may not send any of  them out-of-state.  That's what Bibb is going to find out.  He works in the capitol city.

Bibb,

Do you suppose if these guys see all the videos we watched they will be as smart as us?

Noble

Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Mesquite Man on October 25, 2002, 07:10:40 PM
Noble,

If you only watched 10 of those videos 2 times and got as smart as you are, then I should be able to watch those same 10 videos 4 times and become twice as smart as you, right? :) :) :)

Sitruc
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bro. Noble on October 25, 2002, 07:26:22 PM
Sitruc,

Well, I suppose, maybe------better ask Bibb,  I didn't say I was smart at arithmatic.

Noble
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Noble_Ma on October 25, 2002, 09:53:07 PM
Hey guys I looked for those videos and couldn't find them.  Any links?  
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on October 26, 2002, 01:40:28 AM
When I started out with my sawmill,  I went over to the Missouri Department of Conservation (that the Forestry Department is under) and walked into the big empty main lobby and told the nice lady setting at the desk in the middle what I was there for.  She directed me to someone who acted like theyíd been there 20 years just waiting for me to come in and ask for stuff.  Two hours later I walked out with an armload of material and they were disappointed I didnít take more.  The head of the department followed me back to the front doors and encouraged me to come back soon or at least call from time to time.

The point of my first post was Ė The Forestry Department in Missouri has all kinds of information Ė including great videos.  Probably the Forestry Department in your state (or equivalent agency) has lots of info too.  Those guys are there waiting for someone to talk to and have tons of information for your area.  Thatís where you should probably look first.
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Jeff on October 26, 2002, 02:05:20 AM
Quote
Some I've seen are dated back to the old circle sawmill...


Hey!
:D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on October 26, 2002, 11:05:04 AM
You caught that!  Perdy good for an ol' guy that still runs a circle mill. :D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: MM on November 02, 2002, 06:18:09 PM
Curtis,

In 1999 I was able to buy a Lt40hdg25. I had never run a sawmill before. I had welded and built my share of them. (I work for WM). I remember the first log I was sawing. My neighbor brought it over. We made boards. Thats about all we did. Made boards, not so good boards. I didn't pay attention to knots, grain or anything like that. Just sawed. I had no formal training on the mill. Like I said, I just built them. I got the hang of it. I learned new stuff on  every log I sawed. The more I cut the more I learned. The best advice I can give is watch others saw, ask questions, Ark. 101 I hear is good. And just do it.  If you ever get around Indianapoils stop in at wood-mizer. Maybe I should give a 101 class in Indiana!  Now three years of sawing under my belt and training I don't know how many new owners on their mills. I still run into new things. I work as a Customer Service Rep on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. and I run my Mill on Wed, Thurs,Sat. and some Sundays. So, I get a lot of time behind the mill and get to hear what others do........... Ark. bleeds orange because he want to.  I bleed orange because I have too!! I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!!!!!!  Matthew Morrow
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: DanG on November 02, 2002, 07:44:09 PM
Hey, Matthew! Welcome in.  We have a bunch of guys that use Woodmizers, and a few that have built sawmills, but I think you're the first that actually built a Woodmizer. Hang around and share some of your knowledge with us, ok?
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: ARKANSAWYER on November 03, 2002, 05:42:50 AM
GREAT!    8)  Another for the Orange Team.
 
  Matt.  You need to come up with a cool sawyer name like M&M or something.  Did you build "Wanda"  she is a 2000 model?   I have been lusting for one of them  LT80's.
ARKANSAWYER
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: ohsoloco on November 03, 2002, 07:35:41 PM
I'd have to say that the best way to learn is the HARD WAY!  The first batch of logs I cut on my mill was cherry...and I ended up cutting them "through and through."  By the time they air dried for months and I was going to load the boards up to take to the kiln I ended up cutting several hundred board feet up for firewood  :o   I quickly learned what grade sawing was all about.  I'll never come close to knowing it all, but I always love learning new things, and I learn something new every time I cut up another log  :P  Start cutting and have fun!
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Noble_Ma on November 04, 2002, 05:19:55 AM
I guess I'm one of the few that use a blue machine.  I love it and have managed to get a few bd/ft under my belt.  I just wish I had the money to add some hydraulics to it!  I have a good method to get them up on the mill, it's turning and leveling those big suckers that hurts the old back!! :-/
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Bibbyman on November 04, 2002, 05:38:10 AM
Welcome to the Forum Matthew,

I'd like you to pass along to the guys at Wood-Mizer that cut, weld, paint, wire, plumb, and assemble the mills a sincere thank you from us Wood-Mizer owners.

We'd like you to know how important the quality of your work and attention to detail is to us.  When a customer comes to our sawmill,  the Wood-Mizer mill is the centerpoint of our operation.  I give them a quick overview of the mill and show them the welds, paint, how the hoses are routed, etc.  Then I show them examples of the product that comes off the mill.  All are impressed.  Keep up the great work.

Oh yea,  Say Hi to John Hicks for me.  That crazy man kept me out in the cold and damp and sleet pulling boards for him for three days running.  But I made him look good. ;)
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: MM on November 04, 2002, 11:20:24 AM
I guess I could have built "Wanda"!! I sure have welded and built my share. Most people here in Indy call me a redneck.. Go figure. They think because I don't live in the big city and like the smell of cow s@#$ that makes me a redneck. We have one guy in accounting, he always ask how smart I am. Because, I fight traffic and drive 71 miles one way to work!
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Tom on November 04, 2002, 02:04:14 PM
A good answer to that is "Because that is where Home is".  A lot of people give up a "home" to move closer to "work" and have to replace it with "just a house".
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Jeff on November 04, 2002, 03:28:04 PM
Matthew welcome. You need a user pic. Can I getcha one? Huh, can I can I ? PLEEEASE
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Jeff on November 04, 2002, 04:14:47 PM
(http://www.forestryforum.com/images/mandm.gif)

want it?
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Scott_R on November 04, 2002, 04:21:20 PM
Wrong color Jeff. Better see if you can find a can of WM touch up paint! Scott
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: Jeff on November 04, 2002, 04:29:18 PM
There. sampled from an LT15
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: MM on November 05, 2002, 04:46:54 AM
Jeff,

That looks like it will fit me fine!!!! Make sure it stays the same color!  :D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: ARKANSAWYER on November 05, 2002, 05:01:43 AM
  Now Matt that is a cool pic.  Jeff is a talented man and can saw too.

 People ask me why I live where I do and it is easy.  I can sleep with the windows open, leave the keys in the truck and do pert near anything I please as long as my wife says it is OK. ;D  I personally wished more people lived in the city.
 ARKANSAWYER
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: wiam on November 05, 2002, 07:26:13 PM
Alot of us in northern VT would agree with you ARKANSAWYER

Wiam
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: smwwoody on November 05, 2002, 07:32:20 PM
Why would you want to take the keys out of the truck?  thye might get lost ;D
Title: Re: Where to start...how did you learn?
Post by: woodmills1 on November 06, 2002, 12:33:22 PM
It might sound strange living as close to population as I do, but I can get away with the no locks and keys in the truck here.  In fact never locked anything at the previous house and the barn never had a front door while I was there.  There are at least 8 Home depots and 10 wallmarts in a 15 mile circle from my house.