The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: timjab on May 02, 2010, 03:27:00 PM

Title: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: timjab on May 02, 2010, 03:27:00 PM
Hey guys, my name is Tim. Ive been lurking and am getting ready to start milling!

Im gonna start because im building on my 80 acre lot , 70 of which is filled with hardwood.
In clearing for my homesite i cut several red and white oaks too long and thick to cut up for firewood. These are all under 30" diameter.
Ive never milled before but have a big tractor with loader to move em and stihl 440 to slice em up.

Im gonna quarter some to us as craftsman style interior trim in the house. Im gonna make 8x8 timbers for exterior decorative framing ( see Mascord house plan "Ashby" to get an idea) and thereafter mostly cut for lumber to build a barn and board fencing.

Ive got logs at the site so its gonna be stationary.

Its gonna be for personal use only, no production, so ive been thinking bout:
A- norwood lumberlite: the new ml 26 looks nice. $4500. with honda 13hp.

B- Woodmizer 10 or 15... great reputation, seems like the lumberlite splits the difference between the two, capacity and price wise.

C-Cooks hp 26 or mp 32.  talked to them and salesman steered me toward mp 32. seems equivocal to the woodmizer choices.

D- local used norwood lumbermate 2000- loaded with trailer kit,   little used, asking 6500.

Honestly i like the look of the lumberlite. honda 13 has a good reutatuion. and i think it would be fun to assemble. i wish there were some opinions out there but it is pretty new.

You guys got any thoughts???

Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: Bro. Noble on May 02, 2010, 03:41:27 PM
Welcome to the forum.

You should be getting some opinions right away.  Slingshot recently bought an Lt 30 and previously had a Norwood and an Lt 15 if I remember correctly.  He should be able to give you some good advice.  I think he still has the Norwood and plans to sell it.
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: Dave Shepard on May 02, 2010, 03:44:37 PM
Welcome to the Forum.
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: ljmathias on May 02, 2010, 05:39:43 PM
Welcome to the forum and whichever you choose, you'll learn lots and make some good lumber.  One good thing: a starter sawmill can be traded up or sold for almost what you paid for it- you get to use it for the price of upkeep!

Read the forum- there's tons of information and loads of discussions on your topic.

Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: Slingshot on May 02, 2010, 06:21:18 PM


               I can speak favorably for both the Norwood LM2000 and the Woodmizer LT15.
  Both are well built mills and make good accurate lumber. I bought the LM2000 new and
  used it a little over one year. I bought the LT-15 off craigslist, finding it at a good price,
  and re-sold it. But used it enough to speak highly of it. I think you would like either of
  these mills better than the Lumberlite for the milling capacity if you want to mill the size
   logs you mentioned. Just recently sold the Norwood also, after buying the WM LT-30.
  Advertized it on craigslist and a guy drove down from Maryland and bought it. (I'm in KY.)
    (Welcome to the forum - these guys taught me to mill)

Charles   sling_shot

Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: DeepWoods on May 02, 2010, 06:44:12 PM
Hi Tim,

I have a Norwood LM2000, and it meets all my needs.  I have had it long enough to know that manual mills are lots of work, but still can produce enough lumber for a hobby sawyer.  I bought mine new, so assembly was required.  But I like that type of work so it was no problem.  Having a tractor will make loading easier, and if your not afraid of some work having a manual mill is not to bad.  I would say get as many horsepower as you can afford.  there will always be a big log you will want to cut and having more HP will make the bigger ones easy.  If you know of any one that has any of the mills that are on your short list, I would try to see one in person.  It may help you make a decision if you could see one in operation.  Your profile does not list where you are from, but if it is anywhere near northern Minnesota, I invite you  to stop on in to see my LM2000 in operation.

By the way, welcome to the forum, I think you will find all of the questions you have can be answered here. 

Les Javener
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on May 02, 2010, 06:51:28 PM
Check the sawmill exchange for used sawmills
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: sigidi on May 02, 2010, 07:11:18 PM
Tim welcome to the forum - my personal experience is limited to a Lucas, but it's great to see so many fellas offering help so selflessly.

Go the forum! 8)
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: TimJr on May 02, 2010, 07:36:12 PM
I have an LT 15 with the 15 hrs kohler. I am very pleased with this mill. I added 1 bed section and the power feed. I have close to 100 hrs on it so far and haven't had to re-adjust much except the log dogs. Whatever you end up buying make sure it's the one that makes you happy for awhile. because, once you get sawdust in your veins you'll never be able to quit sawing.
Title: Re: Help needed picking a mill
Post by: jfl on May 02, 2010, 08:39:47 PM

I have a lumberlite 24 (older model I think) with the Brigg&Straton 6.5 HP.  I bought it because I mill as a hobby for my personal uses (and when I'm busy doing something WITH the wood, I can't produce anymore. Or if I don't have room to pile it up or if I have to clear an area of all the tagged tree for firewood before I get to the next area... you get the idea). So in fact, my mill did't run for about a year.  The only thing that made sense was the lumberlite, for the price.  That way, I harvest the tree, paint the end and mill the tree the next morning, the latest.  That way, bug can't get in the log...

What I found out about the LL24 (beside it takes 2 days to assemble: fun but long) it that it requires a solid base.  I use an old rusted truck cab (for its steel beam) onto which I build  composite wood beam and I put the track onto those beams.  Not my best idea.  The beam are too high and not wide enough, so once in a while, it shakes like crazy. I'll fix that by purchasing 2 steel beams and putting the LL24 track directly onto the beams.  Also, I'll build a covered shed with concrete floor...

Also I mostly saw 10 to 16 inch log, for which LL24 is very nice. However I did saw about 5 log 8 foot by 26 inches. Those are too heavy for the mill base and I did bend the base a few times.  It becomes very hard to re-adjust it afterward to produce strait woods.

A very nice thing about the LM24 is that you can extend it easily. I added a 5 foot section, so I can produce beam up to 18 foot long.

So bottomline regarding the LM24:

-Great price for people who mill as a hobby and don't care if is slower (anyway, it's not the cutting that takes time it's the loading and unloading!)
-You'll have to invest some money to build a good base.
-But you can extend the base cheaply.
-Not good for anything larger than 24 inch. (and you have to be carefull with the larger logs).