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Author Topic: I just got home with a 2011 LT35HD - I need your counsel on how to succeed.  (Read 18738 times)

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Offline MikeySP

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Greetings! I am looking for some fatherly advice. If your son had a sawmilll and he wanted to learn how to use it and make money using it, and he asked for a time sensitive education track so he could be economically viable as soon as possible without doing violence to his reputation for quality...what would your counsel be?

I have the mill and I am going to give it a go, so how do I give it a good go?... Thanks dad!  :D

I got a very good deal on a 2011 Woodmizer LT35HD25G with 500 hours, one owner, hobbyist. Arrived home an hour ago and called woodmizer to register in my name. Seller was very kind, but was not able to teach me, so I am at about zero and want to arrive at hero... or at least graduate elementary school in the most expeditious manner.

My current plan:
  • Read woodmizer manual - cover to cover
  • perform any essential maintenance and head to friends house. He is original owner of 88 LT40. He is going to help me set up mine and saw, and I will spend day at his place.
  • He has a friend who mills with 90 LT40 full time and I want to spend a day helping that man and learning more.
  • Select trees from my property to fell and mill. Spend 30-40 hours milling and stacking for air drying to work out any cob webs in my lightly used machine and graduate kindergarten. 1st grade here I come!
  • Look for some jobs within two weeks of right now. Types of jobs... I do not know.
  • ?

Equipment I have:
  • Sawmill Woodmizer LT35HD25G
  • L180 Skidsteer7000lb, 63HP, New Holland  with tires and steel tracks. Also have severe duty rock grapple bucket, regular bucket, forks, and backhoe attachments.
  • Chainsaw Stihl 270?
  • Truck 1995 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel 2WD. Can't get into muck.

I can have asap as it makes sense
  • Log skidder grapple - 2 day planning and 2 day build. Have 80% of materials.
  • Log holding frame on gooseneck if I need to haul some logs. Have all materials. One day job.
  • Solar kiln to be built after pole barn is up, several months. Unless a large job requires it sooner.

Is there anyone who has made a steps on how to be successful at this thread? I have been a civil government employee for most of my life and now I have to learn how to serve my neighbor, so he will reward me with his business.

I would be glad to call and take notes also.

We will be milling our own timber for our projects: pole barn shop, house for us, house for son.
Additionally want to take on milling work and find the market needs that we might be able to serve in.

My goal is to have a customer in two weeks time from now.

Thank you. -Mike

My new to me sawmill:



 

Sorry, I tried to make this photo upright, but an evil conspiracy sabotaged me. :) (Note from Admin:  Got you straightened out).  Isn't it beautiful? Trees beware!

-Mike

Online charles mann

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CONGRATS sir. now, if you could just flip your pic 180, it'll be easier to see your success. 
Temple, Tx
Fire Fighting and Heavy Lift Helicopter Mech
Helicopter and Fixed Wing Pilot

Offline RichTired

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Woodmizer-South in Newnan, Ga is having an open house this Saturday Feb 2 from 8:30am until 11:30am. 
Demos on both manual and hydraulic mills.
Call 777.251.4894 to RSVP.
Expert sawmill consultants to talk with during this time period as well as other saw mill owners.
Wood-Mizer LT15GO, Kubota L2800, Husqvarna 268 chainsaw, Logrite cant hook, Ford F-150 Fx4

Richard

Offline randy d

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Google your mill and watch as many videos as you can Woodmizer has a bunch of good ones go slow take your time and try to select some nice straight logs  and not real big to start with looks like you got a great deal. Randy

Offline tawilson

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I saw this a few weeks ago in another thread here: Save your first board. I wish I had.
Tom
2017 LT40HDG35 WIDE
BMS250 and BMT250 sharpener/setter

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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I'd make sure I got the mill figured out, properly adjusted and maintained, blades, tools and other supplies on hand and saw a few of my own logs before advertising for work.  

 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide,  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Online WV Sawmiller

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   You might see how far away Nathan @123maxbars is from you. He has the same mill and turns out some real pretty work (and some cool videos). Any time you might spend off-bearing for him would be time well spent. Good luck and congratulations.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Dad2FourWI

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It sounds like you are right on.... volunteer to help other sawyers and ask questions until they "almost get mad"... :D :D

Watch, ask and listen and you will be up and running quickly!

We did not have anyone nearby to learn from but the people here were so patient and a wealth of information!!

When we run into a problem, we grab the manual and head here to the forum! LOL!

Then, when you have watched and asked.... start slow and small and allow yourself to "just go for it"!!!

Start with logs that are not "select"... and make some dust.... and then just keep learning from anyone and everyone.

.... and maybe the most important thing is to enjoy and have fun.... I LOVE the view from my "office"... it's right in my millshed walking behind the control head of my LT40!!!  ;D

Cheers!
-Dad2FourWI

LT-40, LT-10, Bobcat T750 CTL, Ford 1910 tractor, tree farmer

Offline Crossroads

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Congratulations! Step 1) rotate picture in gallery. At bottom left of picture there should be a blue button that says rotate 90. If your turning out clean flat boards after that 40 hour crash course, put an add on Facebook and Craigs list. Just be honest with any potential customers about your experience and give them an honest days work. Good luck! 
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, l8000 Ford dump truck, hr16 Terex excavator

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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p.s. forgive my manners.  Congratulations & all the best! It will be fun to hear your stories.  :P :P :P
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide,  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline Southside

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I would say you have a really good plan there.  Couple things I can add having started with a 35.  The air cleaner on these really sucks in the dust given the location, keep the foam pre-cleaner on it and clean it out daily.  It will take two minutes but will keep your performance where you need it to be and will keep the filter lasting longer.  I would change the spark plugs and fuel filter if they have not been done recently too, not a lot of hours, but a few years there, that really woke up my saw and improved fuel economy.  

Learn to listen to your saw, you will be able to hear the engine and know when you are pushing it too hard and when a band is getting dull.  Don't push a dull band - change it just as it starts to begin to get dull - there is no value in trying to "finish the log" you are on or just getting a couple more cuts.  

You will be able to hear the band in the wood and the noise it makes on the rollers, this will also help with knowing when to change it, but also tells you if you need more water on the band or not.  

Pick up a spare set of B57 belts and keep them with the mill - they are the ones that go on the drive wheels, also keep a spare drive belt, drive and idler bearings, along with guide bearings.  It does not take too much to over tension the band and you will cause a bearing to fail if you do that too much.  The bearings are cheap and not hard to replace right there at a customer location with a few basic tools, saves having to come back to finish a job.  On your mill all those parts are very reasonably priced.  

Did your mill come with bands?  WM will tell you that the Turbos won't work on your mill, all I will say is that is the only profile I have for my 35, with the exception of a couple carbides that are used with the re-saw attachment.  I would sign up with the re-sharp program and take advantage of the auto-fill, auto-replace program where they put a new band in your box if one can't be sharpened and you always get a full box back.  The bands are replaced at a bulk discount price and the shipping is the same if they send you 1 band or 15 in a box, so this way your actual cost per band is lower.  

I realize that you just spent a pile of cash and I am telling you to fork over a bit more, but this will save you time and money as you get to sawing, down time can be a real killer.  

As far as the "what" for jobs, I have found that being the guy who makes the stuff nobody else makes keeps me busier than I want to be.  Folks will call and say they need cheap 2x4's - I tell them to go to Lowes.  If everyone around is "selling" slabs - I am not sawing any, there is no need to be just another price option.  Find what is missing in your market and the work will come to you.  Don't get me wrong, I don't refuse work if someone wants me to bring the mill to them and saw 2x4's then that is what they are going to get, but I don't put my time and resources into trying to merchandise stuff everyone else is selling.  

Best of luck and enjoy the new adventure!!!  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline doc henderson

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I AM TOO YOUNG OR ELSE YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR ME TO BE YOUR FATHER.  Your plan sounds great, thinking like that , you are half way there.  word of mouth, people will start calling you up.  You can try harder when you are needing more to do.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Online WV Sawmiller

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   In line with Southside's suggestions keep a spare power feed belt too. They are quick and easy to change but sure make life a lot easier if you need one and have it there handy. I keep my belts in box with my bands.


 Frame and hinges on my band boxes.


 Finished boxes. Belts coiled in between the bands travel well.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Southside

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WV - so as not to confuse the OP, his saw won't have that belt, the system you have was an upgrade, his and mine have a smaller drive motor, 1/5 hp IIRC, which goes into a gear box to drive the head.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline MikeySP

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Thank you for the well wishes everyone. 

My photo is healed :) Thank you admin.

"Keep the first board you mill" capital idea. Will try to post photo of it, upright of course. 

Got the mill figured out, properly adjusted and maintained, blades, tools and other supplies on hand and saw a few of my own logs before advertising for work.  

Nathan is about 6 hours away, so for economic reasons I will have to look more locally for a bit. 

I like it, "start slow and small"....Start with logs that aren't "select" which I assume means high dollar. Very good point, need to tell that potential customer, I am not his man for atleast a little while. 

"... and maybe the most important thing is to enjoy and have fun.... I LOVE the view from my "office".."... I think you may be right. I actually decided on this course as I was getting tighter with the days and saw the potential for harvesting some of the trees for my material and the ability to augment my thinning pocketbook, with an upfront investment that has a reputation for holding it's value.

"Just be honest with any potential customers about your experience and give them an honest days work" -Bingo!

Your manners ar eimpecable terrific timbers!

Southside, this was very instructive. I will look up manual for air filter cleaning and do that this morning when I get to jordan's house. He just went full time doing 18th-19th century blacksmithing. 

Get this: The mill came with 13 used blades and a box of 12 new blades from WM in the box. Also has New Guide roller and a used guide roller (exchanged the other. I wonder of the used one is reusable, just change the bearing?? Also came with some extra new belts: 3 drive and two pulley and the numbers mayched what yo mentioned. 

The seller also sent me home with a box of canned greens, jams, and a wonderful memory of hispitality. 

Interesting about turbos working so well for you despite the company aversion to it. I may put that on my must ask about when I speak with a tech.. I am not sure what I have exactly and I am about to get ready and hit the road. Don't want to start out by arriving late.  I will look at the resharp program costs and if there is a local blade sharpener in the hood around Hickman County... yes, we moved here a year a go and are offficially "Hicks" :)

SSL do you mill at your location and sell a product predominately or ia it an even split home and away?

The boxes: are bands and saw blades the same thing? I assume yes. How do you open/c;lose those boxes. Thank you for sharing the design photos.

Thank you all very much!

-Mike




Offline doc henderson

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they are band saw blades but you can call them what you want.  other sites have videos as well, but you should watch and practice coiling and uncoiling bands/blades.  timberking is where I watched.  It can make you look silly and you can actually get hurt if you do not know what to do.  your enthusiasm will take you far, especially now where everything seems new.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Southside

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Mike,

These days I saw 90% from home and 10% portable. I do enjoy getting out and sawing at new places, but I really enjoy having all the support equipment at home. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Online WV Sawmiller

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Southside,

   Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware of the upgrade. That will save him about $6-$7 for the PF belt. While he won't need that belt he may still find carrying his other spare belts in his band box works well. Somebody here on the FF suggested it to me and I have done that ever since and it works well for me. 

    Basically I have sort of developed a standard "kit" I load and take with me on every mobile job. Many things are needed on most jobs but are sure handy to have when you do need them. 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Woodpecker52

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Id start the business first by getting on your knees and giving it to the Lord!  Then he will direct the business forward.
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900 Kubota L3830F tractor

Offline Ben Cut-wright

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economically viable as soon as possible without doing violence to his reputation for quality...what would your counsel be?

I have the mill and I am going to give it a go, so how do I give it a good go?... Thanks dad!  :D

 so I am at about zero and want to arrive at hero... or at least graduate elementary school in the most expeditious manner.

My current plan:
  • Read woodmizer manual - cover to cover
  • perform any essential maintenance and head to friends house. He is original owner of 88 LT40. He is going to help me set up mine and saw, and I will spend day at his place.
  • He has a friend who mills with 90 LT40 full time and I want to spend a day helping that man and learning more.
  • Select trees from my property to fell and mill. Spend 30-40 hours milling and stacking for air drying to work out any cob webs in my lightly used machine and graduate kindergarten. 1st grade here I come!
  • Look for some jobs within two weeks of right now. Types of jobs... I do not know.
  • ?

Equipment I have:
  • Sawmill Woodmizer LT35HD25G
  • L180 Skidsteer7000lb, 63HP, New Holland  with tires and steel tracks. Also have severe duty rock grapple bucket, regular bucket, forks, and backhoe attachments.
  • Chainsaw Stihl 270?
  • Truck 1995 3/4 ton Dodge Diesel 2WD. Can't get into muck.

I can have asap as it makes sense
  • Log skidder grapple - 2 day planning and 2 day build. Have 80% of materials.
  • Log holding frame on gooseneck if I need to haul some logs. Have all materials. One day job.
  • Solar kiln to be built after pole barn is up, several months. Unless a large job requires it sooner.

Is there anyone who has made a steps on how to be successful at this thread? I have been a civil government employee for most of my life and now I have to learn how to serve my neighbor, so he will reward me with his business.
 

We will be milling our own timber for our projects: pole barn shop, house for us, house for son.
Additionally want to take on milling work and find the market needs that we might be able to serve in.

My goal is to have a customer in two weeks time from now.


"Viable ASAP" advice:  Become adept at all aspects of what you expect to be paid for.  Don't use paid time for basic training.  "Zero to hero"(expert), according to Malcolm Gladwell, takes about 10,000 hours.  Hard to squeeze that many hours out of two weeks.  Getting a "customer" in that time frame shouldn't be a problem. Keeping the customer and enticing others is a better goal.

"Read the manual":  Great first step. You will find it takes several readings, with understanding and after some hands-on experience, to get full benefit from the best texts. 

Please take this as friendly advice. Everyone develops methods that may not be 'by the book'.  Anyone teaching others will sometimes offer partial information or methods that won't work in all circumstances.  Gather as much information as you can from all sources and see what works best for you in your situation.

You may be surprised to find that first "30-40 hours of sawing" could take longer than two weeks, especially if you have any other commitments to attend.  Felling timber, forwarding your own logs,  handling-stacking and stickering, plus trying to learn how to use the new sawmill will add much extra time to your learning process. 

Are you *really healthy, fit and able, like to work hard, have good hand-eye coordination, have excellent safe work habits? Are you alert when tired and don't get distracted easily?  Would you say your 'multitasking skills' are average?  Are you an outdoor person?  Do you have known allergies or any handicaps?  Does the sight of blood make you woozy?  (JK)  Many faults and less than perfect habits can be overcome. But only a couple negatives can ruin the entire venture.  Age is a factor too. For me, the other things I mention above are more pertinent than age. 

You will want to determine that every cut you make is as good as your machine and ability can make it. INSPECT, measure, position, then check again.  After you decide/know you and your saw can make a decent cut, try to do better.  The intricacies of sawing are constantly changing, making a good product of the log is a skill that, for most of us, comes with lots of intense focus and practice.  ANYONE can make cuts in logs.  A sawyer should have confidence he can determine if the cut is good, and if not, why not. 

Product of the saw mill is "rough", but rough does not mean it doesn't meet basic criteria. Strive to be able to produce material that can be used or processed to exact finished dimensions.  Expect to produce some scrap.  There are many reasons/excuses why some cuts are not adequate, no excuses for not correcting when the cut goes bad. 

Whatever evolves for you, good luck.  Expect lots of labor and even more satisfaction.


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