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Author Topic: Brand new to milling  (Read 1016 times)

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Offline Medieval

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Brand new to milling
« on: January 03, 2020, 03:55:16 PM »
Hi. I have never milled. I have done some woodworking. I am adept at working with machines. I make most things work without the "right" equipment by adapting to the situation and equipment at hand.

Most of the milling I want to do will be for artistic ends. I'm wanting to show off the beauty of hedge and honey locust. My needs don't involve any production demands. I do have a friend who is wanting me to mill some wood for cabinets. 

I have explored the options and believe the woodlands hm126 will do the job for me.

Any advise or tops I can get from the forum will be read and applied to my best ability. (I do have a logcant)

Online A-z farmer

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 06:03:56 PM »
Welcome to the forestry forum Medieval 
Everything you need to read is on the posts of this forum.
You should go to the sawmills and milling section first lots of information there.Then I would read the drying and processing section .The sawmill is only one part of the sawdust journey .
Zeke

Offline trimguy

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 06:57:28 PM »
Welcome to the forum! I am new here also, I built my mill a couple of years ago and reading all the knowledge here have gotten working good, for a hobby mill. my advise is , wrap up any other hobbies you have. The sawdust addiction is really !

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 09:27:40 PM »
Welcome, just figured I would put in a plug for ez boardwalk if you are in hedge country, it's built like a tank in North eastern Missouri.  Made in USA in a little town, simple machine even I could work on. Best of luck on your journey.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 06:50:32 PM »
Welcome!  

If your needs for lumber are relatively small, that mill will do what you need unless you need wide material.  A 26" diameter log is a pretty big log and is big enough to make lots of lumber.  Manually handling a 26" log is definitely a workout.  Have you worked around a manual bandmill? It is a great learning experience to find someone who has a mill who will let you spend a day or two or three.

Get the most horsepower you can.  You will need 10 or 15 blades to start and a source or way for resharpening them.  Be diligent in stacking and stickering your lumber correctly. 

When you start out, learn the sawmill operation and sawing techniques on low value logs.  We've heard stories of a new sawyer putting a high value log on the mill early on only to find out it doesn't saw easily.  Save that log from Grandma's walnut tree until you have some experience under your belt.  You will produce some "designer firewood", more to begin with and less later on.  Designer firewood is the Forum term for lumber that is destined for the burn pile or wood stove. 

Be diligent on keeping the sawmill aligned, maintained and adjusted correctly.  Many problems are prevented by keeping the mill in tune.  

The best way to learn is to do it!  You can read a lot here but only running the mill will solidify what you read about.  

You will hit metal in a log, you will saw into some part of the mill.  It just happens - expect it. 

There will new friends appearing once they know you have a sawmill.  It just happens.

Don't be afraid to ask questions here.  This a learning community, we share the good, the bad and the ugly about our experiences.  There is a wealth of experience and knowledge among the members.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 09:11:47 PM »
   Ted makes some real good points above about visiting a mill similar to the one you are considering and learn the pros and cons of the features it has and does not.  Also the point about sawing low value logs at first. Most of my practice lumber went into my lumber storage shed where functionality mattered but cosmetics did not. After I got started and when a customer would call wanting some new technique such a quartersawing or such I'd practice on my logs first so I knew what to expect and made the newbe mistakes on my wood. 
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Medieval

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 07:57:00 AM »
I really appreciate all the input. I have also been reading in the forum every chance I get. (I wish there was a search option). 
I do have a question. Woodland sends out lenex blades, are they a good blade?
Thanks
I'll keep reading.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2020, 08:06:50 AM »
There is a search option on the top right hand of the page if you are viewing on a computer.
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.

Offline K-Guy

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2020, 08:16:41 AM »
Welcome Medieval

I'm a kiln guy (hence the name) but one piece of advice I can give is true of many things. While you are learning, if you see something that looks like it will improve your work but you don't see that experienced people here are doing it, ask if it works. It may something that is a new great idea from fresh eyes or a costly mistake others have learned already.

One of the truest quotes from Winston Churchill is " when I was 15 my parents knew nothing, by the time I was 20 I was amazed at how much they had learned"

I have learned the hard way about many things and have the aches and scars to prove it. This a great bunch of guys and you won't find more helpful people anywhere.

ps. fill out your information, on some questions location will make a difference in the answer. ;D ;D
Nyle Kiln Sales & Service
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 the vices I admire." -Winston Churchill

Offline btulloh

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2020, 08:57:03 AM »
I do have a question. Woodland sends out lenex blades, are they a good blade?


I hesitate to say that the Lennox blades are NOT good, but I don't like them compared to other blades.  Lennox in general makes a lot of good edge tooling, but I don't think their 10 degr blades are a good match with my HM126.  I have been using Kasco 7's for general purpose and very happy.  I need some 4's for harder stuff like older oak logs, but I get by with 7's.  There are others using WM blades and Timberwolf and very happy with them as well.  It's really hard to say what's really the best until you try out 10 or 15 of each.  I haven't done that, but I'm open to it.  I just don't find the Lennox blades to be right for me and my mill.  That being said, I sawed quit a bit of SYP with the initial 10 pack of Lennox I got with the original mill order and made good lumber.
HM126

Offline Medieval

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 12:36:22 PM »
@btulloh I intend to mill a lot of Osage orange and other hardwoods. Would you, or any others, have a recommendation as to which blades would be best? Is there any trouble using the same blade for softer wood?

Offline ladylake

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 02:51:19 PM »

 I have no problem with Lennox blades and I've tried most brands, but the lower the hook angle the better.  Far as a small low cost mill I'd rather get one with roller guides which I think do  better job than the sandwich type.  Steve
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 03:12:39 PM »
I think you can be ok with that approach.  That's what most really experienced sawyers have said.  Don't get too caught up in different blade profiles, especially at first.  Keep it simple.  How your mill is adjusted and tweaked and how you run it will have a much bigger impact on how your sawed lumber turns out.  Over the long haul,  you may want to add some different profiles for hard-to-saw logs, but probably best to pick a blade profile and work with it. 

Osage is is one of the more challenging things to saw.  More (a lot more) hp would be nice, but I saw osage with my 9.5hp just fine.  It's just not fast and it dulls the blade quickly, but that works for me.  I don't need to be fast or high-volume.  Plus sawing challenging stuff on my low-power rig has made me good at alignment and adjustment of my saw and paying attention to what the log tells me when I'm in the cut.

Most people on here would favor the 4 degr bands for something like osage, and some have reported doing just fine in soft woods with the 4's.  If you're doing mostly hard stuff, maybe you should just get the 4's and you'll still be ok in softwood.  I can't say from personal experience, but that seems to be the consensus.  (Consensus - HA! that'll be the day!  :D)

I know with Kasco, you could order a mixed pack ( I think ) if you wanted.  Probably get them from CuttingEdge (a member here).  You'd have to see who's supposed to be servicing your region.  Once again, other blade manufacturers are good too, but I haven't tried them.  You have to start somewhere with some type of blade, so just pick one and go with it.  I would just avoid the 10's for what you want to do.

And p.s., I wouldn't jump into osage orange as my very first log.  Try some softwood for #1, and stay with something easier for the first 8 or 10 logs or so.  You'll know when it's time to challenge yourself.  It gets progressively easier after the first log.  Even after a thousand logs there's still plenty to learn though.  The nice thing about this sawing thing is you never run out things to learn.  And that makes it fun and interesting.


Offline APope

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 07:15:33 AM »
I saw on a Frontier OS31 with a 13.5hp Briggs. I bought a box of 10 degree blades and they are OK on southern yellow pine so long as you keep the coolant rolling and pay attention to your cutting. I actually prefer to cut the pine with a 7 degree. I have cut white oak with the 7s but prefer the 4 degree for the harder woods.
Unafraid to use my chainsaw, JD 2640, Frontier OS31

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Brand new to milling
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 12:56:01 PM »
The osage Iíve sawn has a tremendous amount of stress in it, bowing and curving the whole time Iím sawing it.  So donít use it as a benchmark to see if the mill is cutting straight, curved boards are probably do to the Osage, not the mill.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.


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