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Author Topic: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling  (Read 2167 times)

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Offline JamieK

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Hello guys, I've done alot of reading hear on this forum but I can't find if this subject has been dealt with. 
I currently own an LT28 and do mostly custom portable sawmilling. An Amish guy wants me to mill for him full time. I have been wanting this kind of opportunity since I started milling in 2017. This guy is getting 15-20 truck loads of logs per week so my current eq is not going to cut it. I'm looking at the full milling line for the LT70 at a cost of $120,000. As it is shown on Wood-Mizer's website it requires 3 people to operate at full efficiency. My goal is for it to be a 2 man operation with an output of 5000 bd ft per 8 hr day. Does anyone have any experience with this full line without any modifications? Can a green chain be placed in front of the transfer table to have lumber slide down and dispense onto the green chain? 
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jamie

 

 
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Offline Southside

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 12:32:26 PM »
You will need really good logs and really good people, three of them total,and luck, to get that kind of consistent production, also will need a loader to keep the mill fed and remove finished product quickly. Then there is the building to consider. 

If you are sawing at a commodity rate I sure would not take that deal. My advice would be to visit a couple of operations that have 70's and get a first hand view of things. 
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Offline RPF2509

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 01:06:18 PM »
5000 bf a day (approx. a truck load) will not keep up with 15 - 20 truck loads a week.  Are you the only miller for Mr. Amish?  For production work, its go big or go home,  the more mechanization the better.  Cutting the boards is not usually the choke point - its handling and storing the boards and logs.  I've always looked at the woodmizer as a way to cut quality boards or utilize trees that would not make it to a production mill.  Don't want to dampen your dream or opportunity but $120K is a chunk of change - could spending more for bigger and better actually get you where you want?  If you have to talk to a banker anyway why not ask for more? interest rates are low - its a good time to borrow.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 01:26:28 PM »
It almost has to be a circle sawmill. If it must be band it must be a metal detector line and a log debarking machine. A used simi or auto can be found for a lot less money because nobody wants to do all the work to set one up. If you get into sawing that much wood with a small band rig you won't keep up.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 01:42:40 PM »
Don't build a business relying on another person's business.  With that described setup, you need to find your own log source and market for your product.

If it sounds too good, it usually is.
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Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 02:07:13 PM »
Magic, that is a good perspective on the situation. I also deal with tree service guys that cant handle the logs and I get them from his customers location, or services that sell the logs to me for $.10 per bd ft. One guy I can bring my mill to his location and use his equipment to load logs. With the Amish guy I would need to automate to remove the bottle necks of material handling. He is a buyer of standing timber and i believe he currently takes his logs to a mill for processing. For custom  milling I currently charge $.39 per bd ft he said he will pay me $.30 to do it full time.
There are a few videos on YouTube that show an lt70 being used with an array of equipment  and 2 man operation. Even though the mill is spitting out a log every 3 minutes guy number 2 sure looks bored

WoodMizer LT70 Grade Sawing Poplar - YouTube

Also in my situation this has to be outdoors only. I would even have to buy a 10k generator to power the electrics 
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Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 02:27:05 PM »
In this setup, guy #2 is working at a steady pace and not killing himself but they say they at getting 6000 bf per day.

Wood-Mizer Super LT-70 - Full operation - Mill for sale - 6000 bd ft/day - YouTube

Does anyone have experience with the Wood-Mizer transfer table and green chain?

I'm meeting with the guy this Saturday and am going to get all the details about his operation and his expectations.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 03:42:54 PM »
$0.30 / BF, debt service on the whole set up, and you are outside, at the mercy of someone else - sorry to be blunt but that is a recipe to fail fast and hard.  It will be very difficult to keep guys showing up to work under those conditions and your equipment is going to take a beating, that 70 has 5 ECU's on it, yes 5.  First mills and lumber don't do well in the rain and snow, mills with lots of fancy electronics REALLY don't do well in adverse weather.  There is a reason he is making you that offer - because he can't make it work under those conditions.  4,000 BF of hardwood is approximately 56,000 lbs.  Do you really think one guy is going to keep coming back to stand around in the sun, rain, snow, and misery to hump around 56,000 lbs of lumber per 8 hour day?  He will have to do all the work since your hands won't be able to leave the joysticks long enough to keep that sort of production going.  Go pick up a bag of concrete, walk a few steps with it then put it in a pile, do it 700 more times over 8 hours, every day, that is what you are proposing.  
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 04:01:25 PM »
I don't see how that business model is going to succeed.  One big customer supplying logs, high start up costs, needing to make commercial mill production with a small mill, tree service logs, being weather dependent, requiring reliable labor at the mill, no mention of support machinery and so on. 

If that one big customer goes back to his current mill or folds, it will be a scramble to fill that void.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 08:27:06 PM »
It's gotta be done with decks/conveyers not humped. When you get a sawmill, log splitter or processer really running right the raw material is powered in, cut and conveyed out and kicked or dropped on another deck,or something, without being handled.

Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 09:38:07 PM »
My idea is to have the Wood-Mizer incline conveyor feed the transfer table, from the transfer table larger ties and cants ( not mixed) would be kicked to one side and never touched except for straightening up with cant hook. Then dimensional lumber would go down the table to a(Wood-Mizer says that the two would not work together but I cant see why not) green chain where guy #2 would take the fliches and feed the edger then back to the green chain. Then all of the dimensional lumber will feed down the green chain to the end where my moffet will be catching everything coming off. It seems to me that nobody will be handling anywhere close to 50,000 + pounds of lumber. The only boards that would be picked up are the ones going through the edger and at that the edger has rollers on top of it for returning to the green chain. Wood-Mizer's plan in the above pick is to me ridiculous. I never meant to convey that I wanted to use the plan, only if anyone has used that plan and if it works for them
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Offline Southside

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 10:04:17 PM »
How are you going to sort the different sized cants and ties that roll off?  Also, will there be no lumber grade sort?  Just dead stack everything?  Returning over the rolls like that will make for a lot of dead time walking, so a return conveyor becomes necessary.  You will have to sort and saw logs by length and probably species is my guess given the limited sort capacity you would have.  
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Offline PAmizerman

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 10:05:14 PM »
Be careful. My dealings with the Amish have not been good experiences. I know several guys that have gotten screwed by them. I won't even buy logs from certain loggers if I find out Amish are involved.
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 10:18:44 PM »
Try a test run with your LT28, it is supposed to produce up to 350 board feet per hour. test it out on an 8 hour shift and see if you can average 2800 bd.ft. on an 8hr shift.  If you can meet that goal then the LT70 is rated above 1000 board feet per hour then make a decision  based on what you did before and what others are doing, hit the road and look at mills etc.  I know that woodmizer has heavier equipment built for higher production not portable. I am just curious but I thought the Amish did not use any powered equipment, how are they moving 15 to 20 loads of logs per week, by horse?
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2020, 04:42:40 AM »
Here's the LT70 full line in real world production: Nothing wrong with the transfer table but the operators never bothered with the air tilt unless we were sawing switch ties.

LT70DCS - YouTube

Its possible to get the production.
It's highly unlikely you can do it with two. We had 3.5 people(loader man was shared with our adjacent lumber grading operation) and automated waste handling.(blower ,barn sweep, chipper)
Our numbers were just under 6K lumber/ties daily combined long term.

Wood-Mizers(all thin kerf mills) have a high cost per unit. You need to "own" the over-run and the higher the value of the lumber being sawn yields higher returns.

The Amish mill probably has excess logs in part because logs and lumber are in a market low point. That will change but even if he remains over supplied he would be a poor business owner if he didn't retain the most profitable logs to saw for himself. A  better scenario would be for YOU to own the logs and hire an Amish circle mill to saw the lower grade logs that didn't justify the higher operating costs of the band mill.

Contract arrangements can work but; I wouldn't do it with borrowed funds and it would need to someone I had a great deal of experience with and trusted completely.


Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 05:16:48 AM »
What's your backup plan? You're going to need every one of the 1.5MMBF you're planning to cut per year with a lightweight, low volume line to make it pay.  Calling an Lt70 a production mill is a stretch without another saw behind it.

I'd be looking real close at the log specification... and how payment varies for out of spec logs.

It's doable... in the right logs. If the logs don't sit in the mills sweet spot you'll go broke. Viable I can't comment on but my gut says you either need a real mill not a toy, or a nice little mutirip behind the headsaw. Either way then you haven't got enough logs.

Me, I've done ok on a similar deal before but I had big mill experience and went in with my eyes open. You need a mill to suit the deal, sounds like you're looking for a deal to suit the mill, and it doesn't often work that way.
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 06:03:20 AM »
Another thing to factor in is coronavirus... Chinese export is dead in the water pending,  and even if he doesn't sell to the Chinese a glut is coming until the world market steadies around a new normal whatever it may be.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline florida

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 06:33:09 AM »
Do you have a backup plan for when the guy screws you and he will?  Once you've spent your money, have your equipment on his property and big payments to make he will own you.  He'll tell you he needs more production or another guy has come along who will saw for less and you, because you've used all your money and credit will have no choice but to try and please him. Whatever you do won't be enough or good enough. I've had it happen to me, sadly I didn't learn anything the first time, and I've seen it happen over and over to others. No matter how good he makes it sound it's a terrible deal that has the potential to ruin your life, don't do it.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 07:36:41 AM »
I posted the same Video above in a somewhat similar current thread asking about sawing ties. I did very well with my LT70 setup but I need to clarify that I built it to fill a specific niche at which it preformed very well. Being that I was a "log broker" I handled many millions of board feet of logs per year. Among these logs were a "class" of smaller diameter high quality oak logs that my large grade mill customers discounted in price because of diameter(12"-14"). Between freight and handling these logs were in fact worth less than tie quality logs that were cut tie length.

The thin kerf band mill was ideal for processing these logs. The big mills discounted them because the smaller diameter logs lowered production output. Tie mills are normally optimized for tie length logs and not so concerned about lumber grade and discounted anything longer than tie length as well. My hand picked logs produced a high percentage of upper grade lumber and very high rate of over run since my part of the world is all scaled on Doyle which penalizes small diameter logs. So there was win #1(low log cost) win#2(hand picked logs sized to the equipment) win#3 (high sales value lumber) win#4(large over run due diameter/log scale).

However to source the logs to make those outcomes possible I had the inherent advantage of already operating a wholesale log business and the connections to sell and move lumber. I already had the logs and basically the only profitable outcome after they hit my yard was to process them. If you had to "chase" that and only that log I sawed you probably would have to pay a premium for anybody to bother to make a separate sort.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2020, 07:37:09 AM »
Be careful. My dealings with the Amish have not been good experiences. I know several guys that have gotten screwed by them. I won't even buy logs from certain loggers if I find out Amish are involved.
Sadly I agree.  There seems to be a complete lack of ethics in regards to dealings with non amish.  Mennonites to me have been a bit more stand up but even then.  The whole chain of custody issue arises when logs come from Amish.  One PA owned amish mill was banned from VA due to theft, beekeepers come to find hives (hundreds) have been sold by farmers (they didn't know videos had been made).  etc.

In any case, the consensus seems to be to stay far away from this deal and I second it.  If you want to do more sawing get an SBA loan and buy logs and saw with an upgraded mill.  So so many mills for sale now.  You can buy an entire band saw mill system in PA for $40k, tables, conveyors, green chains, log decks, etc.  The whole thing.  Buyers market and this is a good time to buy used (i think).

Mostly before embarking on anything like this I'd design a mill site from scratch, find a piece of land to lease for 10-20 years or buy if the price is right.  I'd design the mill to flow with minimal # of people. I'd really look at the threads discussing workflow because that is the most important thing I've seen (or seen a lack of).  I'd tour the newest mills you can find.  The long island sawmill doing bridge timbers outside Lynchburg is pretty slick for a new hardwood mill.  They have a guy on a debarker, a sawyer, guy on automated edger (computerized- and being remotely monitored by manufactures in Canada), then it flows out to a sort line that had several folks.  They are doing some impressive volumes in a huge facility set up to do 40' long bridge timbers.  Even then with local Mennonite connections and good labor they are struggling to make a profit in this market.  It was an impressive mill.  Worth a visit just to see how a new from scratch mill is designed.  They started small and kept incrementing, then tore it all down and expanded, then did that again.

Lastly, you did not even mention waste.  The bark, chips, dust all need markets.  This takes coordination and outside sawing is going to make that tricky.  You want all that contained and automated if you want to saw thousands and thousands of feet a day.  You have to get the waste side to almost no labor.
Good luck!
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2020, 08:15:38 AM »


If you want to do more sawing get an SBA loan and buy logs and saw with an upgraded mill.  

Mostly before embarking on anything like this I'd design a mill site from scratch, find a piece of land to lease for 10-20 years or buy if the price is right.  I'd design the mill to flow with minimal # of people. I'd really look at the threads discussing workflow because that is the most important thing I've seen (or seen a lack of).  I'd tour the newest mills you can find.  The long island sawmill doing bridge timbers outside Lynchburg is pretty slick for a new hardwood mill.  They have a guy on a debarker, a sawyer, guy on automated edger (computerized- and being remotely monitored by manufactures in Canada), then it flows out to a sort line that had several folks.  They are doing some impressive volumes in a huge facility set up to do 40' long bridge timbers.  Even then with local Mennonite connections and good labor they are struggling to make a profit in this market.  It was an impressive mill.  Worth a visit just to see how a new from scratch mill is designed.  They started small and kept incrementing, then tore it all down and expanded, then did that again.

Lastly, you did not even mention waste.  The bark, chips, dust all need markets.  This takes coordination and outside sawing is going to make that tricky.  You want all that contained and automated if you want to saw thousands and thousands of feet a day.  You have to get the waste side to almost no labor.
Good luck!
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2020, 08:41:18 AM »
A lot of wisdom in that Florida [member] post.

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2020, 12:34:12 PM »
My advise take it as you want.
Been self-employed since 1984
Borrowing money to make money never worked out for me.
Getting in with big timers made me very busy with very little money in my pocket.
What I got out of it was a child that doesn't like me,2 worn out knees and lots of bank payments.
Some times staying small is not a bad thing.
Bruno
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Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2020, 04:20:18 PM »
I'm not a fan of borrowing money either, so I will be paying cash for everything. I understand what you guys are saying about working with the Amish. What do you think about putting the guy under contract stating that he could not hire another sawyer for an agreed upon period of time?
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2020, 04:28:34 PM »
I'm not a fan of borrowing money either, so I will be paying cash for everything. I understand what you guys are saying about working with the Amish. What do you think about putting the guy under contract stating that he could not hire another sawyer for an agreed upon period of time?
My honest opinion is that you would be the one wanting out.
Its very hard to buy equipment and have a business "follow". You can buy or rent equipment 7 days a week; demand to profitably operate it is the "business", not the equipment. 

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2020, 04:30:48 PM »
If it was me - now I've had time to think on it - yeah I'd be looking at it hard.

Look in my experience if you aren't prepared to stick your neck out occasionally you might as well get a job and cut a few sticks on weekends. Sawing as a business is not sawing as a hobby, and as with any business there's always an element of risk. The trick is to minimise that risk.

If you had a fair deal and a solid contract
and
If you can afford to carry the payments 6 months if it went sour
and
If you controlled the mill site, either by lease or ownership (they truck you logs, you saw, they pay, you load out lumber)
and
If you aren't afraid of 12 hour days for a couple years.

Yeah I'd look hard at it. If it stacks up economically it's an opportunity to saw volume and pay gear out and reposition within the industry, and one thing Ive found was every time I add capacity I promptly find work to fill it. The thing to remember is that if this goes sour a logger somewhere is still chasing a home for those logs.

But I've done it awful tough at times too, and it's cost me a marriage and a lot of 100 hour weeks.

Just don't get hung up on a LT70 as a saw... You might want an automatic circle, you might want a twin... when you get paid on output than fast beats kerf savings every time. And in any case I'll back an LT40 (or similar) and a multirip to run rings around an LT70 any day. Gangsaws are a winner in the game you're looking to play.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2020, 04:59:18 PM »
I'm not a fan of borrowing money either, so I will be paying cash for everything. I understand what you guys are saying about working with the Amish. What do you think about putting the guy under contract stating that he could not hire another sawyer for an agreed upon period of time?
ahhh - wrong answer.
The right answer is you will talk to your accountant and bank manager and borrow a prudent amount.

You need to borrow, you risk the banks money not yours. That way you (a) get the tax deduction for the interest on the money
(b) hold yours in reserve to cover operating expenses and contingencies and (c) can walk out and buy logs if the original deal goes sour. You borrow for equipment and pay cash for logs  - that like rule number 5 of commercial sawmilling.

Prudent debt is a powerful business tool and you need to learn how to use it. Mills don't fail when they have payments to make on gear.... they fail when theres no cash at bank to cover payments in a downturn, or wages, or buy logs... cash at bank is also a powerful tool and you have to hoard that because thats your flexibility and your buffer for hard times and your chance to take that load of veneer walnut logs that a guy cant find a buyer for in a hurry etc etc. If I owed another quarter million I'd be in a lot stronger position than I am now, because $250k buys a lot of capacity upgrade and the interest on the rest doesn't change.... the more output you can defray your fixed overheads against the cheaper your cost per unit of production.... and it's not expenses per se,  its cost per unit of production that determines who lives and who dies in this business.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2020, 07:28:59 PM »
You have cash to purchase $120,000+ in mill equipment and can'tbuild a building to put that equipment under roof and put that building on land you control (own or lease)?  

The more I hear the worse this deal sounds.  If you have that kind of reserves, put up the building and mill and work independently, if the guy wants to do business with you then fine.  If he doesn't then fine.  At least you control your destiny.

A contract only obligates you to enforce it ($$$$) when you get shafted. The need for a contract to "protect" yourself already indicates a business relationship that lacks mutual trust.  Such a binding relationship lacking trust will only turn out badly.

I'm thinking you need to go back to zero and develop an independent business plan, study the market (including your Amish guy) And see if you can make it work.  There's and old saying, "If you want to make a million dollars sawmilling, start with two million."
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2020, 10:09:37 PM »
Even if you pay cash you need to re-pay your investment to yourself with interest or you are loosing money as your "profit" is actually real world depreciation - not just on paper, you are working  really hard to loose money then.  It's really easy to skip paying yourself thinking you will double up next month, you are already in trouble at that point.  Something like a Hurdle would be a much better fit for what you are proposing, don't need an edger, but that puts you into at least $200K, likely more and that's without a building.  A Select would also be better suited, but again - the saw alone is $120K.  You gotta pay to play.  

Completely agree with Longtime  Lurker here, a  Super 40 with a multi-head resaw or gang saw behind it would whoop a 70 in this scenario.  
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2020, 11:24:11 PM »
Even if you pay cash you need to re-pay your investment to yourself with interest or you are loosing money as your "profit" is actually real world depreciation - not just on paper, you are working  really hard to loose money then.  It's really easy to skip paying yourself thinking you will double up next month, you are already in trouble at that point.  
Yes and no. :D
Yes I agree. But... I've basically worked for beer and tobacco money + household expenditure for the last 10 years. I'll probably do that for the next ten as well until I get all the saws upgraded. I turn over a lot of cash but the margin is slim which is mostly because of high fixed expenditure on the sawmill property mortgage (relative to my output, which is steadily increasing)
However, I am also well aware that no-one ever got rich sawing boards: The real money is always in the real estate... and I'm structured so I've got a nice tax deductible nest egg accruing. ( Not that it'll do me much good; I'll happily die cutting logs but my kids will do ok)
It's that whole of enterprise business plan stuff... logs and saws and lumber are just a part of the picture.
Just a different way to look at it. But I still agree with you.
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Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2020, 07:39:13 AM »
Ok guys, I will look harder at the lt40 super. Could you describe to me the work flow needed for an lt40 to keep up with the lt70. What would you guys suggest for a gang saw?
You got me to thinking about the money thing also. With the market soaring like it is even if I paid 10% interest on a loan I would be losing money by pulling it out and paying cash
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2020, 10:52:24 AM »
   Probably the least qualified answer you will get but I'll chime in anyway. If you are considering the LT40 Super, why not the LT50? Is the super faster? The LT50 does have the chain turner which may be a factor if you are sawing this volume on a daily basis. 

    Also I would have questions about a written contract with the Amish. I have seen comments here that convince me others have a different opinion and experiences when dealing with the Amish than my limited experience. I just use an Amish farrier to trim my mules toenails. He has been salt of the earth IMHO. My friends have used them for various construction work and have positive comments about them. 

   If I were not comfortable with a handshake agreement with your Amish customer I would not make this kind of expenditure based solely on this customer/job paying for my expenses and equipment. If I had a back up plan I was comfortable with in case it fell through I might go through with it. Good luck.
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2020, 12:50:48 PM »
  Probably the least qualified answer you will get but I'll chime in anyway. If you are considering the LT40 Super, why not the LT50? Is the super faster? The LT50 does have the chain turner which may be a factor if you are sawing this volume on a daily basis.

    Also I would have questions about a written contract with the Amish. I have seen comments here that convince me others have a different opinion and experiences when dealing with the Amish than my limited experience. I just use an Amish farrier to trim my mules toenails. He has been salt of the earth IMHO. My friends have used them for various construction work and have positive comments about them.

   If I were not comfortable with a handshake agreement with your Amish customer I would not make this kind of expenditure based solely on this customer/job paying for my expenses and equipment. If I had a back up plan I was comfortable with in case it fell through I might go through with it. Good luck.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2020, 12:54:52 PM »
I to have seen good dealing with the Amish but every tribe has it's problems.

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2020, 01:06:16 PM »
You put it in much more subtle language than I was thinking.  Maybe too much is being made of the guy bring Amish.  Dishonest people hail from all sorts of places.
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Offline curved-wood

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2020, 02:46:25 AM »
Years ago I change my mill. I've was hesitating between a 5'' band saw with teeth on both side and cutting back and forth, 70 to 100 HP, lots of production. The market was strong so it was not an issu for selling the wood. I went with an LT40. Why ? Because it was difficult to find good employees. In the 50+ employees that worked at the mill over the years I could say I had only one real good one. Actually I had more than one but as soon as they get enough experience they go in their own business so I had to start training again. I remember some days when the 2 employees didn't show up, I was sawing alone, doing long hours to fill in the promised orders. May be I was not lucky with employees ( I think a successfull business has always it parts of luck ), may be it was not my destiny. Anyway I am much more happy in life with my more simple setting of my LT40. And some others might be very successfull with the 5'' bandsaw but finally it was not for me.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2020, 06:57:08 AM »
Ok guys, I will look harder at the lt40 super. Could you describe to me the work flow needed for an lt40 to keep up with the lt70. What would you guys suggest for a gang saw?
You got me to thinking about the money thing also. With the market soaring like it is even if I paid 10% interest on a loan I would be losing money by pulling it out and paying cash
Resaws are great, but all mills have a "bottleneck". Even an LT70 would starve any resaw worth running. I ran 2 resaws at different points. Running cull ties they worked well but you wouldn't cut enough logs with any bandmill to keep one fed. And unless your only product is pallet grade; multihead saws do not yield very good grade boards. LT70 vs LT40. The 40 Super is no match to the LT70 for production sawing. The chain turner, vertical backstops, and DCS remote joysticks on the  LT70 allows you to be in a cab and saw towards you. The chain turner and joystick controls allow for much faster log handling even if the sawing speed is identical(and I don't think the 55HP Yanmar was ever available on any mill except the 70?) When you are loading and turning logs you ain't sawing and all those seconds here and there really add up. If you are going to saw 5000' the sawyer needs to be sawing. I can tell you that being stationary and holding onto the joysticks you are positively not going to do it without a cab no matter what mill you plan to run.
Back to general business. 90% of all new businesses fail. Some were just plain bad ideas. Many that could have worked failed from lack of cash. The sawmill payment would be the smallest expense of your daily outflow. Labor is going to cost $150-$200 per day per man by the time you add in work comp/ssi/ui you can figure 1.5 times base salary. 4-6 bands per day. 12 gals diesel for the LT70. Chainsaw in an employees hands will be way more than you think. Banding? Supplies and tools that are used/lost/stolen. Place to lock small things up. Time for cleaning and maint.
A split blade edger is an essential. Fuel and spare blades for it. Log decks and lumber chains all need to be powered. Electric is cheapest but a three phase entrance might cost a grand a month minimum just for the drop. Diesel generator or hydro power pack will use that or more in fuel. Insurance in the commercial world isn't cheap and they want the premium up front for the year.
Down time. You will have it even on new equipment. WoodMizer is great for product support and warranty but you loose the rest of today and most of tomorrow every time a OEM only part breaks even with next day delivery. In addition to spare wear items I ordered an extra of whatever shut me down and generally ended up needing them. It pays to stock some parts. Run hard every day you will need all the bearings, belts, drive motors, solenoids, brushes etc. attached to your machine. Its not a matter of "if" its a matter of when.

Your plan needs to account for those expenses. I would want some kind of "cash or credit reserve" to able be to survive my annual living expenses for a year and operating expenses for 30-60 days. The 90% that went under probably either didn't think they needed that much cash or just hoped if they worked hard enough they would be in the 10%. I tend to think the ones who had the means to survive the inevitable misfortune are the 10%. That misfortune can come from any direction. Wars/weather/markets/bankruptcy/accidents/law changes the list is endless of things that can and do come out of left field.

I was operating with 4 men and as a rough number when dawn broke I figured it was going to cost $1000 a day to cover the overhead. When things break and people don't show up you have to have some margins and cushions to cover it.

Logs aren't usually cheap and you pretty much have to buy when they are available or you wont be sawing many. That is the one plus I can see to sawing for someone else. Log inventory and waiting for lumber checks could easily multiple your cash and credit needs by 2 or 3 times the initial equipment cost and banks aren't very friendly toward logs as collateral.

The part I have trouble with is margins in the commodity world are thin. Its possible to get per unit sawing cost on a band mill to $.20/ft or less but you won't do it coming out of the gate and most times $.20/ft seems to be the magic number the big mills keep the log vs wholesale lumber average at over time. The Amish can pay $.30 now because he has relatively cheap logs and some lumber market that was priced to a higher flooring market. Supply and demand will enter in and someone will eventually undercut his $.30 margin. He may sell lumber to his cousin who builds pallets but the cousin will eventually loose the order to someone buying boards at the $.20 margin.

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2020, 08:18:33 AM »
I visited Baker a couple years or so ago at their Missouri headquarters, and they gave us a full tour of their facilities, including, which is unique to them, I think, their several production sawmill operations where they use their equipment to mill lumber, crossties and pallet wood.  They weren't playing, they had one operation with a scragg (they build circle mills as wells bandmills) and a line of 7 parallel multihead resews, 5 of which were running when we visited.  Very big operation, full time production, lots of employees, with one guy whose only job was to go around sweeping up random sawdust and keep things tidy.  There were other operations as well, and the other one that sticks out in my mind was this one the Baker made a video of, with two guys when we were watching, although looks like there are more in the video.  The two guys went from logs to crosstie to pallet slats and they were humping it.  Moving with a purpose, is the best way to describe it.  One guy sawing, the other working the edger, forklift, moving pallets of processed lumber, etc.  It was obvious they weren't just putting on a show for us, and the manager told us that they get paid for the bdft, this was their full time job.  If the equipment broke down, they lost money, and if they slacked off, they lost money.

So what makes Baker unique is that they use their equipment for real sawmill operations, as part of their company income and they had two full production facilities when we visited, and I was very impressed about how they have optimized different pieces of their equipment to run their operations.

My point is that their stuff is built like a tank, and built to fit within their production lines to make themselves money, and then they also sell it.

Another thing that impressed me was that they have a full time service crew, whose job it is to drive and repair stuff, on site.  When I had trouble with my first edger, they had a guy drive from Missouri to Alabama the next day to work on it.  So I was and still am very impressed with Baker.

I own an LT-70 Super and am very happy with it.  It fits my needs for what I do.  I also love may Baker edger, it is a crucial piece of our operation, so I'm not brand specific.

If I had no other suggestion to add to these guys who have given such good input, and who saw production everyday, I would suggest to go visit Baker and walk around and see whats possible, and what they come up with to meet your goals.  When you look around on the video, you'll see mountains of logs, that isn't just for show, thats for real and they chew through it.

Anyway, my input.  Well, I would add, one of the keys to our success is to be in control of your own operation.  I would consider the offer, but I would also be looking at second sources and avenues so I was not locked in with them, or anyone else, when they decided to yank my chain or play hardball.  Its a business thing, if you don't have leverage, you will get the sharp end of the crowbar.

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Offline RichTired

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2020, 05:19:56 PM »
That's a good video and a pretty good "2-man" operation. 

I just wonder how many support helpers those 2 men have?  :)
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2020, 06:12:35 PM »
When I was there, two were it.  It wasnt these guys specially, but there were only two.  The edger guy even hopped on the forklift to move the pallets of lumber out of the way and got an empty pallet.  The only extra hand was a guy on a fork loader who would drive by periodically and pick up the stack of cross ties and haul them off.  

I watched for about an hour and was struck by how they werent babying the equipment at all, they were using it.  Thats one reason I got the Baker edger, I asked him how often they had to retrack and realign the belts and he said about every half million boardfeet.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2020, 08:08:28 PM »
Always enjoy stave buyer's posts. Opinions from actual experience don't make popular posts but they are valuable. Most posts here, mine included should discourage the person who wants to go in business. I would like to say that to invest in sawmill machinery for profit requires an existing income. This boils down to working 7 days a week, sometimes 16 hours a day. Did I here old double L say it cost him a marriage?

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2020, 08:09:56 PM »
 I have a supper40 with a 51 horse cat ok for what I do here. [retale ] If I wanted to do wholesale get a circle mill. A ban mill is a joke for wholesale work. [ To slow.] unless it has a 8" wide ban then maybe. :D
And buy your own logs.
Good luck. :)
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Offline JamieK

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2020, 08:18:25 PM »
The advice and stories from you guys is priceless. I sure do appreciate the time you guys spent sharing your experiences and expertise.
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Offline curved-wood

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2020, 03:41:05 AM »
One of the best high production mill and few employees I've seen is a 10''band mill, double cut. The band is fixed and vertical, the log is moving on the carriage. The owner, a third generation sawyer, is a genius and a machinist. He had install 2 direct drive sawblades horizontally ( I guess around 12'' diam) so he was edging at the same time is was making is cut. Here is the cutting order all from inside is booth: 1) debark the log. 2) roll the log on the carriage and make the first cut. The slab falls falls on a conveyor. 3) has the log is coming back he set the height of the 2 circular blades but not the depth 4) swing the 2 blades at the fix depth at the meeting point of the band cut and make the second cut. That gives an edge board.   And repeat for all the faces. So his system has no separate edger. It was a truly a 3 man operation. Himself the sawyer, a tail-gunner and the loader driver. The slab was chip, blown in a 45' trailer and sold to the paper mill. He was saying that the chips pays the employees and that he was sawing around 8,000 boardfoot /day that is grade sawing

Offline Lawg Dawg

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2020, 04:35:47 AM »
My advice...just go with your gut.
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2020, 06:21:49 AM »
Always enjoy stave buyer's posts. Opinions from actual experience don't make popular posts but they are valuable. Most posts here, mine included should discourage the person who wants to go in business. I would like to say that to invest in sawmill machinery for profit requires an existing income. This boils down to working 7 days a week, sometimes 16 hours a day. Did I here old double L say it cost him a marriage?
Yeah, you heard right. It wasn't that simple - she missed her kids and grandkids and once she lost her gig e-commuting to work in the states and a couple trips a year to see clients/family there wasn't a whole lot of opportunities for a U.S. 401k/ERISA/securities expert in rural Australia... but at the end of the day it boiled down to I'm going home (Dallas) and you can follow or not, it's me or the sawmill..... and I had a log supply contract with a penalty clause and a whopping great mortgage in falling property prices and it would have bankrupted me to go. I told her I needed 2 years and almost 2 years to the day later I could have left at break even or slightly in front... but by then I'd had the divorce papers in hand for 12 months.
Rock and a hard place, and what I had to do wasn't what I wanted to do. But... I miss her, every danG day I miss her.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2020, 06:52:37 AM »
That is a very sad story.  :'(
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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2020, 07:30:52 AM »
  Many great stories and very good perspectives. I , for one , have a hard and fast rule , no more than 20% of sales go to a single customer. Too much risk and lost control. If a customer wants more than that , they can buy me out. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2020, 09:03:16 AM »
Maybe I should not have brought that up about L.L. But the fact is, over the years, I have seen some very honest and ambitious men lose their wives trying to keep their business.

Offline curved-wood

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2020, 10:05:02 AM »
To share those personal experiences is something very particular about this forum. Guys are able to talk about nut and bolts but also about very personal fact. To have a success business boils down to have a ''success'' in life which does not always go together. Thanks for sharing those very helpfull personal experiences. 
Kind of coincidence that the top gun sawyer I was describing few lines below, had added a crate manufacture line, a huge commercial kiln, a flooring planing shop, etc., more than 25 employees. Got divorced and finally bankruptcy !!!  
I guess we always have to adapt the business to our personality and our conditions of life. There is no universal answers

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2020, 10:13:08 AM »
Maybe I should not have brought that up about L.L. But the fact is, over the years, I have seen some very honest and ambitious men lose their wives trying to keep their business.
That is a very valid point moodnacreek, and it's not just wives.  Time for family, friends, and hobbies will be impacted. It makes a world of difference if your family is involved or at least very supportive. A production sawmill needs to run as close to 40 hours as you can get. The overhead time to keep it close to 40 hours is insane.
 

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2020, 05:01:22 PM »
I don't mind discussing this stuff, and it IS relevant. You go into any business and unless you're really lucky there's going to be times when it impacts your family, your friends , your life away from work. And theres some interesting points raised here and yanno.... I've learnt most things the hard way.

It's real easy to say that one customer shouldnt be more than 20% of your business. And know what - it's good sense, its prudent etc. But what happens when one customer grows beyond that 20% mark? Do you ditch the customer or grow with him? And how do you do that growing.... do you just walk out and buy more line or run what you have longer each day in order to accommodate that growth until you can afford to?
I mean the answer is you work a bit longer each day right, and you save, and you position yourself to upgrade. Yanno if I could have walked out and brought a new line any time in the last 5 years I would have.... but new lines take serious dollars, and bankers like to see mortgage equity and cashflow, and mortgage equity and cashflow come from running what you have harder and longer.
I've got one customer - and yeah I know the risks - who averages at about $250k in sales a year out of my $400k turnover. He actually went down a couple years back.... restructured, came back in, and we took off right where we left off and kept growing together. Yanno he looked after me - I wasn't out of pocket moren a couple grand when he went into bankruptcy - but you punch that kind of hole into your cashflow and it Hurts.
I need a quarter million dollars more sawline to turn that guy into 20% of my business and thats my current goal over the next year or so. I've been working on back of the mill upgrades for the last couple years to handle a new front of the mill for just that reason. All those upgrades come with a price tag and you pay that by running what you got.

And its easy to say it shouldn't be moren 40 hours a week. Yeah right.... I know a lot of sawmillers and big sawmillers at that.... I can pick up the phone and have a how ya going with some of the biggest processors in the country: I've managed mills for them. Those guys don't work 40 hour weeks, why should I expect to? I'm from a farming and ranching community..... not too many farmers get to pull the plug at 5pm friday for the weekend either.
Be that as it may mostly while I was married I kept it reasonable.... 7am starts and home by 6pm, and one day at home a week. Except when I couldnt because.... we get surges where we're busy and do double shifts at times. And sometimes we run split shifts around the heat. And sometimes the log truck driver gets sick and you crawl up into a truck at 4pm and go do a 6 hour run to keep her fed for another day. You do what you got to sometimes... it sucks but if you don't like it get a job with AT&T or the government. I don't know too many self employed people in any industry who won't tell you that.

And yeah.... it places strain on families - the financial ups and downs, the long hours, the cancelled holidays and missed school plays. And those aren't little things, they just aren't. And that impact needs to be considered into things. In my case.... well I was a single parent to two little girls before I got remarried to my best friend. And I miss that friend - on the list of tough gigs I've pulled going through a divorce and not having your best friend to support you is way up at the top of the list. But if she wanted to walk back through the door tomorrow I'd gladly take my friend back but not my wife. My littlest girl was 16 when she pulled the dallas or nothing stunt, and visitation/school/family... my wife was expecting me to leave my 16 year old kid with grandma and relocate around the world and any man that will do that isnt a man. Yeah you want to be a sawmiller, make sure she doesnt get upset cleaning sawdust out the washing machine filters once a week before you do.

You wanna be a production miller? Go for it. But read this, and know what it might cost ya. Because mills have to be paid for, and if you can't do it in cash then you better be willing to do it in blood, sweat, and tears. My inheritance was here son she's in foreclosure but she's all yours... and I've dragged this place out of the mud and kept a roof over not just my kids but my parents head doing it.
And even if you got the cash, you better be prepared to bleed for every danG cent that comes in the door.

As I tell people all the time - this business isnt a career, its a disease. Make sure you know what you're putting your hand up for when you say you want to startup as a production sawmiller.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2020, 05:31:26 PM »
Working only for one person or outlet would scare me.
I did it once for one developer and he made like I had skin in the game.i was busy and made money but when he sold out I didn't go with the new owners.
It was like starting over again.
Since then I have always made sure to have more ways then one to survive .
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls Riehl Steel edger,F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline YoungStump

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2020, 10:26:24 PM »
 Hey all it's been a while since I've been on here, I'm the guy running the mill in the first video you posted. 
 You've got some really good advice on here already, Stavebuyer helped me out when I was setting up the mill, he knows what he's talking about. 
 I might just add a few things to consider if you do decide to go for it.
 If you're planning to do the kind of production you're talking about you need a solid plan to deal with waste, especially slabs will add up fast and really slow you down if you don't have a chipper or hog inline or some other plan to get rid of them efficiently. I would say this was one of the biggest bottlenecks in the mill I ran. 
 These types of mill setups work very well with nice straight logs in the right size range. Logs that are crooked, knotty, bell ended, poorly trimmed, undersized, or oversized will seriously cut into your production as well as putting a lot more wear and tear on your equipment.
 Also what YellowHammer said, if I was starting over I would look at Baker very seriously I've never ran one personally but I've watched a few run and know the owners and they really like them. I feel like they a much better suited to running hard day in and day out and taking the abuse of big heavy logs slamming around than the lt70. 
 As far as working with Amish guys, some are great some aren't just like everybody else, it does seem like some communities have much better reputations than others. 
WoodMizer LT70 DCS, Cook's Edger, production setup sawing mostly pallet cants, rr ties, and grade lumber.

Offline waynorthmountie

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #54 on: February 15, 2020, 10:36:16 AM »
I have read this entire Topic and want to thank all of the sawyers with tons of experience that have shared their knowledge.

Although not currently running a mill I would be wary of this deal. The person bringing you the deal is obviously a wise businessman to get to the point of running an operation that produces that many loads of wood a week from the woods. He would have run the costs for cutting it himself and found that he could not make enough money doing such an operation hence he brought it to you to take on.

9 cents a bf is about $500 a day in lost profits at 5000 bf/d, that's a lot left on the table at the end of the year. Basically every 4th day you work for free.




Offline mjl_2007

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2020, 06:29:25 PM »
In this setup, guy #2 is working at a steady pace and not killing himself but they say they at getting 6000 bf per day.

Wood-Mizer Super LT-70 - Full operation - Mill for sale - 6000 bd ft/day - YouTube

Does anyone have experience with the Wood-Mizer transfer table and green chain?

I'm meeting with the guy this Saturday and am going to get all the details about his operation and his expectations.
This was my mill. I'd be happy to chat with you if you have any questions about how we ran it and my experiences. Remember, you're only seeing a short video here, it really needed to be at least a 3 man operation maybe even 4. It may appear #2 is pacing himself here, but I can't even tell you how many "#2" guys I went through. Long story short, I sold this operation and moved on to other opportunities. Also, 6000 ft a day was sawing ties in optimal conditions when the help would show up and we didn't have any break downs and closer to a 9-10 hour day.
 

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2020, 07:21:32 AM »
I have been running one of my LT70s at another mill for almost 15 years. Started with a 40 and moved up. It"s not a hole lot different than most anything else. It has good points and bad points. As to your production numbers, they are achievable but you will earn them. Keep in mind, my job down there is a little different than ties. It started out cutting grade lumber from oversized logs. With two men and a edger we could get 6-8K bf. per day. Worked our back sides off. When we started cutting the 40' crane mat timbers, production went up. First order of those big ones we had to guarantee 100 timbers a week. When you mix in the 38' timbers with the 40' timbers that comes to almost 50,000 bf. per week before you count any side lumber. You will have to work hard but most importantly you will have to work smart. Production is all about work flow. What I tell my men is that we are only getting paid when the sawdust is coming out of the chute. Everything else we are working for free. That helps them to understand we have to keep the blade in a log.
When making the deal with the man you have to be prepared to walk away at all times. If you are not, he will have you over a stump and start making the deal more in his favor. It won't take long and he is going to start to ask you to do little extras. Don't do them for free or cheap. These things will take your blade out of the log and you will be working for free. I always price these things so high that he learned real quick he is better off to let his men do it. I don't do this to be mean to him, I do this to protect myself.
Best of luck in your decision.  
Two LT70s and to much other support equipment to mention.
www.thecustomsawyer.com

Offline mjl_2007

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Re: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling
« Reply #57 on: February 16, 2020, 10:52:01 AM »
I'll add a few of my own personal opinions and thoughts with the operation I had in that video.

On paper you can make sawmill projections look pretty good if you're sawing 5 days a week, 8 hours of actual sawing production a day, everyone shows up to work, works their butt off not complaining, no breakdowns or down time and the weather cooperates so you can have a steady flow of logs. I learned quickly this is far from a realistic scenario.

If you watch that video of my operation, you will notice the amount of bouncing the sawhead is doing. This was a Super 70 Wide which has very fast hydraulics for the strength of the mill (especially the sawhead) in my opinion. I think we were usually running the hydraulics around 60% just because the force of throwing big logs around was pretty hard on the mill and even at that try to feather the controls sometimes. The rollers that ride up and down the vertical frame couldn't support the weight of the sawhead, especially when the sawhead would return back towards the conveyor. They ended up ripping off of the tube frame and we had to weld on that a few times. Wood-mizer did make it right though and "beefed" it up. I'm sure they have made improvements on this design since then.
I should add too, that green chain was capable of tipping slabs off to the left into a rack, I just couldn't do it in my shed due to room. The shed was built long before the green chain was around.

These were some of the obstacles I dealt with on the day to day operation:
 - Hired help not showing up on time or showing up at all. This was the biggest problem for me. I tried paying higher wages, they still didn't have any loyalty. A family run operation would be most ideal. Always having to train new help would slow down the operation as well.
- Breakdowns and down time. Having a lot of spare parts on hand would help, but you always have some breakdown you weren't prepared for. We had a fair amount of breakdowns considering I bought most of my equipment new other than the 24' green chain. Like Custom Sawyer said, you're not making money if there isn't sawdust coming out of the chute.
- If I were to do it all over again I probably wouldn't go with a bandsaw mill for trying to achieve production. It's a great mill if you have some type of niche market where high production isn't the only goal. Circle saw with a resaw behind seems more realistic, just my opinion though.
- Markets fluctuate - just because you have one market/outlet today doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. I also sold kiln dried lumber and this is where I noticed it seemed like a lot of other operations are willing to undercut prices and continue under cutting until you are working for almost nothing. My opinion again, have a niche market and produce a very high quality product.

Just my .02 cents for what its worth. Good luck!



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