The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Nyle Kiln Dry Systems






Author Topic: Advise on Wood Mizer LT70 with full line for high production milling  (Read 2088 times)

Bindian and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline moodnacreek

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1638
  • Location: Orange County NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Sawin by the notches
    • Share Post
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

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 9298
  • Location: New Hampshire
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • A&P Saw mill LLC
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. :)
A&P saw Mill LLC.
45' of Wood Mizer, cutting since 1987.
License NH softwood grader.

Offline JamieK

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Hartville OH
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
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.
Wood-Mizer LT28, BMS250, BMT100, Moffet M5

Offline curved-wood

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • Location: lochaber, south-west quebec
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Jefferson, SC
  • Gender: Male
  • True South Sawmill Lumber
    • Share Post
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.
2018  LT 40 Wide 999cc, 2019 t595 Bobcat track loader,
 John Deere 4000, 2016 F150, Husky 268, 394xp, Shindiawa 591, 2 Railroad jacks, and a comealong. Woodmaster Planer, and a Skilsaw, bunch of Phillips head screwdrivers, and a pair of pliers!

100,000 bf club member
Pro Sawyer Network

Online longtime lurker

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Location: QLD, Australia
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Roxie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6372
  • Age: 67
  • Location: Oxford PA
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm your huckleberry
    • Share Post
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.  :'(
Save a farm today or starve tomorrow.

Offline ellmoe

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1486
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Bushnell,Florida
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
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. 
Thirty plus years in the sawmill/millwork business. A sore back and arthritic fingers to prove it!

Offline moodnacreek

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1638
  • Location: Orange County NY
  • Gender: Male
  • Sawin by the notches
    • Share Post
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

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • Location: lochaber, south-west quebec
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
  • Location: KY
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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.
 

Online longtime lurker

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1398
  • Location: QLD, Australia
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3674
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Springfield NH
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NW PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Where's my coffee?
    • Share Post
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

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Inuvik, NTW, Canada
  • Gender: Male
  • new guy that likes to tinker.
    • Share Post
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

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: MN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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.
 

Offline customsawyer

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 4841
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Rentz, Ga.
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • The Custom Sawyer
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

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
  • Location: MN
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
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!



Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Wood-Mizer LT70 with 62 CAT review

Started by Bibbyman on Sawmills and Milling

6 Replies
6226 Views
Last post August 01, 2003, 01:09:07 PM
by Bibbyman
smiley
Wood-Mizer LT70 Demo

Started by MartyParsons on Shows, Events and Places to meet

2 Replies
1561 Views
Last post February 27, 2005, 08:54:05 PM
by MartyParsons
moved
MOVED: Wood-Mizer LT70 Demo

Started by Jeff on General Board

0 Replies
743 Views
Last post February 27, 2005, 07:00:09 PM
by Jeff
xx
Wide head LT70 Wood-Mizer

Started by Bibbyman on Sawmills and Milling

40 Replies
10849 Views
Last post June 07, 2013, 09:27:40 AM
by terrifictimbersllc
 


Powered by EzPortal