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Author Topic: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????  (Read 3151 times)

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Offline Madman_Mark

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Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« on: April 07, 2005, 10:12:32 PM »
I have very little experience around mills, the most I've done is help load logs/lumber on/off of one years ago and hired a guy 2 years ago with a portable Wood-Mizer to mill some logs I had cut to build my deck (I was very impressed).
Anyways, I am very interested in someday buying a portable mill (possibly with a friend, is that a bad idea?)
Is it easy enough to learn the basics with a video and a day of training and a lot of trial and error ? I've got lots of logs to practice on.
I work part time cutting small pieces of land around the countryside with a 4 wheel drive tractor (55 HP) with a logging winch and can always get a steady supply of logs at a very reasonable price (even free sometimes).
The tractor also has a loader on it which could be used for loading logs onto the mill etc.... Would this be fine for a manual mill (instead of spending more for a hydraulic mill, even though the tractor may not always be there) ?
Also have a 3/4 ton truck that can handle a heavy load of lumber.
It seems that a mill would be a great addition to my small bussiness/hobby and there seems to be a good demand for portable mills around here. This would only be part time (for now at least).
I've read lots of posts so I'm aware of the ups/downs etc... and the hard work (which I'm quite used to and not afraid of).
I'd like to hear some opinions/advice and I'll post more questions along the way.
Thanks in advance.

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2005, 10:34:39 PM »
Mark,
Get the hydraulics on the mill.  Loading with a tractor sounds like a fine idea, until you have to get on that tractor every time you need another log.  With the custome sawing I'm doing I expect to load 4 to 8 logs an hour.  That give me plenty of exercise without climbing onto a tractor each  time.  When you get the first log on the mill that you can't roll over without the help of the tractor and realize it needs to be rolled 3 times, then the tractor isn't nearly as handy as it seems.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Kirk_Allen

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2005, 10:40:11 PM »
Anyways, I am very interested in someday buying a portable mill (possibly with a friend, is that a bad idea?)

BAD IDEA.  Friends are friends, not business partners.

Is it easy enough to learn the basics with a video and a day of training and a lot of trial and error ?
Yes, but only the "BASICS".

Get the hyrdraulics, you will never regret it!  MB hit the nail on the head.

Where are you located?  If you update your profile there is an option to list your locatoin.  May be lots of folks in your area that you could even visit to get more info. 

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2005, 10:58:33 PM »

  Ya got some excellent info from the responses. Hydraulics makes the mill. I can't help much.

  Never sawed no Virgins.  ::) ::) ;D ;D :D :D
All truth passes through three stages:
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-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2005, 07:37:16 AM »
One of my nearby competetors bought a mill without hydraulics because he already owned a skidsteer.  I do about 20 jobs to his one.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline oakiemac

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 08:43:15 AM »
Mad man,

One thing I've learned is that you can't have too much hydraulics. I would get as much hydraulics as you can afford.

I'd have to disagree with kirk. I think a partnership could work out but you had better have everything on paper and make it leagal. Also make sure at the beginning you know who is doing what and who is paying for what. It can be tricky but I think it could work out, just depends on how the partners make it work.
Mobile Demension sawmill, Bobcat 873 loader, 3 dry kilns and a long "to do" list.

Offline Madman_Mark

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2005, 06:03:50 PM »
Thanks for the quick answers, sounds like hydraulic is the way to go.
What about milling in the winter time, when it's well below freezing.
Someone told me that it's not done much because the water that is used for lube freezes, there must be a way around this, or is there ?
And now the big question, what brand of mill ?
Wood-mizer seems like the best way to go from what I've seen and heard.

Offline smwwoody

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2005, 08:33:31 PM »
Hi

Any of the mills from the sponsers to the left will do you a fine job. If I had to pick it would be a wood mizer.

Woody
Full time Mill Manager
Cleereman head rig
Cooper Scragg
McDonugh gang saw
McDonugh edger
McDonugh resaw
TS end trim
Pendu slab recovery system
KJ4WXC

Offline Madman_Mark

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2005, 08:40:59 PM »
What about milling when the temp is below freezing,  someone told me that it's not usually done ?

Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2005, 08:47:43 PM »
Wimps don't saw in cold weather, but real men (and women) do! :D

There is an ongoing debate about what lube to use, windshield washer fluid vs. kerosene, (check the archives) and many change their blade set-ups for frozen wood, but you absolutely can saw in the winter.

You should make an effort to attend one of the shows coming up and see many different brands of mills in action. Where are you located? We'll point you towards a show in your area.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

Offline Tom

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2005, 08:48:24 PM »
That's right, we don't mill in florida when it's cold. ;D
extinct

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2005, 08:57:34 PM »
I quit trying to saw when it gets more than 15 below zero F.  At -20 there are so many opportunities for things to go wrong. :(

When it gets below freezing, the only woods that I would use lube on are ash, white pine and tamarack, and I just won't do tamarack then.  The ash and white pine require very little lube or intermittent lube so they can work out fine.
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline Madman_Mark

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2005, 09:05:40 PM »
Brad_S, I'm near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
As soon as I hear of a nearby demonstration I'll definately attend it.
Also if anyone lives within an hours drive of me my friend and I will offer 1 or 2 days of free labour helping you mill some logs while getting some hands on experience ( no, not cleaning/painting/greasing etc...).
Thanks again.

Kirk_Allen

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2005, 11:48:40 PM »
That's right, we don't mill in florida when it's cold. ;D

I can vouch for Tom on this one :D

Offline Madman_Mark

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2005, 08:51:03 AM »
Right now where I'm cutting I'm into some nice straight red pines.
Some are near 70 feet tall without a limb for the first 30 feet or so, really nice logs.
A local mill will by them from me but I was wondering if they would be worth saving for myself for when I do get a mill.
As far as I've heard they are not really valuable (the mill wont pay much, and another mill doesn't even want them).
Is this true ?

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2005, 11:22:08 AM »
Not valuable? Well not if ya sell em , but have you looked at pine lumber in the store?...If you need lumber you are on to somethng ;)
    HEAR THAT BLADE SING!

Offline Rockn H

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2005, 11:45:59 AM »
I agree with Buzz-sawyer on that one.  As for as value goes, the local commercial mills won't take cedar, holly, even cypress.  Doesn't mean they're not valuable, It's just not what they market.  By the way, if anyone does have some of the afore mentioned trash trees, that they can't sell, I'll come get'em out of your way.  ::) ;D ::) ;D

Offline Madman_Mark

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2005, 03:54:26 PM »
What is the reason for this ?

Offline Rockn H

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2005, 10:55:35 PM »
Madman-Mark, I guess your question is for me.  The plywood plant only wants SYP, they don't make any specialty paneling.  The paper and tissue mill can't use them for paper pulp, only in the last few years were they able to start taking Sweetgum for pulp.  It has to do with the wood fiber vs. their pulper and bleach board mill.  The lumber mill, again is only interested in structual SYP lumber, thats their market.  There was a small mulch mill about 65 miles from here that would take Cypress, but last I was told they were out of bussiness.

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Lots of questions from a virgin sawyer ????
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2005, 11:55:17 PM »

 Rockn H
 Why cant ya get the Cypress and saw house siding?? Take the slabs and edgings and run 'em through a hammermill or smaller chipper, for Mulch??  There must be a market for that stuff around the towns and cities ???
All truth passes through three stages:
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   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)


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