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Author Topic: 4 Post vs. Cantilever  (Read 7783 times)

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Offline Burlkraft

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4 Post vs. Cantilever
« on: May 18, 2006, 10:39:26 AM »
I'm really going to come to a decision on mill one of these days real soon now.

I have read all the literature and watched all the dvd's and video's and heard most of the sales pitches, now I would like to hear from users. Is 4 post better than cantilever ??? Timberking...anybody have one ??? I have heard a lot about Woodmizer, but not much about others. Is there really any choice but WM ??? ???

Band or swing ??? ??? ??? I'd like to have both...especially a slabber......which should a guy get first ??? ???

Am I really crazy....Like Jill thinks ??? ???

I just want some honest input ;D ;D ;D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline jpgreen

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 11:26:23 AM »
Take some of the sales pitches with a grain, no a rock of salt.

I found some MFG claims to be absolute bunk when I researched mills.

If I was to narrow down a guys search it would be as follows...

Lucas

Peterson

Woodmizer

-not necessarily in that order..  ;D
-95 Wood-Mizer LT40HD 27 Hp Kawasaki water cooled engine-

Offline twoodward15

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 12:02:41 PM »
Woodmizer would have been out of business a long time ago if their sawmills didn't work!!  I'm not saying I would or wouldn't buy one (I'm looking at all of them now as well, but the small homeowner models), but if it didn't work they wouldn't be selling them.
108 ARW   NKAWTG...N      Jersey Thunder

Offline FiremanEd

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2006, 12:08:42 PM »
We own a 4 post Timber Harvester and two Woodmizers,, a LT300 & a LT70,,, any future mills will be Woodmizer in one color or the other, probably green...
Full time Firefighter / Paramedic
WoodMizer LT300 as secondary, full time job.
AccuTrac Electric Edger

Offline raycon

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2006, 12:12:34 PM »
Are you buying new or used?
I don't think the cantilevered vs 4-post is the main issue.
Myself I'd look at the whole package  -- log handling capabilities (hydraulic), debarker,toe rollers, log turner that does not mark cant faces and as much hp as I could afford. Probably forgot a few things but those are the main being able to setup and break down in 10 minutes is a good feature as well.
I'd take a serious look at a mill that had the ability to turn the cant so that the band is entering a clean face as well. I think the cantilevered desgin functions fine but I'll be lucky to mill 50k bdft this year.

Lot of stuff..

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2006, 12:16:22 PM »
This has been covered a number of times.  I guess itís time to cover it again.

Both designs are capable of making excellent lumber.  And, Iíve seen good lumber and bad lumber come off of both types of mill designs.  A lot depends on the overall quality of the mill, blade, and attention to detail that the sawyer puts in.

Donít fall for the wobbly Wood-Mizer head canít saw straight story.   The walls in reception area at the Wood-Mizer home office in Indy are covered with names of people that have sawn over a million board feet on Wood-Mizer mills.  Probably for every one there there are others that didnít even bother to apply for their million board foot club and others that are on some multiple of millions of board feet.

The Wood-Mizer design has a lot of other advantages that the owners have come to enjoy. 

The deck height is about 6Ē lower than a most 4-post mills of the same capacity.  I find it easier to work at that height. 

The weight is generally less Ė thus making it easier to pull on the road and to position Ė even if you position it by hand.   

The ridged frame makes it easy and quick to set up. 

The single rail opens up two corners at both ends of the mill so you can step in to pull a board or slab easier.

A lot of times you can saw rough and odd shaped logs on a Wood-Mizer that would require a lot more trimming with a 4-post because the cantilever head is open on the loading side.

Wood-Mizer sets the high water mark in both product qualities as support.

The best way to figure out what mill is best for you is to visit with some owners and to try them out Ė or at least watch them saw.  Attending an open house or forestry show and seeing them run side by side is another way.  While youíre there, talk to some of the owners.

Good luck!
Wood-Mizer LT40HDE25 Super 25hp 3ph with Command Control and Accuset.
Sawing since '94

Offline solodan

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2006, 12:36:56 PM »

If I was to narrow down a guys search it would be as follows...

Lucas

Peterson

Woodmizer

-not necessarily in that order..  ;D

I only partially agree with you Pat ::)

I would say definately in that order. ;) :D

Offline fstedy

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2006, 12:38:13 PM »
 8) 8) 8) I have to step up to the plate for TimberKing the B-20 has been a great machine it cuts great, has good production  and the price was right. It all depends on what your looking for. Whatever mill you purchase you learn to work with its own little quirks. WM has some great features the TK does not such as the automated blade guide and the log turner but you will pay for these features. I bought my B=20 with 30 hours used and the cost was about $8000. less than comparable a WM. I have not had any major problems with my mill only a limit switch that got moisture into it. Good luck with your selection and try to stay with our sponsors they are great companies.
Timberking B-20   Retired and enjoying every minute of it.
Former occupations Electrical Lineman, Airline Pilot, Owner operator of Machine Shop, Slot Machine Technician and Sawmill Operator.
I know its a long story!!!

Offline stumpy

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2006, 12:53:41 PM »
I owned a Norwood Lumbermate for about a year.  I was a well built saw and it cut just fine.  When I decided to make this a business, I upgraded to a used WM LT30.  I looked at others and decided that the WM was the sturdiest and, for me, it had many features that fit my needs. It's not hydraulic, but the power feed, power up and down, power blade guides, debarker and log loader/turner, make this saw much easier on the body. 

I too was somewhat sceptical about the cantilever, but sinse using it, I like it much better and considering they've sold thousands of them, they must be alright.  Also I do mobile sawing, and the setup is about 5 minutes and the bed design makes off-loading alot easier.

Now I don't bleed Orange, and I'm not saying WM is the best saw for everyone, and I'm sure there are other good saws out there, But, for what it's worth,  this was the best move for me.
Woodmizer LT30, NHL785 skidsteer, IH 444 tractor

Offline Engineer

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2006, 02:29:58 PM »
Here's a short take:

I spent almost eight hours last weekend in Essex, VT at the NE Forestry Expo.   Most of that time was spent just watching sawmill dealers run their mills and market their products.   I was quite impressed with PARTS of all of the different manufacturer's mills, and thought that Woodmizer (who is the market leader) could take some lessons in engineering and innovation from the competition. 

SOME lessons.  Generally it's the other way around.  I keep coming back to WM, even after seeing the offerings from other manufacturers.     Granted, you can and generally will spend less money buying a non-WM mill.   You can easily eat up that savings by adding on all the extra stuff like debarkers and setworks and hydraulics and what-have-you that WM packages standard on certain mills.  What you still have with a 4-post mill, even if you've saved some money, is a design that has some inherent limitations that cannot be overcome by throwing options at it.    I don't think the 4-post mills are built as strongly or rigidly as the WM mills.   They make up for it by using the 4-post design that can compensate for it (as long as you're dead level).   

Since you didn't ask about the swingblades or portable circular mills, I can say that I was impressed, they are fast, well-built, generally inexpensive for their capabilities, but have their own set of limitations which I found to be slightly more than I was willing to compensate for.    I'm probably the first guy here to say that I prefer a bandmill over a swingblade.   For my particular sawing needs, and the materials I have to work with, the swingblade isn't appropriate.

If someone could come up with a cost-effective cantilevered mill design that could directly compete with WM and have some of the small tweaks and changes that competitors use, I think they could have a great product.  I also think that it's not likely to ever happen, due to the tooling and assembly start-up costs associated with such an enterprise.

Offline woodbowl

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2006, 02:45:43 PM »
When it comes right down to the bare bones, the issue is not whether the head is cantilevered or post supported, but rather does the mill cut accurate wood.

The preconcieved notion of a head that hangs out over the the log, does not cut as accurate as a 4 post support is not based on fact.

I've seen people reach and grab my WM power head in the static position  and say, look at how it shakes.

I could care less how it shakes. The thing I'm concerned about is, does it cut accurate wood? It is stable while in the cut and does not shake unless the loader gets happy and runs into my mill with a log! I've looked for a wiggle in the wood after such an incident, but didn't find any distortions. Having sawed almost 2,000,000 BF for the GP on their location with a light frame, 1988 manual Woodmizer with homemade hydraulics, in various terrane, I kinda' like the shake if you want to know the truth, because it tells me where the critical margines are ain't! I've pulled that WM LT40 with a little Isuzu truck for 10 years and sawed 40" dia X 20' logs at times. (had to chainsaw a blade guide notch)

I know it sounds like I bleed orange too, but I can't ignore the facts. I've looked around a bit myself and have considered a 4 post at times, but I always come back to the bare bones.

If you had a light tool that did just as good of a job or better, just as fast and just as accurate that fit in your pocket VS another tool that fit in a suit case ...........  ???


Full time custom sawing at the customers site since 1995.  WoodMizer LT40 Super Hyd.

Offline SAW MILLER

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2006, 05:03:36 PM »
After sawing for four years on my home built four post mill,I bought a new LT 40 WM..
     After eight months of sawing...mostly 5 days a week..I am tickled to death with the WM.
       But,I miss a few features that I had on my old mill.For one,I done all my work from the operator's side on my old mill.Log loading...dogging..off bearing..all were done without ever walking around my mill cause the sawduat was blown out the other side where it belongs..I never had to walk in my sawdust.
    Another  thing I miss is my old dogs...I never had to climb the mill to reach over a big log to dog it because my dogs were on the operator's side where they oughta be..And I had four of them so I could dog a log no matter where it landed..I also never had to lift that 25 pound booger cause all I had to do was slide it in and crank it tight.My shoulder KILLS me every night from liftin that heavy sucker with an extended arm over top of a big log.
      Now,there ain't a thing wrong with the monorail cantilever design..In fact that's probably the best feature of my WM mill...It'll saw straight even on a hillside without the jacks down.
     In conclusion,I would say that the WM hydraulic mills are the ergonomic machine for an ol guy like me and I WILL OWN ONE SOON!!!!!!! ;D
LT 40 woodmizer..Massey ferg.240 walker gyp and a canthook

Offline Dana

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2006, 05:47:56 PM »
I sure like my Woodmizer :) My next mill will be Orange also ;)
Grass-fed beef farmer, part time sawyer

Offline Chris Burchfield

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2006, 09:16:14 PM »
Our friend Brian was struggling with the same issue you have.   
  I've never been confused, though I have a red/green deficiency, I can see orange
ę Reply #25 on: January 11, 2006, 08:23:11 PM Ľ     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian, Thank you for your service to all of us here in the USA and those across the pond. I bird dogged the orange for about eighteen years. Taking in their improvements and seeing what else was out there. I purchased an orange hydraulic this last July W/51HP CAT. I'm 47, so just ahead of ya. I'm down here in Memphis so holler at me if your passing through or want to visit. The orange, WM's are the product and brand I wanted. I want both a 4XW forks tractor and a circular swing. Have about 2 years, 4 months to retire from the present employeer. I'm getting older and hydraulic was the only way to go. I don't want to have to think a lot either, I added the command control, though walking back and forth would probably been more healthy. Thanks again for your service, Chris.
 
I would also like to comment on the wobbly head - NOT - an issue. I'd also like to comment on the open loading side has been a plus on odd shaped logs I didn't have to trim that could not be done with a four post prior to trim (with a chain saw.)

Last I hope to see a swing blade aluminum & stainless steel saw in my stable with my Glenda in our future. Best wishes keep the sawdust flying.
 
Woodmizer LT40SH W/Command Control; 51HP Cat, Memphis TN.

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2006, 09:51:05 PM »
Thanks for all the replys guys. I had hashed over all the same questions for long enough. I just wanted to hear what you guys said. I guess I've made up my mind.

So I  might even have to order one now.

Thanks for your input. ;D ;D ;D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2006, 10:01:00 PM »

  Of all the mills out there, we copied the WM, only bigger. Need I say more ???  ;D ;D ;D

  Head wobble is hogwash.  ::) ::) ::)
All truth passes through three stages:
   First, it is ridiculed;
   Second, it is violently opposed; and
   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2006, 10:13:11 PM »
Thanks Deadheader......That's just exactly what I was lookin' for ;D ;D ;D

An Honest man givin' an honest answer :D :D :D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline iain

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2006, 02:13:51 AM »
Where is your main line of work?

you mentioned a slabber at the start, is that what you need?

i got an old lt40hd that works just so, but man would i like slabber to go with it


woodmizer are cleaning up around europe and in the old USSR and there are a good number of euro makers out there


iain

 

Offline derhntr

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2006, 04:30:23 AM »
Burlkraft,

I was in the same boat as you a short time ago. I researched the different mills for over a year. I started doing that while I was in Iraq. I got serious about it after I got home last Dec. It is hard to shop apples to apples, what is standard on one brand is a opption on another brand. I narrowed it down to 2 mill brands. A WM LT40HD and a TH30HT. I would be happy with either model. I watched both models in action and talked with the mill owners.

Both owners were more that happy with their mills and did not bad mouth the other brand. I had countless sleepless nights deciding which to buy, well I finally choose the WM LT40HDG28.

I just picked up my mill on monday I have almost 20 hours on it already. I am still learning it, I am getting faster every day. I am hooked 8)

When it comes right down to it most mills will do a good job, just choose the mill that will work best for you.

The best advice I got from most guys, and would offer the same. Bite the bullet and get hydrulics.

Good Luck

Brian
2006 Woodmizer LT40HDG28 with command control (I hate walking in sawdust)
US Army National Guard (RET) SFC

Offline Todd

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Re: 4 Post vs. Cantilever
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2006, 08:21:01 AM »
BAKER
Someone had to say it. 
Todd
Making somthing idiot-proof only leads to the creation of bigger idiots!


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