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Author Topic: Move over ...  (Read 8953 times)

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Offline Kevin

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Move over ...
« on: August 15, 2001, 02:12:35 PM »
There`s a new band mill`r on the board!
Just placed the order for my LT-15 and I`ll pick it up in October, this winter should be a busy one.
8) 8) 8)

Offline Tom

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2001, 02:29:54 PM »
Congratulations Kevin !!

You are going to enjoy this experience.  Are you planning to do your own blades or ship them out?

Make sure you find a pair of comforable high top shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking and high tops will go under your trouser leg to keep the sawdust out.

compared to your chainsaw mill, it's going to cut like a Indy Racer.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2001, 04:03:39 PM »
Come on down - there is plenty of  room!  Won't be long before you have a sawdust ring around your bathtub too!

Last fall Wood-Mizer put on a demo in our area and I took my camera.  The big mills drew the bigger crowds but the LT15 had a lot of people come up and ask questions.

Here is a picture of the proud new owner with the look on her face that says: "How am I going to arrange the living room furniture around this?"   She sawed on the mill for about an hour. She was so pleased.  She had been sawing with a mill that had to be pushed and pulled through the log and the LT15 was so much easier.  



You can see,  Wood-Mizer is already targeting the younger generation of sawyers!  :D :D :D


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

Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2001, 04:27:48 PM »
Hey Bibbyman that looks like Bibbyboy in the lower photo with his bibs on. :D
I took in the Wood Mizer demo day last Spring and had the opportunity to saw with the LT15.
It will produce more lumber than I`ll ever use but I will probably start sawing for other folks in
remote locations where the big mills can`t go.

Tom, I`ll maintain my own blades later on but it`s too costly for the little amount of sawing
I`ll be doing in my first year.
I hope to have the lap sider and the blade sharpener maybe next season.
If the sawdust gets too high I`ll slip on the chest waders!

Offline rcolmansr60

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2001, 02:37:35 AM »
So why  did you go with the Wood mizer??? Just curious
Dick

Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2001, 03:57:01 AM »
Hello Dick,
My main reasons are because of the quality of the mill, and Wood-Mizers effort to satisfy customer demands.
They`ve been in business for many years, they`re in Ontario, Canada, they are continually expanding, they really want to sell their mills and the people that I have spoken with know the product ,the staff  are always willing  and eager to assist.
The mill is priced on the higher side but I`ll get a return on my investment through assistance from qualified technicians for several years to come.
These people act very professional, they don`t bad mouth the competition, they put on demo`s and seem to be very interested in what they do.

Offline rcolmansr60

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2001, 05:11:47 AM »
Best of luck it's a fine mill. I am still %110 a Norwood fan. I bought mine this last spring. Never saw one run. It's the only thing I've found in life, including life itself, that's works as good as the video. Only had to talk to them a few times and they were very supportive and helpful. I was impressed with their engineering, I am an engineer, especially the cutter carriage. My only disappointment is after cutting about 3000 bd ft I've had to put it aside and level the barn, remove the siding, remove beams but that is why I bought the mill, rather be cutting. :D I've never heard Norwood bad mouth another mill either.
  Bet you can't wait to get the mill. I know once I decided which one I wanted I couldn't wait. What did you get for an engine???
Happy cutting.        Dick

Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2001, 07:56:40 AM »
I stopped in at Norwood on the way to Manilla and browsed through their show room.
They have lots of goodies in there.
I bought the 15HP electric start, I`ll be milling primarily cedar the first season.

Offline Tom

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2001, 11:13:06 AM »
Both of you keep your cameras and notepads handy.  I am real interested in your experiences. The first years are the best untill you get to the later years then they are the best.  I guess sawing wood is best anytime  :D
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Offline Don P

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2001, 05:25:22 PM »
Mom has always allowed ,"Any day you wake up on the green side of the grass can't be all bad".

In my first year of owning the circle mill I made a number of V.C. (vertical curve) parts calls to the manufacturer. After about the third time I was calling in for my second set of guides after yet again wiping them off the machine with flying timber. After the usual lecture about airborne trees, I asked the rep if he needed my visa number." No sir", came the reply," we have put you on file for awhile".

Just thought I'd warn you where all your "extra" money is going to go for awhile. ;D
A laborer works with his hands
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2001, 06:50:27 PM »
Ok I've got a newbe question. What makes one mill shine compared to another?? I'm talking about small time mills that are portable. What are some good options to get or plan on getting down the road?

What advantage or disadvantage does a band mill have over a Peterson or lucas design of the circle blade??

Thanks in advance
Gordon

Offline Tom

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2001, 08:30:33 PM »
Bandmills are my thing.
***************************
Stability:  they have to hold a lot of weight.

GVWR: the weight may push you over the  CDL limit.

Blade Width:  1 1/4 has gotten to be standard and will work,  1 1/2 is generally used on larger engines for a straight cut and 2" still isn't used much.

Engine: I would recommend at least 15 horse but the more horses the better.

Hydraulics: definitely get Hydraulic log handling equipment.  It is especially important as you age.

Documentation:  If the company has poor documentation then they haven't spent enough time on the mill.  Don't buy it.

Company contact:  The company you purchase your mill from should have made it easy for you to contact a knowledgeable person at the company.  Look for 800 numbers and a bonafide customer service department.

Guarantee: at least one year of parts. Service on some things especially if you return the mill to the factory.  inspect welds, bolts and alignment for good manufacturing procedures.

Setup:  If you are going to be really portable, like moving every day or two,  then pay attention to how difficult the mill is to setup and level.  Also how prone it is to becoming unlevel from vibration or heavy logs.

Blade length:  13'2" has gotten to be the standard length of blade because it is what the largest manufacturer uses.  Other sizes may have to be special ordered although that is not to bad of a problem.

Band wheel size:  Larger wheels generally mean longer blade life but longer blades.

Guides: There are more roller guides on the market than flat guides but both will work.  Check on the expense of replacement of the whole guide assembly as well as wearing parts.

Direction of blade travel:  this only matters in that the sawdust is being placed away from the work area and such that it can be easily moved.  The blade is pushing the log so it is better if the log is being pushed against the Dogs rather than away from them.

Debarkers: small circle saws that clear a path for the band.  Most everybody likes them but not everybody finds them necessary.  Sometimes it is better to keep things simple rather than take something else into the woods that might break.  If you saw a lot of dirty logs then they are very handy.

Sharpeners:  If I am ask the worth then I think everyone should be able to sharpen their own blades.  It teaches you what the blade does and how to identify when something is wrong. It can keep you in blades when shipments are slow. It allows the configuration of blades to be changed on the spot although most people don't do too much of that.  It can provide a sharper blade than one purchased new when you learn how
*****************
It is also a fairly expensive original outlay and sending blades to a resharpening company can be justified on the expense in the short term.
If you are good at holding an inventory and have a good blade company then there is nothing wrong with sending blades out.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2001, 09:25:43 PM »
Gordon,
Service is real important to me.
I don`t want to call the company, ask for a part and be told that the part is fairly common and I should be able to find it if I call around.
I want the part in the mail asap.
I want to talk to a service person who has used the mill extensively and has the answers to all my questions without hesitation.

I`m going ultra light with the LT15 because I want to take it into places where no mill has gone before.
I talked to a welder tonight and we`re going to try and make a narrow log arch to tow logs out of the bush a short distance with my ski-doo, that`s the big obstacle I`m facing right now.
I`ll have my mill at the end of this month and we should have snow on the ground in about a month or so.

Offline Tom

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2001, 09:39:48 PM »
Kevin,

I was just wondering.

Do you reckon you could put skis under the LT15 and pull it behind a 4 wheeler?  I know you would have to stabilize it before you could saw but it sure seems it would be easier than wheels or dismanteling it.

We don't have snow so I am really asking not recommending. :D
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2001, 05:35:52 AM »
That`s another idea I`ll be working on Tom.
I can get the mill into my own woodlot on the wheels without much hassle but I`m in the middle of a thick cedar swamp so the mill will have to stay on the edge of the swamp near my bush camp and I`ll have to try and get the logs to the mill without investing in thousands of dollars in equipment.
Logs skid really well on a frozen trail and stay nice and clean but I have to get the leading end up off the trail.
There are log archs available for ATVs but they`re too wide to to tow behind a snowmobile.
A company in Oregon say there is a demand for such an arch and are looking at building one.
The problem with the ATV is they don`t go far in snow unless they`re on tracks and not wheels.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2001, 06:02:25 AM »
Hay Tom,  

Have you thought of mounting a mill on a mud boat and pullin' it around with team of crockagators?  

:D :D :D

B.T.Y.,  All good points you made.  

I'd just add:

How long has the company been in business and is making band sawmills their primary business or just a sideline to other products they make.  My point is - is the company committed to making bandmills and will likely be around making and servicing their product 20 years from now.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDE25 Super 25hp 3ph with Command Control and Accuset.
Sawing since '94

Offline Don P

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2001, 11:31:08 AM »
Kevin, have you seen the skidding cone? was wondering if it would work like a ski. Bibbymans latest pics from the Paul Bunyan show ...under machinery shows a nice small scale arch.
Gordon, I purchased a circle mill strictly for economic reasons. I could take it down and put it back up in 2 or 3 days and know an old timer that used to do this with his circle mill. those bandmills changed the concept of what portable is. We got hit by hurricane Hugo then 2 years of ice storms that did alot of damage, I got a mill to avoid firewooding it all with the plan of selling the mill when I was done.   Yeah right ;D


http://www.novajack.com/english/html/skidding_cone.html
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2001, 03:44:16 PM »
Thanks for the info Don.
I`m not sure if that cone would stand up to being bounced off a few stumps?
I would really like that Iron Horse that Jonsered makes but it`s a little too much right now.
I went in to see the Jonsered dealer here about information about their chainsaw mill and the store manager got a knot in his face and said ... what do ya want that for?   Thanks anyway ... see ya...!
Norwood makes a dandy ATV arch but it`s too wide for the snowmobile but I like the design.

http://www.norwoodindustries.com/skidmate.htm

Offline Gordon

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2001, 07:48:58 PM »
Thanks for the info so far guys. Yes one major consideration is the age of company and customer service when needed. Makes it nice to have a rep or even better a factory close by.

Maybe I should have started another thread of 101 band mill versus circle mill questions. ;D

Has anyone sawn with a Lucas style mill?

Now here is a question that is important but will be different for everyone. The operation costs of the mill, reguardless of kinds. Now I realize that one log can run anyone's day but this is a general question of the ball park variety. Of course if your mill has all bells and whisles your board ft production will be much higher than a e-manual. But all have general operational costs.

Do you use different blades in the band mill when sawing hardwood versus softwood?

Gordon


Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Move over ...
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2001, 09:07:37 PM »
Production costs all depends on your operations.  Labor is a big ticket item.  So, a lot of mills will pay low wages then complain about the help.  If you pay peanuts, you usually get monkeys.

Other costs will be normal operational costs such as fuel, teeth, blades and parts.  There are other capital costs like rent, and equipment depreciation.

Lump them together, then divide by your production and you get your costs/Mbf (1000 board ft).

Although you can get more yield on bandmills, it takes longer to break down the logs.  The extra yield will drive down your log costs.  And, in some cases, the quality isn't quite as good (so I'm told by buyers).

I've read several band operators saying it costs about $250/Mbf for them to operate.  Circle mills can be run in the $150-200/Mbf range.  A lot depends on mill setups, log supply, and cutting patterns.

We have a circle mill in our area doing 1 million bf/week.  Single headrig, 3 shifts, 2 resaws.  Their costs probably aren't much better than anyone elses due to the high capital and labor costs.  Just depends on how big you want to get.

I have no idea on costs for a Lucas mill.  I did see one operate at a show, and those guys were really working.  They also had problems with some of the logs, since they were all oak.
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