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Author Topic: Lucas Mill  (Read 10116 times)

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Offline kdf101

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Lucas Mill
« on: July 28, 2009, 10:43:04 AM »
Hi everyone, I am considering a portable mill in the near future and am leaning towards the 8 inch Lucas mill. I have read just about everything I can find on the various types of mills and have DVD's/catalogs/brochures from darn near every manufacturer out there, so I have a reasonable idea of the strengths of the different types of mills. As I stated earlier, I am leaning towards the Lucas mill, and the mill will be for personal use. My question is this (finally):
Those of you who bought a Lucas mill, do you ever wish you had bought something else? How does the mill handle smaller logs? And is set-up as easy as the videos make it seem?

Thanks.

Offline brdmkr

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 11:19:00 AM »
Welcome to the forum!

I have a Lucas 618.  It is a good mill.  I have used it to make some money on the side and to cut lumber for my shop and home that is currently under construction.  It really shines at cutting dimensional lumber from large logs, and customer service is excellent.   I think I made a good choice with this mill for my needs.  If confronted with the same situation again, I would likely buy the same mill.  However, things change and I hope that I will someday own a fully hydraulic bandmill.

There are some drawbacks, and the fact is that no mill is perfect for all jobs.  Double cutting is a pain as you have to rotate the entire saw carriage.  Also, it is not as efficient at cutting smaller logs as a bandmill might be.  However, you can load multiple logs at one time, making small-log-cutting not so bad. 

I suggest that you anticipate what you will be cutting most (species and size) and evaluate any equipment that you may have for material handling.  Then, look at, and operate, as many mills as possible before you settle on a mill design and manufacturer.

There are enough FF members here that there should be a number of mills close by for you to see.

Good Luck!
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

Offline SamB

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 12:06:24 PM »
Iím not a Lucas Mill owner, but since my needs/wants for buying and research on which way to go were very similar Iíll offer some advice. Two important factors IMO are your age/physical condition and do you have support equipment or help for log handling. Iíve helped and watched swing mills in action IMO thereís a bigger learning curve to becoming a skilled sawyer than with a band mill, also IMO swing mills are more demanding physically. On the other hand Iíve seen experienced swing mill operators produce a product that rivals any Iíve seen come off of any band mill in both quality and quantity. Itís good to get some real time experience with any mill before purchasing.
Thereís a good article in latest issue of Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine about sawing small logs with a swing mill. Good luck, happy sawing and welcome to the forum :)

Offline revnell

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 05:28:00 PM »
     Hello KDF,

     I have owned a Peterson ATS for two and a half years. The saw has been a joy to learn and operate, they are easier to master than a bandsaw and much less expensive to run ($1 per 1000 bd ft vs. $12 blade cost). The accuracy is unmatched, the safety factor is similar to mowing your lawn (CE certification). Swingmills make all other mills obsolete (this is my speech when I demonstrate it). You would be well advised to look into the original swingmill, it is better and usually less expensive. Peterson has the best technology in blades and the mill itself. Believe me, you will be double cutting and you will kick yourself for not making it easy and enjoyable. Check the website at left

Offline islandlogger

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 06:05:48 PM »
I very nearly bought a Lucas when I went shopping for my mill, then I discoverd and  bought a Peterson WPF 8" and never looked back...friend of mine has a Lucas and sure there a good mill but in my opinion the Peterson is superior in the Swing Blade industry!!

Offline mometal77

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 06:27:39 PM »
I saw a mill like this at hills to mills in deming a few weeks ago.  Ran on a chainsaw blade.  I was not impressed.  These mills will only do up to 16ft in length trees?
Too many Assholes... not enough bullets...ďI might have become a millionaire, but I chose to become a tramp!

Offline mcfcfan

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 08:53:05 PM »
I saw a mill like this at hills to mills in deming a few weeks ago.  Ran on a chainsaw blade.  I was not impressed.  These mills will only do up to 16ft in length trees?
.

The Peterson runs a swing circular saw blade, so does the Lucas.
The chainsaw you may have seen could be the Clip-on slabber attachment.
All Paterson sawmills cut 20ft length logs standard, in fact the WPF version has unlimited length.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain."

Offline Firebass

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 09:51:06 PM »
Do you have to turn the whole saw head around on a Peterson also to double cut? 

Offline mcfcfan

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 10:02:42 PM »
Do you have to turn the whole saw head around on a Peterson also to double cut? 
.

Hi Firebass,
No you do not have to turn the sawmill head around, you can double cut from the operators end of the mill, no log turning either.
It is as simple as removing the sawdust deflector (2 bolts 2 minutes). there is a demo on the Peterson website. The blade cuts on both sides.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain."

Offline wtf

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 10:28:21 PM »
Welcome to the Forum KDF.
I looked at a Lucas for about 10 seconds and then decided on a Peterson WPF.
1ST. you do not have to turn the mill head around to double cut.
2nd. you have 1 winch to adjust height instead of 2.
3rd. stainless steel and aluminum don't rust.
4th. support is fantastic.
5th. the engineering is topnotch.

These are some of the main things that I considered when I bought bought my Peterson 7 years ago.

Good luck and if you have an questions, I would be happy to try and answer.

Russ
Russ

Offline Firebass

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 11:08:02 PM »
I bet even with Lucas double cutting not being as easy as the Peterson you can still cut more lumber in a day than you can nail up in a day :).  You really only need to double cut when you need boards wider than 8" anyway.   You might compare prices and availability for replacement parts on both mills..   Got me craving to go cutting but 107 degrees here in Washington State.   I like my hobby in cool weather.

Firebass

Offline islandlogger

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2009, 03:03:02 AM »
Double cutting with the Peterson is no problem at all, and at least in my case it's not often I get orders for anything over 8" As far as length you can bye endless extensions to cut up to however long you want, I am looking to lenghthen mine up to 40' soon as I can get around to it, folks are getting into long hefty beams round here, great for the board foot count but tough on my tailer lol The simplicity of the Peterson and the overall quality of welds and design are in my mind unbeatable, parts arn't that hard to find, Petersons is based in New Zealand but they have reps throughout the States. The breakdown time for this mill (as in moving from site to site) is very fast to, it's just a beuty of a mill all around!!

Offline kdf101

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2009, 08:01:16 AM »
I do not have any big machinery to moves logs any distance with, that is why the swing mill appeals to me, since it can be set up over or very near the log.  I haven't looked into the Peterson mill yet (info packet is on the way) because I was under the impression that they were priced out of my league.

Offline Captain

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2009, 11:21:36 AM »
Good Luck with your research kdf101.  As you can imagine, there is alot of similarities to a "Ford vs Chevy" debate going on here.  The mere fact that discussions such as this are taking place is why this place is so great. 

If wide boards or large beams are not something you need to saw on more than an occasional basis, don't let the double cutting ability sway your decision.  What the Lucas may lack in double cutting ability, it makes up for in ease of taper compensation.  If you will be operating by yourself, the additional steps required to lower the rails on a Lucas are worth considering.  If you are going to saw with a quality helper, this concern is negated.

The fact is both are fine mills with good customer support.....and budget is certainly a consideration  :)

Best regards,

Captain


Offline ErikC

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2009, 11:36:34 AM »
 I have a peterson wpf, and what Captain said about the brand debate is pretty much my opinion. As far as I am concerned, the peterson is a better mill, but parts are a little harder to get. Captains store is a good place for a lot of stuff though, and to tell the truth, they just don't need much in the way of repairs. Most of my parts have been upgrades, not breakdowns. :) I doublecut quite a bit, and it's pretty easy with the wpf. On the Lucas, some guys have devised a way to lower the saw head a couple clicks with the blade in the middle of the log, rotate the head on that, and realign the height. Better get the details from one of them, but it sounds pretty easy to me. Brand aside, I think a swingmill is the best mill for the money hands down.
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline Firebass

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2009, 09:02:48 PM »
Brand aside, I think a swingmill is the best mill for the money hands down.

Me too! ;D

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2009, 07:23:36 AM »
I tend to agree with Eric and firebass ,bang for your buck its hard to beat a swinger.Some of the manual bandrigs are close but the included sharpening of the swingmill tips the scale.Done cutting take it apart and stow in the garage.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline Meadows Miller

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2009, 09:12:15 AM »
Gday

The lucas is hard to beat on price if you putting it against a ats peterson and as your only parttime sawing for a start i would go the lucas but if your looking at it becoming your main source of income id seriously look at spending the little extra coin on a Wpf peterson your legs will thank for it  ;) :D ;D

But if your in small logs under 20" butts most of the time i would also look at a good new or used bandmill  ;) ;D

or another option yet would be a good used manual Circ mill but thats if you can count on having a second pair of hands there whenever your sawing they are low cost and deadly effective at knocking out a fair amount of timber in the rite hands  ;) ;D

It all comes down to what you feel works for you Mate

Reguards Chris
4TH Generation Timbergetter

Offline hogs4hobby

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2009, 09:12:43 PM »
i have owned a lucas 618 & it was a great saw very productive. I sold it to buy a new mill was dead set on buying a fully hydr band mill, research a bunch of them. but when it came down to shelling out the cash i bought a new lucas 1030 which will cut a 10" board in one pass. i look at the petersons also but went with the lucas, very great customer support when needed. set up is a piece of cake.
  just make sure you have a stacker or two to help if you plan on sawing hard, it will produce the lumber quicker than it can be stacked.
  my first job was sawing red ceader logs about 8" tops sawed about 175 of them 8' long. i had to build a set of dogs to hold them small ones. but had no problem cutting them

Offline kdf101

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Re: Lucas Mill
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2009, 10:27:06 AM »
Thanks for the info guys.  Another question:
On the Lucas mill, with the independently adjustable end frames, do you have to adjust both ends every time you change the thickness of the cuts?  The Peterson seems to have all of the adjustments at one end.


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