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Author Topic: Small Mills  (Read 4518 times)

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Offline woodman58

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Small Mills
« on: October 24, 2009, 05:44:35 PM »
I am writing to find out how many of you use a mill with a 13 HP motor.  If so, does anyone have any problems with it. I know it will cut slower. I have been buying cherry from a sawer by me for .80 BF and selling it for $1.80 BF on craigslist. but he is now out of cherry and does not want to cut any more. I am wanting to get a mill of my own. I found a logger that has been cutting a large area about 60 miles from me. He is cutting pine and I ask him if he ever runs into cherry. He told me he finds it quit often but it is quilted ( I guess he can tell by the bark). He says he cannot get rid of it to the large mills he sells to, so he does not cut it. I told him I would take all he can cut. He will charge me .50 cents a BF. I am making a kiln from the plans I got from Daren. I would like any feed back on smaller manual mills. Thanks
i LOVE THE SMELL OF SAW DUST IN THE MORNING.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 05:51:39 PM »
Cheery saws really well.   I’d think a 13hp engine would do OK on smaller logs (10”-14”) diameter but if have as steady diet of larger logs,  you’re going to want “MORE POWER”, as Tim the Toolman would say.  If you don’t have the power, you’ll have to saw larger logs really slow to avoid bogging down the blade.   If the blade speed drops, you’ll start to get wavy cuts.

I’ve seen the LT15 with 25hp motor demoed at shows and it would really saw at a productive rate.   
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Offline ladylake

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 06:15:02 PM »
 Yes, big logs like more power, cherry does saw easy but if you start sawing 20" wide it will be slow with 13 hp.   Steve
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Offline Larry

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 06:39:57 PM »
He told me he finds it quit often but it is quilted ( I guess he can tell by the bark). He says he cannot get rid of it to the large mills he sells to, so he does not cut it.

Quilted eh?  It's junk but I could saw it for you since your a new member and all for a small share...and than you wouldn't have to worry yourself with buying a mill. ;D ;D
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Offline Kansas

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2009, 07:08:56 PM »
The last quilted cherry I sold was for 8 dollars a board foot. Wound up kicking myself for not charging more-it all sold within days. Something doesn't sound quite kosher about the logger. I know we looked at the bark and could not tell the difference between the two logs that had it (same tree) and the rest of the cherry logs. Maybe things are different in other parts of the country.

Offline Larry

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2009, 07:22:11 PM »
Something doesn't sound quite kosher about the logger. I know we looked at the bark and could not tell the difference between the two logs that had it (same tree) and the rest of the cherry logs. Maybe things are different in other parts of the country.

I would suspect that also...maybe he is talking about gummy...but you can't tell that from the bark either.  Least as far as I know.

Cherry with any kind of figure can get pricey most quick.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2009, 07:25:08 PM »
Locally, some trees you can "read" others not. Quality/ density of the figure you CANNOT tell until cut. The comment on "gummy" makes sense.

 

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There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline woodman58

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2009, 07:35:12 PM »
+What is gummy?
i LOVE THE SMELL OF SAW DUST IN THE MORNING.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2009, 07:43:20 PM »
Gum is pockets of gum (pitch?) in the board. It is a defect. I have sawn cherry logs that had a definite lumpy texture on the outside. They produced a lot of highly figured lumber. As a rule, I can't tell what I'm going to get until I open it up. Most commonly I get what we call flame cherry.
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Offline Frickman

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2009, 08:11:07 PM »
Gum is a defect according to the NHLA grading rules. According to Ironwood and many other log and lumber buyers it is an asset.

As far as motor size goes, bigger is definitely better.
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Offline Lud

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2009, 08:14:00 PM »
My reading and experience is that a cherry tree that is stressed will have gum pockets.  One last year had grown up with an ash  bonded for the first 4', a stressful growing situation.  As it was no more than 10" I just sawed in half lengthwise and then made turning blanks, getting about 30.

When I turned one I was thrilled!  The speckling of the little black  marks is very attractive and there's a chartreuse edge to the inner cambium .  It compares to regular cherry like birdseye maple compares to regular maple.

I didn't saw it  for boards so don't know what that might look like.  but really special for the turner. 8)
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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 10:03:13 PM »
Gum is a defect according to the NHLA grading rules. ..............

Except in Cherry. NHLA rules have the following Note: Small knots or their equivalent not exceeding 1/8" in diameter shall be admitted in the cuttings. Gum streaks and spots are admitted without limit.
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Offline nas

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 10:04:42 PM »
I had no problem cutting cherry on my 13hp Norwood.  And it's for sale! ;)

Nick
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2009, 05:34:06 AM »
Mine's a 16 HP, not much more than yours and I have sawn 26 inch boards (oak). It is slow but I enjoy watching the mill work after I have worked so hard to get the log on it. I have a tach on it and don't let it get much below 3400 rpm; I don't get wavy boards until the blade gets dull. If you're not making a living at it slow is OK and when you're stacking by yourself.
Bob
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2009, 07:28:45 AM »
Gum pockets are often caused by the peach borer.  They come into the residual stand after a thinning.  They breed in the slash, then effect the tree.  Cutting and leaving residual cherry in the fall and winter will take care of the problem, but most people don't know of the problem.

Gum pockets and streaks may not be a defect, but you're not going to sell much lumber.  They don't even like sapwood, let alone gum streak.  I've been told that the gum often leaves a void when it gets to the surface.  Since it doesn't finish well, they grade it out.

We had a cherry log laying in the yard that didn't have any bark.  That one had ridges on it and looked to be curly.  We don't saw any cherry since we make more selling the logs than we do sawing it.  We don't get into that much volume.
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Offline Frickman

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2009, 01:32:34 PM »
I stand corrected. Gum is not an official defect. Most of my wholesale buyers would count it as one though.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

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Offline Ironwood

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2009, 01:42:20 PM »
I hired a guy to mill here for years, his was a 13HP Norwood. I now have my own 23 HP Norwood, and though I dont think of it much the power does make it nicer. More than anything I like how smooth and quieter the twin engine is, that's the biggest difference to me.
             Ironwood
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Offline tyb525

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2009, 01:59:36 PM »
I have an LT10 with the 10hp b&s. I have cut boards the max width (17") but it is slow going. I haven't had a problem with wavy cuts though. I would definitely prefer something like a 20-25hp twin over a single cylinder. They run much smoother and quieter. Sometimes I am afraid my engine is just going to vibrate off the mill.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Small Mills
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2009, 02:01:18 PM »

I am writing to find out how many of you use a mill with a 13 HP motor.  If so, does anyone have any problems with it. I know it will cut slower. I have been buying cherry from a sawer by me for .80 BF and selling it for $1.80 BF on craigslist. but he is now out of cherry and does not want to cut any more. I am wanting to get a mill of my own. I found a logger that has been cutting a large area about 60 miles from me. He is cutting pine and I ask him if he ever runs into cherry. He told me he finds it quit often but it is quilted ( I guess he can tell by the bark). He says he cannot get rid of it to the large mills he sells to, so he does not cut it. I told him I would take all he can cut. He will charge me .50 cents a BF. I am making a kiln from the plans I got from Daren. I would like any feed back on smaller manual mills. Thanks

.

Mills with small engines will get the work done if you have the time.  One concern can be that the smaller engined mills aren't built with the heft of the larger mills and vibration and sturdiness are important when handling heavy product, like logs.

Some other considerations are:  

A small engine will bog down before most bands are being used to their potential.  That is why a 50 horse might cut faster than a 20 horse, and a 20 horse cut faster than a 13.  The larger engine has the oomph to drive the points of the teeth through resistant grain and come closer to filling the gullet.  Filling the gullet is analogous to removing wood from the kerf.

The slower you cut with the same band, the shorter the life of the band, the more fuel you use to cut the same log and the more wear and tear per hour you have on your mill.  

So, there are definitely benefits to more horsepower and sturdier frames.

Small engined sawmills once used thinner bands.  It allowed the little engine to compare more favorable with a larger engine, but you seldom see sawyers using, or being offered, thinner bands anymore.   Thinner and narrower bands require that the mill be properly aligned and that requires more maintenance time and awareness of the finesse' required to make the mill work properly.  It has become easier to use thicker and wider bands and disregard the effort it takes to drive them.
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