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Author Topic: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)  (Read 4769 times)

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Offline gator gar

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Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« on: July 13, 2010, 02:41:11 PM »
 I have been talking to Boman1 about letting me set my mill up on a production style application at a real sawmill business. He finally gave me the opportunity and I was there at 7am Monday morning. There were two other Woodmizers there, that were hydraulic. One was Bo's, with one of his guys running it and another guy who had a young fellow doing all his off loading, on his mill.

  Well, I've been waiting for this opportunity to get out there and get it done. Our object was a tractor trailer load of 4x6x8s out of pine and all our 5/4 side lumber. Man, we have a loader operator that brings us logs and lays them right on the mill and then comes back and gets the cants off the mill. This is going to be a breeze, Right????   WRONG!!! 

This ol fat boy gets out there and I saw my butt off. Everything is going good, up to about 11 am, then I start to feel the effects of all that off loading and cant hook turning and manual dogging in that heat. That sun was taking it out of me and quick. The only shade that was out there was under the sawmill. About 2 pm I was about to fall smooth out. I had drank 2 gallons of water and 1 quart of gatorade by 4 pm. When I was able to get in my truck, I basically collapsed. My days of production cutting on a manual mill had left a bad taste in my mouth.

I figured up my tally and I had cut 55  4x6x8s and 92 bft of clear 1x4x8 and 1x6x8 and the rest was made up in a variety of flitches, that were to be edged later. We just figure what we would get out of the flitches. The grand total came to 1197bft of 8 foot lumber. Now that may not sound like a whole lot to some, but when you get that out of some 8 foot logs manually,all by yourself, you've done something, especially in this heat.

It took me two hours to bend my right arm, from a 90 degree bend, to straight out  180 degrees this morning. I was sore all over and am still sore right now. I called Bo this morning and explained that I didn't think I could continue on, but thanks for the opportunity. I was on the phone with him, as I was heading back to the mill, to pick up my sawmill.

The bottom line is.....There is a big difference in manual and hydraulic. In production and in the way you will feel at the end of the day. Trust me, I know, cause I learned it the hard way. Those other two guys, looked as fresh as they had when they came in the gate. They cut a heck of alot more lumber at the end of the day too.

I do want to give some praise to my LT28 with that 25hp. I pushed that mill as hard as I could and it didn't blink. The logs we were cutting were just perfect size with the exception of a couple of huge ones. Those huge ones cut out good, but they are rough on the body in the heat and me trying to be in a hurry.

Yep, I think I will keep to custom sawing, with the landowner providing some help, or me charging a little more and I'll provide my own. Actually, I think I will let pipefitting continue to pay the bills and I'll custom cut here and there.

Offline paul case

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2010, 04:03:09 PM »
gator,
 i would agree with you on the manual vs. hydraulic aspect. i havent had the opportunity to push quite as hard as you did on monday but  i have had a few days cutting about 1000 ft. that was 18 -7x9 -10' ties and the side stuff. i dont think i was done in 8 hours either.
     i wouldnt give up so quick. it takes some learning to manage the extra effort and minimize the stress of the heat. maybe a umberella mounted on the mill would give you some relief from the sun? 12v personal fan? i alwys wondered if a shade awning could be set up over the mill?
i have often thought how good the income would be if i could keep busy doing custom stuff only and cut 1k ft per day at the $.30 i charge.  then i think that i dont want to be wore out all the time. so with a manual mill a feller needs to pace himself or else he will pay for his income!  pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2010, 04:34:38 PM »
Your description of the physical consequences sounds all too familiar.   I would add learning how to walk again after I  get out of my truck at home.   And I have a hydraulic mill.   :D :D :D  I bought one of those Camelbak water backpacks from which I can sip water all afternoon even when rolling logs, seems to help.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide,  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline Magicman

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »
gg, you weren't pushing the mill too hard.  You were pushing yourself too hard.  Some mills are designed for productivity and some are not.

Maybe you were expecting close to the same productivity from each.  Nada, can't be done.  Bo's deal sounded like a very good offer for making a few extra bucks.  It still does.

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Offline boman1

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 08:26:57 PM »
Gator gar cut some beautiful lumber...! He maximized production from each log. If you are looking for production you can't compare manual to hydraulic mills. Gator Gar when the soreness wears off I will have some ties for you to cut....

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 08:50:22 PM »
GG; I know first-hand just exactly what you've been through.

My first year running a Wood-Mizer, I was running my FIL's '92 LT40G18 Manual mill and thought I was doing a bang-up job.

We sawed lots of small jobs that year and ended up sawing around 25,000 bf mostly W/Pine.

Two years later I bought my own mill, LT40HDG24 Hydraulic mill.

Well, that year we did up 71,000 bf of W/Pine & Hemlock with a little hardwood mixed in.

We're right about 36,000 bf right now, with about another 30,000 to saw before cold weather sets in.

In Lay-Mens terms: A hydraulic mill takes about 90% if the bull-work out of it.

But I can't knock the manual mills either.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 08:55:44 PM »
Gator gar cut some beautiful lumber...! He maximized production from each log.

Exactly what I suspected.  gg, there is one other benefit and that is physical exercise.  Sawing is always better than going to a gym.     :D
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Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 10:12:35 PM »
That extra physical labor is not all a bad thing, and when we relax a bit too much and put on a few extra pounds it will give you that opportunity to trim down a bit and get in shape enough that you will get accustom to it in short order, (month or so) once you get your stide you will find that the whole thing just gets easier.
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Offline Handy Andy

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 10:23:46 PM »
  My mill is an mp 32, and if I were sawing for a living, would look at a hydraulic mill.  But it works great to saw a few logs for myself once in a while.  I have a pile of logs waiting for that day, but this is a busy time on the farm.  And when I get caught up it will be hot.  Looking for a shade tree I can set up under. 
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Offline paul case

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 11:47:27 PM »
well gator you are not alone, when i first started sawing my body went to telling me i wasnt as young as i used to be. today i have learned a few tricks on log handling and such that makes me a more efficient sawyer.

today i timed myself. i cut 1 log for a neighbor. 14' syp. 45 minutes. 150 bd/ft. thats 1600 ft in an 8 hour day. but if i did that for 8 hours i would need a firetruck load of water!      hang in there gator it gets easier with time .   pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline Brucer

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 01:19:23 AM »
I owned a manual mill for a year, working part time. When that got out of control (i.e., turned into full time work) I sold the mill and bought a hydraulic one. It didn't take long to figure out that extra production was going to kill my right arm, so about 6 months later I added an Auto Clutch. Now that was a good investment.

I walk 4 or 5 kilometres a day (3 miles or so) beside the mill, sawing mostly timbers with a bit of side lumber. It keeps my weight under control and keeps me fit.

Try it again, but don't expect to keep up with the hydraulic mills. Pace yourself. Work half days at first.

If you can't add an Auto Clutch to your mill, try leaving the blade running when you gig back -- just be sure you raise it high enough.

Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
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Offline Meadows Miller

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 03:12:50 AM »
Gday

Dont give up that easy it sounds like Bo's offering you good ongoing work Mate which is somthing not to pass up on in a hurry in this game  ;)  ;D 8) there afew things you can do to make life a little easier for you on a manual mill Mate  ;) ;D first is log loading build yourself a dead deck about 6' W by 8 to 10' L infront of your mill and if you stick to sawing 10 to 18" dia logs just fill the deck up n keep rolling them on  ;D

asfar as removing sawn timber and flitches goes  a set of 8 to 12" wide dead rolls settup behind the mill either rite up against the mill frame or leaving enough room between it and the mill to walk up n down just put your trash rite behind the mill and then put your timber and flitches on the roll case and bring them back with you when you return the head set up for the next cut and start the head off roll the timber down to the pack then pivot your timber on the rollcase and slide er in to the pack  ;) The trick when you manualy handel timber or trash is not to lift it as it takes too much outa you at the end of the day Mate  ;)

Edging wing boards is always time consuming on any mill without an edger if Bo or the other bloke there has an edger it might pay to come to some ageement on use of theirs at the end of the shift or adjust the sawing rate on the wing board stock and block pack your wing boards to be processed through Bo's mill it will make you 30 to 35% more productive in your cant production

I assuming Bo's main market is pine pallet cants  ??? seeing as they are running a Circ Mill and Scragg combo  ;)

Regards Chris

4TH Generation Timbergetter

Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 05:50:17 AM »
GG,
I didn't want the expense of an hydraulic mill so the first time I custom-sawed over a weekend I felt the same pain with my MP32. Over a period of 2 years I added electric functions giving me almost the same capabilities as an hydraulic mill but MUCH slower. When I custom saw I require the customer to off-bear so he is dragging at the end of the day and not me. The only feature I would like on my mill that I do not have is a way to push a big log/cant into the squaring arms without grunting and groaning but I have no plans for that option. If I got interested in mills 25 years before I did then an hydraulic version would have been more viable.

Bob
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Offline gator gar

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2010, 06:25:47 AM »
Bo's market is hardwood ties, beams and board road. That is why he gave us the chance to get in there to cut the pine, so they could continue on with what makes them the most money, which is hardwood. I feel alot better this morning, Good enough to go pick some purple hull peas here in a few minutes.

Bo has an edger out there and two guys running it. That is the good thing about being out there, you just cut your flitches and throw them in a pile and it won't be long before the loader comes by and scoops them up.

There are alot of ways to set the mill site up where it would be easier to load and off load, but space has to be taken into consideration. If you don't have alot of room, you just cant get that loader to you. In my case, the loader couldn't come from behind, because of some railroad tracks.

And yes, I could be glad to be getting a good work out. I'm sure in a month, I would have dropped a few pounds. But in my mind, I had a certain amount of BFT that I wanted to cut and I didn't see doing it, without some extra help, or without killing myself trying.

The bottom line is what Magicman said, that manual mill isn't going to produce what that hydraulic mill is going to and in my head, that was what I was going to try to prove. The only thing I proved, was that I came up short, in a big way and very tired.

Offline Qweaver

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 08:05:34 AM »
Hey Gator,
You must have an older version of the LT28.  My new one has 25 HP, a power feed, toe boards and a log turner.  But it still takes two people or three is even better to get good production out of it.  Trying to operate without help is really tough and slow.
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Offline Chris Burchfield

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2010, 10:35:59 AM »
I was 47 yoa when I purchased my mill with all the horns and whistles.  Hydraulic toe boards, log turner, loader and board drag back.  I also chose command control as not to have to be walking with the saw head for each pass.  I knew I would not get any younger and would be susceptible to more aches and pains.  An umbrella would take you out of direct sun light but, you'd still have to go turn the log.  You would still contend with a good bit of radiant heat under there.  I'd suggest an EZup type canopy 10' x 10'.  The one I got from Walmart, has a silver color bottom side.  It reflects heat.  $89. plus tax.  Just be sure to anchor it against wind.  Then don't trip over the tie downs.
Woodmizer LT40SH W/Command Control; 51HP Cat, Memphis TN.

Offline paul case

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2010, 10:48:46 AM »
thats what i was talking about chris, does it get tall enough to go over the mill though? pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline gator gar

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2010, 03:45:21 PM »
Hey Gator,
You must have an older version of the LT28.  My new one has 25 HP, a power feed, toe boards and a log turner.  But it still takes two people or three is even better to get good production out of it.  Trying to operate without help is really tough and slow.

My mill is approximately 3 months old. I have everything on my mill that you have on yours. It's like Magicman said, I wasn't pushing the mill too hard, I was pushing me too hard. The mill didn't even blink with me putting it through the steps, it ran and performed like a pro.

Offline ladylake

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2010, 04:30:32 PM »
I mounted a patio umbrella on mine that rotates in a arc . blocks out most of the sun most of the day, it gets used every hot day.    Steve
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Manual mill versus hydraulic mill. ( Woodmizers)
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2010, 06:18:06 PM »
Just short of 1200 bf of 8 cants and lumber aint too shabby.   Back when we had an LT40G18 manual mill and a tractor with loader,  Mary would saw out 700-1000 bf of oak by herself most every day.  That would be on top of essential house work.  Id come home from work and do a lot of cleanup and setup work for the next day while she cooked supper.  Wed saw together on the weekends and such and get 1,000 1,200 bf/day sawn oak on that manual mill.

Now we have an LT40SHE25-RA, live deck, dust blower, edger, external hydraulic power pack, two Terex loaders, under roof with electricity for fans, refrigerator with cold water, etc., and we saw pretty much together or one or the other saws alone. 

Yesterday we sawed out about 1,000 bf of 4/4 oak flooring lumber,  20 10 6x6s, 5 8 8x8s, 3 10 8x8s, 1 10 6x8 and 1 10 6x11.   If I figure right, thats a bit over 2,000 bf total.  So youre breaking 1,000 bf by yourself with just a manual mill and 8 logs is doing pretty good. 

(In addition to the above sawing,  we measured up a load of logs,  I loaded out a load of cants and delivered them,  my back was hurting so Mary did 95% of the hard labor including sawing by herself for about 3 hours while I was loading up and delivering.   We started about 7:00am and quit about 4:00 pm with a load of flooring oak on the truck that Mary delivered this morning.   High humidity and heat took a lot out of us.) 

You have to learn to pace yourself and know youre limitations.   Even if you upgrade to a hydraulic mill,  youll find yourself just as worn out at the end of the day.  Thats because youll saw more and the more you saw, the more youll have to handle.  With or son helping and super good logs, we have broke 3,500 bf in 5 hours and just quit from exhaustion.


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Sawing since '94


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