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Author Topic: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill  (Read 16893 times)

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Offline plaindriver

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Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:06:40 AM »
 Retired last Aug and left Los Angeles for the Cumberland Plateau of Tn. Good choice. Bought a place on about 10ac, mostly woods (almost all hardwoods, too)
We have taken down over 70 trees so far, and have about 40 to go, Many dangerously overhung the house, dropped bomb-like acorns on metal roof, messy twigs and lotsa leaves in gutters, patio etc. Besides generating mucho firewood, I have been storing 11' logs in anticipation of getting a sawmill. Well, Im close to pulling that trigger. I thought the Woodland Mill #26 was the best value, but am now considering the Norwood LM29. The Norwood is about $1100 more than the WM26, but seems a more substantial unit. Confusing to me, is it offers (3) different engine options: a 9Honda is std, then a 13Honda is $470 more and a 16B&S 2 cyl, elect start is $1200 more. Is the B&S16 really worth $1200 more?
Initially, this mill will be for personal consumption, but who knows, maybe in time I will cut timbers for others. The Norwood seems to be able to grow down the line with all the add-ons they offer,
So, a few questions:
How important is horsepower, or the additional HP in the case mentioned above?
Saw will be set up in a workshop on a concrete floor; how much of a mess does all the sawdust mixed blade water water make?
What do you guys do with all the sawdust?
Is Norwood a solid, customer oriented outfit, after the sale?
Thanks in advance.





  

  

 
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 12:11:46 AM »
We all have our bias when it comes to mills.  Engine size does effect cut rate, and get the widest cut width you can afford, plus extra track.  I would talk to the folks at Hudson Forestry products before you make a final decisions, they are just a wonderful group of folks in a family owned business.  I can't praise their mills enough, or their support.
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Offline Nomad

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 05:54:28 AM »
     First, Welcome to the FF!  Although I no longer own a Norwood, I cut a lot of lumber with an LM2000 before I traded up to a bigger hydraulic mill.  Norwood was a pleasure to deal with on the rare occasions I needed to do so.  (I might add that I really enjoyed that mill too, but it wasn't enough for what I found myself doing.)
     Cut width and width of log you can handle are important.  So is the ability to easily add track to your mill if you ever expect to cut many longer logs.  And get all the horsepower you can afford!  You'll never find yourself saying you wished you'd bought a smaller engine.
     Considering a used mill may be a good option for you as well.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 06:20:19 AM »
You can't be too rich or have too much HP on a mill,besides the larger engine will as a rule live longer.You can't go wrong with ether a WM or Norwood.What is more important is hydraulic log handling to save your back,it costs more but cheap compared to back trouble. Frank C.
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Offline Lud

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 06:57:44 AM »
Welcome A Board.   You're busy taking down trees, right?   Why not have a custom sawyer come in and saw the logs you have and work with him.  The experience will be priceless in your decision process.  Get some stacks  of wood drying with proper stickers, covers, and weight. 

You don't have to get the mill first.  IMHO, you could use a Logrite cant hook (or two), hookeroons,  and a log arch right now.

Dropping logs on a sawmill with a FEL is a bad idea................someone here will have a story to share. 8)
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Offline dboyt

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 07:12:39 AM »
Plaindriver, welcome to the forum and to God's country.  Looks like you've got some nice white oak to mill.  I've been running the Norwood MX34 for nearly two years, and it is a great machine.  Very solid, easy to use, and cuts well.  Norwood staff is great, and the phone is always answered by a real person.  I don't think I've ever waited longer than a minute to get on line to someone who could take an order or answer a question.  If anything ever happened to my mill, I'd replace it with another Norwood without hesitation.
I go along with the idea of as much horsepower as you can get, especially since you will probably be cutting hardwoods.  Hydraulics are good, but you can always add them later, if you go with the Norwood.  I'm running my mill as a manual and use a front end loader to turn logs too big to handle with a cant hook.  I'll probably add hydraulics later.  I do like the trailer package, though.  Easy to tow, and it only takes a few minutes to set up for milling.
There won't be much problem with wet sawdust.  The blade lube is usually set to just drip and doesn't add enough water to notice.  If I were running it in a shop, I'd consider a blower and flex tube to move the sawdust out of the shop.  You may want a flex tube for the exhaust, as well.
Whatever you get, you'll love sawing.  Hope to see pictures of you making sawdust with your new mill!  From your avitar, it looks like you're a pilot.  I'm only 5 miles from the Neosho, MO airport.  You're welcome to come over and try out my mill.  I'm always looking for free help!
Norwood MX34 Pro portable sawmill, 8N Ford, Lewis Winch

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 07:32:47 AM »
I'll be flying in around 12,can you pick me up at the airport? I want to see your saw mill.I wonder if that is a first?  :D
I myself would get the electric start. Yes,that fixture can be added on the smaller motors too,but how much? I have a 20 hp on my manual mill. I have not sawed with a smaller one,so I have no idea if I need it or not. I would also like the idea of the add ons. What you think you will not use,2 years down the road you may want to add it.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline dboyt

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 07:45:04 AM »
I'll be flying in around 12,can you pick me up at the airport? I want to see your saw mill.I wonder if that is a first?  :D
No, it wouldn't be a first.  Looks like IFR conditions today, but the approach to EOS is pretty easy.  See you at noon.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 07:52:51 AM »
dboyt,sounds like you been around the airport some too.  ;D  Help me out on IFR and EOS.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Online Jeff

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 09:06:37 AM »
Is it possible to use an aircraft as an analogy for why you might want more power with a sawmill? Can one think of times when flying while under-powered would be detrimental to a positive outcome and what value you would set at those times for additional power?
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Offline plaindriver

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 09:36:45 AM »
dboyt,sounds like you been around the airport some too.  ;D  Help me out on IFR and EOS.

I think (EOS) is the FAA identifier for his local airport. All airports have one. IE: LA is LAX, Boston is BOS, JFK in NY, ORD for Chicago etc.

IFR means instrument flight rules. Basically means limited visibility, like a rather low overcast cover, where the driver cant see the airport or ground until he is less than 1000' above the ground. Sometimes much less, like 200'. Also means lateral visibility is less than 3 mi.  Here are a few examples of what its like to fly in IFR conditions, FYI.


1st pic- -looking out my left window. You can just see the wing tip.


 

This is what the pilot sees looking forward when its actual IFR, (or what we call IMC=instrument meteorological conditions)
 

 

Kubota L4600 DT w/FEL, John Deere 750 4WD w/FEL, PH Digger,RotoTiller,Box Scraper,Disc;16, 18, 20" chainsaws;Troy Built 27T splitter; table saw, radial arm saw,turning lathe, chipper, small backhoe, Isuzu NPR 14' stakeside diesel truck; a wife that still likes me.

Offline plaindriver

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 09:40:14 AM »
Is it possible to use an aircraft as an analogy for why you might want more power with a sawmill? Can one think of times when flying while under-powered would be detrimental to a positive outcome and what value you would set at those times for additional power?

Point well taken. Lotsa times when I which I had more go power. Like when trying to out climb the top of a storm. Short of, say, and F-18 or so, enough HP just doesnt exist in the real world. In the airplane game, fuel burn goes up exponentially with increase in HP. So, I have to pick my battles in that arena.
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Offline losttheplot

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 11:26:39 AM »
I have the Noorwood Lumbermate 2000. I bought it used.
I have no complaints with the mill design and the service from Norwood has all ways been excellent.
They answer the phone quickly, know their product well and items are shipped with in a short time.

My mill came with the Honda GX390  "13hp" engine,( it is 11.7 hp not 13hp.)
It is a very good engine, with a built in compression release that makes it very easy to rope start.

I just changed it out for a 20hp and the mill is much more enjoyable to use. The old engine was fine in small soft wood, but it would struggle with the bigger cuts.

Buying a small sawmill is different, in that it is a hobby that produces money, unlike all my other hobbies that cost money.
I've had my mill for a couple of years and it has paid for its self twice over already.
If I were shopping for a mill I would buy all the mill I could afford, sooner or later it will pay for its self.
And if I find milling is not for me, portable sawmills hold their resale value very well.

If I had any thoughts of milling on any kind of commercial scale I would consider hydraulics as a very high priority.  Especially if I were cutting hard woods.

I think the most common mistake when buying a portable band saw mill is not buying enough mill to start with.

Hope this helps.


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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 11:29:50 AM »
As you describe your situation, I'll assume you are interested mostly in a smaller manual bandmill. Any of the current crop would do you a nice job. There are 3 of the older norwoods in my neighbor hood, never heard a complaint from any of them. Don't overlook the possibility of a used mill. Wearing out a manual mill would be rather difficult. HP.... Bigger motor on a mill is very similar to more hp on your flying machine. Not necessary under normal conditions but there is some reserve power left when you need it. Most of these small motors actually have an internal governor that is rpm sensitive. With a small engine, you will mostly be sawing with the governor wide open. Hit a knot or blade get a little dull, the governor tries to apply more power to keep the rpm up, but there's no more left. Then the rpm and blade speed drop. Blade speed is critical, when it drops, bad things happen.
Hence, the good advice to get the most hp you can afford.
Before you buy anything, address the problem of blades, where to get them, where to get sharpening service. Blades get dull far faster than you would like and a sharp sharp blade is critical on small low-horsepower mills. With the logs you have, I don't think you can saw all day long with one blade. Plan accordingly.
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Offline mikeb1079

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 09:13:00 PM »
don't know what mill you should buy but i will say that i run the briggs 16hp v twin on my manual mill and it's a wonderful engine for it.  starts easily and is hard to bog down.  my mill maxes out around 26" and i have slabbed every inch of that through hardwoods (oak walnut etc).  at that size your not breaking any speed records but it still cuts very well imo.  i really like the size and power of it.

good luck!!
that's why you must play di drum...to blow the big guys mind!
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 09:36:23 PM »
Saw will be set up in a workshop on a concrete floor

If you plan to stay put, why not consider a used mill with electric power.
No fumes, nice power, easy to maintain.

perhaps an option to consider?

DGDrls

Offline mikeb1079

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 09:46:44 PM »
Quote
If you plan to stay put, why not consider a used mill with electric power.
No fumes, nice power, easy to maintain.

good point.  even if you had to get a phase converter it may be worth it in the long run.
that's why you must play di drum...to blow the big guys mind!
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Offline plaindriver

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 09:00:48 AM »
Saw will be set up in a workshop on a concrete floor

If you plan to stay put, why not consider a used mill with electric power.
No fumes, nice power, easy to maintain.

perhaps an option to consider?

DGDrls


Down the road, I might like to do some off siter milling, + I have only the std residential 200A service main panel for the whole property. Next, where the workshop is going, its about 200' from the main panel. I would have to run some pretty big wires out there. And with all the roots and "rocky-top" soil, running a conduit large enough would be rather a PITA (pain in the arm).
I guess I just want to keep my future options toward mobility open.
Kubota L4600 DT w/FEL, John Deere 750 4WD w/FEL, PH Digger,RotoTiller,Box Scraper,Disc;16, 18, 20" chainsaws;Troy Built 27T splitter; table saw, radial arm saw,turning lathe, chipper, small backhoe, Isuzu NPR 14' stakeside diesel truck; a wife that still likes me.

Offline dboyt

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 11:58:13 AM »
Plaindriver, thanks for helping Thecfarm out with the flying lesson.  I thought he wanted me to email him the approach plates.  Pineywoods is right on about the blades.  I keep 20 on hand, and that's just for part-time sawing.  Don't overlook other equipment-- chain saws, cant hooks, winch, log arch, 4wd tractor, 4wd flatbed truck...
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Offline tgalbraith

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Re: Neophyte Seeks Advice Re Bandsaw Mill
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 10:26:59 AM »
 :snowball:
Welcome to the forum and retirement. I know you will enjoy both.
Go to some shows and walk around several machines before you commit.
My son and I fly a little sport plane out of 3D1 in N/E Wisconsin.
What ever you decide on, have fun and be safe. 8)
M Belsaw, 46" insert blade, Oliver 88 power  plant


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