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Author Topic: WoodMizer LT15  (Read 6255 times)

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Offline MikePatro

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2014, 10:42:43 PM »
Thank you all for the replies! All the replies about a mill paying for itself in no time and many times over is making me very happy to hear. I have decided to go with the LT15 seeing as how everyones had no complaints with them. I hope to be milling lumber in a few weeks if i can get a mill ordered from the Mt Vernon location. Again, thank you for all the replies.
Still looking for places to sell higher volume of lumber if anyone can give some possible sources thatd be awesome! Will definitely try craigslist though!

 I know its not a high production mill, but im 18 and still in highschool and if i come home afterr school and mill lumber till dark this fall and winter(or after dark with some lighting) i will be happy, because nothing makes me happier than earning a dollar off something i produced with my labor. And it will keep me out of trouble!!! ;D So thank you all.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2014, 04:35:18 AM »
You will do just fine. I know of at least 4 LT15's that went in this year with the owners sawing RR ties and flooring lumber part time. Picking logs the size that can be turned handily with a cant hook; they turn out 200-300' an hour. I have seen hydraulic mills average less. Kind of reminds me of axe vs wood-splitter. A young man wanting to work can split a pick-up load of straight grained wood faster than the run of the mill hydraulic splitter.

Great to see someone young and ambitious getting into the business.  smiley_clapping

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2014, 05:04:15 PM »
I think getting a mill is a great idea, I just want to point out some questions that anyone who is looking at getting a mill should ask them self (When I got my mill running I was totally unprepared when it came to tools that are required to move logs.)

Do you have/have access to logs?

Do you have a way to get the logs to your mill?

Are you also budgeting for the support tools that go with a mill?  At the very least I would say you need a cant hook, a large pry bar (can be made for cheap out of a rear axle of a car) a come-a-long jack or winch, a chain or cable and a chainsaw.  All of the tools can be gotten second hand for fairly low cost.  You will also need to get a box or two of blades to start off.

Do you have a place to store/ dry the lumber you cut?

What are you going to do with the waste from the mill.(It produces way more slabs, sawdust, bark, and scrap that I had ever imagined, I do it as a hobby so don't work to hard but two or three days of cutting on the mill requires at least a half a day of clean up to deal with all the slabs)

How do you plan to get logs? Buying them? Cutting them? Getting them free from utility companies? Sawing the customers? In trade for sawing?

Do you have a way to deliver the lumber or are you planing for your customers to pick it up?

I am not asking you these questions because I expect you to respond to them, it is more just to point out things you may need to think about. (When I built my mill I didn't give it much of a though beyond,"it would be fun to have a mill" before I was finished building it.  I didn't give any of the logistics of it much thought until I had it built and running and had cut up the three logs I had access to)

I would also suggest that it may be easier to make money with a completely manual mill by specializing in "high value added" lumber/cuts or something that no one in your area is doing so you have less competition rather than trying to compete with larger mills on common lumber.

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2014, 06:01:37 PM »
Mike

You remind me of another young Forest Forum member named Ty who lives in Indiana that was a bit younger than you when he got his LT-10 and began sawing wood. You might want to talk to him on the forum and see what tips he may have for you. As I recall he was cutting and selling a fair amount of wood.

Fred
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2014, 06:05:24 PM »
Ty hasn't been on since April. Let's see if we can wake him up @tyb525  :)
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"LogRite!

Offline Chuck White

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2014, 07:49:25 PM »
Ty hasn't been on since April. Let's see if we can wake him up @tyb525  :)

A very knowledgable young man!  ;)
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
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Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline MikePatro

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2014, 09:43:54 PM »
Joe Hillman- I have put some thought into those questions and the only answers im lacking is where to sell lumber and if im producing a fair amount of it where to get enough logs. I have a few places i can cut some but i also have a buddy who owns a logging company and is having a hard time finding a mill to buy his logs, so hopefully me and him can negotiate something out over that. but for the most part finding somewhere to sell good amounts of lumber is stumping me(no pun intended). craigslist and spreading word around town is the only ways i have figured out for now. Ive talked to some good family friends and they say if i buy a mill i will be the only one in town running one and the only one in the county that will do custom.

Only have 3 other good size mills in the whole county so not worried about it since they dont serve small customers.

Again thank you all for the replies!!! keep em coming!

Offline BmoreReclaimed

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2014, 10:48:04 PM »
I use a LT15 to cut lumber exclusively for my furniture work.  This mill does everything I need it do as far as cut quality.  However, the way I see it, selling green lumber off of my machine (10hp3ph) wholesale is a limited opportunity.  You will definitely have profit potential, but when you factor in all processes from staging logs, to cleanup, to storage, to sales, it is a lot of work.  Throw in some"ok" logs, and your profit will go way down. But when I was 18 I would of been stoked to make 20$ an hour, and you should definitely be able to produce that, if selling retail with good logs you could probally crush that.   

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2014, 11:49:03 AM »
If there are only 3 big mills in your county, then you may have an opportunity to do some custom sawing, although I would be surprised if there wasn't another bandmill or two hiding out there. One advantage of custom sawing is that you show up, saw, get paid, leave the mess, and move on. Or Saw'em and Leave'em, as Magicman says. :D You may find that you may rely on a variety of things to keep you busy. Maybe have a few logs on hand to make some tomato/grade stakes. Work on those when you don't have anything else to do. If you have a good species for fence posts like locust or cedar, you could make those and have some on hand. It might take some time for word to get around, but you may be a lot busier than you think just keeping your community in whatever odd bits of lumber they can't get anywhere else.
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Offline tyb525

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2014, 06:05:56 PM »
Ty hasn't been on since April. Let's see if we can wake him up @tyb525  :)

Ya got me! I admit I've let life keep me away from the Forum! I'll have to catch up tonight as I am using my phone right right now.
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline Nomad

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2014, 06:09:41 PM »
     Glad to see it woke you up, Ty.  We've missed you.
Buying a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2014, 07:31:02 PM »
I like the idea of a used saw. Sell it for what you gave for it when you upgrade. The drawback is finding a used mill. You will have to keep your name out there. Keep and ad on CL and I think there is that weekly shopper (yellow paper) you could put an ad in also. I would lean toward specialty sawing. 2" slabs and such. 6x6 post. Check the local lumber yard and see if they will carry some of your lumber. I was in LOA last weekend. I am glad to see a young man interested in this business.If I can be of any help let me know.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline francismilker

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2014, 01:14:09 AM »
Mike

I dont have an LT15, rather I have the LT10 with 10 hp motor. I gave $2995 for it. My first sale of lumber off of it was over $2000 and that came all from free logs that were given to me. By the time I cut my 4th job for someone else and had about 15 hours of use on the mill, the LT10 was paid for and I had money in my pocket.

A friend of mine has an LT15 and has made his living with it for over the past decade. He swears by that machine and has turned out some very nice lumber and many tractor trailer worth with it.

I think some of the Wood Mizer production claims are very conservative. Recently a friend of mine and I cut over 500 board feet of ash in 3 hours on the LT10, some of which are shown below.

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.) 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

What he said Mike. I use an lt10 with a few minor home modifications to it and paid for it rather quickly cutting for hobbyists and working at it pretty minimal. I do have a tractor with FEL to handle heavy logs. My advice is go for it!
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Offline Ianab

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2014, 02:10:37 AM »
With a manual mill I'd aim for the higher value stuff, rather than the volume market.  If you have access to the wood working equipment it may work better to actually take things through to finished items. For example can you get some cedar logs? Take a couple of low value logs, saw them, let them dry and make them into coffee tables, chests, Adirondack chairs, picnic tables etc.

Then it's only a couple of logs to source, and not a whole truck load. 1/2 a day of sawing, even on a manual mill, and the rest of the week woodworking. End of the week you have processed $50 of logs, and made maybe $1000 of products to sell? Your overheads and expenses are reasonable, no big mill payments to make etc. In that business model, a larger mill is not really an advantage. All it means is that you spend 2 hours milling per week, instead of 4. Rest of the time the big mill is sitting there tying up your capital.

Contacts with a local logger? You might be able to buy some of the oddball logs. Different species, and even logs that are commercially rejects, but can be sawn into the legendary $300 slabs  ;)  Ugly cedars, walnut crotches etc

Or,
Build a solar kiln?
Buy a heavy duty planer?
Now you can sell kiln dried hardwoods to locals at a decent retail price.

Those sorts of things anyway.  Trying to compete with a larger more efficient mills on volume isn't going to work. Finding a niche that they don't cover? That's where the smaller mills, with the lower capital costs can work.

LT15? Good little mills. Being all manual means they are simple to maintain, and should just keep on sawing with basic maintenance. Wood-Mizer means it will have good resale and parts backup, so it's a good choice there.

Ian
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2014, 02:45:55 AM »
I just recently purchased an LT15go.  I'm using it for myself, at least initially, not for selling lumber. I'm cutting and trimming timbers for timberframing, and cutting boards for my own woodworking. The support equipment comment is a good one, for any mill.  A rough terrain forklift is very useful, especially for the LT15's.  It's hard manual loading or manual winch loading if you don't have a forklift.

Someone made the good point of specializing.  With the loading and unloading being a little more difficult, it's better to make specialty product than trying for quantity. 

Another reason I bought the LT15go is that it is a 2 rail mill, and I wanted to have the MP100 planer for the mill.  You need a 2 rail mill for the MP100.  WoodMizer is working on adapting the MP100 to fit on the LT15wide. 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: WoodMizer LT15
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2014, 05:25:59 PM »
Welcome to the forum.
One of the areas I would look into for selling lumber is with some of the contractors that are building the upscale houses around the lake. I bet they would like to have a supplier of nice slabs for building bar/counter tops for the rich folks that like spending the weekend at the lake. You can also put some signs, bus. cards, or flyers up at the local feed and hardware stores. Might also put some cards a the bait and tackle stores that have to be around that lake. Look into building rustic benches for sitting around the camp fire. ;)
Best of luck to you.
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