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Author Topic: wanting a beginner mill/hobby  (Read 2133 times)

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Offline E fan

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wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« on: January 15, 2015, 09:26:18 PM »
I've got quite a bit of sawyer blood but never done it myself. I have land,trees and ways to get the logs to where I can stack and leave just need a storage/shed but thats no real issue either

My question is what would be a good starter mill? I've looked at the WM 10 I think. Its just for my pleasure and to make some extra cash here and there in my spare time

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2015, 09:41:38 PM »
E-fan,

    I just got my mill last week. It is more than a starter mill but I read up on them a good bit. I am sure there are many good models out there but if you are going with WM I'd sure look at the LT15 over the LT10 just because of the extra hp and options available. I have a neighbor who has sawed some for me and others on an LT10 and he does decent work. He stays months behind on his orders. I have read the reports of the smaller mills and while LT10s seem common in Alaska where they sled them in behind snowmobiles and such, the LT15 seems more commonly used in other countries by missionaries and such who float them in on canoes. I am sure the diesel engines are more easily supportable in those areas because gasoline is sometimes harder to come by.

     I can say I love my hydraulics. Lifted and turned a 14' tulip poplar today that was over 20" at small end. Got 19-2X6s plus some side lumber. Nearly enough for my roof on an open sided lumber shed I plan to build.

    Good luck. Contact all the brands you are interested in for a list of their mills in your area. All I talked to were very cooperative about providing such info and I doubt you will find any group less willing to show you their equipment and procedures than sawyers.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Forestman123

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 08:38:39 AM »
E fan
Don't know if you are considering building a mill but I am just about to finish up the carriage assembly on a Linn Lumber 160-A. I've done a lot of 2x2 fabrication over the years and this is a very heavily designed piece of equipment. Not sure it would be good for someone without any welding/fabrication experience but the people are good to deal with and they give you a variety of options on building or buying their product. Good Luck!

Offline E fan

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 09:18:31 AM »
I'll give you a little more information on what I want/need to do what I want.

I have a place ( 13 +/- acres in Mtn View, Arkansas ) that is easy access to white river and all the other attractions in the area. I want to put a slab down to work on and to have a level surface to work on as there are not many level areas with one of those metal sheds/garages they sell around here for $600 or so to cover it and work/store lumber under.

I've got several nice cedars from the tornado that came through west of town here in central Arkansas as well I have several big pines I have cut up there and stacked to hopefully cut as well as a host of black walnut,red and white oak and hickory. All together I think I have over 60 logs to turn into something. I love woodworking and seeing what I can do with my hands and mind.

I don't want to turn it into a business just personal lumber and to have something to play with while I'm up there


Offline MattJ

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 10:52:16 AM »
I have a hudson mill for the same purpose you stated, hobby sawing fun lumber for me.  Looking back at my own experience one question I would ask is what size logs do you imagine you want to cut?  The hobby mills are great if its 20" in diameter and less.  When it gets larger than this you have to start splitting the logs, trimming them, and on top of this moving logs and turning them becomes a real challenge even if you have a tractor. 

My logs I cut tend to be 50/50 between over and under 20" .  For the ones over 20" a small swing mill or a logosol chainsaw mill would have been nice so you can set them over the logs.

Matt

Offline rwachtell

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 11:47:44 AM »
E-fan

I bought the WM LT10 a couple of years ago to have as a hobby mill.
10 hp engine is a must.

This mill will cut great boards on logs up to 24" on the big end.  I have cut logs slightly bigger doing some prep work with the chainsaw.  Its not the fastest saw in the world but none of the bandsaws are.

Blades dull much faster then they say.  Even on clean logs.  Bark wood is generally the culprit.  I wish I had a debarker.  Have to go to a pretty high level with a saw to get a debarker.  Small saws will not support them.

I keep by blade on the tight side.  Hard on the bearings yes.  Cuts straighter wood for a longer period of time on the same blade ... definitely yes!
 
Been thinking about building a debarker for this saw that runs on a separate carriage ahead of the existing one for the saw. I have 18 feet of track.

I think all starter saws are around the same price when all is said and done.
So I went with the Woodmizer and I am happy with it.

I do wish I were portable with it at times.  However I could do something about that if I really wanted to.

Also the throat is only about 21" max cut width and the max thickness of cut on this saw is only about 7 or 8 inches.  If you want to cut a 20" log directly in half for quarter saw you can not do it.    Max diameter log you can cut in half is only 15 inches or so.   I wish this saw had a higher throat for that purpose.  If I had it to do over again this is one thing I would consider when choosing a small mill.  Cutting a 24" log is one thing,  cutting in any way shape or form is completely another.

I don't care so muck about not being able to cut logs bigger the 24".   I don't have the equipment to move them anyway.

R

Offline Verticaltrx

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 12:10:45 PM »
I have a little Hudson HFE-21 and it does well for my uses. Not particularly fast, and it has a few quirks, but it does make nice lumber and only cost $2800 new. It handles 20" logs and will produce about 100bf/hr generally speaking.

Depending on the size of your trees, your budget, and the level of productivity you want I'd consider the Woodmizer LT10 and LT15, the Norwood MN26 and LM29, and the Hudson HFE-21, Oscar 121 and Oscar 328. The Woodmizer and Norwood models will be a little more refined and user freindly, but the Hudsons are still a good mill and a good value.

Wood-Mizer LT15G19

Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 12:51:54 PM »
I've been reading good things about the HM-126 from one of the sponsors on the left, Woodland Mills.  I don't personally own one (yet) but from what I've been reading they are a great products and value.  When I finally make a mill purchase, it would likely fit my needs perfectly.  I know we have a few owners here that can chime in with their personal experiences.
Forester - Newport News Waterworks

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2015, 01:32:21 PM »
E-fan
Mistersawmill........Flippin,Arkansas.They must be in your backyard.They have mills starting @ $3k and up to $9k.They are worth a look and the convenience can't be beat.
Happy hunting,
Mick
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline goose63

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 01:48:10 PM »
E fan I looked at all the mill's be for I settled on the HM-126 I bought the extra extension so I can cut 16 feet built a trailer for it. I have sawed a few others but for the most part it's a hobby mill for my own use.
Its easy to use and fun for me. you wont cut huge amounts of lumber like the big boy's in a days time but it get's the job done 

  the little tractor is a big help

  nice walnut 

  

 
for the money I think this mill is a good deal 
goose
if you find your self in a deep hole stop digging
saw logs all day what do you get lots of lumber and a day older
thank you to all the vets

Offline DeerMeadowFarm

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 03:09:44 PM »
Nice set-up Goose! I like square body GM trucks too! ;)

Offline thecfarm

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 05:45:18 PM »
Forestman123,welcome to the forum.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline dgdrls

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2015, 06:02:26 PM »
Hi E fan,

I would look to the used market.  You should be able to
secure a lightly used Larger Mill at the same price or very close as new for a smaller machine.
Resale IMHO will be easier with a larger machine if needed

I'll add this,  I don't think you will find one person on this board who regretted 
purchasing "just a little bigger than planned"

Look to the left at EZ Boardwalk the Jr. is a dandy machine
Best
DGDrls

Offline caver

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Re: wanting a beginner mill/hobby
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 06:29:38 PM »
I was going to buy an EZ Boardwalk (nice folks) but found a lightly used Baker HD18 on Ebay that was even closer than EZB. The Baker plant is about a half hour drive from my property where the mill is used so that also helped. I see some of these videos of the small cheapo mills and I can't believe how slow it takes them to walk down a log. I too wanted to skimp on horsepower and glad I didn't. I also recommend looking at a bigger used unit. One thing I didn't anticipate with a manual mill is how much labor it is dealing with logs and the boards that are much heavier than lumber yard boards due to moisture.
Baker HD18


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