LumberJocks

Time for a bandmill?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Jarrett posted 02-07-2016 03:01 AM 698 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jarrett's profile

Jarrett

70 posts in 595 days


02-07-2016 03:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

By day I’m a Chef, but by night I make children’s learning furniture and am very fortunate to have more orders than I can shake a stick at. Up until now, I’ve been utilizing reclaimed lumber and accenting it with cherry and ash. The reclaimed lumber came from a few barns I dismantled when I was a contractor and the cherry and ash came from house sites I cleared. I’m really starting to burn through it now that orders have picked up, but sometimes it kills me to put a piece of lumber through the powermatic planer only to see it come out the other side with a gleaming nail that I must have missed with the metal detector. The cherry and ash and all other lumber I have comes from a circle mill, so it takes a pass or two through the planer to whittle it down flat and get most of the sawmarks off of the board.

With all above said, I’m about to bite the bullet on a small portable bandmill (Woodland 126 or something of the like, then upgrade later if it works out enough to become necessary) so I can get some more lumber in the dry and not have to plane down as much, or watch for as many nails…and also be able to saw logs to my advantage leaving crooks and live edge for certain projects if need be.
My only fear is that I want this endeavor to help my current hobby, not build another hobby entirely, but I have always had trouble on putting blinders on and focusing on one aspect and not the other.

Thanks for any thoughts!
-Jarrett

-- Jarrett http://www.cattywampuswoodworks.com


12 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1493 days


#1 posted 02-07-2016 03:10 AM

Seems like those hidden nails, that mess up the planer, would also be hard on the bandsaw blade.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Jarrett's profile

Jarrett

70 posts in 595 days


#2 posted 02-07-2016 03:15 AM

Very true, but hopefully not as many nails hidden in trees than all the barnwood! Plus I can take a hit on a bandsaw blade more than replacing helical bits! And the actual yield of usable wood from reclaimed lumber is beginning to take a toll on what I’m able to produce in a given time

-- Jarrett http://www.cattywampuswoodworks.com

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 687 days


#3 posted 02-07-2016 03:18 AM

i applaud your enthusiasm, but hope you look at EVERYTHING involved in turning logs to lumber.
logs arent light. an 8’ -18” diameter ash log weighs about 800 lbs.
http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/calculators/calc.pl?calculator=log_weight&metric=

and they dont get on the mill themselves.
plus you have to find the logs to mill.
then the supporting cast-mainly the blades. a supply of a dozen or so of various hook angles, tpi, widths…..
then getting them sharpened.
then theres the drying process. theres a science to drying.

and it still has to be planed.

thetes a lot of good info on the www on the process of getting logs to lumber, on milling and drying techniques, and everything involved on the subject.

i like the enthusiasm, but from what i read your best option would be to look for other suppliers for your lumber.

View Jarrett's profile

Jarrett

70 posts in 595 days


#4 posted 02-07-2016 03:25 AM

Yes, that’s what I’m afraid of, that I’ll be back in the sawmill business and start to stray from the furniture business. I’ve run a friend’s frick circle mill for years and still have equipment associated with it such as loaders, forklift, etc, and have kiln set up with railroad track for ease of loading, but since I’m not building houses and barns anymore, it’s harder to justify it and still be able to keep my eyes open for my day job. Bottom line: I’m frugal as all get out and hate paying someone for what I can do in my dreams..haha

-- Jarrett http://www.cattywampuswoodworks.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2158 days


#5 posted 02-07-2016 03:39 AM

I bought a used WoodMizer off CL (too good a deal to pass up). It paid for itself in 62 days! That’s the good news. The rest of the story is that I enjoy sawing logs so much that I rarely build anything in the shop! I’ve done better selling live edge slabs than I did selling chairs, tables, boxes, etc. As you are aware, it is a lot of work (stacking and stickering) but the sawing is worth it to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 687 days


#6 posted 02-07-2016 01:53 PM

well, reads like you have the supporting cast and knowledge of whats involved. maybe if you figure out scheduling the time to mill. maybe determine how much lumber you use in a month then spend a day or 2 a month on the mill. you could cut enough lumber for a month, then keep yourself ahead so what you would cut,say, today and tomorrow would be used in march, then in march cut what ya would use in april,etc.

it seems as long as you keep the mill cutting for personal use you shouldnt get back into it full time.
but i think i see where youre comin from. i could see me owning a mill for the same thing,then having someone want me to mill a log or 2, which i couldnt turn down as i like to see what the lumber looks like jn a log.
then another
then another.

View Jarrett's profile

Jarrett

70 posts in 595 days


#7 posted 02-07-2016 03:19 PM

That was my thought exactly as I hit the hay last night…I don’t go through tons of lumber, but if I figure out just how many pieces I can physically build in one month (maybe 8 or so) and then just keep it stocked and another batch drying. I’m fortunate enough to have a great friend that I trust that has Crohn’s disease that limits his ability of working a full time job for any outfit, but is gifted at everything he touches as a mechanic and craftsman and he loves the idea of using the bandmill (and has lots of experience with them) so hopefully that will take the pressure off of milling friends logs or trading use for more logs from folks…but again, I’m going in on entry level small mill to keep me from going whole hog and forgetting why I bought it in the first place. I was a nervous wreck back in the day managing a circle mill with a crew of seven and trying to build houses at the same time..don’t ever want to go back to that scenario.

-- Jarrett http://www.cattywampuswoodworks.com

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

700 posts in 692 days


#8 posted 02-07-2016 03:27 PM

Just a warning…

As soon as you get your entry level, you’re going to have access to a log that’s too big to go through it and you’re going to be wanting a larger one.

Just like buying a jointer, get a 6” you’ll need an 8. Get an 8, you’ll need a 12…

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2465 posts in 1877 days


#9 posted 02-08-2016 02:53 AM



Just a warning…

As soon as you get your entry level, you re going to have access to a log that s too big to go through it and you re going to be wanting a larger one.

Just like buying a jointer, get a 6” you ll need an 8. Get an 8, you ll need a 12…

- AZWoody

Then you need a BIGGER shop to handle all that new equipment. Try explaining that to your spouse, or why the shop is bigger than the house. ROFLMAO

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7489 posts in 1475 days


#10 posted 02-08-2016 05:35 PM

I’ve been helping a friend this past week with sawmilling his logs. He cut down 100 pine trees on his property and found a guy to come in with a sawmill. We cut the 20 footers last week, next we start on the 12footers.

I USED to think it would be cool to have a sawmill, but not any more. Man that is some of the most labor-intensive work I’ve ever done !
.
.

.
.

.

.

.

.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 687 days


#11 posted 02-08-2016 05:44 PM

most definately laborous,joe! fresh out of high shool i got a job in a saw mill.i thought i was in pretty good shape.
i thought wrong. i did get used to it, but it was an extremely sore 4 weeks until then.
i think back to then and wonder if i was into woodworking back then would i have hoarded lumber?

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7489 posts in 1475 days


#12 posted 02-08-2016 06:28 PM



most definately laborous,joe! fresh out of high shool i got a job in a saw mill.i thought i was in pretty good shape.
i thought wrong. i did get used to it, but it was an extremely sore 4 weeks until then.
i think back to then and wonder if i was into woodworking back then would i have hoarded lumber?

- tomsteve

Right you are! Sweeping and stickering is the WORST ! This is definitely a “younger” man’s job. Too much for an old man (I’m 63)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com