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Forum topic by Don W posted 01-23-2012 11:11 PM 7186 views 2 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


01-23-2012 11:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw mill bandsaw mill

I’ve got a pile of logs that I’d like to make into lumber. I had thought about doing it with my Alaskan Mill but the pile grew larger than anticipated once all the trees were cut. My now older body is telling me that’s not going to be fun.

I got an estimate from a local sawer with a bandsaw and it came out to about $1200. I suspect he quoted a little high to cover himself but that’s still halfway to something like this.

http://www.lumbersmith.com/products.php?cat=5

I’ve got 4 heavy 10’ I beams, 2 would make a nice track for almost everything I’d cut. If I wanted longer I could bolt 2 together to get 20’.

My concern is the 5.5 hp engine. I’m not in a hurry, and don’t mind cutting slow, but if its going to be as much work as the Alaskan mill, I haven’t gained anything.

I can’t really justify $10-15,000 for another toy for occasional use.

Has anybody used these smaller mills? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com


33 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11453 posts in 1751 days


#1 posted 01-23-2012 11:31 PM

DW that thing looks pretty cool. It really remonds me of a horizontal bandsaw on 2 pilings that would allow for height adjustments. Id love to mill some lumber myself but my yard is not very condusive to getting machinery into it (its a big hill with obstacles everywhere you go). Ill be watchign this for sure. 2k isnt a bad deal to be able to mill. It will increase your GI to a new level!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1635 posts in 1732 days


#2 posted 01-23-2012 11:42 PM

That setup looks similar to this DIY version only with a gas motor.
I checked it out and the wheels look small to me. I looked at the specs and never did see the diameter of the wheels though. If the wheels are too small for a wide blade the life expectancy of a blade will be shortened by having to make a tight radius around the small wheels.

Here is a HF bandmill made in the USA too. Here is some discussion on it.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1982 days


#3 posted 01-24-2012 01:11 PM

I went though the same issues last year. I needed quality figured lumber for my woodworking projects. I bought a new Timberking 1220 manual sawmill and paid retail price for it. I looked for a used sawmill to save some money, but I couldn’t find a used one near me. The Timberking 1220 was my choice between all the manual mills on the market because it will saw a slightly larger log than the other mills plus it looks like it’s built a lot heaver than the others. While I was searching for a used mill, I would have bought almost any of the mills on the market because the differences between them are very slight. They will all make good lumber and all of them need to be maintained. A sawmill is dealing with heavy logs and as much as you baby it, it still gets rough treatment. They are actually simple machines and almost anything that breaks can be fixed by the owner. Here’s a great search site: http://www.searchtempest.com It’s a search engine that searches Craig’s List and you can put in your zip code, limit the search area to as far from home as you’d want to drive, and lump all the results on one page. I searched the 12090 zip code and limited the search to 400 miles. There are several used sawmills listed for sale now below $6000. I’d expect to spend $4500 to $5500 for a sawmill like mine in used condition. I found a Timberking 1200 listed for $3200. http://buffalo.craigslist.org/grd/2790205531.html I’ll also be glad to explain how to move 6000 lb logs, load them on your mill and turn them to cut lumber without hydraulics.

Another site to search for a used sawmill is: http://www.sawmillexchange.com/band.htm

There is a Kasco manual mill with a 16 hp motor listed that is priced at $4500. Remember, this is a used mill and the owner may take less or trade for something. It will saw a 24” X 27’ log. Here’s a picture from the ad.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


#4 posted 01-24-2012 02:42 PM

Hal, thanks for the information. Its really helpful.

I would still like to see how (or hear) how the 5.5 motor cuts. I don’t have a lot of room, and the portability is what is the draw on the lumber smith for me. I need to make sure it will cut what I need it to cut though. Slow is ok, but poor quality lumber is not.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1982 days


#5 posted 01-24-2012 03:03 PM

Don,

I have a 25hp engine on my sawmill and it cuts through 29” of red oak like it was butter. If I was looking for a sawmill, a 15 hp or bigger would be the least I’d consider and I’d have to see it cut before I bought it. I didn’t pay the extra $1000 for the trailer kit. I’ve moved my mill a couple of times and it doesn’t take long at all to remove 4 bolts to remove one section of track, slide the saw head away from the trailer, jack up the front, back my 4’x8’ Harbor freight trailer under the log deck, push the saw head to the front of the trailer, strap the mill down, and load the extra section of track behind the saw head and strap it down. If I ever need more portability, I’m going to weld some angle to the trailer bed so I can pin the trailer at the junction of the 1st and 2nd deck sections with the tongue removed and bolt a tongue to the front of the log deck. The frame has the pin holes ready for the factory axel and I’ve got all the parts to convert my trailer to move the mill quickly. So far, I’ve not seen the need for portability. It’s easier to haul logs to the mill. If I was sawing for other people, portability might be more important. Look for local sawmills and go visit them to see a mill in operation. Good luck with your search.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View zacker's profile

zacker

5 posts in 1379 days


#6 posted 01-24-2012 03:16 PM

wow, I guess I should consider myself lucky to live very close to this guy…

http://crosswindssawmill.com/index.html

He’ll be cutting up some wood for me, I have two chunks of Ambrosia Maple (Or is that Maple Ambrosia? lol) from a huge tree I took down this past summer, they are about 10 feet long and 16 or so inches wide. One will be a coffee table top and the other a fireplace mantel beam. the rest he said, he will cut into 1” thick boards for me unless I want something else… $60.00 Now I just need to figure out a way to load them onto my truck…lol

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

587 posts in 1244 days


#7 posted 01-24-2012 06:23 PM

You might be interested by this web site :
http://www.diybandmill.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

It seems 5.5 hp would be on the lowest side but still much more than what Matthias W. used (betwen 1 and 2HP) in its experiment pointed to by SASmith here above.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5446 posts in 1343 days


#8 posted 01-24-2012 09:22 PM

Don, how many bf are you estimating on this current crop? $1200 seems high but if you got a few thousand bf maybe it isnt so bad. He takes the risk and backaches, you take the wood. Can you get gim down by offering to help, use of the tractor, or trade in wood? The little mill in the pic doesnt wow me, but what do I know? If you are routinely planning on doing this hire the guy. If you are going to do this, get a bigger one and sell some to recover the money. I guess that would be my take. Either way, looks like some lumber in your future. Always a good thing.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


#9 posted 01-24-2012 10:04 PM

Shane, lets just say a bandsaw mill has been on my “dream” list for a long time. This is a info gathering attempt, but I’m thinking this may be the time. Where I live, its common to come across decent logs, plus, i can use it as a resaw bandsaw instead of buying a bigger bandsaw for my shop. Last, I burn firewood for heat, so buying firewood logs often turns up a decent log or 2 that just can’t get burnt.

I have no idea how to figure board footage from logs, but here is what he quoted the price off.

I just need to determine what price is right. I know I can justify something like $2400. Can I go more? Maybe. I know it will pay for itself over time.

I’ve thought about building one, but for the cost of some of these, especially used one, I don’t think its worth it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View zacker's profile

zacker

5 posts in 1379 days


#10 posted 01-24-2012 10:11 PM

@ Shane.. I hear ya about fire wood being saved from the splitter….lol my wife says when i cut wood its like, one for the fire, one for me… lol She asked me to pull out and cut up a huge old stump that was in a pile of old firewood from the previous owner of our propert, I made one cut, threww the whole stump into my trailer and put it in my garage / shop… it was all Spalted maple!!! lol no way thats going in the stove!!!

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5446 posts in 1343 days


#11 posted 01-24-2012 11:14 PM

Don I found an equation. Diameter inside bark, in inches minus 4, squared, times length of log in feet, divided by 16. So 22” diam log 12’ yields 243bf.

(22-4)sqx12diveded by 16=bf

View Don W's profile

Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


#12 posted 01-24-2012 11:17 PM

when I get home this week I’ll do some quick calculations. I knew the formulas was out there, just never thought to go look.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1982 days


#13 posted 01-24-2012 11:36 PM

Don,

Here’s a couple of web sites that have calculators for almost every timber and lumber calculation you will ever need.

http://www.woodweb.com/Resources/RSCalculators.html

This one also has a complete zip file of all the calculators that you can save to your laptop and take to the woods or to your sawmill.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=toolbox

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1982 days


#14 posted 01-25-2012 05:49 PM

Don,

Sawmill Magazine has a special this month and this issue is a free download.

http://www.sawmillmag.com

It has a review of this years sawmill shootout and a lot of information. They have a DVD with every issue on it for $110. I have been planning to get a subscription for some time. After reading this issue, I may add it to my magazine list.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15519 posts in 1312 days


#15 posted 01-25-2012 06:33 PM

thanks Hal. I’ve downloaded the current issue and will take a look.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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