portamill in seattle

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Forum topic by emart posted 04-10-2012 02:37 AM 4242 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 2826 days

04-10-2012 02:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: portable mill milling portamill porta-mill

about a week ago at 5 am i was woken to up the merry sound of a 60 ft black locust falling down in my front yard, clipping my roof, and taking out my power line. fast forward to friday april 6. that tree and all the other 6 nearby have been cut up into logs so now i have several thousand pounds of logs in my yard and no way to take advantage of it.

does anyone in the seattle area know of a porta-mill i can rent? i want to salvage as much of this wood as i can since it is notorious for being dense and having unique grain. i tried to split a small log and re-saw it on my bandsaw but the wood is just too dense to split and cut up quickly with my machines. i am hoping to make some rustic furniture with it as well as some fine projects too. i will post pictures soon including some of the grain from the one log i managed to cut up

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

16 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18388 posts in 3874 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 03:54 AM

No idea about the mill, but I have had a little luck resawing with my chain saw. Draw a lay out line and allow for a lot of waste.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3846 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 04:08 AM

Nobody who owns a mill is likely to rent it to you. There’s
too much damage an inexperienced operator can do to
the machine. If I owned a mill I wouldn’t rent it to you.

That said, there are used mills available in your area which
you could buy, use and resell without a huge amount of
trouble as long as you can afford to keep some money tied
up in the tool for awhile. Smaller mills hold value well.
Larger ones depreciate more due to the smaller pool
of qualified buyers.

There are lots of sawmill owner/users in the Northwest as
well. Some might do the work for a portion of the wood
in addition to a cash tip to cover expenses.


Looked at your profile. You do SCA stuff?

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2826 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 04:19 AM

well when i say rent i should have really said hire. im looking for a portamill service or nearby lumbermill that i can hire to do this for me. i kind of wish i had room for a lathe in my shop i could make a LOT of bowls from the short pieces

i dont actually so much SCA but i do make my own armor and costume props for reenactors or conventions

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3846 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 04:43 AM

I used to be involved in it. These days I reckon the convention
scene is bigger.

View WDHLT15's profile


1792 posts in 2674 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 10:50 AM

A lot of sawyers advertise on Craigslist. Check the Farm and Garden section and the Materials section and Services section. I took a quick look and found three:

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View bruc101's profile


1260 posts in 3740 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 01:22 PM

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3156 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 03:07 PM

You may notice a lack of projects boasting about being made of black locust…there’s a reason for that, and it is due to the fact that it is a miserable wood on blades. It is so full of silica it will send sparks from a chainsaw ( I have had that happen). I wouldn’t slice it up on my mill unless a customer was willing to give me blade money up front. Not trying to discourage you, just getting you some less-than-wonderful facts before you make the investment. Best of luck if you do.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2826 days

#8 posted 04-10-2012 04:30 PM

yeah i can see that being a problem. i do want to keep it however because it is unusual and its not easy getting hardwoods here. unless the wood you want is pine you will just about sell your soul for decent woods here. a plank of 1×5x6 oak is about $50 here.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3156 days

#9 posted 04-11-2012 09:56 PM

Wow, that’s hard to believe; I’m south of you, just across the Columbia river in NW Oregon, we have a dozen types of trees growing all over the place. Several sawyers around, many selling wood cut from yards or fields. I have probably 2k bf of burled and/or high figure big-leaf maple slabs, some black walnut, english walnut, cherry, silver maple, another maple I can’t remember what type… lots of stuff. I’m putting a kiln together this year, hope to dry some up. If you want I’ll let you know when I do and get you a much better price; I’d deliver it to Seattle in a volume deal.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View alterjax's profile


2 posts in 2411 days

#10 posted 05-04-2012 03:47 PM

I would be willing to work out a deal with you for some locust. I don’t have 5 posts so I can’t send you a message yet. Maybe you could msg me.

View Allanwoodworks's profile


112 posts in 3039 days

#11 posted 05-04-2012 10:52 PM


I have a portable woodmizer saw mill. I live out in North Bend. If your still intrested please send me a PM and Ill get you my information.

-- Ty, Up in Washington

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3159 days

#12 posted 05-05-2012 02:42 PM

Don’t have the info in front of me but I found a listing of sawyers on the websites of portable sawmill manufacturers.

View silentguy's profile


2 posts in 2317 days

#13 posted 08-06-2012 10:38 PM

I know this is an old thread but this info might help others. I found a list of Wood Mizer owners from Woodmizer. I had to call WoodMizer and they verbally told me about 10 people.

For Seattle, there was only 1 person who was willing to come to the city, most of the mill owners were far in other cities or counties, or on the islands.

He probably doesnt need the business, as he is very busy, but I would recommend Matt Bell in Snoqualmie, Washington.
You can get his number by calling Woodmizer, or if it’s ok to post that here, I can do that, but I would rather not post it publiclly without permission.

He is a great sawyer, very thorough and professional, and with a lot of knowledge of his mill and how to use it.

He cut 4 logs of A Douglas fir tree for me in about 3.5 hours.
I got lots of 2X4s, 2X6’s, 6X6’s, two slabs, and 2 large squared logs.

View silentguy's profile


2 posts in 2317 days

#14 posted 08-06-2012 10:46 PM

I found info. on Matt Bells company online. Since this is already public info, I thought it ok to post here.

Tokul Creek Forest Services
4629 Tokul Rd Se
Snoqualmie, WA, United States
(425) 888-1849

View Cindy Braunheim's profile

Cindy Braunheim

51 posts in 2813 days

#15 posted 10-26-2014 06:15 PM

Hi, emart -

I realize the age of this thread may make my inquiry obsolete, but thought I’d give it a shot. I lost an old cherry tree last weekend (not in last night’s storm) and would like to mill the trunk. What was your final solution and outcome to your locust problem?

Thanks in advance for your time – from Burien,

-- Cindy in Seattle,

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