LumberJocks

Question on Saw for Milling Logs

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by GuyK posted 08-31-2012 11:14 AM 1271 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View GuyK's profile

GuyK

356 posts in 2732 days


08-31-2012 11:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question milling saw milling

At the farm we have been using a Woodmizer mill to cut logs that was loaned to us. Now we are thinking of buying our own to have. Ask me about tools for the woodshop and I will come with a answer but about tools for milling logs, I am lost. So I am asking for your input. What would you buy, company, style, etc. I need a education on this. Reason for all this is we still have over 200 logs to mill.

Thanks

-- Guy Kroll www.thelandsathillsidefarms.org


22 replies so far

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1651 days


#1 posted 08-31-2012 12:22 PM

Stuff like peaveys and cant hooks to move logs. Winches and chains/cables to lift. If you are going to do it a lot, a torch and other blade welding/brazing equipment. Do enough volume, you will be wanting a forklift, a-frames, maybe a pole truck and flatbed. Drying kiln.

200 logs may seem like a lot but unless you plan on doing it full time and permanently, it is cheaper to rent or hire out the milling. Heavy equipment and it’s maintenance is not cheap. Processing all the material and then waiting until it is usable is a really long term commitment.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1185 posts in 949 days


#2 posted 08-31-2012 01:25 PM

Did you like the Woodmizer? Friends with a mill have one and no major complaints.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#3 posted 08-31-2012 01:58 PM

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 763 days


#4 posted 08-31-2012 02:33 PM

Don

Does that saw run down the log or does the log run through the saw? Is it on rollers?

Could that whole mill be mounted on something like an old boat trailer and made portable?

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#5 posted 08-31-2012 03:25 PM

The bandsaw mill is on rollers. They can be purchased with a trailer kit.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7550 posts in 2301 days


#6 posted 08-31-2012 03:31 PM

If money isn’t an issue (band mills are cheaper)
the swing blade mills are pretty cool.

Swing blade mills have excellent resale value too,
probably better than a Woodmizer.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 763 days


#7 posted 08-31-2012 03:52 PM

The bandsaw mill is on rollers.
You should make a video of it cutting boards.

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#8 posted 08-31-2012 04:00 PM

Emma just go here for that http://www.hud-son.com/

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

View Emma Walker's profile

Emma Walker

560 posts in 763 days


#9 posted 08-31-2012 04:54 PM

How do you dry the boards? I heard that if you stick stack them under a tarp behind the garage they’ll never get down to the right moisture level.

EDIT:
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/41165 <—- I spamming my own topic

-- I'm a twisted 2x4 in a pile of straight lumber.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

384 posts in 921 days


#10 posted 08-31-2012 05:21 PM

timberking has the best saws and they are very helpfully

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#11 posted 08-31-2012 11:01 PM

DO NOT stack boards under a tarp! They need airflow. A gentle breeze is fine. Tarps tend to collect water on the underside (most are not breathable). Put a roof over it and have the sides open for airflow but no direct sunlight or water exposure.

Get whatever size bandsaw mill you need. The proper one will usually be determined on how much wood you plan to cut, the rates at which you want to cut, the size you want to process, and the level of support/know-how you have or want.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#12 posted 08-31-2012 11:03 PM

And of course, how much money you have.

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

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 917 days


#13 posted 08-31-2012 11:15 PM

Don, too true. Too true.

I’m buying a bandsaw mill soon that can handle 36” logs. It’s great having a giant chainsaw mill… but I’d rather spend more time building furniture than milling logs.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Scott Wunder's profile

Scott Wunder

13 posts in 752 days


#14 posted 09-01-2012 04:47 AM

Guy,

The question you have asked sounds simple, but it has a lot of variables based on who is asking. You will need to think about your uses, now and in the future. For example, are you 200 logs and done? Do you need the 200 cut quickly or can you take your time? How much time do you have? I could go on like this forever, but here is a quick rundown from a guy that has owned the following five sawmills.

1. Alaskan Chainsaw mill: You are beyond this already. You have had a taste of real production and can’t go back. This mill is good for a few logs per month.

2. Lucas Swing Mill: Cool machine, capable of some production. I see it as a great support machine that can help out with giant logs and giant slabs. Not for milling day in and day out of regular sized logs. I owned this mill at the same time as a bandsaw mill and they were a great combination. Regular logs went to the bandsaw and oddballs went to the Lucas.

3. Bandsaw Mill: I have owned a Kasco and TimberKing, but also use a Wood-Mizer. These are probably the best all-around mill which explains their popularity. I am not a fan of the wavy cuts when the blade isn’t really sharp, the lower horsepower, and the slower feed speeds. These mills are the safest and have the least amount of waste.

4. Circle mill: I owned an old Corley. I loved that thing and wish I had it back. A good circle mill can bust up some logs quickly and accurately. These feel the most like a sawmill to me. Circle mills have more waste and are more dangerous. I was nervous about putting in a circle mill because it seemed like a big jump, but once installed it was like any other tool (just something that I used). Old handset circle mills can be purchased cheaply, but are not portable and take awhile to set up.

The first choice is probably between circle and band. Most will choose a bandsaw to keep things simple. They are quick to set up and use, parts are available and they can handle a wide variety of tasks. Unless you specifically want a circle saw for nostalgic purposes (old handset machine) or blazing speed (newer automatic machine) you will end up with a bandsaw.

After you have decided to buy a bandsaw consider this: How much are you going to be cutting, how fast does it need to get done, and how hard you willing/able to work? I run a TimberKing 1220 manual mill and I am amazingly pleased with it for the small price tag. In a day of working hard I can cut, edge, stack and cut up slabs for about 500 bd. ft. of lumber. I usually think of it in logs (about 6 per day). When we cut with the Wood-Mizer LT 40 hydraulic we can get more done. A hard day on the Wood-Mizer with help can produce about 1,000 bd. ft.

The bigger hydraulic mills do cut faster, but not 100 times faster. If you needed to cut up 200 logs with a manual bandsaw mill, it will probably take about 33 days of milling or with a hydraulic mill about 16 days. It’s a big difference, but not worth the price difference in the mills of $18,000. That 16 days would cost $1,125 per day.

I recommend starting with a manual mill and see how it goes. The manual bandsaw mill will still produce quality lumber, and then if you find yourself wanting to cut more and with more speed, you can always upgrade. If you purchased used, which I recommend, you would lose very little money if you decided to sell.

As I say this, I have two friends that bought mills after me and both bought new LT40’s even though they weren’t cutting full-time. They are happy with their mills and I haven’t heard them complain about the extra money they spent. They are nice mills and Wood-Mizer has great resale.

My ultimate pick would be an automatic circle mill with a top saw and vertical edger. Then I could cut up a log in about 5 minutes and amaze all of my friends. The problem is the cost of a machine like that and having enough logs to keep it fed.

If you have any specific questions before you purchase feel free to call me at 314-574-6036 to discuss.

-- Scott Wunder, WunderWoods, St. Charles, MO. Read my sawmilling and woodworking blog at http://www.wunderwoods.com

View GuyK's profile

GuyK

356 posts in 2732 days


#15 posted 09-01-2012 10:07 AM

Thanks everyone for the great feed back, this is just what I was looking for.

Scott Wunder thank you for all the detailed information. We are leaning towards the Wood Mizer LT40. That seems to have everything that we are looking for along with some great reviews. As far as only having the 200 logs to do, no we will have a lot more in the future. We plan on having the mill we buy for a long time and using it often.

Scott stay by the phone, I am sure in the near future I will be calling as we get closer to our final pick.

Thanks again to everyone and keep the information coming.

-- Guy Kroll www.thelandsathillsidefarms.org

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase