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Author Topic: What is the BEST Mill out there?  (Read 6989 times)

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Offline Nate Surveyor

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What is the BEST Mill out there?
« on: September 16, 2010, 12:02:10 pm »
I expect some bias here... whatever WE do as humans, is always "Right", but, if we lay aside our prejudices, what do YOU think is the best mill out there?

I am thinking in terms of the kind of mill that NORMAL humans get to use.... (Not that big steam powered monster, out west, that can mill ship masts!)

Stuff like Wood Miser, Timber King, and Baker Mills, etc.

I am thinking of adding a band mill, to run alongside my Peterson Swinger. Something with lots of automation, and speed. (Maybe that just broke the bank!)

Are some of the sales claims of 4-post mills "Superiority" over Cantilever (WM) style mills of much merit?

I am thinking of mills that cost less than 20k used, and maybe up to 50k new. (I don't consider mills that cost more than this, within reach of most of us)

For as long as I have been seriously intrested in mills, I feel that the band BLADE and all blade technology has improved.

I am even thinking of making my own concrete platform, with tracks, to run BOTH mills on, so as to allow BOTH mills to do what they do best.

But, I loose portability. I like the idea of portable. If there is a truly superior mill out there, that could reduce me to ONE mill, what would that be?

I LOVE the smell of fresh sawdust/chips.

And beautiful homemade lumber! (and my wife likes it too, so that is great!)

Nate

I know less than I used to.

Offline Jeff

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 12:14:04 pm »
You are the only one that can answer that. The mill has to be the perfect one for YOU and YOU are the only one that can make that determination.  Everyone here has their own ideas and there would be a huge list here if they all start answering that sort of call for an answer.  It doesn't exist except in ones own eyes.
I don't need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it - Albert Einstein
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Offline Nate Surveyor

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 12:26:36 pm »
I guess you are right. Too general of a question.


Nate
I know less than I used to.

Offline Tom

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 01:45:47 pm »
The best mill out there is mine.  Even though it cost me about $33,000, it is so good that I would be willing to take $50,000 for it.   I might even settle for $55,000 to the right person.  ;D :D

When shopping for styles, don't listen to the marketing Bull.  There is only one manufacturer that makes a cantilever sawhead.  It works great and they have been quite successful.  A lot of things are said about "other" manufacturer's because they are in competition with one another and the goal is to play "king of the mountain".

There are a lot of threads in the history of this forum that touts or condemns saw styles.  Most have found that one of the most important features of a saw is the available customer service.  Will the manufacturer be there when you need him most?  How long can you stand to be down?  Will you be provided with phone numbers, help for problem diagnosis, education, a promise of continued support, etc.  Is the manufacturer down the street, or across the country?

It makes a difference as to what you will be cutting.  are you making fence posts out of 8" logs, or mantles out 36" logs?  Do you cut logs that are knurley and contain many limb stubs or root buttresses?  Is it important that the frame be rigid or flexible?  Once leveled, will it remain level for extended periods of time?   What kind of vehicle will it take to pull it?  Will you need a CDL?

There are a lot of things that make the saw fit the sawyer, over and above the engineering and design of the hardware, so don't believe marketing and take opinions with a grain of salt.  :)

extinct

Offline paul case

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 01:51:20 pm »
wrong tom,
mine is the best for me right now anyway!  pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
 WM 94 LT40 hd. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 03:51:48 pm »
Like some other forms of commitment, pick a good one and stop looking around afterwards.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   W-M LT40SHDD w/42HP Kubota, Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. LogRite fetching arch, capstan PortaWinch, W-M CBN sharpener/dual setter. Rens P4000 Metal detector.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 04:33:21 pm »


It boils down to:  It depends on who you ask!   ;)
~Chuck~
Retired USAF, Retired School Bus Driver, and now a Mobile Sawyer
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Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook and others.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline RichlandSawyer

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 04:42:12 pm »
I have found the best bandmill is the one with the band blade that runs level to the log bed at high tension and at around 5000fpm. Everything else on the mill is either for ease of use or just making it look cool. My mill is homebuilt and when I designed it I started with the above parameters and worked my way back out to the tires and hitch. There is a fellar on here that built what I nicknamed the Yamasaw, it was built from a motorcycle and the coolest low budget mill ever. I would be willing to bet my homebuilt, roberts yamasaw and Jeffs woodmiser will cut through an 8" cant at the same speed and the board finish would be almost identical. Of course Jeff would be back on the front porch of the cabin sipping coffee before the rest of us even got the log on the mill but you get the point. Tom is right mine is the best because I built it, roberts is the best because he loves the purr of a two stroke rice burner and Jeff's is the best because he needs hydraulics for a bad back.

Richland Sawyer
Every log i open up, a board falls out!!!

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 04:57:00 pm »


It boils down to:  It depends on who you ask!   ;)
i was referring to getting married so yes it depends on who you ask for sure  :D :D :D :D :D
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   W-M LT40SHDD w/42HP Kubota, Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. LogRite fetching arch, capstan PortaWinch, W-M CBN sharpener/dual setter. Rens P4000 Metal detector.

Offline isawlogs

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 05:05:38 pm »

 To me , the best mill out there is the one you are confortable to own/use/operate and can afford , you can always upgrade from there.
 
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2010, 05:10:13 pm »
I agree with the others who have answered your question.  Having said that, after my experience with Woodmizer's mills and with their organization I can't imagine buying any other brand of bandmill.

Tom

Offline isawlogs

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2010, 05:24:25 pm »

  My dad , after using my mill a few times  ;)  Decided last year would be a good year for him to get a mill. Found him a manual mill for sale near here and send him some pics and he is now the proud owner of a Board Bandit mill made by Enercraft Mills  ( Enercraft was bought by Baker a few years ago)
   
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2010, 06:46:08 pm »
I agree with the others who have answered your question.  Having said that, after my experience with Woodmizer's mills and with their organization I can't imagine buying any other brand of bandmill.

Tom
Having grown accustomed to Wood-Mizer's excellent tech and other service and availability of all parts I'd be very nervous about picking some other brand without doing a lot of checking around.  My mill is 10 yrs old soon and I hope to have it for another 10 without it becoming obsolete.   These things cost so much that if you couldn't keep it going with free tech service and parts availability it would be a financial mistake to buy one for the average sawyer who needs many years to make it pay.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT   W-M LT40SHDD w/42HP Kubota, Peterson WPF 10-30 with chain slabber. LogRite fetching arch, capstan PortaWinch, W-M CBN sharpener/dual setter. Rens P4000 Metal detector.

Offline ronwood

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 06:49:52 pm »
The way a mill cuts has a lot to do with maintenance and good sharp blades. When I was looking to buy good customer service, hydraulics, and I mill that I was able to pull around with 11/2 ton pickup was my concerns.
Sawing part time mostly urban logs -St. Louis/Warrenton, Mo.
LT40HG25 Woodmizer Sawmill
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 08:24:51 pm »

  I have been around quite a few mills since I first got into and bought one.  Most mills use parts that you can get at almost any auto parts store. Those manual mills , well alls they have are bearings , those you can get at any bearing shop. As far as I know , Woodmizer would be of the few mill manufacturers that have custom parts made for there mills, most of the others use off the shelf parts. The knowledge of the mill and of its use will come with experience. 
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline jpgreen

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2010, 12:03:43 am »
Kawamizer.  

Representing the best in the spirit of Japanese and American cooperation.

Accept no substitute...  ;D
-95 Wood-Mizer LT40HD 27 Hp Kawasaki water cooled engine-

Offline ScottAR

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2010, 01:51:38 am »
One that's paid for.
Scott
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Offline weisyboy

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2010, 05:26:54 am »
the one i have designed in my head over the last 4 years wile i walk back and forth pushing the lucas.

nothing on the market ticks all the boxes. some come close.


Offline ely

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2010, 08:52:52 am »
heres one we can all agree upon, the all time best mill out there is the one that is paid for and cuts true, flat , straight lumber.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: What is the BEST Mill out there?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2010, 09:44:19 am »
Kawamizer.  

Representing the best in the spirit of Japanese and American cooperation.

Accept no substitute...  ;D
\\

ditto

 

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