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Author Topic: Best upgrade I can make to my mill  (Read 1909 times)

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Offline DanMc

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Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« on: October 23, 2017, 12:31:17 pm »
As I work with my HM126 and get acquainted with the process of milling logs, I have done a great deal of thinking about what comes next as far as improvements to the equipment:
- Cooks roller guides
- Improved clamping
- A debarker
- A small mill shed
- etc, etc. 

While going through a few logs this weekend, it finally occurred to me:  The best upgrade I can make would be a load of good quality logs!!!!  I spend so much time picking through my small pile of logs, looking for something that I can cut into nice beams or lumber, then I end up tossing out a bunch of it because it's not worth stacking.  Additionally, I don't have a good supply of a single species of wood, so I end up stickering a mixed bag of this and that.

So I need to find the best price on a small load of logs in the Conway, NH or Brownfield, ME.  My place is in Conway, but really is closer to Brownfield.  Does anybody have any contacts for a small-time logger that I can call?

If I wanted some good white pine or spruce for general construction, what should I expect it to cost?  The only logs I have ever purchased were for firewood, and that was in MA. 

Woodland HM126 mill
JD 4600 tractor
28 acres of trees.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 12:40:36 pm »
I know nothing about the prices of logs or what is even available, but I will say if you bought your mill, you surely looked into others and possible options, so from this point my suggestion would be to saw what you have, make staking 4x's out of the junk, and as many stickers as you can, and let these dry out some,, the tool box here has lots of good easy to use functions so you can figure whats possible with what you have to saw.  At this point, you should have a better idea of what you can do with your mill, and what you may want or need to do as to mods,, hope it all goes well for you, patience and flexibility is a virtue, and pretty much required,,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline TKehl

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 01:10:29 pm »
What do you plan to do with the lumber?  I wouldn't buy logs unless I knew what I was doing with the lumber.  Too much free wood out there.

For upgrades (in no particular order):

Edger
Air dry shed
Solar or DH Kiln
Cover for at least the cutting head of the mill
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline fishfighter

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 01:13:51 pm »
I own a 126 and yes, I did some up grades. Got two more in the planning stage and picking up what I need. ;D

Don't know what logs prices are, but what I did was turn a old camper trailer into a log trailer. From there, I had ran a ad on craigslist for syp logs. Yep, picked up many for free. ;D Few loads in paid for my trailer. Now when I get a little low on log supplies, I run a ad.

This is my trailer.

 

 

By installing an arch and 12V winch, I'm able to load them myself with no problem. That is the ticket to getting free logs. ;D

 

 

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 06:49:20 pm »
Dan it says you have 28 acres of trees and a tractor sounds like most of the ingredients you need for happy milling. Logger Dan before sawyer Dan. Sometimes you can lure loggers and truckers with an easy drop off site and good cash especially if the local mills have a glut and are picky. Frank C.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 07:35:15 pm »
I'll add my 2 cents from when I had a manual LT15.

For the mill itself, put a set of wheels under it, if it's not on a trailer, to get it off the ground and where it can be moved for when you need to work in it, or mill in the shade, or out of the wind, etc.  It makes all the difference.

Once it's up off the ground, it's a simple matter to put a winch driven claw turner on it an a bunch of other stuff.

I had an old thread where I modded my manual mill.
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,53476.20.html

 
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Offline DanMc

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 09:02:08 am »
Everybody, I do appreciate all of your input.

I love the ideas of getting free logs, and also of being Logger Dan as well as Sawyer Dan.  The issue I have is that there is only one of me.  We have lived in MA for 20+ years, and now have this splendid 28 acres in NH where we would love to be able to spend more time.  The problem is that of something called a J.O.B.  I am not retired, but this place up in NH is a step in that direction.  So my time comes at a premium.  I get every-other weekend to go up to NH and hang out in the woods, and milling logs is just one thing I/we do while we are there.  I'm working on accumulating enough milled lumber to build decent structures to store the tractor, snow mobile, ATVs, mill, and whatever other stuff we have up there.  A couple years ago I put in one of those temporary tarp shelters and now after only 2 years it's already leaking and I sometimes find a pool of water on the tractor seat.  This winter it's likely that I'll go up there after a heavy snowfall and find the tarp has given up.  What a waste of money that was.  I saw one guy that has covered his with metal roofing.  Maybe I'll do that. 

Anyway, I could save a great deal of time if I had a pile of excellent quality logs that I can zip through quickly and get consistent lumber for a timberframe mill shed and then a small barn/garage for the tractor, etc.  I'd rather spend a little money on that load of logs rather than getting a load of already milled lumber.  Much of the pleasure and mystique in this is to have the milled-on-site rough-sawn lumber being used for these buildings.  I agree that it would save me a great deal of time just to buy the lumber, but that's one thing I don't want to compromise on. 

Woodland HM126 mill
JD 4600 tractor
28 acres of trees.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2017, 08:34:27 pm »
Dan, NH folks tend to be clannish especially to us southern new England folks you may have a problem getting logs without being taken. There may be tree service company's around Conway that take down yard trees, that the big mills won't take. Spent the long weekend at a friends camp on Bear Notch road in the park, traffic was terrible in Conway. Lucky we know the back roads. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 09:33:00 pm »
The best and most cost effective upgrade you can add is hands down a debarker.
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Offline Percy

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2017, 10:54:16 pm »
  I'd rather spend a little money on that load of logs rather than getting a load of already milled lumber.  Much of the pleasure and mystique in this is to have the milled-on-site rough-sawn lumber being used for these buildings.  I agree that it would save me a great deal of time just to buy the lumber, but that's one thing I don't want to compromise on.
Alot of good info/opinions  here on "Best Upgrade" . I do hear what you are saying about good logs though. I"ve learned, around here anyways, if they are free, there is a reason for it. I cut for a living and the best money I make is cutting expensive logs.  A nice pile of logs sized for what you are cutting, without nails, rot, crooks etc will save you alot of time cutting what you need for your projects. They will cost a little more but you will be able to trust them and anticipate completion of cutting your needs easier and more accurately....worth something IMO
Its not the "years in your life" but the 'life in your years" that matters...Abe Lincoln

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 05:43:02 am »
Clannish, being taken, Bandmiler,??
2008 LT40 super,2008 edger, Cat telahandler, JD 5410 And can cut up to 45' long
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And a license NH soft wood grader.
Sawing since 1987

Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 06:16:33 am »
Clannish, being taken, Bandmiler,??
[/
Uh,oh....quote]
Mick
1997 WM Lt30 1999 WM twin blade edger Kubota L3750 Tajfun winchGood Health Work is my hobby.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 08:42:40 am »
I've had a manual mill for a bit over two years now.  Mill head shed was my first addition and a good one. Full millshed even better. Simple log deck was a big improvement and easy and quick. Making pallets for sawn lumber was a big help. I should have done that first. I just added a solar kiln.  That should have been sooner. Hard to believe what it added. Opens up more uses for lumber. Easier to manage lumber when dry.

I really need a bigger drying shed. Kiln doesn't replace need for that. Never enough stickers and dunnage. Good side lumber makes good stickers. Bad logs make dunnage and pallets for lumber.

Good logs are always nice and you may be right about that as top priority.  I,ve been lucky to have good logs from the beginning. From my land and from several tree services. Logging my own is not as good as tree guys showing up with a truckload of nice logs. Most just need a place to get rid of them. Market is down around here right now so they're happy when they can rid of logs without paying. I pay them sometimes for nice hardwood just to stay on good terms. 

Biggest upgrade I'd like to have some good help.
HM126

Offline Florida boy

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 09:04:26 am »
For me the biggest upgrade is going to be a sawmill shed. Once in finished I will then add a lot deck so I don't have to hop on the tractor so much. The thing I would consider to be good for the actual mill would be some kind of roller tos boards. I can't physically pry the log up and put in a shim on some logs by myself just too heavy. After that some way to flip the logs with out using my can't hooks all the time. Again some are just too heavy to do by myself. And there's not always help to do so for me. A toolbox on the end is pretty nice as you can keep all your mill tools right there, wrenches square grease gun being my main tools. I saw on here some where that someone put expanded metal to the bottom of there bed in one section. Sawdust fell through tools stayed put.

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2017, 09:18:22 am »
I've run a "manual" wm lt40 for close to 15 years. Added 2 upgrades, both of which are almost mandatory at my age. Trying to run a sawmill without some kind of material handler (tractor, skid steer, loader etc) is a good way to mess up your bod. Got a big kubota tractor with forks on the fel and a home-made winch on the 3 point hitch. Just as important is home-made hydraulics..Log turner, clamp, toe roller, and power backstops. Added a sawdust blower, nice, beats shoveling sawdust. Short story, anything that will take load off your back is definitely worthwhile.
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Offline gww

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2017, 10:16:53 am »
Best up grade I have made is borrowing dads kobota (bucket and chain).  I can get it done with out the tractor but it is better and faster with it.  To an earlier point, it is amazing how much wood you have to cut for pallats and stickers and places to dry that it is never ending circle and means you have to cut about double the wood for your real project that you want the wood for.  If you have a never ending list of projects, this does not hurt as bad.  If you only had one project, might as well buy the wood.

I sit with jelousy looking at the improvements others have made to thier mills, like log turners and such.  I had ideals for some of those things but wanted to cut the next log that was laying there and just never get around to improving my mill.  I fix each breakdown when I have to but never make it better.

I can only cut 13 feet and have all the stuff to fix that on hand for free except for the labor it would take.  My log quality is not good enough for me to cut lots of long stuff and the longer you cut the heavier handling it will be.  I found ways to build bigger stuff with shorter boards rather then add the lenght to what I can cut.

So what is the point to typing this?  The point is that if you have a general ideal of things that will help the process of cutting your logs, it is probly a better ideal to get as many done as you can when starting out and before you start cutting.  Once you start cutting it is hard to stop and make things better if you are getting just good enough.

Not everybody is like this but some are.

Cheers
gww

Offline DanMc

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2017, 12:39:35 pm »
I keep seeing trucks on the freeway loaded with gorgeous logs that are straight and cylindrical.  My mill is hungry for those and regardless of all the bells and whistles, to a large extent it goes back to garbage in, garbage out.  How do I get my hands on those logs?

I guess I need to get on the phone and start making calls, maybe writing down some phone numbers from those trucks I see.   

On another note, there are clannish people willing to take you for a ride in any state.  When you treat people kindly and with respect, and they sense that you know what you are talking about, then they will respect you back and treat you well.  You get what you sow.  People will usually mirror back the way you are treating them. 
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JD 4600 tractor
28 acres of trees.

Offline esteadle

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2017, 07:54:51 pm »
Hi DanMc

You will need to buy logs, and also buy log transport.

To buy a load of logs you to find someone with trees that wants them out of the way.
Landowners usually have trees, but not always a will to part with them, nor expertise to cut them, nor transport to move them.
Land developers usually have access to land, and expertise / equipment to take down trees, but not transport to move them.
To buy log transport you need to find a logger with a log truck within about 50 miles of you to deliver the logs.
Running big log trucks is expensive, so they charge both a flat fee to come out, and also a per-mile charge to cover fuel and time.
Expect to pay 200-400 and maybe more for mileage to get the load delivered (after you buy the logs, that is).

How to find a logger with a log truck?
Sometimes you can find a logger by calling around other sawyers in your area and chatting them up.
Sometimes log sellers are arborists or tree cutters who take on bigger jobs and may work with a logging company, so look them up in the yellow pages.
If you get the name of a logger, or logging company, that's what you are looking for.
Also get on Craigslist in your area. Start looking for logs, lumber, or whatever, and then make a call.
Talk to them and if they can't help, just ask if they know anyone who can?

You sound like you need them placed so you can saw them quickly, so find a log trucker who has a truck with a log grapple / crane.
Otherwise, you will need to offload them from the delivery vehicle yourself (with a tractor, skid steer, whatever).

Is your mill portable? If so, you can take it out, cut what you need, throw that in your truckbed, and leave the rest behind.
Lookey here: https://nh.craigslist.org/zip/d/free-pine-logs-campfire-wood/6349462962.html
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Offline btulloh

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2017, 08:50:19 pm »
I came up to a red light one day with small dumptruck with 9 or 10 nice logs. I pulled up next to him and ask him where he was headed and did he want to get rid of his logs.  He was headed to an accumulation yard twenty miles away where they pay 25-30$ a ton for stuff like that. I was only a mile from home. He sold me the load for $50 and said he was ahead of the game considering gas ad time.

I carry a sign in the truck now to flash at drivers when that situation comes up. Got some nice logs that way. Sometimes for free. (Tree service guys.)

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Best upgrade I can make to my mill
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2017, 10:11:43 am »
Didn't mean to upset ole Peter. Dan with your beefy overhead you would be a prime candidate for a hoist to move and turn logs, you want to be careful to save your back. The best would be an electric hoist on a trolley, they move slowly and won't pound the bed of your mill. Frank C.
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