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Author Topic: Single blade edger?  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline OlJarhead

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Single blade edger?
« on: April 18, 2017, 01:53:13 pm »
OK so I am very close to securing a long contract to mill about 100 logs up into lumber for a lumber yard.  We will be starting out with just 1x12's but I'm told the customer will also want 2x's

Most of these logs are about 250bf to over 400.  (maybe one or two under 250 but not many).

I'm wondering if the WM single blade edger would be a good buy for a job like this since it means edging all flitches on the edger instead of the mill?

The fight I have is that it's a decent job with a high degree of profit potential and investing another $3k into the business means losing some of that
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Offline Bradm

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 05:12:57 pm »
You're not really losing that profit though.  Sure, today it may look and feel like it, but when looking at the long term (if you're planning on sawing for profit and long term) that $3K asset will become a vital piece of your system and will more than pay for itself in both throughput and labor saved.

It's a risk vs reward judgement.  Personally, I'd roll the dice and buy the edger but I prefer letting the equipment do as much of the work as possible.

Offline paul case

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 05:25:23 pm »
I think that you could see some extra board foot advantage if you add the edger but only if you have someone else to run it.

PC
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 07:25:31 pm »
   Paul nailed it! Who is going to run the edger? You're going to be running the mill or the edger unless you have extra helpers. I'd bet it is easier to train your helpers to throw the flitches back on the bed than it will be to run an edger.

   Having said that I have watched Marty Parsons demo the little single blade WM edgers a couple of times and they look like a handy machine if you have the extra helper to run it.

   I do nearly all my edging against the cant now so the finished boards come out very square compared to when I used to try to gang edge a bunch of flitches.

   Oh yeah - an edger to me implies a stationary set up. If sawing mobile, like you have been, where will you haul the edger with your camper on your truck?
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Offline Wallys World

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2017, 09:04:51 pm »
I have the WM Single Blade Edger. It does speed up milling but like it has pointed out you need an extra person to really gain from it. I usually saw by myself and will set a couple of boards aside, then edge them, then load on my transfer wagon. It does do a good job. I found mine used, only a couple years old, for $1800. It was on Sawmill Exchange.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2017, 09:21:45 pm »
WW,

   Are you sawing stationary or mobile? If mobile how much of an issue is transport of the edger.
Howard Green
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Offline paul case

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2017, 10:06:09 pm »
My first edger that I actually used was a WM single blade edger. It was electric. ! man could keep up with the flitches from 2 mills on it. It would have been quite portable if it ran on a gas motor. I think it could have been easily hauled on the mill. I had a heck of a time finding blades for it. I ordered one from WM but it was back ordered and would have cost $135. I tried a couple other suppliers to no avail. Lowes sells a 40 tooth universal blade but it was too thin to cut out enough kerf to go over the T bar. So I put a little more set in it and it worked great for $38.

I sold my WM single for $700. I know where there are a couple of them for around $1k.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and 3 blade Baker edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. 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 scsmith42

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 04:54:50 pm »
I would definitely buy the edger (mine is a Woodmizer 200 series double blade model).

Weather or not a second person runs it or the sawyer runs it in-between logs; it is much faster to edge with an edger than it is to stack the boards back up on the sawmill to edge.  It will pay for itself in time savings.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 04:58:28 pm »
Right now I do some edging on my LT15, and some on my table saw.  I have a Delta Benchtop dw735 planer that feeds with rubber rollers.  If I could only get a feeder for my table saw!  I saw one online, but it looked quite complicated.  Anyone set up a feeder on a table saw?  I have a 1953 Delta Unisaw with iron table.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2017, 05:24:32 pm »
Right now I do some edging on my LT15, and some on my table saw.  I have a Delta Benchtop dw735 planer that feeds with rubber rollers.  If I could only get a feeder for my table saw!  I saw one online, but it looked quite complicated.  Anyone set up a feeder on a table saw?  I have a 1953 Delta Unisaw with iron table.

Check out Grizzlys feeders.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 05:26:02 pm »
Right now I do some edging on my LT15, and some on my table saw.  I have a Delta Benchtop dw735 planer that feeds with rubber rollers.  If I could only get a feeder for my table saw!  I saw one online, but it looked quite complicated.  Anyone set up a feeder on a table saw?  I have a 1953 Delta Unisaw with iron table.
I used a Powermatic feeder on my table saw.  It doubled its safety, speed and accuracy.  Wonderful machine. 
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Offline jmouton

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2017, 09:32:20 pm »
we got a wm single blade edger and we love it,, sure it takes another guy , but there are 2 of us anyway,  it is way faster than edging on the mill,,  not very portable ,,,it is not light ,, probably wont take it when we do go portable ,,and in pine when you go through knots and they get a little wavy , you can square them up easy and fast ,,,


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Offline etroup10

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2017, 10:10:52 pm »
If you are going to spend some money on a single blade edger I would seriously consider spending a little more and buy a two blade edger for a little more. An edger is probably my next sawmill purchase. There are smaller or older two blade edgers out there for a decent price. There is a local business that makes a very simple but solid two blade edger for $5800. I don't know the price but Thomas edgers look pretty solid too.
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Online Brucer

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 12:37:16 am »
At one time I held the opinion that it made no sense to own to pieces of production equipment when there was only one of me to operate them. Then I thought about it from a different angle ...

My goal was not to get the maximum operating time on the machines I owned ... it was to produce the maximum amount of income from those machines. I worked the math and concluded that by taking a bit of time at the end of a day to run an edger, I would greatly increase the amount of high value timbers I would be producing during the rest of the day. In other words, edging on the mill was reducing my overall production.

That principle only applies, of course, if you have enough potential work available to need the higher production level. In my case the work was there.

I did a time-and-motion study on myself in 2008 to see what proportion of the time I was spending edging on the mill. Then I assumed that I'd get about 1/3 of the production out of an edger that the manufacturer claimed. The numbers said I'd produce 15% more product out of my operation with the edger, for the same number of hours worked. And then the recession hit and the extra work disappeared.

Skip ahead two years and I was faced with a huge job that would keep me busy for an entire season -- except 1/4 of the season was already gone. That's when I bought a twin blade edger (used). The math was right. I was lucky in that I'd already hired a helper to come in and help one day a week. The two of us could edge an entire week's worth of flitches in an hour and a half.

I don't know how a single blade edger work work out (but a twin-blade is way more expensive). The key is figuring out a good work flow. I found out real quick that running a twin blade edger by yourself literally means "running". Two of us together could edge about 3 times as much as I could edge working alone.

Do the math. Try to get some reasonable production figures to see if you can produce more in a day with the edger. All your regular overheads have already been covered by your current sawing. The extra production you (hopefully) get will only have to pay for the edger.

One cautionary footnote: demand for timbers began to gradually fall off after that one big job and I no longer needed an edger to keep up with demand. It wasn't entirely paid off and wasn't paying for itself, so I ended up selling it :(. That's one point in favour of going with a cheaper machine. But do make sure it'll actually increase your production.


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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2017, 03:58:58 am »
I think it's one of the most common dilemmas of any business - sawmill or otherwise.
Buying equipment costs money, operating equipment makes it. So the real question to me is will you make enough that it pays for itself over and above operating costs plus your wages equivalent? Maybe not just on this one job - aint a lot of jobs that good out there - but over a few years worth of jobs.

Forget paying with it out of your profit (nice if you can do it but mostly not how it works in the real world) and work out if the value of the production increase is more then the monthly repayment. If it is its a no brainer.

I'd get a 2nd hand twin blade edger over a new single because otherwise its like buying half the machine, if you're working by yourself it wont make much difference but Bruce nailed the production increase if you got help, and thats a big production increase. Then all you need is to find some help, and that might be 1 day a week help or it might be a couple hours each afternoon help.  Theres a lot to be said for having part time help, because even if all they're doing is pushing a broom its one less job that you dont have to do and it allows you to do the smart, income producing stuff like sawing at logs.

My personal choice is always to buy the machine anytime it looks better then break even to do it. I understand the minimalist approach to sawmilling when people are just hobby milling but for mine if you intend to make a living off the mill then more is better so long as it pays its own way. 

Your last sentence said a lot "investing money into the business". Good investments pay dividends for years.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2017, 06:34:14 am »
There is a local business that makes a very simple but solid two blade edger for $5800.
Who?
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Offline red

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2017, 07:14:01 am »
Lots of opinions and personal choices about edgers.  I think it's all about business plan for any equipment, and maybe even a business loan . Risk and Reward.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2017, 07:36:35 am »
To me, it is about handling and quality of life.  Edging on the mill is a slow, painstaking process compared to running the flitches through an edger, even by yourself.  For me, there is already enough hard work felling, skidding, preparing, and sawing logs.  Edging on the mill is one less unpleasant thing that I have to do.  If you saw regularly, an edger is worth it just for the quality of your sawmill life.  But, I am not portable, so I don't have to lug the edger around.

The way that I look at it is that once I am gone, somebody else will get the money that I did not spend to make my life easier. 
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Offline Joed

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2017, 07:49:45 am »
One thing that was not mentioned, the overhead of hired help. Workmans comp, taxes, ect, ect.
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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Single blade edger?
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2017, 07:57:27 am »
As I'm portable an edger would have to be small enough to put in the bed of the pickup or pulled via tandem trailer setup off the mill.

On this job I have a lot of help and the customer is very motivated and even asked about edgers and if they would help.  Sure, with 100 logs to saw the edger would be awesome but it wouldn't pay for itself on this job and might be left mostly unused after that.....unless it was easy (and nothing is easy at 384lbs) to pack inside the truck or on the mill.....

But, if it got me from 350bf/hr to over 400.....well it might be worth it.
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