Sawmilling

Magicman

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In another topic somewhere (probably Health & Safety) I mentioned that I do portable sawmilling and promised a few pictures. Kinda hard to describe each picture in the thumbnails, but anyway...

Me with a nice Cypress cant on the sawmill.
A whack of lumber stickered and drying,
Tree length logs ready to be bucked into log lengths.
Bucked logs ready to be sawn.
A whack of timbers that I sawed yesterday.

After my rotator cuff surgery, I am working with my right arm in a sling, but I do have a good helper.
 

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mdhughes

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What type of mill do you have?

I spent 2 1/2 years running a John Deere log skidder for a local logging company. I also ran the log truck in the woods bring the logs to the layout area.
 

Magicman

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It is a 1998 Wood-Mizer LT40 Superhydraulic. At that time it was the largest and equipped with the most "bells & whistles" that they offered. It has a (new) 40hp turbo-diesel engine, and this is my 18th year of owning it and sawing.

I just had a on-location factory service done last month, which I have done every ~4 years.
 

SidecarFlip

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Very interesting. I have some questions...

Where do you get the trees at?

What do you do with the boards after you run them through the saw mill?

How long do they have to set and 'age' after sawing

Finally, I take it the sawmill stays in one place all the time, it's not portable?

I see you have a telehandler. Is that what you use to move the logs and stack the finished product?
 

Magicman

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Fair questions, but my business is unlike most other sawyers. It came about because my property is 46 miles away from my home, and I have no where here to build drying/working sheds. I found out during my first year of sawing that I did not want to be in the lumber business and have to maintain an inventory, so I got myself out of the lumber business and 100% into the portable sawing business. Now to answer your questions:

I have no logs, do not buy logs, sell lumber, nor saw on shares.

I custom saw whatever lumber, etc. that the customer wants from his logs. Stacking, stickering, and drying his lumber is his responsibility, as is waste disposal.

The sawmill is portable and I travel with it to wherever the customer's logs are. The job that I was sawing Thursday & Friday is 230 miles away from home. The customer pays for my travel expenses and lodging. I will travel back to that location Sunday evening and be ready to saw Monday morning. I will finish the job when all of his logs are sawn.

The customer furnishes all of the log and lumber handling equipment, and yes, that Cat Telehandler is nice, but it belongs to the customer.

For me this is a sideline, part time job. At times I may only saw a couple of days every couple of weeks. I don't saw in the rain, when it's too hot or too cold. After all, I am 76 years old and supposed to be retired. ;)
 
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SidecarFlip

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I see, so it's trailerable then. I didn't know that but then I don't know didily about sawmills.

How do you get the logs up on the 'mill table' or is that up to the customer? They must be heavy, they look heavy.

I thought running hay on shares was weird until I started doing it. Now, it's SOP for me as most of my acreage is share cropped now.

I take it there aren't too many 'contract sawyers' like you around? I never knew that existed until you started explaining it.
 

Magicman

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Here is a factory LINK to my sawmill and there are a couple of videos. The videos show a "walk along", my sawmill has an operator's seat and I ride.

The sawmill has it's own running gear and is highway ready. Once the logs are rolled up to the sawmill, the sawmill's hydraulics load, turn, and adjust the log during the prep and sawing operation.

Sawing on shares would be OK if I wanted the lumber or had lumber sales. For me it does not work because I am in the sawing business, not in the lumber business.

Most sawyers work both from a location where logs are brought in and also portable. Since I do not have a suitable location where I live, I chose to be portable only. No logs, no loader, and no waste disposal.
 

RCW

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Magic- what’s your favorite wood to saw, both the most simple or most rewarding because of what you “open up” on a log?

Since you are well south of me, there’s species you deal with we don’t have‘round these parts....[emoji3]

Flip - about 70% of New York is forested now, as so many farms have gone out. We have a lot of guys like Magic around here.

Some are good, some not so good....

It’s a great service that guys like Magic provide, especially for a small wood lot.

Pretty much all hemlock is yanked out by a landowner for sawing on-site for barns and sheds. Doesn’t pay for commercial work or sale.

Lot of Amish in the mix now also that will buy sawn lumber, where there wasn’t much market before. Many Amish also have mills now, and are making themselves small lumber yards.


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snobhill

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This brings back a lot of memories for me. I used to have a little band mill which I helped to design. That was about 30 years ago. Not a commercial operation but a lot of fun. Still a little involved in logging, hauling overloaded trucks off highway. IMG_1400.jpg


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Tughill Tom

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This brings back a lot of memories for me. I used to have a little band mill which I helped to design. That was about 30 years ago. Not a commercial operation but a lot of fun. Still a little involved in logging, hauling overloaded trucks off highway. View attachment 47669


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Yea, you don't want to stop fast with that load. :eek:
 

SidecarFlip

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This brings back a lot of memories for me. I used to have a little band mill which I helped to design. That was about 30 years ago. Not a commercial operation but a lot of fun. Still a little involved in logging, hauling overloaded trucks off highway. View attachment 47669

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That guy has a 'charge on the barge' for sure.:D
 

snobhill

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You definitely think about when moving these loads, and this is on ice roads. Sad to say we did have a fatality last week.


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SidecarFlip

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Here is a factory LINK to my sawmill and there are a couple of videos. The videos show a "walk along", my sawmill has an operator's seat and I ride.

The sawmill has it's own running gear and is highway ready. Once the logs are rolled up to the sawmill, the sawmill's hydraulics load, turn, and adjust the log during the prep and sawing operation.

Sawing on shares would be OK if I wanted the lumber or had lumber sales. For me it does not work because I am in the sawing business, not in the lumber business.

Most sawyers work both from a location where logs are brought in and also portable. Since I do not have a suitable location where I live, I chose to be portable only. No logs, no loader, and no waste disposal.
You have as much in that machine as one of my M9's cost...lol

I don't mind running hay on shares as I have one customer who buys it all, all the time. Do a 50 50 split on profit and expenses.
 

Magicman

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I bought used Flip, so I didn't spend as much as a new one would cost. ;)

RCW, wow tough question but everyone likes to open Walnut. I'll have to move some pictures to my upload album. The only picture that I have handy is this;

Live edge Honey Locust for a bench with the "cookies" for the back.
 

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SidecarFlip

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You set your own bands or have them set and how long does a band last?

(I'm full of questions...lol)
 

Magicman

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I normally use 1 or two blades each day, and I send them back to Wood-Mizer for resharpening/setting @ ~$10 per blade. If I hit metal, etc. in a log, the blade is destroyed and I charge the customer for the blade. $25.
 

Workerbee

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Thanks for the interesting post Magicman. I like that pecky cypress. A wall of that stuff would sure make my shack look good!
 

skeets

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Man I wish you were a couple hundred miles closer. Pine bark beetles are killing off my big pine most are about 22 to 24 across. And to honest I really hate to just cut them down and burn them