Saw Mill?

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by TLuker, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    At some point in the future I know I'm going to have to start sawing my own wood. The price of lumber is getting crazy and the wood you get from the store is horrible. I can get wood cut by an individual for a great price, but carrying logs to the mill is a pain and gets expensive after a few trips. So sawing up my own lumber is definitely in the future. Now I'm wondering what would be the best setup for a small saw mill at home? Any ideas out there on the best type of blade, power source, and so on? :confused:
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    check out some of the portable sawmills available from Northern Tool Supply. they even have some that use a chainsaw as the cutting tool.
     

  3. dsheppard

    dsheppard New Member

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    Yes they have some called an Alaskan mill. Its an attachment that fits on the chansaw to cut boards with. I used to use one making bridges in the middle of bfe for the forrest service
     
  4. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    My grandfather and I built two houses and three barns with wood cut with a mizer towable saw mill.

    Then we traveled around during the summers, keeping me occupied and out of trouble, and paying off the saw mill by cutting for other people.

    http://m.woodmizer.com/?url=http://www.woodmizer.com/index.aspx?&dm_redirected=true

    They're a one stop shop, selling everything you need but the gas. May have to get the hydraulic fluid else where too. And can hooks.
     
  5. hmh

    hmh New Member

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    The woodmizer is a good brand. You want a band saw mill with hydraulics because loading and flipping logs will quickly wear you out and opens you up more for injury. Stay away from a lambardini engine.
     
  6. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Yeah, I have thought about this extensively. Be aware that the mill is only 1/2 of it. How are you going to move logs weighing up to several tons to, and onto the mill? Gonna need some big diesel power. Big $$$.
    Now, I have a lot of pine trees on my property I'd LOVE to turn into lumber. I came to the conclusion that it'd be too much effort and money for the return. Trees wold cost nothing, but I'd have to drop them, and move them, ect.
    If you must, a small mill easily transported in the back of a pickup would be best. Acknowledge that you might be limited to smaller logs that 1-3 people can move by hand, and in shorter lengths. THAT might be doable......

    Check out Cook's sawmills. Subscribe to their catalog. They have interesting articles in there, and it's free, they come a couple times a year. Also check out homebuilt sawmills on You-Tube. And, join the sawmill forum. Great place to ask questions, better than here.....
     
  7. tigerbeetle

    tigerbeetle New Member

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    Getting the wood sawn is only half of it. It still needs drying out. Either it goes to a kiln, or it is air dried for a year or 3 or 4 so it doesn't buckle and twist. Some species of hardwood are not suitable for lumber. You need to know your species and wood characteristics. A portable mill is taken to the timber, but as said tractors, (mules) and skidders are still needed. After drying, it needs to be planed and edged. More tools... The lumber yard is probably still your cheapest "out" regardless of what you pay per board foot.
     
  8. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Maybe. Around here people use green hemlock to build barns, sheds, ect. Not making a judgement as to whether it's a good idea or not, just saying. Also, to air dry lumber isn't hard. If you do it carefully, and provide adequate conditions. Each layer of boards has to be stickered, stack should be in an appropriate place, top cover only would be nice......

    Not if you need/want rough lumber. Houses were built out of it for a long time, in some places, they still are.
     
  9. scottmac

    scottmac New Member

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    A friend has a Logasol (http://www.logosol.es/) and it works well. It's designed for one-man manipulation of the logs & lumber, and uses a chainsaw (they provide a long chain and guide for the saw).

    As mentioned, cutting is only the half of it. Drying and curing takes a while, but it's not that big of a deal.
     
  10. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    I know I'll probably never recoup my expenses, but I'm ok with that. My personal financial philosophy is I don't mind spending money up front for something so long as it doesn't keep costing me, and that's my biggest concern with choosing a saw mill. I'm wondering what's the best way to go as far as maintenance, replacement blades (resharpening), and so on. Thanks for the suggestions. :)
     
  11. Jimmy

    Jimmy New Member

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    I own a Turner sawmill. Manual, bandsaw, 24 hp Honda. VERY well made and priced low compared to other brands. To date I have sawed close to 25k bf. It's easy on blades, per it's design. No special parts, was designed to be able to repair it by going to a NAPA parts store.

    Also I included a web site you should bookmark and keep if you do get yourself a saw.

    http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/forums/sawdry.pl

    http://www.turnermills.com/index.html

    Good luck.

    Jimmy
     
  12. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    Tluker, the blades will be a never-ending expense. Unless you invest another buttload of money on a sharpener, you'll most likely have to send them out. Again, check Cook's. Very reasonable prices, I think. Even if you do get a sharpener, you still have to buy the blades. AND, from what I hear, it takes maintenance just to keep it from breaking blades, &/or wearing them out. Something of a touchy thing......
     
  13. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    Or there any other practical options for a saw mill besides a bandsaw? I know way back when large round saw blades were used. I'm not sure when they fell out of favor? I'm guessing those blades are much easier to maintain. I'm also guessing they aren't nearly as efficient but I'll sacrifice a little efficiency for something that won't constantly need blades.
     
  14. clr8ter

    clr8ter New Member

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    They aren't cheap, efficient, or easy to maintain. I would not even know where to get one, and I have never seen a small mill that used one.

    Wait, yes. Look up a swing mill. (I forget the name of the company)Not the standard way it was done, but.... Personally, I don't really like the idea, and I don't think it's much cheaper.
     
  15. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Its all about the quantity you want to produce but for mast small production, the typical chainsaw mill is pretty adequate and easy to move and maintain. Check local codes to see what they will actually allow you to build with Rough Cut, NY has become pretty Anal about required dried and finished wood for anything with a floor in it.

    Lawn and hedgerow trees are often taboo for mills, too many nails and one screw can destroy an expensive blade in less than a second. Make sure you get a descent Metal detector before you chop the base stock. You do need a place to sticker and airdry anything you dont build with immediately otherwise you will end up with twisted picks after only a couple days. Lastly, you need to think about the waste wood in your plan, the sawdust is great bedding at $3.00 a giant garbage bag and the edge wood can be an awesome side of the road campfire wood stand at $4.00 bucks a bundle.

    Green Hemlock was the standard fare for building 150 to 200 years ago, (old hemlock does make for some nasty slivers and infections). My house is 180 years old and every single original piece of the house was made of hemlock, the only dried and scraped product was the finish lumber. The 12 X 12 Beams are as tough and solid as the day they went in the house and hemlock is very tight grained and twisty.
     
  16. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    Do you have more time than money?

    Unless you have a lot of timber to saw, every year, I'd suggest you find someone/place that already has a portable sawmill you could rent for the time you needed it. As has been stated, you're going to need a lot of 'stickers' (because you stick them between the layers of lumber) to air dry the boards properly, otherwise you'll get some interestingly twisted boards. If you've got hardwood to mill, blade maintenance is going to be an expensive cost. Planing and trimming hardwood is more like machining than milling softwood.

    Oh yeah, wet logs & lumber are lot heavier than dried lumber, wrestling it is exhausting (how's your back?) and being tired around sawmills is dangerous.

    If you only need rough cut, for siding or whatnot, it might be worthwhile.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012