Portable sawmills - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Portable sawmills

Wanting to buy a portable sawmill.

have a good place to set it up.

stuff I'd be sawing would be clean - no rocks dirt etc. (hauled, not skidded)

Looking at least expensive options (of course), over the life cycle costs.

don't care about hydraulics, etc. - can roll logs off the trailer, roll 'em up on it.

Thoughts?

Black truck, '97, 351 HP

White truck, '97, ??? HP (wife's)

Still a customer of Swamp's Diesel Performance
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 06:58 PM
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Re: Portable sawmills

check out norwood--they make the lowest priced mill out there--no frills---

94 f250 idi turbo sc e4od alum fac rims 149,289 --dana 60 frt with posi--10.25 rear w/posi--shouldnt get stuck!! ats turbo 3" parts on--what a diff from stock turbo!!!!!--- also 96 F250 with 305,000 is fixed!!-- 7.3 rattler-also 85 6.9-needs new engine!! tired!!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 06:51 PM
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Re: Portable sawmills

We hire a man with a Wood Mizer each year to saw between 40-72MBF of lumber. We provide 3-4 people to handle the waste (slabs, sawdust) and to sticker the boards and lumber. There's an art to drying lumber - pine is prone to sapstain. The first year we sawed wood we lost a lot of pine to sapstain. Improperly stickered lumber can warp and split, bow and sweep but air dried lumber is generally more stable than kiln dried lumber.
I'd think about the hydraulics. There's more than getting the sawlog on the bed - the log has to be turned frequently as the operator reads how the tension is. Without hydraulics a crew might saw 800mbf a day but with hydraulics a crew can saw 2500mbf a day.
We pay .20 per bf, the lumber we produce is worth up to $2 per bft, so there is a huge savings. I think that very few portable sawmill operators master the "art" and very few get enough business for it to be profitable.
The one thing that strikes me is the amount of labor involved. Each piece of lumber is handled so many times; stickering, planing, stacking. Then there's the waste - mountains of sawdust and slabs. No one wants to bother with hauling the slabs away even though it can be profitably used as hogfuel or ground for wood pellets. We burned the slabs after finding no one interested in making $2,000 in hauling it to a buyer.
Sawlog quality is important too. Sawlogs taken from property lines have wire and nails, as do a lot of trees taken down from around homes.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 07:11 PM
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Re: Portable sawmills

I was partner na few years ago in a Mobile Dimension. VW powerd...20' rails.
I realyy liked this unit. Ran a lot of cedar, sugar pine and more through it.
It WILL keep you in shape. as mentioned just before: you handle the boards multiples of times.
Listen tothe previous poster: take care in stacking and drying. Mistakes are costly.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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Re: Portable sawmills

<font color="green">I bought a NORWOOD, about seven years ago.

I am well satisfied with the mill.

It sets out in the weather, all the time, in choking humid rain-all-the-time Kentucky, and hasn't rusted yet.

NORWOODS mill is competitively priced; where they stab you is in the options, i.e. blades, upgraded engines, accessories, etc. all way over-priced.

I buy my blades from a genuine saw-mill supply that has a route truck and delivers them to my door.

I have a professional sharpener that sharpens them five bucks a blade.

I paid for the up-grade from a nine-horse HONDA to a thirteen-horse HONDA, when I bought the mill.

A few days later, I saw the thirteen-horse HONDAs for less money for the entire engine, than I paid to "upgrade".

I should have got the base nine-horse HONDA and, then, bought the thirteen-horse from another source. </font>
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