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Just bought a Sawmill. I mean-->!!!!! (insert happy dancing guy here) Woot! Woot!  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Some buddies and I (4 of us total) collectively bought a portable sawmill on it's own trailer.  Cost for me, which is including the tax, shipping, spare blades, spare parts, and cover, et cetera, comes to just over $2100 Canadian!

Woodland Mills HM Trekker XL
 
pollinator
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That is exciting Roberto!  Congratulations!
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Thanks, Matt.  I'm hoping at some point to build a small wood gasifier that can power it and produce biochar, but there may be other projects that take precedent.  
 
pollinator
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It's great that you bought it with the other guys. So often, small mills spend most of their time sitting. They don't wear out, they suffer from neglect. One that is used regularly, and also maintained can last for decades. The wear items that have to be replaced occasionally, are very inexpensive, as compared to all of the value of wood that can be processed. You will recoup that small investment in no time, and have the ultimate homesteaders toy, that will make or save you money, every time you fire it up.

Somebody needs to be in charge of oiling, greasing, and all the other things.

Did you buy a good sharpening kit, so that you can do all of your own sharpening? Once you have one of those, it's easier to just do it than to take it in to someone.

A cordless blower, is a very handy piece of equipment to always have on hand, when you have something where sawdust is bound to get in every crevice. If it's blown clean after every use, there will be less chances of hidden maintenance issues, under dirt. Rain will wash off instead of making a soggy mess of the sawdust. Even the piles of lumber, should be blown clean. It often happens that the best place to operate, is on a gravel or asphalt driveway. Blow that clean as well, so that you get invited back.

I once saw a guy using his small push mill, that was mounted on a very gentle slope. He would start it into the wood, and then go about his business, stacking, or edging with another tool, or getting the next log ready. When he wanted it to push a little harder, he would put a weight in a tray that he had fashioned. This took the drudgery out of slow cuts of thick hardwood logs. If he was just squaring up small softwood, he would walk along with it.
 
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Congrats Roberto!

A portable sawmill is on my dream/wish list. Do I need one to live my homesteading life? no. But if I had one, it would open so many doors to doing things such as making furniture without having to buy lumber or milling custom large size dimensional lumber that I could sell for some farm income.

Have fun with the new sawmill! I'd love to see some pictures of it in action.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Yes, I agree with all your points, Dale.  I was at a memorial this fall in my home town and the parents of an old friend were there; they invited me over for tea, and so I went by.  The old guy had heard of a portable mill sitting derelict in the back woods of a homestead in the vicinity.  He went asked permission and had a look at it, thought it a worthy project, and asked to remove it from the bush.  It took him a year of retired puttering, but he got the thing working just like new.  I hope we never let this mill succumb to such a state of neglect!  I plan to create a log book, so that people will log the hours and the maintenance of the machine.

Did you buy a good sharpening kit, so that you can do all of your own sharpening?

I wasn't in charge of the ordering, so I'm not sure of all the bits that came with it yet.  I have sent numerous texts to my friend who did the final ordering.  He knew I wanted in and just did the order yesterday, but I was hoping that we would have a meeting about it first!    I'm assuming that it would be relatively easy to sharpen a rotary disk saw blade, but perhaps not so easy to do so with a bandsaw, but I'd be willing to learn to do the latter if it will be beneficial to our group.  

Good idea about the cordless blower, and the example of the guy letting gravity do the work.

James, I will try to get some pics and videos up once we get some stuff ripping on it. I'm pretty happy to have it too, as I have yet to do any building on my land, and I have more than 25 acres of trees. The problem now is access to the timber.  I have been accessing the woodlot from my neighbors property (where there was an existing access road that I simply had to reopen), but they recently put the property up for sale an closed the gate.  I had an agreement with them that they could access dead pine firewood off the property in return for my access through theirs to do the same.  To build a road from my meadow into the forest would require a bridge and a lot of tree falling/stumping; not impossible, (and something that I am planning to do in the future anyway) but not a simple day task by any means.  
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've seen someone sharpening their own bandsaw mill, with the band held in a machine that advances it one tooth at a time. Then a small rotating stone is brought down on the tooth, and the saw advanced one more tooth. Seems to be a foolproof system once you have the right equipment. I'll bet YouTube is full of demonstrations.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'll check it out, Dale.  Thanks.  I did text my buddy.  He said we didn't get the sharpening kit but their was someone who did the work relatively inexpensively in Prince George.  He thought getting a kit was a good idea though.
 
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