saw mill

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Anyone ever use a portable saw mill?

I have done lots of tree work where we split and/or chipped the wood. I have also had good lumber picked up and milled.

I have the opprotunity to pick up a portable (trailer) mill for almost nothing. It needs a little welding but otherwise is in excellent shape.

Looking for people who have milled before. Any advice? I have a few maples that I took down a few weeks ago that I think would yield some nice boards.
 

digger242j

Senior Member
Location
Southwestern Pa.
Did you ever visit Arboristsite.com ?

First I found Plowsite, whch led me to Lawnsite, and I think it was there I saw a reference to ArboristSite. Everything you can learn about plowing here, you can learn about trees there.

I keep looking but I've yet to find something similar just for us ditchdiggers. Anybody know of one?
 

Plow Meister

PlowSite.com Addict
I researched portable sawmills for a while and concluded there was money to be made with a lot of leg work. I wantsed to buy a brand new trailer mill but decided it would be too risky an investment ($25,000.00) without being in the millwork commmunity yet.

If you know where small clearing companies are and are willing to do the leg work than I say go for it. Most of the clearing companies I watch just grind the trees up for lack-luster mulch. It would be great if someone would get in there and try to put that lumber to use in a positive way.

Keep me (us) posted on your findings. I am very curious.
 
OP
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CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Well I do clearing for two custom home builders so I do have that going for me. Just starting to look at mills now. I can get this one for under $1000. Still have to do a little more research.
 
I think I've seen adds for cheaper mills in that $5-$6k range. I think if its something you're remotely thinking about, pick it up and try it. If it works out great. If not there's always E-bay:) Just a couple welds and some paint and you know you can't LOSE money. Seems like a cheap way to try it.
 
OP
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CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
That was my thinking. If nothing else maybe I can get the paneling I want for my family room out of that maple.

Bought a book today so I have a little reading to do.
 

Plow Meister

PlowSite.com Addict
Soon, all you will need is a trusty blue ox named 'Babe'.


If I can't get any loads in the next couple weeks, I will have to head out to CT and help you cut down those maple trees for your paneling.
 
ct is this the portable trailer type that looks like a giant band saw?
i have seen one of those used and it looks pretty slick.. if you do it contact your local tree trimmers also im sure they`d probably love to get rid of some of the logs they get a hold of. atleast in this area i know of a few dump spots the trimmers use most of which ends up as firewood... good luck Rich
 

Plow Meister

PlowSite.com Addict
I was talking to a tree clearing company today. I asked them why they haven't invested in a portable mill yet. They told me that most of th etrees they cut down are of no lumber value due to their size or wood type or gross misshape. However, when they do fing a tree worthy of lumber they chop it into 12' to 18' long pieces and cart it off to a saw mill I had no idea existed and they cut it up into lumber for a small fee. The clearing company then picks up the newly milled lumber and takis it to their barn to let it dry for about 1 year. They then sell it to local cabinet makers.

If you were to get a portable mill and save the clearing company the hassle of having to cart these huge logs to the sawyer... Maybe it would be more worth their while.
 

Ohiosnow

Senior Member
Location
Ohio
CT18fireman

My neighbor had 5 trees (3-cherry & 2- red oak) cut down last week & after they were done cleaning up 1 of his other workers pulled up with a portable saw mill. I went over to see it & ask some questions. He said that this was his 2nd. mill the first 1 was a $5000.00 mill that worked just fine but wasn't big & fast enough for them so he bought this 1 $26,000.00. He said both were the bandsaw type & the only thing is be prepared to buy lots of blades as he said he's still looking for 1 that will last longer. He also said he's not getting rich from this as there are other things needed to make this a easier job & more profitable.

For a grand I think I would buy it in a heartbeat I don't see how you could go wrong. PS one of his workers was missing 1 finger :eek: . But he said he was being careless when it happened.
 

Pelican

2000 Club Member
One thing you'll want to do is invest in a good metal detector to scan the logs prior to milling. Many of the mills in my area are reluctant to take logs from developed areas due to nails and other debris in them. They'll wipe out a blade real quick!
 
OP
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CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
That was one of the first things I read in the book. I actually have one that I use for digging jobs. I found I can get a new head designed for scanning logs.
 

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