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My ol' man decided he needs a sawmill. Of course, he asked for my opinion, but I know little to nothing about them. He started by looking at Woodmizer, and today was talking up Timberking. The Norwood looks like a pretty nice unit too.

Thought I might do a little homework, but just found out there's about 80 companies producing them in NA alone.

Any thoughts, units that stand out?

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I have a Norwood, great saw for the money. Down side is it comes in a bunch of boxes and takes a day or more to put together. Up side is that they can ship it easy and they will tell you that you will know every bolt on your saw and they aren’t kidding. 

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A buddy of mine has had a couple different Woodmizers and was happy with them. I helped him run them both from time to time. Second one had more features and a CAT Diesel engine.  It did a nice job in my opinion. 

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He needs to decide what he wants to do with it. There are a lot of options. I've got a Wood-Mizer, and they are a great company. There are a lot of other good companies, too. My deal is sawing long timbers.

 

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I've helped friends saw lumber on various portable mills from home made to woodmiser. They all cut good boards. The woodmiser is nice but you pay for it. Thx-Ace 

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if its hobby  get an in the box  $3K norwood or $8K WM ,powered xyz start at $25K used.

like trucks, trailers they are over priced 30-50% and used is + - 10%

have a friend with a $40K circle mill

wanted to be mobile,WM was too $$ for what it is,had a new  $50K TK sent in,sent it packing with in 2 weeks.

he can log ,load ,haul, return with product,   faster on the circle,swamped ,enough for 5 to be working.

and dont need to replace the engine EVERY 1.5-4K hrs including the "big" diesels

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I have been around Hud-son Mills they are all  pretty good but it depends how much sawing you are going to do, there is one made here in maine called Thomas, Nice mill and I have one of there eggers  witch works very well and priced fairly 

If I were going to do a lot of sawing I think I wood go with the Wood-Mizer It is the most popular here in Maine 

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6 hours ago, Cattech said:

Anybody have a Hud-son? Look pretty good for the money.

My friend has a Hud-Son, seems like a decent mill but his had been out in the weather and neglected before he got it. 

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I have a woodmizer LT40 hydraulic that I bought used. It's an older one (1992) so lacks some of the improvements they have made over the years, but still does the job I need it to. I would be looking over at the https://forestryforum.com/  All the info one could ever need about portable sawmills and some guys with a sense of humor too.

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I got to second the forestryforum. There's alot of good people there. One other thing I've been hearing is he'll have to decide how fast he wants it. Some mfrs are weeks and months behind. Alot of people have taken it up being locked up at home

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I was looking at mid-size manual Mills earlier last year. I thought the woodland Mills looked pretty good. And the wood miser seems to be the king of the hill but you pay for it.  It depends upon what your expectations are from the mill. If you were sawing for profit get a wood-mizer. Otherwise shop around.

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We didn't have a hot clue about sawmills when we were looking for one. We decided we wanted a hydraulic bed and power feed. Pretty much had ordered a loaded up norwood, but dad was talking to many guys that cut boards to sell and all of them ran woodmizer, and some were upgrading mills after 20/25 years and wouldn't sell the old one. And any we found that old were within a few thousand of new price, so we changed our mind and went wood mizer. Been very happy. Ours is the trailer type, so very little set up. The guy even brought it out pretty close for us. Customer service has been awesome. And, if we want to sell it we can get our money back out of it so that kind if made up out mind. 

I think pretty much any new bandsaw mill will do the same job, which is make very nice lumber. It really depends on what features you want. I know one thing quite a few guys have told us is they can't get over how consistent the lumber is. A neighbour has a different brand, I don't remember what, and it is power feed and hyd bed, but he is always saying how he can't get it set to do a even cut, and not always consistent. But he bought it used too so that could have something to do with it

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Oh and the one option that we could not live without on the mill is the de-barker. Can run 2-3 times longer on a blade because of it.  If it is a option on the mill of choice, get it. It's worth every penny

Wood Mizer had some pretty good deals on last month too I noticed. Not sure if they're still on or not. Should be getting the Norwood flyer any day now too

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like db 1486 said a De- Barker is a must or plan on having a lot of blades on hand, Logs can look clean to the eye but if you look close there is a lot of fine dirt in the bark

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So nobody has any accuracy issues with the single post that Woodmizer uses? To my way of thinking, they would get sloppy and/or require more adjustment with all the cutterhead weight cantilevered from one side. And getting it set level would be crucial to make sure there was no twist in the beam.

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7 minutes ago, Cattech said:

So nobody has any accuracy issues with the single post that Woodmizer uses? To my way of thinking, they would get sloppy and/or require more adjustment with all the cutterhead weight cantilevered from one side. And getting it set level would be crucial to make sure there was no twist in the beam.

They stand up very well, there is a cedar mill near me and they saw 5 days a week with a wood mizer I think he has owned it 20 years  

he will tell you just regular maintenance 

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There is ZERO issue with the cantilever head on the Wood-Mizers. In fact, the two rail designs are more sensitive to torsion than the single rail. The biggest issues on any bandsaw are sharp bands, and proper drive belt tension. 

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First pic was a collaboration of my 24' extension with my then employer's mill and 12' extension. We could cut 57'. That's a 52' 12x12. Second pic is my mill set up for 45', but I've done longer the way it is setup in the pic.

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3 hours ago, Dave Shepard said:

First pic was a collaboration of my 24' extension with my then employer's mill and 12' extension. We could cut 57'. That's a 52' 12x12. Second pic is my mill set up for 45', but I've done longer the way it is setup in the pic.

Post and beam stuff?

That lengthen is impressive! Any issues going out that far?

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