Hi Lori, I just wanted to send in some pictures of my set up with my new woodland mill. I bought the mill after Sunoco put a gas pipeline across my property in April of 2014. I contacted a friend of mine who had a fancy $20,000 dollar sawmill to see about him cutting the wood for me. He wanted to charge me well over $500 dollars plus all his expenses. When I put a pencil to paper, I figured out all told buying my own mill would pay for itself in the end plus I could get exactly the size of wood I wanted. I did a little bit of investigation and after watching your instructional video decided to buy your woodland mill. I’m really glad I did, Like some others have said it takes a bit of getting used to, not the machine so much as knowing how to cut the logs to get the most out of them and a few little things with the machine as well, like how long blades should last etc.
I placed my mill in my 150yr old Pennsylvania barn. I keep it out of the weather and it stays a bit warmer in there than outside in with blowing wind, plus I can control the mess a lot better. I also have set up a little shop so once the boards are cut I can edge them with my table saw if I have to, I can trim the ends with my sliding compound miter saw, I cut my stickers as well and then stack the wood out of the weather to dry in there as well.
When I got the mill, I, being a retired shop teacher, build a wooden frame to stiffen up the sawmills frame work. I used 4x6x12 ft pressure treated lumber and cut dados into the side pieces then used lag bolts and washers along with 3/8 inch all thread with washers to further stiffen up this frame work. I need no more leveling with this arrangement and it works fantastic, plus it raises the mill up a bit making it easier on the old back. As you can see I set the logs (and in the one picture I am cutting my second log which turned out to be a 28 inch Oak) using a Bobcat skid loader.
Another modification I made to the machine was the lubrication drip tube didn’t suit me all that well, it kind of was getting fluid on the blade but I wanted to make sure I got enough. So I bought a piece of 1/4 in copper tubing that you can see in one of the pictures, I made the end oval instead of round so more of the lube got onto the blade and then I bent and positioned it almost directly onto the blade. I also decided since its cold in Pittsburgh now that instead of using windshield washer fluid at $2+ dollars a gallon, that I would make my own. I use 6 ounces of rubbing alcohol, along with 6 ounces of palmolive dish washing liquid, then make up the rest with water in a gallon jug, works fantastic and its way cheaper doing it this way.
Thanks again and thanks to the guys who have helped out with tech support as well, I did need them a few times when I first started cutting Neil and the crew have been there a few times later in the day when I get time to cut and have had questions concerning some little problems. A very very nice machine for the money and it is super accurate. That friend with the $20,000 dollar machine cant compare to how well this cut and doesnt waver like his does!
A couple of things I forgot to mention, I have several ABC fire extinguishers placed next to the sawmill just in case. Also one of the pictures shows a hot plate, I bought this from WalMart for $20 and then bought parafin wax, after I square the boards when they off of the mill I then coat the ends with wax to limit or stop checking. Since that photo I’ve started to color the wax so I can see what I hit and what I didnt. Lastly my one comment about controlling the mess with using the sawmill, since I have animals I use their used feed bags to hold the sawdust for reuse later. If someone is going to use this for animal bedding DO NOT save and use Walnut dust with horses. Just a small amount used for bedding will KILL a horse in just a few days. Other than that use it for bedding/mulch etc around plants, or whatever else you can think.
Thanks, Phil Lovejoy