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simonm

New to milling

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Over the past 10 years all of the timber we have ended up with from tree surgery has gone for firewood. I've being wanting to have a go at milling for a long time but have never really had chance to have a go. I have a lot of oak beech & elm in 3-4 meter lengths just sat around doing nothing, I am wanting to have a go at making them into table tops etc. Am I best off getting an alaskan mill type jobby or just jumping in and buying a mobile band saw? I like the idea of the band saw as we have the space to use it and machinery to load it etc... Suggestions???? Advice??? 

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You've got a 660/661/880?
Get a cheap Alaskan mill,
A straight ladder and a day off.
Do a few logs with that.
Remember bandsaws are limited in size of cut.
Often only 60-90cm.
And cost thousands.
You can get a panther mill and big bar off Rob.D Chainsawbars UK for a few hundred quid.
Then when you've filled your garage and shed and any spare space with milled timber...
Then you get a bandsaw.

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1 hour ago, Rough Hewn said:

You've got a 660/661/880?
Get a cheap Alaskan mill,
A straight ladder and a day off.
Do a few logs with that.
Remember bandsaws are limited in size of cut.
Often only 60-90cm.
And cost thousands.
You can get a panther mill and big bar off Rob.D Chainsawbars UK for a few hundred quid.
Then when you've filled your garage and shed and any spare space with milled timber...
Then you get a bandsaw.
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So would you be able to cut a wider slab with a chainsaw over band saw? 

Silly question but is it just a case of once they are cut stack them somewhere dry and breezy to dry them out? 

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Go bandsaw definitely. Chainsaw milling is purgatory, knackering your body, your chainsaws, your bars and everything else. 

 

Set up is cheaper on a chainsaw mill, true, but the kerf and fuel saving on a bandmill soon pays off the difference. Chainsaw milling works out at about £0.30 per cubic foot in fuel and chain oil whereas when I had an electric bandmill powered by a diesel generator, it worked out at £0.035 per cubic foot. So, milling a 700 hoppus foot lorry load will cost you around £25 in red diesel on a bandmill and £210 in petrol and chain oil on a chainsaw mill.

 

Then couple that with the wastage from sawdust. Cutting everything to 2", you gain around 3 boards for every 2 logs you mill (assuming 750mm diameter). That 15% wastage means instead of getting 700 hoppus foot, you end up with just under 600 hoppus foot. So if you had quality oak (costing £8/hf delivered in), it's cost you over £800. Coupled with extra fuel, you're about £1000 more expensive on every 25t load to mill with a chainsaw mill as opposed to a bandsawmill.

 

So, keep the chainsaw mills for the inaccessible oversized timber, but for run of the mill stuff, get a bandsawmill. 

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Think I best stick to the alaskan for now as I've never done it before. Would be a fraction of the cost... Those panther ones look nice to use. Has anyone used one before? 

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Big J is correct about bandsaws.
And chainsaw mills
I've got a mate with a panther, he loves and rates it highly.

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Maybe another option would be to hire someone in with a portable bandsaw? If you've enough timber to feed it for the day and equipment to move it.

Or, what about Lucas mill? I've not used one but they seem in between in terms of cost and performance. Certainly you could get someone to come and set up in your yard.

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