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Cooks Sawmills - any good?

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6 minutes ago, Big J said:

Things in life more unpleasant than chainsaw milling: 

 

  • Forensic tax inspection
  • root canal dental work
  • hand quartering logs

Indeed. Although I think you're getting a bit hung up on quartering the logs when the issue I'm interested in, and I think the thread is about, is cutting double live edged slabs from oversized logs. But please correct me if I'm wrong 🤣

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1 minute ago, Mikesmill said:

Indeed. Although I think you're getting a bit hung up on quartering the logs when the issue I'm interested in, and I think the thread is about, is cutting double live edged slabs from oversized logs. But please correct me if I'm wrong 🤣

Actually, I'll correct myself: it's about a big band mill and I've weighed in with my chainsaw mill love. I apologise, but I'm still buzzing from cutting a 500 year old oak on it yesterday. I love that reveal of the grain!

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Things in life more unpleasant than chainsaw milling: 
 
  • Forensic tax inspection
  • root canal dental work
  • hand quartering logs

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If you've had a go with a DWS and not been impressed, I'd be interested to hear about your experience 🤔

Otherwise it's just a generalisation.

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11 minutes ago, Mikesmill said:

Indeed. Although I think you're getting a bit hung up on quartering the logs when the issue I'm interested in, and I think the thread is about, is cutting double live edged slabs from oversized logs. But please correct me if I'm wrong 🤣

Fair point. I'm just thinking from the point of view of production milling, putting large quantities of high quality and easily handlable boards into stick and into stock. Getting 1 - 1.5m diameter timber, quartering it and then resawing with a conventional bandmill is one of the best ways to do this. Double waney edge slabs are OK for low volume markets, but they are a (profitable) niche and I wouldn't want to exclude the possibility of producing quarters if I was wide slabbing.

 

Any timber is more stable when quarter sawn, albeit with some timbers you might lose some of the figure. Anything pippy or burry for instance.

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5 minutes ago, Big J said:

Fair point. I'm just thinking from the point of view of production milling, putting large quantities of high quality and easily handlable boards into stick and into stock. Getting 1 - 1.5m diameter timber, quartering it and then resawing with a conventional bandmill is one of the best ways to do this. Double waney edge slabs are OK for low volume markets, but they are a (profitable) niche and I wouldn't want to exclude the possibility of producing quarters if I was wide slabbing.

 

Any timber is more stable when quarter sawn, albeit with some timbers you might lose some of the figure. Anything pippy or burry for instance.

That makes sense, and this is good stuff for me to learn for the future. Thanks

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3 hours ago, Big J said:

Any timber is more stable when quarter sawn, albeit with some timbers you might lose some of the figure.

Indeed you will lose the most striking and amazing grain of all timber, with the exception of the beautiful medullary rays in Oak.  Even quite boring timber like Beech and Lime can be stunning when slabbed - the first few slabs off the top and the last few slabs from the bottom anyway.

 

As you say though it is a niche market but one which suits my business model.  The large majority of the timber I sell is not slabs of course!

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2 hours ago, Squaredy said:

Indeed you will lose the most striking and amazing grain of all timber, with the exception of the beautiful medullary rays in Oak.  Even quite boring timber like Beech and Lime can be stunning when slabbed - the first few slabs off the top and the last few slabs from the bottom anyway.

 

As you say though it is a niche market but one which suits my business model.  The large majority of the timber I sell is not slabs of course!

You can always mix and match with larger logs. Slab through and through for half of the logs, then stand the resultant half up and plank it with one straight edge. That way, you can create a tidy stack 4-5ft wide by putting one waney and one straight edge board on each layer.

 

Untidy stacks would drive me nuts at the sawmill. It's the German in me.

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On 09/05/2019 at 21:07, farmerjohn said:

Have you had a look at Hud-son sawmills?

iv had a few de-barker's from them and they were really helpful and posted to uk no problem. a few years ago i asked them about shipping to uk and they said it would not be a problem to give  a cost for it, but never took it any further.
i like the look of them, the band wheels are a bit bigger diameter which i think will be less stress on the bands.#https://www.hud-son.com/product/oscar-52-portable-sawmill/

the next size up mill is a big jump in cost though.

I have been looking into the Hudson mills, and it looks good, and shipping to the UK is not too bad.  Might actually be a better option than the Cooks. 

 

Is there a dealer in the UK?  Anyone got any stories of Hudson bandmills?

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I have been looking into the Hudson mills, and it looks good, and shipping to the UK is not too bad.  Might actually be a better option than the Cooks. 
 
Is there a dealer in the UK?  Anyone got any stories of Hudson bandmills?
Yeah I found them online toward the end of last year and asked for a price on getting one shipped to the UK. The guy seemed interested in sending one over but after a few reminder emails he never got round to sending me a price for the shipping - I guess he was too busy.
I think that if you did the legwork for him and found someone to ship it for you then you'd get further than I did and be able to get hold of one.
I also investigated Trakmet, who make a wide bandsaw that's distributed in the UK, I saw one at last year's APF show. They are 3 phase only though, which wouldn't have been a problem for me, but costing over £20k was a problem.

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