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About wills-mill

  • Rank
    Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015
  • Birthday 17/02/1977

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Stuck in the Wealden Clay, Surrey/ Sussex
  • Occupation
    Mobile Sawyer, lapsed climber and woodlander
  • City

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  1. Always good to hear. I seem to have ended up with a DeWalt fleet, and the most respectable battery life I've achieved has been by putting a Flexvolt battery (from a big drill) into the 18v grinder. Have always liked the twin battery idea that Makita use, a friend of mine really rates the circular saw.
  2. Late to the party, hello all. I like to use the mini digger analogy. Most people can hop on a mini digger with minimal instruction and scratch out a half decent hole, ditch or hard standing on a sunny day on a level, open site. But I know I'd be absolutely floundering on a tight site with multiple requirements for services, levels, materials going in and out etc. And it's just the same with milling, it's not rocket science to nibble a few dozen boards out of random logs and have a memorable and enjoyable time producing some lovely looking timber. Working up to the more complex levels with constraints from time, timber, customers, weather, crappy access, kit breakdowns and minimal handling equipment is where the fun starts properly. That's always when a lot of folk find it a struggle, and unfortunately a lot of the lessons only get embedded after bitter (and sometimes costly) experience on your own equipment in your own region. Like so much of working life, it's down to managing customer expectations of what can be reasonably achieved without hugely traumatic financial costs or herculean expense of human muscle and sweat. Always happy to chat, and I'm still thinking of doing some "mill management" training days that look at all the other relevant links in the chain of a milling operation.
  3. Ahh come on, you old curmudgeons I'm sure a few hundred yards of bunting and a dozen solar lights would cheer you up.
  4. I would always go with as much weight as possible, adjustability when worn and parts back up. I haven't used any of the twin rail Mizers but they look as good as other offerings out there, people seem to love their Woodlands and Hudson Oscars, and the Trak Mets always look nice and beefy.
  5. I quite fancy one as well, can you shout if you find a shed full? I think it's probably easiest to buy a decent one direct from Germany, they have to put the them through the TUV test so they are usually very tidy.
  6. South East Wood Fuels are worth contacting too. https://www.southeastwoodfuels.co.uk/
  7. They're properly keen on high pruning in NZ. A lot of their Radiata is ending up here (and elsewhere) as Accoya branded timber for window frames and external joinery, it's absolutely immaculate in terms of knot content. I'd love to see this level of knowledge, passion and commitment from UK landowners...
  8. One local firm was making 100% biodiesel a few years back on a fair scale for commercial sales, something over 10,000 litres a week. I did drop in and speak to them about getting an IBC or two to run some mill plant, and they did warn me that the pure FAME/RME bio is highly effective at dragging any carbon deposits out of the fuel system and clogging filters for a few rapid cycles until the pipework and pump are clean again. Their recommendation back then was to run on 1/3rd of a tank of bio with 2/3rds of pump fuel, then slowly change up the ratios while going through a few filter changes. In the end I didn't go for it, but I wonder if the recent problems are actually 2 different issues together- firstly the greasy bacterial sludge from the bug, secondly the black carbon that has been released from the distribution and engine pipework. Looks like similar ideas back in 2007, The Telegraph "The chemistry of FAME increases its affinity with water, its conductivity, its reactivity and its bioavailability. For good measure, methyl esters are known degreasing solvents. They lift accumulated resins, gums, polymeric material, fuel additives and debris from storage tank walls and distribution pipework and carry them forward to block filters, or more worryingly, to pass through them. These may be filters on dispensers at service stations or fuel filters protecting your engine. Being biodegradable might be good for the environment if there is a fuel spillage, but microbiological attack in storage tanks is not. Like humans, microbes need food and water. They live in the water and eat the fuel to grow. As they multiply they produce acid waste, which can corrode and perforate steel tanks. They form mats of slime that clog filters and plug fuel lines. To cap it all, microbial growth in biodiesel occurs at up to four times the rate in conventional diesel and is very expensive to expel. To date there have been outbreaks of microbiological infestations in biodiesel tanks in the North West, North East and South East." https://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/green-motoring/2746598/Whats-in-your-tank.html
  9. Just got hooked by an excellent YouTube recommendation- Funny, sassy, enthusiastic, massively knowledgeable and full of gangster bad-a-bing. Perfect stuff.
  10. Surrey Timbers near Guildford have some nice Elm to that sort of spec.
  11. This is the resaw method, I've no idea why they are running so slowly though! I don't recall the old WM resaw attachment having the posh rubber track, and I think it was a 12v motor that ran from crocodile clips on the battery.
  12. There are 2 standard ways to do it. I'm not a massive fan (have never had any issues with plain boards), but ended up building my own gadget to start with, then bought a Wood Mizer shingle/ lap sider. The first standard way is to cut normal boards (eg 6 x 1 1/4) and split them with a resaw attachment. If you have a power feed for a spindle moulder and a basic plywood trough, you could do that without too much grief. The minor downside is lots of individual board handling, but the upside is you get good recovery from a log. The second way is to use the gadgets that tip a log slightly sideways for every other cut. They can be very productive, but there's lots of faffing about to prepare the beams that are taken off the mill and stacked before they can be placed on the gadget. Downsides are that you can't use the side boards that you remove to make your blocks, and there's always a wee bit of waste where you clamp. Otherwise it's pretty quick. We've had no issues with anyone being massively picky about lengths like 12ft, it's nice if you can do it, but certainly on the hardwoods, any log defects will scupper plans to do mega lengths.
  13. My main disappointment is with the HSE and their inability to process the RIDDOR data to a less than feeble level. This situation is dealing with information from an absolutely tiny data set, and it should be a straightforward process to infer all sorts of useful scenarios and outcomes from the injuries and fatalities that have occurred. Heights, method of crown access, form of tree or vegetation- surely all this data is contained in the reports that have been submitted. I would have a bit of sympathy for them if this was dealing with 250,000 instances of a particular medical condition across the UK, but a couple of hundred reports over the course of a year isn't a massive job to interpret.


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