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-   -   Portable saw mill? (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=19370)

OilHammer 04-01-2013 01:50 PM

Portable saw mill?
1 Attachment(s)
I cut down one of the old cedars in my front yard this weekend, and I want to reuse it for projects around the house. I want to have it cut into large timber (s).

Option 1: Pay the mobile sawmill guy $200 to come to me, then an hourly rate to cut it on site. With only one tree, the setup fee is a little spendy, but it would mean no real transportation issues on either end.

Option 2: Pay a tow truck driver to back up to my front lawn, and winch it onto the back. I'm guessing he would charge at least $100 to drive it up to the sawmill, and I would still need to get the lumber home.

Option 3: Borrow a 20' trailer, throw my snatch block on the front and PTO that sucker down onto the trailer and haul it up to the mill. Wait around for him to cut it, then drive back to the house with the trailer and unload.

Thoughts? It's still going to be difficult to move those beams around, but I'm guessing I could handle those much easier than the full tree.

DaveInDenver 04-01-2013 02:08 PM

I'd pay the guy to come and mill it on site. That's worth the headache of trying to manhandle it.

Red cedar comes in at about 25 lbs/cubic foot. If that thing is 30' long and averages about 2 feet in diameter, you're looking at north of a ton. Winching weight is only part of the equation, you need to get it to roll or slide, e.g. skidding it. Maybe you could build a reverse coffer around your yard and float it on the trailer? ;-)

OilHammer 04-01-2013 02:19 PM

It's not that big. It's more like 15' long now, and 18" in diameter on the big end.
I was able to roll it on those boards you see in the pic, which was not too tough. I could actually pivot it 90 degress and roll it right down the front hill to the street. As long as it didn't wipe out my newly planted maple down there! But, I hear you. I have no doubt it's a 1,000 lbs. When I dropped it, I had those 4x6 boards down and the upper two snapped like twigs when it hit. Zero bounce too.

DaveInDenver 04-01-2013 02:28 PM

Gotcha. The formula isn't hard, density x length x pi x radius squared. That's like 650 lbs. Bet you could rig up something to get it on a trailer.

FWIW, Harbor Freight had casters on sale last week and might still. I picked up 4 like this and made a cradle to move camper shells around. They're 300 lbs capacity (optimistic IMVHO, like most HF stuff) each and 4 cost me $50. Maybe you could rig up a dolly since you'll have to move a couple of big beams around on the way back, too.


MDH33 04-01-2013 02:35 PM

What are you going to use it for? Being green, the wood will likely check and warp a bit after you mill it, especially if you do it on sight and don't have somewhere to let it dry out. A big mill might be able to kiln dry it for you too.

OilHammer 04-01-2013 03:08 PM

Correct. It needs to be dried. It was barely alive, but alive none the less. I don't really have room to store it for very long, but I probably could store it for a bit. The thing is, it's in a good spot to leave the yard right now. Once I move it, the task of getting it back out is more difficult.

L43dean 04-01-2013 04:48 PM

Eat Your Spinach
Lee Valley Tools and Lehman's Non Electric Catalog might have available two man pit saws.

euroford 04-01-2013 05:01 PM

you can set yourself up with a basic mini mill for under $100. its a lot of work, but the results are pretty decent. we built a LOT of mountain bike trail features this way after logging out a ton of eastern red ceder up in wisconsin.


baja1d 04-01-2013 05:41 PM

Have you ever heard of an "Alaskan lumber mill"? If not, Google it & then let me know if you want to borrow it. I've got 2 set ups. A six & three foot bar w/ the saw.http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/04/02/ypenugyt.jpg

OilHammer 04-01-2013 09:50 PM

10 years ago I would have said, "sweet!". Now that I'm as old as I am, I'm thinking, "hmmm". I'm not sure that kind of thing is for me at this point. The sawmill guy called me back, and I'm thinking I need to just find a car trailer to borrow and I'll be good to go. Pretty sure I can winch it onto a trailer easily and safely, and keep all of my fingers and shins intact. Mind you, this is coming from the same guy that just had a tempered glass window explode on him....lol.

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