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Author Topic: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!  (Read 4780 times)

Offline customcutter

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Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« on: November 26, 2017, 06:41:04 PM »
My wife and I just retired this year.  We are looking for 50+ acres in Alabama (no restrictions, permits, etc.) hopefully not to far from the Samson/Geneva area.  My In-laws have 700 acres there and will be 87 in a few months, so we want to be close but not too close. 

We want to build a shop 40X60 and partition part of it off to live in while we build a 2-3000 sq ft log home.  So we are trying to find property with mature trees on it.  That seems to be a tall order anymore.

I started repairing and buying chainsaws, when I sold my Lawncare business in June, and I've been thinking about bandsaw mills since Irma went through Fl.  We had a lot of downed trees.  I actually thought about building one, but soon realized at 63 and some lower back issues I would need some hydraulics to help, so figured it was time to start spending a little money.

I shook hands on a Cooks AC-36 (about 10+ years old) Friday, and I need to call my bank tomorrow morning and move some funds around, so I can go get my new old mill.  Then I'm going to go over to Cooks Saw Mfg and see about a few upgrades and pick up some blades, probably 20-30.

Glad I was invited over here by another member, I won't mention his name just in case some one's watching.  I've only read a few threads but seems there's a problem at the other place, I didn't know about yet....

Anyway, ever heard of somebody buying their mill before they got their property and trees????

thanks,
Ken


Offline furu

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 07:03:07 PM »
Welcome to the group. 
I think I would call what you are doing a retirement plan/dream.
As long as you have a place to store and use the mill, then you can find some logs and learn how to best use the mill so that when you finally find the place you are looking for you will be ready to go.  It does not sound like you are planning on making it a business, you are planning on using it to do things that you want to do with it.  Fine plan.  Enjoy.  Hope the mill works out for you exactly the way you want.  Let us know if there is anything we can do to helping you with questions.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing.
Integrity is not just doing the right thing when no one is looking.
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else will ever even know.

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 07:51:40 PM »
Thank you Sir,  I think I'm going to like it here.  I should be getting the mill tomorrow.  I'm going to take it home, for the first trip just to get some time on the sticks.  But yes, the In-laws have plenty of property here in AL to store the mill at while we are not here and looking for property.

Offline Kirk Allen

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2017, 07:56:11 PM »
Welcome to the forum.  I bought my mill and don't have a stick of timber!  LOL 

I purchased mine because I knew I could scrounge enough logs to support my woodworking addiction.  Little did I know that purchase would turn me into a sawyer that now has over 1 million bf cut on a part-time basis.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching!

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 08:18:18 PM »
Thanks, I know it's an addiction.  I used to make custom knives (customcutter), and when I would cut or grind the wood, mother-of-pearl, abalone, blue mastadon tusk, it always amazed me at what I would find when I cut/ground into the material. 

Offline Cutting Edge Saw Svc.

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 09:09:46 PM »
Ken,

Congratulations, hope the "new" to you machine is what you've been searching for.




Then I'm going to go over to Cooks Saw Mfg and see about a few upgrades and pick up some blades, probably 20-30.




What upgrades are you wanting to get ?? 

I'd be hesitant on purchasing blades from Cooks.  Their selection is limited, and IMHO, quality is far from acceptable... especially in their Super Sharps.  The welds (any blade from Cooks) leave alot to be desired too:  bad camber, horrible spacing, and poorly ground.   

Need to choose your blades based on your HP and species you plan to saw.  That choice alone can either make for an enjoyable sawing experience or one of pure misery.

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Offline Stevem

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 12:43:49 AM »
Like Kirk I bought a mill and don't have any trees.  Unlike Kirk, I bought another mill and still don't have any trees.
Welcome aboard
Stevem
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Offline joasis

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 04:52:42 PM »
Welcome to the club!
Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma
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If anyone has any issues, I can be reached at the number above, anytime.

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 08:27:35 PM »
Well, I got the cash and got the mill today! :laugh:  Sorry, no pics yet.  It was after dark, by the time we arrived at the In-Laws.   I will get some pics tomorrow, but I need to get the lights fixed on the trailer before the trip home of Thursday.  It's a 2005 AC-36 I did confirm that when I talked with Cooks Saw today.

As far as up-grades, I'm not sure why, but the mill seems strange.  It has a single tow board, I was thinking of adding 1, but I said why, just put the small ends on the tow board end of the mill.  It only has a single hyd log dog, I will try it as is, but will probably upgrade, but a lot of my logs will be 20', cutting them for cants to build a log home.  I was thinking about adding a de-barker, but I know the Cooks saws run "backwards" to all the other saws, and once the top cut is made the log is rolled 90* and from then on the blade is cutting into clean material and exiting out the bark side so it's not dragging the dirt/mud through the cut.  I think I'll try it as is, because I also plan on harvesting my own timber on my own property and not dragging it through the dirt and mud.  I will be buying a tractor or loader to pick up the logs to load on the trailer.  I was also thinking about a sharpener/setter, but for now I think I'll hold off on that as well.  Someone said it's hard to beat a man at his own craft, and I think that's true.  But I will be keeping my eyes open for a bargain.

thanks for the warm welcome,
Ken

Online Ox

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 11:08:01 PM »
Great news!  I hear the Cooks are pretty rugged and so you can add on all sorts of stuff if you want.  Did you get a manual?  A complete tuneup (alignment) might be a good idea, so you know you're starting from a fresh, proper start point in case things go awry down the road.  Milling your own lumber is a good feeling.  I used to be a woodcutter and would look at trees for firewood and now I see saw logs!

There's a sharpening setup for sale here on the forum.  I think it's still for sale in the for sale section.  It might be a good and cheap way to get into it.

Do you know about parbuckling for loading logs?  If not, check it out.  It's easy to do with little horsepower required.

You're wise to think ahead and keep your blade out of the bark.  It'll still dull a bit exiting out the bark but nothing like dragging grit into and through the cut.

Think about getting your blades through Cutting Edge here on the forum.  They're the best blades I've found for my mill and for the best price too.  He's also very knowledgeable about all different mills and milling and yours is no exception. 

Keep us posted!  I enjoy following good men when they're getting going with a new adventure and you're doing what I wanted to do once before I got all crippled up and life happened.  Keep at it!  You'll be glad you did.  The satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself with your brain, back and brawn is a feeling that can't be replaced.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
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1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 08:59:58 PM »
Thanks guys, been sick for the last 3 weeks with a bad cold/sinus infection.  Finally went out yesterday and worked on the mill a little bit.  Tried getting the drip lines to work.  There is about 2-3" of rust debris in the bottom of the tank (built into the frame).  I filled and drained it about 20 times, but it was still choking off with debris.  I cleaned the lines, valves and needle valves also, but I'm sure they will just choke off again.  If anyone know of a good or easy fix let me know.  Right now I'm considering mounting a poly tank above it, if I have too.

Good news is we found and are trying to buy 55 acres in Alabama.  It has 35 acres of hardwoods (some are 30-36" in diameter at waist height).  It also has 15 acres of loblolly pines that are ready for their first thinning (too small to build the log home with though).  It's got a small stocked pond that's fed by and artisian spring, and is bordered crossed by 2 creeks.  It also has mature hardwoods on 3 sides of the property.  I am going back up Thursday to buy a New Holland TN65D that has a bucket and grapple to handle the logs with.  I'll also be going by Alabama Ag Credit and dropping of the Credit app, and meeting the President of the local branch.

Can't wait to start felling and processing some logs.

thanks,
Ken

Online Ox

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 09:58:42 AM »
That sounds like a slice of heaven to me....I wish you all the luck in this.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2017, 08:36:43 PM »
Thanks Ox.  My wife wasn't really into the log cabin build, sawmill, property in Al deal at first.  But she's really fell in love with the idea now.  She told me when she saw the property that she absolutely loved it.  I didn't think she would like it that much to be honest.  So I'm really blessed right now to be living a dream.  We both like watching a lot of the "Alaska" shows, and were raised living off the land.  If we didn't grow, raise it and butcher it, we didn't have it unless we traded for it when I was a kid.  She was raised the same way by her grandparents.

Online Ox

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 08:12:53 AM »
That makes it even better when your other half is totally on board and as excited as you are.  My other half will usually follow along but never with enthusiasm.  At least she'll go along with things - it could be worse.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 09:30:10 PM »
Well I went up Thursday to the In-Laws.  My FIL hooked up to his 45' gooseneck and we headed to Pensacola.  I had found a 2003 New Holland TN65D with FEL, grapple hook, bucket with bolt on tooth blade, 4X4, enclosed cab, and only 966 hours.  I bought it from the original owner 73 year old farmer that used it for hay baling, he was downsizing and hiring his hay baling done in the future.

I got up Friday morning and headed to Alabama Ag Credit and turned in a credit app for 55 acres that we hope to buy.  The lender said it wasn't going to be a problem after looking at the application and looking at out financials.  So hopefully we will be closing on that soon.

Online Ox

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2017, 09:46:18 AM »
Yay!  How cool is that?  I'm excited for you.  It's weird because this is almost exactly what I want to be doing one day....kids kind of complicate things right now but when they're working and contributing to help get out of here it'll all be worth it.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2017, 09:38:41 PM »
Yep, we're getting excited.  She used to bale hay with her mom and stepdad years ago.  She's pretty handy when it comes to running a tractor.  I know she enjoyed it when she did that type of work.

Offline A.O.

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2017, 09:24:21 PM »
Customcutter.. I'm excited for you and I just got here!! Sounds like a great piece of property!!

I'm just the opposite of you, I have the property, the trees (about 100 acres of mostly loblollys), tractor with the grapple... but no sawmill! :-(

I'm in the process of researching mills, my house is already built so I'm just looking for a small manual mill for misc stuff, outbuildings, shooting benches, docks stuff like that.

Been wanting a mill most of my life, never had the trees or money or something.. maybe now is the time. Something to take up my time in retirement.

Hope your property deal goes through smoothly!  Good luck.


Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2017, 09:56:36 AM »
Roughly what area of Alabama you getting into ?  My Son is trying to get caught up so they can go up in January to check a couple of places. What sources did you use to find your place ? He is browsing Zillow.

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2017, 08:19:57 PM »
A.O.  Thanks were waiting on the appraisal now.  Where are you located?  Maybe we can trade some saw time for some timber.  LOL   My loblolly's are only about 10" in diameter right now, ready for their first thinning.   Look at the Cook's MP32, if you're just wanting something to do a few projects with.  There are lots of mills out there.  The MP32 is a scaled down version of the AC36 that I have, it doesn't have hydraulics, but if you have the tractor and are cutting smaller shorter logs it might be appropriate.  It will cut 16' logs, but the longer the heavier and harder to roll.

HaroldCR,  We are about 30 miles southwest of Dothan in Geneva County.  I first started looking by Google searching Property in Alabama.  That got me to some different sites, but zillow was one of them.

Offline A.O.

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2017, 07:38:33 AM »
A.O.  Thanks were waiting on the appraisal now.  Where are you located?  Maybe we can trade some saw time for some timber.  LOL   My loblolly's are only about 10" in diameter right now, ready for their first thinning.   Look at the Cook's MP32, if you're just wanting something to do a few projects with.  There are lots of mills out there.  The MP32 is a scaled down version of the AC36 that I have, it doesn't have hydraulics, but if you have the tractor and are cutting smaller shorter logs it might be appropriate.  It will cut 16' logs, but the longer the heavier and harder to roll.

HaroldCR,  We are about 30 miles southwest of Dothan in Geneva County.  I first started looking by Google searching Property in Alabama.  That got me to some different sites, but zillow was one of them.


I'm in north central South Carolina so an exchange might not work, but you could come set your saw up here and get some practice or something!! ;-)
That cooks looks nice but its more than double my mill budget.

Online Ox

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2017, 11:02:36 AM »
30 miles southwest of Dothan, huh?  You must be right close to the Bama/Florida line?

It's all flat there, right?  Tornadoes kind of common and all?  I'm not sure I could move to someplace totally flat after living in the hills and hollers all my life.  I'm not a very adjustable type person and I like things to remain the same when I can.
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
1989 GMC 3500 4x4 diesel dump and plow truck, 1964 Oliver 1600 Industrial with Parsons loader and backhoe, 1986 Zetor 5211, Cat's Claw sharpener, single tooth setter, homemade Linn Lumber 1900 style mill, old tools

Offline starmac

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2017, 12:54:47 PM »
Do they still have that big flea market at Dothan.?

Offline customcutter

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Re: Buying a Mill, now I need some land and trees!
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2017, 12:59:04 PM »
A.O.  Yes, I saw your other thread and that the MP32 was over budget.  Keep looking, you'll find one.  Like I said word of mouth finally worked for me.  Tell everyone you know, you're looking for one, and ask them to ask around.  It works, like a telegraph or telephone, get your kids to put it on facebook. 

Ox.  Actually the area where we are buying is slightly hilly and probably drops 50-100' from the front to the back of the property.  Maybe a little more that's just a guesstimate.  I wanted something that had more hills, and would have enjoyed northern Al more, but not the cold.  We are probably 30 miles or so from the Fl line.  I'm hoping they can't tax me or make me pull permits from that far away.

Starmac.  I hope they do.  The wife and I both love a good flea market.  We are going up to the one in Bushnell, Fl tomorrow.  It takes 4-5 hours to walk through about 1/2 of it, and that's if you're just mostly looking, not doing a lot of stopping and talking, bargaining, buying.  Hopefully it won't rain, and it warms up a little been in the low 50's all day today.