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Author Topic: Peterson swing blade WPF, ref the Turbosaw ("new swinger on the mkt") thread  (Read 1211 times)

Offline RiverForest

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Thread "waker upper".  I have a Peterson WPF swing blade mill.  I did check out Turbosaw and Jake (Carl?) Peterson during the buy process.

Still learning, acquired from the original owner last summer.  I love the quarter sawing & self edging capability, in particular.

It's a quality built product (I love the almost total use of SS and AL; not a fan of the 35 hp Briggs engine--the 38 hp EFI Kohler on the new bandmill is much quieter and smoother), but make no mistake, it is not as easy to move as the videos make it look.  Mine is a 10 inch, with a very heavy saw carriage (around 550 lbs), with the smaller lighter Peterson mills no doubt easier to handle.  That makes for a BIG wheelbarrow.

Pushing and pulling required has to be considered "exercise" but it is fun to watch the lumber being made up close.

The Peterson electric winch works well, though I do wish for "setworks".  Jake P is sticking to using a portable electric drill for "vertical sizing" on his Turbo Saw Warrior mills; I think his stuff looks very interesting, otherwise.  New tech pushes envelopes, to the benefit of all, we hope.

One other issue for me with the WPF remains securing the log in the absence of bandmill-style hydraulic log handling & securing.  It's especially relevant to smaller logs which frankly are known to be problems even for well power accessorized bandmills.  Weight has its advantages.  The Warrior mills face the same issue.  More experience for me may help, I'm not knocking the mill.  It's just something to figure out.

I am now set to make the comparison as the new owner of an LT40 Super.  Got to get more trees down and to the mill!  Wife advises make some money from all the hard-ware toys or the other "hard" (a hard TIME) will hit me from a predictable corner.

Peterson support has been very helpful and patient, even to me as a 2nd owner.  Apparently the Peterson owners visited my seller on a US visit, and Chris & Kerris (Peterson) Brown will take calls on off days for support needs I am told.

Jake Peterson was very responsive to questions I asked before finding the used WPF.  I've pushed him hard on some things and he kept his good nature.  Definitely the engineer type 🛠⚙️🗜 , likes his tech.

I note the forum system does not recognize all apple emojis.  Shucks.

I'd love to share information with other swing blade mill owners on here.

There's nothing like comparing notes and perhaps even getting together with others using similar equipment (on our land near Charlottesville, anyone?) to do things.
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Offline Mt 406

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I will try to get some pic of the log dog system on my D&L.
it holds well clamping device need work the whole system should be built heavier.

Scott

Offline Stevem

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Good to see more swingers on the forum,  Howdy, and welcome!

I have both a Lucas 827 and a 1600 TimberKing.  In my opinion the Lucas is a lot faster than the band mill in the right situation but a lot more work  And the Lucas is a lot more portable. 
More demand for the band mill though because of smaller logs but on bigger logs the Lucas shines bright. 
One of the biggest differences is the band mill is so much more complicated.  More moving parts and more things to break, more things to watch out for and more adjustments.  Maybe just my stupid.

Quite a story about Peterson verses Lucas.  I think there might still be traces on the internet.  I looked hard at D & L and like what that mill can do.  Met the owner, Lindsey, at the Oregon Logging Conference several years back.  He's one of the good guys,  Left Coast Supply, US Peterson dealer, is in part funded by Lucas AND THAT STORY IS FULL OF IRONY.  Would love to have one of D & L's scragg mills.

For me sharp blades, depth of cut and sawing speed are a big factors in sawing smaller logs on a swinger.   
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Offline RiverForest

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Hi, Stevenm, looks like you are equipped.  You gotta tell us more about what you started  ;D.

Couple of updates that I'm aware of, and some more opinion & experiences, FWIW:

Peterson did most recently had their dealership with Left Coast, but severed it without any explanation as of December 15, 2017, per an email from P.  It had only been with LC since March 2017 if memory serves, formerly with Bailey's.

Musical chairs anyone? Parts parts, whose got the parts.

The poster just above, MT 406, has some D&L experience IIRC.  So did the owner of my Peterson (he returned his D&L to Left Coast, then D&L dealer also, and bought the P which he sold to me).

I liked the features of D&L machines, the 180 swing but it's not all SS & AL like the P, and a few other considerations and stories discouraged me.  And frankly the P was just too new and fairly priced to pass on.

There were varying opinions about how generic D&L parts are, a much touted feature per some.  Can you speak to that?

I'm recalling some WM parts prices $$ I have seen, and the cost of ink for IJ printers.  Parts & supplies are a major profit center for many mfrs.  Costco makes 75% of its money selling...memberships.  Not goods. WSJ interview with their CEO in 2011.  Follow the money.

From what I have seen, Lucas has done some smart use of plastic to cut weight.  Peterson chose to keep things like the sawdust chute metal, could probably go plastic without a problem and add to mobility.  Their loading video where the guy is wheelbarrowing the carriage without any indication of strength required is with a much less than 10 inch machine or the 35 hp Briggs iron boulder that I have, I can attest to that!

I love the Lucas video where one man practically juggles a (small) Lucas mill out of a truck like an MT wheelbarrow with parts and sets it up.  Oh so easy.

Lucas seems the big dog in the not very big swing blade universe, but it's odd that their distribution is with Bailey's, not LC, given what you said about investment??  Know any more--inquiring minds want to know ;D

Wish I could afford to carry a smaller Lucas as well as what I have, for going into the woods and cutting up some hard to reach stuff.

I think the thing between Lucas and Peterson might be what they allude to on their web site, something about the founder defending their patents, maybe?

How about Kerris Peterson Browne vs her brother Jake & their father (Turbosaw)?  Now there's a ruined family reunion for sure.

From what I have seen on my LT40, complexity it IS.  More motors than board feet of lumber in an acre.  At least I know where to get parts and apparently there are hacks galore for when the warranty is over.  The small size and changing distributors with the down under folks gives me the willies.

The main feature of TK over WM I like is the direct hydraulics.  Seems like a lot of the electrics on WM are for working around not having direct hydraulics.  It does make the plumbing more complex based on the TK 2200 we looked at.  WM only offers direct on one of the LT70s.

Big guys like WM hit the show circuit a lot.  I asked Will Johnson last year if he was going to show TK at any VA shows, and he said they'd not found them cost effective.  We bought our LT40 at the VA Farm show couple of weeks ago.  Hard to beat a Marty Parsons demo of a product right there for buying.

I wanted to consider Norwood seriously: less money, some interesting if controversial engineering and I would have enjoyed putting it together.  But those folks at NW, so squirrelly and tight fisted about giving out information!  They've offered some sort of setworks package for months now but NO brochure, web info, etc. Nada.  The phone rep even said there was a fully equipped machine with it on their showroom floor but he had no info to give or tell me.  No info about their $3000 debarker, either.

BTW someone in Spain is selling a home brew fully automated Peterson WPF.  It's on the Sawmill Trader site.  Interesting.  I'd settle for figuring out how to mount a laser for getting that first cut without contorting myself around the engine to the right....
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Offline starmac

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I guess a lot more portable depends on what type of portable you need. I can drive anywhere I intend to saw any lumber, and can actually be sawing lumber within 15 minutes of showing up on site. It just don't get much more portable than that, for my use.

The only way I could see a swing mill benifitting me, would be for oversize logs, which in this area are few and far between.

Offline Stevem

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FWIW
My understanding of the Lucas vs. Peterson:
How ever it started Peterson and Lucas wound up in court with a long dragged out and bitter battle over sawmill patents with Lucas the final winner. I have the impression that they started together and parted ways, but that may be wrong.
Baileys was the sole distributor in the USA of Lucas mills.  One day Baileys got up in the morning and found out Left Coast Supply was the new distributor and they were out.  LCS was partially (or totally?) funded by Lucas in an attempt to reduce the price of mills in the US market with basically there own distributor. The dollar exchange rate was driving up the US prices and cutting into the profit margin.  A prior salesman from Baileys was lead at LCS. (the guy that got credit for my mill when I bought it from Baileys as a matter of fact).
I talked with Warren Lucas and told him I thought it was really stupid giving up Baileys and talked with Sam Bailey who told me that they were totally blind sided with the change.
To stay in the sawmill business Baileys picked up D & L. They like swing blades though they did look at TimberKing as a possible but there experience and expertise is swing blades.
Then one day Baileys is suddenly the sole distributor of Lucas, again, and LCS is selling Peterson!  (D&L is now advertising "Factory Direct" pricing.)   And remember Lucas funded LCS.  That's where the irony is. It appeared, that at least in part,  Lucas owned the Peterson dealership in the US.  Funny!  Wheels within wheels!
I did not know the LCS is not with Peterson.  Don't go there any more.  They still have a Peterson video up but no products
Warren Lucas is a good guy. He doesn't know me from Adams All-fox but he called a new owner I was helping on a Sunday because of a mill problem and walked him through the fix and I got to say hi.  I'd first met him at Baileys when he was doing a show and tell demo day a couple of years back.  He remembered the day but not me.  Twas a very hot day.


« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 11:34:57 AM by Stevem »
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Offline RiverForest

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Have you considered a TV script?  That's way beyond fiction, can't make it up.

I'll add that in my phone calls with LCS, Baileys and a couple of former employees/agents, less so in emails (they don't want to criticize in writing), I get the refrain that the companies in AUS/NZ really do not understand the US market, especially as to pricing, inventory/in-stock, etc.

Of course exchange rate changes can always be very disruptive to trade.  I got a better price on my used Peterson used because of the relatively strong dollar last summer.  It was abt 40% stronger against NZ currency than when my seller bought it, making new machines much cheaper (though P remains by no means cheap).  I wonder if P passed it all along.

Phone tells me it is about the same today, $1 USD = $1.36 NZD.  It was about $1.40 NZD last summer if memory serves.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 10:22:49 PM by RiverForest »
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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Lemme throw y'all a curve ball. I am gathering parts to hang a bandmill on the front of my WPF.  ::)

 My logs are not big enough for the Peterson and I can get more lumber per log with a band than the 8" carbide tipped circle blades. We have cut 48" dia concrete logs here. Seems like concrete anyway. I'm also designing a carriage feed system. Tired of walking and stepping over the log bunks all day long.

 Going to change location of sawing gauge. Walk 100 miles all day, cranking and reading the damn guage way around the corner of the mill.

 Going to gasifier fuel, too.  No place to dispose of slabs and just hate burning slabs to get rid of them.

Offline drobertson

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Working this one over in my mind, I'm gonna have to take another look at them swingers to see how you will pull this one off,, I  like the idea, if the added weight works with the existing structure.  The way the Lucas man did his small logs at the shoot out a few years ago was pretty impressive.. He loaded the small logs, avg. 65bdft maybe per log into a pyramid shaped pile, sawing them as he went down, pretty impressive,  his name was Ian, and for the life of me I can't remember his last,,heck of a nice guy, bad ass on the mill,  a fellow named Nathan ran the Peterson, he too was a bad ass, I suppose you bout have to be a bad ass to run a swinger,,

Offline RiverForest

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suppose you bout have to be a bad ass to run a swinger,,
>:D >:( :P
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Offline RiverForest

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Lemme throw y'all a curve ball. I am gathering parts to hang a bandmill on the front of my WPF.  ::)

Diagram. We need a diagram.

If your idea offers advances on the setworks and log bunk/holding/leveling fronts, notwithstanding the pulling and pushing, the world will beat a path to your door, or should I say, cut a swath.

I'm still sweating the log leveling thing with our small and somewhat often crooked logs, on the new LT40 that I have. I'm learning that I don't have a very good eye for log leveling (I need to work on rotating the log to help on that), so I'm gonna start measuring from pith center to frame at both ends.

That would be very difficult to do within the confines of the rails of the Peterson or Lucas.  Big selling point for swingers is not having to rotate the log.  It's one thing if you're carrying the mill to build over a single big log, which could be manually rotated b4 the mill is built over it, versus a more production environment at the woodyard with more & more modest logs.  I would still welcome the way to rotate the log before I start with the Peterson.

 Kind of tired, I hope I'm explaining myself reasonably there.
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Offline Stevem

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FWIW:
Band mill on a swinger frame has been done but it just never really caught on.  I was excited about the idea.  I looked at it hard but I wound up owning two saws. Was thinking of just getting an empty Lucas trolley and putting the band saw into it. Use the Lucas setup for the up and down. Not into engineering too much.
The advantage I see is ability to cut wider slabs with the thin kerf but never thought about cutting smaller logs.
And if you'd want to edge you'd need some sort of dogging for the logs so you could stand up the boards and an easy way to square them.
I never found out who did it but I seem to remember it was done on a D & L mill with a Linn Lumber band mill.  The band mill just sat on the rails at one end ready to cut when needed/wanted.  Last I heard (three years ago?) it was still in place and the owner loved it.

Since I'm mobile the biggest challenge I faced in my mind was "how do you make it mobile?"
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Offline RiverForest

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Both WM & either Cooks or Baker are offering manual wide band (thin kerf) mills now.  $$ but they are out there.   Where is an engineer on this list when we need one? 🛠⚙️
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Offline HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader

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Extending a band mill sawhead is no big deal. The problems arise as you try to gain too much width and the rails on a 2 legged or 4 legged frame won't allow bigger dia. logs. That's where the WM shines with their one track design. Also, the adjustable blade guide needs lengthening or not being able to get near the log when needed.

 I turned a 14" shop bandsaw into a 20" throat bandsaw. No big deal there, either.

That's why we built the oversized WM for our swamp sinker logs. I can't remember who put the bandmill on the D&L tracks.

 I'm not looking to saw big dia. logs anymore. Don't worry about edging, either. I'm going to design a device to bolt between the WPF rails and that will hold the log stops and clamp. We did all that stuff on the bandmill we built.  I have no plans for using the swing blade, just the band sawhead.

 As for sighting the levelness of logs, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Always load the small end of the log nearest your operating area and fix up a 3 sided piece of 3/4-1 1/4 wood for laying on the nearest bunk with the 2 other sides sitting astraddle of the bunk. Roll the log on up onto the device, clamp, and make whatever cuts you need, and take out the device when you turn the log and you are parallel. Do the same if needed when you go 90 degrees the first time after you have the parallel cant ready to turn.

 When I had the big blade Corley mill, I had no kickout knees for the carriage log stops. I nailed 2 pieces of 1X so they were staggered and simply place either the 1X part or the 2X at the stop and rolled the log on up and dogged it and started sawing. Only takes seconds once you get in the swing of things.

Offline RiverForest

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Somebody on that "other" forum ran a thread about cutting a WMZ at the throat and expanding its capacity.  Makes me a bit anxious, the thought of approaching my mill with a big hacksaw.  I haven't gone back in to look but I recall it was a pretty big deal....

I'll try out what you said about the jig, may need to ask more questions of you.  Thanks for the notes!
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