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Author Topic: Starting a Timber Frame Business  (Read 8331 times)

Offline jessepettengill

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Starting a Timber Frame Business
« on: December 07, 2020, 10:44:50 AM »
Hey Sawyers,

I am looking to start a timber frame business with my son and we are about to purchase a bandsaw mill to make our timbers.  We want to do medium size barns, garages and camps, pavillions, car ports, etc. in ready made kits.  I am taking out a small business loan to help with some of the capital (some is coming from my retirement).  Obviously we all want to get the best deal for our money, so I am looking for advice on a fully hydraulic bandsaw mill.  Would you go new, and get less of a mill?  Would you try to find used and get more of a mill?  Would you choose portable to stationary (and why?).  We are looking at sawing 8X8 eastern hemlock, douglas fir, and white oak.  16 foot length max.

Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

Kindly
Jesse P.

Offline furu

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 12:03:54 PM »
So many variables on what mill to get.  As you state used versus new.  There are fully hydraulic mills that are much more capable and others that are not.  Just how much speed do you want or is speed not an issue?  Is full hydraulic what you really mean or is fully powered.  Woodmizers are not fully hydraulic even their top end but they are great mills but do use a lot of electric motors as well as hydraulic.
What is your budget that drives everything as you know well.  Any more info that you can flesh out would help.
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 Crusarius

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 12:21:25 PM »
I am selling my bandsawmill. 20'5" max cut length 48" max log diameter 2 blade lengths for 31 or 41" cut width. portable. 12k.

It is all manual but still a good start.

Offline Ox

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 02:30:57 PM »
For me I'd look for a fully capable used mill.  Just do lots of shopping around to find out the price points and make sure you're getting a decent price for what's there.
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 jessepettengill

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2020, 12:50:04 PM »
So many variables on what mill to get.  As you state used versus new.  There are fully hydraulic mills that are much more capable and others that are not.  Just how much speed do you want or is speed not an issue?  Is full hydraulic what you really mean or is fully powered.  Woodmizers are not fully hydraulic even their top end but they are great mills but do use a lot of electric motors as well as hydraulic.
What is your budget that drives everything as you know well.  Any more info that you can flesh out would help.

I really appreciate the response.  I am primarily going to be milling posts and beams (10X10, 8X8, 6X6) so I am guessing that speed is not HUGELY important (posts and beams are a lot less cuts than say 2X4'a).  I am inexperienced though, so let me know if I am overlooking something obvious.  I will say that I will need to be cutting some larger logs (a 20 foot log big enough for a 10X10 sounds like a real pain to handle.  That probably necessitates hydraulic lifts and some kind of turning mechanism, right?

JP

Offline jessepettengill

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 12:51:01 PM »
I am selling my bandsawmill. 20'5" max cut length 48" max log diameter 2 blade lengths for 31 or 41" cut width. portable. 12k.

It is all manual but still a good start.

What kind of mill is it?  Pictures?

Offline Ox

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2020, 01:56:19 PM »
I really appreciate the response.  I am primarily going to be milling posts and beams (10X10, 8X8, 6X6) so I am guessing that speed is not HUGELY important (posts and beams are a lot less cuts than say 2X4'a).  I am inexperienced though, so let me know if I am overlooking something obvious.  I will say that I will need to be cutting some larger logs (a 20 foot log big enough for a 10X10 sounds like a real pain to handle.  That probably necessitates hydraulic lifts and some kind of turning mechanism, right?

JP

A cant hook with a 5 or 6 foot handle will play with that 10 x 10.  I recommend LogRite (sp?) brand.  Indestructible.
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 furu

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2020, 05:56:38 PM »
Well Woodmizers are not fully hydraulic as they use electric motors for a lot of things but there are a lot of them and would most likely be the easiest to find a used one.
The Timberking B20 is an older model but a real workhorse and can be found used occasionally.  The newer Timberkings would need to be looked at closely as some are great mills and others have issues as the quality control suffered for a while. (Don't really know if it has been fixed or not yet)  Baker makes a great mill but finding a used one would be like finding hens teeth.
Based upon what you wrote I would clearly look for a hydraulic handling mill unless you have a good sized tractor or loader available.  A cant hook only goes so far but they are essential even with a fully hydraulic mill.
I would be looking at the
Woodmizer LT40/LT50/LT70
Timberking B20/2000/2200/2400/2500

There are some other lesser known mills out there that would work fine if sized correctly but a lot of them are not fully powered for log handling.  I can not speak that well on them as I lack a working knowledge of them.
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 Crusarius

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2020, 05:26:49 AM »
here is a link to my build.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=97853.msg1511008#msg1511008

Soon as this one is sold V2.5 will be started :)


Online Kirk Allen

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Re: Starting a Timber Frame Business
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2020, 07:31:09 AM »
The log handling side of your operation needs a workhorse.  Hydraulic toe kicks, hydraulic log clamp, hydraulic log turning, and a good forklift or skid steer to handle the logs getting to the mill.  Other features that are not hydraulic essential are things like debarkers, up/down, and back and forth.  Electric works fine for those functions. 

A lot will depend on the money your willing to spend.  Most of the sawmill companies offer used sawmills so I would start there to see what is available.  Customer service is a big factor often overlooked.  There is nothing worse than having something go down and you find out the tech support sucks.

One thing to consider if you know your only going to be doing timber dimensions for timber framing, a swing mill is fast and accurate but requires support equipment as they do not have hydraulic log lifting, turning, and clamping features. 
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 07:47:19 AM by Kirk Allen »
Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching!