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How to make an income and build your own house


hex0rz

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So a family friend is an Arborist. He has through the years accumulated some things for his business. One of which is an Woodmizer sawmill! He picked it up for 7k many years ago. His intention was that his boys through the years would use it to make some money while going through high school. They never posed interest in it nor used it. Its sat for a while now and has been used by few people through those years.

 

The original owner made a living from it and then sold it to the family friend. Dunno what it was like then, but now, its been through a rough time it seems. It could use a new paint job and some fixing, fab work, etc. Some things have been added to it and "jimmy rigged" as well. I stopped to see it over the weekend and tried to get it started and use it to see how it operated.

 

Put some fresh fuel in the tank, checked the oil, hooked it up to the truck battery through some jump cables. Its an electric start, 2 cyl Onan. I tried everything I could to get it to start but it never once fired. I was ill-equipped for the job to try and start it. Did not have any tools or ether. I thought it would be bigger but it was a few years since I seen it last.

 

The family friend wants to sell it and I have expressed interest in it for a while. Were trying to work out a deal for it and he is going to let me borrow it for a couple of months first and tinker with it and see if I still want it by then. Then we will work out a monetary deal.

 

He has some things to include on the deal, like extra saw blades, a siding attachment to make siding, a band sharpener and some other things I'm forgetting. It sweetens the deal some, but I still dunno if it is worth it or not. I should be getting it sometime soon, hopefully Thursday or the weekend. We shall see.

 

Has anyone here ever used a woodmizer, sawmill? I'm trying to get an idea of the value of it and how to operate it, etc.

 

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This would be a great addition to my tool arsenal. I have long term future plans for usage of such a piece of equipment. I would like to use it to make some deals with people for cash for the labor and saw their logs or trade for a portion of the lumber for the work. Over time, accumulate enough lumber to build with and/or have another cash flow.

 

Cedar is very commonplace here and may consider buying a log truck load of it and mill it for anything. I'm also looking at making beehive boxes as well.

 

So... what do you guys think? :ashamed:

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What would your competition for the same services be? Lot of mills in your area?

My experience with mill operators, is them finding the time to do work for me.. lol, I'm impatient.

I'd say if you get this machine figured out, and dialed in, do quality work for a reasonable price, you'll be golden. (if not over run)

The ability to 'go to the trees' has to be in your favor!

tool purchases such as this can be looked at differently.. I'm looking at buying a hydraulic tree spade, for moving about 300 cedar trees into shelterbelts. (digging wild ones from rangeland, and moving them in ) I figure I'd pay around 7-8k for a good used 30 incher... use the crap out of it for a couple years, then re sell it. Cheaper than having the trees custom moved. You may be able to mill up a storm, (for your own use) and if the market doesn't knock your door down, resell the mill.. Then again, looking at the price of lumber, having your own mill 'out back' may pay for itself quite easily, especially if you get this one for a good price!

Edited by rancherman
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  • 3 weeks later...

It so happens that my neighbor and friend has a woodmizer and has a good deal of experience with it and other sawmills, at least more than most. 

 

http://www.photos.ramseymountain.com/index.php?album=FABRICATE/SAWMILL

 

The link is to photo's of his saw mill.  You can use the Contact Us link and send him and email if you have any questions.  I am sure he would be happy to answer your question as best his knowledge allows.  Put it this way, he milled the vast majority of the lumber for the house he built and still lives in. 

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Considering how much they cost new, this may be a very good deal.

 

http://www.woodmizer.com/configurator/pricemodel.aspx?tipo=1&precio=1

 

Especially when there is not a large market saturation for this sort of skillset either!

 

What would your competition for the same services be? Lot of mills in your area?

My experience with mill operators, is them finding the time to do work for me.. lol, I'm impatient.

I'd say if you get this machine figured out, and dialed in, do quality work for a reasonable price, you'll be golden. (if not over run)

The ability to 'go to the trees' has to be in your favor!

tool purchases such as this can be looked at differently.. I'm looking at buying a hydraulic tree spade, for moving about 300 cedar trees into shelterbelts. (digging wild ones from rangeland, and moving them in ) I figure I'd pay around 7-8k for a good used 30 incher... use the crap out of it for a couple years, then re sell it. Cheaper than having the trees custom moved. You may be able to mill up a storm, (for your own use) and if the market doesn't knock your door down, resell the mill.. Then again, looking at the price of lumber, having your own mill 'out back' may pay for itself quite easily, especially if you get this one for a good price!

 

The region used to have alot of mills, but nowadays, there is about 3-4 mills in the area. This covers an area of about a 100 mile radius or more, I would think. There is a niche type market with these sorts of things. I've ran into a few people who wish they had a mill to use to build their own house with the lumber they had standing on their property. This would something I could shine at, since I could trade my work for some of that lumber, too.

 

It so happens that my neighbor and friend has a woodmizer and has a good deal of experience with it and other sawmills, at least more than most. 

 

http://www.photos.ramseymountain.com/index.php?album=FABRICATE/SAWMILL

 

The link is to photo's of his saw mill.  You can use the Contact Us link and send him and email if you have any questions.  I am sure he would be happy to answer your question as best his knowledge allows.  Put it this way, he milled the vast majority of the lumber for the house he built and still lives in. 

 

If this deal works out, I do hope to get to the point where I could build my own house with my own lumber!

 

So and UPDATE since last posting!

 

I went and picked the mill up last Saturday. I realize now, that back when this one was made, I really wonder how the heck they ever even got these things hitched and unhitched from vehicles! I had to use alot of wood to shim and the bottle jack that comes in our trucks to get the tongue high enough to get hitched to the truck! Then, come to find out the trailer lights did not work!

 

So I bobbed and weaved through the area and go to the local harbor freight and bought a magnetic trailer light kit. Stuck those on and got over to the local fuel station to check tires. Aired them up to what was spec'd for the tires(35 psi). Took off for home, james! All was well until I was about half way home and made way up a hill. Suddenly, the truck shook violently, WTF?

 

Looked in the mirror and saw the light had fallen off... Pulled over and assessed the damage. Driver side tire catastrophically failed and the tire shredded itself out! Bent the fender some. Felt the rim and was pretty hot! Felt the other tire and was pretty warm too! So I limped it about a mile to a turn off and waited until the FIL arrived with 2 new tires he picked up at walfart. Got them put on also had to put on a new magnetic trailer light kit as the tire blowout ruined the first set! DARN! So long $30 hard earned dollars!

 

New tires air up to 80psi and handle a load of 1045 pounds at that pressure. Finally got the mill in the driveway at a little past 1am that night! So, tomorrow morning I'm going to try and go out and start troubleshooting the engine and see what I can do to try and get it to fire!

 

The kicker is, being that it was so late that night and away, the owner of the mill does not realize what I had to do to get it to my house. I hope he will reimburse me for the lights and tires! The original tires on the trailer I can now tell were dry rotted and the sun destroyed the rubber. Dang mill has been sitting outside on his property for like 6 years with no use! GRR!

 

I emailed woodmizer and sent them pics and description and they valued it at $3200-4600 if everything was in proper working order. Right now as the mill sits, I might be willing to offer $2500 for it. My other catch 22 is, if I put all this work in it just to get it running, how much of my time and money did I spend to do it? Whats it worth? If I decide I do not want the mill, hes going to make out good as he would have a running mill again for free! Bah! I think I better mill some wood with the 2 months that I have it for to make it worthwhile, lol!

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Wow! Okay, so I'm taking a break for a moment and gethering my thoughts. Been out for a little bit troubleshooting the mill. I've got it narrowed down to fuel supply. I thought the compression was bad, but the duty cycle for the starter was my problem. I'm getting my compression, and spark. So I poured some fuel down the carb and she finally fired and ran until it ran out of fuel.

 

Dumped the old fuel out of the tank and burned that off. Put some new fresh fuel in the tank, but I think I need to get the old crap out of the lines to the carb. Hoping the carb is good and not all gelled up, too. It has an inline Mr gasket pump that I need to get back out and diagnose. Need to see if its getting 12v to it and/or there is continuity. I'm pretty sure the pump will make noise when its running and its dead quiet. I'm going to see if I can run the engine without the pump to narrow it down.

 

Progress is being made! The battery to the mill is totally dead. The cells are long gone! I hooked up jumper cables from the truck to the mill and juiced it that way. Was having a hard time figuring out which cable was what. Lol, thought I was trying to fire the engine backwards or something! Was getting backfires through the carb! But it finally fired and ran pretty smooth for what it was!

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The backfires through the carb is probably nothing more than a lean fuel condition. I am thinking that pulling the carb and cleaning it out (at a minimum) will put you days ahead of your schedule.

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Alright, so tonight, I was tinkering with it a little more. Got the fuel line hooked up and primed it. Would not fire until I poured some fuel down the carb. Had to use the truck while running to get enough voltage from the battery to get the engine to really turn. Finally fired up!

 

Got it to idle a little bit and would die. Kept trying until finally it started to run. Kept the primer bulb going to keep fuel going. It will run for maybe 2 min. at idle before dying. I'm thinking I've got a float bowl problem. I would like to tear the carb apart and get it all cleaned, redone, but I do not have a kit for it.

 

I pulled the battery cables from the truck and the mill instantly died. I'm thinking the alternator is no good.

 

It was a bit of a demoralizing night in a way. I'm about $250 into fixing this thing to make it work/run, and the owner told me to save the receipts as he will reimburse me, but I'm wondering when I should draw the line for this.

 

I got the mill running enough to make about an 1 1/2 cut into my play wood before it died from lack of fuel. It seems like the cutter head and that whole portion MAY be in working order.

 

Any way to test the alternator without removing it and taking it to an auto store for a benchtest?

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Have you put a meter on the output stud of the alternator? If you have two smaller wires going to the alternator you can inplug them and put 12+ to one terminal and ground the other one. Start the engine and test the output again. You should have full power then. If you do have power then the voltage regulator would be suspect, if no power then the alternator is not functioning.

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Have you put a meter on the output stud of the alternator? If you have two smaller wires going to the alternator you can inplug them and put 12+ to one terminal and ground the other one. Start the engine and test the output again. You should have full power then. If you do have power then the voltage regulator would be suspect, if no power then the alternator is not functioning.

 

I will give this a shot. If readings don't come out like I need, I'll get it benchtested.

 

Thought I would share a couple pics:

 

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What a difference, LOL!

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