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Thread: Putting together the Woodland Mills HM-130 Mill and Woodlander Trailer

  1. #1
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    Putting together the Woodland Mills HM-130 Mill and Woodlander Trailer

    I placed a phone order with Woodland Mills this past Monday and on Tuesday I picked up my HM-130 mill and trailer crates from the Buffalo, NY distribution center. Picking it up saved me the shipping charges and since it's only 20 miles from my house it was an easy choice. The only way to pick it up at the distribution center is by placing your order by phone. Online purchases don't have that option. The sales folks I talked with at Woodland Mills were very helpful and knowledgeable.

    The two crates just fit on my trailer.



    After unpacking everything else from the sawmill package, the preassembled sawhead is left in the crate.




    Following Woodland Mills very well written assembly directions I lowered the sawhead down onto some 6 x8" high wood beams covered with cardboard. It wasn't hard to do alone.



    After removing the pallet and crate, I continued on with the directions. Let me stop here just a moment to say there are a lot of nuts and bolts that have to be installed to assemble the sawheard and carriage. To make it a little easier Woodland packs the nuts/bolts in clearly labelled bags. Also, each step of the assembly process starts with a chart of exactly how many of each type of fastener is required for that step and includes drawings of where they go, supplemented with a written description to clarify critical steps.



    If you think this is a lot of fasteners, wait until you see the trailer package!

    With the pallet removed you slide in the front posts, bolt on the lower carriage assemblies, and then stand up the sawhead. I did this alone, too, and it did not require superhuman strength. Had it, I wouldn't have been able to do it.



    Next you add the rear posts, top crosshead, dashboard, left mechanism, etc., just following the directions one chapter at a time.



    It took maybe 6 hours to put it all together. Since I bought the trailer package you assemble the track components as part of that build. Here are most of the fasteners needed to assemble the trailer:



    Literally hundreds of parts, but again very clearly labelled in separate bags which helps a lot. There are a lot more parts in the trailer package, and some of them are pretty heavy. It's by far the more difficult and time consuming build, but still not hard if you are patient, and have no trouble stooping down or working on your knees. If you do, get someone else to assemble it for you, or buy another brand that sells a preassembled trailer.



    To build the trailer you start by assembling the basic track components included with the sawmill except you use different fasteners.



    With that done you set this assembly on top of the shipping crate it came in, and then start bolting on the trailer side rails and reinforcing gussets.

    Every bolt size has a specified torque in the Woodland manual. I followed them exactly using a torqued wrench. This was the most time consuming part of the build. With the side rails completed you use the jacks that came with the trailer to jack up the assembly so that some of the lower crossrails and jack mounts can be installed.



    Then you lower the whole thing back down onto the shipping crate, install the jacks on their mounts, and raise the trailer up enough to pull out the packing crate.



    Then the axles, tongue, log clamps. and wiring harness and lights are installed.



    The tongue and axels are fairly heavy. Two people would make installing them much easier, but I made due by using a couple of hand clamps to hold those parts in place while I installed the nuts/bolts.

    Finally, the wheels and fenders are installed and it's done.





    I didn't track exactly how much time it took to put together, but I think it was around 12 hours, over 3 days.

    With only a couple of minor exceptions, Woodland Mill's directions are very well written, and by people who have probably assembled the product.

    Now I have to build a gantry crane to lift the sawhead and carriage up high enough to back the trailer under it. Hopefully, the marriage will be complete in the next couple of days so stay tuned.

    John

  2. #2
    Your odyssey makes me glad I bought my mill used. They seller gave me a lesson using it to saw, then I hooked it behind the truck and drove away.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Your odyssey makes me glad I bought my mill used. They seller gave me a lesson using it to saw, then I hooked it behind the truck and drove away.
    My preference always is to buy used, but
    I looked for 6 months and never found a used mill in the size/price range I wanted. I didn't want to wait any longer so after lots of research I chose the Woodland Mills equipment knowing full well there would be a lot of work required to put it together. But I was impressed with Woodland's design, customers who reported excellent customer service both during and after purchase, and attractive pricing. Over $2.5K lower than comparable competitor's equipment, 15 - 20 hours of my time seemed like a fair trade.

    John

  4. #4
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    I added a tongue jack to my mill it was kinda a pain using the leveling jacks .

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by david privett View Post
    I added a tongue jack to my mill it was kinda a pain using the leveling jacks .
    I was thinking the same thing David. Thanks.

    John

  6. #6
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    Yesterday I built a gantry crane from some wood I had on hand. Calculations showed the two 2 x 10 white oak boards at the top would support more than 2000 lbs so I felt safe lifting the 700 lb mill head with it. I mounted my 2 ton chainfall at the top over a 1" black iron pipe.



    It proved to be very solid with nary a creak when I lift the mill. With the mill hoisted my neighbor backed the trailer underneath while I installed the locking brackets on the rollers.



    With that done, we lowered the mill onto the rails, only to see that the rollers didn't engage on both sides. So we hoisted the mill back up and I removed a washer from behind both rollers on one side to match the rail width and we tried it again. Perfect.



    Today I leveled the trailer, tightened all the bolts on the sawhead and then finished installing the remaining components. Oil and gas in the engine, water in the lube tank, and then I brought the blade up to tension and adjusted the tracking on the driven wheel so that it ran per the manual (back of the blade even with the back of the wheel) when I rotated the wheels by hand. After looking over everything three more times I turned on the key and pulled the starter rope. The engine started on the first pull; always a good omen. But nothing happened when I engaged the throttle handle. The directions are a little light on how it needs to be adjusted, but after fooling with it for a few minutes I got it sorted out and then it worked just fine. The blade came up to speed and everything seemed to run smoothly.

    I think I'm ready to give it go in a log. A couple of friends are coming over tomorrow afternoon and we'll make a little sawdust. Stay tuned.

    John

  7. #7
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    while you are test cutting make yourself some weight distributing pads(I made 2x6x18 outta wood) to go under your leveling jacks, when the ground is soft it will help keep thing level when weight is added to the mill(logs).

  8. #8
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    Today was the day to try out the mill. I moved the mill out to my driveway, near where I had some logs staged. It took maybe 30 minutes to level and get it ready to mill. I brought one of the logs around with my log arch and lowered it onto a couple of 2 x 4's so that I could easily pass the hook of the winch cable under it. I highly recommend the winch and ramp package Woodland sells if you don't have a tractor with forks, etc. to get logs up onto the mill. For true mobile use, the winch and ramps are a must IMO.

    Parbuckling the log up onto the mill is an easy one man operation. A power winch would be nicer and could easily be substituted, but the manual winch works just fine and is not hard to turn.



    OK, I filled up the gas tank, topped off the water tank, and torqued the blade up to the spec'd 25 ft-lbs. (Why did the decide lbs-ft is better? Sounds backwards to me.) I checked everything twice, started the engine and took off the top 3" or so, where I guessed the sapwood/heartwood interface was. Wow, that was easy. I pulled off that cut and rolled the log 90 degrees with the peavey. This log was about 22 - 24" diameter x 8.5' long and I had no trouble doing that alone. The SS bunk covers make it easier to roll the log/cant, just as Woodland claims. I repeated the process, etc.






    This cant is about 12.5" wide. I timed some cuts just for fun. W/o forcing the blade it timed out at 30 seconds +- 1 or 2. My two woodworking friends came to help and each took turns at running the mill. Of course, none of us has any milling experience beyond my chainsaw mill so the ease with which this thing operates is mind blowing. My neighbor came home as the second log was just getting to the cant stage and insisted on timing some more cuts. 30 seconds. And then he said what all of had said at some point during the afternoon. "Why did you wait so long to buy this?" We had a good laugh.

    We made 19 boards for about 150 bf from the two logs.



    I'm very impressed with how easy the mill is to set up, how easy the ramps and winch system makes getting logs onto the mill, and how easily and smoothly it cuts. Cut quality is easily as good as the resaw bandsaw in my shop unless I'm using a high end carbide tipped blade. The only issue I had this afternoon was the blade stopped a couple of times during a cut, like it was slipping on the wheels or the clutch was slipping. I torqued the blade to 30 ft-lbs and it didn't happen again. Later, I lowered the blade tension and then retorqued it to the spec. of 25 ft-lbs and it never slipped again. I'm guessing there was some oil on the factory installed blade. I didn't clean it as Woodlander says you should so maybe that was it. I will clean new blades from now on.

    Milling logs just got a whole lot easier!

    John

  9. #9
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    Excellent! Isn't it great to be the first person to see what's inside that log?!

    I use cant hooks with 5' handles for turning but never tried a peavy. I've wondered what the point of the point is at the sawmill.

    JKJ

  10. #10
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    You have me looking at mills now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Excellent! Isn't it great to be the first person to see what's inside that log?!

    I use cant hooks with 5' handles for turning but never tried a peavy. I've wondered what the point of the point is at the sawmill.

    JKJ
    Oops. I used a cant hook, not a peavey. Sorry about that. But one with a 5' handle would be better and I may buy a Logrite one after the dust settles with my CFO.

    Along these same lines, has anyone used the Norwood hand winch with the cant hook on the end to turn logs on the mill? I'm sure it takes longer than using a cant hook, but it looks like near zero effort and should make turning large logs easier when working alone.

    And to your first question, yes, I enjoy seeing what's inside every log I put up on the mill. The first log yesterday was a bit of a disappointment compared to how it looked on the outside. Some good, clear wood in it, but lots of knots and "character", too. The second log, however, was mostly clear wood. Seeing quite a few clear walnut boards 12" x 8.5' long was a real joy.

    So I know there is no absolute answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway. How many SF or logs can you folks typically saw before the blade gets dull and needs to be swapped out? The two logs I sawed yesterday had some mud on the bottom, so I hosed them off really well to get rid of it before putting them on the mill. I'm sure, debarking would be even better, but that's not too easy w/o more equipment. Anyway, the blade still cuts fine and feels sharp and I would think I could cut at least 2 or 3 more logs before needing to change it. That would be something on the order of 400 square feet of cutting. Does that sound like the right ballpark?

    John

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    You have me looking at mills now.
    Caution, that's how it started for me! Absolutely no regrets though.


    John

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    Oops. I used a cant hook, not a peavey. Sorry about that. But one with a 5' handle would be better...

    So I know there is no absolute answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway. How many SF or logs can you folks typically saw before the blade gets dull and needs to be swapped out? The two logs I sawed yesterday had some mud on the bottom, so I hosed them off really well to get rid of it before putting them on the mill. I'm sure, debarking would be even better, but that's not too easy w/o more equipment. Anyway, the blade still cuts fine and feels sharp and I would think I could cut at least 2 or 3 more logs before needing to change it. That would be something on the order of 400 square feet of cutting. Does that sound like the right ballpark?

    John
    Two cant hooks are so useful for when that unsuspecting friend drops in to "see" the mill!

    Working by myself I've never had a problem rotating a cant by myself with the 5' cant hook, but the bigger logs are more of a problem, especially if they are long. (My saw will handle over 16' but I like to keep the logs to under 10-12'.) Besides the cant hooks, I also keep a long and stout steel pry bar handy. And a small sledge hammer in case I need to pound the hook on the cant hook into the bark for a better grip. Many times I've turned the wood by putting all my weight on the cant hook handle and bouncing a bit! Sometimes if the log is not exactly where Ii want it, I'll go around to the front and use the pry bar and wooden wedges to position it exactly where I want it.

    I've never kept up with the blade life, I just keep plenty of extra on hand. Sometimes I get a lot of logs out of one blade. You can even cut a long time on a blade that's getting a little dull - just cut slower. Good tension, constant lube, and a clean blade helps. BTW, the worst logs I've cut were virginia pine - unlike hardwoods, the sap tended to build up on one side of the blade and cause friction and stress, and cause the cut to vary down the log. When I cut pine I keep a big steel screwdriver handy to scrape off the buildup - I do this just before a cut while the blade is running in the air, standing behind the saw. It sounds dangerous but I don't think it is. Just takes a few seconds

    A huge variable is the amount of dirt on the bark from felling, skidding, rolling etc. If debarking is not an option and you have water nearby hosing or pressure washing the bark might help a lot. Oh, and cutting into a ceramic electric fence insulator is worse than cutting through a nail! I've cut through screwdrivers, 1/2" steel rods, and part way through a railroad spike. I do have metal detectors but don't always use them as I should.

    If you haven't tried it yet, uncoiling and coiling the big blades is fun! For uncoiling, I toss the blade away from me into a grassy spot. For coiling, I hold the big loop against the ground with one foot and do the twisting with gloves and safety glasses! I haven't been injured yet.

    Now you get to start dealing with the piles of scrap and mounds of sawdust! Sometimes I find people who will haul off the scrap wood for heating.

    BTW, my "tool box" at the mill usually includes (what I can remember at the moment):
    2 cant hooks
    2 pry bars
    chainsaw
    pruning saw
    small axe
    small sledge hammer
    sturdy chisel
    big screwdriver
    metal detector
    measuring tape
    straight edge
    lumber crayon
    safety goggles
    hearing protectors
    leather gloves
    sun hat
    can of gasoline

    and something to kill the nest of carpenter ants you often find deep in logs. I sometimes just use a little gasoline.

    JKJ

  14. #14
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    Thanks John. Funny you should mention your tool box list. I was just thinking about what I would need in order to take the show on the road. It's a pretty long list and I can see needing to buy tool box to fill specifically with tools and accessories for mobile milling.

    FWIW, ceramic insulators are bad on chainsaw chains, too. And their anchor bolts. Bandsaw blades are comparatively cheap. A 12' band for my mill costs less than $25. For the 42" bar on my chainsaw mill a ripping chain costs around $45. You can sharpen the chains more times than you can a bandsaw blade, but they don't cut as many square feet before needing to be sharpened. In any case, I think my chainsaw milling days are over unless someone wants live edge slabs.

    I put in a woodstove after I started milling with my chainsaw mill, so I'm used to dealing with the offcuts and sawdust. You have no idea how much sawdust a chainsaw mill can make; easily 4 times that of the bandsaw. My wife uses it in her chipper/shredder recipe for making mulch that we use around our landscaping. Same with the chips and sawdust from my woodshop. We haven't bought mulch in over 10 years and the inventory pile out back never seems to go to zero. Boy how the little critters take to it for Winter quarters. I'd love to put in a glass wall with a camera to see what's going on in there.

    John

  15. #15
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    Thanks a lot John !!!!!! I had my mind nearly made up till you started all this.Lol Just kidding . I think you've convinced me this is the way to go.Its very little more money than the 2 I was considering and a lot more machine. I most likely will get the 130 without the trailer. Thank you much for the pictures and insight.

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