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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    466

    Default swing mill vs. band mill

    thinking about pivking up a sawmill.

    anyone here have experience with both types?

  2. #2
    Super Member schmism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,092
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: swing mill vs. band mill

    your going to get a lot more responses over on

    http://www.forestryforum.com/board/i...board,7.0.html

    what type of trees do you plan on milling?

    large trunks 24" and larger saw better on swingers because you can whittle them away as they sit on the ground not moving.

    smaller logs 14" and under saw better on band mills.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Saltspring Island, BC, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST

    Default Re: swing mill vs. band mill

    I looked at this in some detail before buying a bandmill. Here is a brief summary of what I found:

    Used bandmills are way cheaper. I found mine, a Lumbermate 2000, for under $5k. It's a completely manual mill, no hydraulics. I bought a bed extension, some adjustable feet and a few other extras and still got change for $6k. It can handle logs 24" dia and 18 feet long. It's manual, so milling is a work out.

    The best swing blade mill I thought was the Peterson, a New Zealand made mill although the Lucas ran a close second. I saw a Peterson in action on a neighbouring island and was really impressed with it. Cost used was about triple what i paid for my bandmill, more than I was prepared to pay. I liked the fact that the swing blade mill could be set up really quick and only had 4 teeth to sharpen on the blade. Although I bought a bandmill sharpener and tooth setter, they're not automatic and I find that it's more cost effective to send the blades away for sharpening. I find the best new blades are Woodmizer, rather than Lumbermate and Woodmizer run a great delivery service.

    With the swing blade mill, you set the mill over the log then mill away. With a bandmill, you have to move the logs to the mill and mount them on the log bed. This takes effort. I have three log piles on my property and find it easier to move the bandmill so its fairly close to the log pile I'm milling from at the time. Skidding logs takes work. If I could move the mill as easily as with a Peterson, it would save a good deal of sweat and the air would be a good deal less blue. Peterson have a pretty neat series of videos on their web site that shows their beast in operation. It makes interesting viewing.

    Bandmills are good for planking. Set the log on the bed, then run the mill up and down, lowering the blade each pass to whatever thickness of plank you want. I milled all our paddock fencing this way, using Douglas Fir from the farm. Swing blade mills are great for cants (post and beam work). Turning large logs on the bandmill bed to make cants is a workout although it would be easier if I had a mill with hydraulics. Nonetheless, I milled a lot of post and beam work for the three buildings we erected.

    All things considered, the mill was a great investment and I'm glad I took the time to learn how to mill. It's been a satisfying and rewarding process.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    3,202
    Location
    adirondacks

    Default Re: swing mill vs. band mill

    own a samll band mill and have no problem with 24" dia logs. Moving the logs isn't that bad if you use a little common sense. The swingblades seem nice but they also come with a price. Depending on your wallet and use, it will make a difference on what you decide.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Eastern Skagit County, WA
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2615 hst

    Default Re: swing mill vs. band mill

    check out this site:
    Saw Bucks • Index page

  6. #6
    Super Member schmism's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    5,092
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: swing mill vs. band mill

    Quote Originally Posted by inveresk View Post
    With the swing blade mill, you set the mill over the log then mill away. With a bandmill, you have to move the logs to the mill and mount them on the log bed.
    if you have a wack of logs to mill with a swinger, then it basicly goes the same way.

    you set up the swing mill, lay out a set of sleepers and bring the logs to the mill. still have to move the logs just as much as with a band mill....
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

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