"The Rolls Royce of swing blade sawmills."
What makes the Brand X Sawmill better than the competitionís mills?
While remaining strictly professional in not picking on my competition, too much, the following is my personal experience:
I have owned and extensively operated (3) of the major small band mill manufactures mills and have considerable time on (5) other quality manufacturers band mills, all with the same end results:
1. The bands purchase, sharpening and breakage replacement was extremely high in relation to the amount of lumber produced.
2. I was strictly limited to logs under 24", making it impossible to cut wide mantles, counter tops, treads, etc.
3. If I sawed slow and painstakingly enough to cut good (useable and saleable) lumber, I couldnít cut enough product to recoup the purchase price, pay mill maintenance and operating costs, plus make a productive wage.
4. If I attempted to speed production to glean a volume profit, I broke many more bands per day, cut wavy, un-saleable lumber, wasted expensive logs, abused the mills power train, drive system, band guide rolls etc., and quickly saw my adventure headed into the red.
On the plus side, most band mill manufacturers use of a ground based guide track system make cutting "long logs" efficient by the simple addition of a section of inexpensive track and most employed the use of a more than less useable log holding system. Band mills in general are reasonably efficient for cutting one or two flat sides on sill and perlin logs in the log home building trade (and elsewhere Iím sure). I do not consider them to be precise enough, nor capable of producing enough volume to sustain a "quality" saw milled productís reputation or business
Having had extensive experience operating large circle saw mills early on, I knew of their proven ability to saw large volumes of saleable lumber. Their drawback, however, was not only their price but also the waste in slabs and sawdust. With this in mind, I turned to the three-saw Mobile Dimension. The one man operation enthused me, but I quickly found that I not only produced almost the same loss in sawdust and slabs (of which I now had to hand shovel and manhandle), it was also very limited in the specialty items and configurations I could cut. The mill was a little frail when working on larger, heavy logs and was also a little tricky to set for perfectly matched thicknesses and widths.
Therefore, I seriously investigated the Lucus Mill and instantly recognized a "swing saw" configuration much like one I had built and successfully utilized to saw 7"x 9" rail road ties and 6"x 8" guard rail posts from the mid 70ís thru early 80ís. The primary difference being, I powered a 24" circle saw with a 3-53 Detroit engine and passed the log by the saw and not the saw through the log. This was a very fast, accurate and profitable endeavor Ė and my wake up call.
While I compliment Lucus on having probably the ultimate "hand carry into the jungle, to saw big logs, portable mill", their system is very much inefficient, time consuming, frustrating and ineffective when trying to cut small logs. Small logs are the primary, available, reasonably priced log source today, and many of these are knotty or tough and hard to hold. If a good but marginally small log turns while you are attempting to mill it, all is lost, as there isnít enough wood left to saw out your mishap.
This, coupled with the fact that the better of the small, close grained logs yield much stronger, finer lumber at finish, than big wide grain logs do, my choices were limited to one outcome: develop a reasonably priced mill which was simple to operate with one operator, fast, accurate, tough, portable and had a fast and positive log holding system. It also needed to be repairable with technical parts easily available at the local bearing, engine, welding or machine shop.
Therefore, the production of the Brand X Sawmill is a combination of 32 years personal experience and uses a miniaturized version of a heavy circle head rigs proven circle saw and log dogging systems, a double+ width "beefed up" band mill type track for infinite length (as required), a swing frame/saw configuration for accurately sawing both directions in the wood, with NO wasted time, fuel or effort, a precision horizontal set works which is easy to read and set and has no gimmicks to break or malfunction. AND has a capacity to profitably cut from 3" diameter poles by 4í long to 36"+dia. logs as long as Nature grows them, in about every horizontal and vertical configuration called for today.
The results: a plain Jane looking little mill (by some folkís opinions) that will quickly and accurately cut about any configuration and length you ask it to, thus making you a quick and considerable pile of money and all while youíre having fun.
Wood fiber and wood products are a living, renewable resource. Enjoy your endeavors with them.
Thank you for your interest in this little gem, the Brand X Sawmill.