The American manufacturer of portable sawmills, Wood-Mizer, has shown how a complete sawmill could be built around their bandsaw LT70 HD Wide. With the bandsaw as the heart of the system, other functions could be added that increases productivity and makes the job easier.
Wood-Mizer LT70 bandsaw
It´s all about log feeders, conveyors and an edger that are placed around the LT70 and that make the job more efficient, more like a “real” sawmill.
A new video (see below) shows the whole system and its different parts mounted on a plain asphalt floor. The film is thorough and long but gives a good picture of how to build a small industry around a originally portable sawmill.
The base is Wood-Mizer’s large bandsaw LT70 Wide in the heavy-duty version. Instead of the original mobile saw bed this one is mounted on the industrial bed VM4000 that is reinforced and very stable.
The mill is controlled from a separate control panel and all functions are hydraulically or electrical: Log feed, saw speed, conveyors, etc. The control panel could advantageously be placed on an elevated platform for a good view. Preferably in line with the log feed through the mill.
Simple sorting table
Processed boards and slabs are automatically fed away from the saw head as it goes back to its start position. A conveyor takes over and feeds the board/slab to a sorting table, Green Chain. The Green Chain separates the material, as for an example boards in one direction (toward the edger) and slabs in the other. The edger in this case is a EG300 Multirip.
Edger to increase productivity
The EG300 Multirip edger, handles lumber up to 60 mm thickness and 550 mm width. Two saw blades (one moveable) come as standard with the EG300. But if you wish to split the lumber, up to three additional saw blades can be mounted in the edger.
The edger increases the production of the bandsaw as you otherwise must do also the edging with the bandsaw. With the edger in the setup, the bandsaw can focus on processing logs.
Portable or industrial?
It seems that you must choose between flexibility and productivity. Last year we visited the owner of a portable Wood-Mizer LT70. His idea was to bring the mill to the wood, to help forest owners to process their logs in their own yard. An idea that suited this sawmill owner at the time. The flexibility in this case includes the fact that the portable mill easily could be made stationary if the situation should change.
The investment for an industrial lineup like described here above (and in the film below) is approx. 110 000 EURO (in Sweden). That is not much for a “whole sawmill”, but of course that is related to what you manage to produce. One benefit with such a lineup is that you don´t have to buy it all at once. You can start with the bandsaw and then extend your mill when you, the time, and the wallet allow it.
Here is a film from Wood-Mizer, a live streaming that was made to show the industrial lineup described in this article. The film is over one hour long. The processing starts after about 46 minutes in the film.