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blderman
blderman's picture
LM29 vs EZ-Boardwalk Jr vs Linn Lumber 190A

Hey All,

I am getting ready to purchase a sawmill in the next few days and have it narrowed down to the three mills listed in the subject line.  Since this is a Norwood forum I was hoping you guys could give me some input on why I should choose the LM29 over the other two.  At the moment I am leaning towards the Linn 190A as I live in Oregon and they are offering $200 off plus free delivery right now.  I looked at an older Linn mill last night and really like it except for the location of the height adjustment handle.  It seemed odd to me to place it so high when the work you are doing is all below waist level.  I will mainly be using this for hobby milling but I am also a General Contractor and plan on using it to mill my own mantles and custom trim work for the houses I build.    Thanks in advance for any help! 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I considered the Linn models, but I noticed the tracks were pretty slim relative to the Norwood models. They depend on having the support underneath, especially if you are running logs of any size. Consider that a 24" diameter log that is 12' long is probably 2000 to 3500 pounds, depending on moisture and species.

Another thing I noticed was the spring loading on the log clamp looks good, but if there is any instability in the log (deep bark, like cedar, or uneven shape), you can't crank it down tighter. 

Finally, I don't believe the Linn models have an underlug wheel. The unit sits on the track. If something causes strain, can it lift off a little, making a rise in the cut? I'm not sure.

 

That said, if you have a fixed location or a sturdy trailer you are mounting it on, that may offset #1 above. It may be possible to make your own clamp system (I did for my LM29, so that's not an insurmountable challenge).

Finally, it may have an underlug or some other means of keeping the sawhead on the track.

 

The advantage the Linn models have is that you can buy parts, and build your own to whatever meets your requirements. 

 

Where in Oregon do you live? I have an LM29 in Tigard right now, and summers I spend a bit of time with it in the Wallowas.

blderman
blderman's picture

Thank you for the info. I didn't realize the Linn tracks we're thin. It's really hard to tell in the pics and there isn't a lot of info on their website. I live in Baker City, was just in Portland last week, darn.

blderman
blderman's picture

Thank you for the info. I didn't realize the Linn tracks we're thin. It's really hard to tell in the pics and there isn't a lot of info on their website. I live in Baker City, was just in Portland last week, darn.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I only made a guess, but they look like square tube. Probably pretty sturdy, if supported in enough places, but I like that I have a vertical edge.

One other thing I just thought of; how hard is it to add cross bunks to the other models? With the LM29, you can bolt them on closer than typical.. I have some about 2' from each other, some span a bit over 3'. With cedar and some other woods, depending on grain and such, there can be some sag, especially at the ends.

I haven't made any bunks out of metal yet, but I have two wood ones. I plan on replacing one with metal, and making another. I guess i could buy one from Norwood, but that takes the fun out of it.

 

If you ever get over by Joseph in the summer, give a holler. I'm about 10 miles out of town (when I am back there).

blderman
blderman's picture

Well I ended up placing an order for an EZ Jr. I really like the LM29 but I couldn't justify the extra cost right now. I ordered the EZ with the trailer package, log turner, 5ft extension and electric start. I figure if I end up enjoying milling and want to venture off into larger projects I will sell the EZ and buy an HD36 with hydraulics.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Enjoy sawing!

Now that you have a sawmill, you will also  be needing blades. I suggest trying different brands, to see which suit you and your mill.

blderman
blderman's picture

That's my plan.  The Timberwolf blades that come with it are pretty expensive so I plan on trying Cook blades and Kasco. 

 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Resharpening is quite a savings, so when the blade starts getting dull, change it. It will last through more resharpenings.

blderman
blderman's picture

Thanks, to start I figure I will send them out to be resharpened.  If I end up sticking with this milling hobby then I will probably invest in an automatic sharpener.  Just got a 13ft long x 36" diameter black walnut trunk tonight.  Can't wait to mill that thing up once I have had some practice! 

 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

How often do you get to the Portland area? There is a Woodmizer shop out toward Troutdale that sharpens them for me. I run them over there every couple months.

For the cost of sharpening, it doesn't work out for me to buy a sharpener, since I don't pay any shipping charges when I drop them by.

blderman
blderman's picture

Once a year at the most.  Ever since I moved from there to Baker City I try really hard to not go back! :)  We have a local guy that does sharpener here so I am going to check with him too.  

Jaxrecwood
Jaxrecwood's picture

You issue will not be milling. It will be drying your lumber. I do quite a bit of work for contractors and sell a lot of mantel pieces. The time to “properly” dry a mantel. ( dry enough to work with is 24+ months depending on the species. Keep in mind this is dry enough to work with not fully dry. As to milling trim you should buy a calculator before you buy a mill. The wood that is used for most of the trim wood is perfectly dried, blemish free and still cheap as hell. Do NOT think that you can compete with hood lumber or these guys on boards. If you buy a mill you need to sell a very high perceived value product or you will starve to death. I mill every day. Most of my milling is custom work and it’s Never trim sized stuff. Go big or go outs business.

- Don

blderman
blderman's picture

I appreciate the input but perhaps I didn't make my intentions clear.  First and foremost the mill is for hobby cutting.  Secondly its for business and only to supplement my General Contracting company that has plenty of work. The construction maket where I live is very small and requires a lot of shipping in product which often results in delays and/or damaged goods.  If I can mill my own mantles, rough sawn posts and paneling instead of relying on shipping it in then I am money ahead regardless of what the actual product cost is.  I have NO intentions at all at trying to produce perfect milled lumber, only rough cut, rustic grade. 

 

 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

If you are interested in playing around with the finish, I have a bit of fun playing around with Linseed oil/Turpentine for stain. I pick up artist oil paints (even Walmart and Office Supply stores have some version of them), and use those for tints. A bit of red, green, blue, yellow, whatever I think will work.

Sometimes I mix the color, but usually I take a chip brush and wipe the color on the wood in some kind of pattern or shape, then dip the same brush in the oil/turpentine and keep brushing until I have a blend of color that I like.

Let it dry, wipe it down with a turpentine rag (to get the residue off), then spray with a lacquer or something.

blderman
blderman's picture

That sounds interesting, I'll give it a try, thanks!

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I started using that trick when I was a finish carpenter; working on restoring old houses. Trying to match color for woodwork that had sun fading in some areas, etc. I could play with color and get a tone that blended in with existing wood.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I took a bit a stain on a cedar board, and here is some of the things you can do. I am out of lacquer, so this is just the oil stain.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/rsmr5GYXA3V3vKGH8

the tints in the example are about 11.00 to 12.00 US.