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kcaadlsmith's picture
Should I or should I not?

I am considering purchasing an LM29. The primary purpose is to use the timber on my 15 acre piece of property to build my home and barn. I mainly plan to use it for the larger pieces of lumber and large timbers for my barn. Afterwards I want to continue my wood working building furniture and the like. I have been a carpenter for years but have no experience using a mill. What are some of your feelings? Will it be worth it financially to cover the cost of the big lumber and timbers? How much practice will i need before i can cut a straight piece of wood?

Bill's picture

You'll probably need at least 1 log cut up before your a competen sawyer or maybe a couple more but the satisfaction of turning logs into something you can use is worth the effort. Sawing up logs may not be for everyone but for those who enjoy it I'm not so sure they dwell on how much it's saving them when all the factors are figured . Regardless the end result is totally up to each individual as to how much they'll save or how much satisfaction they get out of making their own lumber.

kcaadlsmith's picture

Thanks for your imput Bill. The decision will not be a financial decision only, there is the satisfaction of getting big logs cut into what my family needs. However, being a firefighter my income is limited and i do need to try and cover my costs as much as possible. I was discussing this with one of my coworkers last night and he was getting fired-up with me.

zehrbrox's picture

Not sure what lumber costs where you live but it won't take long to pay off, if you have the time and being a firefighter I assume you would have alot of time off between shifts, plus holidays!? so I vote go for it. also for any lumber you make and don't have to buy is lumber you don't pay tax on either!! I started with an order for an LM29.... than got the basic HD36 with extension...... than added the 23hp motor. cut about 1500 board foot of ash thats drying in the barn for a "sugar shack" next summer (this summer).  can't wait for the snow to go and finish the timbers for the cabin.  also non-dimentional lumber is pricey to buy, but easy to make your self.  IMO!

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture


No seriously I bought a LM 29 for the fun of it. But I will say that I have paid it off with my home projects and that was not the intent at all. If you have the logs available and are not concerned about the extra work, the satisfaction is worth it alone. Yes you will frig up some cuts but they are never a loss. that 2x6 may just become a piece of strapping. Go for it

The other Bill

r.garrison1's picture

Buy the mill.


I'm fairly new to this, just bought mine this year, and so far I've had it out to two places, aside from my back yard.

When I took it to a friends to cut some logs he salvaged when they widened a road by his house, we cut some, made some wavy cuts and some straight cuts. Afterward, he gave me a hug because it was the most enjoyable day he's had for a while.


Took it to my tree farm on the other side of the state, and had my brother-in-law visiting. Cut some logs, and he loved it. I had to take a day off to drop someone at the airport, he spent the day on the mill. 

He's trained as a heavy equipment mechanic (I believe his degree is Ag Tech from Cal Poly), and he had the greatest time. He can't wait to come back next summer to cut.

The benefit of having such a brother-in-law is he did a great job of tuning the saw; no more wavy cuts, unless I do something stupid.


I have some free Cedar lined up to cut when the weather gets a bit warmer; I am cutting for 1/2 thw wood. I guess I get to expand my deck.

wayne busse
wayne busse's picture

I just wish I'd bought a mill 25 years ago. It is the greatest thing having your own lumber yard. Here on the farm hardly a day goes by that I'm not needing lumber for a project. The list is endless, sign frames and posts, dock posts and decking for docks on seven ponds, repairs and additions to my barns and out buildings. I built my house 12 years ago and never finished the trim, now we're almost finished using poplar and cedar and it's a work of art compared to what was available at the big box stores.

And that's just bonus, most of the lumber will be used to build furniture for sale. I have over 10,000 bdft of walnut and cherry to saw for a customer, much needed income in the winter months. The only downside is there aren't enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Another vote to buy the sawmill.  Once people find out you have the mill, there will be a steady supply of logs.  The LM29 is a very capable machine, though no matter what size you get, you'll always find logs bigger than it can handle (time to get out the chain saw with a long bar).  Let us know where you're located, and I bet someone on the forum will be glad to have you visit and get a little practice.

mtnmike's picture

Tell you what, guys... I couldn't have said it better.  Kcaadlsmith, I finished assembling mine in July, and kinda like Post Oakie said, once people find out you've got a mill... Except for me, it wasn't a steady supply of logs, as much as it was a steady supply of requests for "free" cutting!  I don't begrudge that part (usually), because it's generally for non-profits or close friends who will be willing to trade me for something else down the line.

When I was a forest firefighter some years back, I loved to lead my crew up some nasty steep fireline, and when we'd stop for a break-- all sucking oxygen back into our lungs-- up at the head of the line I'd turn around, throw my arms out wide to the beautiful surrounding mountains, and shout,  "Boys, can you believe they're PAYING us to do this stuff?"  That's the kind of feeling I get running this mill.  With an almost unlimited supply of Ponderosa pine delivered right to my property, I'll just mill away for hours... Sometimes making money, sometimes not; sometimes cutting solely for my needs, and other times cutting for a friend in need.  There never seems to be a bad day sawmilling.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Mtnmike, after writing that you couldn't have said it better, you proceeded to do exactly that!