I'm really interested in buying a new hydraulic mill with a chain turner, and was curious what anybody has to say about these four mills, used or new does not matter. Seems like the B-20 is a great mill and plenty of used ones are available, but the advantage with them seems that some have pony engines to keep the band drive HP separated. I'm really leaning towards a diesel mill because there should be more torque, am I right in thinking so?
Can anybody please tell me the pros and cons about these mills and diesel vs. gas? I would even consider 3 phase because the mill will usually be indoors (not enclosed) but 3 phase is not available on my site and I also want the versatility to sometimes do portable jobs.
If I plan on having any of these mills sit stationary for a while, will its base have to be re-leveled frequently on the factory set ups? I purposely set up my little TK 1220 (fed with a 24' long gravity log deck and 5,000 lb. lift capacity grapple knuckle boom for loading) heavily bolted to 8x8 wood blocks with several additional 1-1/2" threaded rod leveling legs for lots of stability, so mill shake and rattle is a big concern of mine for a new mill.
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor K:
Well the TK 2200 and the LT50 are about as close as you can get to compare one to the other. In mills of that size diesel is the only way to go if you want to move around. I have lots of hours on a LT70 and the chain turner is a very nice feature.
However if you are going to be sawing solo most of the time you will never be able to use the capacity of either mill to warrant the extra outlay of cash. While the LT70E does a great job if I am sawing alone I am better off using the LT40HDG25 that I have.
Both companies have good reps, warranty and service so you will not lose there. WM does have an office in PA which is not far from you. You should be able to buy a used machine of either one and that could save you money and get some extras to boot.
As far as the hydraulics you do not use them while you are sawing so you do not pull power away from the blade. Most engines have more than enough power for what most blades can handle any way. A large part of the time you not make the blade cut faster no matter how much power you have and the hydraulics can just do so much anyway. Where production comes is how fast you can load, position and adjust the log and how fast you can get the stuff out of the way once cut. I have seen an LT15 saw as much per hour as my LT70 it is just with a good set up the LT70 can do it all day long without killing you.
The debarkers are the same price, but if it hits a rock or something on the exit side, wonít it still dull the blade? Has anyone seen anybody rig up another debarker on the exit side? Do any TK2200 owners out there have anything negative at all to say about this mill?
If you do not have an edger then pulling the boards back is not a big advantage. I have edgers behind both of my mills but when sawing solo I prefer to saw with the LT40 so I walk along and move the slabs and boards needing trimmed. It also allows me to look at the grade of the face I just cut to see if I want to turn the log or not. On the LT70 I have to flip the just cut board over to look at the face. When I am mobile I edge on the mill so I just pile the flitches up on the deck or loading arms and then edge back against the cant. I learned not to clamp the flitches to tight against the cant so after I cut I can pull them up and flip them over or put them back on the deck if done. No matter what you saw on you will still have to pick up that lumber and slabs and stack them. If you saw 2,000 bdft a day that is close to ten tons you will have to move.
For a one man operation I think this is the way for me to go. It might be a little more handling on the lumber, but my knuckleboom with grapple makes it simple. The shop will be packed with machinery, but everything will be aligned for easy slab and sawdust outfeed, and a large doorway for my trucks and trailers to back in and accept the lumber.
On your Wood-Mizerís can you use your log clamp to assist with log or cant turning if needed? I wonder if the log clamp may be a better turner for some certain situations? How do you feel about the claw turners on the Wood-Mizer LT-40's?
As far as power the 34 HP Kohler on the B2000 has plenty of power even in wide hard lumber but will use over 1 gal per hour where a similar diesel might be around 3/4 GPH. I really don't see the sense in buying a TK 2200 over the B2000 with the capacity the B2000 has and the 2200 costs a lot more. If you can find a B20 reasonable they can saw lumber fast but a little over a 30" log is about the limit without trimming, also the 27hp Kohler has nowhere near the power of the 34 ho Kohler. I put a 28hp Isuzu diesel on mine that has about the same power as the 34 hp Kohler. When buying new you can't beat a B2000 for the money.
The electric system on the TK and WM are very different. Now I have over 10,000 hours on a LT40 and have had to make a few repairs but the system has proven to be very good. It is easy to work on and WM is good at having repair parts and tech support. I never was a fan of the pony engine system of the TK for the hydraulics. Itís just another thing to fuel and take care of. But they work very well.