With 2016 being a record year for Wood-Mizer WM1000 industrial sawmill installations, sawmillers around the world report on how they are using the massive sawmill to cut their biggest logs, increase yield, and improve cutting accuracy.
Five years ago, Wood-Mizer released a revolutionary sawmill designed to facilitate the sawing of large diameter logs up to 67" (1.7m) in diameter. The affordable price, durable construction, and simple maintenance and operation made the sawmill an attractive choice for companies dealing with large diameter logs from all over the world. Using the WM1000, large logs can be slabbed through and through, sawn in half, quartered, or broken down into cants for resawing. The operator controls all cutting functions while standing on a platform that moves with the head. The WM1000 also features thinner kerf blades than other large-log sawing methods, resulting in higher timber yields, more cutting precision and a smoother surface finish. Here are just a few of the many companies throughout the world that are using the WM1000 industrial sawmill to process large logs.
Cook Woods (Oregon, USA)
Cook Woods offers 250 different timber species that are sourced from all over the world. At the center of the business is a WM1000 industrial sawmill with a fully hydraulic bed, which can handle logs up to 40' (12m) long and 67" (1.7m) in diameter.
Some of the woods they cut are extremely rare, so every fraction of an inch can mean the difference between making money and losing money on a certain product. “I can cut a slab for a conference table — that used to take over an hour to mill with a chainsaw — in a little over a minute,” shares owner Chris Cook. “Chainsaw mills are rough-cut at best and generally wipe out ¾" (19mm) or more with kerf and chatter during a cut. Our Wood-Mizer WM1000 is laser leveled over the entire track.”
Kamuela Hardwoods (Hawaii, USA)
Most building materials on the Hawaiian Islands are imported from overseas. But Kamuela Hardwoods processes only locally-sourced timber, supplying islander woodworkers, builders, and even instrument makers. Kamuela Hardwoods has the unique ability to provide “rainforest hardwood” species that were planted locally rather than from rain forests half a world away.
“We used an Alaskan chainsaw mill, but it produced massive waste,” said owners Josh Greenspan and Alex Woodbury. “It was also dangerous and required inefficient use of our labor.”
Alex and Josh installed a Wood-Mizer LT70 and a WM1000 sawmill along with a Wood-Mizer EG200 twin-blade edger in order to expand. “We’re dealing with tropical urban canopy trees with massive base logs and limbs,” said Josh. “Having the pair of big sawmills allows us to break down base logs with the WM1000 and mill up the rest on the LT70 - there is very little wasted material.” Kamuela Hardwoods regularly mills more than 40 different species of trees ranging from softwoods to some of the hardest and most dense tropical woods in the world.
Copford Farm (Sussex, England)
The father and son team of Alex and Harry Gingell diversified their farm activities to include sawmilling many years ago. Copford Farms started by offering mobile sawmill services, and now that they are well-established, they specialize in custom cutting oak to the requirements of local builders. Smaller diameter straight logs were easily cut on their Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill, but large diameter logs had to be cut in half with a chainsaw. There was a clear need for a larger capacity sawmill, and they soon decided to install a WM1000 industrial sawmill.
“It’s a huge sawmill but easy to operate,” said Harry. “In addition to being faster we are getting much higher yield from bigger logs. Accuracy is spot on and the surface finish is excellent. We have had very good feedback from customers”. The fact that it is a horizontal bandsaw was a definite benefit, since it could be installed easily and cheaply on a flat surface rather than requiring a pit like a vertical bandsaw, and could therefore be moved without problem if they decided to rearrange the mill layout in the future.
Van Urban Timber (British Columbia, Canada)
Danny Hagge and Eric Savics of Van Urban Timber utilize their WM1000 sawmill to produce live-edge slabs and custom wood furniture from locally salvaged timber. With the WM1000, large diameter urban sourced logs can be sawed into half, quarters, or cut into manageable cants for resawing. The WM1000 was a good fit for the move forward Vancouver Urban Timberworks wanted to achieve as a business.
“Before the WM1000, a lot of companies were refurbishing really old saws and old carriage mills, with some interesting equipment fabrications,” says Danny. “So when the WM1000 came out, everyone in the slab industry was really excited—it is an affordable, quality, great production mill for a medium volume business.”
Hunski Hardwoods (California, USA)
James and Nick Hunsaker of Hunski Hardwoods started their urban timber salvaging business with a chainsaw mill that would take up to eight hours to cut a single log. With an increasing inventory of large timber to be processed, the father and son team upgraded to a Wood-Mizer WM1000 sawmill and realized the potential growth they could experience with their business.
“Once we saw the WM1000 in action and how it made easy work of any sized log, we knew we needed one,” said Nick. “Before the WM1000 we could mill one to maybe two logs per day, now we are averaging three to five per day with ease. Not only can we cut more logs per day, but we are gaining one to two more slabs per log as well. We couldn’t run our business without it.” Nick recalls that in the first two weeks of owning their WM1000, they were able to mill 30 logs that yielded approximately 200 slabs.
Sri Murali Krishna & Company (Tamil Nadu, India)
A third generation business headed by Khimji Patel and his son Pankaj, Sri Muralia Krishna & Company operates with a Wood-Mizer WM1000 sawmill in Chennai, India. “We decided to get the WM1000 after we saw what the [Wood-Mizer] LT70 was capable of,” Pankaj Patel says. “The LT70’s performance, which has now been redeployed to process teak and semi-hardwood logs of up to 500 mm diameter, convinced us that the WM1000 can only improve our long-term competitiveness,” Pankaj says.
“The affordability of the WM1000 when compared to sawmills in the same league has also given us an advantage,” Khimji Patel shares. “We’re getting high performance capacity from the WM1000. It was also easy to install while its operation is simple, minimal operator training is required, high productivity is achieved and waste is reduced to a minimum”.
Categories: All, Success Stories, Woodworking, Custom Sawing
Tags: WM1000, Industrial Sawmill
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