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Urban Lumber Re-use coming to TX & Woodmizer WM1000 has arrived!!

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Forum topic by dcg4403 posted 10-20-2017 09:49 PM 6842 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dcg4403

18 posts in 1421 days


10-20-2017 09:49 PM

I receive a few messages from members every now and then asking about live edge slabs here in Texas. We focus almost exclusively on live edge slabs and live edge furniture. Well, after 5 years in the making, we’ve finally taken delivery of our WM1000 which was built by Woodmizer in Poland for our business, Refined Elements LLC and the TX Urban Sawmill LLC.

I consider it a serious mission, both personally and for our LLCs, to focus on community education and raising the level of awareness for urban forestry re-use here in Texas. Basically, no one is doing it in TX and we have over 50M standing dead trees! Even the City of Austin has no formal programs for tree re-use other than a tub grinder & Dillo dirt! We are hoping to make some big changes there by being the 1st business in TX focused on turn-key tree salvage and re-purposing projects. My philosophy is…..if you build it, they will come. Huge investment but hopefully one that is well worth it. For those interested in our lumber, we have some including walnut & pecan but will not have a huge inventory of native TX hardwoods for another 12 months or so.

The WM1000? This thing is AMAZING! The total weight of our sawmill including the track system will be 24,000 lbs!!! The head itself is 14 feet wide with MASSIVE band wheels. You do not want to know what blades cost. We are running a 50 HP, 480V Siemens motor. Sticking with the green mission statement, we have purchased 80,000 kW high efficiently natural gas / propane generator to power it versus diesel. I’ll be building the track and hydraulics all myself. It will maintain a 67” cut capacity.

I’m going to continue to update this thread with a progress report as we begin to install the mill. Very, very little information about this saw on the internet & figured most members would have some interest.

If you are local and interested in learning more about us or becoming more involved in this local effort, please reach out to me via Facebook (preferred). I certainly need more support locally and would ideally like to involve more & more people. As we receive mainly donated trees, we have become corporate sponsors for the Austin Habitat for Humanity. My goal is to donate at least 10,000 BF this next year, if not, much more. And I’m committed to increasing our donations and creating formal re-use programs as our business grows. I may go non-profit if we gain considerable momentum but that’s another decision for another year.

I’m pretty active on our Facebook page and would appreciate any support any members can offer. Check us out at

http://facebook.com/RefinedElements

-- Refined Elements LLC & TX Urban Sawmill LLC, Owner


41 replies so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

1978 posts in 425 days


#1 posted 10-20-2017 11:49 PM

Since you brought it up, yes, I am curious what a blade costs.

Looks like you’re set for some serious milling. Very cool!

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

686 posts in 652 days


#2 posted 10-21-2017 03:05 PM

I have a couple of comments. Pardon me if they sound a little negative. First, urban and suburban trees are notorious for being full of metal. Even if the big band saw will slice through it without damage, a normal table or band saw would not. Second, why buy a generator to power a motor to power a saw when you can power the saw directly from the utility? Alternatively, you could use the engine to power the mill directly and eliminate the enormous inefficiency of converting mechanical energy to electrical energy and then from electrical energy back to mechanical energy again. Can you generate power at a lower pollution level than the power company? I have some doubts about that.

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

384 posts in 218 days


#3 posted 10-21-2017 04:14 PM

This is awesome! Can’t wait to see it in action!

View Gilley23's profile

Gilley23

384 posts in 218 days


#4 posted 10-21-2017 04:17 PM

Artman, nobody powers anything directly from the utility, there’s always a conversion of at least one transformer before it gets to you. Natural gas and propane are pretty clean fuels.

With any lumber there’s a risk of metal. Scan it first.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1060 days


#5 posted 10-21-2017 04:34 PM



Artman, nobody powers anything directly from the utility

- Gilley23

What?

View Rich's profile

Rich

1978 posts in 425 days


#6 posted 10-21-2017 04:55 PM

Something tells me the 480V motor might be a factor in choosing to use a generator. That service might not have been currently available at his location, and the cost to add it likely prohibitive.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1557 days


#7 posted 10-21-2017 05:23 PM

80,000 kW, that’s some serious power! I thought the 250kW generators I used to work on were big. By my math that’s 1/25th of the Hoover dam’s capacity.

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

334 posts in 721 days


#8 posted 10-21-2017 11:56 PM



80,000 kW, that s some serious power! I thought the 250kW generators I used to work on were big. By my math that s 1/25th of the Hoover dam s capacity.

- bigblockyeti

I think he means 80 kw, not 80,000 kw (which would be 80 Megawatts)

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

686 posts in 652 days


#9 posted 10-22-2017 12:36 AM

If you are saying that with a straight face then there is absolutely nothing this old electrical engineer can do to educate you. I predict this poor fellow is going to pay more than twice as much for energy as he would if he were buying it from the utility company, He will produce close to twice as much pollution per killowatt-hour doing it.


Artman, nobody powers anything directly from the utility, there s always a conversion of at least one transformer before it gets to you. Natural gas and propane are pretty clean fuels.

With any lumber there s a risk of metal. Scan it first.

- Gilley23


View Rich's profile

Rich

1978 posts in 425 days


#10 posted 10-22-2017 12:54 AM



If you are saying that with a straight face then there is absolutely nothing this old electrical engineer can do to educate you. I predict this poor fellow is going to pay more than twice as much for energy as he would if he were buying it from the utility company, He will produce close to twice as much pollution per killowatt-hour doing it.

- ArtMann

As a retired Electrical Engineer myself, I’d be curious where you got those figures (actually, I think I know where they came from, but this is polite company).

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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ArtMann

686 posts in 652 days


#11 posted 10-22-2017 01:47 PM

My post was a prediction and therefore speculative. I don’t want to make up for your laziness by looking up all the necessary references. However, I will summarize a few facts I found in about 30 seconds from a Penn State white paper. I would assume you would find this a valid source of information.

Thermal/chemical efficiency of a steam plant 85%

Thermal/chemical efficiency of an automobile engine 25%

Thermal/chemical efficiency of a large electric motor 90%

Of course, these figures aren’t the whole story. There will be other thermal and mechanical losses from all three sources, depending on the system. Some of these are addressed in the same white paper.

It is obvious from these figures, as imprecise as they may be, that the most efficient way to run the band saw mill is using electric energy from the utility company. Of course, utility companies buy propane at a fraction of the cost of a consumer.

I suppose I don’t need to mention the place from which you should extract your head.

https://www.ems.psu.edu/~radovic/Chapter4.pdf

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

1503 posts in 1223 days


#12 posted 10-22-2017 02:35 PM

I hope this works out for you. It has always bothered me to see trees just thrown away and I have toyed with the idea of getting a small portable mill to turn some of it into lumber. It would seem that pruning services would jump at the chance to save a few bucks donating wood rather than having paying to dump it. I frequently stop to pick up some small pieces that I can mill on my bandsaw but I can only handle so much. Here in Plano, TX, they at least turn it into mulch or compost for reuse instead of taking it to the landfill but I see lots of great wood go to the chipper. Last time I dropped off some brush at the dump, I came back with some pretty nice chunks of wood.

I am curious what types of wood you expect to have. In Austin, it would seem that you would frequently see cedar, live oak and mesquite as natives. I noticed that you show some walnut on your Facebook page which is not the most common wood in the Austin area. Where did you get that from?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View tmasondarnell's profile

tmasondarnell

62 posts in 1625 days


#13 posted 10-22-2017 05:38 PM

Hey, I am in Manor (outside of Austin) and I am very excited to see you show up.

I will following for updates.

View dcg4403's profile

dcg4403

18 posts in 1421 days


#14 posted 10-23-2017 03:23 PM

Thanks for the comments, folks. Wasn’t expecting to get nailed on the generator choice! But all a good debate. So the primary reasoning was correctly mentioned by Rich. To bring 3 phase power to our location, we are talking over $40K in expenses. Start doing the math and the returns on that investment will never be reached for many decades. Plus, we are working towards growth plans for an even larger facility in about 3 years which is more industrial oriented yard space.

And yes, it is 80 kW. I ran all the numbers on diesel, which is less overall maintenance, longer operating life and less costly to run in fuel. However, diesel generators have a high environmental footprint and are much louder when running. Me love some diesel but we are stewards of the environment so not purely about operating costs. So natural gas / propane it is for at least the next 2-3 years.

Blades are about $125 a pop. Could be worse but we certainly want to avoid metal as much as possible.

And regarding metal, this isn’t my 1st rodeo. This is simply a downside of urban trees and all must deal with in urban log re-use. We try our best with good quality metal detectors over each mill pass, but I have hit and will certainly hit more metal and rocks at some point in the future. It is NOT a reason for avoiding urban trees, just a cost of doing business and something that must be considered in terms of your safety protocols.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATES: We have our forms up and are adding rebar today. We hope to pour the foundation this coming Wed.

-- Refined Elements LLC & TX Urban Sawmill LLC, Owner

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

663 posts in 1055 days


#15 posted 10-24-2017 08:47 PM

this is awesome,dcg!
i hope this turns into a build thread! would love to see when ya get set up and running,too- videos/pictures of what youre cutting.

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