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Harbor Freight Sawmill - 20% off $1,600 + shipping, tax

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by gemniii, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. gemniii

    gemniii Addicted to ArboristSite

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    /edit - that title should have read 20% off Now down to $1,600.

    In this thread http://www.arboristsite.com/milling-saw-mills/121027.htm , which I started in January 2010, I discussed the low end HF mill.
    Well they changed mfg, some say it's Chinese, some say Canadian (Portable Sawmills for sale. Woodland Mills Ontario Canada). But a poster yesterday wrote about his experience with the new model, for which he paid $2,200.
    So I thought I'd look it up again.

    Well it's still there, and I tried the ubiquitous 20% off HF coupon and it worked.

    If your thinking about it read the comments at HF and here, it seems like most HF tools you'll have to do some mod's.

    But for $1,600 plus tax and shipping it's about half the cost of what it's modeled after, and would probably easily take a larger engine.

    If you've only got skinny logs and do have mechanical skills it's worth looking into.

    It's less than the cost of a 120cc saw and an Alaskan mill (unless you score one for $450 like I did),
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  2. Dave Boyt

    Dave Boyt AboristSite Guru

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    "Exactly the same"? Same gauge and quality of steel? Same tolerances? Same quality in the welds? Did they invest in engineering and product development? Not saying it isn't a good mill, just skeptical.
     
  3. gemniii

    gemniii Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You need to ask Chellejeff BUT I went thru the same skepticism when I was trying to track down the mfg of the previous version.

    On another board I was told the Hudson produced models were cheap chinese copies and even when I reported talking to Hudson they didn't believe me. The board owner went so far as to delete the thread and send me threatening emails about what he would do when he saw me and that he knew where I lived.

    If you read the other thread isaaccarlson had some good reports about the prior version.

    For about half the price I expect some parts were substituted, but if all you are cutting is < 20" wood it may not matter, and be a lot easier than building your own from scratch.

    /edit as Jim Timber writes
    some mods may be needed. Often to save $$ we have to spend a little effort. In the epic Northern Tools Chainsaw Sharpener thread, http://www.arboristsite.com/chainsaw/39995.htm 796 posts, it's well documented how with a little effort one could get a chain grinder for $90 which closely compared to the quality of a $400 grinder. I view the HF sawmill as a gem in the rough.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  4. Jim Timber

    Jim Timber Loose Nut

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    If you run into problems with the height screws; Enco (use-enco.com) has acme threaded rod for pretty reasonable prices, and you can buy the nuts from them too. I think they're under $10 for 3' sections of 1".

    Acme threads are intended for load bearing/lead screw use. 60 degree (standard thread) "all thread" is not.

    Horrible Freight (as I call them) is really hit or miss with their stuff. Their electric motors don't last, and their predator engines seem to have a following just like their digital calipers do (I've had mixed results with my HF calipers). Understanding that you're buying something with known faults is the biggest part of the battle - you won't get good help/parts support from their customer service, so you need to acknowledge that going in. These are mills for people who might be capable of building their own mill, but lack the machinery for the specialized parts.
     
  5. greasefittn

    greasefittn ArboristSite Lurker

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    hf sawmill

    I think most of the people on this forum can build a mill ,however, for the price, it is a good start just needs longer rails and wheels, you just have to decide how much use it is going to get and install better parts? or heavier ? and get a list of 'repair parts' to keep on hand to keep it running
     
  6. mrnecsteve

    mrnecsteve ArboristSite Operative

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    On the woodland mills site the two cofounders claim to have designed their saw . I like their design
    I was thinking of buying one. If its a fact that they designed it ,would it surprise anyone if the same factory might be building one for HF ???:msp_rolleyes:

    Myself , i crossed woodland off my list .......tomorrow I am paying a local guy to come to my house
    with his woodmizer to cut 7 oak logs for me. His rates are reasonable and fair. I figure i can afford to do this type of deal about 11 times before it reaches the cost of what a woodland would have cost with purchase price plus shipping cost plus sales tax . (and then there are expendables)
    When i meet him in person, I am going to give him a couple tips on how he could have gotten my
    business a little sooner (his price is fine)
    He is an American,like me...I want him to succeed.(Screw a couple other countries)
    In return he may give me a few tips as to what customers of his have hardwood to sell.
     
  7. hamish

    hamish Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thats what the lack of patent protection gets you. Talk to Josh or Neil in person, face to face, you'll get the truth.
     
  8. WadePatton

    WadePatton AboristSite Guru

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    I'm saying, according to everything i've ever seen from horrible junkstuff freight, that it MUST be not a good mill. probably replete with "engineering" errors from shortcuts made to produce a copy-cat version, compounded by production errors and shortcuts that weren't rectified through engineering. that's all left for you to sort.

    When the wrong alloys, processes, or heat treatments are used/not used/out of specification, then it can be a total junk tool. (generalization from my limited experience with crapass tools and such*, not necessarily the case with any particular item-but very very likely)

    best viewed as a kit/project that will quickly need retro/refitting of an unpredictable amount of parts and pieces**.

    if you've the skills and tools necessary to re-make the thing proper***, why not spend the money on proper materials and fab up your own...

    that's the pony i ride. DIY or die before rewarding the junk importers...takes longer, costs more, satisfaction proportional to the effort put into it (and thank goodness for that).

    do what you want, i'll not argue. this is hows i sees it for my own personal wants and "needs".



    * so i quit messing with crapass tools.

    ** the same way i view dodge/cummins and ruger, except that the replacement/improvements are much more predictable.

    *** you might need to hire a welder or machinist or such. this is good. spread the love in your own community-plus they may offer some free _real_ engineering ideas/practicalities.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  9. Mac88

    Mac88 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I can't speak for this machine, but my experience with "Made in China" is that cheap equates to little or no quality control. I bought some powered equipment from HF. It ran for 45 minutes before the electric motor seized. I found a sealed bearing (Made in China) in the motor (Made in China) that had never been lubricated, right from the factory. HF made it good (replaced the motor) but I've found that my experience is not unusual. And as WadePatton mentioned, a lot of stuff coming out of China is made with substandard material, compounded by quality control issues. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  10. mrnecsteve

    mrnecsteve ArboristSite Operative

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    I had a tow truck pick up a junker from my house on friday. I noticed the guy had a "1200 watt chinese
    generator" sitting in the back of the truck. I kidded with him and said Oh you bought one of those pieces of junk too , huh!
    He said yep, "its only strong enough to operate my small electric grinder and most importantly.......its not worth stealing.... so I can depend on it being there!
     
  11. Mac88

    Mac88 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Probably more truth there than you realize. The crackheads would probably steal it anyway.
     

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