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Cooks Sawmills

Herbettehunter

Herbettehunter

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I'm getting ready to upgrade to a fully hydraulic sawmill. I would appreciate any comments folks have as to what it's like to work with Cooks as a company. I read an awful lot of forums and posts, learning from all the folks out there who have been sawyers for short and long periods of time. I rarely start my own post but I would like good feedback on Cooks.
 
Mike Van

Mike Van

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I've done business with Cooks for 20+ years. Always found them good people. Last box of blades however, 2 of the 10 had bad welds. One was crooked, so the blade hammered the guide every revolution, the other was ground so thin at the weld I could see both ends of the blade. One of the employees there - Robert somebody refused to replace them, or even offer a discount towards new ones. Not really what I wanted to hear, as the blades were bad the day they left Cooks shop.
 
Herbettehunter

Herbettehunter

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I've done business with Cooks for 20+ years. Always found them good people. Last box of blades however, 2 of the 10 had bad welds. One was crooked, so the blade hammered the guide every revolution, the other was ground so thin at the weld I could see both ends of the blade. One of the employees there - Robert somebody refused to replace them, or even offer a discount towards new ones. Not really what I wanted to hear, as the blades were bad the day they left Cooks shop.
Thank you Mike
My real concern about smaller companies like Cook's is that when the founders or principles get older there's a tendency not to monitor quality control as when they were younger building the company. I do think Cook's equipment is heavily built and well-constructed but I do worry about their quality control over time and of course their financial position.
 
rarefish383

rarefish383

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Valid concern. I read all I could on Cooks years ago and every thing was good. Gears changed and I never got a band mill. I do have a 1912 Savage 1899 rifle that was sold to the Malcolm Rifle Telescope Co., and it has a 1912 Malcolm scope on it that is as long as the barrel. I spoke with the owner of one of the premier scope restoration facilities in the world and was ready to send my scope off. He passed away and instantly the internet lit up with complaints. Family took over, but were terrible business people. Turn around went from six months to three years with no return calls or emails. I heard the work was still top notch, but after being quoted six months and they haven’t answered one call in three years, you just want your stuff back.
 
Franny K

Franny K

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You get a lot for the money with Cooks. They do not help with economical shipping and they are pretty far from NH. Have you watched a bunch of their videos? They have package of edger and fully hydraulic mill. Sure looks like they have good components. They like the word manufacturing but fabrication is a term. I have their MP32 electric package with a few options in Northern CT. That mill you are considering (ac36) has the squaring arms on the same side as the non movable blade guide that is the one the band comes off before entering the log. Most other mills seem to have the band cone off the movable guide before entering the log and the log stops on the blade exit side. Interesting, I don't know about their set works.
 
Herbettehunter

Herbettehunter

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You get a lot for the money with Cooks. They do not help with economical shipping and they are pretty far from NH. Have you watched a bunch of their videos? They have package of edger and fully hydraulic mill. Sure looks like they have good components. They like the word manufacturing but fabrication is a term. I have their MP32 electric package with a few options in Northern CT. That mill you are considering (ac36) has the squaring arms on the same side as the non movable blade guide that is the one the band comes off before entering the log. Most other mills seem to have the band cone off the movable guide before entering the log and the log stops on the blade exit side. Interesting, I don't know about their set works.
Very interesting observation about their set up on the AC 36 versus most other setups. I think I'm going to inquire about that. Probably will learn something in their re-thinking of that design feature.

Where in Connecticut are you located? I lived in Connecticut all my life until I retired and then moved up to New Hampshire. I have several hunting dogs and I've been hunting birds most of my adult life and grouse hunting up here is pretty good.
 
Herbettehunter

Herbettehunter

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Can I ask why not woodmizer when you have just to West of you woodmizer NY and east of you woodmizer Maine. For parts service and blades very close.
Good question. I just have a hard time with the cantilever approach of Wood Mizer. I'm sure it's a good design but I feel more comfortable with the blade housing tacked down on both sides of the mill.
 

Mike Van

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I have the Cooks sharpener & setter - Whatever mill you decide on, factor in the cost of these with it. Worth their weight in gold as the saying goes. In 30 years of this, I tried every possible way of keeping sharp blades, made my own jigs, sent blades out, etc. Nothing will prolong the life of blades [and your machine] like having them sharp . We've all cut wood with a dull sawchain at some point, you know how hard it is. Same thing for a bandmill. Maybe worse - If you don't cut straight flat lumber, you're just wasting time. And money.
 

Franny K

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In Ct I am generally in Stafford Springs real close to the Mass state line, Wales is the town in Mass.
Timberking and Cooks don't go to the Paul Bunyan Show in Ohio. Not sure if that means anything. I have ordered parts from Cooks a few times using the phone and it went well. AT least as long as they were parts for Cooks products.

Like posted above their bands that I got moved I guess front to back a bit where the Lenox and Woodmeizer ones did not show that behavior. The balanced steel band wheels work great as far as the up down and blade flutter. Even though it seems recently I dealt with them the contact person I used is gone and it seems Robert now.

Another intresting thing I found with phone discussion. Instead of upon removing the blade guides, putting the blade over a bunk and adjusting whatever holds it up so the band is parallell with the bunk they build the mill so the band is higher (perhaps a quarter inch or so) on the movable guide side because when the roller guide is used it is often farther away from the wheel. I modified mine so the band was parallell with the rollers removed but found they do it on purpose and then put it back, not that I am sure how that detail works out in the long run.
 
Herbettehunter

Herbettehunter

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In Ct I am generally in Stafford Springs real close to the Mass state line, Wales is the town in Mass.
Timberking and Cooks don't go to the Paul Bunyan Show in Ohio. Not sure if that means anything. I have ordered parts from Cooks a few times using the phone and it went well. AT least as long as they were parts for Cooks products.

Like posted above their bands that I got moved I guess front to back a bit where the Lenox and Woodmeizer ones did not show that behavior. The balanced steel band wheels work great as far as the up down and blade flutter. Even though it seems recently I dealt with them the contact person I used is gone and it seems Robert now.

Another intresting thing I found with phone discussion. Instead of upon removing the blade guides, putting the blade over a bunk and adjusting whatever holds it up so the band is parallell with the bunk they build the mill so the band is higher (perhaps a quarter inch or so) on the movable guide side because when the roller guide is used it is often farther away from the wheel. I modified mine so the band was parallell with the rollers removed but found they do it on purpose and then put it back, not that I am sure how that detail works out in the long run.
I was planning on going to the Paul Bunyan show this year if it's still on. It's about a 13-hour Drive for me. I asked Cooks if they attend but just as you said they don't. I didn't realize Timberking didn't go also. So not sure if it makes a whole lot of sense for me to go there about sawmills unless there's other things I can learn which I'm sure there is.
 
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