David Bolstad – World Champion axeman, 4 time Stihl Timbersports champion and New Zealand Lucas Mill owner/operator and agent has represented Lucas Mill at the country-region “Great Portable Sawmill Shootouts” since 2003. The Shootout results have been no less spectacular than his performances with the axe.
In 2003 at his first sawmill shootout David operated a Model 8-27 Lucas Mill and won outright for production with 922 BF/HR (424BF = 1m3) and zero “miss-cuts” (i.e. boards rejected for size inaccuracy or wane). Recovery was right up with the bandsaws at 1.06 LRF (log recovery factor) In the USA a theoretical recovery factor of 1.00 is based on the maximum recovery from a log, based on 1 inch thick boards and ¼ inch kerf.
Find below links to the official results published in Sawmill and Woodlot Magazine (official hosts of The Great Sawmill Shootouts) for the last 8 shootouts held every second year in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. Along with the results you can read the rules and guidelines for the events.
Of the swing-blade mills present, Lucas Mill and Peterson WPF, the Lucas Mill has come out well in front at every event for the 4 most important factors – production, recovery, accuracy and price. If you are considering buying a swing-blade sawmill these are the first factors you need to consider and the results speak for themselves. See comparison graphs below.
Averaging the results of the last 8 Shootouts, Lucas Mill’s average production is 765BF/HR and average recovery is 0.96 as compared to Peterson WPF’s average production of 656BF/HR and average recovery of 0.89. Lucas Mill is in front by 15% in production and 7% in recovery – a significant advantage in one days sawmilling let alone over the life of the sawmill.
HOW DOES THE LUCAS MILL ACHIEVE SUCH GREAT RESULTS FOR PRODUCTION & RECOVERY?
Lucas Mills clear and simple eye level “wind to dimension” vertical gauging at each end frame ensures fast, accurate, confirmable and repeatable “zero misscut” gauging. Confirmable at a glance because the gauge peg stops at the dimension you want. Not on a return to zero system seen on some mills, where if there is an error you don’t know what it is or how to easily correct it. The system allows you to change your mind mid way through a log and increase or decrease the cut size with kerf allowed for.
Lucas Mills pre-select horizontal gauging with repetitive stop bar. This means no wasted time gauging whilst the saw is out of the log---gauge your next board while you cut.
Lucas Mills unique walk through end-frames with independent horizontal and vertical shifting at each end for fast initial log alignment, especially important for large tapered logs where it’s easier to adjust the mill to the log than the log to the mill. Also important for parallel to grain cutting and maximum recovery in tapered logs.
Lucas Mills elevated off-the-ground tracks allow easy log replacement and sawdust clearance, or alternatively the mill can be side shifted one end-frame at a time away from the sawdust/off-cuts and towards the log pile eliminating the requirement to continually have to clear the work area.
Lucas Mills unique gas strut controlled blade swing-over is fast and simple and because the strut “pre-loads” the mechanism there is no vibration or chatter to induce wear in hinge or stop points, maintaining better performance and accuracy over time. The strut enhances blade life because it reduces de-tensioning gyroscopic forces acting on the blade during swing-over by controlling how quick the blade pivots and therefore how hard it hits swing-over stops.
On Lucas Mills the weight the operator has to push back and forth for each board (as compared to Peterson WPF) is significantly reduced as the weight of the vertical gauging apparatus and associated frame work is not a part of the powerhead. This factor becomes even more important on sloping terrain.
Invest in Lucas Mill and you too can achieve great results like David Bolstad!
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