Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My LT15 mill has a new home! The Wilder family of Moscow, who are owners of The Natural Abode here in downtown Moscow, graciously offered me a place to keep and operate the mill.

The spot is perfect in many ways. Close to town, accessible, and mill itself actually sits on a large concrete pad which once served as the foundation for some kind of outbuilding. This makes moving and leveling the mill easier, and I don't have to worry that the mill will slowly sink into the soft Palouse loess.

I used the same technique to move the mill around as before: large casters attached to boards which are bolted to the mill bed sections. However, I seriously beefed up the wood (two 2x10s per side) as well as the casters (larger and stronger).

If I am careful about how I load and unload the mill from my trailer, this caster system should work well for a long time.

Here is my system: I mount the trailer to the front of my Jeep. I have an 8,000 lbs Warn winch mounted there. Make sure that the heavy mill power head is furthest away from the Jeep and winch the mill bed section without the power head onto the trailer until about half of the mill is on the trailer and half is off. Then, roll the power head along the bed sections onto the trailer, thus avoiding putting a lot of weight on the trailer gate. When the power head rolls up the bed section onto the trailer, and all of the mill weight is now on the trailer, its easy to winch or just push the rest of the mill onto the trailer. Detach the Jeep from the trailer and re-attach at the rear hitch and drive away. Voila!

I think Woodmizer should make a caster-like system like mine and sell it as an accessory for their LT10 and LT15 models. It makes transporting these mills pretty simple. A 1,000 lbs hand winch could be used instead of an electric winch.


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