Dear Oliver: Here is a mill to consider: http://www.mightymitesawmills.com/
I have no personal experience with their mills, but they have been around for quite a while now.
I do have experience with the Woodmizer LT-10http://www.woodmizer.com/us/PortableEqu ... wmill.aspx
A friend purchased it new in 2008, and I helped put it together and then cut enough lumber to make a shed/shop that was 12x16 using only my own lumber.
2x6" studs on 1 foot centers, with 6x10" post under each truss, and the trusses were 4x10". Way over built, but the idea was to show off the big lumber. We purchased logs from a nearby mill and had them delivered. With forks on the front on a mid size kabota, I was able to put 20 foot logs on the mill,up to about 20-22" in dia. He purchased a bed extension to get the length, as it only comes with enough to handle shorter logs. A 7hp gas engine came with it, but elec. was an option. The LT-10 is their only mill that can break down small enough to fit in an Alaska Bush Plane, so that is why he did not buy the LT-15. He wishes he had the LT-15 now. The newer LT-10's have an improved bed and log "clamps" ( I learned this from the web site). I managed to get 3 big logs cut in to 2x4's for every 1 blade I used. I liked thier resharpen service, and I feel the turn around time was quick. I don't feel that hyd. loaders or feed systems are worth the $$$$, unless, strength/health is an issue. Pushing the "sled" is like pushing a shopping cart in slow motion. Slow and steady pressure. Woodmizer has a company magizine that has some good info about other owners. See if you can get a copy.
Blade change is pretty easy, and I have never had a blade break or jump off the drive wheels. Make sure you have enough room for your log pile, mill, dry pile, scrap pile. All this takes up more room than you think. The good news is, you will have lots of wood to burn next winter, and sawdust for the wifes rose bed. I sure had a good time cutting my own lumber, but its not cheaper than the big box lumber places. I think he paid about $4500 for it. Consider the LT-15, its worth the extra $2000 more. I'd buy one because they have quite a few units sold, and parts are available. Also, if you go and sell it, you have a name brand product. Good Luck.
Here are some pics:
Wood for the stove. Loaded on to pallets, it comes right to the front door via the tractor.
Fresh cut 4x10" beams for my trusses. A poor attempt at siding is stacked at far left. My 2x4 and 2x6's are just outside next to the log pile.
Here is a stack of lumber with 1x1" stickers inserted between so they can dry. The beams are on top so their weight will help keep the boards below from warping.
The blades hanging: one for dull, one for sharp.
Logs ready to go on to the mill. Other lumber ready for transport to the job site.
Monster 2x14"x16' foot board that came off the mill. The grain was just to good to make 2x4's out of this one.
The LT-10 close up. Here you can see where the sawdust spits out. You do step in it, so when it gets deep you need to sweep up. People love it for their flower beds. The drive wheel covers open up for easy blade changes.
Rough cut lumber going up. Feels good to say I cut it myself. Other than plywood, not one single piece of store lumber in the whole thing.
No matter what brand you pick, ask the dealer when his next "demo day" is. No demo, no buy.
Last edited by Redcub on Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.