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In 2006, we ordered and received a Norwood Lumbermate 2000 saw mill. Since access to our property involves a one lane road for about the last mile, many 18 wheeler truck drivers prefer not to deliver on our property. The Lumbermate is delivered on one of these huge rigs, so we decided to take delivery at our home in town and assemble it there before moving it out to our property.

Since we got the trailer package with it, it will be easy to hook up to our pickup truck and pull out there when it's assembled. The trailer package is also a nice option should we find a market for cutting lumber into usable board.

We worked on assembling the saw mill in our spare time, so it was a slow process. Once it was finished, we moved it out to our property. About two years later, we joined it when we permanently moved to our homestead!

Below are the step by step pictures and instructions of the assembly:

skids

The Lumbermate came on 2 skids with a total weight of 1700 pounds.
Instructions It comes with a fairly thick instruction manual. Each box is clearly marked, and the manual includes a list of boxes and all items found in each box. The manual has easy to read, step by step instructions - with helpful diagrams and pictures.
begin The first order of business was putting together the cross-bunks of the bed assembly. This picture shows 4 of them. There is a total of 5, but it took us a few minutes to figure that out - the 5th is in a seperate box.
Precision Putting together the cross-bunks requires some precision. You need to square the corner brackets to the cross-bunk before you tighten the bolts.
frame The next step was attaching the cross-bunks to the rail while installing the splice plates. This was a very time consuming process. I could not believe the amount of bolts involved in this.
Level Once the cross-bunks are in place, it's time to use string and shims to level the bed assembly. I don't mean to go on about this, but again, the amount of bolts is amazing! There are detailed instructions for tightening them - including the order in which you tighten each bolt - all 160 of them!
Wear_gloves In hindsight, we should have probably worn gloves.
rails This is the start of day 2 of putting the saw mill together. Our good friend, Tex came over to help - thank goodness! He brought an impact wrench which helped immensely when tightening up all the bolts to the rails they are installing in this picture. I've mentioned before how impressive the amount of bolts is!
tongue Next, they put it up on jacks and installed the tongue.
wheels_fenders Now the wheels are installed and Bernie is working on the fenders. As it turns out, they delayed actually installing the fenders until the end of the day because they threatened to get in the way.
carriage Putting together the carriage. We are short on space in our driveway, so they ended up having to utilize a small trailer as the workspace for this.
blade_guard Once the carriage was installed, they put on the blade guards.
band_wheels Next the bandwheels were installed.
motor Now the engine was put in place. Tex is tightening it down. By the way, when Tex isn't busy being the best friend we could ask for, he's busy being the best darn tattoo artist on the East Coast. He's modest about it, but I'm not. He's well known for his soft touch. Check him out.
drive_belt The guys put the drive belt on, and now Tex is using his hairy eyeball to make sure it's aligned.
end_day2 This is where we ended day 2. I highly recommend an impact wrench to tighten down all those freaking bolts! It definitely speeded up the process. I actually helped a little with all this, but I'm behind the camera. Don't want y'all to think I was slacking off! All in all, this is really a fun project. We're pretty impressed with the Lumbermate 2000 so far. The manual is pretty good, but it could use a little update.
stabilizers This is where we started on the third day. Bernie and Tex found stabilizer legs in one of the boxes. Holy Crap! We have stabilizer legs? We put those on (they're the legs on the front left and right) and got rid of all but one of the jacks we had propped it on. Sure made a difference.
Counterbalance Tex is tensioning the counterbalance. He did a mighty fine job of it.
Blade Finally, the sawblade gets put on and adjusted. Just as a note, Tex learned first hand (or first finger) that those sawblade teeth really are sharp! Nothing serious. Just a little prick. Contrary to popular belief, Tex actually bleeds red blood, and not black tattoo ink.
Basket Next the guys installed the basket up top that holds the water, gas, battery, and tools. By the way, the battery comes without acid. We just bought some from the local auto store and filled that baby right up. You'll also need to buy some motor oil.
Wiring

This is a picture of our most excellent wiring job. Look closely at the rail on the right of the tongue and you will see a PVC pipe. That was Tex's absolutely genius idea. We ran all the wiring through the PVC so that we won't have to deal with loose wires once we get the Lumbermate 2000 to where we need to work. Simply disconnect from the truck and start sawing! Brilliant. I may ask Norwood to consider adding that golden nugget of info to their manual. Great thinking Tex.

Lapsidingjig With the Lumbermate 2000 assembled, it was time to start working on the lap siding jig we purchased. We put together the 2 of them and set them to the side.
Start At this point, Bernie was itching to start this bad boy. This is the picture I snapped right as he turned the key.
running Not much of an action picture, but if you close your eyes, listen closely, and use your imagination and you can probably hear that motor purring. It was music to our ears.
grindlogloader Finally, we needed to put together the Log Loader we purchased. This ended up being more difficult than expected. It wasn't a big deal, but the loader wouldn't fit in the base because there is a weld bead that is too fat. In this picture, Tex is grinding the loader bar so that it will fit.
weldbead If you look closely to the left of the middle of this base, you can see the big fat weld bead that temporarily impeded our progress.
spoolcable Now that we got the Log Loader mounted, the guys are spooling up the cable.
finished We're finished! Bernie stored the ramps for the Log Loader on the frame, so you may be able to see them here.
thanks Thanks Tex! By the way, that's the Choppertrike - it was handbuilt by Tex himself. He's a man of many talents. And you thought he was just another pretty face....
creation

This is a gratuitous shot of my trike. She's a complete beauty! Tex, Bernie, and I built her in Tex's driveway out of airplane sheet metal, angle iron, and various nuts and bolts that Tex had laying around. We finished her a couple of years ago. You can not imagine how incredibly sweet this trike is. She turns every head in town and rides like a dream. Her only fault is that she likes to go fast. I've tried, but I just can't break her of it.

OK, enough of that. I could talk all day about this. Instead, I think I'll start another page at some point and describe the trike project. It was fun beyond words. I'll do that in the next few weeks.

Next weekend we pull the Lumbermate 2000 out to the property and take her for a test run! I'll be sure to take pictures and post them.

arrival 6/25/06 - Today the Lumbermate 2000 made it's Maiden Voyage home! This is a snapshot of Bernie backing it into the spot he picked out for it. This is a-whole-nother subject, but notice all those rocks on the ground? We've got a lot of work ahead of us.
parking Bernie and Tex are getting it setup. Other than Tex's burka you really can't tell in this picture, but this is about the time it started raining buckets of water. We didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of some of the worse flood rain we've had in a while. It rained for about 4 days. Needless to say, getting the sawmill to the homestead was about all we accomplished with it today. But we're heading back out there this weekend (long weekend for the 4th of July) and Bernie will get a chance to put her to work. I'll be sure to post pictures.
setup 07/09/06 - Well, as it turns out the 4th of July weekend was a bunch of work for us, so we were a week late trying out the Lumbermate 2000 . But we got to it this weekend, and it was everything it is advertised to be! The first thing we had to do was level it. This is Bernie as he's preparing to do that.
triallog We were limited on time, and decided to sacrifice a small piece of pine for our very first "trial" boards. Another reason we went with a small piece is because as it turned out, we had backed the Norwood into place facing the wrong direction to use the log loader. It was a gorgeous weekend and we road our motorcycles out. We weren't sure either of them would be able to tow the Lumbermate to turn it around, so we just decided to wing it and use a smaller log we could handle.
adjusting Once we got the log clamped into place, Bernie measured the height of the log to determine where to position the blade to cut this puppy into a shape that will make boards.
lowering He lowered the blade into place, turned on the water and got ready to cut.
firstcut We're in business now! This is the picture of his very first cut. Looking good!
firstboard Hey - Bernie's got wood!!!!
secondcut Now that he has a nice flat side, we positioned the log to make the second cut.
thirdcut Now it's time for the third cut.
fourthcut Last cut to get the log prepared to actually make boards!
veryfirstboard Here he's sawing his very first one inch board. I must say, this part was pretty exciting.
berniesfirstboard Ever seen a man so proud of his wood? That sawmill cuts the finest, smoothest boards. Very impressive.
mytry After he cut a few, Bernie finally let me try my hand at making boards. Wow - you can't imagine how easy this thing is to operate. It just glided right along with very little effort.
myboard I have to admit, I was pretty darn proud of my wood too! By the way - if you double click this picture and make it bigger, you'll not only see the goofy expression on my face, but you'll get a not-too-great view of my latest tattoo - the arm band Tex did for me last week. And yes I know it's too early for me to be in the full sun with it uncovered, but I swear I slathered it in sunscreen, Tex.
stack This is the small stack we ended up with. At the very end of it, Bernie cut the last one 1/2 inch thick and we had a piece about 1 and 1/2 inch leftover.
finishedboards We laid them out so you could see them all. Not bad, huh? Since Tex helped with the assembly of the sawmill it only seemed fair that we take him a board to admire. He was so impressed he's asked for several to make some shelves! We're happy to oblige him. The Norwood Lumbermate 2000 is not only extremely functional, it's easy to use and the most fun "work" you'll ever tackle! We give this baby an A++ rating!

 

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