Peterson Portable Sawmills

Junior Peterson Sawmill Field Test – Alan Coyle

Layla Robinson

The Junior Peterson is the latest model to join the production line at Petersons. It was the perfect solution for those part time sawyers who didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a commercial machine. The JP is smaller in size and perfect for retired folks, hobbyists, or those just sawing for their own home or farm on a part-time basis. We asked a bandsaw owner to field-test the JP sawmill for us, introducing, Alan Coyle.

Alan Coyle, Coyle Sawmilling, Taupo, NZ – 2012, 6” cut 13hp Junior Peterson
Sawmill Field Test: Cutting un-pruned Macrocarpa on his farm

Alan Coyle - field-testing and reviewing the JP Sawmill.I am a part time contractor sawing 1-2 cube (400-850bft) a week on average, 1-2 days per week depending on what is happening out on the farm. I mainly cut Macrocarpa, Douglas Fir, Pine, Redwood, Oak and small quantities of Native (Totara). I have been doing this since 2008 as part-time to balance work around family commitments. Rest of the time I work for Tenon which is a commercial exporter of Radiata Pine products, so I have a pretty good idea how to optimize a log.

Petersons asked me to carry out a field test of their new Junior Peterson mill. I own a Woodmizer LT15 bandsaw mill, so was interested to see how this swingmill operated relative to my existing machine. I collected the mill from Petersons who gave me a 5 minute verbal tutorial. I’d seen the bigger mills used, but had no manual or other training, so I simply learned as I went along.  Alan Coyle using his Woodmiser Sawmill

Setup on the JP is a 5 minute job. This included laying out the carriage rails around the log to be milled, and moving the carriage into position using the up/down winch and the detachable wheels. I was then up and milling within seconds after warming the motor and checking the carriage runs free along the length of the log. Six (6) passes later this is the result on a Macrocarpa log with 16 lineal meters (34 bf) of 100×50 (4”x2”) timber produced. Straight cutting every time and the timber cuts were accurate from the first cut to the last piece of lumber produced from this log.

Time to move to another log and see how this machine double-cuts boards over 6” wide.

Alan Coyle field-testing the JP SawmillAgain the JP machine performs as described in the manufacturers’ literature. There was an abundance of horsepower and the blade ran true through un-pruned farm logs full of defects. Superb effort from a machine that is truly portable – not just mobile – but able to be set up anywhere that a human can walk.

This mill would also work well to complement a bandsaw, especially in a remote location where the Woodmizer can’t physically be setup close to the logs. The JP could be used to cut 6”x6” cants or similar and then you’d resaw them on the Woodmizer, utilizing the thinner kerf. Also the JP would be good for larger diameter logs bigger than the Woodmizer can process – 65cm (25”) is the max diameter that I can fit on my mill so those 1metre (3’) logs lying in a paddock somewhere can be processed economically.

Alan Coyle double cutting with the JP Sawmill during field testing

The Junior Peterson is the logical choice for a small woodlot owner or Farmer who wishes to saw their own lumber from a stand of otherwise uneconomic trees or similar resource.

Alan Coyle, 22nd Nov 2012.

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