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Author Topic: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill  (Read 2799 times)

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Offline millinvillin

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Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« on: April 04, 2018, 09:21:32 AM »
First, I’d like to say thank you to all the members who’s contributions make this site the great resource it is. Ive spent countless hours on the site researching and learning as my hobby grew from an Alaskan chainsaw mill to a manual band mill. I never intended for my milling and woodworking to be more than a hobby but that’s about to change.

My siblings and I own 80 acres on a small lake in NE Washington. My mother’s cousin owns an additional 80 acres that borders ours. He contacted us last summer and offered us first rights to purchase his land. He had an offer from a local mill that wanted to purchase it for the timber. I wanted to keep it in the family but the only way i could afford it was to have it commercially logged. I figured I had two choices- 1. Watch the sawmill clear cut the timber and sell the parcels off as recreational property 2. Buy it and have it logged to recoup half the purchase price.

As I was waiting on the logger to get back to me with his numbers I realized there was another option. I could upgrade my mill and sell lumber and finished wood products myself to pay for the land without having to clearcut everything.

I ordered my new turbosaw mill swing blade and expect to have it in late May. I plan on adding a kiln and logosol moulder later this year. My ultimate goal is to manufacture rough circle sawn fir and larch flooring along with shiplap and T&G paneling.

Here’s where I would like some help from the experienced members of the forum. I need to start producing some revenue from the timber as soon as I can to help pay for my mill, moulder, and kiln. The land has a significant amount of fir, spruce, and pine. What options would you suggest to get cash flow as quick as possible from rough green lumber.

Ideas I am considering at this point
1. Contact local pallet manufacturers.
2. Wholesale fir beams to a timber frame broker
3. Produce something to sell other than lumber (small sheds, benches, etc)

Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2018, 10:11:42 AM »
 popcorn_smiley :P
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 54' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Tin Horse

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 10:34:34 AM »
Welcome. Other pros here can give you far better advice than myself. Anxious to see answers. But what I do see is a real smart move on the land and a good business start. Good luck! 
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.

Offline GAB

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 10:46:22 AM »
millinvillin:
Concerning your #3 don't rule out selling shed or other building packages such as small log homes.
Gerald
W-M LT40HDD34 w/6' ext & SLR, JD 420, JD 950w/loader and Woods backhoe, V3507 Fransguard winch, Cordwood Saw, 18' flat bed trailer, and other toys.

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 11:23:37 AM »
1. Figure out your market before you start cutting anything...

2. Research to determine if there are any legal requirements such as grading inspection/certification that needs to be met if selling structural lumber and/or timbers.

Good luck, match your bite to your chaw...

Herb

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 12:15:49 PM »
After investigating more you might have to try some of these ideas to see if it is profitable.

No experience at this so it may not be worth 2¢.

I like the finished product idea like the shed and/or shed kits or partially assembled "bolt" together shed kits, the trick will be figuring your cost to see if you can get payed for your materials, time and use of processing machinery and not work for $5 per hour like some self-employed do then making up for it by working way too many hours and burning out.

A friend of a friend has been doing the pre-built shed pieces in southern Ontario has a couple of guys assembling them at peoples homes for him, the big advantage was by having the floor wall and roof sections pre-built at their yard they could quickly put up the sheds in locations that would make it hard or very expensive to do with a completely assembled shed while still taking advantage of being able to make most of the shed off site using more of a assembly line procedure with jigs and tools to speed things up.

Offline millinvillin

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 12:22:43 PM »
millinvillin:
Concerning your #3 don't rule out selling shed or other building packages such as small log homes.
Gerald
I like this idea and have been considering it. My concern is the additional time and planning to come up with a product idea and to manufacture it. I thought this would be a good use of my lower grade softwoods once I have a moulder and kiln.

Offline Don P

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2018, 01:09:22 PM »
You can build and sell anything, when you put it up that is where the building codes come into play. There is the concept of suitability for use. That mostly applies to habitable structures but I've seen it carry over to utility buildings on rare occasion. Do your homework first.

In a bind for a payment there is always logging, cut timber and sell the logs. I would investigate that up front as a fallback. Adding value is always the goal but the bank needs their money on time.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2018, 01:24:33 PM »
I have to agree with Don, 160 acres is a lot of timber for a one man shop.  Full time or part time?  

Do keep on with what you are doing, but I'd sell some of it up front to have a nice cushion to keep the banker away.  Keep the over sized ones you would get docked on (but the turbo excels on), then manage the regrowth and do select cuts as needed.

No need of a moulder or kiln for a portable shed.  Don't try to compete with the bigger guys.  There will be people wanting yours (and paying premium) because it's "rustic".  ;)  
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline millinvillin

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2018, 01:38:49 PM »
Thank you for all the great feedback and ideas, please keep 'em coming! The original 80 acres was heavily logged 5 years ago. The newly purchased 80 hasn't been cut since the 60's. Sending logs to the mill would be my last resort. I would like to manage the timber for long term selective logging for my own small production.

This will be part time for now. I own an insurance agency that pays the bills. It is getting close to the point where it can run itself without me. I've been sitting at a desk for 14 years and all I can think about is being in the woods/my shop.

The small shed idea may be the ticket for starting out. 

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2018, 01:47:31 PM »
  There will be people wanting yours (and paying premium) because it's "rustic".  ;)  
Perhaps could also advertise "sustainable harvesting"

Other product idea could be raised beds for gardening.

Offline millinvillin

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2018, 01:52:38 PM »
That's a great idea. I built my wife some raised beds out of logs last year. They are quick and easy to build. Thank you!

Offline Resonator

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2018, 02:14:06 PM »
Welcome and congrats on the new mill! My advice is a word of caution, quote: "My siblings and I own 80 acres...". Anytime you have multiple parties owning an asset, have it spelled out IN WRITING, and SIGNED AGREEMENT who owns what. Especially if you are generating revenue from that property, and have to pay taxes due. You will want to meet with an attorney to set this up, and an accountant if you are starting a small business to handle selling timber and/or value added product. Partnerships are ships that can sink, and if the asset has to be divided later on, one party would have to buy out the others. (Learned this the hard way). Do your homework, and have a long term plan in place. Good luck!
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

Proud owner of a Wood-Mizer 2017 LT28G19

Offline tawilson

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 02:24:40 PM »
Deer blinds. 
Tom
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BMS250 and BMT250 sharpener/setter

Offline millinvillin

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2018, 02:46:16 PM »
Welcome and congrats on the new mill! My advice is a word of caution, quote: "My siblings and I own 80 acres...". Anytime you have multiple parties owning an asset, have it spelled out IN WRITING, and SIGNED AGREEMENT who owns what. Especially if you are generating revenue from that property, and have to pay taxes due. You will want to meet with an attorney to set this up, and an accountant if you are starting a small business to handle selling timber and/or value added product. Partnerships are ships that can sink, and if the asset has to be divided later on, one party would have to buy out the others. (Learned this the hard way). Do your homework, and have a long term plan in place. Good luck!
I've been in business for 15 years, 10 of which I've had a partner. I give people the same advice almost daily. In this situation I don't plan on logging the 80 I own jointly only the land I own personally.

Offline millinvillin

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2018, 02:48:17 PM »
Deer blinds.
Very few people hunt from blinds in our area. It's mostly public land

Offline starmac

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2018, 02:52:19 PM »
Outhouses, don't forget outhouses, dat goat sells fake ones regular like.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2018, 03:47:55 PM »
Outhouses, don't forget outhouses, dat goat sells fake ones regular like.
Who says they're fake? I have it on goat authority that all they need is a hole or two...

Offline slider

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2018, 04:39:17 PM »
I just happen to own a two hole outhouse . It is out by my sawmill . It was given to me years ago for my birthday. The second hole has never been used. I aint going in there with others if i can help it.
al glenn

Offline mad murdock

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Re: Advice needed for newly purchased land and mill
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2018, 05:03:32 PM »
 8) Congrats on the ground/timber and new mill. The turbosawmill is optimized for dimensional and beams. Did you buy an extension: what is the longest length you Can saw.  Is it an M8? 10? 12?  I think you will be better if you focus on higher value products rather than pallet lumber. Producing low cost pallet lumber is not much different than selling logs to the big sawmill, IMO. There seems to be a dearth of sources for things like cedar and for beams. If you can advertise for some of these types of products, you will be able to cut higher end products and raise more money with less wood cut. Also, do you have any burls or other things like hardwood on the 80? Slabbing either with a dedicated slabber on the Turbosaw, or an Alaskan mill will be a good way to produce some larger live edge pieces, which right now seem to be all the rage. You can also see to selling your chips as horse bedding ( except not black walnut), though not a lot of money, you will have to come up with a plan to deal with waste. Firewood also is an outlet for some extra $$ from the small pieces and slab material. Sounds like you will be enjoying a lot of awesome cutting when you get the mill tuned up and chips flying. I recently upgraded my M6 to an M8 with the turbokerf blade. Could not be happier!  Amazing piece of engineering!!  Happy, safe sawing!!
JD AMT 626, Turbosawmill M6 Warrior Ultra liteweight, Granberg Alaskan III, lots of saws-gas powered and human powered :D


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