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Author Topic: A curiosity question  (Read 4448 times)

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Offline twoodward15

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A curiosity question
« on: March 28, 2006, 08:55:35 PM »
   Is there room in this business for a guy to run a small manual mill part time (on weekends)and just mill logs for people that only have 3 or 4 logs but they don't want to move them to the mill?  Would it be reasonable to charge maybe $25 an hour or 40 cents a bdft (assuming it's a small all manual mill and wouldn't have the production of a hydraulic set up), or is there really not a demand.  How many calls do you get from people with let's say less than 10 logs and it really isn't worth your time to load up and get everything over to their place to get the job done.  I'm thinking it might be my "in" with the wife to get a small "weekend warrior" mill like the timberking 1220 or the WM LT10 or 15 and get it to pay for itself.
108 ARW   NKAWTG...N      Jersey Thunder

Offline Tom

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2006, 09:00:26 PM »
Heck yes there is room for that kind of business.   I do it with the big  mill that I have.  It's a pain in the butt but I bought it to saw logs and that's what I do.   If I can break even, I go.

It get real interesting when you are able to wind the customer into helping.  Take pictures, have  picnic, make it fun.  Before long the word will get out and you will be turning them away.  :D
extinct

Offline getoverit

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2006, 09:10:34 PM »
I'll have to go along with Tom on this one. I dont know about your market in NJ, but here in Florida there is plenty of room for that kind of thing. It is what I am doing also.

People had told me that if I get the mill, the logs would find me, and I wouldnt have to go find the logs. The it VERY true. If you have a way to haul the logs (like my DanG-DeadHeader Log Lifter), you can find all of the logs you want. Mill these logs into lumber, stack and sticker them to dry, and then sell the lumber at loads of more money than you would have got if you were paid to mill them in the first place. My new barn is filling with lumber already, and I now have about 80 logs waiting on me to mill up. I cant get any milling time right now for all of the people calling to give me logs and then thanking me for coming to get them out of their yards.  What they dont realize is that they are putting money in my bank account and I'm grinning the whole time  ;D
I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok, I work all night and sleep all day

Offline Brad_S.

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 09:51:29 PM »
Absolutely there is a market, especially if you are in an urban/suburban area.  smiley_thumbsup
Many homeowners have an arborist remove a tree from their property for one reason or another and want to make use of it. 90% of my jobs have less than 30 logs (more or less a days work for me to 4/4 grade saw) and probably 40% have less than 10 logs. I wouldn't say it isn't worth my time, I bill by the hour and I charge a 4 hour minimum to go on site regardless of how many hours I actually spend there. I have many days where I book two jobs per day because they only have 4 or 5 logs for me to mill. There have been a number of instances where I spent less than an hour setting up, milling one log and breaking down again and driven away with my 4 hour fee, and the homeowner was absolutely thrilled with the process and results.
I personally much prefer the half day or one day jobs to the long stay jobs. After 2 days in one spot, I get bored and want to move on to the next new scenery! :D
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 10:15:48 PM »
I take my mill out on jobs like that even if I can't break even because that guy has a neighbor who has a neighbor who has a neighbor and soon I have all the jobs I can handle and some of them I more than break even.  ;D 8)
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!

Offline sawguy21

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 11:04:07 PM »
Interesting question. I recently had a customer wanting to mill a few juniper trees. He kinda got over it at the cost of an Alaskan Jr and a saw but I don't know of anyone in this area that would do it. I also can't imagine trying to mill our gnarly ornamental juniper.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline woodmills1

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2006, 08:01:53 AM »
I live on the edge of 3 major metropolitan areas and charge between 40 and 60 dollars per hour for the same kind of service with my hydraulic HD 40.  It is surprising how competitive that is with the local circle mills when you take into account the removal of log hauling and lumber pick up costs.  I do lose some business to a local farmer with a mill who still charges like it is 1960.  Another local cutter just moved full time into land clearing and now sends me all his cutting referals.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Bob Smalser

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2006, 08:09:13 AM »
   Is there room in this business for a guy to run a small manual mill part time (on weekends)and just mill logs for people that only have 3 or 4 logs but they don't want to move them to the mill? 

Sure.

Few out here seem to last very long doing any king of on-site custom sawing, and I'm always looking for referrals.

But the nature of your proposed small operation will likely mean a lot of yard trees.   That means lotsa hardware, and learning how to deal with it.
Bob

Offline twoodward15

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2006, 09:39:51 AM »
I don't mind the city logs and hardware as long as they don't mind buying blades!  I guess it is something I should look into.  I live in a small developement, so I don't have a lot of room to dry wood at my house, but I could certainly make a few drying stacks.  Most of the work would probably be from yard trees where I live.  Time to do a bit more research I guess.
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Offline jrokusek

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2006, 09:44:41 AM »
   Is there room in this business for a guy to run a small manual mill part time (on weekends)and just mill logs for people that only have 3 or 4 logs but they don't want to move them to the mill?  Would it be reasonable to charge maybe $25 an hour or 40 cents a bdft (assuming it's a small all manual mill and wouldn't have the production of a hydraulic set up), or is there really not a demand.  How many calls do you get from people with let's say less than 10 logs and it really isn't worth your time to load up and get everything over to their place to get the job done.  I'm thinking it might be my "in" with the wife to get a small "weekend warrior" mill like the timberking 1220 or the WM LT10 or 15 and get it to pay for itself.

We're in the same boat, I think.  My goal is to make enough money for a slush fund that my wife doesn't need to know about.  The fund will cover new hunting rifles, table saw, sawmill accessories, etc.  Gotta finish building my mill first.........

Offline sawguy21

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2006, 09:58:20 AM »
How are you going to hide new rifles and a table saw?
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline footer

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2006, 10:30:49 AM »
I do a similar thing and I have an LT40 manual mill. I charge $60.00- $70.00 an hr that I am on site and a travel charge if I have to go to far. If they bring the logs to me I charge a little less as I don't have to break down and re set up the mill. After all operating costs I find that I do not make a whole lot off of milling. I mainly do it as a service to others since there realy isnt anyone else doing it around here. I could probably charge more since there is no competition in my area. We have no local mills that will saw for an individual. I get a lot of my referals from them. I wish I could justify an HD or SUPER HD mill as I know I could make more per hr, but, in realety, I can make more money doing carpentry work on the side, and it is a lot easyer work. But then there is always sawdust in your blood syndrom drawing you back to the mill ;D ;D ;D

Offline woodsteach

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2006, 01:57:51 PM »
Tom may have said it best,  "... make it fun."

I cut can'ts for a pallet mill to make the payments while the word is getting out about custom cutting and selling retail.  The real fun is cutting for the guy with 1-2 logs

"I don't know what I'm going to do with all of this but I hated to see the trees turned to firewood"  I love customers like this.

Paul
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Offline Bob_Cville

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2006, 03:27:39 PM »
I'm new to this forum, but have been reading it on and off for about a year.  Lurking and learning and waiting until someone else asked a question of interest to me and then reading all of the responses. 

I fall into the catagory of a home owner with 1-2 logs that has been saying "I don't know what to do with all of this but I would hate to see the trees turned to firewood"   

I had a massive, two-trunked, northern? red oak tree that was blown down by a hurricane.   A friend and I cut up all of the branches, leaving the two main butt logs propped up off the ground on the root ball on one end and on a large trunk-slice at the other.   The logs are both 24" in diameter at the small end and around 30" DBH and 12' to 16' long.  The local major sawmill said they'd only be interested in amounts upwards of two truckloads of logs, but "if I brought them in they'd take a look at them"  Yeah right, I'll toss them in the back of my subaru. ::)

Several people have told me that I ought to have someone with a portable sawmill come out, but none of them have been able to tell me how to contact someone with a portable sawmill. 

I had been thinking that since its has now been over two years, that the logs might be stained, split, rotted or bug eaten, and that there was no longer any point in trying to find someone with a portable sawmill.
But in reading here it seems that there at least a chance that the wood would still be good for woodworking.

So my questions are "Is there anything I can do to determine whether the wood is still in good-enough shape to justify having a portable sawmill person come out?"  and  "How do I find someone with a portable sawmill that would be willing to come out to cut up two big logs?" 

-Bob  in Charlottesville VA

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2006, 04:21:27 PM »
Bob, you can contact woodmizer, and maybe a few other sawmill manufacturers to see if anybody local to you saws wood.

who knows, we may have a member close enough to give you a hand.  your sized job is what makes my blood flow!

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There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline jrokusek

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2006, 05:32:47 PM »
How are you going to hide new rifles and a table saw?

I have a good hunting and shooting inventory - my wife won't notice another rifle or two in the gun safe.  :D

I'm still trying to figure out how to do that with the table saw.  My wife never did notice the new welder or the air compressor in the garage.  Maybe she just tollerates the purchases - who knows.  I think she's finally come to realize that there's a lot less productive things I could be doing with my time!  She wasn't real happy with me when I came home with a well used 16' utility trailer last week.........but honey the price was right........

Offline LeeB

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2006, 11:46:46 PM »
Bob_Cville, look at the top of the page and click on the Find a forester/sawmill icon. LeeB
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline jpgreen

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Re: A curiosity question
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2006, 04:25:36 AM »
We're in the same boat, I think.  My goal is to make enough money for a slush fund that my wife doesn't need to know about.  The fund will cover new hunting rifles, table saw, sawmill accessories, etc.  Gotta finish building my mill first.........


Now THIS is a man with a plan..!  :D 8) 8) 8)

Funny how the gun safe gets packed in tighter and tighter..  ;D
-95 Wood-Mizer LT40HD 27 Hp Kawasaki water cooled engine-


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