The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

AVAILABLE


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat



Author Topic: Pennsylvania Newbie  (Read 3217 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SawyerTed

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Germanton, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Summey Lumber Services, LLC
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2018, 05:14:49 PM »
BTW, get the debarker!  It WILL save money in the long run. You will get more board feet of lumber per blade sharpening using the debarker.  Even if you purchase used, add the debarker if it isn't there.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline Southside logger

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3040
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Wilsons (Dinwiddie County), VA
  • Gender: Male
  • Have a plan to saw every log you meet.
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2018, 06:24:02 PM »
The 35 will take you a long way. They are very user friendly and economical to own and run. If tyo decide to upgrade some day it will hold a lot of its value. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline tylerltr450

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2018, 03:27:04 PM »
Going portable is also a tough market to get into. Lots of people call bend your ear for 20 mins then never call back, its good to have some sort of mobile calendar to keep track of calls and dates to be milling. Also if your going to be cutting portable figure out your charge methods, hourly vs BDFT, setup fee and mileage. There are a lot of guys in the PA portable milling scene like myself and its a cut throat environment. I have had people flag my ads on craigslist all the time, which I know its some other sawyer. Thankfully now I only do business that is word of mouth since I am now established enough.

Also take a hard look into support equipment to move logs I have gone to countless job sites where people don't have logs easily accessible and takes twice as long to get the job done. If you are going solo I would suggest in unique ways to move logs around without killing yourself.

Also I suggest you practice on your own logs first before going to a customer and not quite knowing how everything works. 
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2018, 10:28:54 PM »
At the present moment, this is where things stand for me:

- Continue to learn what I can here, on the forum, by asking even more questions.

- Learn everything I can from every resource I can, about the forestry/logging/milling industries,and about business and marketing, both in general and as pertain to these industries specifically.

- Start preparations for (God-willing) getting to work next spring, so that by mid-March I'm ready to hook up to the LT35 Hydraulic and head to my first milling job...at age 52...

Thanks again to everyone for your input and advice so far. I'm eager to learn as much as I can.

I spent several hours today researching and downloading PDFs related to this industry from the Penn State Extension site, Wood Mizer's Learning site (planning on getting their DVD set ASAP), and several other sites. Study begins tomorrow.

Have a good one, and God bless.

Griz

PS - Time to get into shape!

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 36608
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
    • Share Post
    • Knothole Sawmill
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2018, 10:39:02 PM »
A website detailing your services is an absolute necessity. 
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2018, 10:46:15 PM »
Absolutely. Already planned on a website, although...how soon should the website go public? If I'm wanting to be working by mid-March, it it has to be up & running before then, but how soon? 😕

The sooner the better probably, right?

Offline Ron Wenrich

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 13652
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Jonestown, PA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2018, 11:01:35 PM »
Write a business plan before you get too far ahead of yourself.  Don't set timelines that are too ambitious.  Its real easy to spend a lot of time and money on enthusiasm.  
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2018, 11:07:18 PM »
Ron, 

That's the first thing that worries me. I have no idea how to write a business plan, but I reckon that should be my research/study priority at this point.

Tomorrow morning. ☺

Offline SawyerTed

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Germanton, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Summey Lumber Services, LLC
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2018, 08:42:05 AM »
Just some rambling observations from a guy that jumped in the portable sawing business at age 55.  I've had my mill about seven months and I'm now sawing 3-4 days a week which is about all I want.

Consult with your insurance agent - buy insurance for the mill and for the business before you leave your property to saw the first log.

Don't scrimp on personal safety equipment for you and your help.  Put safety in your business plan.  I keep gloves, safety glasses and earplugs enough to offer to helpers as well to use myself.

It's a good idea to do a lot of practice sawing before you start sawing for customers.  Put the practice sawing in your business plan.  Training needs to be part of it.  There are costs involved so practice sawing is a business expense.  If you happen to either need the lumber personally, sell it or burn it in the fire pit, the costs of the log, mill time etc. are covered under training expense.

Practice sawing on some inexpensive and forgiving logs - poplar and pine for example.  It is better to avoid too big or too small when beginning practice.  I found 16-20" diameter to be a good size for practicing.  The more uniform the better to begin with.  Then move on to sawing oaks and other species.  Too often the excited new sawyer has a walnut (insert other species) that he's been saving until he got his mill, only to find that he ruins it by sawing it before his skills are up to the task. Or the new sawyer tries to saw a "junk" log that is difficult to saw under any circumstances.  I tried to saw some oak to begin with, it didn't turn out well and I'm burning the results in the fire pit this fall.

Learn to saw stickers of uniform dimensions.  I like 1x2 others have other preferences.  Learn to stack with stickers properly and neatly.  If possible go ahead and saw stickers in advance.

Know that it may take weeks of sawing full time before you see much production.  Learning to set up for efficient log input, efficient lumber out put and waste management takes some time. Helping customers understand that they must stage the logs properly is important.

Read and re-read your owner's manual.

The advice on a business plan is critical to follow.  Don't let one or two customers sidetrack you from your plan.  The plan has to consider the market.  I've learned my market is limited because I don't yet have a kiln.    It takes time and energy to develop markets. You have to shake a lot of hands, give out a lot of cards, put up signs, create the website and or Facebook page.  I've tried to work with some local agricultural events to set up and do sawing demonstrations but schedules haven't worked out yet.

Starting out you will probably feel like have to nearly every job that comes along. Experience will teach you how to sort them out and decline certain jobs.

Set company policy.  That sounds kind of silly for a one-man operation but it goes a long way.  I'm a portable sawyer, not a tree service.   It is company policy that I do not cut trees down for customers.  Setup fees and mileage fees are company policy.  Free onsite pre-sawing consultation with the customer- company policy.  

Build business alliances, there are businesses that your service will compliment.  I have a tree service that I work with to take select logs.  I pay a small amount per board foot to offset his time and equipment to load.  Occasionally one of his customers wants logs sawn into lumber.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline tylerltr450

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2018, 09:04:20 AM »
Lots of great points by Ted.

I have a question why push so hard on a website? I work in IT doing everything for websites to ERP systems. Websites are a make or break for a business, while it sure is nice to have one the cost to design one properly and efficiently and be trackable by the spiders of the web can take a lot of money. Unless you are doing it yourself then I would say knock it out. here is some info on how to be found on google search How Google Search Works - Search Console Help

I don't use a website I only have a facebook page and craigslist ads (which I dont use anymore) and I have had more than enough exposure to customers. If I were you I would probably start simple (Aka free), most people want to stay in the social media environment that they love to use (instagram, facebook, twitter). I would suggest posting on those sites at least 2 times a week to keep your base going.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 36608
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
    • Share Post
    • Knothole Sawmill
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2018, 09:14:42 AM »
I have a question why push so hard on a website?
Virtually all of my "out of town" portable jobs and many locals are "website" found.  Everyone is toting a smartphone.  Google "portable sawmill (location)" and my site is #1 after the advertisements.  Kinda "Magic".   ;)
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline tylerltr450

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2018, 09:27:41 AM »
I have a question why push so hard on a website?
Virtually all of my "out of town" portable jobs and many locals are "website" found.  Everyone is toting a smartphone.  Google "portable sawmill (location)" and my site is #1 after the advertisements.  Kinda "Magic".   ;)
Magicman isnt just magic he is the man!. I would say thats a great job, how old is your website? It is extremely hard to get to be number one anymore, if you are a new site. I created a site for a storage company and I just got them to number one after a year. 
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded

Offline mike_belben

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3552
  • Location: Middle TN
  • Pulp Friction
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2018, 09:47:08 AM »
Equipment is deductible but you need income to deduct it against.  Its always sort of a shame to hear of someone who waits until retirement to start buying the business assets when they could have been getting huge refunds from their w2 wages that would essentially buy the equipment and perpetuate the deduction cycle.  It smooths the transition from living on w2 earnings to living on 1040C earnings.  


Anyhow, save every receipt and find a good accountant.  Youll need to learn how to keep good books or the accountants will all hate you.  No showing up with a shoe box of receipts, it needs categorization and tallying.  But you need to know in advance how to sort that all out.  The biggest thing is undestand capital expenditure vs capital depreciation.  Some expenses are deducted all in one year and some are spread over a span of years.  If you spend 30k on a mill and dont have any income to deduct it against this year, well the good news is itll generate a little for the next 6 when you hopefully will have more. 


Im glad you said you were going mobile because your site and situation sounded terrible for stationary.  I have a sloped lot on a dead quiet road thats pure clay with a narrow entry. I own a bunch of equipment and its still a huge amount of work getting a site suitable, dirt is all ive done for a year. When you said no equipment, busy road and rocks i thought man, do i tell this guy just forget it or what?  I was gonna suggest you buy a big crawler loader with a drott bucket and go into the pasture clearing business until you can generate logs and a good spot to setup your mill out on someones farm in exchange for some sawing.  Farms always needs fences and shed lumber as cheap as possible.  And they always expand by clearing trees. 

Equipment really is a slippery slope.  If you can afford it, its worn out.  Now youre a mechanic too.  If its nice fresh new equipment you gotta work your butt off to pay for it and pray it stays running when warranty ends.  I always thought retirement was for golf or fishing?
Revelation 3:20

Offline petefrom bearswamp

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Age: 81
  • Location: Finger Lakes region of NY
  • Gender: Male
  • made 70-11 and still feelin pretty darned good!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2018, 01:14:08 PM »
Best of luck with your business venture griz.
If I didnt have a pretty good SEP fund, social security, small State pension  and my wife having a pretty good pension, social security, a reasonable SEP fund  and very good health insurance with us having zero debt, I would not be sawing period.
I have had a mill since 2000 and must be very inefficient cause I would be a lot thinner  if I relied on sawmill income.
Granted I am kind of old and slow and getting feebler every day and I have other obligations (read wife stuff) to do.
Sawing is for me just plain fun with enough money made to pay for my hunting, fishing and bar bill.
I admire those of you that are savvy enough to make a go of it.
LT40SHDD51
Kubota 8540 tractor, Farmi winch
Kubota 900 RTV
Polaris 550 Sportsman ATV
1 Husky 1 gas Echo 1 cordless Echo
241 acres of woodland

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2018, 11:20:52 AM »
The more I learn, the more questions come up it seems. But that's how it goes, isn't it?

To be honest, all the points that have been brought up can be a bit overwhelming. But I'm motivated. This is what I want to do, and for several reasons.

First off, I believe I could make a decent living from sawmilling alone, but then I think of the myriad of other possibilities that could come from it. My Wife and I both have always had an interest in woodworking. For me it would mean plenty of stock for guitar bodies and necks, while she would be more interested in making furniture. Either way, there's potential for more income.

Then there's the relatively rural/wholesome nature of it all. Being closer to nature. Closer to God. Not to mention the privilege of being the first being other than God to see the inside of a tree. I've seen plenty of videos revealing beautiful grain patterns, and I'm sure seeing it all second hand doesn't come close to the first hand experience.

I'm all in. Now if I can just get things organized and sorted out, in my own mind, on paper, and finally in the real world.

And I believe I'm going to make a YouTube channel documenting the whole process, from as soon as possible, until, God-willing, I can pass it all on to my now five year old Grandson.

Thank you all for your input so far. I'm looking forward to learning even more as the calendar pages continue to turn.

God bless,

Griz

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 36608
  • Age: 75
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
    • Share Post
    • Knothole Sawmill
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2018, 06:13:24 PM »
Sawing and building stuff does not bring in an income but finding, developing, and supplying a market will.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2018, 08:04:17 PM »
Finding, developing and supplying markets will take priority, of course. Making awesome stuff that can be sold for a premium will come later. 😎

Offline Southside logger

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3040
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Wilsons (Dinwiddie County), VA
  • Gender: Male
  • Have a plan to saw every log you meet.
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2018, 08:58:51 AM »
Just keep in mind that the more finished/valuable lumber requires additional equipment and handling. I would not want to be making and selling kitchen tables with lumber which has not been kiln dried. Now, outdoor benches and rustic picnic tables - that can be done with air dried, rough sawn lumber.
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline GrampawGriz

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Butler, PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Howdy!
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2018, 10:13:04 AM »
Southside,

I understand. I have plans to build a 750-1000 Mbf solar kiln, I'm just not sure when. Thanks for the outdoor furniture idea, though!

I do have a question. As far as portable mills go, is there a registration or any licensing involved, concerning road use? I don't remember seeing license plates, or even any taillights on the portables I've seen in videos. But that doesn't make sense, to me.

Thanks again.

Griz

Offline tylerltr450

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: Pennsylvania Newbie
« Reply #39 on: October 10, 2018, 10:20:40 AM »
Sawmill = Farming Equipment so no registration or licensing, I was assume you need tail lights at least.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Newbie from Delaware County Pennsylvania

Started by jfastman on Sawmills and Milling

17 Replies
1441 Views
Last post October 14, 2018, 12:49:50 PM
by Tramp Bushler
xx
GO PENNSYLVANIA

Started by smwwoody on General Board

21 Replies
3967 Views
Last post October 03, 2018, 05:25:48 PM
by lxskllr
question
Pine from Pennsylvania ??

Started by Magicman on Sawmills and Milling

24 Replies
1831 Views
Last post February 16, 2013, 10:21:01 PM
by Magicman
xx
Bark ID in Pennsylvania

Started by jtobrien910 on Tree, Plant and Wood I.D.

11 Replies
938 Views
Last post June 30, 2017, 11:49:06 AM
by jtobrien910
 


Powered by EzPortal