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Author Topic: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?  (Read 721 times)

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Offline Aheape21

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Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« on: November 12, 2018, 08:05:33 PM »
Got a lot of storm damage oak and a Lucas 6” mill. Just looking for suggestions on oak dimensions to cut that are in demand within the “niche” market. I know this is very much a, “how much should I pay for the used car I looked at today?” Type of question but am trying to take advantage of the opportunity in front of me to recoup some of the money invested thus far... any suggestions will be appreciated and thanks in advance for the help!
Roy

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 08:34:57 PM »
Welcome. fill out your profile location, so we can answer some of your questions. 
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Offline Aheape21

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 08:51:29 PM »
Profile updated and thank you for the heads up!
Roy

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 10:56:50 PM »
The niche market in oak these days is slabs, the bigger, uglier character filled, the better.  Nice, clear, straight grain oak lumber - meh...  Part of your marketing challenge will be drying the lumber, folks want ready to use, not going to move and shrink, lumber.  Perhaps given your saw set up you could look at dimensional beams.  I have had several oak beam orders recently and another inquiry today, folks are using them for structural components in pole barns, porches, gazebos, play houses, etc.  This gets you away from the kiln drying requirements and gives you a product that can not be bought at a lumber yard.  
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Offline Aheape21

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2018, 11:04:35 PM »
Thank you for the answer to my question. It is what I suspected and a slabbing attachment is certainly in my future but as of now, I’m limited to 6x6 beams. I can do 6x12 double cut but it’s a pain on the Lucas to double cut. If you were to “stock pile” oak beams in hopes to sell them and could only do one size, what would you cut? I know this is super hypothetical and any answer is as well but your recommendation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
Roy

Offline Don P

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 11:23:39 PM »
 


This is a swingset we fabbed up, there is a small winch and battery up top with a hook and the winch control hanging down. The black steel frame on the rear of the trolley and a centered steel tube runs across the center of the trolley with a carabiner at center of gravity front to rear. We have marks on the trolley for CG left to right. Crank the engine to the centering marks, hook to the winch, lift and spin, set down. The spin takes less than half a minute and the rails didn't move.

I'm shocked, shocked I say, that Lucas hasn't sent a shoebox full of Franklins and started marketing these. 

That gets you to 6x12. Timberframers want 8x material most often. That involves rolling and some tricky realignment. Jim what sizes are the beam orders you're getting?

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2018, 08:09:45 AM »
Last week it was 4"x16"-20'  this week 3"x10"-10', the inquiry yesterday was for stuff in the 6" and 8" range, these are all White Oak. 
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Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 08:34:10 AM »
We cut most of our white oak 5/4 boards. That way we can usually sell to most looking for 4/4 and 1” as well as those looking for a bit more meat. Often someone looking for 6/4 will also drop down to 5/4 if it’s available. White oak can be tough. Doing this keeps you out of the drying and potential complications associated with thick white oak...unless you have a good green market. Around here white oak brings good money in logs...sometimes I question whether we should be bothering to saw it...
bk

Offline Don P

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 05:32:54 PM »
For low grade white I've gotten a fair number of requests for 2x raised bed garden material.

Offline samandothers

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 10:16:43 PM »
White oak for trailer decking.  My trailer deck was 2x8 pt SYP. Replaced with white oak.

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 06:34:09 AM »
Slabs are a good bet, but an investment in time as end users seldom if ever  want to wait the time to dry them.
If log quality merits, quarter-sawing always yields a better ROI, but takes more time/technique at the saw. 

If you quartersaw them, calling @YellowHammer for his RRQS technique. You will find threads here talking about it in great detail. As a very busy retailer, he also has great insight on what folks are buying.

Good luck!
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Offline Don P

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 06:45:37 AM »
With a Lucas you really can't do RRQS. We have 10 nice white oak logs in the pile and I've been thinking about how to best saw them. I think I'll try diving in vertically for the top of the log yielding rift to quartersawn. Then as we approach heart switch to taking the boards horizontally, again rift to quarter. As that plays out switch again to vertical and finish taking the same pattern.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2018, 08:21:47 AM »
Its going to depend on how fast you want to move them and how much you want to make. 

Easiest to move, fastest to move and lowest return is basic 4/4 boards.  They can be sawn generically, advertised green on CL or FB and they will be gone in a hurry, depending on your asking price.

Set the out in the weather, lean the on a fencepost, let them gray out and sell them as weathered or reclaimed its no nails.  Lean the against the barn while they turn gray and call them weathered "barn wood".

Plane only one side, thin the down to 1/2" and sell them as rough sawn barn wood paneling.

QS or Rift saw and its more work, more time and they can be sold green or dried but not as fast but for more money.

Cut them 6/4 or 8/4 and get more money, and sell them as green trailer decking or let the air dry and sell the as outdoor or porch furniture wood.

Thicker and longer and sell them as posts and beams, but not for inhabited buildings unless they are grade stamped.  This is a smaller market, but the pay is good.

Springtime is just around the corner, tomato stakes sell them.

Cookies sell well right now for the holidays.

The most nichey of the niche markets is saw them into mantels and then resize them with a broad axe, for the hand hewn look, and set them outside to weather and sell them as they dry.  People will buy them green, understand they will crack, but it doesn't matter because they want the old look anyway.  I was doing that for awhile last year and sold a bunch of them before I could even dry them.  I had a stack of hand hewn green and now the stack are gone, time to sharpen the axe and do it again.

Its a gamble without knowing your local market, do it right and they will be gone before the sawdust clears, do it wrong and you will get to look at them until you finally use them for firewood.
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Offline Aheape21

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2018, 10:07:38 AM »
Thank you for the detailed reply. What is the going price per BF for green 4/4 stuff in your area? I posted some 4/4 oak stuff last week (advertised as mixed hardwoods) for $1 BF and it flew pretty quick. Thinking that may be low?

The mantel idea is a great one and I like the idea of leaving a board to weather as well. Need to start doing some creative stuff like that but still very new to all this so it’s a learning curve I’m ready to tackle. 
Roy

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 05:39:57 AM »
At $1bf, people will run to the deal. Most people seeking material on CL or FB are either looking for something speciality or looking for a bargain, or both.

@YellowHammer gave sage words of wisdom. Something that may not be apparent, is that generally speaking, the thicker they are, the more you can charge and the further down the path to a finished product, the more you can make. This does not necessarily equate to "more profit" as labor is not free, and the effort:reward ratio may not be there.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Dimensions to cut for “niche” market for oak logs?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2018, 01:40:05 PM »
Thick oak planks [ so called slabs] are in demand for sure. I don't do many although I could in black and red oak. They are extremely hard to dry and always very heavy to handle for everyone involved. In a heated home they are very likely to split a few months after the heat has been on even if they have been air dried for 2 years.   I would agree with those who suggested 5/4 thick quarter sawn boards. These would be a high quality product you can make and be proud of.


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