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Author Topic: custom sawing  (Read 1743 times)

Braceyconst., DPatton and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline lloydsen

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custom sawing
« on: December 01, 2019, 07:51:35 PM »
What is a normal price to charge per bd ft ,when cutting a customers logs ?

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 08:11:05 PM »
That is the $64,000 question.  My charge is based on what it costs to operate.  It costs me X but it might cost you Y to operate.  Typically my charge per board foot is $0.36 to $0.40 on mobile jobs.  In my log yard, usually $0.36 per board foot. I prefer an hourly rate on portable jobs because it motivates customers to stage logs properly, ensure there's equipment to support the operation and ensure there is sufficient help on hand. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 10:48:07 PM »
   Good question and response. What does it cost you to saw in your area? What are costs of living in your area? How much is your time and equipment worth to you?

   I am in a low cost economically depressed area and I charge $.30/bf with the customer stacking and $.35/bf if I have to stack. I also charge an hourly rate of $60/hr for small, short, special (think quartersawing, etc) cuts, chainsaw work, etc. I suggest do some web surfing of various portable sawing sites and check their rates. There are wide differences. In my area many charge less than I do but usually they are not mobile (or very responsive). When a customer tells me someone else will saw his logs cheaper than me I tell him that sawyer knows what his time, skill and equipment are worth. I don't dicker or worry about missed jobs. If I'm going to give something away I will give it to friends and people I like rather than strangers I don't. 

   There are many sawing schemes and billing techniques - BF (Finished lumber or pre-sawed logs), Hourly, shares, Hardwood vs Softwood, by the log, etc. - and all are fair as long as both parties understand and agree. Just be crystal clear to the customer what you provide and charge and what he is responsible for providing/paying. Good luck.

  
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline barbender

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 11:10:05 PM »
These guys have good advice. The sawing rates, like many things in my area, are too low in my opinion. About $250/1000. I used to do some, when I had more free time. It's hard to get motivated to go saw for marginal money when I have a lot of other things to do. Getting up around $.35- 40 would help tremendously and, as mentioned, hourly puts things on the customer to have a ready and productive worksite. Sawing specialty items and low production wood like cedar should tend towards hourly.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline ladylake

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 05:06:36 AM »
 I charge by the hour, my expenses don't vary much no matter what I'm sawing. Customers with nice logs come out good and ones with small snarly logs pay quite a bit more per bf. The Amish around here saw for $170 a thousand but I'd guess I get at least 30% more wood out of a log.  Steve
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Offline Sixacresand

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 08:08:51 AM »
$250 to $350 per thousand BdFt. Plus cost of help, nail strikes and non milling tasks.  Generally, if you work steady, do a good job, be patient with customers, and low ball the total price a little, the customer will make it up with a bonus and call you again. 

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2019, 11:47:12 AM »
I neglected to include my hourly rate of $72/hour.  First of the year I suspect I'll get a raise.  I'm more expensive than the young man down the road with an LT 35 but I stay plenty busy sawing 3-5 days per week.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline jmouton

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2019, 07:31:16 PM »
85 per hr
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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 07:58:27 PM »
$90 per hr, $1.50 klm travel both ways and $40 per damage blade from hitting metal. This is just like answering a Kijiji AD oh yes, and minimum of 4hrs.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 08:31:16 PM »
   As mentioned $.30/bf or $60/hr plus $25 blade damage fee for metal, $1/mile (one way one time), $300 minimum on mobile jobs, no minimum for home based sawing. Same rates for soft or hardwood.

   Include what is important to you but remember don't make it so complicated it becomes too much of an admin burden on you or scares customers away. They have to be able to understand what they are paying and getting.
   
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Magicman

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 08:32:47 PM »
You will notice that sawing/labor prices vary greatly between different locales in the US and then fairly drastically North of the border.  It is good to have a general idea of what other sawyers charge.

You should not pattern your sawing rates by what other sawyers charge but base it upon your expenses and the value/worth of your time.  You are expected to make a profit, but you are also expected by your customers to produce a quality product in a timely manner.  Value for value.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 06:35:31 AM »
Up here, we're likely the lowest sawing rates!

The lowest rate in the area that I know of is $.15/bf, I get $.165/bf

So, like has been said a lot depends on your location!

Sometimes I think it would be cheaper to go to a lumber yard and buy your lumber than it is to pay some of the prices that some people charge! 
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
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Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 07:22:19 AM »
Sometimes I think it would be cheaper to go to a lumber yard 
Yep. 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 08:54:15 AM »
Chuck,

   I don't see how you can saw for that.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 11:52:27 AM »
Sometimes I think it would be cheaper to go to a lumber yard and buy your lumber than it is to pay some of the prices that some people charge!
The principal reason that I saw the amount of framing lumber that I saw is because there is no market for small amounts of logs or beetle killed SYP to be sold.  If landowners need to remove some SYP trees for whatever reason, they will have framing lumber sawed because they know that eventually they will need it and the trees do not go to waste.  Sort of a salvage mentality.

Undercutting other sawyer's rates would be a race to the bottom with everyone loosing.  When I began my sawing "career" 18 years ago I charged $175 per Mbf.  I would hate to think about sawing at that rate now.   :-X
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Chuck White

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 02:46:12 PM »
I'm not in any way, trying to undercut anyone in the sawing business!

I'm also, not sawing to make a living!

If someone in this area comes to you and wants you to do a sawjob for them and you say $200.00/1,000 they would turn and walk away and if you said $300.00/1,000 they would run!

I know from past postings here, that some get well over $300.00/1,000 and they are sawing to survive!

It still depends on where you're located!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline Southside

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2019, 02:52:59 PM »
Your area reminds me of where I grew up, same economic challenges. Folks just don't have money, does not matter how good of a product you offer. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2019, 08:08:41 PM »

Sometimes I think it would be cheaper to go to a lumber yard and buy your lumber than it is to pay some of the prices that some people charge!
The principal reason that I saw the amount of framing lumber that I saw is because there is no market for small amounts of logs or beetle killed SYP to be sold.  If landowners need to remove some SYP trees for whatever reason, they will have framing lumber sawed because they know that eventually they will need it and the trees do not go to waste.  Sort of a salvage mentality.

Undercutting other sawyer's rates would be a race to the bottom with everyone loosing.  When I began my sawing "career" 18 years ago I charged $175 per Mbf.  I would hate to think about sawing at that rate now.   :-X
 I am envious of the MagicMan sawing all that straight pine into framing.
I'm not in any way, trying to undercut anyone in the sawing business!

I'm also, not sawing to make a living!

If someone in this area comes to you and wants you to do a sawjob for them and you say $200.00/1,000 they would turn and walk away and if you said $300.00/1,000 they would run!

I know from past postings here, that some get well over $300.00/1,000 and they are sawing to survive!

It still depends on where you're located!
Chuck,

   I still don't see how you can afford to saw for that but if it is working for you more power to you. I also am not sawing to make a living but I can't afford to saw for less than my current rate even though I have neighbors who quote they will. I have a Mennonite counterpart about 35 miles from me who is/was still sawing for $.25/bf the last we talked but I think he has pretty much stopped mobile sawing and he has at least 3 teenaged sons. He slabbed a big walnut for me for $.50/bf with his Lucas slabber. He seems to be doing okay but his expenses must be much less than mine.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2019, 08:58:41 PM »
The young man down the road is financed by his future father-in-law.  The father of the "would be bride" believes the young man needs direction.  He financed the sawmill business. :D I believe it is to ensure the young man is so tired he's "harmless"  :D   He's sawing for cost ($50/hr) as best I can determine. I have two daughters......it is probably a good investment.   8)

On a serious note, valuing one's own work has to be part of the calculation.  This isn't a business to get rich in, but there has to be some profit.  Knowing the market is important to knowing how to price.  While I'm absolutely not in a high price market, we are fortunate that we are adjacent to a metropolitan area.  Most of my customers are very happy with the value they receive, most believe the value is worth a few dollars more and include that in their payment.  Tips range from 10 to 20 percent, sometimes more sometimes zero, but my base price leaves me satisfied at the end of a day without the tips.

In the end, if for a business, there has to be more than an "at cost" rate (unless you have a daughter).  If for a hobby, "at cost" is fine because any extra is gravy since the "profit" is in the "fun" of sawing.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline Chuck White

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Re: custom sawing
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2019, 09:20:57 PM »

Chuck,

   I still don't see how you can afford to saw for that but if it is working for you more power to you. I also am not sawing to make a living but I can't afford to saw for less than my current rate even though I have neighbors who quote they will. I have a Mennonite counterpart about 35 miles from me who is/was still sawing for $.25/bf the last we talked but I think he has pretty much stopped mobile sawing and he has at least 3 teenaged sons. He slabbed a big walnut for me for $.50/bf with his Lucas slabber. He seems to be doing okay but his expenses must be much less than mine.
Well, to start with, I bought my mill used (I'm the 3rd owner) in May 2008 and it was paid off in July of 2009!  I've done a few upgrades on it since then, but that money came out of income from sawing!
I honestly believe that the biggest reason I saw is because I enjoy it!  8)
I can saw 2,000 bf of 1 & 2 inch lumber in a day, and on less than a full tank of gas!
I usually find an off-bearer, but the customer pays him!
Now, at this point in my life, I have scaled back and I only saw 10-20% of what I used to, I don't travel over 15 miles to saw now, and as always I shut down when the weather turns cold!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer


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