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Author Topic: time to stop being a wannabe  (Read 63231 times)

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Offline OneWithWood

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time to stop being a wannabe
« on: August 20, 2002, 10:10:38 AM »
Ok.  After all the excellent advice I got for my reality check the time is here to start in earnest.  Woo hoo!  8)
A brief refressher of my goals:  Saw on average two weekends per month ::), dry the lumber in a DH kiln, develop a market for kiln dried hardwood products.

Time line:
By Dec 31, 2002
 purchase mill - probably a used WM LT40HD
 purchase a DH kiln - probably a Nyles L200

Sometime in the very near future:
 construct kiln chamber
 erect a building to house kiln, mill and store lumber.
I intend to use treated 4x6 poles for the basic structure and saw aspen and poplar for the purlins etc.  Sawing the lumber for the building will be a major part of my learning curve.

Down the road:
 develop a market for custom sawn kiln-dried hardwood
 lumber
 harvest trees on my property (70+ acres in forest with a number of qualtiy trees remaining after the harvest that is bankrolling all this)

Everyday:
 enjoy learning to become a sawyer  :) :)

Of course I have a few questions for the learned sawyers on this list:

What advice do you all have for finding a good used WM? I am sure there are more than a few people who have embarked on this adventure only to find out it was not really what they had envisioned?  How do I find them?  I will of course post a wanted item on the forum.

Do you have other recommendations for a sawmill and kiln?  I will be doing this virtually as a one man show at least in the beginnig.

TIA,
Robert
One With Wood
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2002, 10:31:50 AM »
A good place to start is right here.  Lot of WM owners that know a lot of other WM owners.  With the new LT70 and LT80 mills coming out, there could be many wanting to upgrade.

You can keep your eye out on Sawmill Exchange and TMS Sales.  They have a big list of Wood-Mizers.  But the middleman will get 10%.  

You can also call Wood-Mizer 1-800-553-0182.  They generally have a few used ones in stock.  I think the go through and replace any defective parts and re-align.  From what I've seen,  they've taken them on trade to help a customer upgrade and does not look like they are trying to make much if anything on them.

Another place to look - keep in contact with your Wood-Mizer field office manager.  He probably knows most every Wood-Mizer owner in his area.  He is in a good spot to know who may be looking to upgrade and can get you connected.

Nearest competitor in bandsawmill sales to new Wood-Mizers are used Wood-Mizers! :o

Lot of good ones out there. 8)
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Offline Tom

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2002, 11:29:09 AM »
Bibbyman is right about the Wood-Mizer field office manager.  Believe it or not,  they will put you on mill that a customer is trying to sell as quick as they will sell you a new mill.

I've only one other comment.  I would, seriously, take that comment "develop a market for custom sawn kiln-dried hardwood  lumber " out of the Down-the-road column and put it right after the "purchase mill - probably a used WM LT40HD"  line.  :D

You will find that you will have more friends and custom sawing customers, when they find you have a mill, than you will have time for.  The Kiln is going to be a project that you will have to "fit in-between".   :D :D

The Kiln is a very good idea.  I think we all, who haven't one, wish we did and had aspirations of installing one years ago.  It is one of the neglected parts of custom sawing.  I am asked continually by customer, "where can I get my wood dried".  I should make it a project to install one during my normal sleeping hours.  It would be worth it. :-/

Another thing you should do during the period before you get the mill is try to take a course on grading that could give you some official capacity for retailing graded wood.  To retail construction wood it is almost a necessity unless you only deal with farmers building barns. To ship hardwoods, you need to know the industry standards so that you and your customers are on the same page.

I am looking forward to following your adventure.  Now for the philosophical advice. ;D

Keep your plan fluid so that you don't get hung up on something that is not working at the moment. Stress isn't what this is all about.

Above all, don't forget to have fun. If it gets to be work and you find that you don't want to get up in the morning to saw another log, then you need to slow down, smell the roses, catch a few fish and reallign your priorities.   :) :)
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2002, 11:58:51 AM »
Tom's comment about "keeping the plan fluid" is good advice.  It's like my momma once told me: "Life is like a box of chocolates.  .  (Well, maybe I heard that someplace else.) ::)  Anyway,  our business is always evolving.  

For example,  we keep talking about getting a WM five head moulder and making mouldings out of our own KD grade lumber. Maybe someday.  But we've got an opportunity to make wedges and blocking for the local mobile home setup industry.  If I can figure out a way to change low grade oak shorts into more valuable pieces without investing a bundle in new equipment,  we can achieve about the same return. ;)

It's something new every day.
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2002, 12:22:15 PM »
Where might I find a course on grading lumber?  Tom, you are definately correct that the certification would definately be value added :P

I have placed a call in to WM to get a lead or two - did that directly after I posted to the wanted section here.
One With Wood
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2002, 02:15:05 PM »
Robert,

I got excellent literature and videos (just had to pay return shpping on videos) from the Mo dept of Cons. forestry div.

I don't know id they send them out-of-state or not.

Your state might have the same stuff.

Mo. has a forestry and sawmilling video library that was extremely useful to me.

Noble
milking and logging and sawing and milking

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2002, 03:41:22 PM »
If you want the information about hardwood grades, you can go to http://www.natlhardwood.org/createorder.asp?action=start

This is the catalog section of the National Hardwood Lumber Assn. and they set the standards for hardwood grades.  For $16, you can get a grade book specifications.  To be "certified", you would have to go to their school for 6 months.

It isn't necessary to be certified, but it is wise to know the difference between select and 2 common lumber.

It isn't something that you can read about very well.  In most areas, there are short courses that take either a couple of days to up to a week.  Contact your state forestry office or the forestry school at your state university.  They should be able to tell you when and where one is being held.  It's time well spent.
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Offline dewwood

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2002, 07:11:00 PM »
Robert,
The Indiana Hardwood Lumberman's Assn. puts on Lumber Grading Short Courses every so often.  I took it a few years ago and it was well worth it.  The one I took lasted three days and was in Indianapolis, they may have other locations.  Below is the contact information.

IHLA Headquarters
3600 Woodview Trace
Suite 305
Indianapolis, IN 46268

Phone: 317-875-3660

Dewey Powers
Selling hardwood lumber, doing some sawing and drying, growing the next generation of trees and enjoying the kids and grandkids.

Offline Jeff

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2002, 07:20:33 PM »
Robert,

If you can, why dont you come up to Madison for the lakes states logging congress. You can talk with industry people from all over. Most of the portable mills will be there. There are all kinds of eductional materials to be had, plus, fun stuff! Something I will be looking for is the virtual simulator for some of the logging equipment.

Here are some of the activities going on.

Thursday, September 5
Noon-5:00 p.m.  Prentice International Open Loading Contest

Friday, September 6
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  Prentice International Open Loading Contest
9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Log Grading Short Course
10:00 a.m.-Noon Eliminations Stock Chain Saw
11:00 a.m.  Ladies Bowling Pin Throw
Noon Judging of Industry Loads
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Stock Chain Saw Finals
Bowsawing
Jack and Jill Sawing
0-5 Cu. In. Hot Saw
Underhand Chop
Two Man Sawing
National Chain Saw Championships (5 cu In & Over Hot Saw)
Relay Event
3:00 p.m. Contest Award Presentations
4:30 p.m. Tug-O-War Michigan vs Wisconsin

Saturday, September 7
8:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Prentice International Open Loading Contest
1:30 p.m. Prentice international Open Loading-Contest Winners are awarded with Trophies and Cash Prizes



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Offline Bibbyman

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Paul Bunyan Show info.
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2002, 06:02:13 AM »
And,  if you miss that one,  there will be the Paul Bunyan Show in Nelsonville, OH October, 4,5,6.

Here is a link to info.  I did notice the link on the page still goes to the 2001 schedule. :(

Paul Bunyan Forestry Show info

Paul Bunyan Forestry Show info (Thru Ohio Forestry web site)

Here are pictures I took at the last Paul Bunyan show.

Pictures of Machinery 2001

Pictures of Sawmills 2001

Pictures of Scenery

Pictures of Firewood Processing Equipment
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Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2002, 06:52:40 AM »
  Pour the slab for the kiln first thing.  Saw out the lumber for kiln and drying sheds first thing.  It is better to do this at night with little light as possible.  Then saw out and build shed for saw mill to sit under.  After all construction is done and kiln is ready to go them put the word out you have the mill.  It is very hard to get your stuff done when some one is standing there with a hand full of cash begging you to saw some pecker pole, ;D   I have had a saw shed sawed out for almost a year and it is not standing yet.  No kiln yet and a half built solar kiln just setting there.  Over a quarter million bdft sawn and not a stick on the place :-/
 Learn, learn and then study some more :P  Get out and look at other operations and saw mills no matter how large or small.  And never stop wanting to be.
ARKANSAWYER
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2003, 05:36:35 PM »
I thought I would update this thread with a progress report on how I am doing with my business plan.  There have been a few modifications.
Originally I was going to try to buy a used WM but after searching I found that a new mill was not much more than a used mill so I purchased an LT40HDG25 on November 1 of 2002.  At the same time I bought a WM DK4000 DH kiln (a Nyle 200 with Honeywell Controller).  Both the mill and the kiln have been sitting in my workshop waiting for the weather to get good enough to start on the sawbarn.
Today I broke ground for the sawbarn 8) 8) 8) 8)
Here are some pics of the saw barn site and me breaking ground with my JD450.
Argh!  I will have to get back to you with the pics.  I have tried to optimize but I cannot get it smaller than 39,000 bytes.
One With Wood
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Offline Vermonter

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2003, 05:50:52 PM »
Wow.  There's some really good advice in this thread.  The "fluid" idea is an important one.  I think I'm going to rethink the kiln idea, I've been relying on air drying, and I'm thinking about an outdoor boiler to burn my slabs and heat the kiln.  Is anyone doing this?
Andy
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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2003, 05:53:13 PM »
You bought a NEW mill in Nov. and haven't cut a stick, YET ??
 Good Lord, hook it to yer truck and "come on down". I can't keep up, and I ain't even in Timber country ?? ::) ::) :D :D :D :D
  Good luck with yer toys. I wanted a WM, but, my funds were non-existent. ::)
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2003, 06:23:11 PM »
Patience has been the virtue that has made this all possible for me.  I had to wait a good ten years for the market to realize what a great wood maple is.  It just so happened that I wanted to thin some maples to release some oak and cherry when the market for maple was up.  The tax man was going to take a chunk of the proceeds if I did not purchase the mill and kiln when I did.  After reading all the posts on this forum and talking to other sawyers in the area I knew that if I started sawing I would never get the sawbarn and kiln built the way I wanted it.  Unless disaster strikes I will be sawing the lumber for the kiln chamber before July  8)  8)  8)
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Offline OneWithWood

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2003, 06:47:55 PM »
OK here are some pics I hope.  The first is the sawbarn site.  I intend to build it between the three trees. The white oaks at the back won't be a problem but I will have to maneuver around the black walnut to get the mill in and out of the buliding.


Breaking ground  8)  The northeast corner will require a six foot depth for the swale


And just because I am feeling lucky here is another


These pics were taken a couple of days ago when I started. Today I got about 1/3 of the grade dug when I started loosing fluid to the bucket so I had to stop and do a repair.  Repairing the crawler has become a standard way to spend my time.  The lemon yellow paint scheme is fitting.  If I am ever able to complete a job without a breakdown I will paint it camo.  I hope to finish the swale tomorrow.
One With Wood
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Offline hawby

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2003, 04:28:59 PM »
OneWithWood,

Good for you. It sounds as though several of us are at about the same place in our lives. Pretty site for your sawbarn. Looking forward to seeing it go up.

I am currently constructing an air drying deck next to one of my outbuildings. This will create a level place for my inventory. Next to that, I plan on placing a 28' refer to serve as my chamber. While I would like to have a building with side entrance, space and cost have led me this direction.

So...the next step in MY plan is the DH4000, and probably a used skidsteer. I also need to get into a heavier duty truck. I have use of my dad's Chevy 4x4...when he isn't traveling. Seems that is always when I am needing to haul some logs or lumber ???

Good luck with your plans...

hawby
Hawby

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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2003, 07:43:44 PM »
This is about the fourth time I have read about problems with end loading "Chambers".????  Haven't y'all heard about SAWS?? and HEADERS ????
  Shoot fire, It wouldnt take a couple of days to put side doors in them trailer boxes ???? ;) ;D ;D
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Offline DanG

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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2003, 08:28:13 PM »
I think I'd prefer an end loader.  I can't imagine the headaches that you would have trying to seal up a set of 28' doors, 'specially after you had hacked up the side of your reefer with a Sawzall. The reefer comes with doors that seal, so why not put your time into building carts?. You can pull'em in like a train, and pull'em out the same way, and have another train ready to go in. Seems efficient to me. :)
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Re: time to stop being a wannabe
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2003, 04:00:17 PM »
Carts sound good to me too. You will get a much better seal if you just use what is there.


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