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Author Topic: Production  (Read 6627 times)

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Offline RevCant

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Production
« on: November 06, 2003, 08:20:26 AM »
Hey Everybody!  I know these forums are about bragging rights and such, and sometimes we even learn something 8).  I was wondering if we could discuss production on a day in, day out basis :o.  Several threads talk about production rates of various saws.  Alot of times, this is manufacturer stuff, or the best scenario.  So I will be the first to go.

The following represents my production at a customers farm.
1439 bdft 1xR average 12'
1584 bdft 2x4,2x6 average12'
Total time:  20hrs.  Total bdft:  3023   Average bdft/hr:  151.15

Total time includes all blade maintaince, mill setup, mill break down and site clean up.  Time also spent readjusting tracks since customer skidded a log into them.  
Produced with one sawyer, one helper, and Peterson 8" WPF.
Log size:  random from 10 to 32 inches.
Species:  tulip poplar, oak, black cherry

This is a pretty accurate picture of an average day in the life of this swinger.  We use no support equipment other than cant hooks.  We give the customer what they- precise lumber, cut to their specs. :)
If cows could only tail....

Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Production
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2003, 01:57:31 PM »
Hello RevCant , I just learned to saw in april and run a old circular mill , not for profit but I get a customer now and then, I am my own board man most of the time but I guess just alone I can easily saw 2000 bd.ft. then I am shot from all the walking . just thought I would say hi too, is Rev short for reverend? bye now
UNCLEBUCK    bridge burner/bridge mender

Offline smwwoody

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Re: Production
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2003, 04:39:12 PM »
I shoot for 25 cross ties a day by my self.  I saw the logs as they lay so not all of them will make cross ties.  the ones that don't get cut into pallet cants and lumber. so my daily average would break down as follows:

25 cross ties
about 5 4X6's
and 250bf of 4/4 grade lumber

or about 1350bf per day

depending on my log supply I normaly saw for 4 days then clean up prep repair and maintain on the 5th day

this in on my home built vertical band mill

sold the circle mill and still kicking myself :-[
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Offline woodhaven

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Re: Production
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2003, 04:54:33 PM »
smwwoody,
You ought to kick yourself HARDER.
I would like to see a pic of your mill.
Richard

Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: Production
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2003, 05:19:47 PM »
Hey, Woodhaven...

How are the repairs going at your place? Glad to see you are posting again.

I did end up with a mill. ( LT 40 HD )
So far, I have only cut one day with it, and spent more time learning than sawing. That was on Tuesday, would you believe someone stole that stack of wood today ? I had it temporarly stacked at the front of our property, and was going to restack it under a shed this afternoon.  I guess that makes my production for the day exactly  0 bf   :(  At least it can only get better from here.  ;D

Rick

Offline Jeff

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Re: Production
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2003, 05:46:21 PM »
Day in Day out:

Cuts:
2.5 X 4
3.5 X 4
3 X 7.25
1 X 7.25
1 X 5.5
1 X 3.5

20 to 30 thousand feet a day. ;D
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Tom

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Re: Production
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2003, 06:04:32 PM »
 I may have cut 300 feet today.  Sometimes it isn't all about "how much". :D
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Production
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2003, 06:04:40 PM »
My job yesterday is a good example of what I can do with clean midsized pine on my 93 HD-40 using my tractor and forwarding trailer as well as my one ton dump, but no other helpers.

Customer pulled in at 8:00 with pine logs on trailer.  We talked and I walked out to the mill(400+feet back in orchard) to get the tractor and drove it to the burn pile and unloaded slabs from the day before.  Drove to the customers truck and unloaded unto forwarder.  Drove over to house and got 2 new blades then drove to mill and decked logs.  Walked back to house and drove dump out to mill.  Changed blade, greased mill and oiled track wiper changed prefilter and sprayed chains and rails.  Cut untill 1:30 only stopping to change shirt and put on raincoat due to chilly downpour, had to walk back to house to do this.  Customer wanted 1x of 12 inch and over and all the rest 2x4.  there also was a small amount of 1x under 12 inch and 56 1x2 that I made him for stickers.  I drove the dump over to his trailer and unloaded the lumber by hand.  Just so you know it is mud season so only the 4x4 and feet make it out to the mill.  I was in the house at 2.

Results:     6 hours   902 bd ft   $275
               150 bd ft /hr real time
               $45.83/hr gross

now i didn't change a blade till the last 2 logs so lets say 1 blade at $22  about $5 in gas. I payed $16000 for the mill and almost have 2000 hours so lets say $8/hr cost for $48 the tractor is newer so dont have a real figure for it but it does lotsa other stuff so lets say the same.  Now overhead lets put that at 3 cents per foot, might be high, for $27 so $150  but wait all the cost are a write off so with SSI thats near 48% so call it $80 cost.
                     275-80/6   $32.50/hr profit and I got rained on to boot. :D
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 Jeff

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Re: Production
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2003, 06:07:20 PM »
Quote
I may have cut 300 feet today.  Sometimes it isn't all about "how much". :D


It is where I work. :-/
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Production
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2003, 06:12:17 PM »
I wanted to go on in the previous but was kinda runnin on.

On days when I go out and harvest logs then cut I am running about 50/bd ft per hour but making good money due to no log costs and red oak product.

On this new pallet job I am running less than 500 bd ft per day with less money but getting rid of all the stained and knarly logs I have good low cost access to.

then there are the days that I sell some curly maple that I cut on spec and make more than any cut for someone else day.

Then of course there is tomorrow when I will replace yet anothe brake line on the one ton. :D >:( :o
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 Ed_K

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Re: Production
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2003, 06:43:07 PM »
 I get my logs out of the cordwood pile, when I find a few nice short pieces, (5-6-8-maybe 10') I load onto the picker trailer and haul up to the mill. Sawed it up and got 380bf, took two 4hr days, guess thats 47 1/2 bf an hr. not good production, but I have some flooring to put in the house somday. It would have gone into firewood, so I look at it as valueadded  8).
Ed
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Offline J_T

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Re: Production
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2003, 06:57:48 PM »
Ed K think you and I are going to tye for last place ;D I just saw enough to pay the bills don"t want to get rich might have to pay taxes
Jim Holloway

Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Production
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2003, 08:04:44 PM »
  On my LT40HDG25 with edger I can average 200 to 250 bdft an hour for 8 hours with helper.  This is cutting 8ft oak from 10 to 30 inches dia into 4/4 and 6x8 or 7x9 ties. If no one shows up at the mill and all goes well we can get in 2,500 bdft a day with out breaking a sweat now.  Last Wed. we were cutting 16' pine 2x6's and 1x12's plus some odds and did close to 3,200 bdft in 6 hrs.  That is around 560 bdft an hour.   Log size was around 12 to 20 inches and they were all good and straight.   Would have done more but run out of logs.
 Today I poured 10 yards of concrete into footings for a timber frame cordwood home that I am to frame later this month.  So I sawed ZERO to day.   Would have sawn when I got home but it is raining again.
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Offline woodhaven

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Re: Production
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2003, 04:09:26 AM »
VA Sawyer,
Things are coming along. I have a few places repaired so far. I will start replacing rafters this week end. I figure I will take all winter to finish. Don't worry about the learning curve it's a life long process.
Richard

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Production
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2003, 05:07:24 AM »
Yesterday (Nov.6)  I sawed 1,250 bdft of Douglas Fir on one of my MD sawmills.  I was cutting 12' logs that averages 14-16 on the small end.  Two units were 2 x 6 & 4s, while the third was 1 x 6 & 4s. (customers order list)

Work times:

7:30 to 9:15   worked with my bookkeeper for 45 minutes and went to twon to see about some free cupboaards for a rental I have on the farm
10:00 to 11:00  ate lunch and conversed with bookkeeper on what bills to pay or not pay. :)
2:30 to 5:00

That is about 294 bd ft an hour.  which equates to $67.62 an hour, sawing someone elses logs.  8) 8) 8)
Now, minds you boys and girls, the logs were all prepped and setting on the holding bunks ready to be loaded onto the mill.  I had 14 logs prepped and ready but only got to saw 12 !/2 due to a pageing I received at 5:00. :( A neigbor had not spoken with me since Tuesday and wondered if I was still alive.  :D I then had to stoke both Taylors ( one for the kiln and tother for the house as well as feed the wifes blind horse and her miniture horse and donkey.  >:(

Up at 4:00 to catch up on Forum ramblings ;D
Started Oatmeal at 5:00
continue
Frank Pender

Offline RevCant

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Re: Production
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2003, 06:26:35 AM »
This is pretty interesting stuff.  I'm certainly not saying we all have to be effecient and productive.  There's certainly a difference between a hobby and trying to make a living with a small sawmill (or a big sawmill in Jeff B.'s case ;D).  

Arky - do you sharpen your blades, or send them out?  I always sharpened mine when I had the WM - I figured 15 min. per blade to set and sharpen twice.  Obviously, this needs to get figured into the production scheme.

I suppose what I'm tryiing to see is all the variables that come into a day that rob us of production, or, put another way, that should be figured into production.  

So, this weekend, or next week, or over the coming month as you're running your saw, keep a notebook, a watch, and a pencil handy.  Find out where your time is going as you're running the sawmill.  Figure in all the incidentals.  If your a hobbiest, pat yourself on the back and remind yourself there's no better way to spend your free time.  If your trying to make some decent money at this, see where you're being robbed.

By the way, my equipment costs run like this:
Peterson 8" WPF $12,000 - 12/02
2 Peavies  $100  -  4/96
Multiple Use Equipment
Valley Horse Trailer $4,000  - 4-93 (hauls mill, cattle, chickens)
GMC 3500HD $28,000  12/95 (pulls trailer, hauls lumber,feed)
Stihl 046/066 $1300  6/98  (firewood, general farm duties)
Igland winch  $2000  6/97  (firewood, general farm duties)
MF 255  $5,000  4/99  (logging, general farm duties)

Now, if I were an accountant, I could figure my cost per bdft.  But I dropped this course in college :D.

Good luck and happy sawing.
If cows could only tail....

Offline woodbeard

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Re: Production
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2003, 08:10:52 AM »
RevCant, this thread is a good idea. In addition to what you have said, it gives those of us who are shopping around for a first sawmill a good idea of what can be expected in real life situations instead of just looking at manufacturer's claims.
Also, I am glad to see people including info about what they are trying to accomplish with their mills, and listing the things that happen during a day of milling aside from cutting wood.
This is important stuff to consider when trying to figure out if you can even make payments on a new mill, let alone make a profit.
As for myself, I currently have a homemade chainsaw mill, Stihl 090 w/42"bar. This is mostly a fun project for me, as I like to tinker and reinvent. It is slow, loud, tiresome, and labor intensive, but I have a good time doing it. ;D ( hey, Jeff, can you put some woodchips in that smiley's teeth? ) However, since I mostly cut big 3"+ slabs with it, I can boast production rates of up to 150bf/hr :D  



Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Production
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2003, 08:44:53 AM »
I get between 1350-2000 bf/hr, depending on log size, species, and length.  Automatic circle mill w/ veritcal edger and 5 total workers.  Primary product is 4/4 grade lumber, ties and blocking.  Log grade is mid to lower range.  High grade logs are veneered out.

On hand mills, I could get about 400-700 bf/hr with 3 total workers and the same type of cutting pattern.

I keep track of downtime.  Tramp metal costs me about 1 wk/yr.  Breakdowns cost about 3 wks/yr.  This year, the lack of logs and weather cost another 2 weeks.

If you have a cost/hr, you can take that info and plug in your downtime and see how much it really costs you.  Then, you can figure out if it is worthwhile to change or not.   Any improvement that can pay for itself in 2 years is considered worthwhile.
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Offline Percy

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Re: Production
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2003, 09:30:05 AM »
Good info here.
Been doing the full time milling thing since May of this year and....well, Im learning.

Ive had some days cutting customers prepped logs on their property that made unbelievable production levels out of 8 inch tops, 8 feet long(LT70& Edger). At my site where I can usually excell with the conveyors and such, Im cutting Western Red cedar Clears for an Austrailian customer(another story) and hunting for them makes for a slow day(non impressive numbers).

I sharpen my own blades at home in the evenings and havent been counting those hours... ??? ???....

Getting your ducks in a row is as important as good equipment for production. My LT70 can basicly barf out lumber but unless your logs are bucked, loaded on log deck, have a sale for the wood,customer is paying with non rubberized checks, and a mirad of other things Im just learning..heh...well, untill these things are dealt with, youd be better off financially with an axe instead of a sawmill.. :D :D Not being negative here, it can be done but every situation/geographical location is different/finding markets for what you have available to cut and being able to supply that product at a competitive price(come by my house Tuesday,and watch the Doctor surgically remove the phone from my ear.. :D :D)is the challenge.

Its also alot of fun cutting and thats what keeps me into this. Things  could be better but if it was easy, every man and his dog would have a mill.......
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Offline MemphisLogger

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Re: Production
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2003, 12:31:51 PM »
Sawing urban logs on site, we've produced 75-150 bdft/hour including bucking, winch skidding and rolling logs into place. We saw all aour logs as close to 9' as the tree wioll allow. the mill is an LT-30.  

Each job is different. On some the bole of the tree is just laying there with space for the mill along side it and all we have to do is cut logs and roll 'em up. Other times we have to skid the log out of the yard, around pools, gardens, etc. Sometimes there's three logs in the tree, othertimes one.

If we're set up at my compound, we average 150 bdft and hour. Most of the logs we bring home are 24-30" and 9'.


           
Scott Banbury, Urban logger since 2002--Custom Woodworker since 1990. Running a Woodmizer LT-30, a flock of Huskies and a herd of Toy 4x4s Midtown Logging and Lumber Company at www.scottbanbury.com

Offline D._Frederick

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Re: Production
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2003, 01:05:07 PM »
The "old-timers" in this area figured that a mill  (circler) had to produce a 1000 bdft per day per man to be profitable. This could be up dated to todays band mills that are saw high value lumber if the investment is small. You can't have a 100K tight up and and ownly clear a $100 per day.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Production
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2003, 01:21:20 PM »
That 1 Mbf/manday is still a good rule-of-thumb.  All the prices and values have gone up, so it still remains relevant, at least to my thinking.

$100 profit per day will yield a $25,000 annual profit.  For a $100K investment, that gives an annual return of 25%.  Better than the stock market.  
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Offline music_boy

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Re: Production
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2003, 02:50:10 PM »
REVCANT
     Guess my 1.34587 BF of parallelagram 4\4 one day ain't up there hugh? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Let me know if you ever swing down to lower SoMo.
Rick
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Offline DanG

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Re: Production
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2003, 03:09:24 PM »
MB, those parrallograms are unusual. Sounds like an added value product to me. ;D  Too bad they DonT have some worm holes, or an interesting stain of some sort, or they'd really be worth some coin. :)
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Offline music_boy

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Re: Production
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2003, 03:12:51 PM »
DanG
    Maybe I could make some wormy mandolellatars :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
Probably have give some jing to get someone to take'm. ;D
Rick
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Offline RevCant

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Re: Production
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2003, 03:31:45 PM »
Music Boy - according to your bio, you live where I go to church!  Christ Church, on Rt.264.  See ya Sunday at 10? ;D

If cows could only tail....

Offline RevCant

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Re: Production
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2003, 03:41:09 PM »
D. Frederick, I think you're right on target.  1mbdft per man per day is a good target.  My goal has been to clear $100 per day or better - gotta sock up something for those rainy days.  The biggest challenge I face is not buying all the little extras.  You know, the better chainsaw, the newer winch, the nicer tractor ( in my case, that would be the tractor that actually runs :D).  Keeping costs down when you love the toys is a tough thing.  

If cows could only tail....

Offline Tom

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Re: Production
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2003, 03:51:24 PM »
While it is real easy to measure ones productivity in Board Feet, it doesn't necessarily define a mill as a Hobby business.

 When you own the business, it's the dollars you pocket relative to the time expended that make a pretty good measurement of how you are doing.  
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Offline AtLast

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Re: Production
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2003, 04:44:39 PM »
Ok...first off I dont wanna make ya think Im gloatin....welllll ok maybe alittle... ;D...personally I have sawin 20 logs that ranged from 18" dia to as big as 28" dia ...all of them 12' in 7 hours all cut to 8/4 or 6/4....if the log is a grade log Ill cut it to 4/4HWD....using Doyle..on an 18" x 12' log we yield approx 147b/f x 20 logs is 2940 b/f divided by 7 is 420b/f per hour....I admit the logs SOMETIMES are 10'...but SOMETIMES the dia is larger than 18"...but on average they are 18" x 12'

Offline music_boy

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Re: Production
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2003, 06:11:58 PM »
RevCant
    That's a mighty nice Walnut along side the road there in front of yo  
church ;D I live bout 1.5 down Grays road. Sure like to see your swinger. If it's mobile, might have some logs to big for my little saw.
Rick
It's not how much YOU love, it is how much you ARE loved that matters. (Wizard of OZ)

Offline Kevin_H.

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  • my two boys
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Re: Production
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2003, 06:36:03 PM »
Don and I kinda talked of production a little today.

If I could get out an average of 5000 bf a week I would be tickled, seems like something always happens to stop ya from  keep'n the saw in the log.

On the days that I can saw uninterupted a 1000bf can be done, it's finding a way to take care of all the little things that slow ya down.

seems like you almost need to do 1250bf a day to take care of that day that something goes wrong.
Got my WM lt40g24, Setworks and debarker in oct. '97, been sawing part time ever since, Moving logs with a bobcat.

Offline solidwoods

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  • Best way to make the most money with a portable mill is to cut the least lumber you can.
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Re: Production
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2003, 04:32:34 AM »
Each business plan is different, as it should be, since each situation is different.
As I set up the business part of milling, I look for improvments that will have the most effect on effeciencie and production.  
The order that I would rate key components for a business plan such as mine is:
1.Knowledge
Mill
Log handeling (truck/trailer)
edger
Sharpening
My Plan.
I bought a Kasco IIB in 92.  The plan was (I was at year 10, US Army), use the mill for construction lumber for me, House, shop, out bldg., mill wood for my furniture and wood products making business (about 20-30mbf per year).
I pick the woods I need for furniture, sell the rest, sell some 2xs whenever.
Build up/School up part time , survive/graduate the Army 2002, and shift to full time.

The business.
I cut about 50,000bf or less a year.
I built a 1000bf propane direct fire kiln, mostly dry 20%mc or less lumber. The kiln is in my shop and doubles as a finishing room.  When I kiln, the heat can be vented into the shop (radiant heat already happens) mostly a winter benefit.  I run the kiln during work hours, and dont do much for hire drying since this type of drying in not full use dollar efficient (if that makes any sense). Bottom line kiln almost no noticeable drying degrade, no stress related defects (I wood work this lumber so I know how it acts) and color excellent  (kiln type and schedule can affect color on some woods)
Im now converting the kiln to Taylor Waterstove heated.
A 3000bf Solar. It is for thick lumber.
75% of the lumber I cut is Value Added TG boards, S4S,etc.,  since I dry and mill it.
Other pieces of equip, I went with:
$10,000      Kasco IIB w/trailer pkg,  sharpener/setter (chopsaw type) this is non hyd mill, elec feed/blade height  
$6500      Knuckleboom truck  1978 IH cab/chassis w/ prentice H series light use road worthy condition
$600      Foley Belsaw  edger 20  (I think)
$1500      1972 Ford backhoe (add $1500 for engine rebuild, 200 for forks) This is used as forklift
$1000      5 ton cap, trailer for hauling logs.
$2500      Cat claw auto sharpener , Timberwolf dual tooth setter, hand held tooth set gauge
Total
$22100      (just about the price of a hyd blue or orange mill)

I also built a 1600sq shop with about $20,000 wood working equip to build lumber products and furniture.

Could I earn a living with just the sawmill equip?  Got me! The Devil is in the variables: location, dedication to skill, and luck.
But I like the above formula better than $20,000 for a hyd mill and nothing else.  

I average 1000bf per day of milling cutting alone, with the mill and edger.   If I were trying to cut allot of lumber per day, my set-up wouldnt work at all.  

Because I saw real quick that I could mill way more wood than I could move around by hand.  The truck/ trailer lets me get free or purchased logs,  put them on the log deck (or remove half a huge one being slabbed, from the mill), move lumber stacks like a forklift.   I also hang trusses, and remove tree stumps, and any add job we can find for a knuckle boom truck.


Ret. US Army
Kasco II B Band mill
Woodworking since 83
I mill & kiln dry lumber, build custom furniture, artworks, flooring, etc.
If you mill, you'll be interested in some of my work in one way or another.
We ship from our showroom.
N. Central TN.

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Production
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2003, 08:30:10 PM »
Logs a lot smller today.  I only got out about 700 bd ft.  frrom 16 logs 12' long.  Tomorrow I will prep 14 pcs of 16' Doug Fir.   There wil be a number of 28 to saw to help fill the order.   Thes finsished wil give me nearly 5,000 bd ft for this customers logs having been sawen.   8)  

I did not begin until about 8:00 this morning and took longer tht two hours for lunch. ;D naps are nice once in a while. :)
Frank Pender


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