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Author Topic: Grade vs Yield??  (Read 2121 times)

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Offline stavebuyer

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Grade vs Yield??
« on: August 28, 2011, 08:32:05 AM »
I cut mostly Oak and with flooring prices what they are; I try and leave a 7x9 whenever possible. I tried cutting some 5/4 which bumped my sales average but in conjuction with leaving a tie also cut my overrun.

My question is with a weak flooring market are you better off with a wider opening face to get an FAS board even if it costs you 10%-20% in yield?

Offline paul case

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 09:11:07 AM »
i am shooting for about the same thing as you, 7x9 tie and as much money out of the sides as possible. since anything under 6'' wide cannot make fas i always shoot for 6'' and up on grade lumber. the outfit i sell to told me they dont want a whole bunch of 1x4 anyway. they will take down to 6' long as well but it must be 8' to make fas so i dont send anything under 8'. i am turning that thicker slab into pallet boards that pays about as good as 2com. they dont grade pallet boards and they pay on delivery. it is a little more work but it dont take any extra equipment for me. the outfit i have been selling grade to took 3 weeks to pay for the last that i took them.

the trouble for me is the logs i have piled up have stained sapwood and they dont like that on grade boards. i have another week of sawing on ''old logs and i can go to the woods and get some fresh logs. i hope anyway.
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
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Offline Kansas

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 10:19:04 AM »
Trying to figure out why cutting 5/4 would cut your overrun. If anything, that should increase it. You can always make your first cuts narrower, and cut as Paul does for pallet, or for flooring or another market. Then when you get to a wide enough board for FAS you can cut that.

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 11:24:53 AM »
We cut thick slabs.  If there is no good grade lumber in the log or the species doesn't have a grade market,  whe cut slabs as thick as two of us can handle.  We then run them through a scrag mill and then a resaw.  That makes pallet stock a little faster to produce.  In any case, producing pallet lumber is a 'minimizing your losses' kind of situation.  One thing to consider though is that grade lumber buyers require an extra 1/8 inch that isn't figured in the price and with pallet stock, they pay for what they buy plus the kerf :)  We aren't doing anything at the mill now waiting for better prices.
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Offline ARKANSAWYER

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 01:00:29 PM »
  You need to think of it as quality to quanity and the end product cost deferential.
  I have argued this for years with some others who say that recovering 3% more of a log will make you more money when I have been saying you can throw 5% more away and make more money.
  If like Bro Noble if you can process thick slabs into pallet wood cost effectuly then 6 inch opening face will make you more money.  With out this capacity you can mark your opening cut then bump up and make the cuts in the slab to make the pallet wood sawn on the main rig.  The problem is then does the time cost of this take away from sawing the grade lumber that pays better.  It is like lumber recovery from bad boards and end cuts.  There is a point in which you no longer make money for the time spent doing it.
  Sawing 5/4 should for the most part produce the same volume of wood while producing a 7x9 in the middle.  Some times due to the dia of the log you may need to make a few 4/4 boards on a side for it to come out even.
  Where you make or lose money is in the slabs.  Can you produce pallet wood with more equipment that will do the work more effectively and efficiently.  Then do you produce enough slabs to make the overhead of this operation cost effective?
  This is a business where the cost is in millions of dollars but controled by pennies.
  I used to make 4 inch opening cuts then lost money due to the lumber being 1C so I went to 6 inch opening cuts and it cost me overrun but made me more money for the volume of logs sawn. (this is in grade hardwood)  When I got a kiln I went back to making 1x4's because the retail price paid for oak trim boards was very good per ln ft.  Then I found that 16ft 1x4's in trim paid very well (before the housing bust) so we bucked logs in double tie length on logs that would make clear face 4 inch opeing cuts.  The 4 1x4x16' paid more then enough for the waste or extra time spent cutting the ties into. 
  So to answer your question yes sell to the higher paying market even if you have to sell more firewood.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 02:05:11 PM »
Iíve got about the same question but from another prospective.  

We seldom get ďgradeĒ logs.  The vast majority are just ďlumberĒ logs.  But for our base product,  if it will make a beam, cant or RR tie, itíll make us money.  A solid beam with knots, worm holes will bring just as much as one that is perfect.  Itís questionable if the flooring lumber off the outsides of these rough logs are making us money.  

Iím thinking Iíd be at least as well off thick slabing the rougher logs and going for the beam, RR tie or cant.  Then hacking the thick slabs up into firewood.  Maybe just bundle them and sale them at a premium over just slabs.   I could throw the cull cants and heart saws into the bundle.  Guys with outdoor furnaces and their own trailer should like a deal like that.

 



Here is my back row stash of red oak tie logs.  The log on the bottom is a butt cut and will make some FAS and F1F.  The ones above it will make mostly 1C and 2C.  The one on the top will make 2C at best.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 05:24:25 PM »
Trying to figure out why cutting 5/4 would cut your overrun. If anything, that should increase it. You can always make your first cuts narrower, and cut as Paul does for pallet, or for flooring or another market. Then when you get to a wide enough board for FAS you can cut that.

I sometimes leave a 1x4 4/4 in the slab for the math to work out on the 5/4. On the better logs I shoot for a 6" opening face and occasionally get that and then some...but my lumber average is up almost 20% vs sawing 4/4 and trying to get every board. Finding a pallet market might be the answer. Sawing part time the tiny bundle of short and narrow 4/4 I'd end up wouldnt be very salable so I have been leaving it in the slab.


Offline paul case

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 11:09:34 PM »
when times get a little thin a lot of folks seem to cut more pallet stock. the outfit i sell to has serveral bundles on their lot that comes from a grade market. the bundles will say 3 com. i have even seen a semi load of pallets faced with walnut on their lot a while back. i asked the loader operator if those were high dollar and he said they werent , they just happened to be the easiest thing to make those out of.  pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 06:40:03 AM »
Bibby

1 Mbf of lumber is about 6 tons or 2 cords.  Do your calculations from that standpoint, then remember you won't have any trucking costs for firewood that's picked up. 
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2011, 08:39:37 AM »
Thanks Ron... That'll give me the factor to make some calculations.
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Offline Kansas

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 09:06:59 AM »
Concerning pallet lumber. It would not take that much money to get into it. We have 15,000 in the gang edger. 6000 in the popup saw. 10,000 in the resaw. That was all bought new. Just from the slabs we get about 6000 a month in extra boards. Plus it ups our production in other ways. We need the popup saw anyways. My guess is from what used sawmill equipment is going for you could get all of that for 1/3 or less. Maybe quite a bit less. But the real key is finding niche markets with either smaller pallet makers that chase business the big boys don't touch, or something the big boys are doing that doesn't fit into normal markets. Unless your huge, its no big deal to do something besides the traditional 40x48 pallet type market. That is where guys like us fit in. We can command better margin doing smaller amounts of unusual lengths, thicknesses and widths. What you pay for the equipment is less material than what you sell the lumber for. All three pieces are well over 4 years old. Its long since paid for. Getting 50 to 65 cents out of what would have been tossed anyway makes it work and provides another piece of the puzzle of getting maximum value out of a log. If you are running a crew, there are always down times. Blades break, mills break down, skid steer is tied up doing something else. It provides an income stream during those times.

Offline Kansas

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 09:26:09 AM »
I should have clarified one thing. The prices are for actual board footage, not with the kerf thrown in. Be careful when you go looking for pallet lumber markets. Its been my experience most of the time pallet makers don't even know what thickness or real width they need. The difference on a 1 1/4 x 3 1/2 runner is about half of what a full 2x4 is in volume.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Grade vs Yield??
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 08:52:11 PM »
none of my oak goes out for less than a buck



admit I am a bit different as I have no log costs




I look at some of the to cut log you guys show





FIREWOOD






I sell the best to someone else, except for large butts in pine the I know have metal
I cut them....for the nice wide clears and eat the blade cost




yes again I have another different niche
yard trees  much metal   only cut for orders   only middle wholsale to retail
but 16 inch clear northern white pine one by or 2 by  and 34 buck blades
one guy    little or no overhead
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


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