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Author Topic: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer  (Read 3109 times)

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Offline pigpen

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black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« on: October 30, 2012, 08:32:47 PM »
Hello everyone, trying to get prices back from a couple of hardwood mills around here seems to be like pulling teeth! I'm wondering if anyone knows of a book or video to try and educate myself more on grading veneer logs... I know when I see a good log, but is it veneer quality or just a bolt(saw log) Was reading everything I could online but I think this needs more than reading, more like time and experience with the grading... After reading what I have read, don't think it's something you just read/watch and your good at it. (I guess not many things are, but you know what I mean) Just figured I'd post this to see what the feed back is if any. Thanks much. 
   Also, If any one knows of any mills that are within a reasonable distance from here(40mi south of Superior Wi.) that would buy black ash, please let me know.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 08:45:23 PM »
Veneer depends on the buyer, the market, the day of the week, etc. When I was buying logs our veneer specs would change almost daily when the markets were tightening up. I would go to a site and buy logs and veneer one day and the next day return and not buy anything as veneer as we had met our quotas for that particular product.


Offline 1270d

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 09:08:51 PM »
I believe veneer needs to be clear on all four sides, sound and have very little sweep.  Different lengths are more desirable at different times depending on markets also.

Offline KBforester

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2012, 05:03:26 AM »
In my experience with veneer (which isn't much compared to others here), is you really need to spend some time with a log buyer, log yard manager, or another professional who really knows their stuff. I spent one chilly February day rolling logs with a log buyer in my companies concentration yard. We sold mostly yellow birch that day. Different mills are looking for different things, but I'm convinced their is some Magic to it too. And if the mill has low demand, they will turn down logs that they would otherwise except if the market is good. So just because their specs say the will except a certain amount of defect, doesn't mean they actually will when it comes down to it. Which is kind of a kick in the balls if you spent a lot of time marketing them.  :-\
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Offline MJD

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2012, 05:59:22 AM »
meister buys veneer and buy in 4 or 5 states so distance is not a problem, just get a price on the landing to avoid trucking costs.

Offline Ohio_Bill

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 08:44:33 PM »
Veneer is a mysterious subject. Im not sure anyone but the buyer knows what the rules are on any given day.  My log buyer says he knows a log is veneer when the veneer buyer says it is.  I think the market really affects there grading.
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Offline pigpen

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2012, 09:42:51 PM »
Well, a log buyer FINALLY got back to me today. Turns out the prices just took a BIG jump!  8)  And I got the job... So far, all is well, and the log buyer is even willing to come to landing before I cut the tree up to give me a little insight and education as far as what he wants to see, which I think is best... but I have to ask myself, if he knows that I don't know a lot when it comes to grading saw logs vs veneer, is he going to under grade some to thicken his profit margin? Seriously considering hiring a non bias opinion from somewhere to come give me a hand(or an eye  ;) ) on what should be and what shouldn't be. That way I have a educated idea what should make the grade or not. Does this sound like a good start? What you guys think? Thanks! 

Offline beenthere

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2012, 09:50:24 PM »
Am thinking "what can the 3rd party know" about what the buyer will take? 

Maybe having a 3rd person there will have a positive effect, and maybe the buyer will just get nervous, feel intimidated, and pack up early.

An interesting decision.
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Offline pigpen

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 09:57:38 PM »
Also a difficult one to say the least, you know what I mean? Cause if I trust the log buyer and get took, that costs me and the landowner money. If I have a third party there and the buyer gets nervous, that will also cost me and the landowner money, maybe more that way than just trusting the buyer I suppose? I guess they say that education/experience rarely comes cheap! I think this is where someone has to roll the dice sometime here... lol

Offline mikeb1079

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 10:23:40 PM »
i can't see where a log buyer is gonna pay out more just because some other fella says "oh that log is a veneer log"....wouldn't the buyer then say:  "well maybe you should pay the man!"   :)
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 10:29:39 PM »
I have heard of a buyer coming to the yard and telling you how to buck them. If he paying,he wants them his way.  ;D 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2012, 10:30:11 PM »
If Black ash took a big jump, then possibly there is more than one buyer that would come look at the logs.
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Offline pigpen

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2012, 10:38:32 PM »
In the time it took me to type my last post, my login timed out! lol  But ya, if I have someone help me grade the logs before the buyers get there, then if the 1st doesn't give me the best grades, I can have the second one look at them, he or she may not pay as much per mbf, but more may make a veneer grade? I don't know, excited and nervous in the same hand... I doubt that outta 80 acres (not all is swamp) there will be any more than 200 cd to grade out. Hopefully there is, but we will find out when I cut it I guess.

Offline beenthere

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2012, 10:44:54 PM »
Usually veneer log buyers want the logs laid out so they can roll them over and see all 'sides'. Takes a lot of room to lay them out, so suspect you will to do a pre-sort of the 200 cd and take the best logs out and spread just these?
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Offline pigpen

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2012, 10:55:47 PM »
Ya, this property has been cruised before and said to have 800 to 1000 cd, but I have talked the landowner in to leaving the ash that is 8" or smaller, just think it's better for his timber to thin it a little rather than clearing it. So I'm guessing/hoping that there is 200 cd or more of sawlogs and veneer. We will see...

Offline bill m

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 07:31:10 AM »
If the veneer buyer gets nervous because there is a third party there I don't think I would trust him. Have more then one buyer look at your logs and give their thoughts on what they are worth. If you can leave them log length a good buyer will work with you so you get the most money and he gets the best logs the way he wants them.
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Offline 1270d

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 06:00:00 PM »
Another idea would beto talk to another logger or two in your area.  Guys that do a decent volume of log sales, but still small enough that they meet the buyers on the landing.  They may be able to offer you some insight into which buyers are offering better scale/grade in the current market. 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 10:39:24 PM »
We dealt with Columbia Forest Products for the most part and another smaller outfit, both in Maine. I can tell ya, the only thing that changed was price and demand for product. We never had the specs be fiddled around with quite in the way presented here. What would happen is they had specs and if they needed more wood the specs might have a little more tolerance. But never would they take the specs and say we can't buy under those today, things have changed. The main reason is we were not dealing with middlemen. The mill produced the same product today as it did yesterday. If they played games like that, they flat out would not be buying wood from us. For one thing, the loggers for the most part wouldn't stand for it because of low volumes to begin with. It wouldn't be a huge loss to them because of the run of wood they usually come across, mostly immature wood or wind swept off ridge tops. Some may come off farm clearing, which generally would be better wood if it's good soil for farms and had not been high graded to death beforehand. Most of the buying and bucking was done through our marketing board. The buyers usually came by to scale once a week and some times went off the marketing board scale. I don't even think we have a veneer market now. To be honest, it was never a significant volume. I bet no more than 1% of sales.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2012, 12:21:59 PM »
Veneer just like lumber has differing grades and uses. What one mill or buyer may accept will vary depending on the end use and customer requirement. For most markets it takes a good bit of experience to be able to consistently define "what is a veneer log". Generally true hardwood veneer logs are bought 4 clear sides with no end defects. Then they start looking; position of the heart(dead center like a bullseye), growth rings uniform with preference for slow to moderate growth, color of the wood, ratio of sapwood to heartwood, mineral streaks etc.  A buyer may overlook or buy a log with a yield defect that otherwise has good 'wood'. Then the 4 side clear thing; most logs have knots the casual observer never notices. Veneer buyers look at slight swells, bark patterns or movement for evidence of overgrown knots. You clip enough of them you learn. But even when you do and are confident the log makes the grade..the person writing the check usually has the last word.

Offline Jeff

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Re: black ash and sawlogs vs veneer
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2012, 01:11:20 PM »
There are different ways to produce veneer, and different qualities depending on the methods as well.  Past experience was that rotary peeled logs tended to have higher quality demands than sliced veneers. If you use the clear on 4 sides theory, you may just be letting go logs that might get purchased. 

At our mill, anything we thought had a chance to be veneer was sorted from our log piles as we worked through them, and layed out in rows in an area that was always shaded for protection from the sun and so each log could be easily rolled and examined. We were a normal stop for several veneer buyers that would stop by on their routes to see what we had. When you thought you had it figured out what was and wasn't veneer, A buyer would come along and change the rules on you. It all depended on the markets, the demand, and the usage. One buyer would be different from the next, or the same buyer might be different from the last time he visited. Species was another variable. Sometimes they would buy most anything, other times they were very species specific. It can be a crap shoot.
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