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Author Topic: Advice needed on sawing job  (Read 2749 times)

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Offline 123maxbars

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Advice needed on sawing job
« on: January 28, 2013, 02:03:32 PM »
I have a customer who wants to bring me 20 10x10x20 salvaged beams. He just wants the beams squared up to 8x8. I have cut beams in the past but the customer usually wants them sawed into boards, Just curious if anyone on here has did a job like this that could help me on what to charge. Thanks in advance.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 02:45:44 PM »
How much an hour is your time worth? and how much for the equipment? Set a minimum, seems to me, depending on your prep time (scanning and removing nails, etc).
When you say "he just wants..." makes it sound like you don't think you should charge your regular rate.

If it were 20 logs, and he wanted 8x8's, what would you charge then?
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Offline dboyt

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 02:49:04 PM »
Can you do it with two cuts, or are you going to go for a 7/8" board off each side to get some planks? Are they clean (no hardware in them)?  Since you've sawn beams before, consider charging by the hour-- can you estimate of how long it will take to mill them?  Old hardwood beams can be pretty tough and slow going on the mill, and you are providing a service (not everyone can cut 20' long beams), so make it worthwhile.
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Offline torqueporting

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 02:49:25 PM »
I've cut salvaged beams and learned no matter how good you think you are at pulling nails, you are not that good.

Price it as though you are cutting iron filled logs.  I would either double my BF rate. Or give them the ordinary BF rate and set a price per damaged tooth/blade.

With a 50 tooth circular saw I had 40 teeth rounded after cutting 6 beams. Filing wasn't fun and the loss of tooth material was painful.

Offline AdamT

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 04:04:23 PM »
I would charge my normal hourly rate, plus blades.

I do not change my rates because if I quote "x" dollars per hour or bf, the person they tell is going to expect the same. Most people don't understand why rates would change up or down, regardless of the difficulties milling different woods.

I generally charge by the board foot, but always tell them my hourly rate and reasons why I would charge hourly. And vice versa..

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 04:25:11 PM »
I would charge my normal BF rate as it take just as long to load and unload the cants as it does logs and lumber. You might save a bit of sawing time compared to making all boards but it won't be that much.
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 05:11:28 PM »
I'm thinking the beams won't be quite 10X10, depending on what he wants for lumber, and how clean the boards need to be will take a few cuts for sure, they will most likely be bowed, I am thinking the best He can lood for is an 8X8,  it will take some wrangling fighting the twist and bow, I would charge board footage, it should go fast, and he will be happy, he just should'nt look for too much extra in my opinion,
Just to throw a number out, he should be happy with a $1000 dollar bill, I have to say where else can you by this type of material for 500 bucks a thousand,   no where,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 05:51:37 PM »
Yup! Normal hourly rate plus blades.

I dont EVER quote a BF price. All that does is confuse most customers. IF the cutting is real good and I make the BF thresh hold or better, I just calculate a discount to reflect that but the invoice still gets issues on an hourly rate basis. Keeps life simple and keeps the customer working hard with me to help reduce the hours to do the job.

Dont fight simple! and $$$ per hour is simple.

FYI when you hit metal and have to dig it out it burns time on your normal hourly rate. I have cut quite a few power poles this way and it has been worth my time and effort.
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Offline stumpy

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 06:13:52 PM »
Charge by the hour
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 06:26:28 PM »
Jobs like this I precharge for 2 or more blades

then charge by the hour for the cutting and the time needed to R and R blades and resharpen them as needed

On the outside chanch no metal is hit I "refund" the blade charge
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2013, 06:30:46 PM »
As folks here can contest, I tend to do things the traditional way, some set volume or metric, bf, cubic meter, by the stump, you name it, seldom by the hour.

If I can warn you about anything, I work around a lot of salvage wood.  DO THIS BY THE HOUR!!! Seldom if ever do I find anyone that we work with willing to do this work within a metric of some form.  Then we started doing some salvage milling ourselves, boy did we learn quick...by the hour is the only way to not loose your shirt.

Regards,  jay
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Offline kelLOGg

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2013, 06:31:46 PM »
I have a standing job for beams like that except I saw on the customer's site. They pull the nails (mostly), load the beams with a forklift and offload. I charge by the hour (50$), one dollar/mile travel both ways and blade cost everytime I have to change a blade due to hitting nails. I may go thru 5 or more blades in a day. I spend too much time waiting on them but it is their dime. Since you will be pulling nails, definitely charge per hr because you will probably spend a lot of time pulling them.

They sell the lumber I cut at a staggering price to architects and builders and it is a nice feeling to a part of salvaging old timbers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

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Offline T Welsh

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 06:40:43 PM »
By the hour!! + blades and get a metal detector ;D I,ve done hundreds of resawn timbers and beams. You will go through a lot of blades. Tim

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 08:20:23 PM »
     When practicable I prefer to charge by the bf.  Not always practicable.  In this case hourly; no question.  Plus bands!
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 09:16:17 PM »
This is where I have to step in it again, as usual. This is a premium product, that cannot be picked up at the big store, and if one wants to buy these beams they will pay a premium.  At 65 bucks an hour you are looking at $325. At ...a mere $26.50 a piece there is a potential of $530. Now blades have to be considered, and should be, whatever you are paying per blade,  I still would go board foot, plus blades and make the cost a minimum of $40 per 8X8,  I know this is a fair price for a 20' 8X8 of recaimed, antique wood. Just go price a 8X8 pressure treated pine and then figure. Just saying, I don't and never will rape anyone, but how many times have we cut for free?  hourly, and you will kick yourself later, unless you just need the work, and I have been there as well.  If you are the man, I would go for it, just don't short change yourself,  run the numbers, and make the call, but per piece plus blades is the way to go in my opinion.  Any extra boards will be an extra, but I really doubt there will be that much if you want straight beams.  these things cut up quick, most nail positions should be easily located by the previous joint unions. I would even go as far as to mention that each beam should be examined prior to cutting or expect at least a $20 charge if nails are hit.  A quick look over should not take that long for yourself,  Most folks will do the ground work, unless they don't have much concern in the cost. Again, this is a big market for the folks that have plenty to invest.  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 10:47:13 PM »
I'd go with the board foot rate since large cants require more handling!
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 11:00:07 PM »
Hey Everyone,

Also, if any of you that knows me personally are reading this, join and add you two cents.  If anyone mills "vintage wood" full time and thinks I'm speaking folly, let me know, because I want to under stand this.

Hey David,

I can't believe I'm on this side of it this time...feels weird. You know me well enough by now that there is old school systems and then there is me.  I'm traditional with extra added most of the time.  I do everything by the unit, I don't care if it is stump, cubic, meter, board foot, or you name it, it's by the measure.  I still say, and folks can disagree, if you know your craft, you don't charge by the hour, you charge by the unit, big mill or little mill, hand tools or power tools. This is why when I go for bids I won't let a client put my bid against another person if they are going "time and material," unless they have a "high number," they wont go past.  It is also what I tell clients that have trees they want milled.  That is just my position on it, more than 95% of the time, but...

Vintage Lumber is a whole different game. It is that 5%, I just spent this weekend looking at 5 vintage barns to save as full structures and to fill an order for vintage wood from "past gone barns," in excess of 30,000 bf.  That is one weekend of design, field examination/reporting, and consulting. That is a lot of "vintage wood."  I haven't met anyone that deals in the processing end of "vintage lumber," that will do it by the board foot, only hourly, there is just to many variables.

As you can imagine, I don't pay subcontractors by the hour either for very much of anything. This is one of those exceptions.  Because I may have found what looked "clean" in the field, but when you "wand" that wood beam you thought was clean, they beep all over the place, and that means big problems. So, for 123maxbars, warn the client, do it by the hour, charge for blades and and take your time, because this stuff can be rough on you, and the machine.  That is why you can spend in excess of $5.00 a board foot or more for some of this stuff.

Regards,  jay
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"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 11:31:31 PM »
Hello Jay, and yes I can agree, with you for the most part.  I have cut  a few of hard dried beams down to a clean appealing product.  And it does depend on the what the custormer requires for the finish product.  I just fell and believe that a 10x10 square that has any age will at best yield a clean, straight 8X8. Unless some charactor is required on one or more of the surfaces.  I am mainly going for a clean beam, minimal bowing and cracks that uphold the beauty of what is most likely a timeless timber.  And I believe that with age, beauty is timeless. Age and beauty are priceless, and to cut this by the hour, in my opinion from a sawyers perspective would limit the potential of profit.  It really depends on what the custormer wants of course, and we have all gave in to the "whats' fair" mentality. I just feel that in this case, a charge by the piece, figuring the bdft/g' would be fair, I do not know all the circumstances for sure.  I have resawn beams for as little as .10/ft and kinda regretted it later. and by the hour would have amounted to near the same.  I am almost sure that there are those, not on the forum, that do this service and the price is well up there,  especially if it is a custom job.  I am just a country boy, but learning that everything has a price, and typically the older, and nostalgic the product, more value is placed on it.  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline redbeard

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2013, 11:40:22 PM »
Nice post Jay n David good info I think there are Lots of factors sawing reclaimed beams, this should pertain to all species metal being no. 1 even though the nails are pulled and the lag bolts are un threaded or the bolts have been sawed off and hammered out with a punch. There is still metal deteriation in the wood with lots of staining. Which is hard on blades even carbides. No. 2. Checking you have to figure the is dirt, sand and even small rocks  in the cracks. No. 3. You will often need to straighten some twists and bows and on a band mill you will be trying to make paper thin cuts on very old timber with super hard knots that will play havoc on your set in your blade. Use a heavy set blade just for this don't try to make a final cut on a money beam there's a good chance you will get blade wander and ruin final grade cut. These are just my learning curve things I have run into on sawing my reclaim beams which are mainly old growth Doug for beams. I prefer carbides on these especially the ones free of center and tight grain. Hope this helps.
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Advice needed on sawing job
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 12:04:50 AM »
I usually saw by the hour and I really know my craft.   :o ;) But in this case I would saw by the BF plus blades. My rate is .40 BF when sawing beams and off the top of my head that job would come in at a little over $1200. at the end of the day. more than fair $$ for my time and a bargain for the owner. Your rate will depend on how you and the owner define "fair" and "bargain". Ditto the above cautions when sawing reclaimed wood, esp. Redbeards comments.
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