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Author Topic: Custom lumber sales  (Read 1032 times)

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Offline CX3

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Custom lumber sales
« on: August 01, 2018, 09:16:43 PM »
I have a great market for my ties and flooring lumber. Even pallet if I want to mess with that. The problem is I can't seem to break into the custom thing. 

I saw a great product. Always square and true. I log for a living so I can come up with any tree around here. I advertise on CL as being able to saw anything. 

I quarter saw some great white oak boards and never got a call. 

It's all green lumber.  I think that is my problem?? 

Any advice on niche markets? 

John 3:16
You Better Believe It!

Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 09:21:28 PM »
Nope. 

Its tough around here, people have the nasty tendency to think that if they go directly to the sawmill lumber should be give to um.
2000 LT40hyd remote 33hp Kubota, 160 Prentice, Frick 2 saw gang edger, Wright W-37 ABG, Suffolk dual tooth setter, Cat claw single tooth setter,'96 F-250 7.3 PSD 4x4, CS-590 Echo, MF 20c, M681 Memo.

Over 2.5 million bdft sawn with a Baker Dominator and counting.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 09:46:57 PM »
We got custom orders by starting at the low end rather than the high end.  Fence boards (always best green, ie...green is good and more sought after), trailer decking, etc.  You need locals buying to get custom orders going.  Try advertising oak trailer decking on the CL truck and trailer section, stop by trailer shops, drop cards off with fence installers, horse people.  We get $9/bd for a  8bdft fence bd; $1.125/bdft for tie log quality stuff.  If you've got 16' oak that's sound it is an option.  Maybe I'm telling you something you already know but dropping off good fence board with horse people has opened up interesting conversations.  
Liking Walnut

Offline CX3

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 12:46:32 PM »
Well I did have a call. He wanted 20 ft 2x10 white oak. Wanted to know if he could pick them up that day because he was putting a floor in his trailer. Missed that one lol
John 3:16
You Better Believe It!

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 01:40:46 PM »
I'm experiencing much the same problem.  I'm trying not to get overstocked with lumber but sales are hard to get.  My bread and butter is mobile custom sawing other people's logs.  I'm going to take a risk (small but still a risk) by purchasing a load of good pine logs.  My plan is to saw 2x8, 2x6, 2x4 and 1x sheathing for barn and outbuilding construction.  

I've tried Facebook Market Place and Craigslist as well.  I've sold several thousand bdft of white oak but not much of anything else.

So I'm concentrating on mobile custom sawing and letting lumber sales come as they do. 

I too believe kiln drying and planing will increase sales.
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 01:46:06 PM »
CX3,

   I feel your pain. I don't have enough storage space or equipment to store all the sizes and species people call for. I tell my callers I can cut it for them but we will have to wait on the weather or such and they want it now. 

   I tell folks there is the same amount of lumber in a 1X8 as there is in a 2X4 and as long as it is still a log I can cut either. Once cut I am stuck with one or the other.

   If I do have to cut for stock I try to cut 2X12 or such so I or my customer can rip it to other common sizes.

Ted,

   If you do as discussed what do you want to bet the next customer will want a load of 6/4 lumber. And if you kiln dry it where will you store it or do you think it will move fast enough not to revert to an air dry state?
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 04:36:55 PM »
It takes time for the word about you gets out. 
A&P saw Mill LLC.
45' of Wood Mizer, cutting since 1987.
License NH softwood grader.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 05:27:59 PM »
Well I did have a call. He wanted 20 ft 2x10 white oak. Wanted to know if he could pick them up that day because he was putting a floor in his trailer. Missed that one lol
Nice, maybe he'll have a hard time getting them.  See if he can wait a day or two while you get the logs.
The nice thing about that is you can charge $2/bdft or so $66/bd, probably needed 9 or 10. You can fill that from fence board logs cut a bit long, so $.50-70/bdft for the logs and 1.3-1.5/bdft for cx3.  Might want a helper on those.  
For us the trailer decking has been very good in terms of lead generation and pricing.
Liking Walnut

Offline CX3

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 07:03:57 PM »
NatNative wolf I posted an ad on CL about the trailer deck boards. Had several calls but no deals. I priced my solid, straight, satisfaction guaranteed oak lumber at 1.65 a foot, up to 20 ft. Just trying to get some business. Nobody bit  

I don't think anyone has any real money. 
John 3:16
You Better Believe It!

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Custom lumber sales
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
  If you do as discussed what do you want to bet the next customer will want a load of 6/4 lumber. And if you kiln dry it where will you store it or do you think it will move fast enough not to revert to an air dry state?
I've gotten several folks in my inquiries file that have said, "When you get some pine 2x6 or 2x8 let me know."  I've been calling and firming up those orders.  I believe I'm making some headway in selling the lumber from the load of logs that's coming next week.  Based on the measurements I have, I'll have lumber left after filling those orders.
My comment regarding kiln drying and planing is an observation that lack of these services can be a limiting factor in generating sales in many markets.  I believe in my situation it is.  When I can get a solar kiln (or 2) built, it will make my hardwood lumber much more marketable.  Planing and molding are additional value added services to increase marketability.  Again, I've not grown into the secondary processing yet.
Storage is another work in progress.  I'm meeting with a guy Monday on erecting a steel building.  I'm looking at 50'x90'.
So far this retirement gig is turning out to be more than "part time" :D
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins


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