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Author Topic: Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?  (Read 872 times)

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Offline Ohio Logger

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Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?
« on: November 01, 2016, 08:01:15 AM »
Hi you all! I have a small half home built band mill that I have used for myself and a few friends the last 5 years. I would like to start using it more and work toward upgrading the mill in the next several years. I would like to try to market specialty and character grade hardwood along with supplying pine lumber for a variety of uses. In my area (northeast OH) there is not much pine and so there are very few mills that cut it. Any advice on how to cut  logs for the specialty/slabs or character grade market? Also, I would like to cut pine for stock, but I am not sure what size of boards to cut for fear I won't have a market for it. (I have nearly 10,000 bd ft of pine logs that will need cut in the next year to minimize waste.) I would welcome any thoughts or comments you would have. Thanks! P. S. I will try to post a photo of my mill today or tomorrow.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 08:20:08 AM »
Hi you all! I have a small half home built band mill that I have used for myself and a few friends the last 5 years. I would like to start using it more and work toward upgrading the mill in the next several years. I would like to try to market specialty and character grade hardwood along with supplying pine lumber for a variety of uses. In my area (northeast OH) there is not much pine and so there are very few mills that cut it. Any advice on how to cut  logs for the specialty/slabs or character grade market? Also, I would like to cut pine for stock, but I am not sure what size of boards to cut for fear I won't have a market for it. (I have nearly 10,000 bd ft of pine logs that will need cut in the next year to minimize waste.) I would welcome any thoughts or comments you would have. Thanks! P. S. I will try to post a photo of my mill today or tomorrow.

Just my $0.02 ...
Cut what you can't buy... Timbers or very wide boards.
Collector and builder of many things.
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and Wood work shop work
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2016, 06:17:33 PM »
start advertising that you have pine custom cut to customers specs. List a few odd sizes just so  they know you can saw anything. ad  3x5 3x8  whatever . You don't have to saw them till they order. maybe saw some things for pictures.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2016, 10:49:54 PM »
   Advertise where your target audience will see it.

   My cheapest and an effective technique is homemade half sheet flyers starting with "Got Logs - Need Lumber?" then a couple of paragraphs describing what I can cut. I print these 2 to a sheet on my home printer and post them in local feed stores, hardware, auto parts stores, and especially in local convenience type stores on their community service boards. Keep a stack of them in your truck and a handful of push pins to put them up with. I have to replace them frequently when I stop by as the store owners periodically purge their old flyers or potential customers rip them off rather than writing down the contact info. They are dirt cheap and work.

   A magnetic sign on your vehicle and/or mill (if portable) works well. Parking your mill (if portable) where it can be seen works well too.

   If I see a stack of logs I stop and talk with the owner and if nobody is around leave a business card in a small ziplock bag pinned to the end of the log. Often the guy wants them milled doesn't have a sawmill lined up.

    Contact you local tree service people and give them plenty of business cards to pass out to customer who may want to save a special log they cut. Also be sure to refer the same tree service people to customer who want you to cut trees for them (unless this is a service you provide to - I don't. I tell them I saw logs into lumber but they need to get a professional arborist to get dangerous trees on the ground).

    Talk up your business at every community event and demo where you can. Good luck.

   Another technique is take a load of sample wood products (lumber, fireplace mantels, tomato stakes, slabs, etc.) to your local flea markets and hand out business cards and price lists and talk with anyone interested in wood working or wood products. You will get calls many months later from this.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Ohio Logger

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Re: Just Getting into Sawmilling! How to market wood? What Market?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2016, 07:58:19 AM »
Thanks for the ideas. Gives me some food for thought. i will try to post some photos this eve. I am planning to cut some pine today.


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