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Author Topic: Scale stick  (Read 2084 times)

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Offline crazy4saws

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Scale stick
« on: December 24, 2017, 08:23:18 PM »
Ben cutting ash and elm, from my woods, for pallet logs to sell to a local small saw mill. Ive got half of the tree skidded to the field. Before I call him to look the logs over and give me a price, I wanted to estimate the board feet I have and see what he is offering per foot. Ive got an idea on how much I think I should get. Some of the logs are nice and clean while others not so much.

A little back ground, I purchased the land in July, my forester came out and looked it over. Harvest wont be for 5 or more years. Instead of making firewood out of the logs, which I have an abundance of right now, I thought I would sell them to pay for some of this equipment Im buying.

Will a doyle scale stick work for what Im trying to accomplish? The measurement would be made at the smallest end of the log? Inside the bark? Any suggestions on where to purchase one? There isn't enough money in these logs for my forester to get involved.

Thanks

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 09:26:49 PM »
The first question you need answered is what scale does your log buyer measure in?  Sometimes the same mill will measure in different scales for different grades and species.  I sell to one mill that measures smaller, lower value wood in International and the higher grade / larger logs in Doyle. 

The next question is how many logs do you plan to ship now?  If it's not that many, just use a chart table or app and a tape measure, either will do the math for you pretty easily, and yes you do look at the measurement inside of the bark and take two measures 90 deg apart from each other.  If the two measures are different then you take the average of the two.

There are a number of apps for board foot measure that work in multiple scales. 

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Offline Oliver05262

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 09:27:10 PM »
You don't have to have a scale stick; at the bottom at the left of the page, there is a toolbox icon . Click on this and you'll find a volume calculator.
Bailey's has scale sticks, as does Labonville's and others if you want a real tool with no reference to a chart.
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 09:31:59 PM »
Logrite,
other tools,
more Logrite products,
will see one there to buy.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 09:35:57 PM »
 

 

The sponsor on the left side of your page Logrite makes nice log scales.  My picture is not so great, but the log scale is still just like new.  Give em a call.  Banjo
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 09:37:55 PM »
Cfarm you beat me to the punch while I was loading the picture. ;)  Banjo
Cooks AC 36--Prentice 210C--Morgan edger--Kubota M7040 with loader--Case 580 K with extendahoe--Case 850C dozer--Int 1700 series twin cylinder dump/log/flatbed truck--logging arch--2 Logrite mill sp.--Cat claw sharpening system--And a bulldog to make sure it all stays here.

Offline Puffergas

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
Another option is the folding stick. It can be carried in your pocket and used for measuring log length for bucking.
Jeff
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 09:05:57 PM »
My coop stocks folding sticks.  I havent needed one personally.  I use a tape measure and a calculator.

Call them up and get cut lengths and trim spec before you buck them.  Pallet mills have all sort of nonstandard length requirements in my experience.
Revelation 3:20

Offline crazy4saws

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 11:10:17 PM »
Went the economical route, used a tape measure. Here are a few picture to show how I did it, and some math. The log buyer is paying about .45 cent/board foot for pallet grade ash, with him picking up the logs. He grades them at his mill/yard, and seems honest but cant hurt to learn the math and know for my sake. He came out, marked the ones he wanted and where he wanted them bucked. I see now there is log quality even for pallet grade logs.


  


 
So 12" x 10'-2.5" so 12" x 10' for the calculator tool (btw this is a RO that I believe is grade log worthy, he said he would pay more for the RO but not the hickory, any grade logs were tree w/ tops knocked out of in storms) 40 board foot Doyle scale, which is what he uses. Is this correct? Doesnt seem like alot of money for all the years it takes to grow, my time/equipment and so forth. Dont want to be "that guy" who thinks his fire wood logs are saw logs and worth that much but dont want my grade logs going for pallet log prices, might call a few local mills to get a a general price. I have no experience in grading logs and my forester inst really interested in a site visit for a small amount of logs.

Reading on here Ive noticed others that sold logs off landings say they invested in a portable mill and increased profits. Thats another piece of equipment/payment/maintenance, plus you have to find the market to sell to. For now Ill stick with this, when the woods is ready for harvest in 5 10 my forester will market it. I hate seeing good saw logs/ even pallet logs go to fire wood so any money is good at this point.

 A few of the those RO logs. Straight and clean for the most part.

 

 

   2 front piles are saw logs, upper rear pile is firewood. Have another landing on the other side of the woods too.




Offline Southside logger

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 11:42:37 PM »
Your math is right, just be careful about making sure you measure between the bark, personally I would call your log a 12" saw log - assuming you are measuring the small end - but if we were right at the point where it was going into a higher grade due to the diameter, then it may not make that next grade level because it's not quite 12".  IE if 12" minimum made a veneer log that one would probably not grade veneer - does that make sense?

Also in your third photo down the larger log on the bottom of the pile, third from the left and possibly even the first one look like they may have been standing dead trees?  If so they may not pay much at all - if anything.  If they were dead then best to check with the buyer to know if he will take them and at what pay, they may be worth more as firewood or for personal use.  Myself I have found some absolutely amazing wood in dead logs, especially red oak - the sapwood is useless but the heartwood takes on a tone unlike typical RO wood.  Nobody in the commodity world will buy it but wood workers - think retail customers - love the stuff. 

$450 / MBF for pallet grade ash on your landing is a pretty good price in my opinion, I sure can't get that here.   
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Offline crazy4saws

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 12:23:14 AM »
Southside, thanks for the informative reply. Yes that makes sense about the log not making it to the next scale in your example. And yes, all measurement taken on small end, if irregular shape than average of the 2 measurement.

Lower logs are hickory and were standing 6 months ago(I believe there were leaves on it), they were out of the top that completely fell out. Laid on the ground for several months. The top branches still had sap in them when I bucked a few weeks ago. I was surprised he wanted the ash logs that had decay, and the larger the log than it made no difference to him. I subtracted for decay on my calculations. I was ready to cut off the decay off when he inspected them but he said leave it.

$250 to $350 mbf for the ash was figure I had from others. Maybe he is offering $450mbf to get the logs and then say there was less board feet than was actually there, or thats what he is paying. We shall see.

Is there a good resource for learning about the different grades of logs?

Is there a publication or something that gives local logs prices? So your not calling all the local mills. Where do local logs buyers/logs/mills find out about the sealed bid auctions that my forester and others use on there timber sells? Would this have that information?


Offline crazy4saws

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 12:59:53 AM »
A little more searching on FF produced an excellent article on Hardwood grading from the USFS, by Hanks, Gammon, Brisbin, Rast. Interesting read so far, Ill have to finish this evening. Thanks again

Offline coxy

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 07:14:10 AM »
you will never figure out completely how the buyer grades a log if they need them great they buy it all if there getting full they get fussy

Offline bill m

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 08:29:36 AM »
Is your log buyer taking them with only 2 1/2 of trim? Most mills want minimum of 4 inches 6 is better. With only 2 1/2 inches they could bump them down to a 9 or even 8 foot log.
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Offline paul case

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 09:02:57 AM »
I pay grade on oak that has 2 clear sides and is at least 16'' sed.  Paying grade for a 12'' log doesnt make sense to me as that is a tie log.

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2018, 10:45:15 AM »
In general, my region is 10cents/bf for pulp, 20c for pallet, 30-40 for tie.  Actually getting 50cents/bf for a good grade log is proving very difficult, thats the spot i always get burned on by tight sticks and imaginary defect downgrades.  i have an easy time getting 60 to 80cents for hickory handle stave and 1.00 - 1.80 for white oak barrel stave grades.  Species can change those prices up or down a little.  Hickory and poplar dont pay good as ties for instance.

If you were getting 45cents for pallet logs.. Wow, excellent. The question is are they pallet, tie or grade lumber logs.  He might be calling them pallet but here pallet logs look like straightish firewood, covered in knots and cutoff limbs.  Literally big tree tops are what we call pallet.  Those "look" like tie and grade sawlogs from trunk stems.. But he is offering a fair tie and grade price so maybe its just nomenclature semantics.   Hard to grade logs without walking over them but those are looking straight, uniform and with nice centered round hearts to me.  Good lumber should come out of them.


Most places will measure fully inside bark.  A generous mill may give you one half bark  meaning the hook the stick on outside of log and measure to the opposite cambium. Thats being kind.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2018, 10:52:04 AM »
And youre right.  You can give up a patch of land for 70 years, sweat your but off and bring in $50k of equipment to make $12.50

Species, grade and diameter are all critical to making any money at growing trees.
Revelation 3:20

Offline coxy

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2018, 12:40:41 PM »
don't want to get a argument going but how do you pay 50% for logs bringing 10-20 cents a foot  if I cant get at least 40 it goes for fire wood  and still don't make much cutting skidding and marketing fuel insurance permits and then if you have to put down material for the landing your lucky to make 10 cents a bf  i know some logs are more but the whole idea of being in business  is to make money not a weekly pay check and just cover costs    saw mills are making money foresters are making money why cant the logger doing most of the work make money  ??? ???

Offline Stoneyacrefarm

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2018, 03:14:01 PM »
Amen Coxy!! ;D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Scale stick
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2018, 06:42:26 PM »
Yeah but in new england a human costs $20/hr, a house on a postage stamp is 250k, vehicles have inspections and a cord is $250+ because population density is high, winters are fierce and timberlands to provide wood are relatively scarce.

In the rural south the human costs $10hr,  the shack is $75k on 5acres, houses are small, winters are mild, population density is low, natural gas is cheap and popular (free hookup in my region) and everyone has junk trees so the wood is $100/cd.  Big timber tracts are plentiful but many have a history of high grading so they mostly grow pulp and tie now.    Glutton of supply with decreasing paper demand produces low price. 

The specs for pallet wood are nearly sawlog stringent, just with a smaller diameter min.

And our trucks... Well whats scrap in NY is $3k here. 
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