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Author Topic: 4 foot pulpers?  (Read 3226 times)

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Offline gman98

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4 foot pulpers?
« on: January 05, 2018, 06:26:52 PM »
I was talking with my boss the other day about the times of the 4 foot pulp industry.  Anyone on here experience the 4 foot days in the northeast?  What was it like?

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Offline Firewood dealer

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 07:29:01 PM »
You learn quick to put the butt sticks on the bottom of the pile!  :D

Offline snowstorm

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 07:30:11 PM »
Do you mean 4 footing in the woods then loading it on a trailer or scoot? No did not. Sawing it 4ft on the yard cause it was the only market you had. Yes lots of it

Offline thecfarm

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 07:47:59 PM »
My Father cut some 4 foot pulp here on The Farm. He did it with oxens before the tractor.
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Offline Maine logger88

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 09:07:56 PM »
I only caught the tail end of the 4ft days but for a few years I did a fair amount. it was ok and compared to our current spruce and for pulp market quite good! Although it was a lot of work I enjoyed it as long as I could break it up with cutting other species and not just cut 4ft pulp for weeks on end.
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Offline Maine372

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 10:36:15 PM »
I have stump cut 4ft, stacked on a trailer behind a crawler. sawed skidded wood 4ft on the landing. I saw the rumford mill when it was still heaps of 4ft unloaded by crane slings. ive unloaded 4ft into the flume in jay. been on tours in the wood rooms in both bucksport and Millinocket.

honestly I grew up doing it and didn't know any different. more labor intensive than tree length but I could pick up doing it again tomorrow.

if all you bring out is pulp pull it a little past and then unhook and turn around. now push the butts square with the rest of the pile. if youre good you don't have to measure. dad hauled off one guy that was meticulous about it and you could just about load his wood with a forklift.



Online mike_belben

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 11:40:01 PM »
At 37 im too young to have ever seen it but i grew up around the chicopee river in massachusetts and have heard stories from old timers about the holyoke paper mills (the paper city turned out just like the motor city) and a few relayed stories about the log drives a century ago.  Pretty neat stuff.

The pallet mills here in middle tennessee used to be short wood until fairly recently.   someone i know that hadnt hauled in a few years just gave me a bunch of 4ft oak to go into my firewood pile, that he hauled out and back when it was refused.  8'3 min now.  He was pretty mad when he got there and argued it.  They told him they dont have the equipment to handle short wood anymore but it was the same stuff hed always seen.   thinks they did it to take advantage of the taper.  Paying on small end of an 8'3 butt log will produce a few free side boards off every flare. 

None of the stave mills will take a short piece either anymore even though theyre bucking into 40" chunks first thing, no debarker.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 06:03:30 AM »
Yes,I remember Boise only would take 4 foot wood. That would of been back in '94,'95,'96.We did not send much to Boise,I'm only about 20 minutes away from what was IP in Jay. So most went there.
Maine372,And yes,I use to rick up the pulp the way you said. We did not cut much pulp. Not much money in it and this was on our land and we got all the money. We was cutting some old BIG pine. Some of the limbs was so big,we would haul them out for pulp.
We use to send more hardwood up to Jay. Use to $56 a cord. I had many people try to tell me to cut and split for firewood.  ::)  I could not get it through thier thick heads all I had to do was rick it up into a pile,cut it 8 feet and I was done. Trucking was $15 a cord,so that was $41 in my pocket. Only minutes of work,no handling the wood. I had no splitter,no dump truck at that time.
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Offline Mountaynman

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 06:53:16 AM »
up until just a few years ago here in ny at finch in glens falls they were still running the trucks thru the saw on the island all the boys had a slasher rack on the truck. They were cutting it 4ft was good cause you could cut the hemlock 17 ft and they would swap butts for tops and put a real good load on hardwood was 8ft then cut in half I'm sure some of the fellas in the Adirondacks have some pics of a truck going thru the saw. they have gone to all 8ft now no more island with a just in time inventory at the mill which is in the center of town.
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Offline loggah

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 07:35:15 AM »
I cut some and loaded it in trucks by hand when i was a teenager,also cut 4' poplar and peeled it . Didn't work at it to long the lady we worked for would only pay $7 for 11 hrs of work!! but she did provide lunch.Took a lot of throwing to fill up a parmacheene pulp rack on a 10 wheeler.
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 07:36:42 AM »
One good aspect of four-foot pulp, especially if stump-cut,  was that you didn't need a lot of equipment to get started. If you had a saw and a pulp hook you were in the logging business.

Offline hopm

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 08:38:33 AM »
One good aspect of four-foot pulp, especially if stump-cut,  was that you didn't need a lot of equipment to get started. If you had a saw and a pulp hook you were in the logging business.

You're exactly right...In our area when the economy got bad everybody started cutting pulp. I've seen them come into the yard hauling in pickups and those old big, long stationwagons. After the woodyard shutdown, everybody picked up a stepladder and paint brush to make a dollar.

Offline gman98

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 09:04:38 AM »
One good aspect of four-foot pulp, especially if stump-cut,  was that you didn't need a lot of equipment to get started. If you had a saw and a pulp hook you were in the logging business.
That's what appealed to me about it all the most.
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Offline 69bronco

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 09:46:30 AM »
In the late 70s I had 2 loads of 4' red pine left over on the landing. Got wires crossed with trucker, guy shows up with a straight job. Tandem with tag, no loader. My loader wouldn't reach over rack, had to dump on rear of bed and he carried and stacked both loads the same day. Heard a couple weeks later the driver quit the next day! Used to cut and stack 4' firewood for weekend sales on site. My brother used to cut and peel poplar in 4' in the spring. They'd run over each hitch with ice chains back and forth, helped some. The good old days! say_what
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 09:49:06 AM »
I can remember dual wheel dump trucks with just wooden round stakes going by the house full of 4 foot pulp in the winter time. Did not see much of that in the summer.
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 09:56:51 AM »
Here is a pond full of pulp (4 footers?)  headed to the I.P. mill on the Raquette River at Piercefield. Lots of pulp and paper history here in NY

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Offline Dan W

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2018, 10:24:25 AM »
In the U.P. a charcoal making plant used 4ft dense hardwood.  Anything over 9 inch diameter had to be split.  It was slashed at the plant into about 18 inch blocks.  Closed up maybe in the late 60s or early 70s.

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2018, 12:06:59 PM »
 

  

  

  

  

 
Rumford Maine.

Looks like they cut it 4'
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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2018, 01:58:09 PM »
They used to buy short pulp around here, now the shortest they take is 14ft
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Offline Corley5

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2018, 02:03:03 PM »
  There used to be pallet mills around here that bought short bolts.  Seventy two inch, 64", 58", 50", 46", 42" and 38"were common lengths.  Fifties were the most popular.  My favorite was 50" basswood.  Didn't take much to be in business and make dollars.  There were lots of old 3/4 ton "boltwood" trucks on the road.  Some had a rough sawn flat bed others the wood was stacked across the bare frame.  Wooden stakes were the rule.  A cord was a load and paid $50.00 delivered to the mill in '87.  The price was $65.00 per cord just before the last mill went out of business in the early 90s.  Lots of groceries and beer was bought with $$$ from bolts. 
  I hauled with a trailer made from a one ton Chevy single wheel frame and pulled it with a 78 Dodge Ramcharger.  A cord and a half of 50s was a load.  No trailer brakes, fenders, or lights; wooden stakes, etc.  I switched up to a 77 Ford 3/4 ton 2wd later.  A DOT officer today would stroke out over one those old rigs.
  I'd cut the bolts to length at the stump and pull the trailer around with a 180 MF and load by hand.  The tractor had a loader but it was faster to throw them on by hand.  When full I'd pull it to where the truck was and switch it over for the trip to the mill.   
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Online mike_belben

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2018, 02:31:06 PM »
Its more or less a fact of life, when the plants and factories start closing, the middle class slides down into the lower class. 

If bolts were still sellable here, thered be a lot less thieving and welfare checks.  Everyone has a truck and a saw, but skidding and loading full length is like a line drawn in the sand. 
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Offline Hackermatack

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2018, 02:52:13 PM »
When I was a kid I would help my dad cut a little pulp every year, we cut it short in the woods and loaded it on a wagon or sometimes just piled it on a chain and skidded it that way. We would pile it beside the road and before long some trucker would stop and want to buy it. Sometimes we had a load other times just a cord or two. One spring we cut a load of popular and peeled it because that was the only way they would buy it, I know it was slippery as snot and hard to make stay on the load. 
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Offline Hackermatack

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2018, 03:01:29 PM »
White birch bolts were cut a lot around here, I think they went mostly for dowel wood. My wife's cousin had a 49 ford 1 1/2 ton truck when he was in High School, he and his little brother would put on a load for a local logger after school one day, drive the truck to school loaded the next morning and run it to the mill on the way home from school.
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2018, 04:47:51 PM »
Another good thing about the four-foot days was there was far better utilization. Softwood butts with heart rot could go as pulp instead of being left in the woods. You could also cut out crooks for pulp and make short logs out of the rest of the wood. With hardwood you could get decent boltwood out of trees that now are only good for pulp because of sweep or crooks.

Offline Maine logger88

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2018, 05:23:19 PM »


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Rumford Maine.

Looks like they cut it 4'
That is the aspen that they 4ft they buy it in 4ft increments from 12'to 24'. There softwood and hardwood they buy at 3 different chip mills one in Farmington one in west Paris and another in New Hampshire. Then just truck the clean chips to the mill. The aspen is groundwood that's why they slash and debark it 4ft still
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Offline Oliver05262

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2018, 08:39:36 PM »
  When I was in High School in No. Bennington, they logged off the McIntyre job and some other sections in Glastenbury. The pulp was all four foot, and we could hear those big Ford and Mercury trucks on route 67 thundering out towards New York state on their way to West Virginia Pulp & Paper's mill in Mechanicville. Guy Savage had the nicest trucks that I remember.
  Later on I cut some 4' elm and popple for a guy in Ferrisburg. He hauled it to Ticonderoga on a single axle 60 series Chevvy and claimed he was making money. All I had was a 550 McCulloch and that big saw was way overkill..............
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2018, 01:08:41 AM »
gman -

I can still see the train coming around Squaw Pan Lake with 4' wood on it.  Of course that was back when JP Levesque was running his mill, and you better had been careful on the Pinkham road as the unlimited loads were still rolling into Irving, so it has been a while. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2018, 04:39:28 AM »
One of the good things about 4 foot has been mentioned already, little layout in logging equipment for the small guy. You could load a pickup truck or one ton with 4 foot and take it through the mill gates at a couple facilities I knew of. Repap and Fraser Papers as I recall. Some fellas did that for grocery money, quite literally. It was fellas near the mills and working on their woodlots. But I've seen big operations haul it to. Used to be road side stops where the trucks coming in off those rough forest roads had to pull in and drive through two big steel upright drums to even up the load before going down the highway. There might be a stick here and there in the load protruding out the side of the stack that would be poked back into the pile to neaten things up. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2018, 08:56:57 AM »
At the youth camp I worked at in the 60s the camp boys would fell and limb Red Pine, and Norway spruce and our crew would skid it to the landing where my partner and I would buck it into 4' lengths.
The trucker would show up and the boys would put the bolts up to my pard and I on the truck.
Took about 1/2 hr to load the 10 wheeler with 4 tiers.
We told them if they could get it to us we could handle it.
Worked out all but once when a strapping kid of 19 or so gave me a huge butt bolt to put on the top if the tier, but I just grinned and put it on the deck for the next one.
Told him I was born at night but not last night.
This was all un peeled stuff that went to St Regis in Deferiet.
Also at my ADK camp property a few years ago while bush wacking on our atvs we stopped by a unusual hump in the woods.
It was a moss covered pile of 4' wood.
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Offline Matt601

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2018, 06:31:43 AM »
I had 2 short wood trucks but we cut them 5 foot 3 inchs. If they was going to chip them there we could cut it 6 foot. I cut a many stick with a bow saw and loaded with a cable winch run off the PTO of the truck.
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2018, 07:09:51 AM »
Many of the sites mentioned here are Hydro-station sites still generating,
most are now independent of the paper mills or the mills have closed altogether.

D

Offline TKehl

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2018, 03:29:53 PM »
Not quite pulp, but the Cedar (ERC) shaving mills around here most all want 48-50" bolts.  

I've sold some that way that I brought in on a car trailer and back of a pickup.  It's a hard way to make a buck, but it is doable.  I keep it in mind as a backup plan to my backup plans.   ;)
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Offline 2308500

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2018, 03:44:22 PM »
in the winters of 1984/85  i would cut and stack a cord roadside everyday after school.  just a chainsaw and pulp tongs.   i was in the best shape of my life and always had a pocketful of money at school.

hauled it all to roadside with a honda big red 3 wheeler and homemade cart. 5 trips per cord.  aaahhhh the good old days  local trucker (my dad) would pick it up and write me a check on the spot.  it was our land so i also got to keep the stumpage

other kids thought i had some illegal business on the side but, 4 foot pulp was way more fun( if that makes any sense)

wish i had some pictures but i was always alone for some reason

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #33 on: May 29, 2018, 04:44:42 PM »
My uncle cut some 4 foot around the time the local marketing board started. At that time there was a quota system because there were large producers logging for a living, not just a load or two a year. So with the quota system they used ticketing to move wood to mills. My uncle tried to get a ticket to move his 4 foot to market. Well the wood got too dry and stained and no ticket, so it went into the furnace for heat. I think that was the last time my uncle cut wood to sell. That was around 1983 or 84. Dad always cut wood on the farm and there was always a way to sell it during those quota years. Didn't need no ticket to export or with a broker. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline dsgsr

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2018, 06:35:30 PM »
After school and weekends, that was my job. Move brush and stack 4' pulp, mostly softwood. One winter we did oak 4', That's some heavy stuff for a youngster. We were logging with a horse and sometimes a pair of ponies pulling a wagon.

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #35 on: May 29, 2018, 06:40:44 PM »
Worked for a man in town that cut and hauled pulp. We cut it  5 ft  and hand loaded on a ford haulout truck and transferred to the trailer parked close to the road. This in 1960 and he had all the wood he could cut.  Now Jersey had a fair amout of mills  that we hauled to. I miss those days 12 dollars a day 7 days a week . Homelite saws and Mack B61 tractors. 

Offline luvmexfood

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #36 on: May 30, 2018, 07:35:32 PM »
Never did pulp wood but remember the days of square baled hay and burley tobacco. Other than setting it out every thing else was done by hand. Cut it, spear 5 or 6 stalks on a stick then haul it to the barn and climb up in the barn and hang it. Just hard work. 















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Offline CX3

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #37 on: May 30, 2018, 10:11:57 PM »
My dad still tells of days when he would load 2 cord or 3 on a flatbed truck and take 4 ft cord wood to the charcoal kiln. He recalls getting  $7.50 for a cord stacked square on the block. Dad and Uncle Lee would fall the cull oak timber on state sales they purchased from the forestry department. They would buck it to length and hand carry it to the old truck up on the road. I asked once what they did with pieces that were too heavy to carry. Dad said they carried them lol.

I learned alot from these guys.

Thanks dad for gettin it done like a man
John 3:16
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #38 on: May 31, 2018, 04:53:42 AM »
That's like the response I got from dad about who graded the lumber off the circular mill we hired to cut lumber for the packing shed. His response was it was all number one. Well, it was likely that and better, been standing now for 30 years and been 3 other owners since he sold the place. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #39 on: May 31, 2018, 05:06:52 AM »
Dad recalled in the 60's loading rail cars of 4 foot. $20 cord after he cut, hauled to the siding and handled a second time. Well, that is what happens when there is all kinds of wood and all kinds of nearly free wood on the market. You can't cut logs without making pulp to. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #40 on: May 31, 2018, 02:09:27 PM »
Not pulp but my Brother and I cut Black Locust fence post @ 5 per post.  We worked a year behind in that we bucked the post in the Winter from the trees that we had felled that previous Winter.  They had lain, aged, and the bark had fallen off by then.  The only tools that we had were a single bit axe and a 5' crosscut saw.

We hand carried them out and loaded them onto a trailer and then stacked them 10X10X 10 high.  Dad would not use an unseasoned post but they were tough to drive a staple into.  He always said that you had to hold you mouth just right to drive a staple.  I guess that we did because we did.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2018, 03:52:55 PM »
The mouth holding thing works for angling salmon to. :D That was a common saying from my grandfather, when sitting out there in a canoe in the hot sun waiting to hook a fish. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline shortlogger

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2018, 11:13:40 PM »
it was a very common thing where I live up until the 90's then it really started falling off . just about everyone I knew hauled pulpwood at some point in their life . Some guys had pulpwood trucks with cable loaders and some people had a 1 ton or a trailer with a rack on it . I hauled my last load of 4' chip wood about ten years ago that was about the time the place shut down and moved out. it was bringing $50 a cord. it was pretty hard work but I could usually get a 2 cord load nearly every day after work so it wasn't to bad for extra cash. still one chip mill in town but the shortest they take is 12' now.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase . "NKJV"

Online mike_belben

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #43 on: June 01, 2018, 08:32:35 AM »
I think the loss of the short pulp industry probably shares some responsibility for the conversion of nice hardwood stands into shade tolerant twisty pecker wood.  70% of the trees i cast my eye on wont make anything more than paper no matter how long they grow, but the only guy who can afford to haul it out of small lots somewhat profitably is the weekender with just a pickup and saw.  So it stays on the stump and outpaces good trees instead.  
Revelation 3:20

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Re: 4 foot pulpers?
« Reply #44 on: June 01, 2018, 06:23:30 PM »
We used to have a relatively strong softwood pulpwood market.  It was a great way to get rid of rotten butts for a reasonable price.  Before the Repap mill in Miramichi closed its doors we were getting 110+/cord delivered for swd pulp including full loads of 4' or 8' with an allowable content component for tamarack, pine, etc.  I don't see those days ever returning.   Don't miss piling the stuff by hand though.   We sometimes have to cut 6' cedar and it is a pain even with the machinery.
Lots of toys for working in the bush


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