iDRY Vacuum Kilns


For the guys selling bundles,

Started by B.C.C. Lapp, April 16, 2024, 05:34:44 PM

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B.C.C. Lapp

I never really thought I'd go the bundle or bag of firewood route but I walked into a store today on a whim to see if the owner would want to sell some firewood.  And what do ya know her guy just up and quit and she was kinda looking for a firewood suppler. And it turns out she has four stores all together. One store is a little out of my normal area but that's not a problem.   
But she wants it in bundles or bags. No racks. Not the big bags that hold a facecord, she means the  little mesh ones a kid or a lady can carry.  That's okay with me. But I gotta learn something new here.

So can some of  you guys selling bundles answer a few questions for me?

1) How many pieces of firewood do your bundles average?
B) How many bundles or bags per cord?
D) How much do you charge a bundle? 
4)  Should I go with the mesh bags?   They are pretty inexpensive, less that a buck a bag.  Or should I buy a bundler?

This is a new way of doing things for me.   I'll sure appreciate your input.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.


I'm zero help on this, but I'm pretty sure Corley5 could help you with how he does bundles
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Move into it slow. Adjust as you go along. 
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I think the bags are expensive at almost a dollar each.  A shrink wrap roll or brown rope twine may save you 50 cents a bundle.  That adds up quick.
I've seen it banded.  That must be reasonable cost wise.

OH logger

I do plastic wrapped firewood bundles.  I bought a used twister bundler I found online (been a Godsend). I like wrapped but never bagged any either. We get roughly 180 bundles per cord. Charge $3 unless we have to provide a lockable rack. Then we charge $4 to recoup the money we spent on the rack.  We try to deliver 30 or more at a time to make good use of time. Started out with a homemade block and we bought the little 5" or whatever rolls of shrink wrap wrapped both ends of the bundle and did that for years. Bundles loosened up over time and  got the twister and waaaay better.  At a new location bundles can take a long time to catch on but sounds like that won't be an issue for you.  Make sure the wood is DRY.  Uniform lengths and sizes looks pretty.  Pretty sells.  Bags seem
Cheaper to get started with cause the bagger is cheaper than a wrapper.  But the bags would sure get pricey over time.  People around my area are frugal for the most part.   Also me and my son can make about 2 bundles a minute.  By myself a bundle a minute 

B.C.C. Lapp

Oh logger I'm glad to see that roughly 180 bundles a cord number.  I was figuring on at least 160 per cord.  I like around 180 better.   I have a good idea what you mean when you say pretty sells.  The bundles I've looked over were all professional looking and dry as dust. 

I was watching some bundler videos, looks to us like that would be quicker and easier than stuffing bags.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.


Check your local regulations.  Where I live in Virginia is near several national forest parks.  People are not allowed to bring those bundles into the parks unless they have been kiln dried to kill any pests.  Virginia is quarantined for the Lantern Fly and Gypsy(Spongy) Moth and any wood that may cross the state line also needs to be kilned.  Pennsylvania also has the same infestations.

Also check the firewood bundles that you come across.  Check out their packaging, labeling and outrageous prices.
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 I do .75 cubic foot bundles on a Twister wrapper. I have two, got them used. Everyone's bundlers are over $2000 now, I think. 

 I figure 150 bundles per cord. I also get about 150 bundles per roll of stretch wrap. I use 90 guage, with 3 or 4 wraps. 

 Your wood had to be split smaller to bundle efficiently, imo. There should be 7-8 pieces in a .75 cubic foot bundle.

 Bags are expensive. I can't remember my stretch wrap cost per bundle, but it was in pennies. Bags are .50-.60 each. Kind of a pay the money upfront and save with stretch wrap, or bleed forever with bags. 

 Everyone sees the prices on bundled wood and thinks they're going to get rich at it. I'm here to tell ya, that's not how it is🤷 It rounds out my operation and provides cash flow, but if I could keep busy delivering dump trailer loads of cut and split wood I'd gladly send the bundling operation down the road. 

 I can do about 30 bundles an hour with my setup. Maybe 40 if I was trying to prove a point, but even that number is misleading because I have to spend a large amount of time getting wood staged, so I can bundle efficiently for an hour. Getting started, you'd be better off figuring on 20 an hour. Most of the people I pay to bundle get about that. 

 A buddy has a brother that has a large commercial bundling operation. I'm talking like 600,000 bundles a year. They have conveyors that always keep wood right in front of you, he said he can get a little over 60 an hour with that set up. 

 I'd like to set something up like that, but all of that costs $$. We work ours by loading a hay wagon, the big bulk bags, or my dump trailer. Whatever means I have to keep wood close to the bundling machine. I'm not under a roof. That would be ideal, but the roof will have to be a part of something else because I don't bring in enough with the bundles to invest solely on that. 

 You'll make the best money at it if you don't need help, IMO. It ties up a lot of time. It is a good fit if you have an indoor space where you can make bundles, on days when the weather won't let you do anything else. 

 I may sound a bit negative nancy😁 but I'm just trying to give you an honest perspective on bundles. My kids hate doing them, and if you are servicing a few gas stations or whatever, it's tough to hire someone to help if you don't have employees already. For us, it's me, my wife sometimes, my mom and my kids. My Mom enjoys doing them, the kids don't and my wife helps when she can. 

 Corley will give a more negative take on them then me, iirc "I hate bundled firewood" was a quote from him😊

 Oh BTW, the gas station won't typically need refilled when it's convenient for you😁
Too many irons in the fire


I recall watching a YouTube video where they placed same size and priced bags and bundles side by side.
Can't remember where or when, but I do remember the outcome. Bundles outsold bags by a fair margin.

B.C.C. Lapp

Big_Eddy that dosen't surprise me.   I've been eyeballing bundles and bags and it seems to me like the bundles are more eye catching and people can see it clearly.  The bags hide quite a bit.
I ordered some bags to get started but I'm looking at bundlers now.     I'm looking at this one and an Amish made wrapper that looks pretty much the same but is much less.
Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

B.C.C. Lapp

Barbender I want both sides of the story. I'm glad you pointed out some of the no fun facts, and I get what your saying.   I'm expecting big headaches and I'm sure I'll get them. ffcheesy     Hiring help is out of the question.  I wouldn't if I could. I'd expect an employee to work like I do and they most likely wouldn't agree.   And listening to some of the other guys say about about their employees, well, I'll just keep it to what I can do on my own.
Nope, I'm on my own unless Mrs Lapp is helping and she does what she can. 

Here's the thing. I can't sell enough wood here delivering  cords or face cords to homeowners and campers. There just isn't enough sales. I'm lucky if I can sell 50 cords a year that way. So I need my racks and I need more sales than even that.  I need to sell every way I can.  That means bundles, bags, boxes and any way I can sell a stick.
 I don't consider your opinion negative. Just reporting the facts as you found them.
The sad fact is I'm having real trouble making ends meet logging now.  Parts, fuel, saws, equipment, all more expensive every month while what I can make cutting and skidding stays the same.   Not to mention every year its wetter. That is no joke.  I can roll a skidder a little less days every year it seems.   This year has been awful.   
So something has to change.  If this don't work I don't know what I''ll try. But retiring ain't for me.   I like to work. I wish I could just be a cutter for somebody else like the old days but that's almost impossible now and I'm about to turn 60 and I can't cut as fast or long as I used to.     So firewood it is.   Sure do appreciate ALL  the input. Both rhe good and the not so good.
So I hope I can change some things and make this pay.   

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

Old Greenhorn

If I am not mistaken I think I saw one of those Hud-son bundlers behind @BargeMonkey 's shop a few years ago.
 I think the bags are the quickest way to get up to speed. Years back I knew a young fella who made a lot of bundles to supply a campground next door to him. He used bags and would cut the bottom out of a 5 gallon bucket, turn the bucket upside down, slide the bag over it, turn it back up, then fill the bucket with wood and slide the bucket right out. Stuffing net nags without some kind of tool can be a real pain.
 Around here, the bundles are either 1 or two cubic feet.
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How about this price? Walmart  :uhoh:

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B.C.C., in your situation it sounds like bundles would be a good fit. You will make out the best on them, when you can do them all yourself.

If you are looking long term, I'd get a powered bundler. I couldn't imagine cranking a handle on all the bundles we do. Maybe the Hud-son is upgradeable to power later? Worth checking.

As someone else mentioned, check local laws and requirements for parks and campgrounds. In Minnesota, it is a bit confusing but here is a summary. For non heat treated wood, for use on MN DNR administered lands the wood must be used in the county where it was harvested, and contain no ash species. They are trying (but failing) to prevent the movement of EAB. Many of our campgrounds are USFS, and Army Corp of Engineers. They may have no requirements, or follow the MN DNR guidelines.

Basically, I label mine to MN DNR's requirements and that satisfies everyone else.

As for labels- here, they have to display my name and address, volume, and county where harvested. The price is also required to be posted with the wood, but I leave that up to the seller.

I can never stay far enough ahead with dry hardwood, I end up mixing green hardwood with dead standing softwoods that are dry. With the small splits, the wood dries out quickly. The softwood makes for an easy lighting fire.
Too many irons in the fire


 Dang, LJS! Well, everything is more expensive out there🤷
Too many irons in the fire


This is my hack job set up. Bags of wood off the processor. One oak, one dead standing spruce. In between the bags, is edgings off of the mill that work great to fill in corners and gaps. On the haywagon, I set bundles of mill slabs and cut them to length with a chainsaw. 

 Another thing- get the idea you have of what quality firewood is out of your head a bit. These need to be lit for a campfire, not heat your house. Many a camper will have a hard time lighting a bundle of 7 chunks of just oak. Take a bundle of your wood and go start a campfire with it? How does it work? Remember, most people that are buying these don't have the tool operating and firestarting skills that you do.

 Make them look nice, it's a retail product.
Too many irons in the fire

B.C.C. Lapp

Guys, I been selling campfire wood to folks sense 1995.  Never had anybody mention rules and I was never quite silly enough to ask.   Once in a while I park a trailer in a pull off area across from a state campground and sell it to some camper before the day is out.  Nobody ever complains. At least not yet.

I WILL admit once I took a load over the state line into Ohio near Andover Ohio.  Only had to go about four miles over the state line.   Didn't I roll right up on a traffic check being done by some Ohio Highway Patrol.  They checked my drivers license, walked around my truck and trailer and I heard a Trooper say to the other older one "Hey is he allowed to take green wood over the state line?"   I heard the other trooper respond, "Who gives a (pile of manure)." But he didn't say pile of manure.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

B.C.C. Lapp

Barbender I was planning to keep most of the oak and beach and slow drying stuff more for the stacked winter heating wood.   I figured I would use mostly red maple, ash and cherry for the bundles cause they dry twice as fast. That's what I've always done in my racks.  

Yeah, presentation is everything. I get that. Its even important in my racks.  The better it looks, neat, not a pile of bark laying around the rack, clean wood, not a lot of loose bark, all counts. I certainly agree it matters.   

I'll tell you this, ain't nobody here going to give me twenty bucks for a bundle of firewood.   I'm hoping I can get $4.50 a bundle for myself and they can retail those bundles for maybe $7.50 or there abouts.  But I really don't know yet.   The only MUST is it has to pay better than the racks or the loose cord deliveries because it will take so much more time.   

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.


Bundles suck. I do a few thousand annually to a couple gas stations and a campground. Dealing in  bulk firewood is preferred but there's enough $$$ in them to be worthwhile. One client also buys 30+ face cords of boiler wood. We put 5 wraps of 90 gage film on a bundle. Makes them more stable. A roll makes 150 bundles give or take and that equals about 3 face cords/1 cord. 100 bundles is a minimum for setting up the operation and delivery. The gas stations will take up to 180 at a time if they don't have many left. Depending on how much stock they have left, how summer holidays fall, and my own schedule I will stock them before they're out but they have to have room for a hundred. The campground takes 200 at a time. I'm currently buying wrap from There's another site I use too. One has free shipping. The other doesn't. The final cost is about the same. U-line is too expensive for wrap. I've been @ $3.50 per bundle for a year. Costs aren't much different right now. Guess I'll leave it for now. I leave the loading conveyor off and use it as a hopper. The bundler is set up next to it. The bundles are made and loaded directly into the F550 for delivery. I don't inventory any. I had one guy who could make two bundles a minute. Others well over a minute per bundle. My current help does one about every 45 seconds. We did 160 last Sunday and in next few days the other gas station will take 180. The campground is on the schedule for the 1st week of May.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


Spend the $$$ on an electric bundler. The manual would be fine for a few here and there but if you're going to be serious it won't cut it.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


 How are you making your firewood ? Processor or chainsaw and woodsplitter? Uniform consistent length is really important if your looking to do bags, good wood in general. I wasn't sold on bundles, guy down the road will whip them out alot cheaper, we went with the bags. Half the battle is how your set up to fill or wrap them, we will fill a couple wire baskets with cleaner nice wood, set 3 in a U shape and pile the bags behind you on a pallet. My cousin yrs ago got a lucrative deal sending wood in bundles down to the east end of Long Island, tractor trailer loads at a time. They got sloppy with the bundles, cheap help, nasty wood, bundles started coming apart, couple incidents and they pulled the plug on him. Bundles are cheaper to make. If you told me bags / bundles / ice would make money I wouldn't believe it, see people think nothing of buying 6-8 bags at a clip. We have a little sign up, I think it's .25 a bag if they return them in the same shape. 


  The wood comes right off the processor into the elevator hopper and is then bundled. I process while bundles are being made. I get ahead I fill the live deck, grease machines etc. until he catches up which isn't long. Limit handling all processed firewood as much as possible.     
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


I do bundles year round. No where near the volume as summer but there's business. I can't believe the number of people who buy them for household heat. I'm not as accommodating in the winter. If the bundles run out when we're in an arctic outbreak they don't get restocked until the temps moderate. Keep your stretch wrap where you're going to use it. Temperature differences from the ends of the roll to the middle can cause uneven tension, and issues unrolling. There's also "blown" and "cast" wrap. Blown is what we normally get and seems to make a better bundle... I really don't like bundles  ffsmiley
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


The decision was made this morning to run a load of 160 gas station bundles.   

Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


here's how I do the bundles. I have a simple jig on a sawhorse and it's 12" wide and 8" tall, and depending on what size of pieces, it's about 6-10 pieces of wood to make that bundle. I use 5" shrink wrap around each end of the bundle, don't skimp on the number of wraps or the bundle falls apart and the customer

I've been getting about 125-135 or so bundles per cord. I use the box wedge on the eastonmade to make the firewood for the bundles.

This year, my main customer hasn't even ordered any yet because they cut down some of their own trees and now want to sell all that wood before they'll buy bundles. I'm guessing I won't end up selling that many to them this year but I have about 600 bundles worth of wood already split with the box wedge.
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