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Author Topic: Sawing and Selling softwood  (Read 927 times)

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Offline Downhill Cutter

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Sawing and Selling softwood
« on: April 29, 2021, 07:17:37 AM »
A couple of weeks back, I needed a piece of 1x8 for a small project, so I went to my local lumber store.  When the nice man behind the counter gave me the price, the blood ran out of my face . . . then I remembered I have TWO sawmills, and a stack of pine logs, access to MORE pine logs . . . and a Nyle kiln.  HMMM.  

The nice man said that if I just cut 2x4's for the next year, I could be wealthy.  Double Hmmm.

SO I have a MDS, a Lucas Mill, a stack of pine logs, and a kiln . . .  What's the hold up?

I'm pretty green in the business side of the sawmill business.  I've cut a bunch of material, but I haven't sold much . . . and some of Y'all have, so . . . .

I don't know what dimensions to saw my 2x4s.  REAL 2x4?  I also have a planer, but does it make $$$ sense to saw, KD, and mill 2x4's to current standard measurements, OR should I just mill everything at full dimension 2x4 and let customers deal with it, AND what do I charge for my product? OR . . . . should I just let the big guys have the 2x4 market?


Thanks in advance for the wisdom of all of Y'all.

DownHill Cutter
If you do what you SHOULD do, WHEN you should do it, for Long enough . . . Pretty soon you'll be able to do what you WANT to do, WHEN you what to do it, For the rest of your life (within limits).

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2021, 07:55:43 AM »
I think if you want to compete with the big box stores you should mill to get a dried 2x4 that measures
1 1/2 x 3 1/2.  I don't think I would mess with planing.  A person can build a shed or whatever it may be with rough lumber just as well as with planed lumber.  
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2021, 08:24:14 AM »
I stay away from framing lumber especially 2x4. They are made, stacked and dried on automatic machinery by a mill that sells sawdust, bark and chips. And they are sawn from the proper logs that I don't often have. If I have to make 2x4 I saw them from a big fat log with less stress and get less $ than I could have if 1" boards. Right now things are different but I expect it won't last.

Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 11:43:29 AM »
You can saw and sell a lot of green 2x4s for outdoor use like sheds, barns etc. right now. I'm selling them at $1/bf, usually sawn finished dimension (1.5x3.5) for $3.50 each. During normal times, I don't mess with them much either. I'm not going to try to compete with Home Depot selling a KD dressed 2x4 at $2.35.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Bindian

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2021, 12:15:47 PM »
I saw my 2 bys a 1/16" thick and a 1/8" wide.  I cut the length 3 inches over whatever length you want.  So a 12 foot 2x6 would be 1&9/16" x 5&5/8" x 147 inches.
I sell them for half the price the local Lowes sells them for.  I have been so busy, I had to take my ad off of Craigslist.
hugs,  Brandi
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2021, 02:30:38 PM »
Of course Brandi intended to write:  1 9/16" X 5 5/8".   ;D
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2021, 03:22:29 PM »
I cut all my framing lumber full dimention as that's what most folks want in NH.
Right now it sells as fast as its cut.
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Offline Downhill Cutter

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2021, 04:30:11 PM »
Thanks to all of Y'all for educating me quickly and succinctly.  Like MagicMan, I found Brandi's advice compelling, and started figuring-up how many 2x4's I could get out of a log if I cut 'em 1/8 x 1/16 8).  Then  I ran into a kerf problem.  :D

Cheers, 
If you do what you SHOULD do, WHEN you should do it, for Long enough . . . Pretty soon you'll be able to do what you WANT to do, WHEN you what to do it, For the rest of your life (within limits).

Offline Bindian

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2021, 09:34:00 PM »
Of course Brandi intended to write:  1 9/16" X 5 5/8".   ;D
Thank MM.  I just edited it.
         hugs,  Brandi
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My Hero is Johnny Jett

Offline Bindian

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2021, 09:39:46 PM »
Thanks to all of Y'all for educating me quickly and succinctly.  Like MagicMan, I found Brandi's advice compelling, and started figuring-up how many 2x4's I could get out of a log if I cut 'em 1/8 x 1/16 8).  Then  I ran into a kerf problem.  :D

Cheers,
DH Cutter,
Sounds like you need more experience. smiley_reading_book  I could show you how, but then I could be cut out of the toothpick market. splitwood_smiley
 hugs,  Brandi 
Mahindra 6520 4WD with loader/backhoe and a Caterpiller E70 Excavator.  My mill is a Woodmizer LT40HD Wide Diesel. An old Lull 644D-34 called Bull

My Hero is Johnny Jett

Offline Bindian

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2021, 09:44:50 PM »
I cut all my framing lumber full dimention as that's what most folks want in NH.
Right now it sells as fast as its cut.
Bruno,
Sssshhhhh..........  Don't let these guys down here know that. no_no   I like cutting them on the lighter side. whiteflag_smiley  Way easier to stack and sticker. food6
Brandi
Mahindra 6520 4WD with loader/backhoe and a Caterpiller E70 Excavator.  My mill is a Woodmizer LT40HD Wide Diesel. An old Lull 644D-34 called Bull

My Hero is Johnny Jett

Offline Magicman

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2021, 10:09:33 PM »
You are correct Brandi, the dimensions seem to be a regional thing.  I am in my 20th year of sawing and have sawn more than 1.75MMbf of framing lumber and I can remember only 3 customers that requested full dimension. 
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 10:53:06 PM »
What dimensions are you sawing framing lumber 

Offline Bindian

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2021, 11:50:26 PM »
1/16" over thickness and 1/8" over width.
hugs,   Brandi
Mahindra 6520 4WD with loader/backhoe and a Caterpiller E70 Excavator.  My mill is a Woodmizer LT40HD Wide Diesel. An old Lull 644D-34 called Bull

My Hero is Johnny Jett

Offline barbender

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2021, 12:15:03 AM »
I saw it right at finished dimension unless someone wants something different. Right now, for instance, I'm sawing some rafters for a customer. He wanted to use 2x6, we decided to go 1.5x6".
  When someone wants full 2x4, it just throws a wrench in all of my processes because I sell a lot of 1.5x3.5" for pallets. When I saw 2x4, the material that I typically recover (like a 4' 1.5x3.5) is the wrong dimension, but not worth messing with any further.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Downhill Cutter

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2021, 09:18:06 AM »
Wow . . . another graduate course in sawmilling overnight :P.

Thanks again to All of Y'all.

DHC
If you do what you SHOULD do, WHEN you should do it, for Long enough . . . Pretty soon you'll be able to do what you WANT to do, WHEN you what to do it, For the rest of your life (within limits).

Offline UncleMoustache

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Re: Sawing and Selling softwood
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2021, 10:04:04 AM »
I've asked a similar question and received similar replies.

However, I wouldn't say that any of us would be 'competing' with the box stores.

Rather, some of us have extra logs and time, and don't know what else to do with the lumber, so why not make a few bucks selling some 2-bys?

My problem is that I find it difficult (so far) to get decent logs for lumber, so I am (per the advice of others here) looking for my niche in how to make a bit of money with my mill.  Sheds are currently full of drying slabs....
Josh
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