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Author Topic: Should I sell my mill?  (Read 3247 times)

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Offline Raym

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Should I sell my mill?
« on: June 23, 2021, 08:20:51 AM »
I am looking for advice on wether to sell my mill or not. 

I have been approached by 3 people (that I know) in the last month wanting to buy it.

Here is a little background info....

I purchased it (LT40 super) new in 14. That was when I quit my regular job and went in business for my self. My business plan was for the mill to provide about 50-60% of my income and I was already doing enough side work providing custom millwork for residential builders and the 2 sources of income would allow me to work for myself.

I know I bought way more mill than I needed for what I was planning but I bought this for 2 reasons.

1. When I wanted to saw, I wanted to "saw", and not be limited by the equipment.
2. If things didn't work out, I wanted something that would have a good resale market.

Fast forward to 2021....
My custom millwork part of the business really took of and I never really was able to develop the milling portion of my business plan although I still held out hopes. I even hired a full time employee in 16 to help but other work just kept coming in. Here we are in 21 and I have so much work (and its good paying work) that I just cant seem to carve out time to saw.

I have looked back at this year and have only sawn maybe 10 days. I still have a bunch of logs that need sawing.

PROS...

*Generate some capital for other equipment but I don't know what that would be other than upgrading some of my shop equipment or a moulder planer. however a sawmill would be the perfect accessory for that.

*I wouldn't have to walk past it hearing it begging to be run.

*Currently I think that I could get more than I paid for it.

BUT.....here are the cons....
25% of a sale will go towards taxes.
I really, really enjoy the time I get to saw.

My current mindset is to just hang on to it until I somewhat retire and being able to do some mobile milling but that seems to be in about 3-5 years which seems like a long time for it to continue to sit idle.

The first (non-spiritual) thing I check and read in the morning is the Forestry Forum as I still have a strong interest in sawmills and sawmilling.

I look forward to you input.

Thanks Ray




'14-LT40 super, nyle l200m kiln, vintage case 480E loader.

It's not the fool that askith, it's the fool that agreeith.

Online mike_belben

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2021, 08:44:51 AM »
Pray on it. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2021, 08:53:59 AM »
Ray, I'm going to think out loud for a bit.

As I've gotten older I find that I divide equipment into two categories.  First category is shop equipment that does not degrade from non use.  Milling machines, lathes, grinders, belt sanders, shapers, table saw, etc - if they sit unused (inside of course) for a few years in a dry environment they won't degrade much.

Powered outdoor equipment, on the other hand - is in a separate category.  When these items sit unused there is degrade.  Belts, hoses, hydraulic lines, mice chewing wiring, etc, it's usually not good for a piece of equipment to sit unused.

I'll readily confess that I'm a tool junkie, but as I've gotten older I've started getting rid of powered equipment that I'm no longer using.  It does not make sense to me to watch it sitting and degrading; versus liquidating it and using the funds for something else that I can and will use more frequently.

If you're able to use the mill every other month or so, and it's under a shelter, then it probably won't degrade much from lack of use.  However, if it goes many months at a time, in a few years when you might want to use it more you could have a maintenance nightmare on your hands.

So for that reason I'd seriously consider selling it.  Plus, if Biden is successful in increasing capitol gains tax then you could get hit with even higher taxes if you sell in a year or two.  You also might be able to do some type of barter on the mill and reduce the tax liability.

Just some things to think about.

Scott

Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline dirtymartini

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2021, 08:56:30 AM »
Is it paid for? If it is I would keep it. It's not eating anything and if you changed your mind down the road it will cost you more to replace it. 

Offline DixieReb31

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2021, 12:07:17 PM »
FWIW, donít let someone else desires cost you yours. Just because the three others say or insinuate they would use it more often is not grounds for selling.  Itís not eating anything while it sits.  Sounds like you donít really need the money from its sale.  Iíd hang on to it just because I WANT IT.  I have a plethora of tools, gadgets and useless items that I own just for the sole reason of ďwanting itĒ. 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2021, 12:24:12 PM »
Iíd keep it, you never know what tomorrow will bring. It could suddenly be the tool you use the most. Last year I had a brief thought of selling my mill because I was working so much overtime that I didnít have time to run it. I decided to keep it and that was a good thing. In March I put in my notice at my day job and started running my mill full time. At this point I have enough work to get me into late fall. A couple weeks ago the place I was working went bankrupt and fired everyone. I firmly believe the Lord has been very involved with every aspect of the growth of my sawmill business. 
2017 LT40 wide, Kubota l185dt, 2-036 stihl, 2001 Dodge 3500 5.9 Cummins, l8000 Ford dump truck, hr16 Terex excavator, Farmi logging winch, Valley je 2x24 edger, Gehl ctl65 skid steer

Online alan gage

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2021, 01:06:28 PM »
Tough call and obviously one that only you can make.

If next year finds us in the same situation as this year I'll seriously consider selling my mill because prices are up and I'll have depleted my current log inventory and should have enough hardwood to last my lifetime.

When I started milling I thought I'd use it to make money but that ship has sailed and I find I keep plenty busy only milling for myself. My mill is mostly hydraulic but I think I could get by pretty well with a manual mill going forward. So part of me thinks sell while the price is high and buy back when the price is low in a few years (if I decide I want a mill again).

My personal recommendation would be that if later down the line you think you might repurchase the same mill then don't bother selling it now. If later down the line you think you can get by just fine with a substantially cheaper mill (or no mill at all) then it might be a good idea to sell now while prices are so crazy.

Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2021, 01:40:43 PM »
Where do you have it stored? 

Is it under cover and protected and away from mice? 

Or is it buried above it's axle and hubs in sawdust and rusting away, the tires flat and rotting of their rims, under a rotted blue tarp that holds more water than it sheds and animals eating the wiring.

If you are able to store it out of the weather I would be more leaning to keeping it.  If it is rotting away then selling it while it still has some value may the the way to go.  A lot of people "park" equipment they don't have time to use and when they finally get around to it, it is so rotted away to the point it is no longer useful or will require tons of parts and maintenance.

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2021, 03:59:14 PM »
If it's not in the way and has a good protected spot to live, I would keep it. 

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2021, 05:39:24 PM »
If you dont need the money, keep it. 
Guaranteed as soon as you sell it you will have a need for it and be kicking yourself.
Keep it stored out of the weather and fire it up every so often just to keep things loose. 
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full falls off the top shelf and hits the top of your head!

Offline Daburner87

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2021, 06:07:32 PM »
I see a big benefit in selling it now and turning a small profit on the sale.  That oppurtunity almost never comes around.  The benefit is the market is about to turn for the worse.  Lumber prices are dropping and the sawmill demand is going to disappear, and in 3-5 years(when you retire) I bet you will be able to find a better machine for much less.  


There are no sales with the current demand and a huge backorder on sawmills everywhere, but what is sure to follow in the next couple years is a major sales drought.  When orders slow down there will be big discounts and sales to keep business going.  That would be a good time to buy.

I know a guy who bought a Tundra for $20K and sold it for $28K....  The market is crazy for everything, but it wont stay that way for long.  Take advantage while you can.
Soon to be  owner of a HM130Max Woodlander XL

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2021, 07:47:26 PM »
   If you are relatively sure you are not going to want to use it in the near future I'd offer to sell it for stupid money - maybe 50% more than a new one like it. If they complain about the price tell them the truth "But I don't want to sell it." If they want it that bad and buy it, bank the money and order a new one just like it or like what you want and see what you think in a year or so when the new one is ready.
Howard Green
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Offline Southside

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2021, 11:10:34 PM »
Well the only thing guaranteed is that things are going to change. The question is what will the future look like.  My business in NO way resembles what I had planned.  Could things turn around tomorrow?  Absolutely, so I want to be in a position where I can adapt and having multiple avenues ready to go provides options.  If the mill isn't costing you anything then I would say keep it.  You may find it saves you when things change.  If the mill makes a financial difference in your monthly income, and you can sell it for a profit, then move it - but make sure you use that money wisely. 

I still have all of my logging equipment, including a CTL processor.  Yup - it's old, but it will run right now if needed and if the lumber market crashes and I can't sell boards, then I will be the guy who can sell logs at what will be the "new normal" bottom prices and still keep a roof over my head.  
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Offline donbj

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2021, 12:03:27 AM »
If it's not a burden financially, keep it, that simple. It's obvious it add to your life in a good way. The days will come when you can use it and enjoy it. Even if it's just once in a while. I almost sold mine when I retired but just could not do it, glad I didn't. It's just a hobby level thing for me now, I don't "need" it, but still want it. Just can't do it at this point in time.

Got a chainsaw addiction to go along with it!
I may be skinny but I'm a Husky guy

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Offline tacks Y

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2021, 08:43:03 AM »

Online alan gage

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2021, 01:07:41 PM »
A couple weeks ago the place I was working went bankrupt and fired everyone.
That's really interesting. I knew nothing about the business or industry other than the little you'd posted here but I thought things were going hot and heavy. Did it come as a surprise to you?
Alan
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline Raym

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2021, 03:44:28 PM »
All good advise....

So....Yes it is paid for (didn't borrow to begin with) and don't really need the money. It's the unknown thats frustrating. My gut tells me the building industry is going to bust within a year and if thats the case I will be glad to have a mill. On the flip side we have had an abundance of work since '14. 

I have also been trying to figure out how to scale back on some of our other work to free up some time for some more "fun" work. Of course its mostly all fun since I get to walk 60 feet to work. (well to be honest, I ride the golf cart)
'14-LT40 super, nyle l200m kiln, vintage case 480E loader.

It's not the fool that askith, it's the fool that agreeith.

Online alan gage

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2021, 05:18:13 PM »
My gut tells me the building industry is going to bust within a year and if thats the case I will be glad to have a mill.


Just curious about why would it be good to have a mill in that case? Presumably lumber will be cheap and there will be a lot of new sawmill owners out there all cutting each others throats. Or at least that's what my gut tells me. :)
Timberking B-16, a few chainsaws from small to large, and a Bobcat 873 Skidloader.

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2021, 06:46:38 PM »
Search the Big Iron website.  There was one on their online auction a couple months ago that brought a huge pile of money.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Should I sell my mill?
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2021, 05:08:12 AM »
Personally I would sell. The last year has created some bizarre outcomes that I wouldn't think can continue. I would put the cash to work by investing it to enhance the millwork end of your business as I put a great deal of stock in the old adage that you are either growing or going out. Bigger kiln, I-dry, faster planer whatever. Wouldn't take much to outperform something sitting in a corner collecting dust.

Nothing wrong with having a high end mill as a hobby as there are plenty of worse ways to spend money but if its not how you enjoy spending your free time; as a business asset it does not appear to offer much benefit for your operation.






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