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Author Topic: The never ending shed clean out  (Read 2688 times)

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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2021, 05:46:36 PM »
Welp rang the freight guys yesterday and it won't be here next week like I sort of anticipated (coming from the other side of the country and fitting in with other loads so I kinda thought a fortnight at best). Old mate spun a bearing half way home, add a week for him to make his way home, get another truck, and go back a couple thousand miles to drag his trailers home while the original prime mover gets a rebuild. Seemed like you could do a major for $10k when I kicked off on my own.... $1500 for a rebuild kit and some extra thrown on for grinding a cam or crank, or machining the heads, with me swinging my own spanners. Now it's at $40-60k... freaking ridiculous if your ask me. Labour mostly, diesel fitters get billed at $100-$120 an hour here nowadays.

My parents had a transport business: I grew up around trucks, drove trucks, owned my own trucks. I think about it sometimes - the freight bill is a major part of my operating expenses - but everytime I come up saying nope.... no more trucks for me and I'll hire them. No time to drive it myself, not enough work to justify a full time guy for the job.... truth is you just can't afford to run a truck here anymore unless its on the road continously. And I have a sawmill to run that can eat up every hour of the week instead.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2021, 09:08:45 PM »
Yeah.  Bout every stone you turn theres a good line of work thats been priced out of being good anymore. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2021, 09:14:38 PM »
L.L's take on trucks, interesting. Seems like the whole world has changed in my time. 25 or 30 years ago every little sawmill had a truck bigger than a 1 ton. Then 2 things happened, insurance went up and the DOT got busy. I should also mention that log trucks didn't often get weighed. After these changes you would have a hard time keeping a truck on the road unless that was all you did. The DOT and all the silly little rules and the cost of the fines is the biggest problem. Tires, brakes, springs, cracked frames, etc , that's fine but the height of mud flaps and the effort to steer the steering wheel at a standstill, is just overreach. So all the trip bunk single axel sawmill trucks are history and larger part time log trucks are also disappearing . On the other hand with the truck driver shortage it must be time for the owner-operator to make money but that's not us.

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2021, 10:55:23 PM »
Used to be every mill here had a prime mover and jinker and most of them still do I guess. Me, I have a telephone full of numbers, a set of log bolsters that will clip onto any old flat top trailer, and a reputation for paying my contractors first. Truck shortage or no truck shortage I can whistle up trucks to shift a 10 tonne load or a barge lift from A to B pretty quick.  

I miss the convenience of having my own truck, being able to slip here or there and pick up a short load of logs, or shift the skidder from A to B in a hurry, but getting rid of the thing is one of the smartest moves I've made. I'm never making do... I get a crane truck when the job needs a crane truck. I got a semi when I need a semi, sometimes several at once so it's a single day of loading logs not a couple days worth of back and forth... and triple road trains when I need triple road trains. And days off... the not driving myself thing equated to me not spending weekends or late nights on the road, and I am getting more work done and not having the work /life balance issues that I was before.

End of the day everyone's situation here is different and I'm not saying anyone shouldn't own their own truck... and skidder, and a dozer, and a second loader for the logging camp (okay I still got too many toys that are sitting around not doing much). But I think that some serious number crunching needs to be done, and with the ticket price of modern equipment be it transport or harvest, and the cost of registration/insurance and staffing the things... I'm increasingly swinging to letting the various contractors be contractors and just staying home and doing what I do best which is drive a saw. Lot of small to mid sized mill owners here disagree with me... all I can say is it's working for me, and I seem to double in size every other year while they crawl around under their 30 year old skidders fixing the things while the saws stand idle.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2021, 08:26:32 AM »
It seems you have to try to do everything to learn where you belong. I had the old picker truck on the road for 13 years and have lost some nice wood since retiring it to the yard. I more than made up for that by being here all the time. I learn slow.

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2021, 08:30:23 AM »
 

 

Power unit arrived today, EH700 Hino driving a Stamford alternator @ 90kVa continuous. I know the history on this particular unit, it was a standby unit in a local hotel and has maybe 800 hrs from new. Load tested, rebuilt fuel pump, brushes done, and new exhaust too by the looks. 

The EH Hino's in automotive application were pretty much bulletproof, underpowered as a truck motor but you couldn't kill them. I'll fit an electric oil lift pump so she doesn't have to dry start and this thing should outlast me. Economical too, compared to my normal preference for 2 stroke Detroits.

Resaw still in transit, sitting in a depot 1000 mile away not that there's any rush because I'm too busy sawing to stop for a major installation process though I d like to see it home, if only so it's one more thing in the way in the shed.

Next comes the guys with the gold plated screwdrivers, the chequebook is flinching thinking about it.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2021, 09:46:18 AM »
is that a zexel mechanical injection pump?  

new junk is always good.  holds it trading power while our fiat currencies just keep buying less. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2021, 01:54:38 PM »
L.L., nice gen set. When you get the resaw home tell me so I can mark the calendar.

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2021, 03:52:57 PM »
is that a zexel mechanical injection pump?  

new junk is always good.  holds it trading power while our fiat currencies just keep buying less.
I think it's a zexel, its dark out and I'm only half caffeinated, with my boots still off and I dun wanna walk in the rain but yeah - pretty sure on that. I didn't do the pump rebuild, just sent it to the right guy and paid the bill
Roof of the overhead fuel tank on this unit got a rust hole - water in fuel - water in pump - ran until it conked out - the idiots let it sit there full of water for a couple years. Hence the pump rebuild, and unlike the truck variant that runs a very common Denso pump, this thing took some finding bits for.
Parts leads for that pump appreciated - I dont plan on doing it again but after the saga finding bits for this one having spares on the shelf might be useful.  Although I know where theres a matching unit for cheap.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2021, 05:13:12 AM »
L.L., nice gen set. When you get the resaw home tell me so I can mark the calendar.



 
My old 4 tonne forklift wouldn't want to be any smaller, lifted it easy enough but the yard is shocking rough right now and I don't trust pine skids much.
6 months, I'm working on installation at the end of the wet season. 

Remember, it's tomorrow in 'straya.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2021, 10:17:15 AM »
L.L., You are the man and besides kidding you about not getting it done [I will not look in the mirror] I am very interested in how you will use this resaw in your mill. The other day I drove from 5 in the morning til midnight gathering the missing parts for my 'new sawmill'. The guy I bought it from missed these when he delivered it now he has covid so I could not see him but I did find the parts, long story. Again I have bit off more than I can chew but I am trying.  I am not sure what prize the winner will receive in this contest :laugh:.   Keep me posted, Doug

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2021, 07:08:39 PM »
How am I going to use this resaw? Yeahhhhh, good question.

It's all about my resource, which is broadly comprised of two different types of wood... stuff denser than 50lb/ft3, and stuff not so hard. 50lb/ft3 is about where density really shifts in favour of circle saws, depending on depth of cut and silica etc.

Anyway I like the versatility of the cut pattern with the twinsaw as a headsaw, and that I can run it as a a stand alone unit. So the broad flow looks like the twinsaw taking a mix of boards and flitches for the band resaw in the softer stuff, which is coincidentally the more valuable cabinet and joinery species where kerf loss with these whopping great 5/16 teeth has a dollar cost, and the twinsaw taking a mix of boards and flitches for the mutirip in the harder stuff where band costs would cost more than any extra recovery.

Get all this lot in and then it'll be upgrade the multirip from 4" capacity to 6", then upgrade to a bigger better faster headsaw. Beyond 6" deep in the hardwood (log & application depending) I can still turn it into boards on the headsaw but we do a lot more 6x2 than 8x2, and a lot of my bigger stuff tends to be 8x3 and 8x4 where the headsaw alone is quite efficient.

I don't want to be some huge, 20 guys need to show up to turn it on, operation. And I don't know if I could get enough log to keep that big operation fed for moren a few years anyway. My goal is a very efficient, quite profitable 3 or 4 man show. Efficiency is about output per man day as much as fibre conversion here.... wages are high, finding good people is difficult. So this resaw is kinda overkill in that it will never hit full daily capacity, and nor will the gangsaw on the other side of it. But they don't have to - all it has to do is hit full capacity for a couple hours a shift. With staffing cost factored in it's cheaper for me to make the payments on too much machine then have the right size machine that needs a man running it all day. *shrug*

The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

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The value of productivity
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2021, 11:18:25 PM »
Maybe didn't explain what I wanted to in the last response too clearly so thought I'd toss this in:

The value of productivity.

Long time ago I am trying to buy a D8 off a guy I know, rancher type. I have need of a D8, he's got a good one sitting around doing not much and I know its a really good machine - low hours and looked after and if I can get this machine by the time she comes up for major component overhauls I'll all but own it. And my plan when I approach the guy is I'm going to trade my good D6 for his seldom used D8, we'll both have machines more suited to our needs and... this guy is half friend, half mentor kinda thing.... we'll both come out winners.
Anyway, he hears me out and then he sums up productivity in about one minute flat: "I know your 6 is a good tractor and I know my 8 is a good tractor and theres nothing here I couldn't do with a 6 instead of having an 8 sitting around doing not much. But the D8 does maybe 10 to 20 days work a year, and to do that same amount of work with a D6 would take at least 60 to 80 days. Now I can find 10 days a year to sit on a dozer, but finding 60 would be a problem"

Lesson learnt. By the time this resaw is installed the way I want it, transfers in and out and the full roundabout all elevated so theres no pit for the saw... I could easily buy an LT70 to do the same amount of high value wood bandsaw work a day. Difference being the resaw will do that in two hours, and the LT70 will take all day to do it. I budget on $80k a year for a good man and $60k for an LCD guy (lift/carry/drag) because thats what staff costs are here today, and I'd rather have that good man drive this saw for 2 hours and be doing something else for the other 6, than have him standing all day by an LT70. 

Particularly when that good man is me... cuz I wanna cut wood, then go spend time with SWMBO or go hunting or fishing. And I get paid by the unit of productivity, not the hour.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2021, 11:29:02 PM »
There was some sort of epiphany i had some time ago that when youve got several machines that can do the same task, the one that does it on the least amount of diesel is probably also using the least amount of time, and is likely the best suited machine for it. 
Isaiah 63:10

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2021, 08:42:09 AM »
The reason I am killing myself putting in a larger, hydraulic carriage [whole mill actually] is not to cut more wood. It is to do the same amount or even less to keep the cherished customers I have earned, in half the time. D2 vs D8 power shift.

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2021, 05:21:19 PM »
Yup, but the unspoken thing is that if we want to cut more wood, the option is there, it's just a matter of manpower.

When does the apprentice start Doug, the young guy with a strong back and good work ethic who's going to build sweat equity as you slow down, and help keep you young and still hacking logs apart well into your 80's? My dad is 76, still showing up every day to work (though the afternoon nap is getting longer)... no way could he do the grunt work like when I kicked this off 12 years back but yanno... a man who's worked all his life can't just sit down in a chair in front of the TV and stop. I look at him and think that's going to be me in 25 years... slowed down some but still putting in as many hours a day as feels comfortable because for guys like us it's work or die. And yeah, I mostly got staff now - but I'm starting to look for that guy already, wondering just what the hell am I doing building this thing up (because I kinda know while plan A might be install all this stuff to get some time away from it without reducing output, plan B is me transitioning to mill owner not mill operator and I sorta like the sound of plan B more).

I'll spend another million dollars here before I'm done, over the next 10 years. And maybe more if the government makes plan B an option through log allocation. And part of me wonders why I'm doing this, and wouldn't it be easier to not spend the money so I have to beat myself into the ground to pay it back - just stay small, keep it simple, make a living, don't work too hard. Seems thats the big question in my life right now, and the answer is I'm waiting for that right young guy to come along. One of my girls has this young guy in tow... not that the right guy has to be family he just has to be the right guy but this one... maybe, just maybe. Otherwise what's the point?
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: The never ending shed clean out
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2021, 08:43:56 PM »
There will be no apprentice. My son is a high end carpenter up on the mountain taking care of  estates of the N.Y. rich. The property here is too expensive [and the taxes too high] to be a sawmill. There is money to be made doing other things that will support a family and it is not in any kind of production. I was raised on a one horse farm by old people who came through the great depression and ww2.  We saved and recycled and raised vegetables and milked a cow so building up a small sawmill was a natural step for me and my better half worked a gov't job after the kids where raised and I went sawmill full time and almost stopped making money.  Our country has endless opportunities especially here. You don't have to work physically as hard as I do if you don't want to anymore.       My self, I like cutting wood and setting up machinery so I try not to think too hard.          Sounds like John ,the double L, has a good old man, something to be thankful for.  As you age small achievements mean more, at least for me.


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