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Author Topic: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around  (Read 2250 times)

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Offline tomfranken

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Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« on: September 07, 2023, 08:40:12 AM »
Does anyone have an idea of reasonable expectations for the ratio of milling time to the time it takes to get a board to its destination?  By the time I go get logs, drop them at my yard, put them on the mill, stack the lumber for drying, get rid of the slats, put the shavings in a dryer, restack the lumber for shipping, bag the shavings for selling, and transport my finished products, I'm out 10 hours for every hour of milling.  'Maybe not that bad...  I'm trying to get good at stacking wood so it can dry then be shipped but the 5' furniture pieces want to get under the 12' framing pieces.  

Offline Crossroads

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2023, 08:58:51 AM »
Im afraid there are too many variables to give a good answer. Someone who has a lot of space can have multiple stacks that grow until full, then go away. Someone like myself who has limited space, may have to move a stack several times before it goes away. My sawdust goes in a pile then gets loaded in a dump truck for a friend from church who uses it for compost. The majority of my logs are delivered, but I do go get some. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2023, 09:30:15 AM »
I only saw customer's logs at their location and I still sometime see 50% wait time vs actual sawing time.  The good thing for me is that I don't care.  I know that I will finish the job and move on the the next one which may be better or worse than the last.  ::)  ;D 
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Offline Sixacresand

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2023, 10:39:53 AM »
With all the tasks dealing with material handling, maintenance, cleaning up and fellowship,  I would say 50% is good.  
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Offline Andries

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2023, 02:34:46 PM »
tomfranken, I was thinking about this very thing, the other day, and believe that its one of those indicators that separate the wannabees from the pros.
One of these years, I may graduate out of the wannabe category!
Three things that helped me get closer to the OHIO dream (only handle it once):
1) a blocking table and
2) open bottom lumber pallets
3) IBC crates
The blocking table is where logs, slabs or twisted lumber become either firewood, or cut to length lumber. Its a table with a conveyor on one side and the hinge to run a chainsaw with a long bar on it. The design of it came from forum member Mike Belben.
Open bottom pallets, or a huge time saver in terms of moving sorting and stacking lumber. My first awareness of these is from reading Jim Rogers posts.
IBC totes with the front cut open, are perfect for firewood, or slabs blocked to firewood length. I copied shamelessly from Outdoors with the Morgans on YouTube for that idea.
My ratio of moving to milling is likely close to yours, at 10/1. Maybe worse. The mobile milling guys should be close to 100% all milling all the time, other than setup and striking time, but theyre high ender specialists that way. No drudgery for them!
However, there is hope, as our very wise @yellowhammer tends to repeat: take steps to save steps.
.
Ill bet the most profitable and successful sawyers are the ones that  have a low move to milling ratio.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2023, 04:12:56 PM »
With all that the OP lists 1:10 probably isnt too bad.  

Transporting logs, bagging and selling sawdust (shavings), transporting finished lumber all included with sawing, stacking and cleanup doesnt make 1:10 too bad.  

I dont saw at my house a lot.  Any I do here is for my use or close neighbors   

 For what I do at home, I quit hauling logs, its cheaper to hire that done.  Sawdust is composted.  Slabs are cut for firewood for my house.  Customers haul their own lumber.  Im guessing 1 hour sawing requires 3-4 hours if other work (non office stuff).  
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Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2023, 04:36:56 PM »
What you raise is an interesting and fundamental question that boils down the input vs. output in a very simple way. I am surprised that I have never thought of it quite this way before. When I was manual milling I believe that more than half my time was spent in non-milling activities, perhaps as much as 3/4 of my time. 
 If you know what 'value stream mapping' is, then this time is not non-valve added. Each step increases profit. If it does not increase value (profit), then it is non-value added and is just added cost of production (on you).
 Since I have running the hydraulic mill with a different 'work profile' I would say that for every hour I spend milling (my hands on the controls) I spend about 20 minutes handling logs and boards, slabs, etc. I get paid by the BF of production by the mill owner and I get an hourly rate if I spend a bunch of time doing maintenance log collecting or other non-lumber producing activities. I should say I don't 'do sawdust' I leave that mostly for the boss because he bags it and sell it to chicken farmers. ;D But I do cut slabs into 5' chunks and deliver to the OWB at the end of every shift.  (I have to drive the machine back up to my truck anyway and the OWB is near my truck, so call that a wash, but cutting and loading slabs on the forks takes time, but not a lot.) I flat stack nearly everything because it is picked up within a week or two and sold green and usually nailed before a month is gone by. I do sticker stuff we use on site because we don't know when that particular workday will happen, might be next week, might be next spring. When I do that I charge my hourly rate. (I have to mill a mess of 2x8's in the next week that will likely go from the mill to nailing up in under an hour so we can close in the shop addition before winter. That won't even make it into a flat stack, just on the forks.)
 So now I am thinking: I get paid by the BF and I accept that loading the log, milling it, and flat stacking the lumber is what it takes to produce lumber. That, therefore is what I am paid for. Cutting slabs, loading them on forks and dumping them in the OWB is not needed to create lumber and adds no value to me. Maybe I should renegotiate? :D Or maybe just add a half hour of hourly rate for every milling session I do?

 Sorry for driveling on here, but you did make me think about this is a slightly different way. I will say that your ten hours of work for every hour of milling is a disturbing number. Are you counting that number against all the other byproducts you sell like shavings? Are you charging for deliveries? Al of this stuff has to factor in to your final calcs to get an honest number. Your 10-1 ratio seems pretty high to me is all I am saying.
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2023, 04:41:55 PM »
I don't think you can group broad unrelated activities if you are doing a lost time analysis of a process like milling, because there is too much tangential activity.  How much time do you spend driving down the road, for example, vs milling?

However, you can take snapshots and see what you are doing that is of little or no value added.   

Are you a business?  if so then all things must be considered and the non profitable elements or processes considered for elimination before they should be modified.  For example, bagging shavings for sale?  How much do you make for that and is it a net profit considering your labor wage?  Generally, it is not.  You can save money time and by discarding the shavings and spending more time producing lumber.

You mentioned logging.  That is a huge time and money pit.  It needs to be done parallel to the sawmilling not is sequence.  I used to do it, and found out real quick that the 60 cents per bdft I could pay a logger vs spending all day getting a load of logs on my property was a complete waste of money, and in fact, was costing me money.  For example, if I logged a couple thousand bdft of various hardwoods off my property and spent the whole day doing it labor wise, myself and one other employee, plus fuel then there was a significant cost associated with it.  Or I could pick up the cell phone, call a logger, and have him deliver a truckload of logs in about 5 minutes time spent.  Then I could spend a productive day milling lumber and producing lumber product for 3X the price of the logs that were delivered to my business at no efforts and time spent. 

Anyway, Take Steps to Save Steps, and there is no bigger step to save time, than the one that can be deleted entirely.

As a professional sawmill operation, if the mill isn't making sawdust, then the mill isn't making money.  Everything else is fluff and generally an expense, or at best low net profit process.  

Case in point, when I did custom sawing, if people brought me logs that wouldn't roll and needed hand trimming, I would charge them my hourly rate, $150 per hour, $75 dollar minimum, to crank up my chainsaw to trim their logs.  They would always complain and say no way I should charge that much to run a chainsaw, and I would tell them it's got nothing to do with the chainsaw.  I would tell them I buy my logs form professional loggers who know how to trim logs and if I have to turn my mill off to trim their yard logs, it will cut my lumber production but they will not cause me to lose money because I'm playing with their logs instead of sawmilling.              



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Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

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Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

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Offline Downstream

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2023, 08:57:55 PM »
Alot depends on the type of sawmill and support equipment.  I had a manual mill, no tractor and was a one man show getting logs, log prep, sawing,stack/sticker etc.  In my professional life I do process improvement continually so I leaned out the process as much as I could without spending $$$ and going into debt on support equipment.  I did enjoy the overall process but quite frankly sawmilling for yourself or small business is really mostly a material handling game with a little milling in between.  At best I probably got up to about 20% mill time vs material handling with all of my manual work arounds.  In the time it might take me to grab/load/position/clamp a log most hydraulic mills with support equipment would be through entire log.   At the end of the day I made my money making and selling live edge furniture not sawmilling.  If you are sawing for others then you are making money to mill other than that it just a step in the supply chain process.  With all that said I still loved the process of taking a scrap log that nobody wanted and turning it into beautiful furniture.  That's why they call it the sawdust addiction.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2023, 09:23:17 PM »
I am almost always dealing with customers, tailgunners, and loader operators who have zero experience with anything dealing with the sawing operation.  I give basic instructions and then we learn as we go.  If the lumber is being dead stacked on a trailer to be stickered later the productivity can be really good but if the tailgunners are sticker stacking as we go, we just work as fast as we can.
 

 

 This is over 3Mbf of framing lumber that I sawed one day which was dead stacked on a trailer.  We quit at 4:00 and all of the lumber had been stacked/stickered when I got to the job at 7:00 the next morning.  Not a bad day.

This is why I am never concerned about productivity.  They will get better and in time we will finish the job.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2023, 09:37:00 PM »
I guess I'm a micro mini sawmill but I like making the most money possible with the least amount of effort.  I think almost the same as YellowHammer.  I can make money by banding my waste slabs and selling as firewood.  I can make 2 or 3 times that amount by sawing lumber or working in my shop.  So.....I burn or give my waste slabs away free.  Not much effort or time expended.

Drag backs rule!!!  Downstream tables needed.  I stack and sticker as I saw for my wood.  Custom sawing is even easier as I don't sticker.  I try to only saw 8' logs when the wood is for me.  That way my stacks are all the same, the lumber is easier to handle, and it works well in my kiln.  

YellowHammer said  "Take steps to save steps" and I try to follow that at all times.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2023, 04:10:15 AM »
I do my own logging, or some of it. I buy in logs when it suits but the way things are right now I'm stuck with it to a large degree. 
2 guys, chainsaws, 1 skidder, 1 dozer, 1 loader. Log transport by contractor... Usually around 30 tonne of log for a day's work. That keeps the mill fed for 4 days. Now if it kept it fed for a day I'd find a logging contractor wanted to know me but anyway... there is also something to be said for not being dependant on other businesses to get the raw material in the gate.

Then I'd have to factor in that I like to run with a staff of 3 to keep the mill flowing. Guy on the saw, guy tailing out, guy keeping logs coming and waste bundles leaving and tailing out some and answering the phone and dealing with customers, billing and admin etc. I am sadly now mostly guy number 3. Sawdust leaves in bulk, firewood processing is done by another part time guy who fits it in around the odd jobs he does that keep it all together. Part time guy is my dad FWIW and firewood is his little slush fund so it's not really something I factor into my numbers

Simple/short jobs for the 4sider get done in there somewhere as well. Longer runs like decking flooring or panelling that require setup I usually try and do over the weekend with dad and I.

I figure if I added that all up and divided by the labour input it'd work out at sawing one hour in 5... that is for the 150 odd hours of labour input a week one guy drives the sawmill for 32 of them. It's a long way from being one guy with a Lucas mill and a strong back a decade ago. That dumb fellah beating himself to death probably managed one hour sawing in three or four, cuz he didnt worry about firewood or sawdust or running a drymill or anything much except falling trees, hacking them up and stacking them and sending them down the road.

BUT that's deceptive. See the thing is that the sawmill spits out in one eight hour day now what the Lucas mill could manage in a 60 hour week. I get the big resaw thats sitting in my shed waiting actually installed and the mill capacity will be 5 times what it is today for the sake of 3 extra guys. (That's when I'll find new friends who want to cut trees down for me come a calling, you watch and see)

My point being that for production numbers you have to compare apples with apples, and the hours of saw vs the hours of everything else has to take into account how much you get sawn in that hour. So a better way to measure yourself up has to be output per man per day, cuz that way  dude with a basic mill can be compared to a mega mill. But thats production, and its only one set of numbers because profitability per man day isn't always related to output.




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

Offline Magicman

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2023, 09:01:15 AM »
Reading the above tells me that my sawing/business profile ain't too bad.

3Mbf X .4 - $50 for blades & diesel = a nice day's pay check.  It's just a shame that I am now in the process of slowing it down and pinching it off.

Mine is and has always been a part time venture so little jobs add up to make my big picture.  Last week I passed off a job that had brought in $6255 in 4 different  sawing sessions during the past two years.  I realize that is "small potatoes" but in a one man operation, it takes all of the potatoes to fill the sack.  Guess that I will need to find a smaller sack.  :-X

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Offline Percy

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2023, 02:45:30 PM »
Interesting thread......I dont have a ratio figured but in an attempt to answer this as accurately as I can, I dont spend enough time cutting and I spend too much time moving, fetching, stacking, and yapping with customers :D :D
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Online DanielW

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2023, 02:58:59 PM »
Interesting points made here. If looking strictly at the milling time vs. other time, it would be hard to use it as an indicator of yard efficiency. In my setup, the type of mill can make a big difference. If I spend a morning skidding out and prep'ing, say, 30 logs and bring it to my largest circular mill (an old handset mill, but a pretty good sized one) I can mill all of it into 2X in a few hours. If I bring the same load to my piddly little Woodland mill, that could be a couple days of sawing (though with better recovery due to the smaller kerf). Ultimately the same time is is spent logging/prep'ing, and I have a similar number of BF produced at the end, but the ratio would be way different.

If looking at the ratio as a measure of efficiency, it would seem like I'm better off running the Woodland band as it's a 4:1 ratio of mill time vs. non-mill time. Really, however, the converse is true. Running the circular gives me a 1:4 ratio of mill time to non-mill time, but I've used the same logs to produce (approximately) the same amount of lumber, in far less time.

But in general, it's probably safe to say I spend at least twice as long off the mill as on it. Often maybe as high as 5 times as long off the mill versus on.

A more telling metric for lot efficiency might be a ratio of board-feet produced vs. time off the mill.

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2023, 08:45:07 AM »
The best thing I've done to find "lost time" in my operation is what I did years ago.  I hung a clock right on my front wall, so I could see the minute hands as I was milling and after I got into my routine, I could tell exactly how much time each step in the process cost me in minutes.  

It was an eye opener. For example, if it took me about 50 seconds per slab, or a total of about 3 minutes per log clearing slabs from the mill (walk up to the mill, lift a slab off the mill, carry it to the slab pile, go back to the mill, start sawing again and do that 4 times per log) and if I cut 4 logs per hour, then that's 12 minutes per hour expended do that one simple process.  That 12 minutes per hour amounts to nearly the time required to cut an entire log, so if I could eliminate or reduce that step, I could mill a 5th log in that same hour, so in an 8 hour day, that's 8 more logs cut per day, and on a 5 day week, 40 logs per week of time wasted hand carrying off waste slabs.  So that's where a dragback and gravity roller come it.

Same thing with sawdust.  Who here scrapes or brushes sawdust off their boards?  Each board?  I see lots of it on the Youtube.  So it takes almost as much time to make a pass down a board to scrape off the sawdust as it does for the mill blade to make a pass down the log.  People spend all the money on a high production, high HP hydraulic mill, then destroy their sawing efficiency because after every cut they stop sawing and brush off sawdust, with the high HP mill siting there saying "Use me!!!"  I was one of those.... So stop scraping or brushing sawdust and optimize the mill and blade combo where very little sawdust is actually left on the board, and the ironic thing is, sawing faster generally means less sawdust.  So the tradeoff is saw slower and scrape sawdust off each board, or saw faster and not scrape sawdust.  The net effect is a huge increase in efficiency.

Anyway, before too long, I was able to reduce my per log sawing time almost in half, by doing less per log and "Taking Steps."  It really does work, and you'd be surprised how the little things make a big difference over time.  Some Forum members have come visited and I've cut some logs when they are watching and I show them that I don't have to move more than just a couple steps from the control panel to cut, remove the slabs and stack the boards, for an entire log.  Many times, with the Yellowhammer dragback shelf and my decently long and wide dragback table, other than shoving the 4 or so slabs to the gravity table where they automatically roll into a pile, I can saw the entire log without stopping, and can pull the multiple stacks of boards a log produces to the dragback table in batches and it becomes an accumulator, never having to stop sawing until the log is done.    
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2023, 11:09:14 AM »
   I've enjoyed reading the responses here but I think we all need to know more about your operation to really make any targeted suggestions that might help. We can each comment on things that make us more or less efficient and help calculate the comparison between our sawing and other related tasks but from your comment about drying and bagging shavings it is obvious your operation is significantly different than mine.

   Can you respond with what you are sawing and what it is to be used in for final applications and even who will use it - you or a customer. That will make a huge difference in the type and number of likely steps. Are you using a Kiln? A planner? Edger? Molder? Sawing hardwood or softwood? 

    As mentioned above you might need to consider several of these steps as completely different operations. Logging is certainly different than sawing as is planing KD lumber. Some you might want to perform or others you might want to contract out to others.

   You appear to be a stationary operation which is far different than a mobile one like mine and others who have replied so you will have or will not some of the steps I would require.  

    The more we know the more and better our responses can be.
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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2023, 08:08:57 PM »
Years ago on here, I read that running a sawmill is %25 of your time and %75 material handling. 
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Offline rusticretreater

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2023, 12:55:25 AM »
Kinda like woodworking. Most of your time is making and ensuring you have straight, dimensionally true boards.
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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2023, 02:11:24 AM »
Every step in the process of turning a tree into an end product takes time. If you have to go out and fell the tree, clean up the mess and recover the log. I've spent 2 days cleaning up a single tree. And yes it was worth it, and I sold the firewood that it produced. But that often takes more time than actually sawing it. Then you have to stack the wood for drying (at least once). Then go through the woodworking side of things. Sorting and prepping the wood, and then actually making it into something, and finishing it. 

The sawmill part may be the most fun, but it's only a small % of the whole process. 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2023, 06:04:06 AM »
Ianab, I do the same thing.
Go in the woods and cut a tree down and clean up. Yes, that takes a lot of time.
Then the sawing, which is the quickest of the project, then the building.
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Offline tomfranken

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2023, 03:58:36 PM »
Thank you all for your input!  

I'm running a D&L Timber 8" swing blade.  I keep two low sawhorses to the side of the mill.  As I cut scrap off, I put it to the front of the sawhorses.  As I finish a good cut, I can usually pick it up from one end, swing the other over the scrap onto the sawhorses, then toss the first end over.  I tap it once to get excess shavings off it if needed - more a problem with band saws than blade saws.  When I am done with the log, I use a tractor with forks to move the good stuff where it will go and the scrap to the scrap pile.  I could spend more time stacking the wood nicely as it comes off the mill, but I don't know that I'd save time and the mill would be running wide open as I'm putzing with stickers.  A second person could stack finished wood nicely in the time it took me to cut the next piece, but then I have an extra hour which is more than it takes me to restack the wood.

I have an "apron" on the mill to keep the shavings mostly in the rails.  After a few logs, the shavings are thick enough to get in the way and I need to move them to a holder for drying.  That's done with a scoop shovel and backhoe loader.  A conveyor belt or tube would be nice.  Loading them into bags for selling is not worth it but I could sell truck loads full.  Mostly I use them for my animals; or if they get wet, I spread them around the drive.

I've measured the time to see if two 3" cuts were faster than one 6" cut.  Not really.  I want to say under 90 seconds per board.  I got 250 bdft out of a 24" x 14' log in well under two hours.  Now I have 60-some 2x3s to get spread out so they can be dried, stained, and prepped for fencing.  And a pile of shavings to move...

My yard has a number of nice lumber trees - but I live on a creek in the tidal plain of the Chesapeake Bay.  No cutting trees within 1000 feet of a shore.  A friend has 14 acres six miles away with some good trees he wants cleared so I can get a few from him.  In a day, I can get two full trees out - maybe four if I planned really well.  Another guy works for a tree service and has given me logs; but he tends to work a couple hours north and I need to get them on short notice.  Going forward, I'd look to buy from some relatively local mills.

'No 4-sided finishing equipment but I have used a good miter saw and tables to custom cut studs and rafters.  My lumber was used on this little weekend house.  Tom's Milling - Jamies House (tomsmilling.com)  I made some money but mostly repaid some debt for Jamie helping me.  We decided we'd need near $15K to build one for someone else.  12Wx20Lx10H plus the 6' gambrel roof makes for a nice building but I don't know that it would get $15K.

Rough cut lumber nets a buck a board foot on average at auction after their cut.  The closest scheduled auction is two hours away - eight hour round trip by the time I hook up and load the trailer, drive up, wait for unloading, and drive back.  I haven't really pushed for local sales but what I have sold is also about a buck a foot - right at what Lowes gets.  I quarter or rift saw almost all of mine, but people don't care.  

'Lurker mentioned the final number has to be profitability.  A single owner/operator will be profitable but at what rate?  If I clear $2000 for 2000 bdft of lumber and have 10 hours on the mill and 90 more moving stuff around, $20/hour.  Okay for a 20year-old starting out.  Get down to 40 hours moving stuff around and it is $40/hour.  Now to get $2/bdft.

I've seen the IBC totes for wood storage.  I know where to get a couple thousand for free.  A hundred are in my yard.

We have so many scrape trees around here, firewood is free for the taking - or maybe $100/cord delivered and stacked.  I use it in the winter and have several years' worth.  As mild as Maryland winters are getting, probably a decade's worth.

To throw a wrench into the entire process, my sister has a CNC machine she's having fun with and thought a little 3D printer would be fun.  3D printed objects weigh between a few ounces and a couple pounds - substantially less than a wet 14' 2x3.  Did I mention I am a few "somethings" over 60?

Offline Ventryjr

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2023, 05:50:44 AM »
I run a circle sawmill as a hobby. I also make YT videos of the mill operation.  And in editing the videos Id bet I spend 60% of my time with the mill running not actually sawing.  I mainly saw solo on a setup thats best for 2-3 people.  So when Im sawing alone I spend a lot of time walking around the mill. Moving slabs, positioning dogs, stacking lumber. Let alone the time to cut the trees and get them into the log deck.  
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Offline Andries

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2023, 07:17:13 PM »
When tomfranken originally posted, my first thought was hey, good idea.
My take on his idea was that any of us could use our milling time versus handling time as an indicator of efficiency. Those of us that mill only or mill and dry, and plane and edge and sell retail, could all use our own number to see how well theyre doing.
Even the guys who log and transport their own logs, can get an idea of how theyre doing.
.
Its a self comparison thing.
.
If Im at 1:10 for milling to handling, and thinking of getting better at this, well, I might consider board returns, conveyors, slab racks, blocking tables, a logging winch and a solar kiln, all which may bring my ratio to 1:5.
Which makes my operation easier on my old frame and maybe even more profitable.
Comparing myself to the guy across the lake doesnt really work, cause hes doing this completely different than me.

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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2023, 06:24:43 AM »
One of the things I like about hosting the prooojects, is every time, someone will pull me to the side and ask why I don't do a certain task a little bit of a different way. I then have to explain to them that I'm a idiot and hadn't thought of it. I have to admit that as I get older my tweaking is less to do with production, while it is still important, I'm more worried about how easy it is on me. So at the next event if y'all have any suggestions how to do something easier than I'm all ears.
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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2023, 07:51:19 AM »
At my age production is no big deal,i saw alone most of the time.I set my 12 ft roller table at my end far enough to walk through and the skid steer with forks on the outside for the slabs . Then 2 saw horses on the inside for the boards .I stack and sticker as i go.When i have a good pack i move the roller table out of the way and move the finished pack.It works well for me.
al glenn

Offline TroyC

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2023, 09:34:17 AM »
 Did this little job last week. Started on Monday by cutting and hauling the tree. Finished on Thursday.






 


There were 7 8'6 logs from the tree. Butt log was about 30" or so.



 

Manual mill so labor intensive. One man operation. Boards were all cut to 2x10". 4 6x6x8'6" were also cut.



 

Finished and loaded.







Start hours 100.6.



 

Finished at 106.4, 5.8 engine hours over 4 days to cut and mill the tree and load boards on the trailer. Total board ft cut was right about 700 bd ft. This was not a straight 8 hour day during the process, a couple naps and other projects were included.


Offline Nealm66

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2023, 10:04:54 AM »
Im noticing a similar bd ft per hour on my manual sawmill as well. I have a younger/stronger ( probably smarter) guy that wants to help starting this November and really curious to see if it more than doubles production once he gets skilled.  

Offline TroyC

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2023, 10:12:52 AM »
A helper will definitely speed things up. I spend a lot of time walking around and moving stuff.

Offline Larry

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2023, 03:32:11 PM »
This was not a straight 8 hour day during the process, a couple naps and other projects were included.
Naps are very important and should not be neglected, especially on hot summertime afternoons. 

"What one can do today can always be put off until tomorrow."  Larry :) :)
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Offline Andries

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2023, 07:50:11 PM »
TroyC, nice follow up.
Photos are always a bonus.
Youve put up some interesting numbers. In the four days milling, you racked up 5.8 motor hours.
Well, lets say that is four days at six hours each (two hours for texting his kids or zzzz) that gives him 24 hours total concentrating on that one job. A 1:4.1 ratio to get the logs, mill em and stack them up. From tree to invoice.
So, if Larry wanted to feel less beat-up at the end of each day, would a drag-back or a hydraulic mill change that ratio much? Would an edger or a hired hand speed things up and bring more cash ?
Its just another way to have a look at your very own, one-of-a-kind operation, and consider your options. If you change the operation, its an easy way to measure the benefit. Its not always about the cash.
Only TroyC knows for sure.


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Offline Larry

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2023, 09:23:17 PM »
So, if Larry wanted to feel less beat-up at the end of each day, would a drag-back or a hydraulic mill change that ratio much? Would an edger or a hired hand speed things up and bring more cash ?
Larry does have a drag-back and a hydraulic mill along with a bunch of other labor saving toys.  I made the decision 13 years ago that if I wanted to play with the big logs I needed more than a tractor and cant hook.

And I never feel beat up because I take naps! :D
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Offline Andries

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2023, 06:07:15 AM »
I modified my post as soon as I saw my error in the names.
Youre quick Larry!
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2023, 01:10:44 PM »
   I am pretty anal about keeping up with bf and sawing time and with 1400 hours and a little over 257,000 bf on my hydraulic mill I am sawing just over 184 bf per hour but that is just engine hours and not the other time I used in prep, stacking clean-up etc. I shut the mill off while loading the next log and usually take a load of slabs to the dump pile after every log or two when I am sawing at home.

    When I am sawing with a good helper or two, decent logs and swing 4/4 & 8/4 mixed lumber I can typically saw 2,000-2,500 bf in an 8 hour session with about 6-7 engine hours but that means the helper(s) keep the logs loaded and the boards/flitches moved off as produced.
Howard Green
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