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Author Topic: Ratio of time milling to time moving wood around  (Read 2247 times)

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Online 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 Iíd bet I spend 60% of my time with the mill running not actually sawing.  I mainly saw solo on a setup thatís best for 2-3 people.  So when Iím 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 ďhey, good idea.Ē
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 theyíre doing.
Even the guys who log and transport their own logs, can get an idea of how theyíre doing.
.
Itís a self comparison thing.
.
If Iím 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 doesnít really work, cause heís 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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Offline slider

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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

Online 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 »
Iím 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.  

Online 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.

Online 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 :) :)
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 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.
Youíve put up some interesting numbers. In the four days milling, you racked up 5.8 motor hours.
Well, letís 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 Ďem 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 ?
Itís 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, itís an easy way to measure the benefit. Itís not always about the cash.
Only TroyC knows for sure.


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Online 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
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 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.
Youíre quick Larry!
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Online 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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