Forum > Timber Framing/Log construction

Timber quality standards

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Prizl tha Chizl:
Iíve just finished cutting my second frame for hire, and feel like I should be looking for another timber source.

I had a hard time finding a supplier for the first frame, and he is a nice guy with an even more agreeable price, but his bread and butter are crane mats and pallet lumber, and his timbers werenít great to begin with and have gotten worse with this second frame. 

What do you all expect for quality? These are all pretty straight and twist free, but few of them have more than one square corner. Of course Iím using square rule, but having to adjust my tools to ride ďsquareĒ on the non reference faces is a time suck, and itís just one more place for cumulative error to creep in. My only other complaint is that there is often a bit of dip in the middle of the timbers, as if his blade is wandering or thereís a problem with his log carriage (forgive me Sawyers, I donít know sawmill terminology, the mill he has has a fixed bandsaw-the cant moves.) Iíve considered just talking to him about it, but feel like in general he doesnít have an eye for quality- just focusing on getting logs pushed through the mill with his crew- plus, I already offered him an extra .10/bf to give me his ďbetterĒ timbers, and Iím still not real happy.

Am I expecting too much? Any recommendations for someone in southwest Wisconsin? Whatís a reasonable price to pay? Right now Iím getting white pine timbers for under $1/bf, but iíd be happy to pay more if it could drop my labor price and give me a frame that fit better in the end.

Don P:
Short of going into the sawmill business, can you source logs and bring in a portable mill?

Prizl tha Chizl:
Thanks for the idea, DonP. I always tell visitors they can go anywhere they want at our place so long as its either uphill or downhill ;D so I donít have a lot of good real estate for staging, but I am in the process of clearing a better log landing/milling area as L kicked me out of our front yard after having the third round of our own logs go through there :D

We do have a portable sawmill relationship that weíre happy with, especially since Iím there I can do my own quality control. Besides adding another dimension to the planning and coordination of these projects the only other drawback I see is that itís just one more step down the slippery slope towards buying my own sawmill, something Iím trying to resist for as long as possible.

On that note, Iíd like to try to keep outsourcing the whole operation if I can do it and still end up with logs Iím happy with.

Don P:
Tangentially on topic, I was enjoying this this morning :)

I'll watch some of the others that follow- as seen at the end right after the man gets tickled... :D I enjoy the English talk. Wondering how my wife and sons would react to my getting and earing like his? :-\ Some people got it, some don't. I'm a don't...


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