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Author Topic: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?  (Read 390 times)

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Offline steveh2112

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how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« on: April 15, 2021, 03:30:40 PM »
i have about 6-8, 20-24" red oaks and i don't think i have much use for them. i talked to a local lumber mill and they said they buy logs but i have to deliver them to the mill, which is a bit of a logistical challenge.

however, i'll have an excavator on site soon so if i can get a truck i can load them, i have no idea how much a truck costs, but the mill is on the Tennessee/NC border and about 45 mins for my land so not too far.

he said $900-200 depending on the grade, which is quite a range, but i don't understand what that is for. i think he said for 1000 board feet but not sure, I don't speak hillbilly (no offense to any hillbillies out there, its just the locals around here have a thick accent and i'm from England)

any advice on selling to a mill?

oh, i have some maple but but i was thinking of slabbing that and using it myself



Online Southside

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2021, 04:07:19 PM »
Board feet ain't hillbilly speak. I have often had to explain BF to rather educated people by breaking it down to a 5th grade level.

You need to find out if the mill requires any proof of insurance or certification before you show up there and get rejected because you don't have it.

You need their grade sheet to understand how to best buck your logs. Something as simple as bucking 1" too short can cost you grade and length and turn a veneer log into firewood.

Probably best to find a local logger who will give you something for them in your yard. This will pay less, but also comes with a tremendous reduction in risk on your part. 
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Offline steveh2112

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2021, 04:29:14 PM »
a local logger said he would charge me to take them away.

i understand what board feet is but how does that translate to a whole tree? i read that a 24" tree should yield about 600 board feet, is that right? so one 24" tree would be $150 - $600  guess?

i obviously need to get more info from the mill but i'm just trying to work out f its every worth the effort. lets say my logs are half way between the range so $400 each, not sure its worth renting a truck to move them



Offline btulloh

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2021, 04:41:46 PM »
Just getting right to the bottom line, itís not worth it to hire a truck to take 6-8 RO logs to a mill thatís 45 minutes away.

Saw them into lumber. Thereís always a use even if you donít know what it is right now. Or turn them into firewood.

(Thereís a log yield calculator here in the forum tools. Click on the red toolbox on the left near the bottom.)

Edit/Add: you didnít mention how long your logs are. Complete stems that havenít been bucked?  10 foot logs?  Clear on three sides? Four sides?  How much sweep?  Defects?  
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Offline steveh2112

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2021, 06:13:06 PM »
my original plan was to saw into lumber but i don't have a lot of use for red oak. i'm planning to use laminate floors and red is no use outside for decking or siding

maybe i can use a bit on furniture but not much.

i guess it comes down to fire wood unless i'm missing something


Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2021, 06:17:50 PM »
  Remember - I do not sell logs. If I were going to do so I would find the mill requirements for what they want and will accept. I would make sure I knew which log scale they are using. I would estimate the volume of the logs and the grade as best I could, knowing my estimate could be way off. I would determine the cost to load and transport to the mill. If I felt is was likely to be profitable in a worse case scenario and worthwhile in a likely scenario I'd likely try it and hope for a best case scenario.

  Having said all that have you investigated the cost to have a portable mill come saw them then market the lumber? In today's market this may be more attractive than you think. The costs may be less or similar with likely return possibly much better. Just a thought.

   Some mills might even saw on shares if up front capital is a problem. You might even check on the cost to saw then check to see if you can sell it in advance - this would give the buyer a chance to help determine personal preference and dictate how you saw them. Good luck.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2021, 07:12:17 PM »
he said $900-200 depending on the grade, which is quite a range, but i don't understand what that is for. i think he said for 1000 board feet but not sure


Yes log values can vary by that much, depending on the quality and size of the log. If comes down to what the mill can recover from the log. A high quality log produces a lot of the more valuable knot free boards. So they can afford to pay ~90c bd/ft for them. Some other "logs" are more valuable as firewood, so that's the range you are going to get. 

The big problem with a handful of "average" logs IS the logistics of transporting them. Taking $400 of logs to a mill and getting charged $500 for the trucking is certainly possible. (The truck costs the same whether it's carrying $400 of logs or $4,000. )

You might try listing them for sale on a local web page? Clear description / sensible price / buyer to collect but you can load for them etc.  You might not get any interest, or there may be a small mill operator that's willing to do a deal. 

Failing that, welcome to the part time firewood merchant group. :D
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Online moodnacreek

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2021, 07:18:01 PM »
There is a heck of alot more to it than the log scale. The buyer is going to do that anyhow, his way . You need to learn how to fell without splitting and how to buck and read things like cat face. Almost any good hardwood needs some form of bore cutting both felling and bucking. Have 2 chainsaws, hammer and wedges learning this.

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2021, 09:43:12 PM »
How many trees are we talking about?
Are they forest trees or yard trees or fence row trees (metal contamination)
The prices quoted are delivered prices trucker needs to be paid out of this
I imagine if the sale goes through the tax man cometh.
Cheers
Al
Al Raman

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2021, 10:00:30 PM »
I think your best bet is to put them up for sale locally. As previously stated by others, trucking is the most expensive part of this process. If they are exceptional trees, you could have a whole load of wood out of 6-8 trees but that would be unlikely. No trucker worth their salt is likely to want to wait for logs to get loaded on them with an excavator. If it is just an excavator with a bucket and thumb, I probably wouldn't let it load my trailer at all. If you don't know timber, just dropping the trees and cutting them to preselected lengths without having any idea about grade, sweep, etc could result for example, in going from what should be 3 grade logs to 4 firewood logs. There's quite a bit that goes into it, all learnable and doable by someone in your situation. The question is, is it worth it for the number of trees you have? If you're looking at it simply from a money standpoint, probably not.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: how does it work if i want to sell logs to a mill?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2021, 10:15:30 PM »
Doh
Me Bad 6 to 8 trees
Cheers
Al
Al Raman


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