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Author Topic: Sawing lumber for shares  (Read 1524 times)

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Offline dworcesteronw

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Sawing lumber for shares
« on: December 26, 2022, 01:42:51 PM »
I recently purchased a HM130 Sawmill and now it seems like I have a lot of new/old friends coming out of the woodwork.  I don't want to charge people for cutting trees, however I would love to cut some trees for them on shares.  Most of the wood I have to cut is cottonwood, some cedar, and honey locust.  People I know (Long lost Friends) have Oaks and Walnuts to cut up.  I really want some Oak and Walnut.

What I am thinking is if I go to their place with my sawmill, chainsaw, blades, and equipment and I cut up their wood with their assistance I get 50% of the wood milled.  Is that fair?  What percent do you take if you do this?

Also as a side note... my two brothers are also excited about this.  I told them, they could use my sawmill and blades.  They provide the wood and all the labor to cut it and I get 1/3 of the wood milled.  (They are both retired and have all the time in the world to use it.... I still have to work everyday.  :)

Let me know what you think,
Thanks,
Darren

Offline beenthere

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2022, 01:46:50 PM »
Think you will be happiest with your new mill if you are the only one operating it.. i.e. not loaning it out. It will be returned for you to use, but first you have to decipher why it is not working right. Happens all too often.

Quote
I don't want to charge people for cutting trees,

Maybe you meant to say "sawing their logs" not "cutting trees". There is a difference.  ;)

Years ago, I found logs to saw but had no sawmill. Good friend did have a circular sawmill, a tractor to pull logs, a truck to load and haul them, and the sawmill to saw the logs. 
Our deal, which I thought was quite fair, was he would get half the lumber for hauling and sawing the logs, and then we would split all the remaining half. 
So I happily ended up with roughly 3000 bdft of white and red oak lumber to trim out a new home, panel a couple walls, and lay hardwood flooring. A great friend to have. 
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2022, 02:21:47 PM »
If you are trying to saw for profit the whole process can get complicated as to what every part and parcel of the arrangement is "worth".

One reason many small timber tracts are "traded on shares 50/50" is that everybody understands "half" and in past times many crops were "sharecropped" on that basis. If these people are friends and family and everybody is happy with half than it is a simple arrangement. When you inject what your sawmill ought to be worth per $$bd/ft or per hour and divide that by the grade and species of trees somebody will likely feel shorted when in truth none of you probably really know the true exact market value, so I say saw away for half and don't worry trying to figure out whose half is "worth" more

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2022, 03:18:15 PM »
I remember doing this. If the conditions where right and all the logs the same and the help and share holders the same it can be done. Not often the real world. Who gets the bad lumber?  Try this, take 2 people only and one big log and saw it and divide the wood right there and each take his share home that day.  If this doesn't make sense to you now it will in the future.

Offline caveman

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2022, 03:34:41 PM »
We occasionally saw on shares if the species we are sawing is something we want and there is a demand for.  Also, the logs are brought to us and before a blade touches a log, everyone knows how the logs and lumber will be divided after being milled.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2022, 03:42:25 PM »
  I have sawed on shares in the past and may in the future but first it has to be lumber I can use or sell. Another thing I learned the last time is if the customer wants me to saw on shares he will have to bring me the logs. I ended up with way to much cost involved from too many trips and too much double handling.

   The best advice I have seen is divide the logs not the lumber. You may want 8/4 framing and your friend/customer wants 4/4 siding or 6/4 stair treads or such. 

    The actual split should be based on the value of the lumber to you and the cost to produce it and 50/50 may not be in order. Another trick, if you are sawing 50/50 is make log or lumber  piles as equal as possible then flip a coin to see who gets which so there is no dispute about who got the best deal. I have done that and when it came time to flip, I'd say "You go ahead and pick the one you want." That also prevents such accusations of advantage taking.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2022, 04:00:13 PM »
to help with perspective, I am a hobby guy, and I charge 100 bucks and hour for folks that contact me to saw logs they bring to me.  It includes unloading, sawing, and the time to teach then to sticker and dry, and load their truck.  I usually pull-out time spent chewing the fat if i am also the one promoting it.  I usually end up liking the folks that want this done.  They usually round up and give a tip.  I have friends I charge nothing but then they find a way to pay me back.  Dallas tends to throw fuel in my tank and has taken me or let me use his hunting plots that he spent time placing a blind and planting a food plot.  you will ruin blades or at least consume them.  If something breaks, will they be able to fix it?  each new miller will have a learning curve that may take them month to years.  The mill will depreciate, and you could see some money or wood as your family helping to pay for the mill on shares.  As you mill and gain expertise, you will look at other as inexperienced and may feel different about letting a novice take control of your mill.  Make sure these are people that will take better care of your equipment than you would yourself.  When my skid loader needed repairs that came to almost 15K, I did not go ask friends for money to help with that. I got a little here and there as these costs should be anticipated.  I do many things for free for family and coworkers.  but these are gifts from me to them.  when you first start, it may be good to get some logs to learn on and not charge much for that.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2022, 04:13:37 PM »
I only mill on shares for friends and my mill is not mobile, so they have to bring the logs to me.  I think its fair to take half.  If I were loading up my saw, driving a distance, using gas, etc I think I would want more than half.  Perhaps try what you are suggesting a few times and keep track of your time and expenses.  Then figure out if what you are contributing to the arrangement is worth more than what you are getting.  You may find out that you are better off buying logs.  
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2022, 04:14:29 PM »
Sawing on shares can be done, especially on a "hobby" level. You don't HAVE to earn "x" $ per day in order to cover your bills. So as long as you consider the wood you end up with worth the effort (and milling costs), then go for it.   50/50 is a fair starting point,  but that depends on the value of the wood. It's about the same effort to saw cottonwood as walnut, but the walnut is worth a LOT more. You might decline to saw Cottonwood on shares if you have no need or market for it, but jump at a walnut job, even at less than 50%, because of the wood's value. Agree to how the division is going to work first of course. Divide the logs? Two stacks of boards, one makes the stacks, the other gets to choose etc. 

I've done a few sawing jobs on shares, because I don't have my own logs. But it's only wood that I have a use for. Make sure the log owner gets a fair deal, but they are usually happy to see an otherwise "problem" log sawed up into useful boards, AND they get to keep ~1/2 of them, and don't have to pay $.

As for you brother sawing? Get them to help on some milling jobs and fully learn the mill operation with you. You will soon see if they have the aptitude to run the mill themselves. Some people are naturals, and others can "bust an anvil with a rubber mallet", and shouldn't be left unsupervised near machinery.  :D  You will soon figure out which type they are and can take things from there. 
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2022, 04:46:26 PM »
Sawing on shares can be done while you are learning, and after awhile, you'll learn you always seem to come out on the loosing end.  50/50 seems high of you are having to transport the mill to their place, 60/40 may be more in order.  I did 70/30, with 70 percent coming to me.

I would be very leery of lending out my mill, as with most things 90% of the damage comes in the first 10% of usage.  If you let someone else use it, expect damage.  
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Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2022, 04:48:08 PM »
I don't saw on shares and I don't rent farm ground on shares. There are too many folks who simply can not understand that perfect boards twist, they split, and some fields are a magnet to birds when the next one over isn't. 

There are times I will take care of something for someone for free, but that's because I want to, not because I think it's being fair. 

People will bring you absolute junk logs and expect that your half of the junk is payment for wear and tear, fuel, your time, etc. and you are left with a pile you don't need or want.

Barter, donate, or trade funny pieces of paper with pictures of dead Presidents on it, but shares, not so much.
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Offline KenMac

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2022, 07:31:59 PM »
My take on sawing for shares..... Be sure that all butt logs are theirs and you get paid for damaged blades. Ask me how I learned that. THE HARD WAY!!!
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2022, 07:36:54 PM »
I would not let a non-owner operate my mill any more than Id let them borrow my wife.

I have sawed on shares a few times.  60/40 has worked best and I choose which boards go where.  

I much prefer Southsides dead presidents to lumber.   
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2022, 08:05:15 PM »
 

 
I prefer the larger bill so I choose the one that is not a dead president.


 
The more the merrier !!! ;D

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Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2022, 08:41:37 PM »
I knew where that was going when I saw the photos, hard to believe that thread is that old. 
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Offline Patrick NC

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2022, 08:49:49 PM »
I've sawn cedar on shares a couple times and came out pretty good with 50/50. Wouldn't dream of doing it with something lower valued like framing lumber. 70/30 would be the least I'd do if at all. You can't make enough bf with a manual mill to make it worthwhile.  X2 on @SawyerTed 's comment about not letting non owners operate your mill. That's just a recipe for hard feelings. 
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2022, 06:08:21 AM »
I don't cut on shares, I know just you mean MM.


 Just some of them. ;D
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2022, 06:58:02 AM »
Don't saw on shares and don't loan out mill. If they have logs you want then scale them and buy them for fair market price. If they have sawing they want done they pay you a sawing fee. I apply the "KISS" rule to myself and my equipment. "Keep it simple stupid".
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2022, 07:04:16 AM »
I don't cut on shares, I know just you mean MM.

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 Just some of them. ;D
Will be looking forward to the party at your place!!

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2022, 07:47:42 AM »
Nothing brings friends out of the woodwork faster than getting a new sawmill, and nothing runs them off faster than asking them to help the second time.

If they are your good friends, sure, have them show up and help, and saw a few logs for them, sit back, tell stories and have a good time.  I still do that, its one of the perks of owning a sawmill.  If they are good enough friends for that, they are good enough friends where I dont charge them anything, anyway.    

If they are the friends that start the conversation with I hear you have a sawmill. I have a bunch of trees ..... Well, they get the normal rate.  

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Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline Machinebuilder

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2022, 08:37:27 AM »
I seem to get the friends that have the very large yard tree,

1-I've got a birds eye maple log, I had it cut 2 years ago and its about 48" dia
2- I've got a few cedars that were in a fence line, and some hickory.

I've had a few more.

There's a reason I don't have a trailer for my Bobcat or a way to haul logs.

I have sold a couple pieces of live edge slabs that I cut, and I gave a friend a good deal on boards for his Grandfathers 1952 Ford flatbed (cool project)

I have realized after using some of the wood I sawed soon after getting my mill, I don't have that much good lumber. It's gotten better but I have a lot of firewood.
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2022, 09:47:00 AM »
Designer firewood and or Borp, I  am excellent at producing it. Thankfully it heats my house just fine.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2022, 05:32:53 AM »
We actually have a standing joke around here. If someone is about to ask for a favor or something for free, 90% of the time the conversation or text will start with "hey buddy". Any more I just start laughing the minute I hear or read that.
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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2022, 05:54:55 AM »
I have a very good friend that would do anything to help me and I would for him too. But being a good friend I don't miss a chance to poke him, last time he came by to visit I told " haven't seen you in a while, as he was leaving I told him come on back next time you need something". Wish I had the nerve to say that to the folks that truly just stop by when they need something.
Once you get sap in your veins, you will always have sawdust in your pockets.

Offline Southside

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2022, 06:47:22 AM »
"Come again when you can't stay so long"

"Next time you're passing by the house, pass by the house"

Both usually get a "I will" response.  :D
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2022, 07:48:16 AM »
"Glad you got to see me, come again when you cannot stay so long"!  have not said that in years.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2022, 08:57:11 AM »
Yesterday, a friend of mine who has a machine shop, racecar shop and another shop on his compound called and asked if I was going to be around.  I let him know that John and I were sawing and for him to feel free to stop by.

I am getting around to the point.

Anyway, a week or so ago, I was telling him that I broke a 4" c-clamp while trying to compress a brake caliper on a '77 Bronco.  He showed up carrying two c-clamps, one in each hand.  One was a 6" clamp that must weigh 12-15 lbs (I doubt it would be possible for me to break that one) and the other was about 12".   A day or so before Christmas, he called and asked if I had a 4x6x8 cedar beam (it was the missing piece to a swing set his son was building for in laws).  I found a log that would make the beam and sawed it for him.  No charge, of course.

This friend is generous to a fault.  A few years ago, he showed up with a Southbend metal lathe and told me it was on loan for perpetuity.

Another time, sawing on shares, I sawed a sinker cypress log.  I would do that arrangement fulltime if the opportunity arose.  I haven't even tried to sell that wood.  I get a lot of enjoyment just looking at it.

Offline dworcesteronw

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2023, 10:57:25 AM »
My brother who would be wanting to use  the mill the most has been out sawing with me 90% if the time.  He is the one who owns the skid steer so it is more of a team effort on it.  I would say he is as experienced on it as I am.  Which is pretty low experience, but we are getting there. The other brother has been out there a bunch also.

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2023, 02:22:56 PM »
Brothers are different than 'Buddy'. 
My mill runs on CASH as shown above. I did shares once and would not like to do it again. 
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2023, 02:30:08 PM »
You know your brothers and how they would treat your machine.  You also already know if they damage something how willing they would be to make it right.  

Again, I dont loan anything Im not willing to do without - wife, children, dog, boat, fishing gear, chainsaws, sawmill, tractors etc.  
LT 35 (Sold) Future Owner Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2023, 04:10:00 PM »
Every so often I get a guy walks in here and wants me to saw their logs on shares.

Most times - most - they get a response that goes along the lines of "I've got well over a million dollars tied up in this business and over a decade of experience and you've got a couple of trees, so what's a fair share?"

Don't underestimate the value of your equipment, of your experience, and of your time. There's also a little thing about the fact that you're accepting to get paid for the job in wood not cash, and turning wood into beer is notoriously difficult.

But there are exceptions, when I need the species the guy has got for an order, or when the logs are good enough that it makes sense.

Even if it's just a hobby you need to make the thing self funding. Otherwise its cheaper to buy the wood at home depot or somewhere.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

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Re: Sawing lumber for shares
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2023, 04:25:10 PM »
But there are exceptions, when I need the species the guy has got for an order, or when the logs are good enough that it makes sense.


From this I think the question you need to ask is "Would I buy these logs if the guy was simply selling them?" If the answer is yes, then you can work out a deal to buy some of them, and saw some of them. Might not be 50/50, but a deal is possible. 

What you don't want is getting stuck sawing junk logs into junk lumber, that you have no use or market for. That's just costing you time and $$.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)


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