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Author Topic: Rate to charge for solar kiln  (Read 439 times)

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Offline D6c

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Rate to charge for solar kiln
« on: November 14, 2021, 03:41:26 PM »
I have never dried lumber for anyone but myself but have someone that wants me to saw and then dry some black walnut.
Not sure yet what thickness they want. Might not be interested if it's more than 6/4.
I would also have them air dry it for several months prior to kiln drying. (is 6 months enough?)

It's a small quantity so it would have wait until I have a load of my own walnut to go in with it, and pull kiln samples from both their lumber and mine to be sure of the moisture levels.

I wouldn't have a lot of extra expense over my own lumber other than some labor.  What's a reasonable amount to charge in this situation?  Anything else I should be concerned with other than making sure it's stack dried properly, or am I asking for trouble by taking it on?

Offline tacks Y

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Re: Rate to charge for solar kiln
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 07:59:20 AM »
No help? I know 30 years ago I was paying 200 a thousand and I stacked and sticker ed it. Don't cut your time short. 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Rate to charge for solar kiln
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2021, 08:30:55 AM »
Id charge $1 per board foot, and explain that it may take awhile.  If its walnut, itll take even longer.   This time of year, the load will be in there several months.  In the summer it would take about 6 weeks or so.  

Solar kilns excel at drying walnut, thats all I ever use mine for now, up to 8/4.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

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

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

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Rate to charge for solar kiln
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2021, 08:38:26 AM »
I am not sure what price to ask.  Have you done quite a bit of your own?  Do you know the person, or are they out of the blue?  I had a good experience sawing yesterday, with a guy referred to me by a tree service guy I know.  I have traded services in he past, and saw for friends who pay back in favors.  My buddy @Cardiodoc gives me a hundred bucks every so often.  He offers nearly each time, and I take it if we saw longer or more volume, or destroy a blade.  It is more of a way to break even, so my wife does not feel like I am dong stuff for others and failing to get all her projects done.  If it will not really add to material/energy cost, then you can think of it as something for your time.  The guy yesterday is a pilot, he brought his well behaved kids to watch and learn from afar, and is from a well known Amish family from around here.  I reviewed with him how some charge by the board foot, and others by the hour.  there is a charge for a ruined blade ect. ect.  I through out number using both methods, and i told him I was bad at this part, as I am mostly a hobby guy for me and my friends.  He could not wait to write the check and he added a 25 buck tip.  it is less than I make in an hour at my day job, and part of the 2 hour charge was for talking, showing and teaching about the ways of wood as it dries, looking at my stacks of wood, and how the mill works.  at the end we did a few minutes on stickering and I sent him a link to the FF.  I have tons going on at work, and a camp out to prepare for this weekend.  He seems like a great guy, and if he were a neighbor, I would have done it for free.  The point is I made more than a break even, that helps pay for my hobby and equipment.  I unloaded and loaded his trailer with my track loader.  If you have time and use of equipment involved, come up with a number that gets you something for all the above.  anything is better than nothing.  I think gene has mentioned price by the board foot.  what you charge now may set a precedent.  If you want to build a business offering this verses a one off this time, might change your mind on how to charge.  what portion of a load would be his stuff?  how may board feet does he have?  I think the air dry idea is good.  and you could check it every so often.  12% is the min. MC we expect here, and winter will slow things with airdrying and solar kiln.  I know it is a lot of thoughts without a number.  I hope it helps.  pick a number you are both comfy with.  rough sawn walnut is maybe 2.25 a bf, and kiln dried and planed is at least 8.  so he is adding value to the lumber.  I assume he plans to use it, not sell it.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor


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