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Author Topic: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?  (Read 968 times)

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Offline pezrock

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What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« on: October 22, 2021, 12:21:31 AM »
I am looking for Black Walnut and have found a bunch. Some are trees that need to be dropped and some are already down. 5 separate people at 5 separate locations. Some want money, some want me to just give them a slab and some are fine to trade. I have yet to actually pay for a log since I started milling this year. I have access to a municipal dump site and often knock on doors after a storm. I am considering buying my first log. It is a BW with a 20" diameter and is 16 feet long. It is straight and has a minor taper. What would range would you pay for a log like this? And is buying logs the way to go?
Also, if you buy your logs, what do you buy and what do you pay for them?

Offline Satamax

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2021, 02:40:06 AM »
I personally don't know what to pay. I don't even think i have seen black walnut up close. 

But before you pay anything. 

What is it?  A yard tree? 

Are you absolutely sure there is no metal in there? 

Is it felled and  bucked ? 

Do you transport it? Or someone else? 
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2021, 02:58:21 AM »
You need to decide what it is worth to you.

And make sure you have seen how much heart wood it has.
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Online Ianab

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2021, 03:21:19 AM »
Well for a start you have to work out what lumber is in the log. 
So a 20" (small end) x 16 ft log might be 250-300 bd/ft, depending on what scale you use. 

Then you work out what 250 bd/ft of "log run" walnut is worth to you? 

What's it going to take to recover the log? (hours and $$). Then sawing costs etc. Then some profit. 

Can you easily sell that wood for $500? Will it cost you $200 or fetch and saw it? Then you could splash out $200 for the log. 

There are some logs / trees where the maths doesn't work out. It's easy to invest $200 in work, and only get $200 for the wood. So in that case the log is pretty much worthless. You grab it if it's free. 

But there are logs that can be processed into $1000 of product (or more). It can be worth paying good money for some logs.  
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2021, 10:02:37 AM »
   Even though he is on the other side of the world I think Ian nailed this one pretty good. Ask yourself several questions such as do you need the log? (Okay, do you "want" the log for some special project?) What will it cost to transport if the seller is not going to deliver it? What will it cost to cut it? What will it cost to dry it? How long will it be before you can actually use it? What can you sell it for if that is your plan or what would it cost to buy the lumber if you needed/wanted it?

    I almost never buy logs and seldom saw on shares but my current policy is if I do saw on shares they need to bring the log to me as I found my transport and handling costs were excessive if I picked them up. I am fine with the idea of sawing a slab or two or maybe even making a bench or such for them if it is good wood that I can use. If I have to go and cut the tree and transport it home I cannot seeing paying for it as the expenses are already going to be too high in most cases.

   Good luck. Most of us at one time or another buy or bought a log or load of logs and many of us no longer do so after finally realizing the work and expense involved. Don't do it unless you need that specific lumber.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2021, 09:16:25 PM »
I would metal detect it and pay $1000 M, [$1.00 board foot]  or more.

Offline Downstream

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2021, 09:21:34 PM »
I only bought one during my milling years.  Big BW from yard on the edge of town.  I think I paid $50 for it destroyed to 36" chains hitting metal in the guys backyard justing sizing it for my trailer.  Then the guy asked for a slab after I was done too.  No slab for you!  And I headed out never to buy from anyone again.  Never had to since I built relationships with tree people.  Also I was doing all live edge so the uglier the better and I was not competing for top logs.
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Offline Southside

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2021, 10:48:26 PM »
This should sum it up.   ;D

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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2021, 11:03:38 PM »
Seems like every tree I've ever sawn I had to pay for: some in blood, sweat and tears, some by barter... and then there's those cheap ones where I just paid a logger.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Online Old Greenhorn

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2021, 06:09:22 AM »
This should sum it up.   ;D


This never gets old.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2021, 08:10:48 AM »
Iíve not seen that!  Besides being hilarious it is so 100% accurate!  Everyone thinks they are going to retire on the walnut tree in grandmaís back yardÖ..

Early on I tried collecting tree service logs and yard trees.  It seemed like a cheap way to get logs.  Boy was I wrong!  

It is cheaper to buy logs from loggers.  
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Offline pezrock

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2021, 03:09:32 PM »
After reading these posts, I will stick with my original $250 offer but I will probably not pay any homeowner again moving forward. 
Thank you. 

Offline Stephen1

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2021, 08:07:28 PM »
I will pay for walnut logs and large branches. $1 a bd ft on international scale. I will also pay for large 30" small end logs. I can saw and dry and sell them for a reasonable profit, if they are accesable to easily pick up. I am not fussy about 'highly valuable black walnut trees' . 
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Online firefighter ontheside

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2021, 08:54:06 PM »
I will pay upto $1/bf for nice walnut logs, but I prefer free and usually offer something less than $1.  There's still a better profit margin on the walnut than on oak that I get for free.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: What would you pay for a log or would you pay at all?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2021, 09:02:20 PM »
If you are considering it, keep your expectations low.  

More important is to keep the home owner's expectations even lower.  

I brought more than one log home which I thought was decent, and after setting it up to mill, it ended up in the burn pile.  
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If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  Donít burn the cookies.


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