iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Part-time business

Started by Gasconman, January 19, 2006, 02:51:30 PM

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I was wondering if some of the people who have built up part-time businesses with wood products might tell us some success stories and things that didn't work so well. Just trying to figure out how best to market local lumber. I would like to saw for others as well as sell some of my own lumber. You guys on the forestry forum are the best.
Everybody tells me I'm crazy for wanting to saw logs into lumber. Glad I found a bunch of other people with the same affliction.


I'm watching this thread myself  ;D
remember man that thy are dust.


I am learning through this site that lumber, especially green lumber, needs to be turnd over (sold) after it's cut or sticked and consider it stock.  I've got my mill, my support equipment, kiln and a partner.  This spring we will start advertising to do custom cutting and see how that goes.  I don't have a real big inventory nor a real steady supply of logs to fill BIG orders so I think my $$ will be made custom cutting and drying.  There are a few small places that will "keep me in mind" if they need small amounts of something.  Since this will be a part time/hobby all I'm worried about is recouping the costs of my mill and equipment and hope to have a little $$ at the end of the summer.  I realize I will not get rich quick or at all, but it is very relaxing and fun.

As far as the wood is concerned I would make sure you have an outlet before you start cutting or buying or else you may end up with a full wood lot and maybe some wasted money.  I havn't bought any logs yet and I dread the day that comes but I will have my buyers in line before I do.

Timberking B-20, Hydraulics make me board quick


We certainly dont mind seeing more stories posted, but I wanted to inject that while you wait for more of them to appear here, you might want to spend some time exploring the forum as there are tons and tons of examples of what you seek here already. You can use the search function (I dont think there is very many words that wont lead to something) )(appropriatte words :))* or the knowledge base (Look for the forum extras link), or just start looking theough old topics.
There are gold in dem der hills!

* I have played that game on here. Pick a word and search to see what comes up. We are pretty prolific. :)
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Commercial circle sawmill sawyer in a past life for 25yrs.
Ezekiel 22:30


Sounds like you are geared up flip. I am a long ways from buying logs yet. I gotta get my mill & put it together first. That sounds kind of like what I want to do. I would like to have a Kiln and a planer and possibly a moulder. Just taking it one step at a time right now. I have a couple of outlets for the cedar I'm going to cut and I haven't advertised or anything just called a bunch of places. Wish you the best on your endeavors. Maby you can post and give us updates as things start rolling for you.
Everybody tells me I'm crazy for wanting to saw logs into lumber. Glad I found a bunch of other people with the same affliction.


I'd suggest that you specialize.  If you buy logs, saw and sell retail lumber, do custom sawing off site, and run a kiln, you are likely to find that there are time conflicts that eat into profits.  For example, you have arranged to custom saw for someone 5 miles down the road and have set a meeting time when another retail customer either calls or shows up to buy lumber.  Now what are you going to do?  Call the custome sawing person and reschedule?  What if he isn't available later or has taken time off work to meet you.  What if that same is true of the retail customer?  How can you load the kiln while you are sawing?  A parked sawmill earns no cash.  Will you plane the kiln dried lumber?  What equipment sits idle while you do that?  Is there sufficient profit in one process to justify another piece of equipment setting idle?
I eat a high-fiber diet.  Lots of sawdust!


I'm probably not the best person to comment on this because my bussiness has changed directions.
1. I cut in theis area for 12 years as a custom sawyer.
2 I looked for nitch areas to sell
3 I designed and built a small kiln for a nitch product (First load paid for the kiln, Wood, and profit.
4. I have watch the large mills in this area fold.
5 Have discovered through losses that getting wood on hand isn't the problem but watching weather  destroy is is. (I now have lumber storage building and am building more.
6 I am supporting my self with public work to take the wage load off of the bussiness to make it grow faster.
I am in the process that by 2009 I will have all buildings built Large dry kiln Four head planner  and mill clear with 20,000 feet of lumber on the premises with a store front  and three people full time.

As you can see I am in the middle of this not the end. I am going slow enough to not allow a single event that goes wrong to sink the dream. Also I am working seven days a week to make it happen.
You can follow me at


Cutting with DonE we sold most of the lumber right off the mill at two sites. The 2x stuff that I bought home sat around for a long while, I was trying to sell that as boards for trailers. Seems the 1x stuff sells a lot faster because people can use it for anything.

When I had my chainsaw mill, I sold a decent amount right off the mill to people passing by. I sold a few 48" rounds when people saw me cutting them for my own use. Got $25-$50 for 2"-4" thick 48" wide rounds cut right off the tree as it laid on the ground. In a urban enviroment, I think the best thing is to let everyone know you are cutting and when people stop to look, stop and talk with them.

For a part time business, I think the best thing is to have it sold as soon as it comes off the mill and let someone else worry about drying it.

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