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General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: chet on April 26, 2005, 10:52:52 PM

Title: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: chet on April 26, 2005, 10:52:52 PM
Up till now I have never had a blade charge for milling. But after an extremely rough weekend, I think it is time to rethink my policy.  :-\    How do you folks handle charging for tramp metal?
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: pigman on April 26, 2005, 11:10:21 PM
When I hit metal in a customers log they give me $20.  If the blade is able to cut at all, I will search for the other nails in the same log and not charge for the second hit. Most of the time I have to change after the first hit. The most blades I damaged was 4 on a small notty cherry log the customer just had to have sawed. ::)
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Tom on April 26, 2005, 11:48:13 PM
I tell them that I charge $20 for a "nailed" blade.   In reality I charge up to twenty dollars.  I know the age of the blade and whether I can repair it or not.  Also I have favorite customers and know when one has made a valiant effort.  sometimes  it's better to write "one nailed blade-no charge on the invoice for advertising purposes.  A good customer needs a break sometimes.  It might even look better to write "blade $20" and then give a "good old boy discount" on the total bill.  That means no percentage, just a flat number.  It could be $20 if you wanted.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: woodbowl on April 26, 2005, 11:52:45 PM
My policy is almost like pigman. I let them know right up front. If I hit metal, blades are $25. You eat the first one, I'll eat the second one, then we'll split the rest untill one of us chickens out. That's fair!----- I usually hear a little chuckle approving, that it is fair and that there won't be problems paying me.----Here's what it amounts to: anyway you look at it, your gona' get $25 for the first hit. You may not hit another. If you do, that brings the average down to $12.50 for every blade that is damaged. Doesn't sound like much but that is half the cost of a new blade. When I get home, I take the damaged blade and try to put a good heavy grind on it to shape it back up. It won't ever cut quite the same again but 90% of the time it will cut and 30%-50% of my hits are used regular again. If I suspect that there are nails in a butt, guess which blades I use to saw it up? By the time I go through a batch of blades, I have recovered almost the total cost of my blades as when they were bought new. Sounds too good to be true? Yea, it is. I would much rather pay for all my own blades, never hit a nail  and never have to charge a customer for nail damage. All this is down time that takes away from sawing. It's only a method to recover some of the loss. And it's fair.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Jeff on April 26, 2005, 11:57:51 PM
Woodbowl, I like that approach! :D
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: UNCLEBUCK on April 27, 2005, 12:09:09 AM
How about for a circle mill ?  I seriously have to try this metal detection but I know its not for me because its just too much doinkin around. Never slammed into anything super hard but I  I do have a soft sheer pin but I suppose it dont take much to damage a circle saw . ???
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Ron Wenrich on April 27, 2005, 06:04:14 AM
You can charge by the nail or by the tooth.  I know of guys who do it both ways. 

One guy was charging $25 per tooth.  That seems too pricey to me, but you do lose some sawing time by having to sharpen and/or replace the tooth.

I hit some nails last week that tore off 4 teeth and damaged 10 others.  Charging $25/tooth would be too much.  It was 3 nails and I ended up replacing the teeth.  Company logs, so I chewed out the boss.

The absolute worst case is if you rip the shoulders off the saw.  They cost $75 to repair plus your saw needs to be hammered.  Get too many and its a new saw - $2000.

If the log looks like it has tramp metal, I always make sure the customer knows he is liable for damages. 
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: woodmills1 on April 27, 2005, 09:34:40 AM
I give one nailed blade for free, then its metal detector time and 20 bucks a blade after that. If the job was set up on a board foot cost then it changes to hourly during nail hunting and removal.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: oakiemac on April 27, 2005, 10:15:31 PM
I charge $3.45/tooth that is destroyed. If it is just damaged and can be resharpened then I may or may not charge the whole amount. Like Tom said, sometimes it is better to give a good customer a break.

Speaking of metal, I was given a walnut log that was 12' long and 24". It was a nice staight log. I scanned it with the detector and found a couple of spots that had metal. The log looked too nice to throw away so I put old teeth on the saw and went at it. I got a few boards off then  heard the screeching sound of metal and it went all down hill from there. I think I hit about 6 nails. I was pretty dissappointed but can't complain about a free log. :(
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: UNCLEBUCK on April 27, 2005, 11:29:18 PM
10-4 boys !  I will charge by the tooth as well . That sounds like a reasonable deal . Thanks and I always give a break to nice people too . Its the guy with one or two logs that ends up coming back alot more .
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Sawyerfortyish on April 28, 2005, 08:30:23 AM
I stopped most of the custom sawing jobs because of hitting metal and glass insulaters and concrete.  But still do a little . Now I always scan the logs with a metal detector first thing. Then I tell them if I missed any steel or hit anything else I'll replace or fix the damaged teeth. But the clock is still ticking and it's 100.00 an hour and I have to fix the blade and dig the steel out of the log. So you decide just how much time and $$$ that log is worth.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Kevin_H. on April 28, 2005, 12:58:30 PM
I charge $25.00 per damaged blade, I have had a lot of customers ask if I had a metal detector, but I have really turned away from buying one, I think that if you offer to scan the custmers logs you just wined up getting more questionable logs thrown into the mix.

I do offer to leave any of the damaged blades with the customer, since they paid for them. Most dont keep them but some do. ;D
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: sigidi on April 30, 2005, 08:25:09 PM
A bit late on this one, but I just had to send blades (Lucas circular) off to get re-tipped and re-tensioned - seven blades all up went off to the saw doctor.

I don't have a metal detector, but I say to my customers I'm happy to saw any log, although foreign material in the log is at your own cost, which I will only charge what it costs me to repair it, so if the saw doctor says new blade entirely, then it could be $300 or a re-tip is just $30 - whatever it costs me. Folkes eem pretty happy with that and I'm not out of pocket or making money on it, so I'm pretty happy too.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Ron Wenrich on April 30, 2005, 09:14:11 PM
When I'm asked about a metal detector, I usually tell them I have 3 of them.  Two 22 tooth metal detectors (vertical edger) and one 46 tooth metal detector (head saw).  If there's metal in those logs, one of those detectors will find it.   :D
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: AtLast on April 30, 2005, 10:20:43 PM
I charge $25.00 to metal detect prior to sawing and assume responsibility....that way IF I hit metal...the blade is paid for...
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Timburr on April 30, 2005, 10:26:29 PM
sigidi  My blades!! HAVE been busy! smiley_speechless

When a customer asks for some milling work (I drive a Lucas), we talk about the source of the timber and it inevitably comes out in conversation that I charge more for milling metal than I do for wood. :D :D This light hearted banter usually makes them  feel at ease. But seriously, I charge what it costs me for the repair. I have had many metal strikes, but have only charged for one :( - a rich doctor. The remainder, I have absorbed because the blade was down...fair wear and tear.

One guy and his son wanted a punky old beam re-sawing into a 9"x9" mantle place beam. They spent hours finding and pulling out nails using a metal detector whilst I was doing other things. I went over and asked how it was going, they said we are still finding nails, we've found about 50 already, he said with a sheepish look. I said I will put an old blade on and take it very slowly - nails and all. :o      You lot must think I'm mad... You're so right, I am ;D ;D   Well, I squared off his mantle and checked the teeth, just one very small chip that was sharpened out. The guy was so grateful he gave me a large tip on top of my fee :) ;D :)

Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: customsawyer on April 30, 2005, 10:38:05 PM
I charge $25.00/blade. If the customer starts to get excited than I know that there is a good chance that there is metal in the logs. I will than offer to check the logs with the metal detector by the hour or I will check the first one and the customers can check the rest to there satisfaction as I am sawing but I still charge them for the blades. It seems that when they first start checking they will do a through job but as the day wears on they don't check quite as well and you end up hitting some metal. If it is a good customer or a new customer that put in some effort to have the site ready for me when I get there and I cut a few thousand feet of lumber with only one nail than I show them the discount on there invoice to keep them comming back cause we all know that is the kind of customers we like.
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: Sawing Logz on May 01, 2005, 09:24:44 PM
I have been blessed with the force. OK just kiding I get $8.00 if the blade can be reset and no loss of teeth, and $30-35.00 per blade that hits braking objects, not all will be metal, and easy to detect.

Just my thoughts, Jeff
Title: Re: Tramp metal and other surprises
Post by: iain on May 03, 2005, 05:12:35 PM
I've bought a detector (when my boys let me use it), but i dont really bother scanning customers logs, but always make a point of saying if i whang a blade then they own it "are you realy sure there's nothing in there", all so far have been cool, and all have insisted they pay for the damage, even when i say at bill time its ok dont worry 8)