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Author Topic: Done - selling everything  (Read 1796 times)

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Offline Southside

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Done - selling everything
« on: November 30, 2019, 02:36:40 PM »
Walked in yesterday around 3:00 to eat some lunch and said those words to my wife.  She thought I was just grumbling until I sat down with leftovers and a pen and paper and began to write down each piece of equipment and what I think I could sell it for given it's a strong economy.  She really got worried when she saw me looking up recent equipment auctions for prices.  I am just going to go work for someone else. "Welcome to Wal-mart, Get yer crap and Get Out!!"  ;D  

Spent the entire week, including Thursday busting my hump trying to finish a floor for a customer that I way under estimated in terms of time, and  everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in the process.  Can't hire any help, at least not any that can pass a drug test and communicate in some reasonable fashion.  We have come to a place where everything is expected in two days, with free delivery, and oh - do you offer discounts for X,Y,Z?

Quit Thursday night / Friday morning at 0037 when I just could not see any longer, managed to finish the order yesterday evening and deliver it today....I guess the saving grace was when the customer looked at the flooring and asked "How do you make it look like this?  Pine does not come out like this any more" - so he was happy since his addition floor will match his 1911 original flooring, in the end it made it worth it, but man some days....  
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 02:44:15 PM »
Took my biggest order ever
Was supposed to be done tomorrow at noon.
I don't think I'm going to make it.
Work thanksgiving for 5 hours and just got in the truck now.The wind chill got me.
I'm going to go at it hard in the morning. 
But I don't think I will make it.
Might have a lot of 1x10x10 for sale.
I know how you feel.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 03:07:47 PM »
Wish I had a dime for every time that Cowboy Bob has come through the door and told me he is sick of working for his idiot boss...
Save a farm today or starve tomorrow.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 03:31:31 PM »
The other day I was speaking rather loudly and harshly while I was working at the sawmill set up in the backyard.  There was a blue cloud if you get my meaning. 

In a few minutes I saw my wife lurking around the corner of my shop.  She was trying to figure out who I was arguing with.  

When she finally asked, I told her I was having a staff meeting and the boss needed an attitude adjustment.    She reminded me that I work alone.

Some days are diamonds, some days are coal.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 05:21:59 PM »
We were helping load trees at the farmer's market yesterday. The census lady had set up a booth hoping to sign up some people to help take the census, apparently they are having real trouble getting help this year. As I looked back at the last few weeks, I think it would be a raise, tempted, but, they frown on you killing bad dogs :D.

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 05:48:42 PM »
Southside.

   Sorry to hear you have been having a rough spell. I won't say to reconsider but hope you come to terms that are best you you and your family. I think we all have days like that. Since my sawing is more of a paying hobby and I am not depending on it to support the family I can be a little more tolerant of some issue than others. A little more appreciation from the customer goes a long way - not that some of them care. Good luck and best wishes.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Traci

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2019, 06:11:14 PM »
Oh my! I think I would take a step back and think this one through A LOT. There is nothing better than being your own boss, even on the crap days, as long as you can pay your bills and mostly enjoy what you do.
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
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Online charles mann

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2019, 07:33:48 PM »
its awfully to hear this. hopefully things improve for you and you don't have give it all up. but if its 1 thing iv seen in my experiences, sometimes when God closes 1 door, he opens another door for the better. I hope he does the same for you if he indeed closes the door.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2019, 07:44:05 PM »
He'll never sell out, he's too cranky to work for anyone else😉😁
Too many irons in the fire

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2019, 08:03:05 PM »
Yep, grab a couple beers, or three, and in a few days your sawmill will be calling.  Or take a road trip, come on down here and we'll eat some steak, and go fishing or hunting.

On the other hand, I was offered a job at the local Cabelas, and I started to think about that myself.   :D :D  

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Offline WDH

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 08:46:55 PM »
I was sawing a good sized order of 16' lumber last week.  Handling 16' lumber by yourself is rough.  I asked myself why was I doing that?  Have not found the answer yet. 

Jim, step away for a bit and think it through.  You will find the right answer. 
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Offline richhiway

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 09:09:07 PM »
I was self employed for over 20 years. (Garage, Tow Trucks,Used cars). I gave it up for a good job 18 years ago. I know how you feel. I enjoyed both. The best advice I can give you is cultivate good customers that pay their bills and appreciate your efforts. Don't take the jobs you can't make a profit on or that give you a hard time. Be selective, do the best work for the best customers. They are out there. Don't be afraid to make a profit and don't give credit. 

If you do give it up keep the equipment and do it on the side. Never hurts to make some cash.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 09:26:10 PM »
I don't blame anyone for quitting and hanging it up.  I have no plans to ever saw another log until this knee heals and I can walk again!!
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 09:59:45 PM »
We go through the blues like that occasionally, but someone always shows up with 100.00 bill, credit card or check and the ball just keeps rolling. 
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 10:00:05 PM »
I wish you nothing but the best and hope you come to a decision that works for you. 
Glad I had my glasses on Lynn.....
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Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2019, 11:36:50 PM »
He'll never sell out, he's too cranky to work for anyone else


You know me too well.....:D  Sometimes I just don't get it.  How can folks either not work, or hardly work, yet they still have a new pickup, a bass boat, a deer hunting pickup, etc., and I am not talking about retired doctors or others who made their money and now enjoy it.  It just gets really discouraging when taxes, insurance, all the expenses that don't make you money keep pouring in, the work is there, but you can't hire anybody.  I don't even interview folks at first now, the first thing I tell them is you will have to pass a drug test, when the response is "which drugs" or "can you tell me ahead of time", "I have a bad back it's for medical purposes" then I end the interview.  It's only going to get worse here as there is a movement and desire by the elected fools to legalize more of it.  I have been looking at adding a 4 or 6 head re-saw to the operation and the conveyors and electrical upgrade that would come with it, but without the additional hands it's doomed to fail.  Although I am looking at commodity type of equipment what I produce is far from a commodity product, so I need folks who will engage their brain and back as lumber rolls down the line, the additional equipment is an effort to gain efficiency in the process.  Ugg....
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Offline barbender

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2019, 01:07:40 AM »
Being at a point where you need employees would make me want to hang it up too. Which is very sad...you're making opportunity, and there's no one there to take it. I watch my owner/operator friends get violated on taxes, it's really sickening. The only way to hold on to any of it is to stay in a constant state of overwhelming, "house of cards" type of debt.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2019, 07:11:08 AM »
I was thinking of getting a BAC tester .
My helper Pone makes me wonder some mornings and I need to know.
His sort term memory is questionable on some mornings.
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2019, 07:39:04 AM »
Its alwasy got its tough spots. Self employed or not! And I recently hired my dad. Its great dont get me wrong but when he retires Im not hiring anyone else. Its a pain really. But Im kind of a loaner I guess. Id rather buy a new machine to help me.

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2019, 08:33:02 AM »
Several of those colleges around you have forestry/agricultural departments, you could figure out an or several intern positions through one of those departments, I have a couple clients that take interns even though the position is temporary. It does give you labor some are duds and some will make you proud and become family. We have quite a few kids shadow for experience for different reasons  but its pretty special when one of them gets into veterinary school and asks you to white coat them. Your place has many different jobs to do  I just thought about this while getting caffeinated, boy it could teach some kids some things.

Offline red

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2019, 08:52:23 AM »
There is always Chickens
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2019, 09:02:57 AM »
There is always Chickens
and selling lady's shoes?

Howard Green
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Offline Don P

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2019, 09:19:55 AM »
One of the shops I worked in hired interns from NCSU, that is when I learned a lot of wood science. I ended up buying and being given their textbooks so I could keep up. That was a win/win. Another thought was hire a vet.
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2019, 09:31:28 AM »
I was sawing a good sized order of 16' lumber last week.  Handling 16' lumber by yourself is rough.  I asked myself why was I doing that?  Have not found the answer yet.  

Jim, step away for a bit and think it through.  You will find the right answer.
I hate 16' lumber by myself. I changed the plans on my addition to my cottage as it called for 2x8x14'. I could barely lift the green lumber off the mill, my little bobcat could only lift about 12 in a bundle. I have to add a center beam and made them 2x8x7'. I cut those 14' in half and now its a breeze to saw and move. 
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2019, 09:37:23 AM »
I was wondering about the drug test, Why? Then I thought there is so much oxy addictions going on ,whether it is for pain or not. The excuse I have a bad back doesn't cut it for me, I have had a bad back for ever it seems. I do my stretchs and exercises and it goes away. 
What someone does on thier own time is not my business but if it affects thier performance at work! It is my "business" 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2019, 09:46:44 AM »
Tis a vicious circle when your business progresses beyond one's self and is dependent upon hired labor.  My "tongue in cheek" Reply #12 above applies only to me because I am "retired" and my sawing income is supplemental and not required for household expenses, etc.  

Now, that does not mean that I am not trying to grow the business and increase it's footprint for the future.  I have a Son and Grandson who are developing a multi-faceted business and the sawmilling business meshes very nicely into those plans.  It would still be "sawing only" and not include any lumber related sales.  Each business facet would provide a service, not a product, and not be dependent upon "hired" labor.
 

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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2019, 10:29:37 AM »
Operating as a business with employees requires a different level of insurances.  Loss prevention expectations from insurance companies includes drug testing.  I worked in facilities management for a small manufacturer, our liability and workers compensation insurance required drug testing.

Managing employees when the employees are just working to get a paycheck is a real drag.  Its really difficult to change that attitude.  When an employee sees their contribution to the enterprise as important, they can be a pleasure to work with. Again, its hard to create that attitude if its not there to begin with. 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2019, 12:27:33 PM »
One of the shops I worked in hired interns from NCSU, that is when I learned a lot of wood science. I ended up buying and being given their textbooks so I could keep up. That was a win/win. Another thought was hire a vet.
I really like the college interns idea. I like to hire selected high school students and in my remote rural area we have a few kids like that who grew up working and will do a good job for you and exercise good judgement and common sense. Of course I almost never hire help - I typically refer them to the customer if he needs help so I don't have to worry with that set of paperwork and regs and such.

I had to get help loading hay bales in the field last summer and got 3 kids - an 8th and 10th grader and their 20 y/o sister. Reagan drove my truck in the field and the boys and I loaded the truck and stacked. She could drive as well as a big man and it gave me a good, hard working crew to get me out of a jam.

That's another thought though - we should hire more women. Many are physically able and would rather do that kind of work than waiting tables. I had women working for me in the USMC that I'd put up against any hairy-legged hard tail.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline barbender

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2019, 12:55:02 PM »
I've got a couple aunts, the pair maybe would hit 250 together. They can work, and EAT, any man under the table. We got kicked out of an all you can eat shrimp dinner, I was just trying to keep up with them!😂
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2019, 01:06:44 PM »
Several of those colleges around you have forestry/agricultural departments, you could figure out an or several intern positions through one of those departments,


That's an interesting approach, never would have thought of it.  Thanks to my calf I even have multiple contacts at VT these days too... Try and sell the idea they could continue with their ongoing "Pumpkin Patch" study here in an on-farm environment.  Of course I first have to convince the calf to come back here....



 



 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2019, 01:51:25 PM »
I called up temp agency for our new potential employees.  I write the job description, then they do all the initial screening, drug tests, interviews, insurance, everything.  The employees work for the agency, I write the checks to the agency, and they pay the employee so have full power over them.  If I say the employee doesn't work out, then they fire and hire others. That's how several of the pallet mills and other heavy lumber and labor operations around here work now.

The good thing is it solves the drug test and insurance problems, as well as unemployment and stuff.     
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Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2019, 02:15:11 PM »
Have you had any yet?
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Riehl Edger
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2019, 02:25:50 PM »
Sad to hear there is no help around. What about an up and comer out of highschool? We take about 50 staff each year for our kiwifruit harvest season, usually all European/NA travellers. For the most part they're great but I understand the skill/training to be useful around a sawmill is prob quite different. How long does it take before someone (let's say average Joe with no experience, but reasonably practical) is safe and useful?

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2019, 02:49:14 PM »
Nothing last forever.  I know there will come a day when me or the sawmill will go out the driveway for the last time.  If it is me, hopefully there will be fresh sawdust stuck to my pants.

Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #34 on: December 01, 2019, 02:52:12 PM »
I have no issue with taking on someone with zero experience, it's probably better that way. The issue we face here is desire to work is basically non existent, coupled with a lack of pride in work and the end result is an unemployable individual. 

I have one employee now, he has his moments, but for the most part he does a great job. Our location is also a double edged sword. Far enough in the country to be able to saw and farm without issues, but no population nearby to draw from. In all reality we are not that long of a drive, but finding quality people who will make it is an issue. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2019, 02:55:09 PM »
 its pretty special when one of them gets into veterinary school and asks you to white coat them.
Nobody mentioned Vet school, but the threat of being "white coated" has come up in the past.  :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2019, 03:04:38 PM »
The quitting part would be easy. The everything for sale part would never work here. In the past I have tried to sell sawmill machinery and it is hopeless. People today don't buy things they can't sit on and drive.

Offline Jim H

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2019, 07:12:28 PM »
Sometimes it's good to get up out of the weeds of day to day operations and look at the long term. Back in the fall a friend who is a homebuilder approached me about working for him as a project manager. So in January this twenty-two year odyssey of being a full-time sawyer will turn into a weekend side gig and I'll be back in the world of construction. Over the last few years I've made decisions about farming , finances, and sawmilling that kind of surprised me when I made them. But I think figuring these kinds of things out intentionally, before you're forced to by circumstances beyond your control will make for less headaches in the future.
2008 LT40HDG28, autoclutch, debarker, stihl 026, 046, ms460 bow, 066, JD 2350 4wd w/245 loader, sawing since '94 fulltime since '98

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2019, 07:53:22 PM »
Have you had any yet?
No, not for the sawmill operation, but yes, in my other job we did it for years, decades.  It became our preferred method of hiring unskilled labor.  
I had a half a dozen myself of such contractor part time, full time, or temp employees.  Basically, the job agancy assigns an off site company supervisor who has knowledge and experience in that area, be it cleaning services, maintenance, painting, garbage disposal, property book, heavy equipment operator, pallet making, construction, concrete, repair, etc. They are also responsible for certification training, such a getting a forklift or other operators liscense, because they foot the insurance bill if the employee hurts themselves.  Starting salary is about $15 an hour, and they develop a pool of employees that they can call on a day or two notice if one of their other employees bails or needs bail.
These job agencies only get paid when their employees get paid, so they make it a point to keep employees working or getting decent help for you.  Their goal is to find a good long term employee that can stay with your operation, because then they get long term income.  
  
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline Southside

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2019, 08:04:33 PM »
I will look into that. I have no issue with starting pay of $15 if a guy is willing to learn. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Nebraska

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2019, 10:10:49 PM »
White coated is when the incoming first-year students get presented  their white  laboratory "coat" with their name tag identifying them as a veterinary student. They can ask a mentor to present it to them. So it's an honor to be thought of that way. 
Most likely since you milk cows, raise chickens, and make fancy custom pine  flooring, your white coat might have no openings in the arms and funny straps. ;) Obviously if you stop your ventures  you most likely can find work as a juggler.  Lots of qualifications there.:D :D ;D

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2019, 11:42:55 PM »
In my area, temporary employees (sawmill labor, no driving or equipment operations) is $19 p/hr to the agency.
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Bobcat S250, Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars, Grizzly 20" planer, Nyle L200M DH kiln.
If you call and my wife says "He's sawin logs", I ain't snorin'.

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Re: Done - selling everything
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2019, 12:29:35 AM »
This is why I have purposely tempered my business.    I sawmill what and when I want.   Granted, I don't depend on the sawmill business for living income.   That is covered by retirement from my previous day job.   But that's been the plan and business model for the past 15+ years since I started milling.   

I have no employees, and milling is done on my terms and my schedule.   I like it that way.   I have had several opportunities to expand and mill full time.   I did not take any of them.   I advertise, mill and kiln dry.  Last year I bought a new mill and this week I purchased my 2nd Nyle kiln.  It get delivered tomorrow.   I keep busy and now thing are picking up here in my new location after moving.   I plan  to stick with my custom milling and drying and continue to not let it drive me or my schedule.   I like having the extra cash to do things but if I'm idle and have time for other endeavors, that's great also.

If you not happy with what you are doing, then do something else...
Hidden Acres Farm
Been there, done that.   Never got caught

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Lucas Dedicated 60" Slabber


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