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Author Topic: Buying Logs  (Read 7872 times)

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Offline steveST

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Buying Logs
« on: May 12, 2003, 05:53:40 AM »
I am looking to start buying logs to saw for myself. I do not really have any practical experience in grading logs, but do know the basic grading rules.

How can I find out the prevailing price for the various species I am seeking?

Thanks!

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2003, 12:13:51 PM »
I think most local forestry agent should have current price trends.  Probably the state forestry department collects and publishes these prices.  They do in Missouri but that won’t help you much in PA.

Missouri Timber Price Trends
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Offline steveST

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2003, 03:52:31 PM »
Thanks for the info and the link....appreciate it.
Now, I need to find one for PA. Anyone?
Thanks.

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2003, 04:02:33 PM »
Steve, I could give you the names/numbers of some sawmills that buy logs, I know the one mill I sold some logs to would give you the prices over the phone for different species/grades of logs...that would give you a place to start.

Offline steveST

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2003, 04:30:25 PM »
Sure...that would be great! Do you sell logs?
Thanks.

Offline mapleveneer

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2003, 04:56:50 PM »
Steve,

Check your messages.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2003, 02:36:56 PM »
Here's the PA Timber Market Report.  Comes out of Penn State and covers most species and is broken into sections of the state.  They have it updated to 4th Quarter 2002.  1st Quarter 2003 should soon be updated.

http://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/CASDEPT/FOREST/TMR/TMR.htm

I find that a lot of mills kinda make up their own grades for logs.  You can do that if you know the yield of the logs you're trying to buy, and how much it costs to saw them.

Some mills make their log grades both defect and size dependent.  A lot will depend on what type of end market you're trying to satisfy and how many logs you need.
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2003, 07:01:38 PM »
Steve,

If I were in your position ,  I would go to different nearby mills and ask the buyer if he would let you watch him and explain how he goes about measuring and figuring the price.  Most commercial operators are very co-operative with other mills and they usually don't consider a small operator as competition.  If he isn't the owner he probably wouldn't care anyway.  Chances are it would be a boost to his ego to show his knowledge.  On the otherhand it might really pith him off but all he could do would be to ask you to leave-----or maybe throw his cant hook at you. :D

They might also be a source of a few logs if you need something special.  Mills around here usually save back their walnut and white oak stave logs and resell to buyers who come around periodically.

Noble
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Offline steveST

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2003, 07:13:06 PM »
Appreciate the help and the links...

While I do look for nicer "common logs", I am really seeking the stuff that is a real find...

Curly/Birdseye maple, curly cherry, LARGE walnut, etc.

I am willing to pay, but must not be in the right loop since I can't seem to turn up much.

Anyone?

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2003, 08:21:30 PM »
did ya try the landsacper tree removal guy route.  check the yellow pages and give them a call.  I just hooked up with a small time tree remover with a bobcat and dump truck.  he gets paid to cut and remove but can only get the log truck guys to take the best of the best.  also everytime you see a log truck make a note to contact the driver some how, though most i have met are more frendly in person than on the phone.
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2003, 09:25:34 PM »
I would have to agree with woodmills about the tree service route.  That's where I currently get all of my logs from.  I would say that about 50% of my logs are over 20" dia.   I just love getting those huge chunks of walnut crotch.  The arborist gave me strange looks at first when I had him cut me the crotch off of a walnut tree into a 5ft. log.  Gotta show him some of the purty stuff sitting out in the shed  ;D   I really like cherry crotch as well, but it checks quite a bit....walnut is just the best to cut, dry, and work with.  

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2003, 04:51:36 PM »
You're not looking for regular logs, then.  You want specialty logs.  Prices on that change from anything that other mills are paying.  You are asking them to pull out those types of logs.

Your payment schedule must reflect the expected premium or you wont have anybody pulling out specialty logs.  

What kind of volume do you expect to do?  Would it be more cost effective to just buy lumber then it is to chase the logs?

Loggers will run into a far higher amount of curly woods than most.  But, you must be able to tell which logs will be curly and which won't .  

I've cut probably 20 MMbf of oak, and I would be lucky if I got 1 Mbf of curly out of that.  

You should be in contact with your local mills.  Get a copy of the mill listings from the PA DNCR.  The local offices are at this link:  http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/dcontacts.htm

I would also consider putting an ad in the PA Market Report.  It costs $25/yr, but you get to advertise for free. http://www.hlma.org/   It goes out to quite a few loggers and mills, but not as many as it used to.

Tree services are good places to get "bargain" logs.  Lots of trash metal, though.  Prices are generally cheaper, but the quality is probably lower than woods grown.

Excavators and land clearers can also be a good source.  Trees are just junk to these guys.  Your local utility is another overlooked source.  New lines and right-of-way cleanups can offer some sources of good quality logs.
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2003, 09:31:17 PM »
Steve, you didn't mention what you'll be doing with this lumber.   You mentioned curly woods and some big 'uns...will this be for you to do woodworking, or are you planning on marketing to cabinetmakers?  

Yard trees do have a lot of metal in them....some days I get so frustrated after pushing a blade as far as I can, and then hitting metal in the first log I mill with a fresh blade  >:(    BUT, when I open up those exceptionally beautiful logs that were destined for the firewood pile I remember why I bought my mill  :)

Offline steveST

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2003, 04:21:28 AM »
Ron/ohsloco,

Thanks for the valuable tips and info...great words of wisdom, indeed.

Ron, I *do* realize I am looking for the cream, but I am willing to pay accordingly. I just am running up against it to find ANY of the particular logs I am seeking...guess I am looking in all the wrong places. ???

I have been scratching around to get some logs from some of the sources you mentioned. Of course, picking up logs from excavating sites, etc. requires a WHOLE host of new toys. How do you guys go about it?

I suppose the key to obtaining free/low-cost logs from these sites requires the ability to be able to remove them with NO hassle to the owner/excavator.

Keep the ideas coming....

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2003, 11:33:35 AM »
I move all of my logs with my 16' 7000lb. trailer.  I bought a 9000lb. Superwinch from Summit for about $750 and had it mounted to the front of the trailer.  When I'm loading logs from a lawn, I roll the log onto two pieces of 4" dia. steel pipe to keep from tearing up the yard.  The trailer ran me about $1600 new, with a few hundred more to have some pieces of steel to put on my ramps and on the beaver tail  to keep the logs from snagging.  

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2003, 03:33:25 PM »
We use knuckle boom loaders on tri-axles and flat bed trailers.  But, we're moving volume.  

The problem with the smaller trailers is it takes a lot of loads to make one good load of logs.  Your transportation costs go way up.  

It might be more cost effective to get a local logger to do some hauling.  If you're curious about loader prices, call Hubler Bros. up in Clearfield  http://www.hublerbrosinc.com/ or Lyons Equipment  http://www.lyonstimbertalk.com/

I would even consider going the Farmi route with a log loader mounted on an older truck.  http://www.valbysales.com/knbm.htm

Where abouts are you located?  I see South central PA, but that covers a lot of ground.

If you are interersted in curly maple, cherry and some high quality logs, you might want to get in contact with Appalachian Forestry Products (I think that's the right name) up in Coudersport.  They're on Rt 44 north of Coudersport.  DCNR could help you out.

They do quite a bit of log buying and logging in the tier counties.  They probably run through about 15 MMbf/yr.  They are in the business of buying and selling logs.  If there is any cream logs to sell, they would certainly do it.  I bought logs from them a number of years ago and they were very fair in price and grade.
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Offline Greg

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2003, 10:29:16 AM »
Quote
I move all of my logs with my 16' 7000lb. trailer.  I bought a 9000lb. Superwinch from Summit for about $750 and had it mounted to the front of the trailer.  When I'm loading logs from a lawn, I roll the log onto two pieces of 4" dia. steel pipe to keep from tearing up the yard.  The trailer ran me about $1600 new, with a few hundred more to have some pieces of steel to put on my ramps and on the beaver tail  to keep the logs from snagging.  


Ohsoloco,

Do you have any pics of your trailer mounted superwinch?

I am considering a similar trailer setup to pull logs out of tree service waste lots and other tight fits. A trailer mounted winch and something akin to Future Forestry Products' fetching arch looks to me like a reasonably cost effective way to move a few logs around when I need them.

Thanks,
Greg

Offline DanG

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2003, 12:37:27 PM »
Greg, I use a similar setup, but mounted the winch in the truck, behind the cab. This way, I'm not stuck using the same trailer all the time, and I can winch the logs to a better location if space is too tight to get the trailer in. I gave up some space it the truck bed, but that hasn't been a problem, so far.  I cut through the bed floor, and welded 4" channel on top of the frame, then welded 2 4" I-beams across that to mount the winch on.  I have a 10,500# Milemarker hydraulic winch. I'm really pleased with the setup. :)
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Offline Kevin_H.

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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2003, 12:54:45 PM »
I am using the same trailer and winch set up, I have the 4500lb superwinch on my 7000lb trailer. I run a chain off the back of the unit the form of a "V", The cable goes over the log and as it rolls, up the chain lifts it.

Once it is on the trailer I spin it and pull it up between the fenders. It works good but it is hard to get more than one row on.

I always use a block to double my pull'n power and have yet to find a log I could not load.
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Re: Buying Logs
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2003, 01:24:02 PM »
I use a rollback wrecker. Makes loading real easy. Just roll the bed back, tilt it up, connect the wench to the log with a choker and pull it up onto the bed. Move to the next log and repeat the process.  I get most of the logs I cut from tree trimmers and you do find a lot of interesting things.  In my classroom I have a complete porcelain insulator with bracket, 20d nails and wires still attached. I cut the end of the nails off and started to dig them out after about 3 1/2" of white pine came to the bracket and figured it was time to haul of the chain saw.  It does make for an interesting class specimen. Kid's can't believe that it was in a tree and always want to know how it got there.
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