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Author Topic: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?  (Read 2833 times)

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Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« on: November 16, 2010, 06:21:20 PM »
I am having difficulty finding a market for the hardwood lumber I saw off from my property.  I have contacted a couple local lumber yards and they only want to deal in tractor trailer sized loads of lumber.  i have a 50 hour per week office job and not nearly enough time to spend with my WoodMizer LT28.  I am hoping to selectively harvest trees from my property and by taking it all from tree to lumber myself make out better financially. I've tried Craigslist but haven't had much luck. Is anyone else in this same boat?  What do you guys do?
2010 WoodMizer LT28, John Deere 4520 w/ FEL, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, 2007 Polaris Ranger XP 700, 127 Acres of Northeast hardwoods in New York's Whitetail country

Offline bill m

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 06:27:42 PM »
I think you need to find the markets for your lumber before you saw it. That way you know what size they want so you are not just sawing boards and hoping someone needs those sizes.
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Offline west penn

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 06:35:54 PM »
  At least two of the local sawmills in my area will buy lumber and blocking.  most want at least 3000bf  but you might check the mills in your area.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 09:04:54 PM »
Whitetail,talk to local excavators that have lowbed trailers.Trailer beds and side boards along with fence boards are the big three for me. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline redbeard

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 11:15:24 PM »
Whitetail I have same situation, I have been making my hardwood logs into cants mostly the 10'-12' logs that way your not stuck with a pile of 5/4 when someone comes along and wants 8/4 plus they can see whats in the log and makes look like high production when you can get a order out in a coulpe days or day, seems to have been working. Craigs list has been dead lately at least for me but its free and it has worked well for me in the past. Use key words like  sawmil lumber,Hardwoods, roughsawn,timbers,timber framing,



slabs,mantles,barnwood ect. lots of folks search these words.Full dimension 2"x6 and 8" has been a good seller for equip.trailer decking and corral fence. These are some actual CL pics ive used in recent ads  And move your ad around to different local areas.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 05:43:27 AM »
First off, selective harvesting can mean a couple of things.  In one persons hands, its a way of removing unwanted trees and allowing crop trees to grow.  In another persons hands its a form of high grading.  Make sure your methods meet your intentions.  A walk trough with a forester before you start would be a good place to start.

Some logs should never roll across the headblocks of a mill.  Those are veneer logs.  You will never be able to get the value out of the lumber that you can with just selling the log.  This doesn't matter if you own a mill and the labor is free. 

Lumber grades vary from one log to the next.  The art of sawing grade lumber from hardwoods is to know when to stop sawing.  That means you have to sell some blocking.  Railroad ties is a good one if the quality is fairly good.  Others are for pallet stock and vary from buyer to buyer.  They have to be separated for length. 

I have sold some small lots of grade lumber.  The quality is generally 2 Common and better.  Usually you need at least 1 Mbf.  It has to be well manufactured.  That means it has to be consistent from one end of the board to the other, and from one board to the next.  It has to be well trimmed and well edged.  You are allowed to have some bark on the boards, but not too much.  Baillie Lumber is one in your neck of the woods that may buy small lots, but I don't know how far you are from them.  4/4 lumber is usually the best seller.  Its sawed 1 1/8" thick. 

It might be wise to talk to a few of the mills in the area.  You might be able to piggy back unto a load that they are sending out.  That includes the blocking.  Some may work with you, some won't.

Sawing for speculation is a whole lot riskier than sawing for a market.  Small bandmills have an advantage to portable custom sawing and to small niche markets that the larger commercial mills don't handle.  Do your market research before you cut your trees.  It will pay larger dividends.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2010, 07:46:22 AM »
Ditto what everybody else has said, but if you are in this situation, like I am, (except that I have a steady supply of free logs regardless) you should scour your area for woodworking shops (and other places that use wood) and go to them in person, make friends with them, and give them your business card. This takes time, but as Ron pointed out, you would be better served to find your market before cutting your wood. I don't sell a single piece of wood for less than $1/bf (unless it is some very trashy stuff like slabs). My walnut I now sell for $3 / bf and my oak and maple for $1.50, cherry and ambrosia maple for $2, yellow poplar for $1.25. I do saw a little bit on speculation, but that's mainly so people will have something to look at when they come over. I often sell just a few boards at a time to my customers, but it's profitable when the boards are in the neighborhood of $10-20 apiece.

Find the people who don't think of wood as a commodity, or a necessity, but as a treasure.
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Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2010, 08:33:11 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  And I have not cut any hardwoods yet - like several of you suggested I've been trying to find buyers BEFORE I fire up the Stihl.  I do have many Hemlock trees I've skidded out to the field for the mill.  I've had fairly good luck with Craigslist selling 2x's and 1" boards with the Hemlock.  The Hemlocks have started to choke out a lot of the hardwoods.  I've been cutting a lot of the crooked Hemlocks just to reduce competition for the more valuable trees and to create ground cover for wildlife.  Ron, I understand what you are saying about different definitions of "selective harvesting".  I guess my idea was to harvest some trees throughout the property to create room for the better trees to grow, to thin the canopy to allow for more growth on the forest floor to feed wildlife and to completely clear a couple small <1 acre sections in the woods to plant food plots.  So I am working to accomplish several goals at once and trying to make money at the same time.  I know at least two of the bigger mills in the area have gone out of business in the past year or so. 
2010 WoodMizer LT28, John Deere 4520 w/ FEL, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel, 2007 Polaris Ranger XP 700, 127 Acres of Northeast hardwoods in New York's Whitetail country

Offline bull

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 08:45:25 AM »
Build yourself a time machine because your going to venture to the past or distant future to find a market for anything !!

Sideboard and truck/trailer decking was a good mark up to this spring..... "no construction = no money" you may get an order but there isn't any money to pay you for your wood !!!  All orders are now cash before cut,no inventory, everything is sold green cash up front !!! It suck's but I'm not working unless I get paid....

firewood sales are at a dead hault,getting calls requesting payment plans for delivered cord wood (yeah right ) $25.00 down then see ya!!! aint happening....

Offline r.man

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2010, 09:59:16 AM »
Whitetail, here what you are doing would be called stand improvement. Trees are removed based on canopy density, species and other factors but the long term goal is to have a better forest in the future than in the present.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which. Dec 2014

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2010, 05:10:40 PM »
When thinning, its a good idea to have a grasp of stand density and how to measure basal area.  Its pretty simple if you have either a prism or a basal area gauge.  For hardwoods, you want your stand to be no heavier than 110 sq ft/acre and no less than 60.  Softwoods can go a lot higher with 180 being the upper end.

If you go too low, you'll get some unwanted species in your understory, and you run the risk of epicormic branching on the boles.  They result in defect, and can ruin a pretty good tree.  Its important to realize that maybe you can't get all the poor quality trees in one cutting.  Sometimes it takes more, depending on past harvesting and management practices.

Putting small clearcuts in a stand works really nice, especially if you have a bunch of either very mature wood or poor quality wood.  But, you should have a decent seed source nearby or have adequate advanced regeneration.  Sometimes that would call for either a seed tree cut or a shelterwood cut, depending on species.  Adequate regeneration is considered to be 1000 seedlings per acre.  You take a 1/100th acre plot to get that number.  A circular plot 11.8 feet in radius.  You need 10 seedlings in that plot to get to 1000/acre.

Getting rid of the hemlock can be a good start.  Quite often there are small seedlings that might take over the area.  Red oak is not as good as it has been, so they can be good crop trees.  Cherry is another one that will appreciate in value quite nicely.  Hard maple is good right now, and should stay good for several more years. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline True North

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Re: Where is the market for the hardwood lumber I saw?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 06:53:04 PM »
Check with larger mills in your area.  We worked with a larger local mill on some hardwood from our property this summer.  We cut red oak, and the grader from their mill even helped me saw for a day to show me how to saw for grade.  I learned a ton!  Then, we worked it out to where we could bring it over to their mill when they could fit it on one of their loads.  They ran it through their cut-off system for length, and then graded it on thier chains.  Then they just cut us a check accordingly.  It worked quite well.


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