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Author Topic: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?  (Read 5991 times)

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Offline Whitetail_Addict

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What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« on: January 10, 2011, 06:14:51 PM »
I am looking into the possibility of purchasing a planer/moulder like the Woodmaster 718 to make a more unique product to sell.  I've been having mediocre results selling rough sawn boards and thought I might increase my business opportunities and profits by making and selling moulding and flooring.  Now for the good news and the bad news.  The bad news is I don't have a clue about how to make moulding or flooring.  The good news however is that I'm sure some of you guys on here can educate me.   ;D ;D
I was thinking of sawing the boards I need over the next few months, drying them and then putting the moulder to work.  I looked at the option of purchasing a shaper to make moulding and flooring but I think the Woodmaster would be faster and easier. I'm really not sure...
Thankfully I have time to research the best machine and save some money to purchase it.  Like I said, right now I would like to start sawing logs and wondered what size boards I should be making. 
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2011, 07:27:11 PM »
Ive not made flooring and molding either.  But my guess is that if you try to duplicate standard available product, you wont be able to compete with their prices. 

If you make custom moldings and flooring products, then you may find a niche markets where someone is restoring old home or office buildings.  But the problem here is,  youll end up with custom cutters and setups for each project.

You may want to start out with offering the service of planning, sanding, straight line ripping, and simple tongue and groove and shiplap, etc.  Often the hobby woodworker does not have the equipment to do these processes. 

Just my thoughts.  ::)
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Offline Ohio_Bill

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2011, 07:35:21 PM »
Logosol  make several  machines that would do the trick .  They are a sponsor , so just click on the left and you can see the products .
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Offline Dave_

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2011, 07:42:54 PM »
The Woodmaster won't really pass muster for trying to compete in the moulding market.  Like Bibbyman said, it is very difficult to compete with the big players in the millwork world.  We made arched moulding, at one time, in order to attempt a niche market.  We could also run straight moulding.  It is customary to have the customer pay an upcharge for custom cutter profiles.  If you want to play in the moulding market, you have to get something on the scale of a Weinig.  But for home use and limited custom work, the Woodmaster could work.  We use a Woodmaster which we have transformed into a gang rip saw.  It works awesome for that application.

Offline laffs

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2011, 07:52:44 PM »
theres a lot to think about when you start considering a planer. you will need storage sheds for rough and finnished product.
how about a kiln,air drying will only take you so far. your gonna need a way to move lumber, like a forklift a log loader log suppliers and maybe a trimsaw. its a lot to take in. i  know im in the same boat.
id look at something like novelty paneling. like bibby said small guy doing flooring and moulding would have to be custom work.
but i may be wrong maybe where you live you could make a killing on flooring.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2011, 08:05:47 PM »
This might be a long story.  A good number of years ago, I bought a wood stove off of a dealer.  He asked me if I knew where he could get firewood.  Being a forester and having some timber sales in the area, I told him I knew where there was some topwood that he could cut.  But, he would need something better than a farm tractor to get out the wood.  

Not a problem, he went out and bought a 4WD loader.  But, that proved to be of little use around the woods.  I talked him into getting a skidder.  And he was content for a few years.

When markets got bad due to high interest rates, I went out to cutting for him.  He was getting into nicer wood, so I told him he should sell some of the bigger logs for sawlogs.  So, he did.  And he was content for a little while.

His next step was to get a sawmill.  Afterall, if the sawmiller could make money on his logs, surely he could.  And he was content for a little while.  Firewood was no longer as much of a concern.  He eventually abandoned that end to the weekenders or the guys with processors and mountains of wood.

Then he went into the pallet business.  He needed to keep on adding onto the operation to add that value added.  And he was content for a while.  But, the pallet business proved to be lots of work, especially when you had to do the logging and the sawing and the pallet building.  

Then he went to putting in kilns, and moulders, and all the things you needed to have a nice little woodworking business.  He still logs, but not as much.  But, he makes flooring and custom doors and windows.  He doesn't saw as much wood either.  The last I talked to him, it was about 30 Mbf/mo.  Its strictly a father and son operation.

When they went into the custom end, they had a nice display that they took to all the builder's shows.  They were there for a good number of years until they built up a nice clientele.  They visited builders and they've continued that way for about 20 years.  They seem to be content.

A lot of times it isn't the equipment you have as it is the market you're trying to address.  Putting in a sawmill will not guarantee that you can sell the wood.  Putting in moulders and straight line ripsaws will not guarantee that you can sell flooring and the like.  Figure out the market you want to address, research it in your area, and see if there is a need and whether you can match the price.  You might find that you can do just as well by addressing the needs of local cabinet makers and woodworking shops.  You might find that buying all that equipment is not the answer to moving wood.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline bugdust

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2011, 08:19:18 PM »
I made the WOODMASTER 718 purchase 3 years ago with plans of making mouldings and tongue and groove flooring for sale. My first problem was my wife wanted her moulding and flooring first ...... she still doesn't have all the moulding and zero on the flooring. Of course until recently my day job kept me from accomplishing most of my goals. Now that I'm retired I probably still won't get it all done. Down-turn in new building construction has put a major dent in niches we are looking for. Bibbyman and Dave hit the nail on the head, it's really tough competing with the big warehouses. If construction was better your chances of hitting the market would be much better. As for me, I'm satisified in offering special picture frame designs, unique moulding match-up, and a little moulding or flooring jobs on the side. Wifey is still at the top of the list. By the way, WOODMASTER makes a great machine, and it's made in the USA.
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Offline Whitetail_Addict

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2011, 08:29:27 PM »
I probably should have mentioned this is just a part time endeavor for me.  I already have a lot of the really expensive stuff -forested land, Diesel pickup, trailer, 4WD tractor w/ loader, sawmill and chainsaws.  I'm buying "toys" to use while enjoying my free time, not diving head first into a business that I NEED to earn a living.  My wife resigned from her job so that she could stay at home with our baby daughter so I figured I would start a small business to help supplement our income.  So our small 130 acre farm and my WM LT28 have been working well together allowing me to harvest trees, cut logs and saw and sell lumber.  I've also done a hand-full of jobs for other people sawing their logs.

This past summer I sawed all the lumber to frame up a 40x60 barn to keep the mill, lumber and some farm equipment in.  The lumber is stickered and covered and as soon as the ground thaws I will get going on that project.  After that maybe a solar kiln.....  Most of my sawing happens on the weekends as I have a full time position at a natural gas transmission/distribution company.  I did spend an hour or so this evening planing and sawing some boards to length on the miter saw.

So my long-winded explanation is basically that I'm not trying to operate this business full time.  We have hopes to build a house in the near future so all of the equipment I buy will be put to good use and if I can also use it to make a few bucks on the side I'd be thrilled.  I have an LT28 and am considering purchasing a Woodmaster 718 - I'm not looking at a high volume production operation... more of a hobby that pays a bit.   ;)

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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2011, 08:33:16 PM »
Bugdust, your story reminds me of my story.  We built a new house back in the early-80s.  The interest rate kept going up and up.  Long story long  we ran out of money and just couldnt afford good solid doors and trim.  We instead bought pre-hung and framed cheap-o paper doors and not any mopboards, etc.   We had the drywallers do a drywall return on all the windows.

The flood of 93 washed out a lot of young walnut trees at the bend of the river on our farm.  Idea!  Buy a bandmill (ended up Wood-Mizer) saw up the walnut and built solid doors and make trim.  End of story  on third Wood-Mizer, two planers, jointer, shaper, and other woodwork equipment and still no solid doors or trim. (Except Mary did trim out the door in the entry hall a couple of years back.)
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2011, 08:40:02 PM »
Logosol  make several  machines that would do the trick .  They are a sponsor , so just click on the left and you can see the products .

WoodMaster is another company of TimberKing.  Or ... TimberKing is a company of Woodmaster?

 



Wood-Mizer and Baker also market molding machines.  CMS has used (maybe new?) machines.
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Offline bugdust

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2011, 08:45:41 PM »
One thing about it Bibbyman, with all my "toys" and extra time, now I can't make any excuses. Whitetail, I just retired after 37 years with a natural gas production/pipeline company. I too only had evenings and weekends to work my 135 acres and play sawyer. Boy am I having a ball now!  smile_banjoman
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 08:48:31 PM »
One thing about it Bibbyman, with all my "toys" and extra time, now I can't make any excuses. Whitetail, I just retired after 37 years with a natural gas production/pipeline company. I too only had evenings and weekends to work my 135 acres and play sawyer. Boy am I having a ball now!  smile_banjoman

Hope I can say, "I'm having a ball.", when I'm 72!   :D
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Offline bugdust

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2011, 08:55:09 PM »
I only hope to live to 72 and have enough saw dust in  my veins to make a good totum pole.   :-\
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Offline D Hagens

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2011, 08:59:08 PM »
 There's a guy out here in the valley that has a saw and everything that comes off of it he mills in to flooring. He won't cut your logs nor will he sell anything but his flooring product. Everything is the same, 1x6 t&g planks, that's all he mills and he's always busy to the point that you pretty much have to order months ahead.
 His operation is bare bones but the product is awesome.
 My opinion in business is if you want it bad enough then chase the idea and with enough hard work your dreams will come true. :)

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2011, 09:47:44 PM »
it's a catch 22 you need to find markets first but, to find markets you have to show samples and pictures of projects. the way i started was "i have a dream" i want to plane lumber, did i really know what i was doing? NOO WAY. so i reserached planers and bought a 4 sided planer,started advertising, picking up a little work but, people were asking if i dried lumber? no but i reaserched kilns, bought a nyle kiln. started advertising that also, man i'm going somewhwere but not very fast.now winter is coming i need a building to have this all in so i reaserched buildings, built one.
by the end of the first year i spent over $100,000 and was scared sh**less not really having a clear path as the direction to go but, now i have samples and pictures also i now could talk like i finally new what i was doing. the year now was 1998 from this point foward things just exploded, spending m oney on this equipment and that expansion.total invested 1/2 million now down to owing less than $40,000
 my little "i have a dream"really did work out so far but not without alot of hard work with very little pay along the way in the early days. the only advice i can give anyone you have to spend money to make money.
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Offline Planman1954

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2011, 09:57:51 PM »
I have a question...since I have considered the same question asked here. Isn't it imperative that the stock for making molding be kiln dried? If it is air dried, there will be bug issues as well as sap problems. If I get into production in the future, I plan on using pineywoods solar kiln design, which reaches 160 degrees. Seems I remember hearing about a job around here done with air dried molding, and the carpenter took it back out after it was installed due to problems. Don't know what they were, but it puts the fear into using air dried stock. Any comments?
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Offline Dave_

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 01:02:53 AM »
I'm a cabinet maker/finish carpenter by trade and, from my perspective (and the perspective of my fellow tradesmen) our game is about consistent quality and supply.  We have local black oak, white oak, some black walnut, madrone, and all the firs/pines.  None of our local wood is taken seriously when it comes to moulding and cabinet lumber.  Northeastern red oak gets almost all the oak business and hemlock is the wood of choice for "stain grade" running trim.  I know many outfits who, through the years, have tried to make a go of our local hardwoods and gone broke.  I know a few guys now who are trying to compete in the softwood market and are going broke.  I don't want to be a gloom cloud kinda guy, but reality is reality here.  I suggest you do what you do and do it well before you venture out into something you have not tried.  A hobby approach to it with little cash outlay might work, but in this economy, I'd be very reluctant to expand into something that is not core to my operation.  Just my .002

Offline redbeard

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 01:25:57 AM »
I will soon pull the trigger on a 725 woodmaster (spiral index head) three sided planner moulder with all the options, been looking at them for a couple years now. I have gotten by with my  shop equip just fine but it is a work out flipping 2x6 and long lengths making T n G ect. Log siding with a tongue n groove is of high interest to me also.  As far as Air dried lumber for top notch trim and finish products, It all comes down to what and how the logs were sawn and the quality of the lumber.I work with both KD and AD i prefer my AD lumber. I strive real hard on the word custom in my business name I find the best parts in the logs I quarter saw or flat saw, Make FOC Posts n Beams. If your the small time sawyer like I'am your niche is the quality wood that can't be had at Box store and local lumber yard. Mainly the stuff that you have to order or they just don't mill it. For guys in my area its 1x10 or 1x12 douglas fir used mainly for board n bat siding.And the quarter sawn 4/4 and 8/8 Doug fir VG.



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Offline Handy Andy

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 05:20:28 AM »
  If I were a little younger, think I could almost make a living doing custom furniture and cabinets. More people asking about furniture lately. I just say talk to me next winter, as there is just so much work on the farm during good weather.  Always wanted a shop, managed to get one put together a few years ago, now not enough time to build all the stuff I'd like. Main thing  was to build chests and tables for my daughter and granddaughters.  Made a mantle for a guy, he saw some bedside tables I was building,  wanted some, he's gotten tired of waiting. Did a kitchen for a guy who was trying to sell his old house, finally got it sold, and now he's calling about a kitchen table.  Never built one in my life. Putting that one off.   I bought a mill because I have trees, figured I could afford the shop and tools if I didn't have to buy lumber. Now I have lots of tools, and keep buying more. Nephew is building a new house, he wants walnut cabinets.  Can't put that one off.
My name's Jim, I like wood.

Offline jdtuttle

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Re: What if I wanted to saw moulding and flooring?
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 06:39:38 AM »
Quote
I probably should have mentioned this is just a part time endeavor for me.  I already have a lot of the really expensive stuff -forested land, Diesel pickup, trailer, 4WD tractor w/ loader, sawmill and chainsaws.  I'm buying "toys" to use while enjoying my free time, not diving head first into a business that I NEED to earn a living.

You're where I was a couple years ago. I purchased the 718 to plane boards & make moulding. It paid for itself in a year. I live close to Ithaca & know lots of contractors so I get custom orders. I soon discoverd the woodmaster takes along time to make moulding. First you skip plane everything to the same thickness. Then you install the multiple sawblades on the 718 & rip all the blanks to width. Next you change to the moulding head & do the back cut (releif on back of moulding). Then you change the knives & make your final run for the front profile. The machine is great but if you want production you need more. I added the Logosol PH260 & now use the woodmaster to skip plane, straightline rip & make blanks for the 260. If your interested in making moulding go ahead & start with the woodmaster. It's a tool you'll always have a use even if you don't make moulding.
Jim
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