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Author Topic: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling  (Read 10823 times)

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Offline timerover51

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Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« on: April 29, 2011, 04:39:26 AM »
I am looking to get an idea as to how much to allow per board foot for vacuum kiln drying and then milling logs.  I can assume that the baseline log will be somewhere around 24 inch diameter and 16 feet log, with them going up to 48 inch diameter and length up to 32 feet.  The logs would have been submerged for a very long period of time.  The presumed species would be as follows:  Beech, Birch, Oak, Maple, Pine, Hickory, Ash, American Elm.  I will not know for sure what it is until we start lifting them out of the water.  I assume that we will end up with a mixture of species.

Also, would it be better to go for the largest diameter logs, the longest, or the ones that are closest to the baseline size?  Location of the logs is Lake Superior.

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 06:40:45 AM »
I would be curious to know if you have actually procured some sort of rights to salvaging logs from the great lakes. The last I had heard, this was not being allowed, or strictly regulated to the point it would be futile due to environmental and economic concerns including the destruction of fish habitat which is deemed much more important to preserve.

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 06:52:23 AM »
Why would you want to dry the log?  No one is drying logs, not even veneer operations.  I doubt you would get even drying, since the only way to get the moisture out of a log is through the ends.  Big electric bill, as well.
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 08:24:49 AM »
The last I knew, Scott Mitchen and another gentleman, who's name escapes me right now, had the only two permits issued on Lake Superior to pull logs. Scott and I had talked back in 1996 and he asked me to mill for him full time in Ashland. I passed. My wife at the time didn't want to move to Ashland. Also, last I had heard, Scott had installed a Vaccume Kiln. I seriously doubt he'd be interested in milling and/or drying wood for someone else that was pulled out of Lake Superior. I think they're pretty territorial about things.

Unless you're fully permitted, and even if you are, I'd recommend being very careful about taking logs out of Lake Superior.

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 08:39:46 AM »
Here's a video from Scott. It discusses milling and drying etc. The young guy Chris Hinton is the guy I sent up to Scott when I opted to pass on the job. Chris was building a Scandinavian full scribe log cabin for the owners of Three Lakes Equipment in Three Lakes, WI when I found him. He was an excellent log builder. Joints so tight you couldn't fit a piece of paper between them. Then in conversation he told me he was a musical instrument maker. The rest is history. Chris is shown at about 6:00 milling a birdseye maple log.





Some negative comments below the video .... ::)

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 08:50:42 AM »
This is another one of Scott's companies or affiliations. Not sure which. He's in the video with Mike Rowe though on the homepage.

http://aquatimber.com/

This page: http://aquatimber.com/pages/8  talks about their Radio Frequency Vaccume Kiln (RFV Kiln) that they use to dry the lumber.

Offline timerover51

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 01:51:27 PM »
Gentlemen and ladies, assume that the individual that I am contracting with to do his log recovery has the necessary permits for the operation.  What would be a ball park figure for drying and milling?

Offline beenthere

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 03:28:33 PM »
Then lets assume you can do it for a buck a log. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2011, 05:35:23 PM »
first thing you don't dry logs ...cut the logs to lumber first kiln dry second. ball park for those 2 services is .60 b.f.
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011, 10:11:43 PM »
A buck a log won't get it.

60 cents for milling and drying won't get it.

Milling sinker logs is a bugger. Figure a man's wage for pressure washing the logs. Fuel for the pressure washer. The cost of the pressure washer.

Milling is also not flat out milling for volume. It is slow going with that valuable wood. That takes time. Time is money. No sawyer worth his salt who knows how to mill the wood and intends to feed his family is going to cut it by the foot. Not for the typical 30 -35 cents a foot anyway.

Then figure transportation of the logs to the mill. Transportation of lumber from mill to kiln. Transportation from Kiln to wherever you intend it to go afterwards. This assumes mill and kiln are not on the same location.

I have actually read an article about individuals squaring up the sinker log into a beam by knocking the slabs off and then putting them in the Radio Frequency Vaccume Kiln and drying the beams whole. That technology is different than dehumidification or steam kilns. It can dry a beam right down into it's core without excess checking. Then the beam can be milled afterwards as you see fit.  I belive I've posted info on this here at the Forum before. Should be in my past posts and there's probably some links in them as well on the subject.

Whatever your costs are, triple them. Figure 25-30% for waste. That's been a pretty consistent figure with most of the sinker logs I've milled. There's the slabs and outside degrade on the log. Then there's usually a crease that runs the length of most logs down the center. Miscellaneous checks and cracks throughout the logs that get edge out. This is one of the reasons the final product is so expensive. It takes a LOT to get to that final product. Beautiful once you do though.  

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2011, 10:45:59 PM »
This is turning into a very interesting thread.  I have been contacted about sawing some Cypress logs that have been stored in a pond, I think for 15-20 years.  I have no idea what the customer wants out of them yet.
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Offline timerover51

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 12:36:04 AM »
I do not want to get into too many specifics, as I am still setting this up.  First, I should clarify things in that I will be handling the log recovery, while the other company involved is handling the drying, milling, and marketing.

With respect to pressure washing, would a high pressure fire hose be a reasonable substitute for the pressure washer?  The ship will have high pressure fire hoses and pumps for them.  Personnel on the manning the hoses would be part of the normal deck crew, so no added cost there.

The mill and kiln are co-located, so no transportation cost there, and I will be loading the recovered logs directly onto trailers to go to the processing area.  Transportation costs to final customer will be charged to them.

From the sound of it, if I assume the typical log to give 1/2 the computed board footage for  a standard newly cut log, I should be safe.  I have spoken with a gentleman running a sinker log recovery operation in Maine for primarily yellow birch, and his gross on 15-18 inch diameter, 16 foot log yellow birch is about $1200 per log for the recovered lumber following drying and milling.  That comes out to about $6.00 per board foot.

It does appear that we should be recovering about 40 logs a day and then delivering them to the processing mill the same day.

Magicman, I am glad that you came through all of the horrible weather safely, but I am afraid that all of the forum members in the Mississippi-Alabama-Arkansas area are going to have a lot of wood to be milling and moving.

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 08:34:27 AM »
Firehose would probably work, although I'm not familiar with the specific pressure they generate. Seems like it would be an excess amount of water though. I also wouldn't wash them while on Lake Superior. DNR might have a hissy fit. Most times, what comes out of the water has to stay out of the water and be discarded on land.

I'll toss this out there. The last "custom sawing" job I did on "sinker" logs was 22,000 bd feet. 4 different sawyers had started and stopped the project because the logs were so dirty and it was wreaking havoc on their blades causing wavy cuts etc. If they didn't quit, they were run off. I completed every last log. Had to power wash every single one. Charged the man $19,000.00 to do it. Wouldn't do it again. Nasty job. It was one of those jobs I regretted taking but once I told him I'd do it, I was on the hook to finish it. The customer was exceptionally pleased though. When I was wrapping up the job he swung by and told me "They don't make men like you anymore."

The wood is valuable. There's no doubt about that. It's just not a cake walk like cutting down a nice, fat, white pine and slicing him up. But then again, white pine doesn't bring the big bucks either.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 04:15:40 PM »
i have to disagree logdog, we have sawn sunken logs, with a debarker running in front of the blade it wasn't any problem sawing. you just saw a little slower but not much. sawing reclaimed dry w.oak or hickory is waaay harder sawing . i.m.o.
the experts think i do things wrong
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 06:04:47 PM »
It's not the "hardness" I'm referring to that affects the speed or difficulty of cutting. Take a look in my gallery and tell me if you've sawn logs like that. I've sawn sinkers that not only had mud, sand and rocks caked on the outside but they had it caked INSIDE the logs from where current had pushed it up inside. I got inside a one log with my Peterson ASM and ran into a patch of mud that was probably 12" inside the log. I'm standing there looking at the mud and it's starts to move and wiggle. The next thing I know, a 12" long lizard that I've never seen another like down here ... squirms out of the mud and scampers away. A debarker running along the outside may be fine for some logs but it's not the answer for all as it relates to the mud. I've got another thread on here that shows a big sinker heart pine that I had cut down through with the chainsaw lengthwise, then raised up in the air and dropped. Split it open like a peach. Inside it was full of mud rocks, plastic bottles etc. ....debarker isn't going to help you with that. Then too, down here, a lot of sinker have trot lines that have been nailed to them. You never know what you're going to find in them. Now Lake Superior logs shouldn't have trot lines but they could have metal left from when they were rafted together. Scan every log.

It's one thing to say that you've "sawn sinker logs". It's another thing to say, "I've sawn sinker logs every day for weeks and months at a time solid." I've done the latter. Just sayin....

Then there's time it takes to make decisions. I've had a quilted, sinker, heart pine on the saw that I opened up where we stopped when we saw the figure and shut the saw down to photo, the call Goodwin Lumber and email photos to in order to see what we should mill it into for them to buy. Burned up the whole afternoon waiting on one log. That was custom work. Now sawing by the foot, how much money would I have made messing around with that for the afternoon. Nadda! It's just a different arena. It's not blow and go.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2011, 06:14:34 PM »
sounds like  you were sawing junk wood not valuble saw logs. just saying...
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2011, 06:29:02 PM »
Here we go. This is what the inside of "some sinkers" look like:



...pressure washing ....



.....once the trash is out ....



...gettting ready to quartersaw on the mill ...



...vertical grain heart pine lumber from what a nasty looking log filled with trash....



Red Oaks Lumber ... take a look in my gallery at some of the wide Sinker Cypress I milled. $30.00/board foot and it's down the road in multi-million dollar homes big guy. They were ugly when I started, but awesome when I was done with them. You get $30.00/ board foot for those "valuable saw logs" you saw up there in WI? I doubt it.

Offline BandsawWarrior

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2011, 07:21:29 PM »
$700/1000BF for vaccume kiln dry.  People dry logs all the time for log home construction.  Then whatever your local custom sawing costs are....around here maybe $350/1000 for sawing.

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2011, 07:35:00 PM »
 
sounds like  you were sawing junk wood not valuble saw logs. just saying...
sounds like  you were sawing junk wood not valuble saw logs. just saying...

Clearly it only sounds like that to you.

I've sawn three sinker logs out of lake Huron. They took one band a piece because the sand was IN the log too.

People dry logs for log homes that is true, but they are not being dried to saw lumber out of them. Trying to dry the logs first is simply bassackwards.


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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Cost for Vacuum Kiln drying and milling
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2011, 07:46:18 PM »
i was just bringing my veiw from the few sinker logs(17214b.f)i've sawed but hey what do i know?apperantly not much.
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree


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