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Author Topic: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!  (Read 2243 times)

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Offline rubicon79

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New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« on: January 15, 2014, 08:40:55 PM »
I've always wanted to own a sawmill and I'm not quite sure why.  Over a year ago I bought a bunch of rough cut lumber from a friends dad to build my barn with and while there I saw his old Woodmizer LT40.  I asked him then if he wanted to sell it but he said no. 

Fast forward a year later I decided to call him on a whim while I was looking online at sawmills to see if he maybe changed his mind.  He said if I wanted it he'd sell it to me for $6k cash as is. 

The mill is a 1993 LT40 hydraulic but its only got 700 original hours on it.  So far all its needed is all new belts, fluids, carb rebuilt, exhaust, some rebuilt cylinders and some trim pieces.  I cut with it last week for the 1st time and it runs great. 

I'm not a wealthy man and had to write a check on a credit card to pay him for it and I absolutely hate using credit cards.  I'm trying to get out of debt and I need to justify owning the mill.  The only way I know to try something it to jump in and give it a go. 

I think I have talked to every logger around and its a little frustrating to say the least.  All the big guys don't want to fool with me since I dont have a way to unload the trailer.  All the small loggers dont seem interested in selling me anything lol but I think I have finally found some. 

I was told pine saw logs 16" and bigger are bringing $45 a ton so that's what to expect to pay.  How does that translate into board feet?  I guess the plan now is to buy a semi load, around $1200 or so, and cut it into 1x's since that seems to be what sells and try to make a few dollars.

Good plan?  I've got another friend who's interested in working with me and he's ran a sawmill in the past so he knows how but I've got to justify owning the thing.  I promised myself that if I couldnt make at least $300 a month on average with it I'd sell it.  I REALLY want to try to make this work so how?  I'm not pressed to make anything right away and willing to give it a while if necessary but I'm kinda lost as where to start.  I never thought it would be this difficult to buy logs.

I'm in Alabama also.

Thanks in advance for all the advice!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 08:52:34 PM »
rubicon79,welcome to the forum. Might be hard to cut lumber and than try to sell it. I think it's easier to have someone tell you they want 1x8x12. Seem like if you saw 1x6 someone will say,I would buy them if they was 1x8. Also the same with 10 footers,someone will want 12's and on and on it goes. I paid for my by sawing out my out buildings. Now if I could a machine that makes metal roofing cheap.  :D
But I don't know your area either.
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Offline JSwigga

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 08:55:29 PM »
You really have to study your market.  See what people around you need or are looking for.  Who is going to be your customer?  designers, woodworkers, farmers, builders?  We get a lot of business off of craigslist, so maybe you should look around on there.  See if there are other people selling lumber. 
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Offline Magicman

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 08:58:55 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, rubicon79.   :)

Everyone generally finds a niche market of some kind, and personally, I settled on custom sawing.  That is not necessarily for everyone, but it fits me.  It does take a while to get your name out to the public.

Setting up at a local seed/feed store and sawing for a couple of days may not bring in immediate income, but it helps with publicity.  Be sure to print out some business cards.  I printed my own for several years.
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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 09:04:36 PM »
Are there any sawmills near you?
Do you have access to Craigs List or a Farmers Market Bulletin that advertises lumber for sale in your area?

Find out who is buying or selling lumberlearn your market.

Find a Tree Service that may give you logs.

Advertise that you will saw logs on the half..its a start.
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline strunk57

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 09:52:19 PM »
Craigslist, Facebook, TELL EVERYONE you know, every chance you et to mention ou own a saw mill, use it. Ive got more business off Craigslist and simply talking to people than anything else. Go to the local flea market, find a way to mention you own a saw mill to the guy running the shop/booth.

As far as logs go, do you have a pickup truck? if so take every advantage to get logs as possible and stock them up. then when you get an order you have some stock to saw and options for the customer.

Do a search on craigslist for lumber, find out what others are offering at what price, maybe saw a few logs into something nobody is offering. And as MagicMan said make up some business cards and hand them to anyone who seems the least bit interested after to tell them you own a mill.

Nice choice on going with hydraulic from the go, I cant wait to upgrade.
Welcome to the FF you have come to the right place, these guys are willing to give you years of knowledge at the drop of a bat, good luck.

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Offline WDH

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 10:00:40 PM »
That pine price is about right.  Your yield will be about 5 to 5.5 tons/MBF cutting 1" lumber.  That would put your log cost in lumber terms at about $250/MBF or 25 cents per board foot.
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 10:20:49 PM »
Welcome to the Forum.  Where in Alabama are you? That would help us get a better feel for your market. 
The thing about trying to make money with a sawmill is that many times, you have to turn the sawmill off to find the money before you can make it.  What I mean is that you have to do a lot of intelligence gathering, advertising, learning the markets, learning the competition etc, in addition to running the mill.
YH

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Offline customsawyer

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 02:08:56 AM »
Welcome to the forum. Keep talking to different folks. The more you talk to or with the more will hear about you. You will never know when one of those you talked to talk to someone else that need a sawmill service or lumber.
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Offline rubicon79

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2014, 01:02:12 PM »
Thanks for all the advice!

I'm in Alexander City, AL and I've been telling everybody I know that I'm going to be doing sawing.  Talked with a few people about sawing on halves since several people seemed interested in that. 

I'm gonna get some business cards printed up next week with matching flyers to put out at Tractor Supply and the local feed store. 

I had seen an ad where another guy was charging $60 an hour for sawing and at that it would seem like there is money to be made there but I'm not confident enough in myself and the machine yet. 

Good to know that's a fair price on pine saw logs and I'm hoping he calls me back.  It's around $1300 or so for the truck load and that's a big investment for me but my buddy is willing to split it so that helps.  He's got several projects he needs the lumber for and I'm working on a shed for the sawmill right now. 

I'm gonna keep reading and learning!  Wish me luck! 

Offline Magicman

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2014, 01:26:47 PM »
Be careful with your sawing on halves.  Divide the logs. not the lumber, and do not do it unless you have a need or good sales potential for the lumber.  You could easily be in the lumber business instead of the sawing business and with little cash.
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline 21incher

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 04:19:58 PM »
Welcome to the forum. If you are going to be sawing with someone else make sure you set up the business properly to protect your interests and protect you from any liabilities should there be any problems down the road. As the owner of the equipment you will always will be the one held responsible.
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Offline scully

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 08:05:33 PM »
You won't lose a dime on that mill . Welcome to the excitement !
I bleed orange  .

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: New to me Woodmizer LT40 with a bunch of questions!
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 09:38:57 PM »
Wellcome and good luck :)
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