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Author Topic: Which Thickness?  (Read 1275 times)

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Offline Horselog

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Which Thickness?
« on: March 29, 2016, 11:36:31 AM »
I'm trying to think about the pros and cons of cutting different thicknesses of grade lumber for the wholesale market.  Of course 4/4 seems to be the most prevalent, but I have found good markets for 6/4 and 8/4 which are significantly better than 4/4.

Is there any reason to not cut as thick as possible, which is the highest value?  Is there some handling problem I'm not thinking of? Maybe you get less BF recovery from a log with 8/4 vs 4/4?  What are the factors here?
Benjamin Harris
Sinking Creek Horse Logging and Wood Products
Appalachian Mountains of Virginia
horse_logger@me.com
www.sinkingcreekhorselogging.com

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Which Thickness?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 11:53:17 AM »
The market gets thin for heavier thicknesses after you get past the uppers.  I never had much of a market for 8/4 red oak beyond the F1F&btr.   If you put in too much of 1 Com, you could lose your buyer. 

When I cut heavier lumber, I usually threw more of my upper grade into it.  Not only was the price better, but by putting in the uppers I got a premium.  The balance went into 4/4.

Also, you will find that even though you have a FAS face, the heavier thicknesses can open up into a 2 Com back.  Then you have a 2 Com piece instead of 2 4/4 pieces with better grade. 

Sawing grade is a game of risk and probability.  You control your risk by knowing the probability of what the back of the board will look like before you cut it.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline YoungStump

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Re: Which Thickness?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2016, 12:10:07 PM »
 I had a nice long reply typed up but Ron beat me to it.  :) Good advice ^^^
WoodMizer LT70 DCS, Cook's Edger, production setup sawing mostly pallet cants, rr ties, and grade lumber.

Offline Horselog

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Re: Which Thickness?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 01:13:12 PM »
The market gets thin for heavier thicknesses after you get past the uppers.  I never had much of a market for 8/4 red oak beyond the F1F&btr.   If you put in too much of 1 Com, you could lose your buyer. 

When I cut heavier lumber, I usually threw more of my upper grade into it.  Not only was the price better, but by putting in the uppers I got a premium.  The balance went into 4/4.

Also, you will find that even though you have a FAS face, the heavier thicknesses can open up into a 2 Com back.  Then you have a 2 Com piece instead of 2 4/4 pieces with better grade. 

Sawing grade is a game of risk and probability.  You control your risk by knowing the probability of what the back of the board will look like before you cut it.

What do you mean by premium?  It sounds like you got extra $, but exactly what is it referring to?
Benjamin Harris
Sinking Creek Horse Logging and Wood Products
Appalachian Mountains of Virginia
horse_logger@me.com
www.sinkingcreekhorselogging.com

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Which Thickness?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 03:50:01 PM »
Premium is extra for supplying a truckload of a certain grade of lumber.  F1F & btr, 8" & wider, 12' & longer may all bring a premium.  But, it depends on the buyer.  Wholesalers will buy log run from a bunch of small mills, then they will separate the grade and lengths and gather the premium.  You won't see a premium if you're sending 1 Mbf. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline 280 rem

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Re: Which Thickness?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 10:01:24 PM »
Rons answer is spot on as usual. To get all the answers to all your questions what you REALLY need to do is buy a cheap used mill, or possibly and maybe a better route, find a mill that will custom saw a few loads of lumber for you. Very very quickly you will know ALOT. You will get solid numbers to know how profitable or not profitable, what works and what doesn't work, who to trust who not to trust, what's going to need to be done in product handling, what are good markets and are not, what logs are going to yield out in grade, and you'll even learn the lingo really quick. I started with a mill custom sawing for me then bought a cheap used mill to see if I even liked that part of it, but mainly by the time I had sent even just a few loads I knew 1000xs more than I did a month prior.
We saw walnut lumber for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks, "because that's where the money is"

Select 4221E, baker edger, cat 908 loader, Jd 548E, timberjack 230d, hood 7000 loader.


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