I knew of a sawmill that was only about a minute’s drive from one of the places we used to live when I was getting my Master’s degree. Since I had to go down to the university on some business the other day, I thought I’d pay the sawmill a visit and get the low-down on what was available. I also brought my camera and got away with taking a handful of pictures, although I felt a bit CIA-ish doing it. All pictures have a full-screen version if you click on them. So enjoy!
From the road, all you can see is wood. It’s stacked really high, and they have so much of it that they store some of it right out there in the open. The guard shack is on the left side of the gate, and after telling them I wanted to look at wood (is that the passphrase?), they opened up and let me in.
And here we are. The top part of the sign below is in Malay, and simply says, “Bangi Board Factory Sdn Bhd” (the Sdn Bhd stands for Sendirian Berhad and I think is similar to Inc. or Ltd.). Bangi is the name of a town (which, oddly, is one town south of where this is). The bottom line is in Chinese, and it says, “Measure once, cut once. Then you’ll be back for more.” Just kidding. I don’t know Chinese.
When I drove in, I was just amazed at the massive amount of wood they have here. It is a sawmill, though, so what should I expect? You can even see some former trees just waiting patiently there to the left of the shelter.
Here is a better look at those logs:
So they’ve got spacers in between the boards to help dry them out, but they are apparently counting on our recent dry spell to continue…
And here is what it looks like under the roof. Isn’t it beautiful?
Now for some details. All of the wood here is meranti – 100% of it. I’ve talked a lot about kempas, since that’s what I bought for my bench top. But meranti is much more common here in Malaysia. As far as size, they have 4/4 boards as small as 1×6 and as large as 1×13 (or whatever they could get out of the log). They also have 8/4 and 12/4 boards of progressively narrower widths, obviously.
As far as the prices, I’ll give you what I know and you let me know if my board foot calculations are correct. The amount I chose was how much I thought I’d need for my bench top.
30’ of 3×4 (30 bf): $2.67/ft ($2.67/bf)
25’ of 3×5 (31.25 bf): $3.61/ft ($2.88/bf)
So how are those prices?