Oak Logs for Free on Craigs List

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Blog entry by tmblweed0429 posted 05-26-2009 03:16 AM 1704 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today I picked up a whole pickup bed full of oak tree trunks someone was giving away. The lengths were between 25 to 50 inches long, and diameters ranging from 6 1/2 inches to 15 inches. Using an online calculator for computing volume of a cylinder I was able to determine I had a total of 135 board feet. So…once I run this through my Alaskan Mk III portable saw mill and my band saw I calculate that at $7.00 per board foot for oak I have a little over $900 worth of oak lumber.

If my calculations are correct, then I am very turned on by all this free wood!

Does that mean that free hardwood should be categorized under the Erotic Services section on Craig’s List? ;-)

-- Trent Tidmore, Grapevine, TX

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117113 posts in 3598 days

#1 posted 05-26-2009 03:27 AM

I wish they shipped free also.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 3317 days

#2 posted 05-26-2009 03:55 AM

Hi Trent
Nice work
I’m a little newer than you by a bit. I’m all ways in line for free wood
I would like to hear and see more about the Alaskan Mk III portable saw mill attachment.
I could use one on those here in Costa Rica.
Nice lodge

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18283 posts in 3697 days

#3 posted 05-26-2009 06:46 AM

I have noticed there is a lot of free wood of various quality on Craigslist lately. Some of it still standing right next to a house ;-))

Skarp, I tried riving a short piece of maple firewood this weekend. It doesn’t work!! Even short straight grained maple seems to split off to the sides. Is there any other species that this works on well besides oak?

Looks like that is more work than most will be willing to do by hand!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3547 days

#4 posted 05-26-2009 03:41 PM

$7 a foot for s2s select sounds insanely high, unless you shop at home depot. What type of oak is it? Red oak can be found for $1-$2 a foot if you know where to look. Using the volume of a cylinder isn’t accurate for figuring board feet. The doyle scale will be more accurate.

That said, it is fun to mill your own wood, even if sometimes the savings are slim when you figure how much time you will spend cutting, drying, then planing the material to get it to a workable state.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View tmblweed0429's profile


42 posts in 3332 days

#5 posted 05-27-2009 01:42 PM

Thanks Julian. I calcuated 135 board feet using the cylinder volume approach, but that cool calculator (thanks again!) calculated 226 board feet using the Doyle method. What a great tool. I will be using that a lot for future projects. I went to Brazos Wood Products in Arlington, TX and their quarter sawn white oak is $8.50 per board foot. I just assumed for the sake of discussion that regular oak would be a couple of dollars less than that. I do think I have a little red oak in there.
Hey Topamax, you are right about Craigslist. I can’t believe I had one homeowner who was willing to let me “try” and cut down a huge oak tree that had literally grown into the side of the house and was damaging the edge of the garage roof. I would never let just any Bozo with a chainsaw near my house.

-- Trent Tidmore, Grapevine, TX

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 3861 days

#6 posted 05-27-2009 09:58 PM

Here in southeast Missourri, we have literally thousands of dollars worth of oak and everything else laying on the ground. I have 14 big oaks down within 100 feet of my house. The ground was saturated from non-stop rain, and a few weeks ago we got 70+ sustained winds (they said it was like an inland hurricane).
Most trees that went down didn’t break off since they were standing in slop…they just uprooted. The sawmills are going to be busy this summer!

-- Jon

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3331 days

#7 posted 05-28-2009 05:38 AM

Welcome to the group of us that consider ourselves to be ‘Urban Loggers’ I have found thousands of board feet of many types of exotic lumber by harvesting city trees. I have black locust, black [claro] walnut, cork oak, redwood, manzanite, madrone and several others. I have never paid money for the logs. But of course, paid to have it milled into 4/4, 6/4, 8/4, and 12/4 stock.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18283 posts in 3697 days

#8 posted 05-28-2009 06:28 AM

tmblweed, I guess some people haven’t seen a tree on a house ;-)) They must think anyone with a chain saw knows what he’s doing :-))

A friend ask me to help winch one down right next to his mobile home. I told him I could start it in the right direction with my winch, but once it started down, the cable couldn’t keep up. I told him to cut more on the mobile side than the away side if he didn’t get it straight so it would roll away. He decided to play it safe and cut more on the away side!! I had tension to start it down, but his back cut rolled it right onto the end of the mobile home:-(( If I hadn’t started it, it would have went rolled around into the middle. Fortunately it was small enough the damage was minimal.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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