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Anyone harvest their own species of trees?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 06-13-2015 08:25 PM 1002 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1377 posts in 1494 days


06-13-2015 08:25 PM

I am still in the midst of my dovetail exercises (the Narex dovetail chisel and Narex skew chisels…wow…very glad I bought them. Gonna have to make a review post about them).
A friend of mine was surprised at the intensity and passion I have shown wood working (he called it “healthy” for me). While discussing stuff, he asked me if I harvest my own trees. That got me thinking…
I live in area of Reno, NV. Which is butt up against Lake Tahoe and Sierra Mountain Range. LOTS and LOTS of fallen trees I see when I drive around the mountain range. Also, I see posts here on LJ’s about acquiring a maple or oak tree that was cut down in the neighborhood via tree removal services. Does anyone have experience talking to their local tree removal companies about taking or purchasing the removed trees? Or even more expansive… work with federal / local govt about harvesting trees in the wilderness? Just thinking out loud this Saturday…
(would be cool to purchase a maple log / tree or such, instead of going to the hardwood lumber dealer once in awhile)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"


14 replies so far

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1979 days


#1 posted 06-13-2015 09:21 PM

The biggest problem is the weight of the tree and the logistics of getting it moved to a bandsaw or sawmill that will agree plank it.
Even if you have a way to load hundreds of pounds of lumber onto a trailer at one shot, lots of sawmills won’t touch brought in trees due to the possible issue with nails and other things people pound into trees over the lifetime of the tree. It’s very hard to convince a sawmill that the tree you just brought in came from a virgin forest that never had some camper drive some stakes into it for a hammock, or it was never in a backyard or other place where it might have metal in it. Metal detectors only go so deep. Blades are too expensive and time consuming to change to be taking on odd logs. Some might, most don’t.

If you own your own bandsaw, on the other hand, that eliminates a lot of issues…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1494 days


#2 posted 06-13-2015 09:24 PM

Thanks Paul. That makes alot of sense and understandable. I am researching local (somewhat local) lumber mills right now. Might call them through the week and ask questions about slabs, species, etc. I am just wondering of different avenues of lumber collecting from start to finish, other than relying on HD, hardwood supplier, etc.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#3 posted 06-13-2015 10:13 PM

After looking to hire some people to cut some trees on our property we were taken down, I decided to get my own sawmill from Harbor Freight. It’s actually done well and I have done some mods to it to make it work better and increase capacity.

People who have portable sawmills usually will work with you on bringing in your own trees. That’s what they do.
They usually have a metal detector and then, most have a price they charge for each blade that’s ruined if they do hit metal or other foreign objects.

The trick, dealing with landscapers and people who take down trees for a living is convincing them you’re doing them a service. Most still think if someone wants the trees they’re cutting down, they can make exta money off of it.

The main thing to convince them is that if you didn’t take it, they’re going to have to transport it to the dump and have to pay the fees and costs associated with that. Most don’t see it that way. It’s like a lot of people who think, if there’s interest then that means they have something that’s worth a lot of money because they “hear” lumber prices are going up so they want to charge a lot of money for you to take their trash off their hands.

After you clear that hurdle, you have to move the logs. I have a 1 ton dually with a 30’ gooseneck and a few front loaders which I already have as a farmer. I can run over there and get loaded and bring them back to my shop easy enough.
If you don’t have a truck or trailer you can try to rent one or just negotiate with the landscapers to deliver it for you.
Remember, they’ve already charged the owner of the house that they’re doing work for the cost of a crane, loader, transportation and disposal of the trees. It’s really not costing them anything more unless the sawmill is far away but ponying up a little extra for the trouble isn’t a bad idea.

Kind of a lot to deal with if you’re just getting into this but it can be worth it if you put some work into it.
May not be profitable but you can really end up with some unique lumber to play with.

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1494 days


#4 posted 06-13-2015 10:19 PM

Thanks Woody. I too was thinking of local tree removal services to contact and ask questions. Currently, I only have a 2001 Dodge 1500 with no trailer. Kinda been waiting for spendy items that I can use against my soon to be business licence. Harbor Freight saw mill… hmm. Going to have to look it up.
It just seems…”curious” to look into all of this, because I like to try to do things start to finish, just to gain the experience, even if that experience is fleeting or short lived.

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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Monte Pittman

22023 posts in 1803 days


#5 posted 06-13-2015 10:21 PM

I cut all of my own wood. That’s half the fun!

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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Woodmaster1

737 posts in 2052 days


#6 posted 06-13-2015 10:21 PM

A friend of mine had a big ash tree cut down next to their house. The person they contacted with a portable sawmill could not cut the tree up because it might crush the sewer lines. The guy wanted the tree but did not want chance it. The tree was at least 4’ in diameter with no rot in the middle. So now it is going to wind up as firewood, what a shame.

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1494 days


#7 posted 06-13-2015 10:22 PM

Monte… what do you use to cut your own wood? saw mill? what do you use to transport it?

WoodMaster.. is there no way to salvage portions of the ash tree?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#8 posted 06-13-2015 10:27 PM



Thanks Woody. I too was thinking of local tree removal services to contact and ask questions. Currently, I only have a 2001 Dodge 1500 with no trailer. Kinda been waiting for spendy items that I can use against my soon to be business licence. Harbor Freight saw mill… hmm. Going to have to look it up.
It just seems…”curious” to look into all of this, because I like to try to do things start to finish, just to gain the experience, even if that experience is fleeting or short lived.

- Holbs

With a coupon you can get it around $1600 I think. I did a lot of research on it beforehand along with others and it’s really well built. Upgrades I have done is put a larger engine on it, the largest one that HF sells and put a much larger reservoir on top for lubricant.
I also redrilled the handle and raised it so the blade can raise higher and then had a machine shop cut and weld the blade guides wider apart to get a few more inches of cutting capacity.
I also mounted it on a trailer in case I needed to move it around and also to make the cutting capacity longer.

Eventually I will upgrade to a larger sawmill. I have found that once you buy something, you will always find the need for a larger capacity. Mainly for larger trunks.
Also, you’ll want to get a good chainsaw for trimming but also to cut down logs and rip them to make them fit in some cases.

Then, don’t forget blades. This can be an ongoing and sometimes expensive cost. I live in the desert, so I’m cutting very hard woods and trees that have been sandblasted over many, many years. I can go through a blade cutting 1 to 1.5 trunks easily. I recommend Woodmizer blades, as they have great customer support and helped guide me into the best blades for what I do.

I just bought a sharpener and blade setter to do my own sharpening because noone locally will do that.

If you’re a start to finish kind of person, go for it if it’s affordable. Any questions, feel free to shoot me a message.

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

78 posts in 543 days


#9 posted 06-13-2015 11:19 PM

To the Ones that might be seeking a market for hardwood lumber from their sawmill:
I would like to be contacted regarding your excess product. Additionally, the decently sized (8”) side off cuts of limb crotches, burls and bowl blanks are sought. Contact me with description, asking price and freight information at jacksdvds@yahoo.com and I will reply even with a negative response. Species wanted are fruit and nut, oaks, maples, most other hardwoods, and tightly figured, knotty and interesting softwoods in rounds or lumber.
My uses include stock for lathe turning so shorter lengths 12 – 48 ” long, 1”+ to 3” or 6” thickness and 4”-12 ” wide for boards and planks.

-- "Now we are getting no where, thanks to me"

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Holbs

1377 posts in 1494 days


#10 posted 06-13-2015 11:34 PM

Reading up on other LJ forum posts about portable saw mills… it’s a doable thing to consider for the ROI of a $3k – $8k machine if near selected species of trees (I’ll forgo consideration of the chainsaw saw mill for now). Of course, this might be a little dreamy of going out in the woods with a federal / state permit to salvage my own wood, cut & slice it, dry it, etc. But I said the same thing about it being dreamy of owning my own 15” planer and 8” jointer for under $200 :)

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#11 posted 06-14-2015 12:09 AM

I too cut and mill my own lumber with a WoodMizer mill I found on CL. The biggest problem I have with tree services is convincing them not to cut the trunks into short lengths that can be loaded by hand. Then the next problem is getting 8’ logs loaded on my truck or trailer. I currently use a small 12 volt winch if a front end loader is not available.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1040 days


#12 posted 06-14-2015 12:46 AM

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2155 days


#13 posted 06-14-2015 01:05 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm5PDKCERUE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I tried the chainsaw route but it was too slow and too labor intensive for this old man. Here’s a vid of my WoodMizer in action to compare with the chainsaw mill above.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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AZWoody

697 posts in 689 days


#14 posted 06-14-2015 02:18 AM



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm5PDKCERUE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I tried the chainsaw route but it was too slow and too labor intensive for this old man. Here s a vid of my WoodMizer in action to compare with the chainsaw mill above.

- gfadvm

I’m thinking of getting a chainsaw mill to supplement the bandsaw mill i have right now.

Use it to quarter logs that are too large to cut with what I have now.

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