LumberJocks

First trip to a saw mill

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by jeffswildwood posted 07-31-2015 12:31 PM 1263 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1330 posts in 1443 days


07-31-2015 12:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw mill trip

I made my first trip to a saw mill yesterday. Quite interesting! I went to see the cost of cutting some silver maple trees that had fallen in my yard into boards. Cost, $45,00 per hour. Does this sound about right? I told him it won’t be a lot and he said he gets done rather quickly.

While there he showed me his “personal” pieces of wood. Beautiful spalted lumber, walnut that is going to be a mantle, oak, cherry, maple, the list goes on. At this point I thought he would ask me to leave because I was drooling on his lumber! But no….

Before I left he gave me a beautiful streaked piece of poplar, four very dark pieces of ceder, and two slabs of cherry! All 4/4 and beautiful. A few flaws but easy to work around.

I have a friend that said he would haul the wood for me. I may make a deal, “cut all you can in one hour and trade the rest for some already processed wood. (loving that cherry).

Wonderful day and I did learn a lot about wood processing. The guy was a joy to talk to, taking time to explain things to me and show me his stock that I am sure I could purchase in the future.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".


20 replies so far

View CB_Cohick's profile

CB_Cohick

460 posts in 717 days


#1 posted 07-31-2015 12:37 PM

That sounds like a good relationship to cultivate.

-- Chris - Would work, but I'm too busy reading about woodwork.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#2 posted 07-31-2015 12:40 PM

$45/hour sounds like a pretty good deal to me. The two sawyers I buy from would both charge more than that and I think they are very reasonable. Keep in mind that pretty much every yard tree has metal in it. If the sawyer hits some metal and trashes a blade, you will be expected to pay for that blade, in addition to the hourly rate.

You can try to barter for doing the job for a portion of the wood—some sawyers will work on a 50/50 split, or similar. They cut all the lumber and keep half and you get half. The only potential problem I see is that silver maple doesn’t have a lot of commercial value, so he may not want to do that. All you can do is ask and see what he says.

At the very least, sounds like you made a new contact as a source for lumber. That’s a good day all in itself.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View ChrisBarrett's profile

ChrisBarrett

99 posts in 523 days


#3 posted 07-31-2015 01:06 PM

Why does yard tree have metal in it? Just from people nailing things to it over the years?

View ChrisBarrett's profile

ChrisBarrett

99 posts in 523 days


#4 posted 07-31-2015 01:08 PM

Just for comparison, a local mill charges $125 an hour, with a 2 hour minimum.

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5241 posts in 1509 days


#5 posted 07-31-2015 05:40 PM

I have no idea what the average cost should be but $45/hr sounds great to me. Sounds like you have some options you may deal for. Why not, go for it Jeff. You sure don’t get much in lumber for $100 these days.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View SirIrb's profile

SirIrb

1239 posts in 696 days


#6 posted 07-31-2015 05:44 PM

Just a hint: find out his birthday and make sure he gets a Christmas card. This is the guy—as previously stated—you want a good relationship with.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2533 days


#7 posted 07-31-2015 06:41 PM

I’m with the others good price. Now I say that assuming he knows what he’s doing. I’ve seen a couple bad ones that ruined some trees because they slapped and sliced. It does take some knowledge.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1330 posts in 1443 days


#8 posted 07-31-2015 08:07 PM

Looks like I hit a home run on this one! Not to mention it’s only a 15 minuet drive from my house. When the cutting is done, I’m going to check his prices for some of that spalted maple, walnut and cherry! Thanks guys for your opinion. Guess I may have to invest in a dewalt planer now. :)

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View JayT's profile

JayT

4785 posts in 1677 days


#9 posted 07-31-2015 08:18 PM



Why does yard tree have metal in it? Just from people nailing things to it over the years?

- ChrisBarrett

That’s the most common issue—nails, fence staples & screws. BB’s & slingshot balls (I know not as much anymore, but 50 years ago when the tree was young, maybe), wire or chains that were grown over, and saw blades (hand saws) are also possible, if not probable. Heck, I know of hammer and hatchet heads that have been found inside trees when they’ve been cut and I’m sure there are instances of even weirder stuff.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1179 days


#10 posted 07-31-2015 08:40 PM

Yes that sounds like your new, best friend!
Just a quriosity to add to JayT’s list above: Nearby my house there is a road tree that has a whole motorcycle grown into is a few meters up…

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1330 posts in 1443 days


#11 posted 07-31-2015 09:41 PM

We had a maple tree cut down by PSA next to the road in my yard that had a brick in it. Drove their crew crazy. I guess if I was a sawyer, I would have a metal detector close buy always! Don’t guess it would help with a brick though…..

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#12 posted 08-01-2015 12:13 AM

Jeff, As a sawmill owner will say that $45/hr is a smoking bargain. Metal detectors don’t scan very deep and it is a PITA to scan after each cut. I would have him saw all of it because the part you don’t have sawn will be the part that has the curl/quilting/spalting in it (Murphy’s Law).

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

View putty's profile

putty

1011 posts in 1072 days


#13 posted 08-01-2015 12:31 AM

I was at a sawmill in northern Michigan, they had an old car starter they found in a tree!!!

-- Putty

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1762 days


#14 posted 08-01-2015 01:04 AM

I took a tree felling class at a small mill and ended up throwing some labor at them for having a couple of black walnuts sawed into boards. I also got a bunch of felled cherries and maples that were too twisted for them to bother milling (in their estimation, anyway). I even got to operate the mill myself on my walnuts. Small scale folks do it because they enjoy it and they know they aren’t gonna get rich. Good folks to know.

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

1330 posts in 1443 days


#15 posted 08-01-2015 12:20 PM

gfadvm, that would be my luck. I asked him if he liked silver maple and he said not his favorite, not enough grain action. Well see I guess.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way thats says "I meant to do that".

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com