|Forum topic by Nicholas Hall||posted 12-03-2012 05:46 AM||5568 views||1 time favorited||38 replies|
12-03-2012 05:46 AM
My father and I have been jawing about cutting down some trees on his land in Weld, Maine, and having a portable sawmill operator come to mill it for us. Well, we finally did it at the end of September. We milled up a whole pile of hard maple, ash, and white birch. The sawmill owner/operator that we worked with was a character named Dan Charles. If there is anyone in Southern or Central Maine considering hiring a sawyer to cut lumber I highly recommend Dan. He’s been a sawyer working exclusively on furniture grade lumber for about 30 years. Dan is the real deal.
Here is a picture of the stack of logs my dad and I dragged out of the woods
Here is a picture of Dan Charles getting ready to cut the first log:
The next three pics are the same ash log. This pic is the log just after it went on the mill
Here is a picture of it after a couple of passes
Here is the finished product. It’s hard to see the scale on these things, but the big boards are 2.125” thick and 13” inches wide of gorgeous ash.
Here is a picture of me and Dan. Dan is obviously doing most of the work :)
We had so much lumber, we couldn’t fit it all on one trailer. Here is a shot of a pretty heavily loaded trailer. The second trailer is not pictured.
Here is a picture of all of our lumber after we dropped it off at the kiln.
Here is a picture of the actual bill that Dan gave us for the 2 days of sawing. The left column written in pen is the lumber thickness, the second column is the boardfeet for that size. The total bdft at the bottom is 1883.
The actual total is actually 250 bdft larger, because we had Dan quartersaw a ton of sugar maple for us, and he charges by the hour for that, not by the bdft. So the actual total lumber was about 2100 bdft! Usually, when I spend $500 at a hardwood lumberyard I come home with 100 bdft not 2100! The kiln charged us another $500 to dry it all. And then we had to rent a Uhaul truck for $250 to bring it all home. But that still leaves us at $1300 for $2100 bdft of lumber!
Now granted, not every board is perfect, but it’s a pretty amazing bunch of lumber. I took most of the bad stuff for my new workbench. For some reason, some of the 8/4 ash had bad end checking. I took 180 bdft of the worst ash and I’ll be making a benchcrafted split top Roubo. I just started milling the boards today. The boards are actually perfect for a bench, because they’re mostly 11’ long and I only need 8’ long for the bench, so the checking at the end isn’t a problem. Now how many guys get to say that they cut down the tree, milled the lumber, and built the bench? I’m one lucky, happy son of gun. In short, if you’ve been thinking about cutting your own lumber, just do it. Its a ton of fun, and you’ll be truly blown away by the lumber yield.
My biggest problem right now is that I still have 1900 bdft of lumber to use up and it’s taking up the whole upstairs of my father’s garage. If there are any lumberjocks in either Southern Maine or near Albany, NY who are planning on a bench build let me know. I’d like to sell enough lumber to break even on what we spent. I’m pretty flexible on price, because I just did this for fun, I’m not in the lumber business. The lumber is Southern Maine, and I live Albany NY, but I go back to Maine about once a month, and its a piece of cake to bring back a few hundred boardft. My priority is getting rid of as much as possible. If you’re planning a bench build and you live near Southern Maine or Albany NY let me know. I’ve got way too much white birch, ash and hard maple. It’s all kiln dried 8/4 in 8”-14” widths and 10’-11’ long. Make me a reasonable offer and I’ll be thrilled to sell you enough for your dream bench. A windfall like this should go to a good home. If you know a lumberjock in the area pining for a proper bench, you should drop them a line to let them know.
(edit: The last guy that emailed me offered me $3.50/bdft for 8/4 maple. I was barely able to negotiate him down to $2.75/bdft. Seriously folks, I need the room more than I need the money. I’d take $2.50 for the 8/4 maple and ash or white birch. Drop me an email and get yourself a bench for Christmas! I’d be thrilled to think our 3day weekend worth of work resulted in a dozen workbenches.)
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