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Need an Idea of What to Pay for Logs

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Forum topic by Dallas posted 453 days ago 688 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dallas

2830 posts in 1071 days


453 days ago

I am working right now with a chainsaw mill and can handle up to 30” logs.
Down the road, I am haggling for an older Band Mill, Woodmizer, not sure what model, but it has a 16HP Wisconsin motor, trailer mount and loading deck.
I’ll probably need to refurb the whole thing, but it’s a start.

My question is, how do I figure out what prices I want to pay for logs?
I have been paying up to 30ยข/bd/ft for good logs and $20 or less for ‘iffy’ logs, (yard logs, squirrly logs, obvious rot I pay less, etc.).

I require all logs to be delivered here, and from my former days working with a couple of mills I know how to grade and measure hardwood logs. I even still have most of my calculators and tapes, LOL.

I’m not interested in making a lot of lumber, but I am going to be renting a 40X80 metal shop building and would like to slowly build up stock in it.

So, I need to get a good idea of what different logs are are going for around the country, and I can maybe figure from there.

BTW, I’m in central Texas and the drought of the last 5 years is bringing in a lot of insect kill and drought kill logs. Mostly I reject those unless it’s something really nice.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!


16 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

12889 posts in 922 days


#1 posted 453 days ago

I never pay more than $100 for an entire tree. Since I do all of the labor, it has to be something I can sell and don’t have a lot of access to. I have had people want me to pay for beetle kill pine. Well I can get 200,000 free, so not paying for it. I paid $100 for an 18” black walnut. It’s one of 2 I have got.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14548 posts in 2259 days


#2 posted 453 days ago

I was told by a neighbor who wanted to log his big leaf maple at Randle, WA that it wasn’t worth hauling to the mill. I would guess it isn’t worth much in log form ;-(

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

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1036 posts in 539 days


#3 posted 453 days ago

Hmmm I think I would haul some big leaf to the mill, especially if it had figure like so much of it I’ve seen!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2830 posts in 1071 days


#4 posted 453 days ago

Monte, The last Walnut that I did cost me $40 for the whole tree, 3-12’ logs 24” at the butt and 16” at the tip. Delivered.
With all the dead stuff around here it isn’t worth paying very much for any of it.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Don W's profile

Don W

14475 posts in 1151 days


#5 posted 453 days ago

if you do an internet search, the conservation department and several regional agencies post current log prices. I don’t know how close to reality the reports are, but it will give you some idea.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

12889 posts in 922 days


#6 posted 453 days ago

In the eastern part of the state they are paying $300-$1000 fo Black Walnut trees

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View sprucegum's profile

sprucegum

323 posts in 581 days


#7 posted 453 days ago

Go to a local mill or log buying yard and ask for a spec. sheet and price list anything you can score for less than what they are paying is a good deal.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2830 posts in 1071 days


#8 posted 453 days ago

Thanks Don, I’ll try that.

Monte, If I could find black walnut when I lived in North Dakota I probably would have paid $1000 too, LOL.

Sprucegum, The closest mill to us is 140 miles as the crow flies except for one I found that does nothing but cut cedar. They aren’t interested in hardwoods at all.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Lifesaver2000's profile

Lifesaver2000

501 posts in 1696 days


#9 posted 453 days ago

My wife’s uncle has owned and operated a hardwood lumber sawmill for about 40 years here in No. Cent. Ark, and has a very large operation nowadays. After seeing your message, I made it a point to ask him at the weekly family supper how much he pays for logs.

Come to find out, he hasn’t paid for logs by the board foot in many years. He said right now that he pays $65 per ton for the best grade red oak logs. He said that with the volume they go through it would just take too much time to measure and grade every log.

When I told him you were paying 30 cents per BF, he said that seemed a little low, but would depend upon which scale you were using (he named off three, the only one I remember was “international”).

I guess if you could figure out how many BF were in a ton, you could get an idea of what is being paid in this area, but he said he didn’t even know that for sure, and that it varies by season.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

12889 posts in 922 days


#10 posted 453 days ago

Doyle scale is what I understand to be the standard. I have heard $.30-$.35 a board foot for standing trees is common. No lumber yards here even deal in hardwood. Everything is pine. They pay $30 a ton for pine.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1055 posts in 1060 days


#11 posted 452 days ago

Better grade East Texas hardwood sells for up to $45/ton delivered to the mill for the better quality. Lower quality is ,ore like $30/ton. Using the Doyle scale which is the standard used in the South, $45/ton is $360/MBF and $30/ton is $240/MBF. Hardwood logs in the South do not bring the same prices as hardwood in the North and Mid-West.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2830 posts in 1071 days


#12 posted 452 days ago

Thanks all. I’m use to the Doyle scale, although where I worked we didn’t go by the ton, (this was about 20-30 years ago in Southern Indiana).

I think for really good yard trees I will be well off to pay by the bd. ft. since the home owner or the tree guy that hauls them in on their small flatbed trailer won’t have any idea of weights involved.
I can afford to be a bit picky as I’m not motivated enough to build up large log decks yet…. I don’t own this property and would have no way to move a lot of logs.

The other plus is that our local dump has no place to deal with yard waste and won’t allow it AND is on the road past us, LOL.

One of the tree guys here has 30 acres with a 400’X60’ ravine that he’s filled with cut trees in the last three years. In that pile are walnuts, hickories, pecan, oaks, cherry, mesquite, bodark, cedar, loblolly pine, and just about anything else that grows here.
He just doubled his price to haul yard trees away and may double it again in a month or two because he’s running out of room.

Being in the right spot at the right time will go a long way. I could even use some junk logs to shore up our crumbling creek bank where the drought has killed the plantlife and what rain we do get erodes the banks.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14548 posts in 2259 days


#13 posted 452 days ago

Sounds lit time to build a wood fired power plant ;-)

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

View sprucegum's profile

sprucegum

323 posts in 581 days


#14 posted 448 days ago

Strange how different the market is in different states. While there are not a lot of small regional mills in VT and NH there is no shortage of buying yards. These yards often buy any species of log, sort then and grade them then ship them off to the appropriate mill. High grade hardwood often ends up being shipped overseas sometimes on sawmill ships so it arrives at its destination as processed lumber. I can and have loaded one log on my trailer haul it 2 miles and receive a check in the mail for it the following week. My son often markets trees that he takes down as part of his landscape business for pulpwood or logs. Maybe this is a business opportunity for one of you guys.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

777 posts in 1649 days


#15 posted 448 days ago

Dallas, this sounds alot bigger than cutting good old stripwood. I hope your venture is a huge success and your back holds up. LOL

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

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