Do guys with portable sawmills trade lumber milled for services?

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Forum topic by Airspeed posted 04-27-2013 07:35 PM 1086 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Airspeed's profile


428 posts in 1319 days

04-27-2013 07:35 PM

I have a couple of very tall and straight oak trees next to my house I’d like to have milled, they’re about 38” in diameter and a good forty feet tall with most of the main trunks one long straight run. Before I look for a guy with a mill what should I expect them to charge? Do they charge by the bf? Do they trade for some of the lumber? I just want to kinda know a little more before I contact a mill guy. I used to sell hardwoods but never dealt with anyone doing portable mill work.


9 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile


1698 posts in 1372 days

#1 posted 04-27-2013 08:39 PM

I think a lot of it depends on the sawyer. Some will exchange lumber for services, some will charge by the board foot, or by the hour. One thing to keep in mind is a lot of sawyers won’t mill yard trees due to the potential metal and nail embedded in the wood.

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

View Airspeed's profile


428 posts in 1319 days

#2 posted 04-27-2013 08:46 PM

Thanks, never thought about possible nail issues in the trees, I wonder if a metal detector would find any metal in the tree? I’ve got one but never tried it on a tree! Maybe I’ll look in to buying a mill, with the amount of oak I have it may pay for itself, though with my luck I’ll find the trees are rotten and hollow inside!


View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 1415 days

#3 posted 04-27-2013 09:04 PM

I would mill high value lumber like oak on shares, 50/50 you help. The dealer I bought my mill from said this is the going rate. Sounds fair to me my mill your wood we both sweat.

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

View WDHLT15's profile


1562 posts in 1893 days

#4 posted 04-28-2013 03:19 AM

A lot of sawyers charge about $.35/BF.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View rockindavan's profile


299 posts in 2053 days

#5 posted 04-28-2013 04:35 AM

I know a guy who built his own bandsaw mill. He charges $60 an hour, plus travel. Hourly is by far the best way to go if you can find someone. He says he has milled up wood as a 50/50 deal, but being in Wisconsin, oak is so common that he has far too much of it and only does that for walnut. Depending on how much wood the sawyer has, they may not want anymore and would rather just get paid.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21516 posts in 1755 days

#6 posted 04-28-2013 09:52 AM

I do it both ways. I actually like getting part of the wood.

In my area, it’s old farmers nailing fences to trees. I always look for signs of a fence line when I am cutting on somebody’s farm.

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

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2375 days

#7 posted 04-29-2013 03:20 PM

I’d do it too, trees that big would be holding plenty of lumber with good value and “sellability”. I’d be confident you could find someone local to do it for you. People around me with portable mills charge around 50-75 cents a board foot to cut it all for you, with their own set of requirements to do it. Good luck

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Airspeed's profile


428 posts in 1319 days

#8 posted 04-29-2013 03:36 PM

Thanks everyone! I’ll start looking for someone and see what I can come up with. Thanks again!


View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2295 posts in 1826 days

#9 posted 04-30-2013 01:26 AM

As a mechanic I barter with anyone that can provide wood I can use, exotics welcome even better if I have no stock of it and have never used it.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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