A local custom sawmill in Orange County, CA? That would be sweet, huh

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Forum topic by palaswood posted 08-25-2014 10:28 PM 2045 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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936 posts in 1174 days

08-25-2014 10:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lumber mill custom sawmill custom sawyer slab custom slabbing tree cutting sawmill orange county

Hi Guys,

I’m puttin the feelers out there since I have a dream to own and operate my own custom sawmill, and I want to get some momentum started. I don’t know of any local woodmizer owners in the OC area so why not stay put and set up shop right here in the OC.

Who among you in the Orange County, CA area would be interested in having trees slabbed at sometime in the future. So far as I can tell, nobody is doing that out here. Theres a guy in Malibu and a team in Simi valley, but thats hours away.

I have no idea if there would be enough interest, but perhaps some of you could lend some of your thoughts on the matter. I’m in no rush. If at some point within the next 2 or 3 years, I can wake up, go cut some wood and make enough to feed and house myself, that would be ok by me. And free lumber for projects :)

If I take steps now, maybe the dream can become a reality sooner than I would even expect.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

9 replies so far

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2114 days

#1 posted 08-25-2014 10:35 PM

Well if you have the place to store it you might want to start talking to local Tree Service outfits to see what they do with the trees they have to cut down. If they don’t do anything other that take it to the local Burn Pile at the dump you might be able to get a start on building up a supply and also have wood to use to get some practice on your sawmill when you get it and to use your self or sell if you can get some good trees.
Be a good idea to have good truck and a trailer with a high load capiticy as well.

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8172 posts in 3071 days

#2 posted 08-25-2014 10:38 PM

well, I think you’ll find some demand but you need to consider
the downside of slabbing urban lumber: embedded metal.

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2114 days

#3 posted 08-25-2014 10:46 PM

well, I think you ll find some demand but you need to consider
the downside of slabbing urban lumber: embedded metal.

- Loren

Loren , your right I know a guy that got some trees from Fort Ord when they were shutting it down and a lot of them had bullet holes in them along with the bullets. Does a number on a Bandsaw blade.

View widdle's profile


2054 posts in 2422 days

#4 posted 08-26-2014 12:13 AM

I know i few guys near me , definetly takes up some space and the guys i know dont market very well..Sounds like a fun side gig..Both the guys i deal with have powder post beetles and no kiln..Soo to me the bugs need to be dealt with and the borax sprays dont cut..Go for it..When you get a log to big too big to handle , give me a shout and we’ll get er done..

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Jim Jakosh

16816 posts in 2529 days

#5 posted 08-29-2014 04:02 AM

John Goodwin in Casa Grande, Az uses a carbide tipped blade for his band mill. that might be a good investment if you get a band mill

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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573 posts in 815 days

#6 posted 08-29-2014 11:54 AM

I hate stomping on anyone’s dreams.

I would say that if your dream is to just own and operate a sawmill, that’s perhaps a practical dream.

If your dream is to make money doing it…in a place with hardly any trees…well, that might be the kind of dream that works best as a dream rather than a reality.

After nearly 30 years of tree starvation (and thunderstorm starvation) in California, I finally moved “back East”. It was good for me.

I’m just saying, as a business idea, there is probably a good reason there aren’t many sawmill’s around there. So Cal has very few trees (comparatively), and very few of those are furniture-grade hardwoods.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

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936 posts in 1174 days

#7 posted 08-29-2014 03:29 PM

I’m not intersted in earning my living as a sawyer – just eventually paying for the mill, having a way to saw up landscaping trees that come down now and then here in south orange county, and many of those being Eucalyptus (red and blue gum varieties). As far as metal in the trees, you rolls the dice and you takes ur chances. Urban lumber is littered with nails and staples but it is what it is.

A carbide tipped blade would help im sure.

As far as moving “back East”, dont think i havent considered that! lol

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

View dcantwell's profile


1 post in 266 days

#8 posted 02-04-2016 06:21 AM

I would love to have some trunks cut into slabs Did you ever get the mill going?

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936 posts in 1174 days

#9 posted 02-04-2016 06:31 AM

naw man I didnt. Theres a place in irvine called Woodhill Firewood. They cut slabs Call them up. Ask for John Mahoney or whoever else and see if they can help you.

-- Joseph, Irvine CA, @palas_woodcraft on Instagram

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