Author Topic: getting rough lumber at low cost  (Read 2654 times)

Offline caverdude

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Karma: 17
  • larrydgray.net
    • blog dot Larry D Gray dot net
getting rough lumber at low cost
« on: June 30, 2014, 10:05:54 PM »
I found a local mill that wants to cut me boards from logs if I deliver logs on halves or I think .45 cents per board, and I'm not thinking he meant per board foot.

I read on the internet that rough lumber can be bought at about .45 cents per board foot, and it looks like cheap pine is going for .55 cents per board ft at the hardware store. I also read that it cost about .10 cents per board foot to log the logs. I've also heard that standing timber goes for .12 to .15 cents per board foot and logs for .30 to .40 cents per board foot.

Anyone else know about any of this logging and milling economics for the day and time?

Offline Cedar

  • ...just aDD water...
  • TSP Supreme Galactic Ant
  • ************
  • Posts: 28429
  • Karma: 1396
  • Dont wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain
Re: getting rough lumber at low cost
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 10:18:15 PM »
I don't know.. but I know it was ALOT cheaper to buy our own 'portable mill' (if you had a crane!) than it was to buy lumber for our porch.

My friend Bob hauls oak, black walnut and such off his farm to the Amish mill down the road from him and they do a beautiful job. He finishes planing and doing whatever he does with it. The BW is a countertop in his bathroom and the one he just hauled off this week to the mill will be the desk in his office.

Do you have a ready source for logs?

Cedar

Offline caverdude

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 838
  • Karma: 17
  • larrydgray.net
    • blog dot Larry D Gray dot net
Re: getting rough lumber at low cost
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 11:07:58 PM »
nope, not yet. I have logs on my land but I'm unwilling to cut them unless I see they are in the way for something I want to do.

Offline Skunkeye

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1609
  • Karma: 90
Re: getting rough lumber at low cost
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 09:33:46 PM »
I've had trees cut up for lumber twice now.  Once was maybe 7-8 years ago, cherry and maple, and the second time was two years ago, maple and ash.  The first was a guy with a portable bandsaw mill he brought to the site and cut right there, and the second we dropped off the logs at the mill.  The guy with the portable mill charged an hourly flat rate, so the faster you could feed him logs, the cheaper it came out to per board-foot.  I think it ended up costing me about 50 cents per board-foot.  The second time was a small mill (really just a guy who had a mill setup in a barn on his property), and was 25 cents per board-foot, you bring the logs.  The first instance was in northern Indiana, the second was central Illinois, if you want to account for regional differences (not that I know what those might be in this case).

So, if you can get 45 cents per board, that's a crazy good deal if you can find some good logs for free or cheap.  If it's 45 cents per board-foot, that's pretty much in the ballpark of the market rate, in my experience.  Also, be aware that most mills will charge you for the replacement if they break a blade on your log (hitting a nail in the wood, etc).  Didn't happen to me, but you might want to know the cost of that up front just in case.

Depending on what you plan on using the wood for, you'll also have to stack it to dry for a long time (a year per inch of thickness is the rule of thumb for air-drying, but that can be reduced to a couple weeks per inch if you build a kiln).  Green rough lumber can be used in certain applications, but if you plan on milling it to finished lumber, it'll need to be dry.

Offline JLMissouri

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 648
  • Karma: 45
Re: getting rough lumber at low cost
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2014, 03:47:38 PM »
I have worked as a logger and have worked in sawmills as well. In my area there are many sawmills, the majority of the small sawmills are ran by the Amish. If you happen to have Amish in your area it would be worth checking out, as the best rates here are $0.15 a board foot and $0.25 a board foot at two Amish mills close to me. That price probably cannot be had anywhere else, competition is nice for the buyer. For a sawmill ran by someone who isn't Amish the standard rate is $0.50 a board foot in my area.

I don't touch old growth on my property unless I have no choice, I figure I need to plant a lot of trees to make up for the ones I have taken down, and have been doing so for years. I do occasionally get a damaged big tree or amazingly free big trees at the cities brush piles. I have several giant pin oak logs currently drying.

When I need lumber I try to get some real lumber if possible. You cannot compare the pine stuff you get at the lumber yards with native oak, walnut or cedar. Plus you can save some money, the only downside is that it isn't as convenient. At $0.45 a board foot I say go for it, especially if you can get the logs for free.

When I logged we had several classes of wood. The lowest grade was pallet wood that a local sawmill would buy for $0.10-$0.25 a board foot and the highest grade logs were veneer walnut logs and I believe they went for around $1.50 a board foot. The lower grade walnut was sold for making gun stocks. These prices are from several years back so they could very well be dated.

We would cut the trees and limb them in the woods. We would then use a skidder to drag them to an open area where they were measured and marked to be cut into saw logs. We would cut them up and push the logs into piles. The log trucks would drive to the piles and load the logs. Hard work, but kinda fun too.