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Author Topic: How many board feet in a ton of trees  (Read 11894 times)

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Offline KjBarnwood

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How many board feet in a ton of trees
« on: November 19, 2009, 01:49:23 pm »
I know that there are a lot of variables but... I got a guy who said he wants to sell me 60 ton of really nice eastern white pine.  Is there anyway to ball park the total amount without actually scaling it?  He said it will be good saw logs not pulp material.

Thanks for any help.

Kj

Offline bull

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 02:11:31 pm »
that's alot of pine, I'd say between 25,000 and 35,000 bfd depanding on log size, grade fresh cut or sitting etc.

Offline treecyclers

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 02:14:49 pm »
Last time I checked, green white pine weighed about 3 pounds per boardfoot.
In a perfect world, that would be about 650 feet per ton.
Estimating waste at about 20%, that leaves a yield of about 500 feet per ton.
My best guess would be that you'd be buying 30,000 feet worth of pine in log form.
Right now, eastern white pine is selling at the landing at 20-80 per thousand, so ballpark the average at about 50.
Unless my math is way off, a fair price would be approximately $1500, to yield you about $12,000 gross after you process it and sell it.
If it were me, I'd see the logs at the landing, average the diameters and lengths, and see what you get.
I'd hope that the others here with ore knowledge than I would be better able to answer this, but at least you now have a starting point.
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Offline KjBarnwood

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 02:20:06 pm »
Thanks guys!  That's about what I thought. 

Offline Magicman

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 04:16:07 pm »
Quote:[Use the Tool Box to the left (on the bottom).]   

Looks like I was wrong about the Tool Box.  I couldn't find log weight to lumber..... :-[

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Offline WDH

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 04:43:12 pm »
Down here in the South, I have averaged about 5 tons/MBF on my Woodmizer LT15 sawing walnut using logs 8' and 10'.  Longer lengths will result in poorer recovery. 

The very best pine mills down here are sawing at a little more than 4 tons/MBF with the most modern curve sawing technology.  However, Southern Yellow Pine is much heavier than white pine, so your yield should be better. 

I would say that you are more in the range of 10,000 - 12,000 board feet rather than 25,000 - 30,000 board feet.  I have not checked the FF calculator, but 25,000 board feet out of 60 tons of bark-on logs does not sound feasible.
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Offline Tom

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2009, 05:24:49 pm »
Here is a similar thread from 2006   LINK

It really depends.  Kinda like a ton of Water Tupelo or Balsa compared to Long Leaf or Live Oak.

Since most of us don't equate log-pounds to board feet or cords to board feet too often it really depends on our having experienced a similar situation.  In my case, it was years ago.  I new I had an instance buried in my mind, but I'll be dogged if I could find it.   That link was a reference to a post much earlier.  I was even fuzzy about it then.  That cypress was really snakey and the half-way decent end was probably 12" or 15" dia. With a few larger.  The bulk of the tops looked like a corkscrew and I felt a little like Jesus might have felt with the fishes and the loaves, everytime I got a board out of one.
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Online red oaks lumber

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2009, 05:43:16 pm »
i think treecyclers is close about 3-3.5 lbs per b.f.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009, 05:59:30 pm »
Eastern white pine weighs about 36 pounds per cu ft.  Although that comes out to 3 lbs/bf, you also have to factor in the bark, dust, slabs, and the oversize (if any).  My experience in hardwoods is that about 50% of the log is waste, from a weight standpoint.  Softwoods shouldn't make much of a difference.  My kerf is stronger than the bandmills, but you're still going to have factor in the waste.

The other thing you have to factor in is how you'll be cutting it.  Are you cutting glorified 6/4 and calling it 2" or are you talking about the actual sawn size to figure your footage?
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Offline WDH

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2009, 06:21:01 pm »
Large commercial pine mills in the South measure their recovery on a tons/mbf basis.  All wood is weighed at the scales, and sawmill production is referenced back to the tons of wood sawn. 

Something between a low of 4.0 and 5.5 tons/mbf is the range of recovery for southern pine at a modern large scale mill that has curve sawing technology.  Recovery is a function of log size.  As the log size increases, recovery improves.  It can be represented graphically.  This recovery figure is actual board feet production per ton of logs. 

Generally, foresters down here convert board feet to tons for pine using Scribner at 7.5 tons/mbf.  That is a pretty fair average.  However, Scribner, like Doyle and International, are log scales developed eons ago, and are just an approximation of true recovery.  True sawmill scale is better in most cases due to improvements in sawing technology.  International scale seems to be the most accurate, but in the south, Doyle has been historically used for hardwood, and the going conversion for hardwood scaled by Doyle that is most often used is 8 tons/mbf. 

A woodmizer type bandmill will achieve much better actual recovery than 8 tons/mbf, more like 5 to 6 tons/mbf based on log size and whether or not you slab heavy or light.

Hopefully this is not too  confusing  :).   

Like Ron points out, up to 50% of the log's green weight is lost in slabs and/or chips and sawdust.  That is why you are looking at more like 10,000 - 12,000 board feet out of 60 tons of logs rather than 25,000 board feet.
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2009, 06:38:02 pm »
WDH is hitting the nail on the head. With my WM I will on average get 5000 bf from a log truck load of logs that will way 25000 lbs. the size of the logs will make this vary some but not much. I have had the same results in syp, hard wood or cypress.
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Offline ellmoe

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2009, 07:31:39 pm »
WDH is hitting the nail on the head. With my WM I will on average get 5000 bf from a log truck load of logs that will way 25000 lbs. the size of the logs will make this vary some but not much. I have had the same results in syp, hard wood or cypress.

   Is that 25,000lbs or 25 tons? My results are about 5000bf for 25 tons , or 50,000 lbs.,( a semi-load) of logs.

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Offline Gary_C

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2009, 08:10:12 pm »
Here most everyone uses a rough approximation of 500 bd ft per cord. So a 50,000 lbs semi load of hardwood will be about 11 cords or 5500 bd ft.

But as Ron said, it makes a difference how you are sawing. In hardwoods if you saw 1 1/8 for 1 inch your yield will be less than if you are sawing 1 5/8 and calling it 2 inches for softwoods.
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Offline KjBarnwood

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2009, 12:55:17 pm »
I was actually just trying to see if it would be a good deal.  60 tons delivered = $1700

Another question; how should I have them cut it for best return... full length ???

I am looking to cut 2x6x14s from them  with some 5/4 in the 8' to ? range.

Offline Tom

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2009, 01:09:42 pm »
Quote
how should I have them cut it for best return

The most productive way to buy sawlogs, it would seem, would be to limit the minimum and maximum diameters and require a specified length.  That way, supposedly, you could saw everything on the truck and stuff you couldn't use would go somewhere else.

The reality is that most loggers haven't the slightest idea of bucking logs for sawing.  And, even if you found one, he would look for the most 14' logs in a tree, not necessarily the best ones.

I think I would ask for tree length but define a minimum top as eight or ten inches.  That way, you can buck the best log yourself and not have any qualms about cutting that really bad two-foot section out.  You also might find that you could use some lumber of other lengths. 

What happens when people get too anal about lengths and measurements is they end up painting themselves into a corner.  That's a good reason not to buck all of your logs at the beginning of the job too.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2009, 06:09:04 pm »
As I said before, you have to be cautious about these conversions tossed about. They are based on a fixed length more than anything, not random length wood. Same thing (length) must be considered on the end product, random length lumber yields are more from a log than if your sawing straight 8' lumber. Conversions are based and on species groups (SW vs HW). There is about a 10 % increase in recovery in SW from conversions we have used up here. Taper is one reason. White pine will taper a lot less than maple. Also, the longer the logs being sawed, the less board footage, unless as stated earlier your going for maximum recovery on random length lumber. Anyway you look at it, those conversions are not based on random length to get anywhere near their estimation. No one will convince me otherwise. (not that anyone is trying to) ;)

I have one table here suggesting 1 cord of 8' softwood yields 348 bf and 329 bf from hardwood. However, the figure Gary uses for 500 bf per cord is what we always adopted around here. But for 8' wood, not random length stuff. As the saying goes, "Pays your dime, takes your chances." ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline WDH

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2009, 04:14:12 pm »
The numbers I quoted of about 5 tons/mbf were from actual experience sawing random length hardwood.  However, I limited the sawlog length to 10 feet.  14 foot logs will yield a little less due to more taper.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2009, 05:20:43 pm »
I to agree with the 12,000 bf. ball bark. I deal with metric tonne, so that 60 ton is actually 54 tonne in my language. White pine is a lot lighter than red (which is as heavy as sugar maple when green). Red should be similar to WDH's southern pine, which we convert on 2.5 tonne/cord as with hard maple/beech/Yellow Birch (2.75 ton/cord).

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline customsawyer

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2009, 05:14:36 am »
ellmoe thanks I was half asleep when I posted that one but it would be 25 ton.
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Offline ellmoe

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Re: How many board feet in a ton of trees
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2009, 10:59:47 am »
 
ellmoe thanks I was half asleep when I posted that one but it would be 25 ton.

   Been there, done that! :D
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