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Author Topic: Thinking of starting  (Read 1871 times)

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Offline Candlex

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Thinking of starting
« on: August 04, 2017, 10:05:41 pm »
Been doing a lot of reading and lots of different opinions for everything. A lot of good people though.

So i have probably 40 acres of mostly red oak, some blacj walnut and cedar.

I wanted to start offering cleanup behind my dozer friend, possibly for free for the wood. Not sure if this was a good idea or not. I have no codes to follow for building permits etc soi figured a small barn for storing and a kiln and a covered saw.

I have a 89 1 ton dump truck, 55hp tractor, and a couple nice chainsaws and a lot of wood tools.

This will be just me in my off time and weekends. Paying for wifes nursing school right now so would be nice to make small tables or cabinets with my wood.

Is this too much to do at once? Also, i have to quarter saw all my wood since its red oak is that correct? And would a low end saw work for my needs?

It is a very large investment and i love woodwoking so i wont mind, but very daunting. My part of oklahoma isnt exactly filled with lots of equipment and sawyers. Only 2 near me.

Thanks for your time.


Offline Grizzly

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 11:50:32 pm »
Welcome here, Candlex. Yep, lots of opinions here and mostly all useable.

Low end and low cost are very different so I'll choose low cost. There'll be more chiming in but I've read lots on here of small mills cutting some fantastic wood. No need to go expensive with all the gadgets if you're not needing big production. Lots of choices as well and a bunch of them are sponsors of the Forum here. Enjoy the shopping.
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2017, 01:36:06 am »
Thanks

Offline Ianab

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 02:01:44 am »
I think it's perfectly practical to get yourself a small manual sawmill.

As long as they are set up right the smaller mills will cut the exact same boards as a fancy expensive one. They just wont do it as fast, and you have to do more of the work manually yourself. So obviously if you are sawing as your main job, you want the higher production that the automated mills provide.  But if you are basically hobby sawing, it's not such an issue. Also, if you are harvesting logs yourself, then drying and building stuff, the actual % of your time spend sawing is quite low. Having an expensive mill that's going to be sitting idle most of the time doesn't make a lot of sense. But having a ~$5000 (or less) mill that you only use a couple of days a month is easier to justify.

As for sawing the Oak. Quarter sawing gives you a more stable board, it shouldn't cup as it dries. But you need a large and good quality log to be practical. Smaller logs give you such narrow boards it's not worth it, and if the log has any knots, Q-sawing leaves that as a "spike" right across your board, which then breaks in 1/2. A knot in a flat sawn board goes through the face of the board, and if it's small the board is still usable, or you can cut around it to get the pieces you want. So smaller or lower quality logs are usually best flat sawn. You can Q-saw with a small manual mill, just like I said, you have to work harder moving the part cut logs around.

This is my manual mill, and a mornings sawing. About 300 bd/ft of Port Orford cedar which will keep me busy in the wood shop for some time.
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 01:28:07 pm »
Well awesome that answered most of what i needed to hear.

How small it too small? I'm guessing 6" radius? Also what what blade should i use?

I noticed the swingmills were super quick, but from my reading a bandmill would probably be better? Since my stuff isnt monster big.

We have so many types of trees here. i bought a book to identify them. Not sure if all are harvestable. Blackjacks, pecan,horseapple, the trees with the 1 inch spikes, etc.




Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 05:17:38 am »
I am looking at the woodland mill either the 122 or the next one up. It looks like the 126/130 model (identical diffrent motor?) is built a little more robust though

I can pay cash straight up for those though. I can always weld fancy stuff on. I just figure ill have to raise it up since im a tall dude.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 07:38:48 am »
Canlex,welcome to the forum.
6 inch logs are kinda of a bother. BUT if that's all you can get,than they will work. Just makes for narrow boards.
I have an all manual mill. Lots more work to using it,but I only use it for my own lumber. I have not even used it this year. But I do have a building project for it.
You will want to get some lumber sawed up for the furniture building.It needs time to dry. Building a shed,barn,I put it up green. Not like I am sheetrocking and putting insulation on lumber that is green and still drying.
You will need a cant dog or a peavey to turn your logs. Logrite on the left has them and the website tell which is which on there. I myself prefer a peavey. I am not doing high end lumber. The point can leave a small mark on the wood.
Make yourself a place to put your logs on,and than roll the logs on to the mill. You do not want to hit your mill,drop a log on it either, with the tractor. Two pieces of wood,flat on the top side,just a little higher than the mill,works good.
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 10:49:55 am »
Thanks, thats a good idea.

I also thought about building another rack to stack the first cuts so i dont have to bend over and pick them all up.

I read that whole article on the kiln from virginia tech and i guess in oklahoma i would be lowland red oak?

So it can only lose like 1 to 3 % moisture a day. It doesnt sound like i can speed dry it, and that i shouldnt even show it sun at all just air.

With the smaller logs do you run into board strength problems? I would like to clear some land at a couple other properties, but im not sure they are all ginormous trees.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 10:13:13 pm »
1" spikes on the trunk sounds like distressed honey locust. Makes great fence posts.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 11:54:23 pm »
Quote
With the smaller logs do you run into board strength problems? I would like to clear some land at a couple other properties, but im not sure they are all ginormous trees.

Not so much a strength problem, it's more about grade and stability. Small logs mean you are sawing close to the pith, which usually means knots, and the grain direction can change a lot across the board. If the grain is different, expect the drying shrinkage to be different. Now if you just want to build a shed, this isn't the end of the world. A board with small knots is usually still plenty strong enough, and once it's nailed down it wont move much. But if you want to build high end furniture, you want clear straight grain boards, and to get those you need decent logs.

Minimum size of the logs depends on various things. Too small and you don't get much good lumber, and spend a lot of time putzing about for very little return. Now I've sawn cedar "logs" down to about 6" dia, and we made 4x4 posts from them, as my friend wanted some for a project. They didn't need to be high quality, just hold up a pergola in the wife's garden. So a jig to hold the logs, and 3 passes with the swing-blade and we had a useful post, and we actually got decent production. But most species / logs you might want more like 12"+ dia to start getting much useful wood and decent production.

Don't worry too much about a log deck and supports for the mill up front. Set it up on the ground and saw out some heavy bearers to support the mill up off the ground, and build some sort of log deck etc. You will get plenty of low grade logs that can be sliced up into posts / sleepers etc.
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 01:23:54 am »
Useful sawmill mods
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,7789.msg1397352/topicseen.html#msg1397352

start small with the ability to upgrade the mill.

Hydraulic log rotator, toe boards, log stops are nice.

also are you going to be doing any firewood?

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 01:11:39 pm »
Im curious what youll say, can we suppose he said yes to firewood operation?

I have lumber and wood processing in mind for the future and would appreciate suggestions

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 03:34:40 pm »
Im curious what youll say, can we suppose he said yes to firewood operation?

I have lumber and wood processing in mind for the future and would appreciate suggestions

all lumber operations have 4 "products"
dimensional lumber
usable scrap
sawdust
bark

have been thinking of a wood pellet mill to make the sawdust into pellets
need to do more research.
maybe use a hammer mill on the bark, then mix with sawdust, then feed into the pellet mill
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 06:41:37 pm »
Thanks all for the reply's and thanks for the mod list.

Yes i plan on fire wood as well. Like i said i hate to waste wood. I have a basic understanding on how wood processors work. I did look into peletizers and they are pricey, but some people build their own. Basically you need the die, the roller, and a motor. Not too bad to build if you can find the parts. Sawdust pellets are nice but you would have to bag or bucket it to keep it genuine, as I know smokers use them and they want only oak or hickory apple etc.

Also, they sell an outdoor furnace that uses pellets that has an auto feed. That would be great. It would pay itself off in a few years just by you recycling.

One of my co-workers is pushing to do firewood with me. So i should hopefully have him running it while i saw.

I think the little kohler power plant will be fine on the 126. If i was to upgrade id go to a Chinese knockoff diesel.

I should be building most of it all this winter. So ill make sure to put up all my plans

Most of our trees are 30 ft tall so you figure 10ft boards then the rest firewood. I'd rent a chipper and do all the branches at once and make a nice trail around the property.

One of the nurses i work with had an old mill when he was younger so he said its not so bad. He has a ton of cedar he wants me to mill. Tbh what scares me now is the kiln portion. I bought a 5 gallon bucket of anchor seal 2 from csp or something. So i figure ill start cutting and storing first off.

Ive been laid up from an ankle surgery for 3 months and finally getting my ankle jail off tomorrow so. Lots of work to do.

Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 06:47:19 pm »
Ankle jail


Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2017, 09:00:55 pm »
glad you are getting out of ankle jail.

also look at the firewood processor from Woodland Mills
http://woodlandmills.ca/us/product/woodland-firewood-processor/
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 09:22:27 pm »
That looks a might painful.  What did you do to that lower limb.  Banjo
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2017, 09:55:16 pm »
I betcha that slowed you down some.  :(
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2017, 11:04:22 pm »
Four wheeler wreck in 2014. Arthritis got in the fractures and ate the bone up. Found it by accident at work testing the magnet.

Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2017, 11:27:54 am »
Survived surgery.

I looked at that wood processor. Thats a lot of money for a manual chainsaw. I dont mind building no precision things.

So all of those types ive seen run a ram into an adjustable stop. A saw comes down and cuts. The log falls into a lower trough. Then another lower ram pushes it through a die. You can make the die move up and down as well to adjust to log size. Then they usually drop out on a conveyor or just on the ground.

If you were to pay 6k for a processor and were able to sell oak woods at 100 a rick. You would need to sell almost 75 ricks to pay it off. But if you build a homebuilt with hydraulics it would be more feasable.

Ill draw something up. But you basically need a reservoir, pump, engine, 2 big rams, 2 small rams for saw and adjustable die. Runing auto return valves would save a lot of time. A conveyer setup which that one looked like they used a skid steer belt and an electric motor. I think a steel mesh would be stronger.

Also a hydrualic set if rams for loading and a chain roller setup would be super sweet.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 03:53:38 pm »
I hear you.  I ran the numbers on a processor as well.  Hard to justify on a PT basis for what people are willing to pay for a cord.  The other thing is most processors need straight logs and have seen several ads begging for suppliers.  Though it sounds like you may have a large abundance of processor wood available.

Personally, I'll mill the straight logs.  Firewood is what I do with something I can't add more value to (tops and waste slabs). 

I'm building a system similar to (I think) Lopet's system.  Have a trailer to drop poles or slabs on.  Mounted roller conveyor to feed mounted chainsaw (Stihl 066) with helper handle on end of the bar.  Wood drops to either splitter (manual) or old hay conveyor into dump trailer.  I think I'll have about $4k in the whole system and that includes what I paid for both trailers and saw that I already had. 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 10:33:24 pm »
Firewood is $50 a rick here, everyone sells it.  One guy is as low as $35 a rick.  With prices like that i dont put in hardly any split wood. Almost entirely round limbs 8" down to wrist sized.  I sell all the logs that are tie or better (12") and have been collecting everything thats in the middle and sound for building material.  Leave it lay for a bit, the bark comes right off once the grubs lube it up.  A 10" whole round oak timber is mighty strong.   

I wont waste extra time with splitting more than i have to until ive got a processor and several sheds built.  An acre clearing makes more firewood than i can manage by hand even with selling every sawlog.

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 11:55:17 pm »
Here in my area a cord of hardwood is between $175 and $200

I know a cord is a tight stack 4x4x8
what is a rick?
the guy that stacks it  :D ;D :D
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2017, 08:25:49 am »
Rick is a face cord.. One row, Should be 4x8 x length of pieces but everyones is a little different.  If theyre a little small you ask a little less.  People call any old stack a rick and then dicker til it sells.

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2017, 01:52:25 pm »
thank you.

here in Oregon there is a Law to sell based on the cord, or fraction of a cord.
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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2017, 12:17:44 am »
We have the same law in MO.  Didn't change a thing though.   ::)
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Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2017, 04:57:58 am »
Sorry i disappeared for a bit. Post op wiped me out. Finally getting out n about.

I am curious to see with prices rising of all fuels again...esp with the new war coming, and people becoming more enviromentally involved ie biodiesel on tap, if people actually go back to wood burning.

Everything is so expensive these days. A good daycare here is 700 a mo. I wont put a buncb of effort in firewood, its just hard to waste perfectly good wood. I guess you could use a lot of short pieces for turnings. But i worry too much piddling the wood would go bad on you.

Red oak here doesn't typically get too big, and i was honestly thinking of renting a chipper and makjng oak mulch to pack in the clay to stiffen it up around my pond and make a nice cedar trail around the property. Im sire the deer would like that.

But who knows. My mother n law lives in wash state and she wants wood everything so.

My state isnt very old, and the culture here is indian. So a lot of the terms arent common here. I have never seen a sign that said cords of wood, just ricks.

We did have a huge dustbowl, so most our trees arent that big. And there isnt a lot of old solid wood furniture either, as most were poor farmers or oil field transplants. So peoples perception of what quality here is very low when it comes to furniture.

So i see a future market for things, its just a slow process. Most of the money making is from out of towners who can afford it. From a woodworking prespective.

There are some bbq places tbat buy oak firewood really cheap if you had bulk supply to dump, but unless you got cheap labor i dont see it worth it.

That's why i just want to do as a hobby and for wood working. I love the smells, and its something to keep me busy and away from wife. Lol

Offline Candlex

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2017, 05:01:41 am »
And a rick here is 4x8x2. So i guess a half cord.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2017, 04:32:36 pm »
But if it is 16" length, then the face cord is 1/3 cord.  That makes the amount contained in a face cord or rick sorta questionable.  Some states such as Oregon by law requires a cubic foot measurement.  Our most common length is ~18" and it is mostly sold by the "pickup load" which contains approximately 1/3 cord.
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2017, 11:59:25 am »
Any advertising for firewood in Oregon must state: green or seasoned, volume being sold(cord is 4x4x8), and price. And 16" is pretty common so a rick is 1/3 cord, but you cannot advertise "rick".

Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Thinking of starting
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2017, 07:38:36 am »
Any advertising for firewood in Oregon must state: green or seasoned, volume being sold(cord is 4x4x8), and price. And 16" is pretty common so a rick is 1/3 cord, but you cannot advertise "rick".
Seems to be a law for just about everything these days.  Capturing rain water, disturbing the land (doesn't matter that you own it) and even how you advertise firewood.  Is it just me or are our elected officials working overtime on useless legislation? 
Constantly reinventing the wheel...