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Author Topic: OldJarheads Milling Thread...  (Read 78500 times)

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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #740 on: April 12, 2017, 02:43:37 pm »
Customer called and told me I should be getting a call from the lumber yard owner.  It's actually much closer than I though (maybe 10 miles away) and the guy has decided he wants a mix of 1x's, beams and other stuff all 12, 17.5 and 20'.

If he calls I'll give him my rate...if he wants it by the board foot I'll give him $350Mbf which should be better than I'm earning now but I don't do by the BF normally and figure there are too many factors that come into play to try giving him a lower rate...basically I need to earn my hourly rate and if I have to go by the bf I'll charge more to make sure I earn it ;)

My biggest worry milling by the bf is work slow downs with the help, unruly logs etc that end up taking longer.  Sure I'm mostly milling at or about 400bf/hr on these logs but if something happens and I'm dropping down to 200bf/hr I'd be making less (by enough that it matters to me)......

Might have to park the mill up there for a month ;) or more if he really wants it all.

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Offline Andries

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #741 on: April 12, 2017, 03:52:36 pm »
Congrats!
Things are looking good for a busy month of weekends on the mill, and maybe a good chunk of the truck getting paid off.  8)

Like the man said:
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the payment terms, including progress payments as well as final payment.  Good Luck.    Regards, Clark

Seems like solid advice from someone who's been there.
Almost any kid will run a chore for you - if asked an hour before bedtime . . . .

Offline Brucer

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #742 on: April 13, 2017, 12:27:16 am »
There are some conflicting opinions about how to calculate Board Feet.

Some people think you should measure the length (ft), width (in), and thickness (in) exactly, then multiply the three numbers and divide by 12. But what does "exactly" mean. And what if I saw a bunch of full dimension 1x8's and stack and sticker it, waiting for a customer. A customer comes by just after it's stacked and calculates the BF based on full 8" width. No problem. Another customer comes by a month later when the wood has dried and shrunk to 7-3/4" wide and wants to calculate the BF based on the actual width. Same wood (actually should be worth more because it's dry), but the customer expects to pay less. Naturally the customer who insists on the exact measurement for width and thickness doesn't expect to pay for the 3" trim allowance I add to my logs :D.

Other people think you should take the nominal dimension (e.g. a 1-" x 3-" piece of lumber has nominal dimensions of 2x4) and calculate the BF on that basis. If you follow this practice, you will inevitably meet people who accuse you of charging for "air".

Who's right? Well, the use of nominal dimensions is based on the concept of an "operational definition". The an operational definition defines a standard procedure that gives you consistent, reproducible results. For lumber the definition would say "multiply thickness (in) by width (ft) by length (ft) and this is how you measure them."

In Canada, the National Lumber Grades Authority provides the operational definition. Nominal thickness in inches mutliplied by nominal width in inches multiplied by length (in feet rounded down to a whole number) divided by 12. For 1" thick and less the calculation is simply nominal width multiplied by length (rounded down) divided by 12.

When I quote a board foot price I always tell the customer how I do the calculation and I give them the NLGA rule numbers (and show them the book if they want to see it). Most of the time I prefer to quote the different dimensions by the foot (timbers) or square foot (1" and less).

However ... before you accuse someone of charging for "air" (or worry about it if someone accuses you), just remember a couple of things.
  • I set my prices to earn a reasonable profit for the wood that I saw. No matter how I do the calculation, I'm going to earn "x" amount for a board.
  • Would you want to buy a coffee mug that wasn't full of "air"? How about a piece of pipe? :D

Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."

Offline woodyone.john

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #743 on: April 13, 2017, 04:37:04 am »
OJH,I also charge by the hour plus  freight to and fro.I let it be known to the prospective  client that I will happily work with any labor or labor saving devices they have or choose to hire in order to get through the job quicker.I like them to know if they can get their stuff together its a win for them in terms of costs.After 15 years of charging by volume outturn and suffering from their inattention to detail, I might loose a few bucks by hourly rate, but now every job is a winner
cheers john
Saw millers are just carpenters with bigger bits of wood

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #744 on: April 13, 2017, 06:46:28 am »
I use to travel and cut for years and always figure the BF. For me, I charge by the BF. All ways made more money that way. If you know how to set up a job.
I do buy logs now, and sell a lot of lumber.
No more traveling.  8)

We have new guys coming here and wanting to mill logs and sell lumber, Just want them to be good at the math. Cutting or selling, That's what it's all about. Know how to figure for lumber cut,
Milling in NH you have to be on the money with the BF
just the way it is here.
Maybe it's the smile I get when I see a guy say he cut 10,000 bf of 1x3 and call it 2x4.
Numbers are not fact, Just a guess.

I don't care how you charge for the work you do, We all have a place I guess.
But, If I give you BF numbers on what I cut, they are a fact no air.
Best of luck to all who cut with there math. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
 
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And a license NH soft wood grader.
Sawing since 1987

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #745 on: April 13, 2017, 09:16:16 am »
Doing the math on the last job, switching to exact dimension (as close as I can since some things, as mentioned earlier, were done full and some dimensional and I wrote down nominal throughout) and then multiplying by $350/Mbf which I believe is the going rate for softwoods in the area and I would have made 50% more on the job.

I did this because I wanted to see what I'd be looking at if the lumber yard wants to go by the board foot rather than the hour.  As long as I can mill 250bf/hr I'm making about the same as my hourly rate so I think I'd agree to that ($350/Mbf).
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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #746 on: April 13, 2017, 04:41:35 pm »
So the lumber yard owner wants $250/Mbf for milling (which could be an increase for me depending on what I'm cutting etc etc) but also told my customer it was the best lumber he'd seen.

My customer is thinking he may just offer the guy the end product stacked and stickered and pay me to mill it at my going rate ($85/hr) on a Net7 terms (so he has time to deliver and receive payment).  His argument is that the lumber yard owner wanted to send two guys with a truck and forklift to offbear and load which will cost him an additional amount and then pay $280/Mbf for the logs (all older logs in the 18-24" SED and 17.5' long).....

So, either I mill for the lumber yard owner directly or I keep my regular rate and mill for the customer on Net7 terms (which I think will be fine since this customer has been very good so far -- two visits).

I think the lumber yard owner is trying to work a deal since his old mill shut down.  I guess he has a guy with a manual mill that offered to do it at $250/Mbf but I'm told the guy normally charges twice that and works alone....can't imagine how he'd cut over 25-35Mbf alone in a short time though.  Heck with my mill it will take me several days if I keep up the pace...but he wants a lot of 1x's which we all know takes longer.

My advice to the customer was "if you want to do it yourself, do it under contract and be specific about what he's paying for and how it is measured.  I for one wouldn't sell a full cut 2x6 as a 1.5x5.5 unless the price was the same either way ;) "

Anyway, I think this is likely to happen but we shall see.
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #747 on: April 13, 2017, 09:12:50 pm »
Sawing directly for the lumber yard owner could lead to steady work, no?  Once you start dealing with the bigger boys you're gonna find everything is by the BF and your hourly rate will probably thrown out the window.  $250/mbf sounds good.  Now you need to get an edger! 
Boy, back in my day..

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #748 on: April 13, 2017, 10:39:12 pm »
The more I've thought about it the more I think it would be a good way to see how I do ;)  He was impressed with the product and as long as I have decent logs I can produce ;)

I've stayed away from the BF pricing due to so many variables, one of which, I suppose, is that I found my niche ;)  Not many out here willing to do what I do and go where I go!
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #749 on: April 14, 2017, 11:01:04 am »
Erik,

  $250/mbf may be fine for 2" framing lumber but how about when you are cutting 4/4?Almost twice the number of cuts to get the same volume? You may want to think about different bf prices based on thickness.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #750 on: April 18, 2017, 02:04:25 pm »
Getting close!

Just received a call and my customer is meeting with the lumber yard owner tonight.  He's thinking of asking for $600Mbf for 1x12x17.5' (milled, stacked, stickered and ready to haul off -- he will deal with all waste etc).

Not sure if his price is fair or not since I don't sell lumber (or buy it) but I've given him a MM type arrangement:  My hourly rate or $350Mbf to mill whichever is LOWER.

That way if I can't produce 242BF/HR then he will get his lumber at $350Mbf but if I can produce at or above that (which I should have no problem doing) then I'll make my hourly rate.  It's about 100 logs all 17.5' long and typically 20-24" SED
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Offline Deese

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #751 on: April 18, 2017, 04:04:15 pm »
Get After It OldJarhead!!!   smiley_whip smiley_whip smiley_whip smiley_whip
Sawed 4 years with EZ Boardwalk Jr 13hp. I now have a 2004 LT40HDD51. Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, Cooks Single Tooth Setter, a bunch of chainsaws, and an old chocolate lab.

Offline 4x4American

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #752 on: April 18, 2017, 06:41:52 pm »
That is way low.  He must be getting the logs for real cheap?  And to get alot of 1x12's you need a good sized log.   Especially with stickering it.  As long as you get your $ I guess.  Make sure you tell him it's log run and not like d-sel/btr
Boy, back in my day..

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #753 on: April 18, 2017, 09:14:51 pm »
He bought the first 118 logs for $1500
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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #754 on: April 20, 2017, 10:25:28 pm »

Meanwhile I'm off to do this Walnut on Saturday....about a 98 mile drive to get there, mill these 3 'logs' and then pack up and head back.
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #755 on: April 20, 2017, 10:40:35 pm »
I hope for your sake they have a piece of equipment there,they don't look like they're gonna roll to easy  :D. I'm sure there will be nice looking lumber in them and plenty of it. Gotta love walnut

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #756 on: April 21, 2017, 10:50:22 am »
Two guys and two cant hooks is all we have but I'll have a chainsaw too if that's what it takes ;)
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Offline newoodguy78

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #757 on: April 21, 2017, 09:50:32 pm »
Two guys with simple tools and a desire to make stuff happen can do amazing things. I commend your positive get er done attitude.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #758 on: April 23, 2017, 10:07:15 am »
We got it done!  A bit sore today but one happy customer and a few bucks in my pocket makes it all worth it :)


Customer posing with the last log.  This 6 foot log weighs about 2700 lbs (maybe more since it was pretty wet) and scaled in over 300bf


Love it when a customer posts this on Facebook :D

 
Most of what the day produced (I calculated 1043bf but there were slabs and cookies I didn't count (just forgot them) so I'm sure it's over 1200bf.


Seemed like I had to run no faster than 9 on the clock/throttle to keep the cuts flat.  Had to adjust my break at lunch as it was suddenly not working and doubled checked my drive belt tension which I've decided is a little high.  When I set it I thought I'd gotten it to 14lbs but when I checked it at lunch it was between 15 and 16lbs.  Seems the Wood-Mizer way to adjust doesn't mention the bar they placed in front of the top pully and I just rest my 18" rule against it and measure at 9" but when I measure with a tape it looks like 9 1/2" (from the bottom) would be closer to center.  Anyone that can advise there would be great.


Some days you just want to take some home :)



 I'm up to over 68kbf on this mill in just over a year :)

I'm off to mill a mixed bag of orders for the lumber yard and the customer who owns all the logs next weekend and possibly the one after that too...and in June I'm going to the Forest Owners Field Day again :)  (June 24th in Dayton WA)  Forester tells me I get first right of refusal.  Truth is I usually get a mill job out of these shows so while I spend money going to them it usually means I'll earn money from them later :) and it's fun to visit with all the folks there and just enjoy the day.  Though this time my wife's not coming so it won't be quite the same (she's gone to the last ones so I had someone to chit chat with between groups of people).  I'll manage of course ;)

And so the adventure continues :)
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Offline OlJarhead

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Re: OldJarheads Milling Thread...
« Reply #759 on: April 23, 2017, 10:08:50 am »
https://www.facebook.com/kate.ruffing.7/videos/1519354021408665/
Not sure this video will work but my customer made it of me working a big (fat) log.
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