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Author Topic: Big Slabs: Sales and handling  (Read 5029 times)

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Offline jemmy

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Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« on: June 23, 2017, 10:44:34 pm »
I have acquired a few special logs that I intend to slab. I have a white oak that is 20ft+ with a 56" diameter at the base and tapers to 40", a red oak that is 16ft+ with a 40" base and hardly tapers, and lastly another piece of white oak that is 12ft long with 56" at the base and tapers to 40"...

 Now I would love to keep all of these slabs true, and not cut them in half. However, I do not know the feasibility of selling 12ft+ slabs. I do not know even the first thing about selling slabs so if someone could bestow some knowledge about moving this many slabs for maximum dollar that would be great. I am not set on it, but I do plan on kiln drying them, but nothing further. Basically if someone could share marketing strategies, price points, how I should handle the logs or any other potential knowledge/perspective that would be a great help.   

 
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Offline ToddsPoint

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 04:27:15 am »
Impressive pic.  You look like you are victorious over that huge log.  Hope you have a wide mill.  Gary
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Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 07:20:42 am »
Nice big logs.  I haven't handled that size of slab as far as length.  Do you plan on cutting them live edge top to bottom with a chainsaw mill or super-slabber (Lucas)?  Knowing your location would help some in giving you advice.  How long ago were the logs cut?  Good luck.
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Offline jemmy

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 07:41:10 am »
The white oaks were cut two years ago, and the red oaks were cut this year. I am planning on using a chainsaw mill to slab them out. I am still looking for a power head that is capable of cutting 60". I am in Toledo, hio.
Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and take what comes with a grin. - Grandpa Chuck

Offline paul case

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 09:56:09 am »
Welcome to the FF, jemmy.

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 10:24:38 am »
I would think if you're going to be handling logs that big you could use a 4 stroke engine as a power source.  Are you planning to build the mill or buy a commercial one?  Who's going to do the kiln drying?

I've seen some 20' slabs that were spruce and used in a massive table at a B&B.  Very limited sales for something that long, unless you get to corporate.  If you cut 2" thick slabs, that white oak can be as much as 800 lbs.  You'll probably cut thicker, as you're going to have to level it out after drying. 

Before I would get very involved in getting into this, I would find someone that is actually doing what you want, and visit their operations.  You'll find out what you're getting into, and how long it will take for a turnaround in your investment. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 10:51:04 am »
You do have time.  Mill them and restack them in order to air dry.  You need to create a level, flat base to stack on.  then you want to cover the top with tin.  Then let them air dry for a couple 2-4 years (assuming 2-3 inches thick).  Then if you want to kiln dry them to get the last bit of moisture out you can. 

If you're slabs dried and didn't twist and get all funky but remained fairly flat, you can then go to work with a 4x24 belt sander and smooth them out. 

Then you'll have to market them.  Will you be making them into tables or someone else?  Is your customer the end user or another wood worker who will build the tables?  Then they have to find the end user.  There's a lot of work involved in just making the table top start to finish, but can be profitable if you work efficiently.  It's probably best if you make multiple tables simultaneously.   You'll need a helper too.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 02:46:25 pm »
Please update your profile to show your location. that would help a bunch. There's a sawyer just down the road from me that can bandsaw a 53 inch slab. I see snow in your pic, meaning you not close enough to use him..
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Offline Beavertooth

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 06:52:13 pm »
Your oak needs to be kiln dried. If you let it air dry it will dry out to fast and do things that you will not like. Red Oak has to be dried slow and white oak even slower. If you have it kiln dried you can control how fast it dries.
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2017, 12:22:28 am »
Welcome too FF Jemmy
If you can slab them long all the better gives you lots of options for sales.
Consider milling 1/2" thicker than your projected finished thickness. We do alot of 2-1/2" and 3" thick slabbing.
The money slabs are on each side of pith or center of log.  Your live edge is closest to being 90
Some features that are attractive are spike knots or where there was a limb, if you can catch it right it will stay with the slab when it dries.
Sometimes taking less money for them and selling them green is a good way too go, everything is beautiful when you first mill them. But alot happens as it air dries and kiln dries. Keeping them long gives lots of options for customer to pick the best length that they need for there project. Charge accordingly for the lengths left over. 6'- 8' lengths are good sellers also. Coffee tables too dinning room table.
You must have some heavy equipment to get that monster loaded.
Good luck with your slabbing venture.

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Offline jemmy

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2017, 02:17:54 am »
Thank you all for the information. Now I would love to move a lot of slabs quickly because I know they are worth good money even as green. But how do I do so? I have heard of big suppliers that will buy them, but I cant seem to think (or find) any company that would want to buy these. I imagine if you get some really awesome slabs it wouldn't be hard find that right buyer, but I just don't know what mediums I should advertise or go for. Also what should the price of slab that is 20' total in length, 3" thick, with a taper of 56-50 for 16ft then spreads out to 60"+ for about 2ft in length, then finishes with 40" top? I have a lot of footage of how I got this tree loaded, and I didn't use anything besides my trucks, logs, chains, and some red-green/red neck ingenuity. I find all this stuff to be a riot, its tough work but I truly enjoy it, I am very thankful for all of your guys help!

 
Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and take what comes with a grin. - Grandpa Chuck

Offline Magicman

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 07:51:40 am »
Often the best way to develop a marketing scheme is to first try to buy the product.  Try Google and whatever sources that a prospective buyer might use to find the item(s).  Watch and see how fast they are selling and for how much. 
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 09:54:04 am »
Yeah, what they are actually selling for, not what crazy price someone is asking and hoping for....
Welcome to the addiction!....
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline redbeard

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2017, 11:46:20 am »
Pricing wide slabs has some things too think about.
Value of the wood BF price
Expense of cutting the slab
You need too keep track of your time and efforts from getting the log to display for sale.
Measure the middle of slabs width use that for your BF price.
 Leave the metal hits intact , you would be surprised at how many people that look for that feature.
Have a story for your log, location, age, ect. People like to connect with the tree.
Even if it was saved from the landfill that's a story.
Always get a picture of fresh cut slab you won't see these colors again untill someone finishes it down the road.
Most important have a secure planned out area for storage because every time you handle the monsters there's damage too it either a fork scrape or helping it check more. Pics are your seller.
E bay and Amazon are good outlets to sell and search for prices.
 

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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2017, 01:29:23 pm »
X2 on the sales story.
Here is a example what worked for my kids early teens.
The puppy's 6 weeks maybe 8, momma done got herself run over on the highway. They took pics wrote up a sob story sold all 5 in one day. $5 each .
All in the story.  :P
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Offline jemmy

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2017, 12:24:46 am »

You must have some heavy equipment to get that monster loaded.
Good luck with your slabbing venture.

I just got done with my video of loading this log onto my trailer! All I used was some dead ash trees for ramps and some trucks hooked up with chains. I hope you guys enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-91l2yEt6GQ&feature=youtu.be
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Offline Classic1

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2017, 06:54:13 am »
If you think your going to kiln dry slabs in a conventional kiln at the same rate as dimensional lumber your going to end up with a pile of unusable lumber. 

You need to oversize slabs at least 3/4" in thickness minimum.  That's if you dry it properly.

People grossly underestimate labor it takes to post process large slabs after milling.  If your not drying in a vacuum kiln, you need to air dry for months before putting into a conventional kiln.

Offline Darrel

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2017, 09:20:35 am »
Welcome to the forum jemmy. Not much help when it comes to marketing, but I wish you luck.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2017, 09:34:39 am »
If you think your going to kiln dry slabs in a conventional kiln at the same rate as dimensional lumber your going to end up with a pile of unusable lumber. 

You need to oversize slabs at least 3/4" in thickness minimum.  That's if you dry it properly.

People grossly underestimate labor it takes to post process large slabs after milling.  If your not drying in a vacuum kiln, you need to air dry for months before putting into a conventional kiln.

+1

I have a shed full of 10/4 and 12/4 slabs that have been air drying for 2 years now, and they are NOT even close to ready for being turned into furniture.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Big Slabs: Sales and handling
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2017, 05:51:19 pm »
Truth in all of the above. 
Slabs are heavy, hard to cut, hard to handle, slow to dry, easy to ruin, easy to check, prone to insects, easy to sticker stain, take up lots of room, must be stacked high to prevent cup and warp, generally must be put back on the mill to flatten, take double the effort to plane, and in general a very high load product.  Also, if the bark stays on, they are death to planer blades.

On the other hand, we sell a fair amount of live edge and edged different species of 9/4 and thicker at $$ multiples of standard 4/4.  We just took about 3,200 bdft out of the kiln this weekend and people are already asking to buy them before I've had a chance to let them cool down, almost.

Every time a customer comments how expensive they are, I look at them deadpan and say "yep, even at that, it's not hardly worth it for me to fool with...".  ;)


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