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thinning: logs to the mill - or bring in a portable ??

Mike Hagen mhagen at olympus.net
Sun Aug 9 14:58:51 EST 1998

This is a common qestion in my neck of the woods too. I've come up
with a few rules of thumb.  If the potential mill operator is
primarily a sawyer, not a logger or farmer or whatever, the project
has a chance.  If there's a specialty market for his particular
product, he's got a chance.  If he's running old second hand equipment
and only works when he feels like it, nope.  If he is producing a bulk
product; dimension lumber, firewood, grape stakes, etc, he'd better
have a BIG source of cheap raw material, other wise, nope.  The people
I know who've made it have found innovative markets: fine door stock,
interior portions of high tech kayack paddles and art wood.
By the way, there's been talk of a solar dry kiln developed in
Missouri that I think would have a lot of bearing on what a portable
mill owner could do.  Water is weight!

KMorrisD wrote:
> norm at pdx.wantweb.net wrote
> >My question is this: Rather than occasionally send a truck load to the mill,
> >is it economically feasible to have our local portable mill guy (bandsaw
> >type) cut up the logs right here and then sell the lumber via retail (perhaps
> >thru the thrifty ads)? The port. mill guy says he will produce considerably
> >more board feet than I will receive from the scaling process. And he can help
> >sell it.  ??
> I seem to be getting more and more requests for this type of information from
> landowners.  I tend to tell them about what Joe said.  But I wonder if that's
> good advice for retired people or semi-unemployed people.
> Have any foresters or landowners out there actually done business plans for
> this type of operation--with costs and returns compared to competitive bid
> sales?  Or do you have data from actual experience?
> Karl Davies

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