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!
>>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