need portable sawmill service

mcour at mcour at
Fri Mar 13 10:54:30 EST 1998

I am having some timber taken from my property by loggers.  After they are
done, I will have about 5000 board feet remaining in some big poplars and
small cherrys and maples.  I plan on using these for building a small barn.
For $75 per Mbf (thousand board feet) the loggers will cut and stack the trees
they are not taking next to my driveway.  This seems like a good deal to me,
but then I need to bring in a guy with  portable saw mill to cut the timber.

What can I expect to pay per board foot for this service?  My barn design
doesn't require 5000 board feet, and it might be beneficial to split the
lumber with the guy operating the mill.  What kind of percentage split is
reasonable?  If my volume estimates are right, a 50-50 split leaves me with
some wood to spare after building the barn.  Is this a fair deal for both me
and the guy operating the mill?  Are there people with mills willing to work
for a portion of the lumber rather than cash?

I am also wondering how long I can let the logs sit next to my driveway before
bringing in someone with a mill to cut them.  I might not have the cash
available for a year, so would it be better to leave the trees standing until
I can afford to have them rough sawn?  Are there guys who are willing to fell
the trees and cut the boards for a percentage of the wood (I'd expect to keep
30-40% of the wood in this kind of deal)?

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