Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Lumber price

  1. #1

    Lumber price

    I recently had some large trees cut from my property - probably white oak. I am trying to figure out if it is worth having them milled to sell. The logs are straight, 11 ft. long and range from 18 to 36 in. in dia. I have identified a couple of people with portable sawmills in my area. Anyone have an idea of how much green white oak is selling for at present? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    4,450
    Quote Originally Posted by cynthia Amneus View Post
    I recently had some large trees cut from my property - probably white oak. I am trying to figure out if it is worth having them milled to sell. The logs are straight, 11 ft. long and range from 18 to 36 in. in dia. I have identified a couple of people with portable sawmills in my area. Anyone have an idea of how much green white oak is selling for at present? Thanks!
    You might try the search box since this gets asked quite a bit. Here is a recent discussion:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...g-Green-Lumber

    Unfortunately, it may not be a goldmine. Quality kiln dried and surfaced oak can be pricey but even a good grade of air dried oak can be had for less than a dollar per board foot in places - green is cheaper. Before I got my own sawmill I paid as little as 30 cents/bd ft for green oak. If you hire a sawmill you will probably have to pay quite a bit before you even discover what quality you have, then you have a place to sticker and store it until you sell it (and get rid of the waste). Best is probably to find a local buyer before you saw and load it directly from the mill into his truck.

    Maybe call some sawmills and ask them what they charge for green oak boards.

    Another option is to just sell the logs to someone with a mill. One problem (besides the low selling price) is the heavy equipment needed to load and haul. I sold some once and three decent logs brought $65 total - hardly worth the effort.

    You might mention where you live. Oak goes for much more in some areas than others. Around here oak logs are usually free. I have a several piles of large white oak logs if anyone wants some - more than I can use. Bring a trailer. (I'm not trying to under cut you but just hinting at the possible value in some areas.)

    Another option is to split and sell firewood in the middle of the winter. I can't believe how much people charge for firewood.

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Thanks for your comments. I am in Cincinnati Ohio.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    988
    Google Bonesteel Lumber and give them a call. They currently retail dry white oak at $2.80 a BF for 4/4 kiln dried. I don't know if you have enough logs to make it worth the trip or not.

  5. #5
    I would say that it depends on what you're expecting to gain from the entire process. If your main or only goal is profit, then I would advise against paying someone to mill the logs and trying to find a buyer. You will have to deal with stickering and stacking the lumber properly until it's sold. You'll have to deal with all the waste from the milling operation. A portable sawmill operator will likely charge at least 30 cents / bd ft to mill 4/4 boards. How you choose to saw the lumber will also affect it's value greatly. Quarter sawn white oak is much more valuable than flat sawn red oak, for example. It will cost more and create more waste on the front end to quarter saw, but could be worth the effort with the right logs.

    Green lumber of nearly all species is always much cheaper than properly dried lumber. I wouldn't pay any more than $1 bd/ft for green oak of any variety. You will not come out ahead in terms of profit by taking this approach, especially if you're inexperienced...

    However, if you are looking to gain experience and knowledge in the realm of lumber and saw milling, then it could be a great opportunity. Are you or anyone among friends/family into woodworking? If so, the lumber would likely be worth keeping and drying properly to use in future projects.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I would say that it depends on what you're expecting to gain from the entire process. If your main or only goal is profit, then I would advise against paying someone to mill the logs and trying to find a buyer. You will have to deal with stickering and stacking the lumber properly until it's sold. You'll have to deal with all the waste from the milling operation. A portable sawmill operator will likely charge at least 30 cents / bd ft to mill 4/4 boards. How you choose to saw the lumber will also affect it's value greatly. Quarter sawn white oak is much more valuable than flat sawn red oak, for example. It will cost more and create more waste on the front end to quarter saw, but could be worth the effort with the right logs.

    Green lumber of nearly all species is always much cheaper than properly dried lumber. I wouldn't pay any more than $1 bd/ft for green oak of any variety. You will not come out ahead in terms of profit by taking this approach, especially if you're inexperienced...

    However, if you are looking to gain experience and knowledge in the realm of lumber and saw milling, then it could be a great opportunity. Are you or anyone among friends/family into woodworking? If so, the lumber would likely be worth keeping and drying properly to use in future projects.
    Around here any green oak (red or white) is going to sell for between 400 and 600 /MBF. (40 to 60 cents a foot). Air dried may be a touch more but no where near $1. We recently bought a large pack of 4/4 KD FAS Red Oak and I believe we paid 1.51/ft (1510/MBF).

    The logs are likely worth less than $250/MBF. Meaning an average log may be worth a bit under a hundred bucks.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    mid minnesota
    Posts
    65
    Its going to vary a lot state to state, here in MN I sell a lot for trailer decking from 85 to 1.10 a bf depending on length. Steve

  8. #8
    Think I would just advertise oak logs for sale. Investing in sawing, then you have to air dry with stickers, and advertise air dried lumber. Lot of cost and labor when you could just sell the logs.

  9. #9
    Around here you could get $800-1000 / MBF for straight and clear northern red or white oak logs (over ~ 20" diameter on the small end) if you dropped them off in the yard of a local mill. Half that or less if just selling to someone who will buy the logs and then haul and sell them. There is considerable cost involved with loading and hauling logs, so don't expect to make much money on anything but the nicest of oak logs, and even then...This is not even mentioning the differences in log scaling (Doyle vs International vs Scribner) and expecting a logger who doesn't know or have a relationship with you to be completely fair with the grading.

    Mark is likely correct on his log pricing estimate, but perhaps a bit generous. This all depends on the true quality and size of the logs.

    Let's say you have a 11' log that's 24" in diameter on the smallest end. It is free of limbs, knots, sweep (meaning it is straight), and hasn't been laying for more than a week or two in the woods. You may , under the best circumstances, get someone to pay you around $400 / MBF ( 40 cents per board foot) to buy the logs where they sit and let them deal with loading, hauling, and selling them. On the Doyle scale, thats around 250 bd /ft @ 40 cents per = $100.

    OR You could pay someone likely a minimum of 30 cents per bd/ft (likely a bit more) to come and saw them "log run" which would be the most economical price option a sawyer will likely offer. You may be able to sell them lumber green for 50 - 75 cents per bd ft...maybe. This is all hypothetical and is speculative until actual conditions are applied. Some one will have to off load the lumber during sawing and stack it somewhere suitable unless a buyer is arranged and present for loading during sawing.

    Price per bd/ft for sawn oak depends greatly on quality of logs, type of cut (flat, rift, QS), thickness, etc. Too many variables to throw out a specific price, but in my neck of the woods it would take some pretty special lumber and a motivated buyer to top $1 per bd/ft green. Air dried QS white oak that was sawn properly and from a quality log could bring $4 bd/ft + from the right person, but that's not a common situation. More like $1.50 bd/ft max for most dry oak around here.

    These pricing variations are very geographically specific and don't necessarily reflect what your area's market will bear.
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 08-04-2017 at 12:46 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •