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Thread: Post Oak? Should I mill?

  1. #1

    Post Oak? Should I mill?

    I have a property with 20 -25 large oaks that I believe are post oaks.The property has to be completely cleared of all timber so the trees must go. Being a wood worker I hate to see them wasted. Problem is I've read a lot of mixed reviews on the internet whether I should mill this type of oak or not. Can someone please confirm what type of oak these are and whether its worth the trouble??? I live in Southeast Texas in the north Houston area if that helps!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audie Milner View Post
    Problem is I've read a lot of mixed reviews on the internet whether I should mill this type of oak or not. Can someone please confirm what type of oak these are and whether its worth the trouble???
    Lots of pictures of leaves and bark: https://www.thejump.net/hunting/plant-id/post-oak.htm

    Post Oak is a white oak, rot resistant, common uses according to the Wood Database: Fence posts, cabinetry, furniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer.

    https://www.wood-database.com/post-oak/

    I'd mill it if I had it. What were the negative comments on the all-knowing internet?

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 10-11-2018 at 4:22 PM.

  3. #3
    I read that since itís a very hardwood the Miller would need a carbide tipped blade and that the wood was difcult to dry because it has a tendency to warp and crack.

    I would think being that itís a white oak I would be dumb not to have it milled.

  4. #4
    I have milled it before without trouble. A plain carbon steel band cut it fine (while fresh). White oak and post oak need to dry slowly so they are more difficult to dry than some other woods. 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 air dried OK in my experience. Straight clean logs will make nice lumber, knotty crooked logs (or any limbs) will make junk lumber.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hill, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Ford View Post
    I have milled it before without trouble. A plain carbon steel band cut it fine (while fresh). White oak and post oak need to dry slowly so they are more difficult to dry than some other woods. 4/4, 5/4 and 6/4 air dried OK in my experience. Straight clean logs will make nice lumber, knotty crooked logs (or any limbs) will make junk lumber.
    What Dennis said.....

    Your butt logs appear to be fairly clear and large enough to have quartersawn. Go for it!

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone! Iíve decided to have them milled. All waste from the trees will go towards firewood and wood for smoking meat. Iím going to get my moneys worth out of them.

  7. #7
    One more question? The sawer that I talked to said there would be 150.00 set up fee and 75.00 an hour after that. Does that sound right??? He said he could probably do 1.5 trees an hour

  8. I donít know about the set up charge unless heís having to drive a portable mill to your place. I cut several post oaks up last year and itís been drying nicely. Last I checked it was at 11%. I have finished a few pieces into sample doors and they turned out good. I liked the rustic look so I donít mind knots. The bigger ones do cause the wood to do weird things. I am down in South Texas and have a few hundred acres of oaks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    New Hill, NC
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    2,171
    Quote Originally Posted by Audie Milner View Post
    One more question? The sawer that I talked to said there would be 150.00 set up fee and 75.00 an hour after that. Does that sound right??? He said he could probably do 1.5 trees an hour
    Sounds about right. Expect to pay around $35.00 per band for any metal strikes too.

  10. #10
    If you hire a sawyer to come to your place to mill, the rates are quite expensive, as they must have insurance to cover their liability on your property. If you can find a sawyer who only mills from his place, his farmowners policy will cover him. And he doesn't have the cost of being mobile. I have used a car trailer to load logs, go to the mill, and bring the lumber back home. The guy I took logs to sawed my logs on his inch scale, instead of 4/4 scale, and the boards were too thin to clean up at 3/4". Don't be shy about examining the boards off the mill when he is getting started.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Eudora, Kansas
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    37
    The previous comment is somewhat misleading. On the topic of insurance, unfortunately, not all sawyers have insurance - mobile or stationary (very risky both for them, and for you). Not all sawyers are farmers, and farm owner's insurance may not cover commercial operations, open to the public, on the farm. I know of instances where operating a market on the farm caused increases in rates. Many insurance underwriters freak at the mere mention of a sawmill (farm policy or not). I mill at home, and on-site, my insurance covers both. My insurance, both business liability and sawmill & related equipment, runs less than $5 per day.

    It should be more expensive to have someone come to you, you are asking for more services. For my clients, if they have the equipment to load and transport logs safely, then they bring them here and only pay milling fees. If you have to rent or borrow a trailer, and maybe a truck, and hire (or impose) on family or friends to help you muscle the logs on the trailer - you might consider the cost of travel and setup to be quite reasonable. Many of my clients do. If they have more logs than they could haul in one load, even those with equipment usually prefer to have on-site milling.

    I go through an educational process with each new client, we discuss what they hope to get from their lumber, what thicknesses they need (which may vary depending on species, width of cut, figure, etc.), handling the lumber after it is milled, and anything else that comes up during that discussion. At my mill, the first log always takes a bit longer; we verify the thickness, wane, the rhythm of the process, etc.. For many clients, this might be the first time they have had a log milled, or ever worked with rough sawn material, and they may not know what to expect. Misunderstandings, like lumber to thin to finish at specs, shouldn't happen but do. If your sawyer does something unexpected, or something doesn't look right, speak up. We care that you are pleased with the product we create from your logs.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hogard View Post
    The previous comment is somewhat misleading. On the topic of insurance, unfortunately, not all sawyers have insurance - mobile or stationary (very risky both for them, and for you). Not all sawyers are farmers, and farm owner's insurance may not cover commercial operations, open to the public, on the farm. I know of instances where operating a market on the farm caused increases in rates. Many insurance underwriters freak at the mere mention of a sawmill (farm policy or not). I mill at home, and on-site, my insurance covers both. My insurance, both business liability and sawmill & related equipment, runs less than $5 per day.

    It should be more expensive to have someone come to you, you are asking for more services. For my clients, if they have the equipment to load and transport logs safely, then they bring them here and only pay milling fees. If you have to rent or borrow a trailer, and maybe a truck, and hire (or impose) on family or friends to help you muscle the logs on the trailer - you might consider the cost of travel and setup to be quite reasonable. Many of my clients do. If they have more logs than they could haul in one load, even those with equipment usually prefer to have on-site milling.

    I go through an educational process with each new client, we discuss what they hope to get from their lumber, what thicknesses they need (which may vary depending on species, width of cut, figure, etc.), handling the lumber after it is milled, and anything else that comes up during that discussion. At my mill, the first log always takes a bit longer; we verify the thickness, wane, the rhythm of the process, etc.. For many clients, this might be the first time they have had a log milled, or ever worked with rough sawn material, and they may not know what to expect. Misunderstandings, like lumber to thin to finish at specs, shouldn't happen but do. If your sawyer does something unexpected, or something doesn't look right, speak up. We care that you are pleased with the product we create from your logs.
    This is very informative information. Thank you! I run and operate large dirt pits and thatís what this property will soon be. Thatís why all the timber must go. I already have a large excavator on the property so moving and loading logs on a trailer isnít an issue. I guess the issue is the amount of logs, being that thereís over 20 large oak trees. Sounds like hauling them to the mill rather than the mill coming to me is the thing to do. I may just bring him a few logs for now and stack the other logs to dry and mill them over time later. Again, thanks for the great info. Wish you were in my area to mill these for me.

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