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Thread: Sawmill Purchase

  1. #16
    What I have learned...

    If you were going to do it to make money ask your self do I want to sell
    a 2x4 for the same price that I can buy one new? I think the only real
    way to make money on the side is to saw really wide or extra long stuff
    that you can't buy at the local store.

  2. #17
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Beitz View Post
    .... I think the only real way to make money on the side is to saw really wide or extra long stuff that you can't buy at the local store.
    Or perhaps provide wood species you can't easily buy - dogwood, american ebony (persimmon), sourwood, osage orange, black locust, bradford pear and such. Or specialty sizes: I cut some 10"x10"x15" and larger blocks of ambrosia maple on my sawmill for woodturning - these sold for surprising amounts at our wood auction. People want 12/4 and thicker for outdoor benches and steps which don't need to be wide. Also, there is a demand for big wood for mantles. These and more would be fine for a little extra income "on the side" but it would be a huge effort to market such pieces in volume. I'm personally not the least interested in such a business!

    JKJ

  3. #18
    A friend of mine has been milling for years. He had a 450 Ford Diesel flatbed with a side-boom. It has, I believe, an 8000# lift capacity. It is an old pipeliners truck. It would add a whole new cost to the wood cutting, but the material can be handled safely. Propane companies and utilities sometimes let these types of trucks go and for limited use they can be just right.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    ...a 450 Ford Diesel flatbed with a side-boom. It has, I believe, an 8000# lift capacity.... It would add a whole new cost to the wood cutting....
    It would also add great flexibility! I use a flat bed trailer, easy for hauling but loading the logs can be a problem. If there is no loading equipment at the site I either have to roll the logs up ramps or take a tractor. Taking a tractor is a pain if the site is not near - have to take the tractor to the site, load, drive the logs back, unload, go get the tractor. Fortunately some logs are close enough to drive the tractor or bobcat to the log and skid it back.

    JKJ

  5. #20
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    May 2008
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    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Eure View Post

    I've been told by a few folks that said if they had someone to come to their place they would have this or that milled because they had no way to get the log to the mill. But to me it would start to feel like a job.
    Since you are considering factoring in the business/making money side of it, you might want to test this assumption. Sometimes what people 'say' they will pay for turns out they will NOT pay for when its time to front the $, and/or the amount they are willing to pay is quite small.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Milwaukie, OR
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    33
    Saw this thread and got a laugh at all the "retired" sawyers out there. My planned retirement hobby started with a Granberg 60" Alaska mill and somehow morphed into a older LT40 hydraulic Mizer, a newer 6-18 Lucas mill with 50" slabber and surfacing attachments, a forklift to move logs around the yard/shop and a 1998 Ford F800 boom crane truck to pick them up. So much for a part-time gig. I'll just say that after a days milling I'm much more appreciative of my daytime job throwing bodies around as a chiropractor. I used to think that was manually intensive.

    Like others on the thread my suggestion is to keep it simple and stay put on your place. If you can afford it get the hydraulics included on the mill and find a way to pick the logs/slabs/boards up without breaking your back ie. tractor, forklift or skid steer.

    BTW the Granberg mill is for sale.

  7. #22
    This is a slippery slope. I don't get rid of any equipment, just buy more. Thinking how much fun I could have with a mini-hoe!

  8. #23
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    This is a slippery slope. I don't get rid of any equipment, just buy more. Thinking how much fun I could have with a mini-hoe!
    You mean a small track hoe, around here often called a mini-ex?

    I have a tractor and skid steer but I seriously need a small track hoe around the farm! It will have to have a thumb. My wife won't agree to paying for one from her vacation fund - can you imagine! I've been saving for years and someday...

    JKJ

  9. #24
    Yes, a mini-hoe is what they are referred to here. Maybe if the trade negotiations go well and soybeans and wheat prices go up, I might be able to afford a used one. Looks like fun to dig trees out with the stumps attached. Interesting wood in stumps.

  10. We refer to them as a "rubber track excavator" and yes, without question it is probably the only machine I have had as much fun with as my sawmill. You want to guard against being to conservative regarding the size though....the small machines don't have enough weight to properly handle a tree the size of which they can dig out.....several guys around here found this out the hard way and are no longer with us. Putting trees on the ground can be dangerous for sure. Another yes to the stump containing some of the best figured wood in the tree. Some trees, like Tupelo, the stump is the money.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Andrew View Post
    Yes, a mini-hoe is what they are referred to here. Maybe if the trade negotiations go well and soybeans and wheat prices go up, I might be able to afford a used one. Looks like fun to dig trees out with the stumps attached. Interesting wood in stumps.
    My neighbor, clearing for pasture for cattle, has four for his business. He cautions that many small used track hoes are inexpensive (less than $15K or so) because they are flat worn out and it might cost that much more to put in good condition, so check out a used one carefully. He said a budget of $30-40K will get a much better small machine. He also said the capabilities are far different - comparing a new Kubota and Bobcat of the same class the Kubota "is half the machine".

    Of course it depends on the class and what you want to do with it. I want one for occasional use around the farm (ditches, septic, clearing, big rocks, cleaning up downed trees), not for a business. I have a friend who paid about $7K for one and it certainly has a lot of wear - many joints are sloppy. However, he uses it around his farm - he loaded some huge logs on my trailer with no effort. He said burying cows for local farmers had nearly paid for it - he gets $250 + travel to dig a cow-sized hole which only takes a few minutes. I had to bury a horse with the 7' backhoe on my tractor and it took me 1/2 hour of digging. I've dug out stumps with my little backhoe attachment and skid-steer and it's a lot of work! Some are easy but both of these were hackberry trees, the worst I've encountered - the second one took me half a day (clearing to build my shop).

    stump.jpg big_stump_2012-08-03_10-55-.jpg

    When I get the money saved up I'm going to see what I can find for about $20k.

    JKJ

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    cleveland,tn.
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    remember to keep a eye out for full size backhoes ( 4 wheel drive if you can ), I stumbled on a good one and I would be miserable without it. The only thing I did to modify it was to add a manual thumb.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by david privett View Post
    remember to keep a eye out for full size backhoes ( 4 wheel drive if you can ), I stumbled on a good one and I would be miserable without it. The only thing I did to modify it was to add a manual thumb.
    That's a good point. About how deep will the one you have dig?

    Having another machine with a front end loader would be handy. I've never looked for one - is it likely to be cheaper than a mini-ex?

  14. #29
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    Mar 2015
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    cleveland,tn.
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    John mine max digging depth is 14 ft. it says, I have never dug that deep getting stumps out, let it dry out some and come on down. I assume your a bit wet where you are at too.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by david privett View Post
    John mine max digging depth is 14 ft. it says, I have never dug that deep getting stumps out, let it dry out some and come on down. I assume your a bit wet where you are at too.
    I love the rain, the fields love the rain, the garden loves the rain. But enough is enough! Let's save some for the middle of the summer.

    JKJ

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