Exciting times ahead.

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A new client of mine was telling me about her son-in-law who has been in the process of rebuilding an old sawmill, not far from where my parents used to live. I had noticed the activity there, with the log buildings being worked on and workers all over the place. As pure coincidence would have it, I ran into one of the partners on this project when I was buying myself a new SAK (Swiss Army Knife...he was all out of Swiss Navy Knives). He told me that they have well over 50,000 BF of miscellaneous wooden beams from old barns and salvaged 200-year old maple and other logs from the depths of Georgian Bay. They will be using modern technology in terms of drying the lumber and fancy metal detectors before sawing the stuff "with substantial, new equipment" Some of the stuff will be cut into veneers. This is right in my area, and I am chomping at the bit to get my nose in there.
Solid surface fabrication is doing well for me... but wood is in my blood. I even had a dream that I bought some exotic hand plane which produced a curl that floated to the ceiling.
I need help!
r
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SNIP

Sigh. I have similar dreams. I am sick of remodeling and repair. If I had something else on the table that would pay the various expenses one seems to incur by osmosis, I would seriously consider shutting down the company, or reducing it to "intersting projects only".
If I had a sawmill open up anywhere near to me... just within 50 miles, I would probably be thinking waaay too much about what I could be doing instead of what I should be doing. I spend too much time thinking about a roomy furniture/cabinet shop at the edge of some small town around here.
But before that when I was at the Texas Furniture Maker's Guild contest, I saw a lot of really good work. Some of it was OK, some of it just wasn't my taste (but the workmanship was great), and some was clever and inventive. But the guys that placed, WOW. A couple of the pieces would challenge anyone. It was inspiring to me, but also pointed out new wood working skill sets I haven't even touched. Skills that could take years to master. Sounds good to me.
I often wonder why I never took up fishing or something along those lines. At least you could blame poor performance on bad luck, weather, equipment failure, etc. Kinda hard to do with woodwork. Yet I think for some of us woodworkers/carpenters, like your dream of a long wispy curl from a well tuned plane, it is the climb as much as the summit.
But a woodmill? I have a friend of mine that made a trip up to Ohio last year and went to veneering mill near a town he was visiting. He wanted to get me some bowl blanks for the lathe, so he stopped in to see how much they wanted for them. They had ends that were deemed unusable for veneers with some cracking, branches and knots. These were piled high outside the main machinery. Price? Take all you want, in the off season they can't give these stumps away fast enough. In the fall, they give them away for firewood so they don't have to haul them off.
What a haul I would make for the lathe and my woodturning club with a nearby sawmill. I would have more new best friends than I could count.
Robert
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Sun, Apr 29, 2007, 1:47pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@aol.com whimpers: <snip> If I had a sawmill open up anywhere near to me... just within 50 miles, <snip> There are about 7 (seven) sawmlls within 10 miles of where I live. THAT I KNOW OF. And that's only in ONE drecton. There's maybe 2-3 a little further out; again, that I know of. I found all of them by just driving by them, didn't hunt down a single one. No telling how many there are within 50 miles, or how many of them I could find if I really wanted to. You need to start taking some weekend drives, and asking around. By the way, a number of those sawmills are within the city limits of our county seat, and about 20-25 miles from Raleigh, the NC capitol, so we're not exactly talking a low population area here.
JOAT If you don't ask the right questions, the answers don't matter. - W.S. Lind
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"J T" < wrote in message

Yabbut ... in San Antone where Robert is, you can see any tree within 50 miles.
--
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Last update: 2/20/07
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Swingman wrote:

Many years ago, flew in a single engine plane from Dallas to San Angelo.
During the flight, if you looked in a northerly direction, you could see miles and miles of miles and miles that contained an occasional building.
If you looked in a southerly direction, you could see miles and miles of miles and miles.
Trying to run over rattlesnakes and tarantulas on the highway at 6:00AM before things got too hot was something to relieve the boredom while driving.
Lew
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It hasn't changed a bit. Maybe a few less spiders, but the same amount of snakes.
Robert
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Sun, Apr 29, 2007, 5:52pm (EDT-2) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Swingman) doth sayeth: Yabbut ... in San Antone where Robert is, you can see any tree within 50 miles.
Yeah, what they call trees we call brush.
I have heard there's places where a lot of messkeet grows, and someims, by careful cutting, you can get boards as long as 3 feet out of one.
I spent about 3 years at Ft Hood. That's not far from one of the cultural centers of Texas. Ding Dong. Truth.
JOAT If you don't ask the right questions, the answers don't matter. - W.S. Lind
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On Apr 29, 4:40 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:
Whimpers? Are you kidding me? Isn't it about time for your annual "I'm leaving the group" farewell tour? A comment about a fact isn't a whimper, bitch. You watch too much Oprah.

Good reason for caps, no doubt. I am that you feel if someone of your intelligence could find them, everyone should be able to.

driving by them, didn't hunt down a single one. No >telling how many there are within 50 miles, or how many >of them I could find if I really

Good for you! You live in a state with an abundance of hardwood. Hurray! So much native hardwood they have sawmill signs out on the highways.
So? Did I comment on NC? No, unlike you, I don't comment on things I don't know anything about. I specifically mentioned my location, not yours.

of our county seat, and about 20-25 >miles from Raleigh, the NC capitol, so we're not exactly >talking a low population area here.
Looking at that statement, you must be assuming that more people means more sawmills, or more wood to cut, or both. Maybe even a connection to the proximity of sawmills and state capitols.
Let me help you out. Raleigh, NC has a population of about 375,000 people (don't bother with Raleigh-Durham-Cary). San Antonio is right at 1.3 million, not including the metropolitan area. Where is the wood? I live in a county that covers over 400 square miles, and on one edge it is about 75 miles from the capitol. Granted, that's more than 20-25, but where are the sawmills?
It is arrogant and profoundly stupid of you to think I haven't looked for a close sawmill of any sort. And it almost borders some kind of retardation for you to think you know more about this area than I do.

Don't you have a plan to post?
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

In the SFWIW category, Southern California has 8 counties, if you include Santa Barbara, and a tad over 17,000,000 people.
One of those counties, San Bernardino, which is not the most populous by any means, is larger than the state of Connecticut.
You want desert, there is plenty of it.
You want a sawmill, try 4-500 miles north.
Still California, just a tad north.
Lew
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Sun, Apr 29, 2007, 11:17pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@aol.com doth exclaim: A bunch of stuff I will respond to, but snipped .
OK, then substitute 'exclaimed his remorse', or some other words rather than 'whimper'. It's not like a personal attack on you.
Bitch? People from Texas talk like that now? San Francisco yes, but San Antonio? Sure didn't when I was there. Who's Oprah?
I was trying to point out that sawmills can be found where you'd never expect one. But you missed that. As I recall, there was even at least one somewhere around the Ft Hood area when I was there in the mid '70s, one of the last places I'd have expected a sawmill.
Actually most of the sawmills here I spoke of deal with pine, one specializing in cedar. Only one had signs on the highway, the others had small signs along their entrances.
You specifically mentioned your location? You might want to go back and check the post I responded to. You did mention you were at the Texas Furniture Maker's Guild contest, no mention of participation. Nothing about where you live, or even that you actually live in Texas. Kinda hard to comment on where you live if I don't know. What I commented on was what I actually know.
Nope, I made the statement based on the fact that even with a rapidly building population, and subdivisions everywhere it seems, there are still sawmills around. I though that would be self-evident too, but got that one wrong too..
Well Hell, I could have read the population figures on an Atlas myself. Where's the wood? I don't know, I'm not there to look. The size of your county has nothing to do with anything. And the sawmills? I don't know that either.
Arrogant and profoundly stupid of me to think you haven't looked for a sawmill? Nope, because you didn't say. I don't know you, so don't have any reason to assume you did. Borders on some sort of retardation for me to think I know more about your area then you do? Never said, or implied, I did. What I do know is that if 'I' was the one looking for a sawmill out there I'd get me a plan. I'd start out by checking the phone book, then contact my local Chamber of Commerce, and Better Business Bureau. Then, along with askng anyone and everyone I came acroos about sawmillls, I'd contact: County business permit, or tax, office. At least one local university. Your county, and srrounding counties, Agricultural Agents. State Forest Service. Bandsaw sawmill manufacturers ,for owners in the area that will do sawing. After all, 50 miles from you to a sawmill means a search circle that's 100 miles across - and that's a lot of area. And, if all that still didn't find me at least one sawmill, I'd say to Hell with it, and buy, or make, my own damn sawmill. No prob. Personally, if I had some more space here I'd just go ahead and buy a bandsaw mill, period. There's a lot of potential lumber going to waste around here clering land for new subdivisions and mini-mall and the like. I wouldn't bother gathering any of it mysef, I'd just saw wood brought to me. Figure payback would be pretty fast, even with a top-of-the-line (pricey) model.
Ah yes, do I have a plan to psst? Hadn't intended to post it, but since you asked: I plan on retrieving my trash can from the curb, taking a look at the El Camino's rear lights, and spending a bit of time in the shop fiddling with the planer sled I made to make a part for my mitre saw. I'll just wing everything after that.
JOAT If you don't ask the right questions, the answers don't matter. - W.S. Lind
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Roughly where do you live?
JJ
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In San Antonio, which is in South Central Texas, about 90 miles south from the capital, Austin. We are a couple of hundred miles east of the Gulf of Mexico.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

You have at least six sawmills within one hundred miles that I know of, and if you check the woodmiser list, probably a lot more. Just stay away from any Belizean you meat with a portable rig, usually going under the name of John Losket.
JJ
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Excellent!! Although I wouldn't really call a two hundred mile trip a short one (my truck gets about 12-14 on the hwy and being in business I always figure in gas), maybe I could find some of the ones you know about within that radius. Now if I found one that worked with my

sweet.
Where are they?
Like I said earlier, I know about many that are a few hours away, but none near. I hope you aren't counting those two stoners out at limecreek mill near Uvalde in your mix.
Truthfully, I haven't checked Woodmizer for about 1 1/2 years, and the last ones they gave me had them for personal use or sold all their product to private customers. The old links I have don't work, and the two portable mill guys I bought from before have disconnected phones.
But I am not looking for a portable mill, either, and if you got that from my original post, I am not sure how. I was thinking in context of my post that I was looking at the mill ends given away as firewood being good turning blanks, etc. I do not need wood sawn, so I am not sure about the value of contacting Woodmizer.
But a full fledged mill that ran all day would indeed be of interest. So if you will give me some names and numbers of the six you know off the top of your head I would certainly appreciate it.
Don't let me down.. I have already talked to a couple of my buddies that are looking forward to a road trip if something turns up here. One has an old one ton p/u, so the fifty mile radius would be great, but close to that would be OK, too.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Star with Texas Woods, Inc. Rural Route 1 Box 66 Bastrop, TX 78502 (800) 687-1779
He will talk your ear off and tell you who is in business and where. Apparently ten years is enough for people to change their numbers on me :-)
Dittmar runs a mill in your area.
However, you have to start think about buying wood as the profit margins mean that most of us no longer give anything away.
JJ
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I was actually hoping you would send me the six mills you referenced when you jumped in with

SNIP to newer posting

Apparently, sadly, you aren't having any better luck with this than I am. I was encouraged by the surety of your words. I personally have people I can call and talk to about mills in Texas. I was hoping that since you volunteered that so readily you were on your game, not thinking about ten year old info.
One more time to help with the confusion, the fifty mile mark mentioned was the desired limit of distance, with some flexibility. And once more, I know where there are mills a couple to three hours drive away. My associates and me all know the same guys, we all know the same mills, we all know where they are. We know how to contact the mesquite guild, we know how to use the yellow pages, some of us are members of the local chamber, and all of us know how to ask.
And again, see above for the fifty mile reference point and its origins.

Nope. Accoding to local legend (the memories of the 72+ years old club of contractors I know), they shut down their mill operation sometime in the 50's, and have been selling lumber as a commodity ever since. They have sold some rough sawn in the past but I don't think they do now unless it is ordered. I *think*still offer planing services, but in no way are they a mill. One of the smaller lumber vendors here, they now concentrate mainly on wholesale materials, and small custom orders.

Hmm... odd remark. While I noted that it was ironic that mill ends were given away as firewood in Ohio, I never indicated I wanted you to feel the bite of being taken advantage of when you posted

Assuming "us" is your group of some sort, (obviously not a lumber mill association ;^) ) what is did you give away for free that made you express that?
In context of telling me I need to think about buying wood

stop a minute and take a breath before you run away with yourself. I buy anywhere from $1000 to $12,000 of material a month as a contractor. No one gives me anything free, not material, not delivery, not handling, nothing... not a cent. I never ask, >>then I don't owe<<. Looking mainly for service, I don't ever want some vendor to tell me, "it won't be there until tomorrow (instead of today), but it does have that free stuff on there we promised to give you for nothing".
Back to your last sentence or two. In context of your message asking for consideration of "us" (the ones that no longer give anything away), who is the "us" that you represent when you talk about the profit margins of wood? Are you a lumber/hardwood supplier or commodities broker?
Robert
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wrote:

The 'No Bullshit' approach is sooo refreshing.
Just the other day, I received an e-mail and a fax of the drawings to quote on a job. Just an L-shaped counter with an island. A nice mid-sized gig for me. The e-mail specifically asked me for my "best price." I quote the gig and e-mailed my proposal. The reply asked if that was indeed my best price. I e-mailed back, and added $ 500.00 and said: "you were right, that wasn't my best price...this is."
I mean, who's got time for bullshit?
I haven't heard back yet. <G>
The West side of the property where I live, has a row of cedars and it is jam-packed with all kinds of excitable birds. Before dawn, the little suckers start their day early with a sound some would call a racket. To me it is music. The other morning, for fun, I decided to do a Fonzy and yelled: "COOL IT!!" out of the window. For a few seconds, it was dead silence..then a little muttering, then a full-fledged crescendo which sounded a lot like "ahhh go screw yourself" I then turned toward Angela and said: "you know they're heckling me??" Poor thing had to be resuscitated, she almost passed out from laughter... it took her a good 10 minutes before she could tell me that I had looked quite serious when I said that.
When you start off a day like that, there just isn't time for hagglers. Fukkum.
I have NO idea what just made write this.. but it is time for a bourbon and a cigar.... skip the cigar.. too dangerous.
r
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I'll have a Negra Modela if you got some chips and queso to go with it.
--
NuWave Dave in Houston



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I have never had one (or six) of those, I have heard some really good things about it. NO idea if I can even get that here. Off to Google I go...*S*
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SNIP
Why do the do that? Obviously you don't know these folks, or they would shoot you over a drawing and ask you how much it will run. So some nitwit puts on their schoolmarm dress and half glasses and says, "now Bobby, I want your best work here. Don't bother to turn in something that isn't your best."
What is worse to me is that most of those using that approach simply do not have the gonads to use language I understand: "hey, this thing is completely price driven. Gimme your lowest shot upfront because that's the one I will most likely take".
But to be talked down to by having some idiot tell you they want your best price, it grinds on me. Just say it.... I want it as cheap as possible! It isn't that hard. Why do they think you would give them a crappy price? Do they think you have that much time to waste? It is galling to get those, especially from someone that doesn't have anymore interest of investment in you doing the work than just faxing over a drawing.

Thinking what... that you intentionally gave them a bad price (knowing that client speak of questioning "best price" means they think you are too high) and wasted your time to do it?

Alright, you got me there. No coffee on the monitor, but almost. I have done a lot of things, when negotiating, but never that. As Daffy says, "It is to laugh".
ALTHOUGH..... Don't you be one bit surprised if you DO hear from them, because having made *sure* that you gave them your best price, they will be moved at your additional efforts. Ya think?

Why you would seperate two old friends like that, I don't know. I don't get to it too much anymore, but I do love the combination. I don't know how strong I can be though, as this opened up less than two miles from my house:
http://www.finckcigar.com/default2.asp
Talk about reasonable prices.... and on the way home, too. And a smoking parlour with leather chairs and great smoke eaters.... BYOB (bring your own bourbon!). I'm not made of stone...
Robert
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