Portable Sawmills in Philadelphia

My neighbor had a cedar tree cut down. T'was a surprise to everyone on the block (including me, who benefitted from the tree's shade). Without a whole lot of considersation, I talked the tree guys into leaving two sections of trunk-- roughly eight feet long, and about a foot and a quarter in diameter-- with me.
So now I need someone with a sawmill to come out and slice'em into boards for my future nefarious use. (Okay, I made the decision very, very qukckly. It was grab the trunks, or watch'em get Graveley'd into hamster chips.)
Any recommendations? Estimated cost?
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wrote:

Contact Wood-Mizer (infocenter at woodmizer dot com or 1-800-553-0182). They can put you in touch with owners of their mills in your area.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Firstly, it will not be worth it for someone with a portable saw to come out for one or two small logs. If someone will come out they will have to charge you a minimum fee plus hourly to do it. It may be more than the few boards are worth. Most folk vastly over estimate the value of the lumber in their logs. Also if you are in the inner city, there may not even be room to park and set up the saw. They are rather large.
Having said all that, you can contact the Wood-Mizer corporation. They are the largest manufacturer of portable sawmills and they make it their business to refer potential customers to local sawyers. Here is their information.
Contact Wood-Mizer at 1.800.553.0182 or snipped-for-privacy@woodmizer.com.
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Many sawyers will have a charge just to set up the mill. On small jobs an hourly fee is charged. Large jobs can be by the board foot.
The rates vary wildly depending upon where the logs are and who you call. To bring a saw into the city you might expect a set-up charge of between $75 and $100. Hourly charges can be from beween $40 and $80. Some will charge more, some less. So...you need to have more than one or two logs to get a saw to come out.
You best chance is to try to hire someone with a smaller mill for what sounds like a very small job. I have a Wood mizer L15, just a little thing but is has wheels and is road legal. It is just my personal toy and I don't try to hire it out. No one around here would hire such a small mill anyway.
Alternatively, you might look into the work of Roy Underhill. You have probably seen his show "The Woodwright Shop". He has several books where he describes the old ways of making boards by splitting the logs with wedges and then hand planing to the finished dimension. It would be a fun project and perhaps better suited for your situation.
You might ask woodmizer specifically if they can direct you to someone with one of these smaller mills. Though my L15 is small, it is still 20 feet long. With the pickup truck you are looking at 40 feet, so take a look at your street and lot to see if there is even room to park such a long thing.
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lwhaley wrote:

Well, grabbing the logs was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and the situation didn't allow for a lot of pre-planning. (I'm not even sure where I'll let the boards cure.) It'd be a learning experience, at least: I'll check with the WoodMizer people.
But in the meantime, I'm probably going to look into some hand-tool method of slicing boards. (Funny thing is, in my basement, I have this three-foot-diameter sawmill blade. Can't use it, of course.)

I could probably arrange for some free space. The street's two-way, and with enough advance word I could probably get people to keep a swath clear by my house.
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The stack will be as long as the log, perhaps 8 feet. I cut my logs to 100 inches for 8' boards. The width is up to you but I use a 48" width in my piles. That's what I can pick up with the Bobcat.
As little wood as you have, you might go with a 24" wide stack. Be sure to learn how to properly cure your lumber with a covered and stickered stack. If the boards are not stacked properly they can easily be ruined, not good.

Yea? You might be able to park the saw on the street and carry the slabs and lumber directly into your yard. If you put a weighted top on your stack it will help the curing and help prevent thievery. Some do this with concrete blocks or even with slabs and dunnage from the saw.
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lwhaley wrote:

Do you know which book of Underhill's might have the best information on splitting these cedar logs?
It might be worth getting wedges'n'stuff, but I'm ready to let anyone with a truck to come and take the logs for themselves.
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Find a sawyer as other have suggested, but rent a trailer or borrow a pickup truck and load the logs with a come along. Take the logs to the saw. That way you won't have to pay set up charges. If you have to leave them for sawing at a later date, be sure to give the sawyer a sawing plan.
The boards still won't be free, but you should be well ahead of the setup charge. Make a holiday out of the whole trip if it's a long ways to the saw.
Pete Stanaitis
Brian Siano wrote:

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