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
Any recommendations? Estimated cost?
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Brian Siano wrote:
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