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Dale's Lumber Yard

Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4076
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
You may have seen and read in some of my other ramblings, stories about the mountains of good slab wood available from mills. My friend Felix has been one of the chief beneficiaries of this and other wood related windfalls.

Last week he offered to display some of my choice slabs for sale in his yard. The photos below represent a fraction of the bounty that I intend to extract from the mill.

I asked if his wife would have a problem with this. He just smiled and said, "she knows me by now" which I took to mean that the state of the yard is not her business .

Wood from my demolitions has heated Felix's home for years. At one time we aquired a pile of nailey wood which filled his driveway 8 feet deep and 40 ft. long. He was in heaven. Two years later this unsightly stack is about 3/4 gone.

Felix is a lawyer. He lives in an area where home values average $900 000.00, so wood hounds are rare in this neighborhood. He gets away with it because everybody likes him. If he hears that a neighbor is conducting home repairs,he insists that they check out his glorious heap before going to a store.

This tendency toward generosity worried me a little, but he has promised to not give any of mine away. His word is gold, unusual in his profession.

Several of his clients have toured the yard. Slab benches and window seats are envisioned by some. I'm confident that sales will result. The boundary fence is badly rotted. We're building a new one which allows slabs to be rotated as they sell. A display rack/fence. Felix sees has yard as a natural gallery. The scene will change as time goes by. Everybody wins.



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Lloyd George


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 159
Buying my little woodmizer is just about the best money I ever spent...
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4076
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
A mill is exactly what I have in mind. I come upon lots of fruit wood and other wood sought by craftsmen. Most of the logs are under 1 ft. in diameter with seldom more than 8 ft. of length. These logs are easily handled by one strong guy. Last week ,I was given about a ton of fruit wood.

Hudson mills are $2500 for a basic model. I'll buy the mill as soon as enough wood is accumulated so that it will be paid off in one weekend.

If I was to get something larger, it would be a big electrically powered unit. They are much cheaper than gas.



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Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4820
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
181
Dale Hodgins wrote:
I asked if his wife would have a problem with this. He just smiled and said, "she knows me by now" which I took to mean that the state of the yard is not her business .


She's probably just glad not to have them in the living room any more. I was certainly glad my other half moved all the slabs of wood out of the living room and all the woodworking tools and heaps of sawdust out of the kitchen after I moved in with him. He still swears that the function of a wife is to hold the wood while he puts it through the circular saw, and I still get tetchy if I see him eyeing up G-clamps.


What is a Mother Tree ?
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4076
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
Lloyd George wrote:Buying my little woodmizer is just about the best money I ever spent...

Lloyd, a few questions.
1. What model of wood miser and what did it cost ?
2. Do you have a rough figure on board feet per hour with and without a helper?

3. What does that translate to in terms of $ value of finished wood per hour, leaving aside drying and log aquisition ?

4. Why are there 2 Ls in Lloyd when one would do the trick ?
Sam White


Joined: Mar 08, 2011
Posts: 211
Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
    
    1
Dale Hodgins wrote:4. Why are there 2 Ls in Lloyd when one would do the trick ?


Blame the Welsh


"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4820
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
181
Sam's right - Lloyd is the English spelling of llwyd, which is Welsh for 'grey'.

I have seriously no idea how to go about teaching you guys how to pronounce 'Ll', but it's really not much like 'L'. Sounds a bit like a snake with a lisp and bad cold trying to hiss.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Dale, if you really want to get into making sawdust, I suggest you go to the forestry forum. Great group of people and all the info in the world. Aside from many of them liking grits, I can't think of a thing wrong with them... (old joke on that forum)

Though I own six sawmills (at least), you will do better asking the group.


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4076
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
Fred Morgan wrote:Dale, if you really want to get into making sawdust, I suggest you go to the forestry forum. Great group of people and all the info in the world. Aside from many of them liking grits, I can't think of a thing wrong with them... (old joke on that forum)

Though I own six sawmills (at least), you will do better asking the group.
A sawmill is a ways off for me. I'm waiting until I stumble into enough wood to pay for it quickly. There are lots of small mills around here, so they often enter the used market. Often,perfectly good stuff comes available because the owner isn't goood at some aspect of the business. Some guys aren't resourceful when it comes to finding logs, some have no idea of how to market their product, others drink to excess. I'll wait a while and see what comes available.
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 972
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  12
Good idea, also you should apprentice for a while with a good sawyer. If you want to waste a lot of wood, learn by yourself, but otherwise, I suggest to get with someone who knows what quarter sawing is, for example. It isn't as simple as just sawing.

Northern woods can be a challenge due to seasonal stress in the wood. Tropical woods are different, but even here, a knowledgeable sawyer makes all the difference.

Once you get a good whack of logs, you might see if someone will cut on shares, and you can help for the experience.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4076
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  57
Fred Morgan wrote:Good idea, also you should apprentice for a while with a good sawyer. If you want to waste a lot of wood, learn by yourself, but otherwise, I suggest to get with someone who knows what quarter sawing is, for example. It isn't as simple as just sawing.

Northern woods can be a challenge due to seasonal stress in the wood. Tropical woods are different, but even here, a knowledgeable sawyer makes all the difference.

Once you get a good whack of logs, you might see if someone will cut on shares, and you can help for the experience.


Yes, I'll apprentice. But I won't go looking for a job. Unemployed and underemployed mill guys are about as common as dandelions around here. I'll hire someone to work with me and teach me how to use my own mill. No point learning on something too different. I expect to eventually take in a tennant who will be the mill guy.

My desire to own a mill comes from my need for wood and from my ability to source free feedstock that others pay for. As I ease my way out of the demolition business, I will begin to resaw high end salvage from my former competitors and to scrounge fruit wood, Gary oak, and other trees that lie in the way of developments. I've kept on good terms with these guys for years, trading customers and passing along work when I get more than I can handle.

The plan is to become the customer of last resort. When time runs out and they have unsold salvage, I'll swoop in with a low ball offer on the lot. I've been on the other end of these transactions often enough to understand just how cheap stuff can go when the clock is ticking. I'll know I've got it right if they curse my cheapness one day and fill my machine with frantic calls the next. I always play it very cool when under some deadline but some guys get quite worried. Quite often they'll reveal everything about deadlines and lack of sales. That leaves the buyer holding all of the cards, a position I enjoy emensely.
 
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