Buying Lumber From A Sawmill
Buying wood directly from a mill is not something everyone can do, even if you have sawmills in your vicinity, but it is available for many woodworkers and for those who belong to clubs and associations, it's even possible to get together and do "group purchases". Not all mills will sell to the general public, Often the large sawmills are wholesale only, but many of medium and smaller independent mills are happy to sell smaller quantities of wood. Do NOT show up at a mill and expect to buy one or 2 boards. These people make their living selling volumes, and just the way they store and stack their wood, it's not really an option for them in most cases. When you do show up at a mill, they will ask you that right away ... "How much wood are you looking for?" So you will need to be prepared with an answer in either board feet, or a number of boards, truckload, 1/2 truckload etc.
buying lumber from a sawmill
Like many things, there are pros and cons to purchasing directly from a mill. Of course the biggest benefit is that you will save some money on the wood you are buying, the downside is that almost always the wood is green (wet) and will need to be dried before it can be used, which also means you will need a place to store it for some time and you will need to monitor the drying process and probably more the wood to drier places as it continues to slowly dry.
If you work with wood products frequently, you may have thought about purchasing lumber directly from a sawmill. While there are many advantages to buying wood straight from a mill, it can be a little intimidating the first time you do it. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you feel confident buying wood from a sawmill for the first time.
Purchasing your lumber from a sawmill may sound intimidating, but there are many benefits to buying your wood directly from the source. Not only does purchasing directly from the mill help keep prices low, but it can also be a more sustainable option than when you buy material from a big box store. When you purchase from a sawmill, there's a big chance your salesperson will have a general idea of where the logs came from and how they were harvested. Knowing where your materials come from is essential for being a responsible consumer of this sustainable, renewable building material.
When you contact a sawmill, the first thing you should know is the dimensions of the lumber you need. Whether you're looking for timbers, lumber, siding, or flooring, we will need to know what size material you have in mind.
Some sawmills have a minimum order quantity, so don't be surprised if you can't purchase only one or two boards at a time. It might be a good idea to call ahead and see if you can pick up lumber the same day or if you need to order a few days in advance.
It's important to know what you like and what the sawmill offers. Every mill is different, and some may offer more services than others. At Marks Lumber, we are a mid-sized sawmill specializing in circle sawn Douglas fir material. All the materials we sell are a rough sawn texture. While rough sawn lumber can be used in all the same applications as smooth material, it may not be the look you're after for every given project. If that's the case, you may have to search for another local supplier to fill your needs.
At Marks Lumber, our qualified sales team wants to make sure you're getting the best material for your project. That's why the first question you hear from us is often something along the lines of "What are you using that for?" Basically, what the person wants to know is what grade of lumber will be best for your project.
Invest $30 in a moisture meter before buying rough-sawn lumber that has been air-dried. Check that the moisture level is between 12 and 15 percent before loading up your truck. And when you get your air-dried boards home, store them inside to dry them even further. Ideal moisture content is about 6 to 8 percent. The lumber you buy at a commercial yard should have been kiln-dried.
For me getting the logs is probably most of the battle, making lumber is a very small part of it, but getting the logs from the tree, getting them from the bush, and getting them to sit in front of you is difficult.
Having a roof for your lumber when stacking it up is essential and should be one of the things you need to do before starting sawmilling. It will prevent you from having a huge problem when it snows.
I thought log waste would not be a problem and I just needed to put it behind the mill pile it up and deal with it afterward. But eventually, that pile became unmanageable, which was a huge effort to deal with. So it is important to find something to do with the waste wood and figure out what to do with it before buying a sawmill. It not only applies to the slabs and the offcuts but also to the sawdust.
So when you cut a tree down, you want to have it processed in a timely fashion especially when the weather gets warm. Cut the trees in the winter, get them over to the sawmill, and cut before it gets too nice out. I cut the trees down right when I need them, and make the lumber at that time, instead of leaving the log sitting in the bush.
As anyone who works with wood will tell you, one of the most important things to invest in is your tools. When it comes to sawmills, there are several high-quality options available, but many experts agree that the gold standard of milling lumber is Woodmizer.Woodmizer makes some of the most popular sawmills out there, and for good reason. These mills are some of the best products on the market and they require relatively little maintenance as long as you take care of them along the way, similar to any other tool or machine.
Out of all the costs associated with owning a sawmill, acquiring logs is easily one of the most variable ones. Not only does the price of individual types of wood vary wildly, but the quality of the logs you get will also be all over the place. If you are fortunate, you may be able to get a fresh log from someone who has just taken it down, but in many cases people hold onto their products for far too long, letting the elements affect them adversely and significantly damaging their potential.
The sawmill business is not that different from other businesses when you break it down. The largest difference is simply the amount of labor involved. If you have a one-man operation, even if you have the best machinery in the world, you will only be able to turn a certain amount of product per year, and once you subtract all your costs from the potential profit you might earn it will likely fall short of the $1,000,000 per year mentioned above.
Remember that you will need to reinvest a large portion of your profits back into the business. You will want to maintain a revolving door of purchasing logs and selling lumber constantly. Fortunately, the cost of actually operating a sawmill is reasonably cheap. It only takes around five gallons of gas to run a sawmill for an entire day, and most of the costs are in the upfront purchase and replacement blades.
"If you're looking for a great small family business to buy lumber, finished products, or woodworking supplies from - Black Forest Sawmill is the place! Had the great pleasure of meeting Sean and his family last year. They're amazing people and you can't beat their prices! Looking forward to visiting Virginia again to stop in!"
"Black Forest Sawmill is the premier place to buy domestic wood. I bought small cutoffs from them as a beginner woodworker and have since moved up to lumber and slabs. Best black walnut you will find! And the absolute nicest owners. You will not find better customer service, accommodating people, quality wood, or better prices than here. See for yourself!"
This formula can also be used to calculate multiple boards at once. It's safe to say that most customers at a sawmill don't just purchase one piece of lumber. If a customer is buying in bulk for a particular board type, you can calculate it with the formula below:
Beiler's sawmill is a leading supplier of domestic hardwood lumber to those in the Lancaster, PA area and beyond. Review our website and fill out our contact form if you have a need for roughsawn lumber!
You can purchase lumber from certain mill owners at 200 gold for 20 sawn logs. You can also ask your personal steward to purchase them for the same price, without having to leave your property. Certain lumber merchants will give you permission to cut the lumber for free if their disposition has been raised high enough (value=1: friend). You will cut 10 at one time when cutting it on your own (but see bugs). No matter how you choose to obtain more lumber, it will be delivered to the "Log Pile" on your property at no charge. If you own more than one property, the Log Pile is shared between them - all your lumber can be accessed from any of the three properties.
W.R. Robinson Lumber differs from many other lumber retailers as we are in a unique position of operating not only a retail building stocked with Eastern White Pine lumber products but a sawmill, two dry kilns, and a planing operation as well.
One of the questions we often hear from our potential customers is: why should we buy directly from a sawmill instead of the huge lumber retailer 20 min away? Below are just a few of the reasons we give them.
2.) Interaction with industry experts: A sawmill is one of the main hubs of lumber production. Employees like those at Robinson Lumber have decades of experience and a core set of expertise regarding the quality, grades, and uses for the lumber. Our customers are able to establish unique relationships with these experts helping to ensure they receive high quality results or even just a little help keeping an eye out for special logs, knot patterns, etc. that interest you.
With over 40 years of experience in the lumber industry we know the benefits of buying directly from a mill. If you still have questions or would like additional information please contact us or simply give it a try. 041b061a72