Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Central North Carolina
Logs, especially from home properties, don't have much value because of the high chances of embedded metal which damage saw blades. Even from forests, logs of 24" diameter and 12' long are usually only worth less than $20. The added value comes from cutting and drying the wood, where end end result in volume is less than about 60% of the volume that is salable out of the original log. Keep in mind that large logging and milling machines are expensive and the cost to move them to the logs or the logs to them are expensive too.
If you wanted the wood for your own projects, you can likely find someone with a portable saw mill who will come and cut your logs for you. They will likely do it for a fixed price/bd ft or for about half of the wood yielded, but then with an additional charge for any blades that get damaged by metal found in the wood.
Then, after this expense and trouble, you will have a stack of wet wood that can't be used until it is dry. You can sticker (space the boards apart for air circulation) and protect them from the Weather for a year or more (depending on the thickness). If the bugs don't get into it and if you have sealed the ends of the boards well to minimize splitting, you will then have some rough sawn boards that might be good enough to make something out of.
If you don't want to wait a year or two for the wood to dry, you can put the boards into a kiln and dry it. If you don't have a kiln, you can take your boards to someone who does and they will dry them for you at a significant cost. Then you can bring your boards back home. The kiln drying will be of benefit also, because it will kill any bugs or larvae that might be in your wood. Some can live for years and show up after you have worked so hard to build your projects.
Then, to make fine furniture you will need a large jointer to face one side and one edge of the boards. Then a planer to face the second side to the desired board thickness. You will also need a table saw to trim off and straighten the edges of the boards before jointing and planning as well as after, to cut the second edge of your boards to make them parallel with the first edge, followed by yet another pass through the jointer to make this sawn edge smooth and straight.
Now your boards from your log will be ready for you to sell or use yourself to make furniture. For all this extra work, getting boards that
are ready to use, the labor and tooling costs are significant, so raw lumber in the log state just does not have much value. If it's an unusual log of rare wood or is suspected to have unique grain characteristics, it may be worth more, but not a lot more.
I hope I haven't trashed your dreams too much. I think lumberyards offer some pretty good choices and prices, when considering all of the cost and waste getting the lumber ready for you to make projects from.
Firewood is quite easy to make as a DIY project, all things considered, and usually quite easy to sell. Most will be dry enough in the air in just a few months too.
Last edited by CharleyL; 02-17-2020 at 10:07 AM.