Looking for help on selling logs. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-17-2020, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for help on selling logs.

I had some sugar maple trees knocked down recently and am considering selling off the logs. (at least most of them)

My question is, I will end up with between 16 and 18, 10' logs that range from close to 20" to 12" in diameter. Will it be worth it, or should I just have them milled and keep them for my own use? Also, is a 12" log even big enough to worry about?
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-17-2020, 10:04 AM
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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.

Charley

Last edited by CharleyL; 02-17-2020 at 10:07 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-17-2020, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Charley. The local mill where I get most of my rough cut boards will kiln dry it for me, and another local will bring in his mill for .25 a BF. Since I have been working with rough cut wood only lately, I can have a nice stack of wood considerably cheaper than if I go buy it.

I just can't bring myself to cut it all for firewood. But, for $20 a log, I will keep them for myself.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-17-2020, 01:05 PM
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Somewhere on the forum is a story (I believe from Texas Timber) about the householder with a walnut tree he wanted rid off. He expected someone to pay for the tree on site, fell it and ground out the stump. then take it away
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-20-2020, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnep View Post
Somewhere on the forum is a story (I believe from Texas Timber) about the householder with a walnut tree he wanted rid off. He expected someone to pay for the tree on site, fell it and ground out the stump. then take it away
johnep
here ya go
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f26/...ut-tree-24176/
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-20-2020, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for that. I miss both TT and Daren Nelson.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-23-2020, 01:52 PM
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Around here there are guys with chainsaw mills that will come and saw up logs for a share of the lumber, I see listings here on Facebook Marketplace.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #8 of 8 Old 02-26-2020, 01:52 PM
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I have been resawing 4' long walnut logs about 12" in diamater on a 17" Bandsaw using a resaw sled with a winch and have some nice looking wood air drying. It's a lot of hard work just getting the logs from log to board as they are heavy but after they are in a 1" x 10" wide 4' long board they are ready for waxing the ends and air drying for a year. I have 3 stacks waiting for woodworking projects and they only cost me a few bandsaw blades and some labor and a bit of gas. So you can save some money doing it yourself. It is hard work and time is a factor. I agree with Charley. Most folks are getting a deal buying wood that is already been through the process and is all ready to cut up into a project.

However if your like me. I think it's as much fun to woller those logs and resaw those logs and figure out all the hitches along the way wait for a year or better to air dry as it is to make a fine woodworking project from 300 dollars of nicely available planned walnut lumber.

Charley laid out the process very nicely. It's work!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_J View Post
Thanks for the info Charley. The local mill where I get most of my rough cut boards will kiln dry it for me, and another local will bring in his mill for .25 a BF. Since I have been working with rough cut wood only lately, I can have a nice stack of wood considerably cheaper than if I go buy it.

I just can't bring myself to cut it all for firewood. But, for $20 a log, I will keep them for myself.
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