Saw mill question? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-09-2009, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Saw mill question?

Gentleman,
I am new to the majority of woodworking and have always purchased my wood from various stores already S4S, or maybe planed and jointed one side. Anyways, as my hobby expands and as I follow a lot of the threads in this section I was curious how one goes about getting a tree milled? My dad has to cut down several old trees (possibly Ash? need to research them more) and I was thinking of contacting one of the local saw mills in my area to see if they can cut them up for me. My question is, do things work that way? Or do you sell the tree to a mill and then buy back whatever they cut? This would be a completely knew process for me. I know the tree would have to be dried and I haven't asked if they have kilns or not, but there is substantial room on dad's property for air drying. I just don't want to cold call a mill and ask a bunch of stupid questions. (They might discover I am a noob and rake me over the coals). Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-09-2009, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I should edit that, gentleman is a bit presumptuous. Fellow woodworkers would be more appropriate :-)
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-09-2009, 12:00 PM
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I use a sawyer that used to be my next door neighbor but have used others through the years. First if you have any friends or neighbors that are woodworkers you could ask them if they have any recommendations. People are by their sawmills like people are with mechanics. They will both share with you the good ones and also warn you about the bad ones. We used to have one in the area that would always inflate if he was selling and deflate if buying so you had to know how to measure your own logs before taking them to him. There should be a listing for your state of small sawmills. Some of Daren's posts have the URL for one. For drying you want to make sure to sticker the wood for good airflow and if out in the open use a tarp or something to keep it in the dry. A good location for me has always been in the back of the barn with some old railroad ties on bottom to keep it off the ground and allow the bottom boards to get good airflow. Hope you find the information you are needing.
David
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-09-2009, 08:43 PM
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I was thinking of contacting one of the local saw mills in my area to see if they can cut them up for me. My question is, do things work that way? .
Yes, that is exactly how it works. Just call them and ask if they custom mill. If they do you are set...if they don't just call another.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-10-2009, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info fellas.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-10-2009, 08:41 AM
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Gentleman . . . . .
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. . . Fellow woodworkers . . .
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. . . . fellas . . . .
You aren't quite sure who we are, are you?

Daren, in this milling section ain't he 'posed to call us sawyers, or if he is one too, fellow sawyers?

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Yes, that is exactly how it works.
Thanks for clearing that up.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-10-2009, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Seems kind of officious. Sawyer. Doctor. Judge. Colonel. Officer. But I am new to the milling section, so apologies all around.
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-10-2009, 01:39 PM
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My hobby is supposed to be woodworking but the finding, milling and drying lumber seems to have consumed me. I enjoy it as much as the woodworking. I get a high out of getting around the lumber retailers that charge to much. Its not to complicated but a lot of labor involved and not feasible in suburbia, requires room outdoors. Guys like me might mill the tree for a portion of the lumber, check around. Dean
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Well I found a mill out in Steen, MN that I am going to visit on Thursday. I am pretty excited. I don't know why. Anyways, he has some burr oak, which I had not heard of. Anyone ever use this? Also, a friend of mine has some russian olive trees he says are fairly large. I haven't seen them, but does anyone know if they are any good for milling into boards? Thanks!
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 03:41 PM
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All trees have there special place in the lumber industry! Nothing like having something that no one else has!
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-09-2009, 06:22 PM
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Burr oak is a white oak, some of the sturdiest stuff you can find. Great workability and good for exterior as well as interior work. Quarter sawn white oak has some outstanding beauty and is the basis for mission style furniture. Have fun!

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post #12 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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So I made it out to the sawmill this past Friday. FBT sawmill in Steen, MN. Very nice gentleman named Erwin Bonestroo is the owner/operator. Quite an operation he has going. He was kind enough to take the time to give me a tour of the mill and his own shop. Picked up some ash for a toy chest and know I will be going back there a lot in the future. Can't wait to get a tree to have them mill up. Good times!!!
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 11:57 AM
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I'm with you on getting trees milled. It's a great process that most woodworkers never get to see and appreciate. For me there's something very satisfying about taking a tree, milling, drying, then making something from it, that you don't get from going to the local hardwood dealer.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-13-2009, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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I agree. I wish I would have known about him a few weeks ago. My city is attempting to pre-empt the ash borer by......chopping down a large amount of the ash which predominates the city. After the dutch elm business everyone planted ash and didn't diversify. Now they are trying to diversify with many different species, which is cool, but they like the spots they have ash in the city parks and chopped down many of them to plant saplings by them. Sounds like the trees were dumped in the landfill. I don't like to hear that. We'll see what I can drum up with the parks and recs guys.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-14-2009, 12:11 AM
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Well, if you

have the nerve to handle a chain saw (I still have a hard time), Northern Tool and Equipment sells The Beam Machine for about $40...

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I use that, a 2x4 and a Poulan to rough boards out of reclaimed chestnut... works rather well...
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-14-2009, 09:12 AM
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Some of the sawyers have portable mills ACP and will come to where your trees are to mill them. It would probably only be worthwhile if there are a number of trees to be milled.

Gerry
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-15-2009, 11:36 PM
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Could you give me more information on the saw mill in Steen Mn????
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-16-2009, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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Sure Skeeter. If you want to view their website it's www.fbtsawmill.com. Erwin Bonestroo's number is 507-920-9933. He's the owner.
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