Sawmill vs. Portable mill

PChristy

Phillip
Corporate Member
I have maybe 12-14 logs,depends on how I cut them, laying in my yard. Would it be cheaper to take the to a mill or get someone with a portable
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
Do you have the equipment to load them and get them to a mill? Are you physically up to loading that many logs and taking them to a mill? I was in a similar situation 6 years ago, and my answer to both these questions was NO. So I had a guy w/ a portable mill come to my location and saw them on site.
 

PChristy

Phillip
Corporate Member
Do you have the equipment to load them and get them to a mill? Are you physically up to loading that many logs and taking them to a mill? I was in a similar situation 6 years ago, and my answer to both these questions was NO. So I had a guy w/ a portable mill come to my location and saw them on site.
Thanks, I do have access to a trailer but getting them on the trailer is the problem. I could possibly get a guy down the street that has a scoop on his tractor to load them. I was just wonder if the cost would be much difference
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I don't know what a mill would charge. Six years ago my cost worked out to just under $0.25/bf for the portable mill to come to my place. I got 1200 bf for just under $300. I'm pretty sure that price would be higher today, but I don't know how much.
 

HenrichsenWood

New User
Jamie
A portable mill can be a pretty good option for how much wood you have. Besides not having to load transport the logs then unload a trailer full of lumber, it saves you money if you can help with off loading the mill. Most portable mills price by a daily rate so anything you do to help saves you money. You should expect to pay about $0.60-$1.00 for a portable mill depending on species and cut of lumber.

$0.25 BD/ft is a really good deal. If you can get Bill's guy, use him.

Locally, mills are wholesaling tulip poplar cants at $350 for 1000 bd/ft. I'd expect that rate to be higher for a a private log collection. Also, some mills will not mill trees from residences due to the amount of metal found in them.
 

TBoomz

Ron
User
I agree,....25 BDF is a good deal...my brother and I typically charge .35bdf [hardwood].

On the other hand...
Most portable mill operators charge a setup fee for going out to your place. Typically $50, depending on distance.
If a blade breaks, you'll get charged for it, which could run you $30.
And if there's metal in the logs...
Then, if the operator has to use a skid steer to gather up the logs ( that's another added fee).
...issues not encountered if you can haul to a mill.

And having a portable coming to you, means keeping all the laps and scraps...for you to dispose of.
 

HenrichsenWood

New User
Jamie
Good points from Ron. Probably best to check with your local sawyers (portable and fixed) to see what works best for you.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
$0.25 BD/ft is a really good deal. If you can get Bill's guy, use him.
Remember this was 6 years ago and the guy I used has retired and sold his portable mill. He didn't charge any extra fees (e.g travel, set-up, blades, etc.) but he did have a minimum I had to meet. I don't remember if it was a certain number of logs or a total fee. Either way, I met it easily.
 

TBoomz

Ron
User
oh,...least i ferget. Wavy lumber. bandmill blades get dull - fast. need to be changed out often. more so if hardwood. and how dirty your logs

as far as minimums.. yeah, number of logs.
also, dia. of logs: too big to fit the mill [which you can talk about beforehand].
too small - under 8" dia. or shorter than 8' Is it worth the time / trouble to cut? so, then it becomes boardfoot rate vs hourly [w/min.].
 

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