Locally Cut Logs Lower Costs

Locally cut logs lower costs when building. Milled lumber, especially from your own trees, will make your building projects less costly.

  • You can save on lumber costs by hiring a custom sawyer to mill your logs.
    You can save on lumber costs by hiring a custom sawyer to mill your logs.
    Photo by Timberking

  • You can save on lumber costs by hiring a custom sawyer to mill your logs.

Locally cut logs lower costs. You can manage your woodlot sustainably by hiring a portable sawmill to turn storm-damaged or excess trees into lumber.

Locally Cut Logs Lower Costs

There is always a need for lumber around almost any homestead, and a custom sawmill service may be just what you need to convert trees into exactly the lumber you want. Whether salvaging storm-damaged trees or harvesting trees as part of a sustainable woodlot management program, converting local logs into lumber makes good sense. Even if you don’t have your own logs, buying locally cut lumber often will save you money. And if you choose a service that uses a portable mill, they will cut the logs into boards right on your property.

Very few large commercial sawmills do custom cutting. Most work purely on volume — and it just isn’t practical to keep track of the odd log to cut to a customer’s specifications. Custom sawyers, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible and can provide a number of options for various cutting needs. Many run stationary mills that require you to transport the logs to them. This works fine if you or someone you know has the equipment to do so. Otherwise, the best option is to hire a custom sawyer with a portable mill that can be set up at your location.

Finding a Sawyer. Once you have determined that you have logs you want milled, the next step is to find a sawyer. Many of the good ones keep busy by word of mouth, so it may take a little investigation. One way to find a sawyer is to do a Web search for manufacturers of band saw mills. They may be able to recommend someone in your area that uses one of their mills. Another good source is the county extension office. Sawyers generally charge for their services in one of two ways: by the board foot or by the hour.

Preparations. Ideally, logs should be at least 10 inches in diameter at the small end, and 8 feet long, so the mill’s clamping system can hold them.

If you are having a portable sawmill brought to your location, there are several things you can do to make the operation go smoothly. First, have the logs neatly stacked in a level area with room to work around them. The location should have good access. If possible, arrange the stack to cut the best logs first. As you cut through the pile, you may find a point at which the logs are too small, crooked or hollow to be worth the expense of the job.

10/8/2014 12:10:00 PM

How much stronger is a true 2"x 4" than the store bought 1 1/2" x 3 1/2"?

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