More than On-Site Milling. Expert Advice from Standing Timber to Finished Product
When you hire Chris to mill your lumber, he works with your arborists and contractors to make sure you get the right log lengths to meet your builder’s materials list . If you plan to make flooring or other materials that require post-milling process work such as kiln drying or surfacing, Chris will explain what needs to happen at each stage and provide you with contact information for the appropriate service providers.
Call us to discuss what type of trees you have and how you would like to use them.
Custom Sawing on Your Site
Chris brings the mill to your site and mills your lumber according to your specified dimensions. It is stickered (separated using narrow wood strips) and stacked for optimal air flow and dry time. Chris will instruct you on how to preserve your lumber so that it does not develop mold before you intend to use it.
If you plan to use your lumber for flooring or other materials that require kiln drying, planing, surfacing or tongue and grooving, Chris will give you further instructions on that process as well as contact information for facilities that offer those services.
Save Hours Researching and Avoid Costly Mistakes. Invest in an On-Site or Virtual Site Consultation.
By investing in an on-site or virtual site consultation, you save hours researching what type of trees you have or what they can be used for. You remove the confusion and frustration from trying to find out how long your lumber needs to dry or what step to take next so you have the materials you need when you need them. You avoid the expense of keeping trees that yield little to no useable lumber or -worse – lose money by paying a tree company to haul off your most valuable logs (which they profit from by selling to a sawmill).
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do You Charge?
For mobile saw milling, we work on a half day and full day basis. If you are in the area and can bring your logs to us, it is considerably cheaper.
No two jobs are the same and to give an accurate quote, we will need to talk to you. However, we realize you already have a budget in mind and considering whether or not you can afford to hire us. Generally speaking (this is NOT a quote), you can expect to pay $1000 - $1200 per day if you live within an hour and a half of our location. Ideally, we produce 1,000+ boardfeet of lumber per day, so you would be getting your lumber for $1 per bdft. Also, we do not require a minimum number of days. So if you think you only have one day's worth of cutting but when we get there, you actually have three - we work however many days your budget allows. If that's one day, then we cut for one day. Again, these numbers are a rough estimate and NOT a quote. Every job is different. If you require a skid steer or special equipment, the price will increase. Please read the section on How to Prep Your Logs and Ways to Reduce Your Costs for more cost-saving tips.
If you bring your logs to us, there is a $160 minimum.
What Lengths Should I Have the Tree Guy Cut My Logs To?
To get the best quality and quantity from your trees, it's essential to have them cut into proper lengths. You may have a specific project in mind that requires a particular length of board. If not, we suggest cutting your logs in 2 foot increments, starting with 8 feet 6 inches (10'6", 12'6" etc). The extra six inches allows for trimming the ends when it's used for building furniture, siding etc. Due to the time involved, we typically do not mill logs shorter than 6'.
Why Hire a Saw Mill Instead of Buying Lumber
If you're reading this, you already know you get more for your money by hiring a saw mill than buying from a big box retailer. Besides the obvious - you can't buy 20' long beams at Lowes, there are other benefits:
You get EXACTLY what you want --Longer, shorter, thicker, quarter sawn and bookmatched- we can cut it all.
MOST importantly - You get to tell the incredible story that you built your house or that project from trees off your own property. Then your kids and grandkids will inherit those bragging rights, too.
How to Prep Your Logs for Milling.
To get the most lumber, it is best to saw as quickly as the trees are cut. If this is not possible, there are some steps you can take to preserve the tree for milling. These steps should be taken if more than a month will pass between the time it's on the ground and the time you have it sawed. First, raise the logs off the ground at least 4-6 inches and keep the grass around them trimmed. This discourages insects. Second, to avoid shrinking and cracking, seal the ends of the logs soon after cutting. You will want to use a wax, a heavy coat of paint or a product like Anchor Seal. Simply "paint" the ends of the logs to seal the end grain. If you are just now reading this and did not seal your ends, no worries! Most likely you'll only end up with shorter lumber.
Also, time is money so the more time we spend cleaning your logs of mud, nails and other debris, the less time we spend milling and the less lumber you get for your price. It is in your best interest to either keep your logs mud free when positioning them for milling. If they do get mud or debris on them, use a wire brush to remove any mud or debris on your logs.
What are the Largest and Smallest Diameter Logs You Can Mill?
Log diameter is also important. Logs should be between 10" and "32 inches in diameter. We can saw smaller logs but be advised it will take longer to yield a specific quantity of lumber this way. You will get more bang for your buck by milling logs larger than 10" in diameter. Also, our mill can not handle logs larger than 38" in diameter.
How Can I Reduce the Cost of Milling?
Have the Prep Work Done Before We Get There
The main way to reduce your milling costs is by being prepared and reducing the amount of time we are on site. You can do this a number of ways. First, make sure your logs are clean and trimmed. We prefer to arrive, setup and start cutting. This maximizes the amount of lumber you get for your money. Sometimes, though, this is not possible. You can save money by having the prep work done when we arrive. What is prep work? This entails having your tree guys (if it’s not us) to keep the logs as clean as possible. This means do not drag the logs through mud to the saw mill staging area. It also helps to have them stacked neatly in piles near a flat area where we will set up. Have the branches removed so that all that’s left are the trunks or branches large enough to saw (larger than 10″ in diameter). We also prefer them cut to the length you will want your boards (otherwise we have to cut them). For instance, if you want 8 foot long boards, the tree lengths need to be cut at 8 foot 6 inches. Always add 6 inches to the length to allow for end cracking during the drying process.
Check For Foreign Objects
Second, make sure the log is free of foreign objects. We have found rocks, nails, clothes line supports – all kinds of hard objects embedded in trees. These objects will break our blade on contact, which will cost you $30 per blade to replace. The majority of these items can be found using a metal detector. If you have one (or can borrow one), it will save us the time of inspecting each log with our metal detector, thereby saving you money as well.
Have All Your Logs Staged in One Location
Third, try to have all your logs in one location. It takes approximately 30 minutes each time we move and re-setup the saw mill. Time is money, friend. If we have to move more than once, there is a $25 charge for each additional move.