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Oak down in front yard. Should I try milling?

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by rumatt, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. rumatt

    rumatt ArboristSite Member

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    An oak tree fell in my front yard. I was going to buck it and use it for firewood, but look how straight and perfect this thing is. How crazy of an idea would it be to:
    1. Buy a chainsaw mill
    2. Buy a Stihl 661
    3. Cut some slabs
    4. Sell slabs (craigslist? somehow else?) to recoup costs of 1 & 2
    5. Rejoice in obtaining a free 661!
    I don't intent to start a milling business or anything, but splitting it seems like a shame?

    How much do you think I would would I be able to sell the wood for? It's 23' long, and around 20" in diameter at the top cut, and 32" at the base.


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  2. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Red saw lover

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  3. tomsteve

    tomsteve ArboristSite Operative

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    im an extreme greenhorn to CS milling, but it sure looks like theres a heckuva crack at the topcut that could have happened when the tree fell- a crack that could run a ways down the log.
     
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  4. Brian72

    Brian72 ArboristSite Guru

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    If you think you'll enjoy milling and you can afford it, go for it. Don't go into it thinking you'll get your money back immediately. The slab market can be very hit and miss. Some guys move them like crazy and others can give them away. Same goes for pricing. Higher demand, better prices. Certainly not trying to rain on your parade. Just sharing my experience. It's very physical, messy and really not a cheap hobby but I enjoy it.

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  5. rumatt

    rumatt ArboristSite Member

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    Yeah, I've been googling and finding a lot of folks saying they can't make much money, if any at all. Wood is pretty expensive to buy, so I'm surprised.

    If I'm just going to end up giving away the slabs, I'd rather split it and store it for firewood.
     
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  6. Cease232

    Cease232 ArboristSite Guru

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    Is it red oak? If so it's worth little to nothing.
    2" slabs are gonna take 2 years to dry so that's a long time to recoup your investment.
    For slabs figured wood is prized. Straight logs are better for dimensional lumber. No one wants a straight square slab.


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  7. rumatt

    rumatt ArboristSite Member

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    It doesn't look red to me. Can anyone identify the type of oak from the pic?

    Either way, you guys may have already talked me out of this!
     
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  8. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Looks like red oak to me.
     
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  9. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Show us a leaf from it.
     
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  10. cuinrearview

    cuinrearview Red saw lover

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    +1
     
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  11. Cease232

    Cease232 ArboristSite Guru

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    Looks like red oak. Need to see a leaf.


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  12. rumatt

    rumatt ArboristSite Member

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    I don't have any good pics of the leaves.. Here's the best I could do from the pics of the wreckage.

    And yeah I guess it looks like a red oak. And hence worthless, it seems.

    Dammit. All I really wanted here was an excuse to buy a 661!! :)

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  13. Duce

    Duce Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can still mill it.
     
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  14. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well you know ya need abigger saw to just cut through it even firewood:innocent: Just giving some justification for purchase:chainsaw:
     
  15. rumatt

    rumatt ArboristSite Member

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    I like it. :rock:

    Not sure I need a 661 though. :dizzy:
     
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  16. Brian72

    Brian72 ArboristSite Guru

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    I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of it. Just giving you some facts so you can make the right choice for yourself. I enjoy doing it but selling isn't my main concern. Also, I hear people say it's a cheap way to get started milling. It's certainly cheaper than a bandmill but still a substantial investment. You can make money but again, markets are very hit and miss.

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  17. Brian72

    Brian72 ArboristSite Guru

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    I wouldn't say worthless. Not good for outdoor use but it's beautiful wood. Everything is worth what people are willing to pay. Maybe talk to some local mills and see if they move any slabs. As stated by others, any excuse to get a new saw is a good thing!

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  18. stihl sawing

    stihl sawing MAD DOG

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    How big a saw ya got? do ya burn wood in the winter? if yes cut it up for firewood. You don't need a 661 to cut that tree with. I cut em bigger than that all the time with my 460 and even the 036. Unless you just have CAD and want a 661. but just remember that you will have that saw for all wood cutting. so if you're cutting smaller trees that bigger saw is overkill. Now if yer a logger then a 661 is not a big saw but I figured you are not since the wanting of advice. A 461 will do that tree with ease and everything else you got.
     
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  19. Hoodiegadoo

    Hoodiegadoo ArboristSite Member

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    If you’re interested in milling go for it. But it’s addictive and can be expensive. (You’ve been warned) Nobody makes any money on the very first slabs they mill. You have to learn how to properly mill a log (without screwing it up) to include sealing, stacking and stickering, drying, bar and chain maintenance...etc. if you don’t care about making back your investment on a 661 in a few years then go for it. If you like having extra hardwood for projects then go for it. But don’t thing that tree is going to replace money you need to spend elsewhere in the near future. Cus it ain’t. Around here red oak isn’t worthless but there’s a lot of it so it’s easy to find and not so easy to sell.
     
  20. Marine5068

    Marine5068 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You could use some of the slabs for your own projects too.
    Then check the market for such wood in your area and sell for a bit less to get money back faster.
    I have a 24 foot, two 12 footers and two 5 foot Red Oak Logs that I'm milling and that's my plan. But I already have the saw and CSM.
     
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