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Pricing lumber

Discussion in 'Milling & Saw Mills' started by hopm, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. hopm

    hopm ArboristSite Operative

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    I have had my mill for about 15 years. I have cut for our projects, neighbors, and friends. I've got a good bit hacked with no plans for it. I have never sold the first foot of lumber. I always use it or give it away.

    Had 2 guys show up tonight who want to buy all the pine I have cut. It's all 8' and 10' boards from 4" to 14" wide. It is all cut 9/8" thick. I don't have the 1st clue how to price it. I don't want to get into measuring and figuring per board and I intend to make sure the fairness of the deal is heavy to the buyer....but I'm within days of retirement and was hopeful the mill could turn into a little pocket money instead of just a hobby expense.

    Please share your expertise in helping me with a starting point.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance!!!!
     
  2. Sawyer Rob

    Sawyer Rob Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well, if you don't want to measure it to sell it, how else would you figure a price... Pick one out of the sky??

    I think you need to measure it and then pick a price per bd. ft. that makes you happy...high, low or other wise...

    SR
     
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  3. Blanc

    Blanc ArboristSite Lurker

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    I charge a per cut price (based on width and lenght of each cut, hardness and rarity of the wood on a local basis...) instead of a bd ft one, and it seems to be fair (I'm usually 30% under the local market price that is around 20% under the French Depot équivalents.).
    That was a bit of work at the beginning but it's the best system I found)
     
  4. marti384

    marti384 ArboristSite Guru

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    Called a mill around me last week looking for white pine. They were charging $750 per thousand bd/ft for mixed pine.
     
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  5. Mike Van

    Mike Van Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you want to be fair to yourself & the buyer, you have to measure whats there. If it's dead stacked, you can do length of the pile x width x height to get the cf total, convert to bf, etc. You don't have to measure every board to get a rough idea.
     
  6. DgoDrummer

    DgoDrummer New Member

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    I realize this is an old thread, but I too have a pricing question... have several folks that want me to mill their logs that they will deliver to my property. I'm guessing this is going to be an hourly rate vs a board foot rate.

    The price/rate must cover use of my mill, skid steer, and labor. Was thinking around $75/hr (I charge that rate for operating the skid steer)
    thoughts?
     
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  7. Ripturner

    Ripturner ArboristSite Lurker

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    My friend saws with a wood mizer. He charges $80 per hour starting from the time he leaves his house.
     
  8. DgoDrummer

    DgoDrummer New Member

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    Thanks Ripturner. I'm using my mill at home and customer will deliver logs (he lives about 50 miles away), I was thinking about $60-65/hr.
     
  9. Marshy

    Marshy 285 Killa

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    By the hour would limit your customers I would think. Theres so many people with mills that will come to your logs and mill that I cant imagine a chainsaw mill being competitive on an hourly rate. Unless the logs are very wide and there are no band saws that can mill it I wouldnt even entertain the idea. I know the Amish will saw your logs for $0.25 a bd ft.
     
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  10. DgoDrummer

    DgoDrummer New Member

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    thanks Marshy. Sometimes I just call around to see what the varied dimensional prices are at local mills and just price the same.

    Yeah I know there's a number of folks around here, Durango, CO, that have band saws. No one I know doing small side jobs for customers though, all big operations. I believe there's a place for smaller businesses like mine. Milling is not a full time gig, just another thing I can offer among many things I do. And yeah, it's a band saw. I've had to use the alaskan on a few big logs... a 42" and 34", what a pain! I even bought new Echo 32" bar to split the big ones down the middle ... ugg, heavy as heck. I like anything under 24" that I don't have to use the alaskan on to get it to fit on the band saw.

    cheers.
     
  11. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We charge $135/hr (go off hr meter) plus blades (if the logs have metal in them) for making lumber out of customer supplies logs.

    That's in the area of $0.25 a bd/ft
     

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