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Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture
What do you do for your customers

I'm curious what others do for their customers in regards to drying lumber. Any time a customer asks "... and when can I use the boards?" I sit down and talk about drying the wood, starting with how they will use it. If necessary, I cut stickers and blocking out of their lumber, but that's obviously not a good option when dealing with a stack of walnut. Does anyone bring blocking and stickers to a job site and sell them to the customer? Seems like it would be a good way to help the customer and make a few extra bucks at the same time.

Samuel
Samuel's picture

OK, my mill still hasn't gotten here yet. Not hurry anyway, but I want to hear from you guys who have had one for a while! I have had some of the locals here telling me the best thing I can do, is go cut some old scrub pines and mill those for practice, or until I feel comfortable and get a little more used to what I am doing. Any of you out there have any pointers as to what I should try to cut? Or would it just be a shear bet of mine to just go and cut through some of those pines with different sizes in mind to try and produce and see how it all works?

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Oakie, I don't have an answer for you. I wince as I say I will cut them some stickers if they want (knowing all the while that dry stickers would be better, but also that they won't want to pay for them). I give them information on how to dry lumber and then I cross my fingers that they will take it seriously.

Let her rip, Samuel. You'll learn any way you go. I learned on my own stuff, cutting boards for a house addition. Think of a project for yourself and tackle it on your new mill. That's better than taking chances at someone elses expense and charging them for it. But who knows, you may be a natural-born sawyer. In any case, pine is a good place to start. (I started with oak, which is like tying one hand behind your back from the get-go). You'll need some base blocks for your lumber piles (4X8X48) and stickers (1X2X48) to go between layers of boards, so your first practice can be on those.

Samuel
Samuel's picture

God love you people! Thanks for the good advice! And one other question1 Just like most of you guys, I do hope to be sawing for other people soon. As a matter of fact, I already have a Doctor wanting me to saw his Walnut logs for him. He says they are 28 to 30 inch in diameter by 12 foot long! I also need to know, apart from about 20 extra blades that I will have with me, what other saw parts do you guys advise me to carry with me?

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

I can't think of any other parts you'll need to have on hand right away. I keep some extra blade guide rollers, belts, bearings, grease zerks, oil filter, and air filter; but you shouldn't need any of those soon (unless you break the drive belt, which I have done).

Dewchie
Dewchie's picture

Eddiemac is right Samuel. I just jumped right in. It won't be long and you will find out how simple it can be. But listen to people on this forum cause they have great info.

Oakie, I have not had any customers as I right now just saw for myself. It has been my experience though to throw in some extras and it will come back ten fold.

Samuel
Samuel's picture

OK thanks Eddie!

Bill
Bill's picture

Samuel to start it may help to decide what your going to need or use most eg. 2x4 or 2x6 then stick to cutting up your pine into one or the other for the day. This way you get real familiar with the measurements. Any part of the log left that will not give you 2" lumber but enough for 1" set aside then when you have 1/2 doz. or so 1" rip them into stickers. I'm sure you have it mastered in no time.

Bill

Samuel
Samuel's picture

OK Thanks for the tip Bill!

Bill
Bill's picture

Dave as for cutting stickers for customers never done it. When they bring me a few logs to cut then take them home and put them in their shop and I suggest they pile, weight and sticker them. If it's a trailer load being delivered I have it stickered as I pile it so they get the pile all ready stickered but only if they plan on storing it for a while. The few orders delivered for barns being built they were using it up right away so stickers weren't used.
I had a customer 5 or six yrs. ago who bought 200- 12' fir 2x6's who planed on using them right away but failed to use them for a few yrs. and when he went to move them found they had all dry rotted. Fortunately for me he knew it was his own fault in this case and I had offered him stickers. I think you should expect to get paid something for what ever you cut for a customer but like most things it depends on the circumstances.

Happy sawing, Bill

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Bill, that reminds me of the time I was supposed to build some slatted-floor hog pens for a farmer I worked for. He showed me the rough sawn oak stacked in his barn and the treated 4X6's he wanted the boards attached to. I should have held back for a day to double-check with him, but instead went ahead and nailed a couple of floors together. The oak had been flat-stacked and was real soft and kind of moldy under the top boards. When he saw my work, he knew exactly what he had done wrong and didn't hold it against me (I was in my early twenties and new to country life). That's when I first learned what happens to green wood not dried properly. I never forgot it.

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Back again: Almost always this is what I do for a custom-saw customer. I insist they will need stickers to dry their lumber and give them printed instructions on how to do it. I save all the edgings that are long enough, and from the 1X's that are not suitable for good lumber (too much wane, bark, etc.), I stack those boards on edge on the mill (5 or 6 or 8 at a time) and rip them 1 1/4" wide. I provide these strips without cutting them to length or doing much sorting. As these are given for free and would otherwise be thrown in my scrap pile, I figure my customer can use his head and make the best use of them. I dump the big unruly mess on top of their trailer already loaded with neat stacked lumber while they wonder why they need all those scrawny strips.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Good idea. That ought to keep his kids busy with a hand saw! Hope they take advantage of the stickers and your printed instructions (good idea). Otherwise, they've just got expensive firewood!

kcquick
kcquick's picture

I set aside all my edging strips that will work for stickers they are just scrap slab wood anyway if a customer wants them they can take as many as the need no charge it helps me get rid of the slabs. Also they will end up with stickers of the same species that they have purchased from me.

Alex
Alex's picture

Hello, I just purchased a lumbermate 2000 and got it mounted on a trailer. Can anyone give me any advice on this mill .
Any general advice would be much appreciated.
Alex

swampbuggy
swampbuggy's picture

Alex, I'm not familiar with the LM2000 but I can tell you that they are a well regarded machine and you will like what you cut. Welcome to the group. Dan

eddiemac
eddiemac's picture

Alex, first read the manual. If you didn't get one with the mill I suggest ordering one from Norwood. It really explains almost everything you need to know. Any other questions can likely be answered through this forum. Some pointers though: When you clamp a log make sure the band will cut above the posts and dogs (put the handle down). Grease the bandwheels every time you change the blade and change the blade as soon as it begins to get dull. Use a slow water drip, drip, drip to lubricate the band when cutting. Under tension the band should rest about 1/16" in front of the flange on the blade guide roller bearings. Set the tension by looking at the tension scale (to the max on big logs and less on small); detension the band when done sawing. Have the blade guide arm out just a little wider than width of what you are cutting. Make sure the bed is level with itself, and not flexing, and the band parallel to the bunks. Every once in a while you'll have to brush the sawdust and debris off of the bunks or risk falsely elevating your cant. Make sure the belts ride above the steel of the bandwheels; if not, replace. Make sure the log posts are square to the bunks. Take a measurement directly down from the bottom of a down-set tooth to a bunk and make sure the height scale reads the same. Push the mill without tensing up your shoulders or arms or you'll eventually pay a price. Feel your way through the log by listening to the engine and blade, slowing when it begins to bog. Oh, and don't leave the water container exposed to the sun when the mill is not in use because it's not very UV resistant.  Like I said - the manual . . .

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Alex, congratulations on the sawmill. What is your experience with sawmills? Eddiemac did a good job summing things up. You might want to start out with some logs in the 12" to 14" diameter range and mill up some 6x6 blocking and 1x1 stickers to stack the boards on. You'll need 'em, and it is a great way to get acquainted with the mill. Keep us updated on your experiences.

Alex
Alex's picture

Not a lot of experience , spent the last couple of weeks getting it mounted on a trailer and set up the way I want it. Cut a couple of cedar logs (they were the only ones not covered in snow)
I appreciate all the pointers so far.

Bill
Bill's picture

Good you hear your up and running Alex . Looking forward to  your progress report laugh and please don't hesitate to ask any specific questions you may have to save yourself some greif. Pics. are always nice. 

Alex
Alex's picture

Hi guys, it's been a long time since I have been on the forum. I learned a lot about milling this summer, I have been busy doing custom work and am loving it. I also recently bought a chainsaw mill for the big logs I have been collecting. I would love to share some pictures I can't remember to post them with photobucket. I will try to figure it out again. 

Alex

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Here's a link that describes how to post photos.  Looking forward to seeing what you're up to these days!

http://www.norwoodsawmills.com/suggestion-box/posting-photos