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Maxitto01's picture
Location, location, location? Tips, stories and suggestions welcomed

Hi all. Just joined up and look forward to further exploring the forum. Like many , I find the prospect of one day being an owner and operator

or a portable sawmill to be quite tantalizing!!

At the moment, I am wondering if anyone can offer a few tips or stories on choosing a location for operations if this were an initial challenge.  I am sure laws and bylaws differ from country to country, and by extension state to state and province to province and then of course city by laws regarding business's and noise and et cetera.I am wondering if anyone else started out with this challenge, for instance if you are a suburban or even a city dweller and are keen to get started by first need to find a base of operations and place to work from.

Or do we have people who literally work from driveways, backyards and driveways with no encumbrances along the way?


Thank you for any stories, suggestions and advise as I begin the process of exploring the opportunity. I see the horizon as wide open with all sorts of






r.garrison1's picture

Mine's mobile. I have cut in my back yard (I have a big yard in a suburban neighborhood), but I watch early and late evening noise.

Being mobile, I have also cut on site, but so far, all rural unincorporated areas. 

Being mobile let me get some locust from a windstorm, cedar from someone clearing a homesite, and lets me cut in a better climate between summers (my tree farm is a bit covered with snow right now).

DavidM's picture

Hi Max - Welcome.  I have a manual HD36 and live in the country on the Gulf Coast.  Most of the logs I get are blowdowns or are cut because someone needs the tree removed.  I usually get the tree for free if I clean it up and they don’t have to pay for landfill.  It’s amazing to me how many folks are landfilling or burning hardwoods.  Sometimes I saw in my yard and other times I go to the tree if it’s bigger than I want to haul in one piece.  Also have gone to locations to saw by the hour for people.  Most of the time I’m in the country or suburbs and I really haven’t had any issues as long as I’m considerate and clean up after myself.   I really haven’t had to advertise - people just spread the word by word of mouth.  Only drawback is that I still work a real job and can’t seem to get as much sawdust as I’d like.  

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

I also run a portable mill, and routinely work in driveways and front yards.  Only problem I've had milling in residential areas is the curious bystanders who want to talk when I need to be working.  The mill is about as loud as a riding mower, and if you keep the sawdust under control and don't leave a pile of slabs in the yard (free firewood might be a good way to keep neighbors from complaining).  If you ask zoning people about running a sawmill, they'll probably think of big circle mills and turn you down.