We can cut most any species of tree into useable lumber to meet your needs. You may have a stand of loblolly pine that you want to mill into lumber to build a barn or shed. Or you may be a homeowner with an heirloom tree that has died and you want to make it into something special. Either way, we can help. And you will end up with quality lumber at a fraction of the cost of buying at the lumber yard.
The amount and quality of useful lumber you will recover starts with how the trees are cut. When cutting your logs you may have specific requirements for what you need in length. That's fine. But if you don't, I suggest cutting your logs in increments of 2' (8, 10, 12' long) with a little added for trimming the ends. I usually add about 4 to 6 inches. Remember, since most logs taper, and many logs have at least a little sweep (curve) you will generally get more useable wood from two 8' logs than you will from one 16' log.
While it is possible to mill logs shorter than 8' long, it gets much more difficult the shorter they get. If your logs are shorter than 8', we will need to negotiate the price since it takes longer to clamp them in the mill and overall production is slower.
Log diameter is also an important consideration. In general, your logs should be between 10" and "36 inches in diameter. We can saw smaller logs and often do, but the yield is much less and it takes longer to mill a given quantity of lumber. We cannot handle logs larger than 36" in diameter on our mill.
It's best to saw logs as soon as possible after they're felled. While we can saw logs that have been down for a long time, the quality and amount of lumber you can expect begins to suffer, especially with certain species which tend to stain or spalt like pine and maple.
If it's going to be more than a few weeks from when your trees are felled to when you want the logs sawn, they should be raised off the ground at least 4 to 6 inches. Keep the grass around them well trimmed. This will help keep insects from turning your logs into their dinner. If the logs lay for a while they will begin to dry on the ends faster than in the middle. This causes the wood to shrink and crack. Therefore we recommend sealing the ends of the logs as soon as possible after felling. A product called "AnchorSeal" is often used for this purpose. Wax or even a heavy coat of paint will also help to seal the end grain. If the ends of your logs were not treated, not all is lost! It just means you may have to trim a little more off the ends of the boards than you would've otherwise. Sealing the ends of the logs is not usually necessary for pine and cedar.
Foreign objects in your logs
Trees from yards and fence rows are notorious for containing foreign objects, most notably metal. "Why would there be something in my tree?", you may ask. Well, it could be from clotheslines, signs, light fixtures, fences, hammock supports, dog runs, kids practicing with a hammer, tree forts, ladders to climb the tree, braces from when the tree was young, garden benches, shed supports, bricks, or concrete. That's just a partial list of what can be found in trees. Blades for cutting wood do not handle foreign objects well and will be damaged or destroyed on contact. If we strike metal or other foreign objects while sawing, the blade may have to be resharpened or replaced. If this happens there will be an extra $25 per blade charge for each blade that is damaged.
If you own a metal detector or you can borrow one, they can be used to check the logs to ensure that they don't contain metal. Even if it does, we may still be able to mill the log if we can find the metal and remove it.
Logs should also be kept as clean as practicable. Dirt, mud or sand on the logs tends to dull the blades and slow down the process.