The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Starting a lumber business

This excellent hi-quality video was brought to my attention by Dr. Terry Conners at the University of Kentucky, who explains:
"Wood Mizer came to Kentucky to make a video of a custom sawmiller I helped get started. Granted, this fellow wants to do things the right way (retired Navy), but in the space of 2-3 years he’s gone from being a customer of another mill to buying a band mill for himself and progressed to a DH kiln with a sign at the end of his long driveway, then a retail display, then to a concrete-floored air-drying shed, then shade cloth on the shed walls, then a grinder for mulch – and he even held an Open House on a day filled with thunderstorms and heavy rain (about 100 cars showed up nonetheless!). I think he’s the only guy I know of who’s ever even tried that. In addition to sawing logs for customers (they bring to him), he’s working with a logger who brings him unusual species such as mulberry, basswood, sassafras, etc. along with the more usual redcedar and oak, maple and so on – the local woodworkers really like the different woods. He also came to a kiln drying workshop we held in Central Kentucky that Gene Wengert taught – it was useful to reinforce some of the basics about kiln management that he hadn’t really appreciated before, being relatively new to the art. Grading seems to be something else entirely for him and guys like him here – they sell everything all at the same price, don’t want to be bothered by sorting boards even into Good, Better, Best categories. This might be a growth opportunity for the future, though.

Anyway, I thought the video came out well and thought I’d share it. I showed it to our Forestry students at Summer Camp, and even they thought it was pretty interesting. It’s a good model for entrepreneurship that seems to be working, even in this economy. If any of your clients want to talk to Gary McInturf (the sawmiller) just let me know and I’ll hook them up."
Great look at the spirit it takes to make a sawmiller. Enjoy.


Dollar Store Merchandise said...

Interesting business to open. The lumber business is a lucrative business but as all business goes, you have to start it correctly to make sure that you really profit in the end.

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