Get the Most from Your Sawyer

When deciding to hire a portable sawmill and sawyer, many people ask: “how much will this cost per board foot?”  This logical question has a complicated answer.  Many factors contribute to the length of time it will take to saw your logs, which is why Young’s Custom Sawing charges an hourly fee (as do most portable milling services). If the customer takes the time to get everything in order before the sawmill arrives, he or she can be sure they are getting the best possible deal.  The following are a list of tips to get the most out of the sawmill while it is at your site.

– Take care to keep logs clean when felling and moving to the site. This is the most important thing you can do to save time!  If logs are dirty, clean them as best you can – a wire brush can clean bark, or remove the bark in dirty areas with an ax or adze.  Dirt on the logs will mean slower sawing. Blades will become dull faster, which means you’ll need to pay more sharpening fees.  If the logs are very dirty, they will need to be cleaned (on the clock) before they get sawn.

-Stack the logs in an orderly pile, all going in the same direction (butt ends together).  Cut them to the desired length ahead of time.  If you’re not sure if some of the logs will be worth sawing, put them on top where they can be evaluated and moved out of the way easily.

-Choose a milling site with level, firm ground, accessible by a truck.  The better the site, the less time it will take to get the mill moved in and set up.  Leveling the mill can be time consuming if the site is very steep or muddy.  A muddy yard will get the logs dirty (see above). If you have questions about the best place to put the mill, we’re happy to consult ahead of time.

-Stack your logs immediately adjacent to the milling site.  If your site is on a slope, stack the logs up-hill from where the mill will be.

-Plan to help on sawing day.  An extra able-bodied helper will make sawing go much faster and save you money.

-Be aware that spruce logs are more difficult to saw than other types of wood.  The saw may need to go slower, and blades will get dull faster. Plan on paying more blade sharpening fees if you’re sawing spruce.

-If your logs came from line trees, near a fence row, along a road, or are from a sugar bush, they’re likely to contain metal from barbed wire, nails, or spiles.  Hitting a metal object will cause the saw blade to break and you will be charged for the replacement ($30).  If you have access to a metal detector, you can check your logs for metal ahead of time.

-If you have questions about how to prepare for sawing, please let us know!