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Topics > Business Planning How To's > ID: 1376

Producing High Quality Wood Products For Profit

Posted Date: Oct 24th, 2008 13:03 | Hits: 1838
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  • glnagy
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Building a successful value-added wood-processing company is by no means an easy task. Before you can even saw your first board you need a supply of logs, logging equipment or a private contractor who will log for you, a sawmill to process the lumber, a dry kiln to dry the lumber, a moulder to finish the rough saw kiln-dried lumber into product, a facility to house all this equipment and material, people you employ and customers who will buy your product.

Your log supply can either come off private lands where you make a deal with the land owner usually in a price you will pay them per cord or cubic meter for standing timber, or if your extremely lucky and work hard at getting your foot in the door with your local government you may be able to secure an allocation out of the crown forest where you will pay annual stumpage and re-forestation rates per cubic meter.

As far as the logging itself goes, if you do decide to log on your own at the very least you will need an axe and some horses, cable and wagons...LOL! If you care to get a little bit more in tune with the times, you will want at least a good chainsaw, skidder, loader and log truck. However, if you are serious about running a productive sawmill, unless you have very deep pockets and can afford the overhead to set up a logging crew that is able to work productively on their own, I highly reccomend you stirke a deal with an experienced private contractor who will handle that whole end of things for you, and in some cases even at a rate that is less than it would cost you to do it on your own!

Now, with a secured supply being delivered to your location, you need a sawmill to process the logs into lumber. There are a wide variety of models to choose from on the market, most are either a circular saw or bandsaw, but there is even some models you can hook up to a chainsaw and somehow make a board or two out of if you're stuck out in the middle of the bush or something. For maximum effiency and recovery a combination of a highly specialized thin kerf circular sawmill and bandsaw resaw works great! The thinner blade of the thin kerf mill produces high quality lumber or cants which can then be resawn on the band saw putting more fibre into saleable product instead of the sawdust pile.

As the boards are being sawn, pilers should sort the material for grade and get the high quality boards ready for the kiln. Thin slats of boards are evenly placed throughout each layer enabling air to flow though the piles and contact each board equally. This process varies in length by type of kiln, initial moisture content, species of wood and thickness of wood. I prefer a de-humidifacion kiln personally, as less downfall(waste) is produced and the process is fairly self-substaining and energy-efficent. I am able to dry a load of 10,000 fbm in as little as 3 days(in air-dried pine or aspen) too as long as six weeks(2" Green Birch). The average load takes about 2 weeks, and this process is absolutely critical to acheiving a high quality finished product ready for moulding.

The amount of products you can produce with a good moulder is virtually limitless. We prefer to do custom orders as we know it is sold before we have produced some item that sits in inventory taking up valuable space for months on end. Some of the products we produce include but aren't limited to: Flooring, siding, wall panel, loft decking, trim/baseboards, custom beams and so on, we also package and sell all our first cut waste slabs for firewood. Our products are definitly niche as you will not find them anywhere(example - tamerack flooring) and have satisfied many customers who love the natural look and beauty of a truly unique and compitively priced product that will last a lifetime!

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Member's comment

glnagy  Oct 25th, 2008
Okay, this is a very general overview so if anyone has any questions(or even just wants some advice on using solid wood products) just let me know!

glnagy  Oct 29th, 2008
That would make sense...I'm guessing engelman would reach out of BC into western Alberta...

Glad you are enjoying it so far, it's all about quality networking here so the place is likely here for you if you choose to make it! C'ya around and let me know if you need anything!

glnagy  Oct 28th, 2008
Engleman? We have predominately black spruce, white spruce, and some balsam spruce....I may have to look into using white spruce if we log some again in the future.. :)

As far as the whole wasting high quality wood in low-end production products goes, I'm all too familiar with the situation. Governments here cater to huge companies who basically rape the land and then leave. The amount of white birch I seen go into osb board or firewood that would have made veneer or veneer block is staggering!

P.S. Hope you are enjoying the site! :)

pplcheryl63  Oct 28th, 2008
Interesting what I'm learning from "Eavesdropping" here!

glnagy  Oct 27th, 2008
peaceful: Great photos, Gman! :) It
Hey Jeff, I've thought about it, and even starting some kind of boot camp to teach the value of hard work, YES...There is a value to it!! LOL.... I'll have some videos online sometime in the near future too :)

peaceful  Oct 27th, 2008
Great photos, Gman! :)

It's like being on tour with you and your fine staff!

Do you ever consider having tours and workshops on your list of biz-enhancements?

glnagy  Oct 27th, 2008
Hi WhiteElk,

That is a mouthful and a half, my friend....I've never heard of spruce being used in musical instruments before, very interesting to say the least...maybe has something to do with a different species of spruce in Idaho than here in Saskatchewan? We've sold figured White Birch to instrument makers before, awesome looking wood....some of our Japanese clients that exclusive buy birch claim we have some of the highest quality birch in the world here, or at least the highest quality they have seen!

Everything we sell is direct, and these days on order. Prices vary with the markets(and the price of fuel), right now we're selling TL flooring for $4-6 per square foot, depending on grade. Tamerack or larch is an awesome species and beautiful wood with a lot of uses...if you used it as siding like you mentioned, it would likely outlast you! Lol...the low-end product(crooked tops, small knobby logs) all goes into either all natural landscape ties or coral/fencing boards for cattlemen or country homes, acreages, etc... We've never had a single customer who bought tamerack and extremely happy with it!

glnagy  Oct 25th, 2008
pplcheryl63: LOL! Do mounties hang out with red-nosed reindeer? Never mind don
LMAO!! You never know with them Mounties..ROF! We do pretty much whatever we want up here....and no I ain't gonna elaborate..LOL!

pplcheryl63  Oct 25th, 2008
glnagy: Hmmm....Must have been a mountie?
LOL! Do mounties hang out with red-nosed reindeer? Never mind don't answer that you live in the wilds of Canada. No telling what they do up there!

glnagy  Oct 25th, 2008
pplcheryl63: I just heard Santa Is shopping for wood for a shiny new coffin for our resident vampire, and then s
Hmmm....Must have been a mountie?

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