Lumber from Your Own Backyard
Hire a sawyer and his machine to reap furniture-grade lumber at great savings
Synopsis: Hiring a sawyer to bring in a portable bandsaw mill is a great way to get lumber at a good price, writes Gus Carlson, who harvests, saws, and dries wood for a living. Carlson explains how to find a sawyer and advises avoiding very large and very small logs, because that drives up your cost. Prices might be set by the board foot or by the hour. A bandsaw mill doesn’t waste much wood, but don’t count on all the lumber being perfect. Carlson includes a “logs-to-lumber” checklist so you can evaluate whether a tree is worth sawing up, and another checklist asks the questions you need to answer before calling a sawyer. A side article explains how Anatole Burkin of Fine Woodworking hired tree trimmers and a sawyer to turn a tall white oak tree into 400 bd. ft. of lumber for kitchen cabinets.
Early on in…