Trouty, milling questions if you have a minute....

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by dirtybeard, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. dirtybeard
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 17
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    Location: Olympia WA

    dirtybeard Junior Member

    I am in WA as well but this is WAshington State on the West coast US of A.

    I have built a bandsaw mill for custom milling my own lumber for junk boat and clinker built boats. Do not be impressed with my mill. It is basically a couple of tires with a quality bandsaw milling blade. I have the options of cutting out stuff up to 50 inches by swapping out the blades. Just at the moment I am crafting up another set of guides (duh, just struck me that I would need two to keep the bandsaw blade from creeping up as the saw is moved down the work). I am using router bearings for my saw guides as we are talking about a poor fellow here who hase to build his own damn sawmill just to build his own damn boats.

    Anyway, the questions, as you sound like you know what you are doing....
    do you mill with blades? or bandsaw?
    Automated big factory kind of sawmill or more small operation?

    Any ideas on selling custom milling work to your local boaties? Much success at it if you have tried it?

    I am in the position of being formerly employed in software biz which just upped and moved to India and China and won't be coming back. So I am casting about for a way to make a living and as I thought to make my own boats by milling my own lumber and selling into the boat building industry...


  2. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    You might have better luck sending Trouty an email.
    Click on 'members' then on his name. You should be able to email him from there
  3. trouty

    trouty Guest

    Sorry for delay

    Sorry for the delay replying it's been ages since I logged in here...

    Sorry also to hear about your computing job going west - mine in Forestry did likewise some 8 years ago when the computer modem was invented and I'd automated all the usual office tasks, such that they could be done remotely from regional and urban areas rather than rural area I happen to live in.

    As to selling lumber into the boatbuilding industry, well that is a tough one...

    I happen to sell probably 4 or so cubic meters of wood a year to one commercial alloy boat builder for use in cabin trims, berths bunks etc on big boats 60 - 80 ft plus.

    This particular timber is used in place of teak..due to it's properties like stability and looks...

    That said - I've found it hard to sell timber into any other boat builders...they just seem to want to use plastic, alloy or glass these days - you would have to have access to some pretty specialised timber that was highly sought after..

    There aren't that many timber boat builders left in the world - most seem to use plys etc rather than solid lumber...

    Like anything if your good at what you do - supply good product - and find someone who needs it - you MAY do OK..

    Things are pretty tough in our industry at the moment - the community has basically decided it doesn't want to cut down it's forests for lumber any more - they would sooner "look" at the forests for their tourism values and in a place like ours where 95% of the states desert - it is easy to understand that perception...

    The green movement have been very successfull - at convicing urban dwellers that trees are a finite resourse (not a renewable resource). Indeed there is some justification for that position, given the way tropical rainforests are pillaged and converted to pasture in 3rd word nations these days.

    I'd be very very wary of investing too much capital into any forest based industry anywhere in the world at the moment myself...

    Horizontal bandsaws are great for low wasteage - but of course you have to resaw to get lumber from the flitches..

    The Canadian built 'Wood Miser' is a poppular horizontal saw here for slabbing but with small operators the portable 'Lewisaw" with it's swing circular blade about the gearbox for horizontal then verticle cuts is very popular...

    Small "forester" spot mills also seem to crop up and do OK, but again wasteage is higher..

    We have ONE large horizontal bandsaw operator here who did Ok for a while - but has just sold out of the industry because of lack of continued resource security....he built the best horizontal bandsaw I've ever seen, powered bye 3 phase, running on rails...and height adusted bye electric motors on screw jacks.

    As long as you keep the sawdust away from the screwjack mechanism - it works a treat....cosy him about $70K Aus to build it himself..

    Hope this helps.

  4. Dave Fleming
    Joined: Mar 2003
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    Location: San Diego

    Dave Fleming Old Geezer

    Contact this fellow a member, as am I, in the WoodenBoat Forums.
    He is over near Bremerton, WA.
    Bob Smalser
    And you might wish to contact Bob or Erica Pickett at Flounder Bay Lumber in Anacortes to see if they would be interested in your stock.
    Boat lumber is not usually graded BUT must be as free of knots and interior imperfections as possible with a mix of Vertical and Flat grain planks. Flitch Sawn edges are acceptable for Carvel Planking as is rough sawn finish.
    For the googe type of boatbuilding well, talk to Flounder Bay for, I am not at all familiar with that type of woodenboat building.
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    What species of lumber do you plan to sell?

  6. Bob Smalser
    Joined: Jun 2003
    Posts: 79
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    Location: Seabeck, WA

    Bob Smalser Junior Member


    I'm running a 26' Australian Lucas mill over here in Seabeck about 40 miles NW of ya on Hood Canal....and also manage some acreage.

    I know most of the loggers and small sawyers 'round here...most of whom have some type of if you have a question or want to see aN air-dry yard with both house and boat lumber, just holler.
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