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Where have all the Sawmills Gone?

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#1 Dozer's Workshop

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

I live in Northwest Arkansas, and I am having a really hard time finding good sources of hardwood.

Maybe I just don't know how to look. I search lumber mill and sawmill and am just not finding any good leads close by.

The question is this:

Is there a good online source for finding lumber mills and hardwood supply houses?

Does anyone happen to know a good one in my vicinity (SW Missouri, NE Oklahoma, SE Kansas, NW Arkansas)?

Thanks for any help I can get...sawmill.jpg

#2 Nick Feola

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:56 AM

I'm plagued by this same issue. I have to find my hardwoods through local sawyers with bandsaw mills. This greatly limits my selection and regular availability. The advantage lies within the price. I can usually get it cheaper through gentlemen like this. Sorry I can't offer up any suggestions beyond finding someone similar to whom I've just described. Ad bulletins will sometimes yield results for aforementioned sources.
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#3 Dozer's Workshop

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:22 AM

Thanks, Nick. I may have to just start posting want ads on Craigslist asking for sources...

Maybe the local woodworkers guilds would be good to ask...

#4 Particle Board

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

Try woodfinder.com

Don

#5 Wood-butcher

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:00 AM

I have lots of farms around my area. I actually followed a log truck to the mill in order to find them. I also have an Alaskan sawmill and ask farmers if I can saw up a tree. I only need 1 good tree, so most let me do it for free and are glad to be rid of the tree.

#6 RenaissanceWW

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

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Unfortunately this is a sign of the economy. Every day we hear of another sawmill that has gone out of business. It has made buying domestics very tough as more and more often we have to buy from the same larger entities. I have had some luck reaching out to the tree removal services and asking them what they do with the trees they remove. Sometimes they have the capability and sometimes they have a source for you. Good luck. In the meantime I'll ask my domestic buyer if he knows anyone in your area.
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#7 duckkisser

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

call around to all the cabinet makers/ tree removers/ and even the big companies a sales man told me where one was right on my door step that they go to when they have special orders. i know where there is 3 within driving distace of my home in illinois.

you might have to look farther afield and have them ship it to you.

#8 franklin pug

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

Good suggestions here. Another option may be to ask a local college that offers woodworking or cabinet making classes. They buy a lot of lumber, and may be able top point in the right direction.

#9 duckkisser

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:21 AM

the college is a good idea but try high schools as well there are still a few with shop classes

#10 Brian VanVreede

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 04:40 AM

Isn't. The title of this thread a song? .......

Oh wait, I'm confusing it with "where have all the cowboys gone"
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#11 preeng2

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

Try this link.
http://www.woodweb.c...ctories/sdd.cgi

#12 Dozer's Workshop

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:50 AM

Awesome ideas, folks! I will be looking around and will let post here again after a while to let you know if I found anything.

#13 TimWood

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 05:55 AM

The Sawmills are all gone...[saw millllls areall gone..]
And the skies are gray...[and the skies are gray]
California Dreaming....[Cal-i-fornia Dreamin']
Same type of pictures here Dozier. In the coastal SC part of the world, everything is fuel and paper. International paper uses pine trees for fuel (chips) and making paper. Santee Cooper and other plants use chips for firing boilers. Result is a lot of land is used to grow a 'super pine' that's basically planted and harvested in 15 years. Occasionally, someone cuts some old timber from family land and you'll see a truck carrying it to a mill but it's getting more rare. If the rest of the country is anything like SC, we could be in for a shortage of the basics in a few years - maples, oaks, walnut, and even yellow pine. I can't speak for you guys in other places like Pennsylvania or Oregon who have different woods and maybe more mature forests; but I am concerned. I've often thought if I had the acreage, plant hardwoods with the idea harvesting in x# of years. Unfortunately, no one looks that far ahead or if you do, you don't have the financial soundness to tie up 50 acres for 30 years. Here, those who have the land just plant them in pines or they plant a "U-Pickem" peach orchard or strawberry field and make a little money through the years. Thanks for the help on sources though. I've marked each one of them and if anyone reading has others, please share.

#14 duckkisser

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 06:47 AM

tim that reminds me back in the day a old wood worker i know that the custom was to plant walnut trees on the land and then harvest them when they retire to use as a bonus. maybe we should start a group to grow seedling and plant them randomly so that in 50 years if not us then someone can havest them. like johny apple seed......would like to see more the of the huge apple trees not just the dwarfs.
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#15 TimWood

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:24 AM

tim that reminds me back in the day a old wood worker i know that the custom was to plant walnut trees on the land and then harvest them when they retire to use as a bonus. maybe we should start a group to grow seedling and plant them randomly so that in 50 years if not us then someone can havest them. like johny apple seed......would like to see more the of the huge apple trees not just the dwarfs.

50 acres of straight, tall, straight Walnut trees and Maple trees about 48" at the butt. Ohhhh mama....

#16 Wood-butcher

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

I knew a guy that as each of his children were born, he planted 10 acres of trees. He lost about 10% along the way. As each child got married, he harvested the trees and gave them the money as a wedding present. He averaged about $10,000 per child. Can't remember what kind of trees though.

#17 Dozer's Workshop

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:01 AM

I knew a guy that as each of his children were born, he planted 10 acres of trees. He lost about 10% along the way. As each child got married, he harvested the trees and gave them the money as a wedding present. He averaged about $10,000 per child. Can't remember what kind of trees though.


SO saying people get married around the early twenties....what kinds of hardwoods would be grown up enough in that time span to use? I hear that COttonwood can grow up to 8' a year...but how is it for woodworking?

#18 Beechwood Chip

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

SO saying people get married around the early twenties....what kinds of hardwoods would be grown up enough in that time span to use?

Alanthus ;)

#19 Dozer's Workshop

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

I'll check that out...Thanks!

Hmm, seems like it would work well, but be stinky in the process... silly Chinese trees...
http://www.woodworki.../Woods/004.html

#20 Beechwood Chip

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 05:06 PM

I was joking about the Ailanthus. I pretty much consider it a weed tree. They definitely grow like weeds, and spread like weeds. I'd be reluctant to plant something with such a bad reputation. But, it does grow fast, and it is a hard wood. I'm not sure how much value it would have when harvested - I've never heard of anyone growing them on purpose, at least not this century.

But, as far as stinky Chinese trees go, I'll take an Ailanthus over a Ginko any day. The male Ginko is OK, but around here the females are called vomit-berry trees. When those things are dropping fruit you don't want to be anywhere near them.





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