What to prepare for the first trip to sawmill?


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Howdy,

I plan to build some outdoor table, chairs and planters using cedar.  Obviously, the price at HD or Lowes is crazy high these days. The sawmill that I am interested is 42 miles away (http://www.mgsawmill.com/) and I have never been to a sawmill before. 

  • They are selling a stack of 30pc 1x6x8 cedar for $194 cash, do you think is it a good price?
  • I will be using a pickup truck with 5 ft bed length and not sure what is the best way to fit them on the truck: using a circular saw to break them onsite into 5ft and then load on the truck or put the whole stack on the truck with tail gate down. If I go with second option, the boards will stick out 3ft in the back and I am not sure that is okay on the highway.
  • Once I get back, the planer and table saw will do the job to make them into dimensional lumber. How long should I wait before cutting them?
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First, I woul not break those down at the mill. 8' boards can ride with the gate up or down, but be certain to tie them securely, so the can not shift at all. If the gate is down, laws in my state require extended loads to be marked with a red 'flag' affixed to the end.

If the lumber is not dried, be aware that you have a long wait ahead, before it is safe to use typical furniture joinery. Since you are building for outdoor use, construction that allows for more movement may let you get to work sooner.

As for the price, that is very region dependent. Its good if it fits what you are willing to pay.

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I haul 8' to 10' boards of Walnut from the sawmill all the time with no issues.  Tailgate up on a Tacoma which has about a 5' bed and boards strapped down.  It's about a 45 minute ride back home and I think the most I have gotten at one time was about 20 boards.

David

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I have hauled 10' wet cypress with a 6' bed and 2' tailgate.  I put a 4 x 4 across the bed near the tail gate. Less likely to slide out with the load angled. Bring plenty of rope. Gloves will be handy. Check air pressure on tires if you have a big load.

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I have a GMC Canyon with a 5' and carry 8' boards quite often. If I were carrying this many (30) I would go tailgate down use my 4"x4" at the end of the box so that the boards are at a small angle, strap them down tight and flag them. With the tailgate down they will barely stick out past the gate.

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Thanks guys. I really like the idea of putting a 4x4 board at the end of the bed before the tailgate and then keep the tailgate down. It helps to create a small angle and reduce load on the tailgate. I usually keep the tailgate up when hauling only a few 8ft boards. In this case, I will keep the tailgate down since there are 30 pieces. 

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One time I hauled several hundred bf of lumber from 8-12’ lengths in a Silverado 1500 with 6’ bed. Lumber yard guy recommended tailgate up with some straps to keep anything from shifting. Flag on the end. I only had to go about 20min but I think it would have worked fine for 20hrs. 
 

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Two important things to remember.  get at least one red flag on the end of your boards, and when you load them in the truck, use a bit of an angle so the boards are on the shoulder side of the road. Then strap them in place so they don't shift toward the traffic side.  You're better off hitting a sign, rather than a vehicle.

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1 hour ago, Scooby said:

It helps to create a small angle and reduce load on the tailgate

Not clear to me if you're planning to put the 4x4 on the bed or the tailgate, but I'll mention the obvious.  If the tailgate is down it needs to be under some load or it will flop up and down over every bump. 

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24 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Tailgates are designed to take a good bit of abuse. Personally I haul gate up for any long loads to prevent boards from sliding out.

for 120 BF of cedar that's not even going to break 400 lbs. I'd load that tailgate up every day. I've done about 200 BF of hard maple.... and then this.

283359475_4442510395797059933Faccount_id3D1.thumb.jpg.fc51e9dbbb8e1929f58b92469b836bc9.jpg

This was about 1600 lbs of treated lumber.

Oh my :o

I hope that was a short trip LOL

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