If you own a small portable band saw mill there are some things you can do taking advantage of your small size and pay cheap timber prices. Big sawmills have set costs that limit there options to big pieces of timber. A small portable sawmill on the other hand can open up many opportunities for you.
Portable Sawmill + Small Forest = Big Profits
Many times small Forests around 10 acres or less are overlooked by the big mills. It just costs to much to move equipment to a logging site this size. This is where you can step in, pay timber prices that are on the lower end of the scale, and walk away with a nice amount of lumber with little or no competition. Be on the lookout for small woodlots. Scan the plat books and satellite imagery for small out of the way forests.
Contact the land owners and make an offer. Many times you will find land owners who have never been approached about their timber. Other times you will find land owners who have an inflated idea of timber prices, because there brother-in-law new a guy, who new a guy that got top dollar for his timber. Just remember it is a numbers game. The more land owners you contact the more likely it will be that you will get a good deal on that prime piece of timber you have been seeking.
Cheap Timber in Urban Forests
The big sawmills stay far away from urban trees. There is to much potential for metal in the logs. Hitting a piece of metal with the expensive blades that the big mills use can cost a lot more than cutting that log is worth. With a small band mill you can take advantage of this resource. Band saw blades for portable sawmills cost around $25 or less, and changing blades only takes a few minutes.
It is very likely that the profits you can make from these urban trees will out way the costs many times over. Once again you have little or no competition for this material and many times you will be able to get it for free! Contact Tree services in your area let them know that you are looking for yard logs and will remove these logs at no cost to them.
Some tree services will ask for payment for their logs, simply remind them that there is a great risk of metal in the trees and that you really can't pay for them because of your increased costs. Of course there are exceptions to this, I once payed $100 for a very large walnut yard tree which yielded over 500 board feet of very nice walnut lumber. In a situation like that it might be worth while to consider paying for the logs.