Finding Great Wood Barre VT
Finding Great Wood
Finding Great Wood
Amazing Wood At Fantastic Prices, Harvested Close To Home.By Dave Munkittrick
When I built my solar kiln (see, “Solar Kiln”, AW Issue #124, Oct. ’06, page 55), I needed to scour up a steady source for green wood to dry. Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I live about an hour outside of a major metropolitan area and a little digging in the Yellow Pages turned up a wealth of green wood sources. I found everything from ordinary basswood to spectacular maple crotches, to enormous walnut trunks (some of these can be seen in the original solar kiln article). All were at unbelievable prices. I began my search in the Yellow Pages with calls to custom sawyers with portable sawmills. They put me on to a couple of good sources for green wood, which included private tree services and municipal maintenance departments. They have a ton of wood and some of it is quite amazing.
Finding green wood may take a little digging, but you’ll find your sources will grow naturally. My first contact quickly blossomed into several other contacts. Before I knew it, I was reluctantly turning down offers for wood because I simply had no place to store it.
I visited a small custom sawmill, Dan’s Wood Service, located in western Wisconsin. I was looking for an easy-to-dry wood for the a test run in my solar kiln. Dan offered me some clear basswood for seventy cents per bd. ft. That’s about a third of the cost my local lumberyard charges for kiln-dried wood. I took a friend along for help with the stacking.
When we got to Dan’s place I was surprised to learn that my wood was a standing tree in his woodlot! Dan harvested it in no time (Photo 1). The tree trunks were then cut to length (Photo 2) and transported to the nearby sawmill on the property (Photo 3). Sizeable tree trunks are really heavy and present the most difficult material-handling dilemma for folks like you and me. Fortunately, most custom sawyers like Dan are set up to bring their mill to your tree so there’s no need for skid loaders, huge trucks and big cranes.
Photo 1: I was looking for some green wood for my kiln but never dreamed the wood I ordered would be cut on the spot. Dan is a custom sawyer who specializes in small orders. He has a small woodlot where he harvests trees like this basswood. His portable sawmill can travel to you and your tree wherever you are.
Photo 3: A skid loader picks up and carries the heavy logs to a portable sawmill set up on the property. For off-site work, Dan brings the sawmill right to the tree.
The bandsaw mill made quick work of our tree (Photo 4). An in-line ripsaw took care of the bark edges (Photo 5). Soo...