Tom The Sawyer
Portable Sawmill Service
Eudora, Kansas  (816) 896-5170

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Sawmill Service Fees       effective 01/01/2017

For about 30 years before I purchased my sawmill, I was a sawmill client.  I encountered several pricing methods; by the hour, by the board foot, and sometimes I was just given a price with no explanation.  When I agreed to start custom milling for others, I kept those experiences in mind when developing my fee structure.  I believe in full disclosure of fees, as you can see below. 

There are many variables to consider when setting fees for milling services, especially when milling at a client's location.  There is no "routine" job, so fees are tailored to your specific situation - an 'ala carte' fee structure.  I do not barter, mill on shares or bid services.  During our site visit I would be glad to measure your logs, estimate footage, and explain which fees will apply.  I accept cash or checks only.  No deposit is required but payment is expected when services are rendered.  If you require invoicing, or have any questions, please let me know. 

Mobile Setup Fee - $50.00 + Travel Mileage at $3.00 per mile, one-way

A Mobile Setup Fee applies to each day that I mill at your site.  A discount will apply for larger volume appointments.

The Travel Mileage Fee is based on the one-way distance from my home to the milling site, according to MapQuest.  Subsequent appointments at the same site are eligible for a Repeat Client Discount (50% off mileage), whether the next day or even years later.  There is no charge for an initial site visit to evaluate your logs and milling site.  
Board Foot Milling Fees

Most milling jobs are charged by the board foot of lumber actually produced.  A board foot is equal to one square foot - one inch thick.    For example: a board 2" thick, 6" wide and 10' long would contain 10 board feet.  You can specify the thickness at which your lumber is milled in increments of 1/16th of an inch.
​When boards come off the sawmill, they are considered to be "rough sawn" lumber.  Historically, lumber was referred to by its thickness when milled, in increments of one quarter inch (older mills weren't as accurate as today's mills).  It is expected that the material will shrink as it dries, and that it will be planed to a consistent thickness before use.  That may mean the final dimension is 1/4 to 3/8" less than when milled.  That is why a 1x6 that you buy at the lumberyard may only be 3/4" thick by 5 1/2" wide.  
"Four quarter" lumber (4/4) refers to freshly milled lumber that is 1.000 to 1.249" thick, (at 1.250" thick it would be considered 5/4 lumber.) Generally, when milling 4/4 lumber, the mill's setworks will be set for 1 1/8" thickness.  Please let me know what thickness you prefer, or what dimension you would like to achieve.  For the purpose of figuring board footage, lengths are rounded down to the nearest 1/2 foot, widths to even numbers.  For live edged boards, widths are averaged rather than measuring each board individually.
Hourly Milling Fee - $75.00 per hour (or $1.25 per minute)
Short logs (less than 6') and small diameter logs (less than 10" at the small end), require extra time to load, turn and clamp - yielding relatively few board feet for the time involved.  Those logs may be charged by the hour rather than by the board foot.  Hourly rates may also be applied to specialty milling projects like mantles, beams, cookies, and re-sawing.  

When I have to stop and move each board productivity goes down considerably and the hourly rate will apply.  It is the client's responsibility to provide someone to remove lumber from the mill.   Note:  freshly milled lumber can be quite heavy.  If you plan to mill lumber thicker than 1 1/2" (6/4) you'll probably need an additional helper.    An 8/4x23"x8' walnut plank will weigh about 150 pounds - some species are even heavier.

Site &/or Log Prep Fee - $50.00 per hour
The most efficient milling operations have the logs lined up parallel to the mill location, ready to load without additional preparation.  An hourly fee is charged for moving logs to the loading area, chainsaw trimming of limbs, bucking logs to length, trimming oversized or odd shaped logs to fit on the mill, removing excessive dirt or debris from bark, digging out metal from the log, stacking lumber, or relocating the mill after initial setup.

Striking an Object in the Log - $15.00-25.00 per instance
The bandsaw blade is designed for cutting wood only.  Cutting into hard objects such as metal (nails, fencing, etc.), rocks or other objects will damage the blade.  Striking smaller objects may only require a re-sharpening of the blade at a fee of $15 per instance.  Striking more substantial objects may break the blade or shear the teeth from the blade.  In that case, there is a fee of up to $25.00 depending on the service life of the blade.  It is not unusual for lower logs from trees around residences or fences to contain metal.  If you suspect metal in a log, please let me know.  Unless you have lots of logs to choose from, I wouldn't scrap a log due to a potential for metal.  Would you pass on several hundred dollars’ worth of lumber because it might cost $15 more to mill it?

Additional Services
I can provide plywood stickers for clients who need them.  Sold in bundles of 25, 3' stickers are $15 per bundle, and 4' stickers are $18 per bundle.  One week advance notice please.  I also have log end sealer available in quart bottles.

​I also provide custom planing services.  My planer accepts lumber with a maximum width of 20".  Lumber must be dry and free of metal like nails or staples.  Planing services are $60.00 per hour with a $20.00 minimum.

Although I do not perform tree services, I may be willing to remove logs and I do purchase delivered logs on occasion.  Please call if you have logs to salvage.  

If you have a special project in mind but don't have a log to saw, let me know.  I do have a few sources for logs and might be able to find what you need.

Kiln drying services may be available starting in 2018.

Milling fees, prep fees, labor, and products such as stickers,
are subject to Kansas Sales Tax at the prevailing rates.