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How do I hire a sawyer to mill some downed trees?


I’ve got some downed trees that I’d like to have sawn into lumber, but don’t own a sawmill. How can I locate a mill in my area—preferably a portable one that can come to my place and cut the logs on-site?
—Darrell Jones, Batesville, Miss.


First, Darrell, check your local phone directory’s business pages under “Sawyers,” “Lumber,” and “Logging.” Second, log on to the websites of bandsaw mill manufacturers, such as Wood-Mizer, TimberKing, and Norwood, and search their owner databases for nearby sawyers who do custom milling. Finally, browse websites dedicated to milling lumber. We recommend the following:

Before contacting a sawyer, be ready to discuss the following: 
• the species, diameter, and length of the log portions of the trees; will he have to cut the logs to length;
• how long the trees have been down;
• where the trees are currently lying, and what kind of access the sawyer can expect;
• if you’ll bring the logs to a mill, how you will transport them;
• how you want the logs sawn (quartersawing makes the best furniture-grade lumber, but requires more effort and costs more);
• whether you’ll want to assist in or provide direction during the milling. 

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