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Rob Stringer

value of oak sawlogs

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hello all, I have some oak sawlogs from work I carried out last year and someone has expressed an interest in buying some of them. They are all cut to 8 ft length and vary from 12-24" diameter, i'd spared them being split into logs so I can mill them into slabs for furniture making etc. I'm happy to sell some of them as sawlogs but have no idea of the value as I dont usually do this. Was wondering if anyone had any pointers? Thanks, Rob Stringer

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agg221   

A few factors to take into account.

 

How wide is the sapwood band vs. the heartwood? Sapwood in oak is not durable and is therefore usually pretty useless.

Are they clean and knot-free, or are there large branches or any rot-holes?

Are they straight?

Is there much taper over the length?

Is any of it brown?

Presumably you can load it, or at least there's roadside access?

 

The above can make a big difference, for example a 12" log with a 4" sapwood band won't even make a 4"x4", whereas a really clean 24" log with an inch or so of sapwood could be very nice.

 

I'd be looking around the £3/cu.ft for less good stuff (more knots, less straight, smaller) and £5/cu.ft for the best stuff, although they're a bit short really, but in this case the buyer is happy with that. This would compare with firewood at about £2/cu.ft

 

Alec

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Big J   

£75-150 a tonne, based on quality. Devaluing factors are length (as Alec says, 8ft is a touch short), shake (ring or radial), how clean it is and access. A knotty lump in a boggy field is almost worthless, whereas a clean length roadside is not.

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Thanks for the replies, i've cut them to 8 ft so the slabs fit in my trailer and I like 3" slabs for benches which would be hard for me to lift if much longer:biggrin: . Its roadside and mostly pretty clean and straight (the rest having long since been logged up), i've got something to go on now so i'll do some adding up..

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agg221   

For comparison between the indications above, there are about 35cu.ft in a cubic metre, which weighs about 940kg green. If you work this out Big J's suggested range is £2-4/cu.ft. In small quantities I'd say the prices are up a bit on this as otherwise it tends to just go for firewood. Makes sense that you've cut them shorter since they were originally for your own use rather than sale - just worth bearing in mind if you plan to sell butts in future.

 

Alec

Edited by agg221

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Is there a simple way to estimate cubic feet/metres in a round log? No doubt if I search long enough this has already been answered somewhere..

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Big J   

Alec, based on the hoppus foot measure of 25-27 hoppus foot per tonne (as in a one one tonne sawlog will contain 25-27 hoppus foot), my price is £3-6 a cubic foot, roughly. Had a very large oak (42 inch) butt that I paid three pounds a hoppus foot for this week. Lovely log, but too big to move and had to be chainsaw milled in situ. Had that been easily delivered to my yard, I'd have paid £5 a cube!

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Big J   
Is there a simple way to estimate cubic feet/metres in a round log? No doubt if I search long enough this has already been answered somewhere..

 

Hoppus measure:

 

(in inches) 1/4 girth squared, times length, divided by 1728.

 

Example. 36 inch diameter butt, 9ft long.

 

36 x 3.142 = 113.1

113.1 / 4 = 28.3

28.3 x 28.3 = 800.9

800.9 x 108 = 86497.2 (volume in cubic inches)

86497.2 / 1728 = 50.1 (volume in cubic foot accounting for sawing wastage)

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agg221   
Alec, based on the hoppus foot measure of 25-27 hoppus foot per tonne (as in a one one tonne sawlog will contain 25-27 hoppus foot), my price is £3-6 a cubic foot, roughly. Had a very large oak (42 inch) butt that I paid three pounds a hoppus foot for this week. Lovely log, but too big to move and had to be chainsaw milled in situ. Had that been easily delivered to my yard, I'd have paid £5 a cube!

 

Never bothered with hoppus feet as I don't have any tables or tapes - I just used a 'real' cu.ft conversion between tonnes and cubic feet based on geometry. I entirely agree with you though that location and mobility makes all the difference. I've bought a fair few standing dead or fallen oaks from farmers who want them gone. They then lend me the teleporter for the day to shift it. I look on it more as a free tree and a really good deal on hiring the teleporter, so it's all in the perception, but everyone is happy!

 

The next one is going to be interesting though. 3ft heartwood, but with a big taper, however still around 15in heartwood at 20ft and I want it long. I move most of my stuff on an 8ft plant trailer, but was going to get this brought down by a neighbour on his hi-ab lorry, who now can't do it. I'll split it into sections under 3/4ton so it will be legal, but it might have a bit of an overhang (extra lighting board needed).

 

Alec

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