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Dale's series of permaculture business ideas --- 6. Tools, Lumber and Space for Woodworkers

Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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My primary crop is trees. If I were to have a logging company take every useful tree, I'd be up $20,000 and the place would drop in value by $50,000. I don't plan to do that.

A more reasonable approach is for me to do all of my own thinning and mill the wood myself. There's plenty of space for milling, drying and storage.

I'm close to the city where thousands of wood consuming hobbyists reside. Many lack adequate space and tools. Some have awesome tools packed into tight quarters. There's a place in Victoria where people pay to use shop space. They sell lumber to their clientele. By hosting a big shop, I could bypass the middleman and get full retail for kiln dried maple, alder, oak, arbutus, fruit and nut woods and other woods that are in demand and available locally to the small miller.

There are clubs. I could see hosting a club at preferential rates based on guaranteed sales of wood. Everyone would be encouraged to bring in their fruit and nut logs that result from landscape changes at home. I would take portable milling equipment to large immovable specimens. This would earn them shop time and would make me the specialty wood guy. Trades could be made, green logs for kiln dried lumber. Somewhere between 4 to 1, to 8 to 1 in my favor seems about right. Most become firewood currently and they usually have a negative value to the homeowner. Those not interested in lumber will be offered cheaper tree service on certain species.

I've run some adds looking for wood. Two calls so far. My adds clearly state the species of wood sought. I'm offering to beat competitor's prices on removing choice trees and offering hourly services at $10 below the regular rate. The adds state that no trees will be cut for free. I want to feed the wood kiln while also feeding my pockets. Most mills purchase logs. A part time enterprise like this makes sense for me. I currently make about 1/3 of my living with a chainsaw. In the past, I've cut up a lot of nice wood into stove lengths. That needs to end.
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