Author Topic: Wisdom and Ideas sought.  (Read 289 times)

glort

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Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:46:45 AM »

Something on my mid a few days bugging me so I thought I would put it to the brains trust for some ideas and brain storming......

Got a guy over the other week about triming my monster tree. Got talking and he offered me a deal to do my tree if I help him with some aspects of his business.  Went to check out his place about 5 Km from me and can't get it out my mind.

I have never seen so much wood in all my born days. The guys father started the tree felling/ trimming business over 20 years ago and I think 95% of what he cut is on their 30 acres. I would gaurantee there would be a Solid 15 acres stacked 5M high if it were all pushed together. There must be 20 thousand tons of timber there.  The place is surreal.

The guy whom has taken over the business some years ago wants to clean it up, understandably so.  he's been offered $1m per acre for the land and wants to sell when it gets to about 1.5 but dosen't want to loose $5m of it in cleanup fees.
He's has some people there whom he has given free rent and use of machinery to on the proviso they get rid of the timber. He is happy for them to pocket every cent they make as long as the pile goes down.  After a couple of years, there has been very little progress and that's not with him bringing in more, it's in the small corner they set up in. 

One guy has been processing fire wood but is lazy and comes maybe twice a week not for a half day. the other was doing furniture but he is useless  as well and also done nothing.

The guy admits Firewood is a hard sell here. most councils will not allow new wood burners to be installed here and it's not a cheap way to heat. The work involved in processing the wood is substantial. guy describes it as a luxury heating and I think that's accurate.  There is also a LOT of competition in the area and beyond.

The guy doing fire wood was selling to pizza places whom wnat a certain type of wood and the guy was getting about $100 ton more for it than std fire wood although he did have to deliver.

The guy has an air curtain burner and wants to start using that even though it's illegal in this state. he spent a lot og money trying to get approval but the lawyer got to the bottom of it and said you will never get approval ever.  the reason is not emissions or environmental. It's because in this state green waste costs about $340 ton to get rid of. About $200 of that is Gubbernint levy/ Tax. They are protecting their revenue stream.
Guy says he's going to take the machine down in the hollow of a property and take his chances anyway. He has found a good market for the ash so that will be a resource for him.

There is also mountains of wood chip there but that is what they do onsite with smaller branches etc.  They do sell it but they can't sell near enough.  When I was there a mid size covered truck came in. He said that hold 28 Cubic meters when full, we don't fill it so that's about 27 cubes and it's the 3rd time that truck has been back today. He said all of last week I got rid of 2 truck loads and I gave it away to the local commounity garden.
The guy has tried giving the stuff away to wood turners guilds, furniture makers and everyone else he can think of. He said I went round and took pics of what I knew was good woodworking and desirable timber.  He said I sat on the phone for days and rang all these people. He said I made about 150 calls and sent  about 100 people pics and they were all  going to come out and get something. Not one person turned up.

The guy has a full size semi he carts the waste away in from land clearing. i made the comment how many trucks worth of timber were on the site.
He pointed to this tiny little pile ( relatively) and say we brought that in a few days ago. The truck was a bit over loaded but we tied it down and it was just a few KM up the road in the hills.  This semi over load just blew my mind as to how many trucks it would take to get rid of this stuff. Could not begin to count  but could not be less than 500.  Some of these logs would be the legal  and probably more weight limit even if they didn't fill the truck to capacity Volume wise.  $340 Ton, 40 ton load,  $13500 per truck, ....... unimaginable numbers.

There are stumps there that are 3m round, never seen a tree that big. There is huge timber almost as tall lying down as I am standing up. There is mainly   larger stuff from about 10" up and most of it would be 15" plus.

It just seems there is a biblical resource there, just sitting there and the guy was hinting at me strongly, You want any of it, you want to come start a business here using it, it's all yours including the use of excavators with grapples, cranes, loader, the firewood processor and other things on site. Guy has a LOT of machinery and is obviously happy to put it's use to anything that gets his massive piles down. 
Unfortunately he no longer has a mill to cut slabs which I think -could- be a goer but he sold the machine he had because he couldn't shit it.
I looked up bandsaw mills and I could get one for $5k pretty easy.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions for this?  I'm going to look at getting some to use for seats round the fire pit the Mrs wants and I'll be able to have those slabs I wanted to mount engines on.  There are Logs there I could mount cars on!
I'm kicking myself for not taking pics now, what is there has to be seen to be believed.

Anyway, anyone have ANY suggestions what could be down with this stuff, preferably for a Profit?
It's all mine effectively for the taking, just don't know if there is anything profitable that could be done with it but i'd sure like some ideas.



ajaffa1

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 10:33:32 AM »
Hey Glort, when I was in the UK I knew a man who made himself into a multi millionaire by collecting damaged pallets and repairing them. He paid minimum wage to work for the dole employees and ended up as one of the biggest pallet suppliers/manufacturers in Europe.

New pallets cost a lot of money and once damaged are basically worthless, pulling out a few nails and replacing a broken timber slat takes minutes and if you have free timber could be very profitable, especially if you lease them to haulage companies on a sale or return basis. If they don`t return them you charge them full price for a replacement, if they are returned damaged you charge them full price and then fix it and lease it out again. Win win.

A couple of other ideas would be outdoor pub furniture, easy to make, easy to flat pack and easy to sell.

I was always disappointed that Australia exports next to no timber to the rest of the world, I am certain that European and American cabinet makers would jump at it, given the chance.

You could, potentially, contact someone like Big River Timber (Grafton NSW)who have the equipment to turn large logs into veneer for plywood. It is all plastic coated and sold as form ply.

At the end of the day it comes down to what they have, how much they have and how good the quality is.

Australian hardwood is very hard on machinery so don`t think that cheap imported saw milling equipment will cope with it, it won`t! I watched Boral spend $6,000,000 installing a state of the art European soft wood mill in Australia, it lasted less than three weeks! Before you do anything go and see your local saw doctor and ask him what it would cost to keep your saws sharp. I`ll give you an idea of what you are dealing with, a 12" wide 25 foot long band saw blade will need sharpening three times a day and will need new stelite tips once a week. These band saw blades cost $1600 each, will cost you $300 each time they need sharpening and only last for a couple of years.

If I had access to a resource like that, I would be thinking of producing laminated hardwood kitchen worktops something like these https://www.pinterest.com.au/bordercraft/iroko-worktops/

Bob


glort

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 12:24:15 PM »

Thanks for the Interesting insights Bob.

Hadn't considered the problems with keeping a saw sharp. That alone would pretty much kill anything in that regard because most of this wodd is dry so very Hard stuff.

Thee is a mill down the end of the road from my father that cut slabs and Mill Timber to order.  It might be worth going to see them and what they charge to  cut and mill the stuff. I have been  told it's not cheap as they have to set up each piece but I also know they are slicing up railway sleepers for wall paneling.
Maybe there might be the opportunity  to sell them some of these logs? I know they bring the sleepers down from north Qld.

The drawback I could see with doing firewood is the cutting.  No mechanized way to do that there and I know how fast dry iron bark and other hardwoods here eat up chain saw blades.  Watched Plenty of YT vids on wood cutting and the guy says just sharpened the saw and people see how slow it cuts and bag the guy for not sharpening the saw properly. They have no idea how hard our wood is and think what they have is tough.

I was saying to the Mrs today, what the fella needs is a small power station.  The energy value of what is there I could not even comprehend. I reckon he could keep a normal power station going  several weeks at least from what I have seen of the amount of cost they feed in. Be a lot more timber but there is soooo much timber there.!

Mrs is still hell bent on $7K worth of benchtops for the new money pi.... Kitchen.  If I could get the mill to cut me some slabs for 2 grand I'd be laughing!
Would also have a LOT more value to me knowing what it was and how it was made than this manufactured stone shit.


ajaffa1

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 11:20:49 PM »
Hi Glort, a Lucas mill with a tungsten tipped saw blade will cut Aussie hard wood but it is slow and hard work.

Strangely enough a hard wood tree is defined as one that looses it`s leaves in winter, thus Australian timber is nearly all "softwood", while balsa wood is classified as a "hardwood"!  :laugh:

Bob

glort

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 03:59:18 AM »

It was my understanding that hardwoods were classified by grain structure.... which Balsa still fell into the hardwood category.

Maybe they should go to something like a simple metal test, you drop a calibrated weight from a specific height and measure the impact.
Hard is little impact, soft is larger.  At least this way the ratings would follow logic and practice.

I was thinking of something like a lucas Mill.

Looking at Vids on YT of firewood processors I have to laugh. If you tried some of the things with our hardwood you would just destroy machines straight off.
The European stuff would be so much easier to work with though.
The other thing I see is much of their wood seems  plantation grown where it's all the same size and nicely round. What is here is all shapes and sizes which adds another element of Difficulty.

cobbadog

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2019, 11:43:42 PM »
Easiest way to tell between hard and soft woods, try driving a nail into it after it is 100 years old. I have to pre-drill evey hole to do so on our old house. Screws just wind their heads off.
Coopernook - the centre of our Universe.

glort

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Re: Wisdom and Ideas sought.
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2019, 11:47:00 AM »

My last two Houses were the same.
Try driving a nail into a stud and the thing would get shorter and fatter but not go any deeper.
I remember having to drill holes in the floor beams to bolt down a safe when I got my Pistol license.  It would have been easier to drill cement.

I had to put hand rails in the place when my father in law came to live with us. The twit that came out and inspected them reckoned they were not secure enough.  I told him if he could even loosen them I'd give him $100.  He lifted himself  on one then tried shocking it.
Suffice to say the place got the all clear for father to come home.