Monday, September 26, 2022
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Charging for your Chain Sawmill

If you have a chain sawmill and have decided to earn an income from it whether full-time or part-time, there are different ways you can charge for your sawing services. Here is a look at the 3 of the more usual methods people use, sharing the lumber, charging an hourly rate or charging by foot.

Sharing the lumber

Probably one of the most lucrative ways to charge for cutting is to ask for or accept a percentage of the lumber produced at the end. This tends to benefit both of you, it means they do not need to hand over any money upfront and you can actually make more money either by selling that lumber on the market or using it and saving yourself some money. The amount this works out depends on how much lumber is, right now it is at crazy high prices, and what kind of wood it is.

An hourly rate

Likely the most stable option for charging for your sawing services is a flat hourly fee. What that might be is up to you, it ranges from location, depends on things like how far you have to travel, the type of tree and so on. You can find some starting at $65 an hour going up to $110 or even more. Then you might add on extra charges for things like whether you had to change blades. All of the risks are on the customer, not you and your chainsaw mill. If they have clean logs that are easy to get to then this will keep the cost down for them.

By the foot

Probably the most common method of charging used though is by the foot or by the board foot. Pricing is based on species, and location and can range from 25 cents per board foot of lumber sawn to 50 cents. All the productivity has to come from the sawyer and their chain sawmill since you only get paid according to what you cut. You can still also set additional charges for certain factors such as having to clean dirty logs, broken blade, travel costs and such.


When it comes to making money from your chainsaw mill there are several options and which one you use depends on your circumstances, where you are, the species of wood you cut, what is in demand and what is easiest for you to manage. It might change if, for example, you are just doing this part-time but then decide to move to full-time cutting. As you sell more and do more you will soon see which options are best for you and can adjust as you do. Most people who get a sawmill do not think they will use it to make money. They thing it is just for their own use and hobbies. But half of them end up making money from their mill so why not be prepared for when that time comes!


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