$10,000 Per Thousand Board Feet
Business Summary - June 2006
The market price for hardwood flooring, installed in a customer's home is about $10,000 per thousand board feet.
Here is how we earn that value at Timbergreen Farm.
Salvaging dead timber and harvesting overcrowded trees that have lost their vigor supplies our wood products business. (we have not cut a good quality vigorous tree in 20 years) We have been harvesting the worst first and improving our forest for 18 years. Our timber has grown in stumpage value from $14,000 to over $600,000 in 30 years of improvement work. Today, we could sell over 1,200,000 bf for at least $500 per thousand board feet(mbf) to an area sawmill - if we chose. NO WAY!
Our annual growth is 400 bf per acre. If we would sell it to a logger that could carefully harvest that annual growth, we should earn $200 per acre each year for just watching - Not Bad! But I choose to earn much more!
Harvesting one thousand board feet of timber takes me between 2 and 5 hours. This could be one large 30" diameter tree, two big 24" trees, four nice 18" trees, ten small 12" trees…. To be sustainable, you must harvest trees of all sizes every year. In terms of numbers of trees, 90% of the harvest are small trees - up to 14" diameter. Harvesting includes; directional felling, winching the logs to the trail, and hauling the logs down to the sawmill with the prehauler. Our average haul is one half mile from stump to sawmill.
Sawmilling a thousand board feet of logs takes me 3 to 5 hours. We have an electric LT40 WoodMizer sawmill, a band resaw, and a circular edger saw to cut our logs into lumber. We work under a roof and have sawdust collectors on all the saws. These thin kerf sawmills yield 1,300 bf for every 1,000 bf of logs - Scribner scale.
Lumber is taken directly to the solar cycle kiln buildings for pre-drying to 12% Moisture Content (MC) and then kiln drying to 6%MC. Several hours are needed to carefully sticker the lumber and strap the piles, and one hour is required to unload the kiln when the wood is dry. A total of 4 hours are spent per 1,300 bf in the kiln drying process.
When the wood comes out of the kiln, it is manufactured into flooring in the workshop of our remodeled dairy barn. We spend about 4 hours to rip the boards into flooring blanks, 2 hours to pre-plane the wood, and 4 more hours
to tongue and groove the flooring. 1,300 bf millrun lumber yields about
1,000 square feet of finished flooring.