If hardwood sawbolts were processed with the intention of making flooring:
(Assuming 2 cords of sawbolts would produce about 1,000 bf of lumber)
Logging costs $60/cord $120/mbf
Trucking to local processing facility $20/cord $40/mbf
Sawmilling with Scragg and resaw $200/mbf
Defecting and sorting $ 50/mbf
Kiln drying $200/mbf
Milling Tongue and Groove $600/mbf
Total cost of processing 2 cords sawbolts $1,210/mbf
Estimated loss to trim and milling - 30%
Actual cost of producing 1,000 sqft flooring $1,730/msf
Value of rustic flooring $3,000/msf
If hardwood sawbolts were processed with the intention of selling KD lumber:
Total costs of processing 2 cords of sawbolts $610/mbf
Value of KD lumber $2,000/mbf
Both options show good returns for processing small and low value logs. The flooring market should be the place to most easily move the volumes produced, though markets for rustic grade lumber are strong also. Aspen and pine could be processed with the same equipment for paneling and lumber, with somewhat lower profits.
We need to thin out tens of thousands of small trees from our forests to manage our timber sustainably. Our options are:
1. Cut the trees and let them rot and recycle -
at a cost of hundreds of dollars/acre.
2. Cut the trees, sell the logs, pay the logger,
and gain at best $30/mbf net return.
3. Cut the trees, process the logs into value-added products
and gain several thousand dollars/mbf for the local community cooperative.
Maybe a Scragg Saw Story isn't as scary as it is sounds.