|Home » Forums » Sawing and Drying Forum » Message||Login|
You are not logged in. Consider these WOODWEB Member advantages:
I haave a Lucas Mill & a Tree Service, A customer has hired me to remove his tree & haul it away. Now he wants me to cut a slab for him out of his tree & kiln dry it. I have been paid for the tree removal & hauling of the log. My question is, I have no clue how much to charge to cut a slab for him & how much to charge to kiln dry it for him. I have my own kiln. The log is Sycamore, 42" wide, cut 2" thick 8' Long. How much per Slab from Midwest.
Charge big bucks. That is going to be mighty heavy and hard to dry. Have him sign an agreement that you aren't liable for drying degrade.
I agree with Den about the liability, and you can't use a standard per-BF drying rate because drying slabs are a different animal than dimension lumber. Sycamore can be a bear to dry and depending on where in the tree you took the slab that will determine how much, and in what way it moves during drying.
If you centered the pith on both ends as I suspect you did in order to get the great qtr sawn flecks that syc gives, you will have to deal with however the pith itself decides to self destruct. If you took the slab off center it will want to cup (and whatever else it decides to do) -- bottom line is you are not going to end up with an 8/4 flitch or slab once dried and jointed on one face (and even less if the bottom is thickness planed to parallel the top) and he needs to know that going in. He also needs to agree that if it wrecks itself beyond feasible workability you cannot help that either.
May I suggest that you charge by the hour of effort to get the board cut and dried for the customer? You will spend time caring for this board as it is cut and dried, and that is usually valuable to a customer. If you take the time to explain this to them, (and how it will take time away from your normal money-making activities like grade sawing, etc.) they will often volunteer to pay you a nice rate. You just need to figure out what your time is worth so that you can propose and / or decide whether the rate they are willing to pay is what you are willing to accept. I charge 60 dollars per hour for my sawing services. I have plenty of business to keep me busy, but I occasionally lose jobs to my competitors in the area too. And I'm OK with that.
I haven't had good luck drying sycamore, some real problems but the tree was very burly and every burl spot just collapsed and that was just air drying. Twist and turns going every direction. Lots of work for little return. Glad I got paid for the sawing!
2" is rather thin for an 8' slab, 3-4 inch would be a lot better and if you cut it be sure the ends are sealed on a fresh cut.
I charge double my regular sawing charges for slabbing or a livable hourly rate with a minimum of four hours on a mobile job with my Lucas.
On drying, a year or two of air drying with LOTS of weight before the kiln might be a better approach, explain degrade in drying and get a deposit of half expected charges.
As a turning wood sycamore is awesome,
Thanks for all your input, Lots of great advice.