A NEW LIFE FOR FALLEN TREES

Westchester and Putnam counties are blessed with an abundance of large trees. Until now, when these trees either fell or had to be cut down, they were destined for the town dump, mulching or the fireplace. This was often an expensive and heart breaking experience for residents with a soft spot for their trees. Now, however, a business is operating in both counties, Sawmill-on-Wheels, which will go to your site and cut those trees into any type of lumber you want, allowing you to keep them around in another form. Years ago it was fairly easy to find a local sawmill that would saw your logs into lumber to fill your needs. But they disappeared in our areas as the economy changed, and mills became big business. Now, portable sawmills are making a comeback in all parts of the country, even in the suburbs of New York City.

Sawmill-On-Wheels brings a bandsaw type mill to your site, and custom cuts your logs to fill your wish list of lumber. In general, size doesn’t matter, as the saw can handle logs up to three feet in diameter and 21 feet in length. The saw uses hydraulics to lift logs off the ground, turn them and level them. The saw is very fast, able to cut a 20-foot telephone pole in half lengthwise in 20 seconds.

Trees can be cut into lumber of just about any size and shape, including wood you would never see in a lumber yard, such as boards up to 28" wide and very thick slabs. It can cut wood to match lumber used in antique buildings being renovated, as well as cut large posts and beams, boards for fine furniture, siding, flooring, fencing, paneling, concrete forms and scaffolding, heavy planks for bridges, dimensional lumber, or just about anything else you can think of.

Cutting lumber from your own logs can also be very cost effective, often costing a small fraction of what you would pay for wood at a lumber yard. Sawmill-On-Wheels doesn’t charge for travel time, only actual time at your site, $75.00 per hour, four hours minimum. And by cutting your own logs, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a type and size of wood you might never be able to purchase, such as large pieces of black walnut, black cherry, red or white oak, and sugar maple, all very expensive woods to buy.

After the trees are cut into lumber, the boards need to be dried to control shrinkage and warping and to increase strength. If the wood will be used outdoors, air-drying should bring it down to an appropriate moisture content. For wood to be used indoors, a second step is generally needed to dry it further. Depending on the quantity of wood, after air drying, it can be placed either in a very dry interior space, or in an easily made solar kiln, packet of information to customers on drying wood, including plans for a solar kiln. It generally takes from a few months to a year for the wood to dry properly.

More information about producing and drying your own lumber is available on the Internet. One very useful site is www.woodweb.com. This site will tell you almost everything you need to know about trees and making lumber, and includes links to other sites. It also posts questions from people throughout the country who are producing their own lumber, with answers provided by experts in the field, as well as by craftsman who have faced and solved similar problems. Using this site will help ensure that "giving a new life to those fallen trees", will be a smooth and satisfying process for you.