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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Energy > Hydro/Wind/Wood/Geothermal

Hydro/Wind/Wood/Geothermal And other types of alternative energy

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2009, 10:58 AM
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daffodil Female daffodil is offline
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Default cutting and selling firewood

My aunt has 10 acres of woods that she had cleared awhile back. I haven't really looked at it but she said there is alot of wood that could be used for firewood if someone would cut it. What size does it need to be cut to to sell it for firewood and how much does it sell for (NE Ohio area). How long does it need to sit before it's good for firewood? I'm thinking this might be an income source for me.
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2009, 11:19 AM
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It's a lot of work to make money cutting fire wood. It needs to be cut 16" long and split to a nice size for the fireplace. Then most places let it sit to dry at least 5 or 6 months to season.
John
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:44 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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It may not be worth the investment, if you're not already setup to cut a material amount of wood. Plus, you'll need the know-how to do it. You'll have to deduct the cost of equipment and supplies from your sales before you break even. And, that doesn't take your labor into consideration. Ten acres of cull wood may not yield enough to break even. Just depends on the wood and how it was initially cleared.

In addition to the equipment to cut, you'll need a way to haul it. You'll need a place to properly set up to dry it. You don't want to cut and stack anywhere that you can't keep watch on it. It it's not protected, the wood will grow legs and walk away during the night.

And, depending on the type wood, you'll probably need to work fairly quickly to get the good stuff off the ground. If a logging company cleared the land, most of the really good stuff is gone already. There's usually a lot left to glean for firewood, but it won't hold for long. Once rot and bugs get started the amount you can salvage will rapidly decrease.

And, back to the first paragraph -- know how. Cutting up the tops of trees that are on the ground can be as dangerous as felling trees themselves. Some times more so, as hidden dangers can cause big problems. Cutting the wrong limb at the wrong time can release stresses with unexpected results.

All that said, if you're already setup to do it and have a good distribution method, it may be an income producer, especially if you don't have a lot of competition.

In closing, check out what it'll cost you to cut the wood. Then, work from there to see if it's actually worth the labor.

Hope this is food for thought.

Lee

PS. Can't comment on prices in your area. Nor the demand you can expect. Sorry.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:09 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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I would go on Craig's List and see what firewood sells for in your area. Here, it is a minimum of $150 per cord delivered and stacked for hardwoods. If you don't have good hardwoods, it will bring less. Some areas can fetch a lot more per cord.

As Lee stated, it is dangerous and if you have no experience cutting firewood, you need to cut with someone experienced to learn how to keep from killing yourself. It is hard work but it is work that I enjoy. I don't cut to sell, just for my own heat.

Also, I never split a log unless it won't fit in the wood stove. The bigger the piece of wood, the longer it will burn. But, many people that sell firewood will almost always split because there is something about the aesthetics of split wood that city people like. They think it looks "prettier" or something.

If you don't have a mechanical splitter (PTO or hydraulic) then you will have to split it by hand. That is hard work and not for someone unless they have a strong back, and have a lot of stamina in their back and arms.

If you decide to use it, good luck. However, I would consider latching onto it for your own use this coming winter so you can stay warm.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:42 AM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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No doubt it can sure be dangerous.

I sell a full cord of mixed hardwoods for $120.00

Anything that isn't fancy....stumps (I cut all trees of at ground level), crotches, bent pieces..stuff that does stack well or look good, etc.......anything like that goes in a pile and is sold for $39.00 a pick-up load.

I sell bundled camp firewood for resale.....3/4 cubic foot bundled tightly with heavy baler twine....$2.50 per bundle equals $240 per full cord.

Picked-up here...I don't deliver.....I tend to keep my firewood prices very reasonable as an incentive for folks to pick the wood up here...it's just not worth it to me to deliver it for just a few more dollars given all the extra handling!!!!!!!!

Something else to consider....
The property has been logged...not only will you have all the tops left behind, but there will be tons of other garbage trees that should be downed to make room for future timber.....if you're not good at recognizing what's junk and what's not...I'd recommend calling in an extension forester...I'm no big fan of University extension weasels in general...but when it comes to forestry, it's quite a bit different....their advice is usually extremely valuable.


~Martin
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2009, 05:25 PM
Deberosa Deberosa is offline
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Also beware the fire wood police! I bought a few cords from a neighboring farmer starting out in the firewood business. He was harrassed constantly - required to drive into town to have his trailer measured several times to prove he was delivering full cords. I can tell you his trailer was the best I have seen delivering firewood and I got easily more than a full cord! However one greedy customer complained and that's all the beaurocrats needed to make his life miserable. So if you advertise, do informal postcards at the market or word of mouth before going public to stay out of their radar!

He finally told them he refused to go in for yet another measurement, they would just have to deal with the two they took! Not sure how he made out on it though...
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2009, 09:15 PM
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Wow.. I've never heard of the "firewood police". I'm glad I live where I do. They main thing is that if you sell a cord of wood, it is only right to make sure it is a full cord.

I have seen a "cord of wood" many times that I knew couldn't be a full cord.
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  #8  
Old 07-07-2009, 12:57 AM
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I saw an ad for slab wood on the west side of Cleveland for about $100 a cord and split hard wood for about $185 out in North Olmsted. Why the big price difference I don't know unless it is the larger bark to wood in the slabs.
John
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  #9  
Old 07-07-2009, 09:20 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Don't know if this applies in your instance.

When we were growing up, Dad used to buy slab wood. These were the whole slabs, delivered on a large truck. He had to cut into stovewood lengths, himself.

If it's been cut, it has to be the bark ratio. No way I'd pay the same price for slab wood that I'd pay for the whole tree that's been split into stove wood.

One other thought is the species of woods involved in both instances. Big difference between split oak wood and poplar slabs, for example.

Just speculating this morning for some possible food for thought.

Lee
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  #10  
Old 07-07-2009, 10:41 AM
reedb66 reedb66 is offline
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Wow thats incredible for slab wood!!The amish here sell it for 10 dollars a pickup truck load,thats the wood I use for all my grilling and smoking for the resteraunt business(all I use is oak and hickory)when I lived in wis ,selling firewood made me alot of money and I loved doing it!I got $50 a face cord and also sold camp fire wood at $5.00 an arm load(all you could carry in 1 trip)yeah some times some guy would show up and act like a pack mule but then someone else would show up and get only a few chunks(saved me the tying the wood into bundles)No one ever complained obout the price and quite a few people that were staying for several days would buy a facecord for $100.00(usually I would deliver it to their camp site for them for that price)I miss doing that kind of work for a living (so does my beer gut)!!
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:59 PM
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As a X ohio farm boy who cut and sold wood as a teenager I will add my 2 cents. The Ohio department of ag weights and measures has strict guidelines on wood sales....... and they enforce them.......... dont ask how I know this.

The only legal way to sell firewood is by the measured cord. If you advertise wood for sale it MUST be X amount of $$ for a cord. They were really anal about this 34 yrs ago and being ohio I doubt they have lightened up.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by indyguy View Post
As a X ohio farm boy who cut and sold wood as a teenager I will add my 2 cents. The Ohio department of ag weights and measures has strict guidelines on wood sales....... and they enforce them.......... dont ask how I know this.

The only legal way to sell firewood is by the measured cord. If you advertise wood for sale it MUST be X amount of $$ for a cord. They were really anal about this 34 yrs ago and being ohio I doubt they have lightened up.

Geez, I was just going to pile it by the side of the road and put an amount on it. The whole thing is getting too technical for me! Too many rules (once again!) My thought was cut it however big, pile it on the side of the road, they come take what they need and give me some money for it. Simple, no? Why in the world does the government get involved?! It's just wood! Why don't they involve themselves in what happens on SOME (don't jump on me, I didn't say all!) of these factory farms instead? It might benefit us a bit more than supervising wood sales. Are they afraid we might actually be able to afford heating our houses? (Just my opinion)
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by johnjmw View Post
I saw an ad for slab wood on the west side of Cleveland for about $100 a cord and split hard wood for about $185 out in North Olmsted. Why the big price difference I don't know unless it is the larger bark to wood in the slabs.
John
I wouldn't have to sell very much at those prices to pay my bills...maybe I should rethink this...
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:53 PM
Anon001 Anon001 is offline
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Daffodil, you can charge what ever you want. But, most states have a "weights and measure" department. It just means that if you are going to sell "one cord" of wood, it better be a cord and not 7/8 of a cord. Or if you are selling as a ric, it has to be a full ric. (SP?)

But, you can sell any amount of wood for any price. If you sell an armload for $5 or $10 you can do that.

The laws are just to make sure you don't cheat people when you sell them a full cord.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:26 AM
AlchemyAcres AlchemyAcres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffodil View Post
Geez, I was just going to pile it by the side of the road and put an amount on it. The whole thing is getting too technical for me! Too many rules (once again!) My thought was cut it however big, pile it on the side of the road, they come take what they need and give me some money for it. Simple, no? Why in the world does the government get involved?! It's just wood! Why don't they involve themselves in what happens on SOME (don't jump on me, I didn't say all!) of these factory farms instead? It might benefit us a bit more than supervising wood sales. Are they afraid we might actually be able to afford heating our houses? (Just my opinion)
Caveat Emptor......"Let the buyer beware"

The laws are in place so that Mommy Government can protect morons who aren't smart enough to protect themselves!

I doubt you'll have a problem selling firewood in the way you mention above.....say $39 for a pick-up load or whatever.

What they really get tough on is the advertising of firewood, especially delivered firewood!
When advertising the specific measurement has to be stated.
A cord is 128 cubic feet...you can't advertise a "rick" or "face cord" because it's not a specific measurement.......in place of a "face cord" it's acceptable to advertise 1/3 of a cord.

Some state Ag (Weights and Measures) Departments also require you to state the number of months and method of seasoning (drying) the wood when publicly advertized..

Your best bet may be to approach folks in your immediate area who use firewood hogging outdoor wood burners, they can be excellent customers!

One of my best customers is a campground....I sell $1,500-$2,000 worth of firewood to him every year!


What's extremely ludicrous about all these stupid laws is the fact that...even if the firewood is advertised "properly", there's no guarantee that's what you'll be getting!!!! Caveat Emptor!!!....It's still ultimately the buyers responsibility to think-for-themselves and confirm the quantity.!!!!

That's why I insist on folks picking up their firewood that's all stacked and pre-measured (except for the wood sold by the pick-up load).
I've never ever had a complaint and I have repeat customers who have bought from me for years!!!!


~Martin

Last edited by AlchemyAcres; 07-09-2009 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:07 AM
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Now that campground wood sales may work for me. There's a campground not too far from here and the people that visit the lake have campfires too. I recently posted some free construction scraps for camp wood around the 4th of July and got a few replies. My aunt's house is located on a main road heading to the camp and lake. I might have something there. And I could just do the armload/pickup load type thing.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:15 AM
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The way i handle the slabwood off my sawmill, is that i either cut it to firewood lengths and make 4'x4'x4' stacks (one half cord) for my own use,



Or, i cut the slabs in 4 foot lengths, and make 4'x4'x4' stacks to set by the road to sell, or trade for something i want/need. They don't go fast, but they do go...

DM
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:46 PM
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The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a disclaimer in their "firewood for sale section" stating that the only legal way to sell fire wood in Ohio is by the cord.

They dont except advertising for wood sold anyother way. The reason being state and county weights and measures law.

Summit and Cuyahoga county is where I was hammered on wood sales. This was my experience. Things maybe different where someone else lives.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:59 PM
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I'm sure glad we don't have the same firewood regulations y'all have.

Here, you can sell it in any quantity and advertised but, if you make a claim that it is a certain weight or measure, then it has to meet that.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:24 PM
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I'm sure glad we don't have the same firewood regulations y'all have.

Here, you can sell it in any quantity and advertised but, if you make a claim that it is a certain weight or measure, then it has to meet that.
We don't have that problem either, some places are waaaaaaaaay over regulated!!

DM
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