Sunday, December 23, 2012


It's my understanding that I can get rough cut lumber for free, or next to free.  I'd use that for the siding because I like the way it looks, and I've thought about using it for flooring and interior paneling as well, only I'd need to cut off the wavy parts to square it up, probably with a big table saw.

I could also cut a few trees and make my own lumber if I had my own sawmill.  I wonder what they cost?

So I googled "sawmill".  Number one was a wikipedia definition of what a sawmill is.  Second was a data analytic tool of some kind..  Third was a gay campground in Florida, and then a bunch of ads related to sawmills.  But below that was, self described as North America’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations.  Perfect!  I scanned down the list, not having a clue what I was looking at.  Except for the prices, that is.  They were running from $1,500 to over $10,000.

I found this company through a Craig's List ad- Hud-Son Power Equipment.  They have new band saws starting at $3,600.  For my limited use, it might be worthwhile, since I could sell it once I'm finished with it.  Something to think about.

Then I'd need planers and joiners, and a covered place to dry the wood.   Might be easier, and more efficient, to just buy the lumber I need.  No sense in overdoing this self sufficiency stuff.

It's 29 degrees here in Georgia at 4 AM.  It's 23 in Gloversville NY.  What the heck?  We traveled many hundreds of miles to save six degrees?  At this time next year, hopefully, I'll just toss another log into the wood stove and be nice and toasty rather than watching rivulets of condensation run down our single pane boat windows.


  1. I realize you're smack in the middle of homestead dreaming and romanticizing your next life, which is motivating and lots of fun. But the many toys you covet so far include a learning curve as well as lots of dollars.

    Rather than buy an expensive sawmill you use one season, you might find someone with a Wood Mizer in the area who'd come to your place and do it well for less, leaving you time to learn other things.

    You could get lucky and be able to barter for some of the things you're looking at, too, e.g., computer services and/or animal care. I've found rural life works best when you can cultivate your (even remote) neighbors to mutually-accomplish projects.

    I love how you just throw in the homestead goat! Goats are extremely personable but can be oh so much trouble. And they just love gardens. This is gonna be fun...

    1. Hey Katrinka,

      Pam grew up in a rural setting. She's had horses, chickens, and even a goat. Not me, I'm a suburbs kid. But I'm also a doer. That is, once I've made up my mind, that's it. It's happening. In the past it's been my computer business ("You can't sell computers in Fulton County!") to the BID ("You can't do that in Gloversville! We're not Saratoga!") to the Boys & Girls Club ("You can't do that here! We already have the YMCA!"). Compared to those projects, this will be a piece of cake ("You can't do solar power in Fulton County! Won't work!").

      I'm sure we'll make plenty of mistakes along the way, and since I don't hold anything back, it should make for some pretty funny blog posts. And hopefully, what we accomplish in Bleecker may serve as a model for someone else's dreams of an off grid cabin in the woods. We'll see.

    2. Dave I have no doubt of your ability to accomplish what you set out to do. :)

  2. Like us here in Maine, you're in the middle of wood country, Dave. Lumber is a deal for us. Sawing wood might be fun(?), but the wood will be one of the cheapest parts of buildings overall cost.

    Labor today has gone through the roof, spend your time building, you'll save some real money there.

    I bet there is a high turn over on those home sawmills. Guys love tools. :)

    1. Hey Tom,

      I plan on doing most of the labor myself, except for the foundation and the sheetrock. I've done sheetrocking and spackling before and I'm actually pretty good at it, but my back just won't let me do it anymore. I'll have to contract for drilling the well too, of course. But things like the septic system I can do myself since I have a backhoe available.

      I'll be learning a lot of this as I do it, but I love a challenge, and it should be some pretty good blog fodder.

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