The Amish Sawmills Have Great Lumber

The Amish Sawmills Have Great Lumber

By Josh Brown

January 22, 2022

Amish Goods, Amish Lumber, Amish Products, Amish sawmills, Amish Stores

J&Amp;E Cabinets Amish Wood.

J&E Cabinets Amish Lumber

Have You Ever Bought Sawmill Lumber From The Amish

Have you ever needed good quality hardwood lumber, but just couldn't get what you needed at the local lumber yard. Are you into woodworking and are always looking for that great piece of red cedar or oak? Maybe, you would like to build an entire home or outbuilding, but the cost of lumber was just to high from the local box stores. If any of these sound like your needs and disappointment in good quality lumber! I have to ask, have you checked out the local Amish sawmill? The Crockett Cooner is here again at the The Amish of Ethridge website. I've sawed into the idea of Amish sawmill lumber, and I've come up with some information to help you with your next building project!!! 

Amish Lumber Stacked

Amish Lumber Stacked For Sale

Where To Find A Amish Sawmill Filled With Lumber

If you see an Amish home set way back off the road, you have to look closely to find out what each home has to offer in the way of products and goods sold. The distance of some Amish homes from the road can make it difficult to find out what product is sold at that particular Amish house. Especially, if there are not signs by the road explaining each particular homes sales. But, the Amish sawmill is different, many times if you are trying to locate an Amish sawmill, just stopping and taking a good listen by the roadside might help. If you have never been to an Amish sawmill while it is in operation the sound can be overwhelming.  But, usually it is not hard to find a sawmill in Amish country if you look closely you will see signs guiding you to the correct Amish home. Also, just take notice of the outside of the Amish homes. If you see a red building with many cut logs beside it, and heavy equipment to move logs, then you might have found the correct spot! 

Amish sawmills are a great place to just visit if you don't need lumber, but if boards are what your after I think you will be surprised. In my particular area of the country we have the pleasure of living by the Swartzentruber sect of Amish. In this sect of Amish the use of electric is forbid.  So usually around a Amish sawmill in my area the first thing you will hear when its in operation is the the sound of the large diesel engines that powers the saw at the sawmill. So, a word of caution! to anyone that visits the Amish sawmills especially those with small children. There are many sharp and heavy objects that can fall or scratch you at a sawmill! It's good policy to keep an eye on your surroundings and kids at all times when visiting the sawmill. 

Lets Talk Rough Cut Amish Sawmill Lumber

What is rough cut sawmill lumber? If you are accustom to seeing lumber in the local lumber yard you will see boards that are dried and well dressed meaning that the boards are cut to measurements that are standard with a smooth finish. Rough cut lumber is much different, it is the first part of the cutting and drying process. The process of the Amish sawmill is the first step into turning a tree into lumber. So don't expect the lumber you buy at the Amish sawmills to be fully cut to size or dried. A quick example that many people are unaware of. If you buy lumber that is dressed and dried at your local lumber yard, a 2x4 board will actually measure 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. The 2x4 you purchase at the Amish sawmill is considered wet lumber and is full size but will shrink while drying. The 2x4 from an Amish sawmill will measure a true 2 inch x 4 inch measurement on a tape measure.  

Amish Lumber

Amish Rough Cut Lumber

Now don't think that the rough cut lumber can not be used directly after purchase even when wet. I've seen many barns constructed from wet rough cut lumber. Also rough cut lumber is good for runners for metal roofs on homes and out buildings, when the shingles are not removed.

"A little tip from the old Crockett Cooner here. If!!! you want to buy rough cut lumber and have plenty of time for you project. Make sure to look in the summer months. Many times there will be stacks of lumber that has been sawed at the Amish sawmill stacked and drying, your wood will already dried due to the summer sun!"   Crockett Cooner 

Now many people might ask what is the deal with using wet lumber and what can happen if you construct something from wet lumber. The answer is shrinking and splitting of the board. Many times a lot of this cracking of the board can be avoided just by, what type of lumber you purchase and what time of year the lumber was cut. That is what makes the Amish sawmill so great, you will be able to ask the owners of the mill all about the logs used and how long the wood has been drying. Another option that many buyers look into is the ability to buy wet wood and dry it themselves if they have the space to do so.  

Options At The Amish Sawmill

  • Depending on rain fall and when lumber was cut, you can buy wet or dry lumber
  • If you have your own logs cut to length, the Amish will cut them into boards
  • You can purchase many different hardwood verities at the Amish sawmills
  • The waste products from the sawmill are also useful
 What Type Of Saw Blade Is Used At A Amish Sawmill

Lots of times when you purchase rough cut sawmill lumber the wood itself will be rough to the touch, "undressed lumber". Once again the Amish use their resourceful ways to solve this problem. There are many Amish sawmills still left that use the tradition circle saw blade when cutting lumber. Many times when the traditional circle saw blade is used in a mill, the lumber will be bowed badly when looking lengthwise down a board. In many of the newer Amish sawmills the circle saw blade has been replaced with a band saw sawmill. This makes the cutting and bowing of the new lumber less of a problem. It also reduces waste in the sawmill and causes less heat to the blade, making the sawblade last longer. Lastly, with a bandsaw type of Amish sawmill the the measurement of the board will be much more exact. Weather or not the sawmill you see has a tradition circle saw or the new band saw type of cutting blade, the first time you see an Amish sawmill it is impressive... 

Amish Saw

Amish Circle Saw Mill

Amish Saw

Amish Band Saw Mill

Lumber At Amish Sawmill And Prices
Just like your normal lumber yard the Amish usually charge by the running foot, when you go to ask about lumber prices. But, other factors that will affect lumber price at Amish sawmills are the amount of work being done.  If you need a large amount of lumber and the sawmill is already very busy, sometimes the price will increase. Also the type of wood that you want to purchase has many factors in price. Red Cedar, Pine, and Oak is usually available at the local Amish sawmills. If you are in the hunt for Maple, Poplar, or Chestnut the Amish do saw these types of woods, but sometimes they are out of stock. It's usually good to speak to the owner of the sawmill to find out what they have to offer, or when a big load of logs will arrive for cutting. 

Waste Products At Amish Sawmill You Might Find Useful

Saw Dust Amish Mill

Amish Woodchips For Sale

One thing that many people find very useful are the parts of the logs that are not used after cutting logs to lumber. The section with the bark on the outside to the tree is slab lumber. Many times if you are going to dry your own rough cut lumber the slab is ideal for spacing between the boards so the air can properly pass between the good lumber. Also many people use the slab lumber when heating their homes in the winter. If slab lumber is something you look for, the Amish sawmill is the place for you.

Then for the Animal lovers of the group at the Amish sawmills many times there are lots of wood chips. If you have horse stables, cattle barns, chicken coops, or outside dog runs the Amish saw mills will bag wood chips that are excellent for drying up muddy areas with livestock. The woodchips that are cedar also make a great moth replant inside of closet in your home. And, for all of the gardeners if you want hardwood mulch. Many times the Amish sawmills will turn their left over scrap wood into mulch, which you can get a a very good price. 

The Steps To Take Before Making A Trip To Buy Amish Cut Lumber

  1. If you have decided to build a project from lumber cut at the Amish sawmills, do your research before going to Amish country. Word of mouth might help you find a saw mill that specializes in dried or wet lumber and to find the Amish sawmill that does work for the general public which has large amounts of lumber already cut. 
  2. Get a idea of  how much lumber you will need for your new project. My suggestion is do some measurement and purchase more than not enough lumber. Many times Amish saw mills stay busy, and going back to get more lumber can halt YOUR project.
  3. Finding a sawmill around Amish country is usually not to hard, looking for signs or just stopping to take a listen for the sawmill in operation is usually no problem. Just remember to plan you trip Mon-Sat, the Amish do NO Work on Sundays.
  4. Remember don't get in a rush, depending on the time of year and the amount of work the sawmill has it might take time to get your order completed.
  5. Make sure if you have to wait on an order of lumber to be cut, exchange addressee's with the owner of the sawmill. It saves you from making wasted trips back to the sawmill to see if your order is ready. ( Note: The Amish don't use cell phones, or internet)
  6. When you return to pick up you order have all you rope, tie downs and ratchet straps before you go. The Amish sawmills usually don't have these handy to buy or may not offer them like the big box stores do,
  7. Lastly make sure to bring cash, the Amish sawmills usually don't use credit cards, debit cards, ATM's, or take personal check.

The next time your thinking of lumber make sure to check out an Amish sawmill. Many times with just a little planning after drying the Amish cut hardwood can make some great projects. Just remember if you just need a few boards or enough lumber to build a house there is not really a job to BIG for the Amish sawmills. Thank you all for reading and make sure to check out our other websites, and please subscribe to the new letter. Make sure to check out the Amish of Ethridge on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you have a second leave us a review, we always like to hear your ideas. Thanks again for reading, and have a great and wonderful day. 


Do the Amish have dried and seasoned hard and soft woods for sale?

Yes, I mentioned that the lumber is considered wet when cut by the Amish sawmills. But!!! you can many times find Amish sawmill lumber that has been partially dried or if your lucky an Amish sawmill that has constructed a method of drying lumber to speed up the seasoned wood process.

Can you buy fully planed lumber at the Amish sawmills?

Many times, depending on which Amish sawmill you go to for your lumber needs. Some, of the Amish sawmills in my area also completely dry, plane, and dress lumbers.  

Will the Amish take orders and cut large amounts of lumber for big projects?

Yes, actually at most Amish sawmills I have visited, the sawmills would rather see someone coming to order large quantities of lumber. So if you are in need of enough lumber to build a large projects such as houses, barns, fencing, or big remodels ordering ahead is no problem for the Amish. Take a trip to the Amish sawmill and explain what your building and ask if the owner can saw your wood by the date you need it. 

Will the Amish sawmills work for other companies?

Yes, in my area of the country many of the Amish sawmills cut crossties for different rail road companies. So, if your company require a steady stream of lumber the Amish sawmills might be a great choice. 

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