Just ran up the road to Sturgeon's mill, outside of Sebastapol, CA. http://www.sturgeonsmill.com/ It's the last steam powered sawmill in CA. The same family's owned for years and now operates it as an historic site. The mill is operating and open to the public several weekends each year. They saw whatever they have on hand, which is redwood and doug fir. A lot of the timber is older growth with some very nice tight ringed doug fir. It's quite an amazing thing to watch a steam powered sawmill in operation up close.
I talked to the boss sawyer about custom sawn boatbuilding wood and he said, "Hell yea!" The deal is, if you are willing to wait until one of their operating weekends, they will custom saw select timber for you. As the mill is a non-profit historic site, their lumber is really amazingly low priced, not to mention that you'd be hard put to find it anywhere else. (A 12' clear heart redwood 2x12 for $32 comes to about two fifty a board foot.) This is the place to find a high-ring-count twelve or sixteen inch square boxed heart select keel timber, or a mess of flitch cut 4/4 planking stock in long lengths. He said they'd like to sell as much as they can. He said to tell everybody to just call the mill and let them know what your specific requirements are. They'll select a log and cut it to order. If you ever tried to get this done at a commercial mill.... IF you could get a commercial mill to custom saw anything, you know what it would cost you. At Sturgeon's, they're happy to be able to see what they saw go to a good home.
If you are anywhere near the place, it's definitely worth a trip. (It's open tomorrow and again in a couple of months... see their web site.) They've also got interpretative exhibits, an operating blacksmith shop, several operating steam engines you can watch operate up close, old logging machinery and equipment... most of it operating. It was pretty amazing watching their teamster skidding those logs up to the mill platform with a matched team of Clydesdales! And the show is free, to boot.
Cool videos for you poor guys on the Right Coast! We still got the big trees! http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...%27s+Mill&aq=f