"When I retired, I needed a project to satisfy my creative spirit and to keep me physically active,” said Mike. “All my life I wanted to build my own home, and as I always loved construction, and woodwork in particular, this was the perfect dream project." It took more than three years for Mike Collier to build his 2,800-square-foot dream home. "I cut 80% of the wood which equated to more than 25,000 board feet for this project," said Mike. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Mike estimated saving around $40,000 on lumber while using mostly local wood to build his water front, lodge-style home on Gambier Island near Vancouver. "Given that the island was only boat accessible, I have a great feeling of accomplishment that I was able to do this," said Mike. "The house could only be built because of my Wood-Mizer sawmill."
"I was tired of the city and wanted nothing more than to move into a remote part of Canada and build a house, so I did. I looked into a few different sawmills but found nothing compared to Wood-Mizer. All in all, I had the time of my life and owe many people for their knowledge and skills, this [home] would not have happened without that." - Nathan Shewchuk, British Columbia
Click here to read Nathan's story of building his own home.
Wanting to remodel his 100-year-old kitchen, Chris Becker used his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic to saw 800 board feet of lumber and estimated he saved $10,000 by sawing his own lumber. The type of wood that Chris used for the flooring in the kitchen included black walnut, English walnut, cherry, hard maple, soft maple, hickory, spalted copper beech, and white oak. The upper cabinet boxes and shelves are made out of poplar. The faces of the cabinets and the drawers were quarter sawn copper beech. The framing lumber for the breakfast bar was spruce. Rough cut pine, spruce and hemlock were used in the framing and siding to modify a window and two doorways. The breakfast bar top was made from a live edge slab of catsura. After eight months of remodeling, Chris reflected on the project, “An absolute JOY! Everything came together perfectly!” Chris not only used his LT40 Hydraulic to mill the lumber, but also to straighten the edges of the boards. He utilized his mill to flatten out the live edge slab he used for his breakfast bar before running it through a drum sander. Chris said, “Being able to trim a few boards at a time saved a lot of time and decreased the waste.”
"There is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing something you dreamed up in your own mind come to life as you build it with your own lumber and with your own two hands. This cabin would not exist if I did not have a Wood-Mizer. My wife says that the best decision I ever made was buying my Wood-Mizer, second only to marrying her." - Jesse Matras, New Hampshire
"This project could not have become a reality without the LT35 and help of so many. We were able to milk cows again in the barn that our parents started in 1960, that is something that can not be put into words." - Mark Watts, New York
"[The LT15] is the best tool I've ever bought and it has never let me down." - David Dove
During the course of three and a half years, Richard and Sharon Maki used their Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill to expand a 600-square-foot cabin into a beautiful 2,100-square-foot family home."We needed a place to live, as our daughter, husband and two boys moved to Montana and were living with us. We decided everyone needed more space," said Richard. With the exception of the stairway support fir, all of the wood used for the cabin was taken from standing, dead trees on the Maki's property. "This project was quite an undertaking, but [our LT15] performed extremely well." After seeing their finished cabin, Richard and Sharon said, "It was a great feeling of accomplishment. We are happy to have a unique and rustic home to live in."
With his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic, Justin Metcalf’s design-as-you-go grist mill became a reality. "This has been a dream since I was a boy,” said Justin. “Grist mills have always been a great interest to me, as I am a 4th generation miller.” The grist mill was created with 8,500 board feet of hemlock to make up the framing, floors, siding, trim, beams, and grinding mill parts. Additionally, 600 feet of cypress was used to construct the water wheel, 400 board feet of yellow locust adding to the beams, exterior stairs, door locks and latches, and 500 board feet of chestnut oak for the water wheel carriage. Justin sawed 95% of the 10,000 board feet of lumber needed for the project on his Wood-Mizer sawmill. “This would not have been possible, it would not exist, if not for my sawmill,” said Justin. “My sawmill made it possible to fulfill a dream!”
"My dad and brothers went in together and bought our LT15 about 5 years ago. My project and others we have done have paid for it more than once. The time shared together on our projects and discussions we have had are priceless. Our only regret is that we did not become sawyers 10 to 20 years earlier. Without spending a fortune, the LT15 can complete any project you dream about." - Michael Connelley, Alabama
"People are always surprised to see how nice the boards look right off of the LT40HD sawmill. Everyone enjoys the spaciousness of the deck, and people like the curved handrails. The kids really like the deck surrounding the large douglas fir tree. For us, having our Wood-Mizer sawmill is priceless."- Bryan Summerlin, Oregon
Wanting a cabin on her property, Joe Vardenega’s mother-in-law used a roll of string, stakes and measuring tape to lay out the building plans. “My mother-in-law asked me to draw up the plan as she explained and we [began] working on the cabin throughout the summer and on the weekend as we had time,” said Joe. Before the project could resume in the spring with the start of good weather, Joe’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. “We worked all-hands-on-deck, but she passed away five short weeks after her diagnosis,” said Joe. In just one year’s time and only a few months after his mother-in-law’s passing, the project was finished. Joe used the word “bittersweet” to describe the feeling of seeing the finished cabin. Joe estimated that by using his Wood-Mizer LT35, he saved close to $10,000 and was able to cut more than 90% of the 4,000 board feet of ponderosa pine and juniper needed for the project. The end result was a picture perfect, 392-square-foot, 14’ x 20’ cabin, complete with a loft and covered porch. “Unfortunately [my mother-in-law] did not get to see the finished product,” said Joe. The family currently enjoys spending time in the cabin and will continue to honor it in her memory for years to come.
"This was a very large project for us. It was inspirational to watch the pavilion develop. Everyone that helped were either friends or family, it was a group effort and everyone that worked on the building shared the same goal of quality craftsmanship."- Bryan Summerlin, Oregon
"Most people that look at it are in awe of the craftsmanship and can't believe all the wood is rough cut and not run through the planer. We could not wait to start our next Wood-Mizer project."- Bryan Summerlin, Oregon
"No one has ever seen a bench quite like this."- Bryan Summerlin, Oregon
"My main reason for buying a Wood-Mizer was to build a hunting cabin. However, I became side-tracked and built a playhouse, barn, chicken coops, picnic tables, benches, tomato stakes and more," said Warren Candee. Once Warren was able to use his lumber for residential structure building, he decided it was time to build that hunting cabin he always wanted. With his LT40 Hydraulic, two years and 22,000 board feet later, Warren completed his cabin. "I am amazed! The project turned out so much better than I expected. With the Wood-Mizer on site, the jobs involved were easier than I had expected, and overall, more efficient," he said.
Inspired by a steam engine design in his grandfather’s mechanic’s book from 1900, Bob Harbrige decided to build a fully-functioning, wooden air engine. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Bob sawed 30 board feet of hickory, white oak and black cherry for the 39” x 20” x 19” machine. “The engine has been used to run a small generator powering LED lights,” said Bob. “It has a three inch bore and a six inch stroke and works on approximately four psi of air pressure created by a vacuum.” The intricate work that went into the four month project makes plenty of use out of quarter sawn materials from Bob’s Wood-Mizer sawmill.
"I am blown away that all of the materials came from the [LT35] sawmill with the exception of the dry wall and metal. I love it and can't wait to start another [project]." - Luke Bishop, Arkansas
"The entire project, design, build, millworks, copper and glazing was done in house. the construction method was entirely custom to the building and design. I would like to give a big thank you to my client for giving me the opportunity to fulfill her desires and create this piece for many generations to enjoy." - Beau Duman, Washington
Looking for a place to live in Alaska while working for the Kingdom Air Corps Aviation Ministry, Harry Lippert built his own cabin with help from his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic. With it, he sawed more than 5,500 board feet of white spruce for the 18’ x 28’ cabin in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska. Harry spent two summers building his two-story 756-square-foot cabin with a 180-square-foot deck overlooking the Talkeetna Mountain Range. Harry estimates he was able to save approximately $5,000 by sawing 95% of the lumber needed for his cabin on his LT40 Hydraulic. “I am very satisfied with the way the cabin turned out, and with the way it looks,” said Harry. When asked which feature of the LT40 Hydraulic helped the most with this project, Harry answered, “Just having the ability to cut lumber on site was a big help.”
"The LT15 with the bed extensions have been invaluable. We wouldn't have been able to create the structures it has enabled us to do over the past 10 years."- Jeff Johnson, North Carolina
"I wanted something more interesting than the same old pine tongue and groove look. Being able to cut logs with short branches sticking out enables me to give a project a more rustic look. By using my own logs and the Wood-Mizer sawmill, I was able to save several thousand dollars." - Stephen Antony, Minnesota
"We began our adventures in dairy farming four years ago with one jersey cow and her calf so that our granddaughter could have fresh milk. As the number of grandchildren increased, so did our dairy herd," said Ralph Klein. "To accommodate our growing need for barn space, I began to work on a dairy barn. Two years later it was finally completed." Using his LT15 sawmill, Ralph milled 650 board feet for the 38' x 28', 1,456 square feet dairy barn and estimates saving around $4,000 by milling 92% of the lumber needed for the project. Ralph praised the "durability and dependability" of his LT15 and said, "I am so thankful to have finished this project, hope I have time to build something else."
Tired of building practical but boring rectangular structures, Lynn decided to take things up a few notches and create a building with 24 sides. The old outhouse at his cabin in northern Michigan was falling apart, and he wanted to replace it with something different. As Lynn points out, “A small special purpose building can be a little different and still be practical.” A big help in cutting the different sizes and shapes he needed was his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill in which he used to cut nearly all the wood needed to build the outhouse, a total of 300 board feet of aspen and maple. It took Lynn a total of two months to build the new outhouse for his cabin. After constructing the plywood floor, creating staves for the 24 sides, building the center roof vent, and adding finishing touches, the project was ready for business. Lynn calls his outhouse the most pleasant he’s ever had the pleasure of using.
David Weyler is in the process of starting his own winery in Kentucky, and after three months of work and an LT28 sawmill, he was able to add to that goal with a wine bar pavilion constructed from cedar timber frame. He says, “People are coming from all over…They love it!” The rock fireplace has a built-in firewood stacking area and a grill, and also doubles as a retaining wall. Large flagstones give the floor an extra special look, and the bar is built from 80 board feet of hickory. David estimates he saved $20,000 by sawing the 1,000 board feet of lumber needed for the pavilion. “The Wood-Mizer purchase was hands down the best investment we made in our farm. It has returned the original investment over six times in six years and this is without doing any commercial sawing. We have rebuilt several barns, two houses, a garage, fences, and recently the wine pavilion. It has enabled us to improve the value of our assets as well as create a profitable business off our land without doing traditional farming.”
"After spending a lot of time in our woods and looking over our forest inventory, I saw that we had numerous trees that needed to be cut,” said Paul Simms. “I had just recently retired as a pilot, so this was way out of my line of expertise. I became involved with a local group of horse loggers and ended up with my own team of Suffolk Punch draft horses. With a whole lot of help, I managed to learn a little about horse logging and good forestry management. I also expanded my research on sawmills and wisely ended up purchasing a new Wood-Mizer. Our goal was to use all the lumber possible from our own property. We milled the heart of the tree and then used a broad axe to hand hewn finish all of the logs.” Paul built his 3,650 square foot dream home by sawing 100% of the white pine, white oak, and hickory needed for the project on his LT40 Super Hydraulic. “I loved the flexibility of the mill. We were able to saw everything from the house logs, post & beams, flooring, T & G ceiling, doors, cabinets, trim work and even all of the cedar pickets with our Wood-Mizer,” said Paul. “This became a very rewarding project since I was building our home from trees that I know my grandfather and father had planted decades earlier. Our children are the sixth generation to the farm that my great-great grandfather settled on in 1891.” Paul estimated saving $100,000+ by sawing his own lumber for the project. In addition to being recognized on the Virginia Century Farm list, Paul’s American Tree Farm meets the certification standards for Sustainable Forest Management with over 400 acres in management.
When Camp Buc in North Carolina needed a road to connect two parts of a youth camp, Gerald Christenbury was there to lend a helping hand. Gerald made use of his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic to cut 100% of the timbers needed for the covered bridge and finished the project in two months. "This project was especially satisfying because we completed the bridge with essentially salvaged lumber which would have been a total waste without my trusty Wood-Mizer," said Gerald. The 33' x 8' x 8' covered bridge was constructed from red oak, white pine, and hemlock lumber sawed from Gerald's mill. Gerald said "the quality and uniformity of the cuts" made by his mill was very helpful in the construction of the bridge. "We could not have done this project without the Wood-Mizer!"
"I love my Wood-Mizer LT15, it allows me to saw the lumber I want and to build whatever I want. I am only limited by my own ability."- Mike Guglielmo, Connecticut
Thoughts of an expanding family had the walls closing in on Ross and Joslin Bennett of New Hampshire. Realizing their current space wasn’t large enough for any new additions to their family, the Bennetts started outlining a plan for building themselves a new, more family friendly home. The plans called for a 1,350-square-foot, two-story home built on a 700-square-foot unfinished basement. During the build, approximately 20,000 board feet of eastern white pine was cut with their Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill. “Even though this was one of Wood-Mizer’s smaller models, it was amazing what just the two of us were able to accomplish,” said Ross. Sawing over 75% of the wood used in the build, the couple estimated their savings from using their Wood-Mizer at approximately $25,000. Two years after the start of the project, and just one week before Joslin’s due date, the house was finally completed. When asked about the completion of their home, the couple responded, “The feeling of bringing our new daughter into the home we built for her was breathtaking.”
This picturesque 3,000 square foot barn required about 19,000 board feet of sawn lumber, all of it milled on Nicholas' LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill. The ability to mill 100% of the hemlock, ash, oak, cherry posts, beams, boards, pegs, and splines needed to construct the barn allowed Nicholas to estimate a total savings of about $10,000.
“I always wanted a nice bed for my daughter,” said Hank Carroll. “I thought castles and a fairy tale theme would be perfect.” Using his Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill, Hank sawed 100% of the 100 board feet of reclaimed heart pine for the 60” x 80” Rapunzel Castle Bed. Hank said his mill was most helpful in, “Being able to custom cut a beam with heave figure to bring out the best grain pattern in the wood.” To create the one-of-a-kind bed, Hank used a variety of construction methods such as traditional joinery, mortise and tenon, and hand carving with jigs and fixtures for some of the round corner posts. Hank estimates he saved close to 50% of the cost of materials by milling his own lumber for the project. “The bed is one of my favorite furniture pieces,” said Hank. “It was very satisfying to find a reclaimed figured heart pine beam and cut it to maximize the figure’s impact in the finished piece.”
Once seeing his completed table for the first time, David said he felt, "a bucket full of joy!" The response from others has been nothing less. "The first thing they say is 'can you make me one?' My LT40 is not just a bandmill, but a family member. I wouldn't have it any other way."- David Poston, South Carolina
William Dorsey was challenged by a friend to create a coffee table that resembled a skateboard. What started as a challenge is now a successful business which specializes in creating exclusive action sports furniture. Utilizing a Wood-Mizer LT40 Super Hydraulic sawmill, William sawed 100% of the 25 board feet needed for the 56” x 22” x 17.5” table. “Having access and the ability to mill spalted lumber and veneer cannot be over emphasized on a custom project like this,” said William. “A perfect match of veneer and solid lumber is a cinch if they originate from the same stock. I could not have completed this project without a Wood-Mizer.” Upon seeing his finished skateboard table made out of black walnut, maple, black cherry, and mahogany, William was “speechless”.
"This exceeded my expectations. I love the chance to help others and paying it forward, also Wood-Mizer support. Milling has become almost a ministry for me in my retirement years. Finding neat projects to get involved in and making them possible."- Dan Conder