“When I retired, I needed a project to satisfy my creative spirit and to keep me physically active," said Mike Collier. "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.” More than three years ago Mike Collier began building his 2,800-square-foot house. “I cut 80% of the wood which equated to over 25,000 board feet for this project,” Mike said. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Mike saved around $40,000 on lumber while using mostly local wood to build his water front lodge-style home on Gambier Island near Vancouver. Gambier Island is 17,000 acres of pure isolation. The island is only accessible by boat and, with just 200 long term residents, it is the perfect place to get away from it all. The first obstacle that Mike had to overcome was deciding how to transport materials. Due to the remoteness of Gambier Island, the cost of bringing in materials is very high. Mike had the idea to utilize local trees, many of them on his own property. He took cedar from blow-downs and clearings and turned them into lumber using his very first Wood-Mizer purchase, an LT15. Mike built a post and beam structure using non-dimensional cedar logs. After more than 80 custom shaped and fitted log pieces were erected into the basic structure, traditional framing methods were used to fill in the walls and frame the roof. “The cedar was used for all exterior wood including board and batten siding, decks, railings, door & window trim, fascia and soffits. Fir was milled for all the major beams, two interior stairs, some of the ceiling, general trim, and some handsome furniture.” When talking about the most important features of his LT15 Mike said, “The ability to handle 18 foot logs up to 28" in diameter and be powered without electricity was the most helpful. Low maintenance of the machine was also essential.” After the three year project was completed, Mike claimed, “Given that the island was only boat accessible, I have a great feeling of accomplishment that I was able to do this. The house could only be built because of my Wood-Mizer sawmill.”
Working as an electrician on high end custom homes in Oregon for more than a decade, Nathan Shewchuk realized there must be more to life. “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,” said Nathan. With eight years of hard work and dedication, along with a few helpers and a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill, Nathan accomplished his lifelong dream of building his own home. READ MORE >>
What do you do when you want to remodel your 100-year-old kitchen but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on the lumber? You fire up your Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill of course! And that is exactly what Chris Becker of Northampton, Pennsylvania did. “My wife and I purchased an older home that had never really been updated. We immediately fell in love with the house when we first saw it while on a walk. When it went up for sale, we decided to buy it, and were blessed to own such a gorgeous structure. The house, which was built in the late 1800’s, rests on two acres bordering a creek and the historic 170-year-old restored Kriedersville Covered Bridge. The house was let go over the years. We knew it deserved special attention and care to make it beautiful once again and turn it into our home. We completely remodeled every single room. The largest of the interior projects was the kitchen, which took approximately eight months. We both love to cook and wanted a modern kitchen. However, we also wanted to keep the old and historic feel which emanates throughout the house with all original wood work and southern yellow pine floors still in place.” 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. The moulding he used to hide the wires and the light enclosure boxes in the ceiling was made from black walnut. After eight months of remodeling his kitchen, Chris reflected on the project, “An absolute joy! Everything came together perfectly!” Chris not only used his LT40HD 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.” This was a key factor in allowing him to save $10,000 in lumber on his kitchen remodel. “After three years of the love, sweat, and tears we poured into finishing the house, the final results truly took our breaths away! All the projects were complete and we were ready to move in. Just in time too! In the mix of remodeling the house, we were also planning a wedding. We were married at our home two months after we moved in!”
Inspired by Wood-Mizer owner dream projects, Jesse Matras used his LT40HD Super portable sawmill to build a beautiful cabin retreat for his family. “Looking at The Wood-Mizer Way magazine highlighting Personal Best projects, I was inspired to create my own cabin,” said Jesse Matras. “I had a mill, trees, time, and a nice spot to build a cabin retreat for my family. Inspired by photos of people’s projects my wife and I dreamed up a plan that same evening." READ MORE >>
In 2012, devastation struck the Watts Family Farm in Pine City, New York, when a fire destroyed their dairy barn. The 50+ year old structure was built by the parents of Mark and Jim Watts, the successors to the family business, and has been used as a source of income ever since. Although there were no animals harmed in this tragic event, the fire burnt the barn to the ground leaving nothing but ash and rubble. This misfortune left the Watts brothers with no other choice than to rebuild the family farm back to business. Having previously owned an LT15 portable sawmill, the Watts brothers knew another Wood-Mizer mill was exactly what they needed for the job. So they decided to go with a larger version with a few enhancements to make the building process go quickly and
smoothly, and made their way to Hannibal, New York to purchase an LT35 Hydraulic portable sawmill.
With the help of family and friends, as well as the hydraulic loading option, using old fashioned barn raising, the dairy barn was completely rebuilt just nine months and 20,000 board feet later. Using the lumber from hemlock, ash, maple, and oak trees, 85% of the wood was harvested from their property and the other 15% was donated to the cause. The Watts brothers saved a whopping $75,000 on the reconstruction of the barn and even added some improvements, such as a modern milking parlor. A mere nine months after the fire destroyed their family business, they were milking cows again. Mark gave his appreciation, “This project could not have become a reality without the LT35 and help of so many.” Although this tragic event left a scar on the Watts Farm, the friendships and memories made from rebuilding the dairy barn are unforgettable. The Watts family rejoiced and came back from this misfortune stronger than ever. “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,” said Mark and Jim. “We have been back milking now almost three years and still get choked up when we think of all we went through in 2012.”
"[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 portable 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."
Artists use all kind of mediums. Mozart used the violin. Michelangelo preferred marble. When Justin Metcalf set out to create a one-of-a-kind grist mill, he knew a Bob Ross oil on canvas creation wasn’t going to cut it. He used wood, and lots of it. From hemlock to cypress, yellow locust to chestnut oak, Justin embarked on a mission to achieve a goal by building an old world grist mill. Armed with his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill, and with the inspiration of the picturesque backdrop of Mars Hill, North Carolina, his “design-as-you-go" grist mill became a reality. He shared, “This has been a dream since I was a boy. Grist mills have always been a great interest to me, as I am a 4th generation miller.” The result is a 1,248-square-foot, 16' x 26' structure. The mill was created with 8,500 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 and (400 feet of yellow locust adds to the beams, exterior stairs, door locks and latches) 500 feet of chestnut oak were cut into 18" x 18" beams for the water wheel carriage. Approximately 10,000 feet (roughly 95%) of the utilized lumber was milled using his LT40, and as Justin puts it, “This would not have been possible, it would not exist, if not for my sawmill. My sawmill made it possible to fulfill a dream!” The LT40 seems to be the perfect machine for such a project.
When asked what features of the LT40HD mill were helpful, he shared, “Being able to cut different size and shape materials and making multiple cuts with one pass.” Over the course of 18 months, and with the help of a few friends, Justin was able to save nearly $8,500 and more than a few headaches. Unlike most builders who use a plan and prints, Justin took the artistic approach, choosing instead to create as the project progressed. The preference to use old time carpentry and no plans resulted in a one- of-a-kind experience for all those involved. Before embarking on their adventure a good friend of Justin’s asked, “What are we going to do if everything goes to hell in a handbasket?” He simply responded, “We will put up a water wheel and start grinding corn.” So, the next time you find yourself near Mars Hill, keep an eye out. Look for a touch of old world in this creation. See if you can spy the water wheel, the stone base and the charming front porch of this truly remarkable creation. You might just find yourself transported to a place where dreams are made real.
Michael Connelley from Weogufka, Alabama built his entire 2,000-square-foot home in a span of three years with a Wood-Mizer LT15 portable sawmill, so when it came time to build the cabinets and furniture for his new home, Michael said using his Wood-Mizer sawmill was a “no brainer”. After searching for the perfect type of wood to complement his home made from pine, poplar, and red oak, Michael found a single red oak log from a tree that had fallen in a nearby city. By making one 10 foot cut from that salvaged red oak log, Michael was able to make multiple projects including kitchen cabinets, an island, coffee table, end table, as well as facing out all the windows and doors for his new home. Using approximately 500 board feet from the same red oak log, Michael completed all the interior pieces in just three months. “All the pieces of my project are one-of-a-kind items that no one else will have in their home,” said Michael. “Everyone comments about the heavy duty construction and how unique and pretty the wood is.” The cabinets are made from typical box construction and the island top and both tables have no nails, only wooden dowels and glue to hold them together.
Michael’s dad, Billy, was a vital part of the projects giving him priceless advice on how to build cabinets. “My dad and brothers went in together and bought our LT15 about 5 years ago,” said Michael. “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.” Michael is very proud of the finished projects and says he would not have been able to complete them without his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill. “I always brag on my Wood-Mizer sawmill,” said Michael. “Accuracy and strength of the saw has been excellent.” Michael comments that the simple and robust design of his LT15 sawmill helped him create not only one-of-a-kind pieces, but also helped him save over $10,000 on the projects. “Without spending a fortune, the LT15 can complete any project you dream about,” said Michael.
After the original deck of Neal Creek Resort’s A-frame house became outdated, Bryan Summerlin wanted to make the deck a larger, more user-friendly area around the structure. Throughout the month-long project, Bryan milled 4,200 board feet of douglas fir on his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill to create the 1,100 square foot wraparound deck for the resort. “People are always surprised to see how nice the boards look right off of the LT40HD sawmill,” said Bryan. “We love the ample power on our diesel motor and the simplicity of operating the Accuset 2. The quick adjusting leveling system is a must.” Bryan received assistance from Heath Etzel, Jeffery and Chandelle Summerlin to complete the carpentry work for the project. Using post and beam construction, the group built the foundation, decking, and stairs while laminating lumber together for the handrails. Bryan says the new deck is the property’s new centerpiece. “Everyone enjoys the spaciousness of the deck, and people like the curved handrails,” said Bryan. “The kids really like the deck surrounding the large douglas fir tree.” The new deck enables visitors to appreciate the seemingly endless views of nature from all angles. “Most of the lumber dimensions are custom, and would have to be special ordered,” said Bryan. “We do not know how much we saved, but for us, having our Wood-Mizer sawmill is priceless.”
With a roll of string and a wish, the plans for this beautiful family cabin in Terrebonne, Oregon took shape almost immediately. “This project started when my mother-in-law said that she would like to have a cabin built on the property that she owned. So one day I gave her and my wife a roll of string, some stakes and a measuring tape and told them to lay it out. I came back about four hours later, after felling some trees on the property, and found that they had it laid out. My mother-in-law then asked me to draw up the plan as she explained. We worked on the cabin throughout the summer, on the weekends as we had time, and had it dried-in by winter.” Before the project could resume in the spring with the start of good weather, Joe’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. They worked hard to get this cabin done before she passed away as it was her life-long dream to have a cabin on her property. “We worked all hands on deck, but she passed away five short weeks after her diagnosis.” 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 cabin. “Unfortunately she did not get to see the finished project,” he said. The family currently enjoys spending time in the cabin and will continue to enjoy the cabin in her memory for years to come. Joe estimated that by using his Wood-Mizer LT35 portable sawmill he saved close to $10,000. With the help of his mill, Joe was able to cut more than 90% of the ponderosa pine and juniper needed for the project. He estimated that approximately 4,000 board feet was cut for the build. The end result was this picture perfect, 392-square-foot, 14' x 20' cabin, complete with a loft and covered porch. Some other features of this cabin include a propane refrigerator and four-burner propane stove with oven. On the lower level there is a juniper dining table with benches as well as a futon. The upper bedroom loft area of the cabin provides extra space and is accessed from an outside stairway. All the decking surrounding the cabin is pine, and all of the hand railing is juniper. Metal roofing covers the large front porch and the 14/12-pitch cabin roof.
With a desire to build a covered structure that would give Neal Creek Resort flexibility for future growth, Bryan Summerlin was determined to construct a structurally sound pavilion that would feature the beauty of large timber beams. In just eight months, the Summerlin family transformed a large cement slab from an existing basketball court into a breathtaking pavilion that is used for virtually anything from storing large equipment to hosting gatherings such as picnics, birthday parties, baby showers, and outdoor concerts. Bryan milled a total of 11,730 board feet of douglas fir on his Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill for the pavilion that features 2,112 square feet of usable space. “This was a very large project for us,” said Bryan. “It was inspirational to watch the pavilion develop in different phases at different times.” Clinton Construction helped with the cement sawing, truss building and roofing while Jimco Electrical Contracting took over the electrical duties. “Everyone that helped were either friends or family,” said Bryan. “It was a group effort and everyone that worked on the building shared the same goal of quality craftsmanship.” Built in post & beam, the pavilion features 12 3’ x 6’ sliding windows for ventilation and to welcome natural light into the covered structure. Another unique feature is the ability to adjust lighting throughout the entire pavilion in order to accentuate the wood characteristics which are especially beautiful at night, Bryan says. “People always comment on the quality craftsmanship, the beautiful large timber beams, and how heavy duty the structure is,” said Bryan. “Everyone that sees the structure raves about it.”
When a bridge on their property was tragically smashed by a tree, Bryan Summerlin and his wife Chandelle decided to build an aesthetically pleasing covered bridge on their property. Starting out by setting a steel structure over the creek, the Summerlin family built the bridge piece by piece using custom heavy steel plates and bolts. With help from their nephew Jason, the Summerlins used their Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill all the lumber from trees off their own property. They sawed 100% of the 2,000 board feet of douglas fir and cedar required for the 52-foot-long, 442-squarefoot covered bridge. Using post & beam construction along with carpentry work from Chandelle and steel fabrication from Bryan, the Cooley Covered Bridge was completed in just three months. “Most people that look at it are in awe of the craftsmanship, and can’t believe all of the wood is rough cut and not run through the planer,” said Chandelle. The Summerlin family dedicated the bridge after the previous property owner, Mr. Cooley, and said when they presented it to him and his family they were all very emotional. “The project turned out absolutely beautiful,” said Bryan. “We could not wait to start our next Wood-Mizer project.”
Inspired to build a beautiful and unique custom piece of furniture, Bryan Summerlin’s Uncle Duane crafted a one-of-a-kind bench to accent their wraparound deck at Neal Creek Resort. Bryan Summerlin milled all 30 board feet of black locust on his LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill and says the accurate cuts of his mill get you closer to furniture grade lumber quickly. Bryan said black locust is not available in town, which makes this project even more special due to the unique species of the wood. “My Uncle Duane did everything except milling and staining the wood.” In just two weeks, Duane completed the unique, custom bench project featuring a black locust seat and backrest, welded steel frame, and many different antique parts. “No one has ever seen a bench quite like this,” said Bryan. The bench has certainly made a statement at the resort and many visitors will be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind project for decades.
"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 Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill, 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.
Inspiration can strike at any time, whether you seek it out or not. Some of the best inspiration can come from family, and for Bob Harbrige, an Engineering Handbook (Mechanics’ Pocket Memoranda, 6th edition) from 1900, which belonged to Bob’s grandfather, depicted a simple design for a stationary steam engine. After some time, that steam engine design transformed into a completed, fully functioning, Wooden Air Engine. The machine measures in at 39" x 20" x 19" and was constructed with wood milled on a Wood-Mizer LT15 portable sawmill. Over the course of four months, Bob used hickory, white oak and black cherry totaling an approximation of 30 board feet. The machine is designed as a decorator item and, as Bob shares, “This engine has been used to run a small generator powering LED lights. 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 detail of the air engine is stunning and the work that went into the four month project is so detailed. “The engine block was made of 1.5" quartersawn black cherry blocks glued together cross grained. The center of the block was drilled for a three inch PVC pipe used as a cylinder sleeve. It has a hickory piston with a black cherry quartersawn piston rod. A wood lathe was used to form the crankshaft, flywheel spokes, flywheel hub, pulley, reverser handle, roller wheel on reverser, piston rod, slide valve rod, piston, spacers on crankshaft and feet for base. Three pieces of 3/16 planed quartersawn black cherry were glued together crossgrained to make plywood sheets. These were used for the reverser piston slide, block glide, slide valve slide, block guide and slide valve port plate. The air chest was made from quarter sawn black cherry and has a Lexan window to view the slide valve operation. The base was constructed from eight 1.5" x 3.5" cherry boards glued together and held with four bolts. The plaque on the front was made from quarter sawn oak with custom decals. The eccentric straps, connecting rod, crankshaft journals, main bearing blocking and valve guide bases were all made from quartersawn black cherry.”
Triple S Christian Ranch is an Independent Fundamental Baptist summer camp and retreat center located in Rose Bud, Arkansas. Hundreds of young people from across the nation journey to Triple S each year to enjoy exciting activities, Christian fellowship, and spiritual growth through Bible study and preaching. With a focus on teens, Brother John Bishop and his wife, whom he affectionately calls, “My Donna”, started Triple S Christian Ranch in 1975. They moved to Arkansas that same year and began to work on their dream of providing a place, for kids between the ages of 9-19, to get away from the world and its influence long enough for God to get their attention.
When Beau Duman of Prairie Rootz Design & Build in Asotin, Washington was challenged with creating a completely custom glass house from scratch, he was more than happy to showcase his tremendous creativity and skill. Beau’s challenge resulted in a one-of-a-kind structure that exceeded the expectations of his client and earned him a First Place Award in the Creative Showcase category of this year’s Personal Best Contest. Making great use from the versatility of his 1989 Wood-Mizer LT30 sawmill, Beau milled 100% of the 5,600 board feet of reclaimed douglas fir needed for the 260-square-foot glass house. The entire project took three months to design, four months to craft all the building materials, and only ten days to assemble onsite. The unique structure, operating as a greenhouse, features copper flashings, a building management system, and electronically tinted glass in order to control how much sunlight reaches the plants. Much of the douglas fir used for the frame, millworks, sash, and door is Radio Frequency Vacuum (RFV) dried lumber. RFV dried lumber typically leads to some of the straightest, most stable, and consistent lumber due to the large amount of additional pressure on the wood during the drying process. “The entire project, design, build, millworks, copper and glazing was done in house,” said Beau. “The construction method was entirely custom to the building and design.” The glass house was constructed in timber frame style with custom joinery while all the millworks were done with traditional mortise and tenon. “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,” said Beau.
If you travel 35 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, you will find the Matanuska Valley, and there, in a clearing, is an 18' x 28' cabin built by Harry Lippert from Rockvale, Tennessee. Harry was able to build his own Alaskan cabin with help from others and his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill. With it, he sawed more than 5,500 board feet of white spruce. Harry spent two summers building his two story, 756-square-foot cabin with a 180-square-foot deck overlooking the Talkeetna Mountain Range. The cabin is stick-built using an A- Frame design and has an open floor plan with a kitchenette and sleeping loft. Harry was able to save approximately $5,000 by cutting 95% of the lumber needed for his cabin on his Wood-Mizer bandmill. “I am very satisfied with the way the cabin turned out, and with the way it looks,” he said. Harry built the cabin because he was looking for a place to live while in Alaska working for Kingdom Air Corps Aviation Ministry. Kingdom Air Corps Aviation Ministry, started in 1999, is a non-profit organization that takes in interns and teaches them that their love for airplanes and flying can be used as a tool to spread Christianity to places that are difficult to reach. Kingdom Air Corps also prepares pilots and mechanics to fly and maintain aircraft in difficult places, and to develop relationships in order to bring the message of salvation. When asked which feature of the LT40 Hydraulic helped the most with this project, Harry answered, “There is not one particular feature that helped over any other -just having the ability to cut lumber on site was a big help."
When you visit Jeff Johnson’s website, you learn he is a small, owner-operated timber frame company in the southwestern mountains of North Carolina who enjoys his craft and loves working with wood. You are also greeted with an inspirational message: “Wood is a gift to be celebrated and treasured throughout the life of the home, not hidden behind walls never to be seen.” And, you don’t have to look hard to see that he is not only building timber frame homes that showcase wood, but also barns, mantels, porticos, and pavilions. About a year before Jeff purchased his LT15 portable sawmill, he looked at the feasibility of using a small mill as a key machine in his timber frame shop. He knew he would not be using it to just saw boards and lumber, but rather creating a variety of timber frame pieces using a customized jig he fabricated for the mill. As a result of his decision Jeff says, “The LT15 with the bed extensions and jig have been invaluable and we would not have been able to create the structures it has enabled us to do over the past 10 years.” One impressive structure that Jeff’s LT15 has helped him construct is a custom, octagonal, clear span timber frame pavilion that he and his team created for a customer was looking for an unique structure that would not only be functional for yearly events, but would complement the surrounding beauty of his land. The pavilion is built out of Douglas fir and required 2,125 board feet. Its finished dimension is 1,236 square feet. The construction methods are based on traditional mortise and tenon joinery with steel fasteners and high tension connections. The dramatic cupola at the top of the pavilion was set in place by two cranes with one operator staying onsite for 24 hours while the cupola was being joined to the rest of the frame. The entire project took five months to complete. Jeff has received outstanding comments and compliments for those that have been able to see this pavilion either in person or in pictures.
Like many Wood-Mizer sawmill owners, Stephen Antony is more than a sawmill owner and operator, he is a craftsman turning the lumber he mills into true works of art. While the sky might be the limit when it comes to the creative mind, Stephen’s Personal Best project stops at his cabin’s ceiling. “I wanted something more interesting than the same old pine tongue and groove look,” said Stephen. To achieve the unique look he was after, Stephen milled white pine logs on his RazorTip bandsaw blade equipped LT40 Super Hydraulic portable sawmill into one inch thick live edge boards then hand scribed each ceiling board to achieve a perfect fit with each neighboring board. Next, Stephen says he “sawed one inch boards and hand distressed them to make the look of a center beam.” The final step according to Stephen was to “saw logs with branches in half to go over the ceiling boards to cover the seams.” The Wood-Mizer was especially important to Stephen because, “Being able to cut logs with short branches sticking out enables me give a project a more rustic look,” he said. In fact, Stephen continues, visitors to the cabin are amazed by the look he achieved. “They think it is so unique, they just can’t figure out how it was done,” said Stephen. “By using my own logs and the Wood-Mizer sawmill I was able to save several thousand dollars.”
"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 Wood-Mizer LT15 portable 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 mill and said, "I am so thankful to have finished this project, hope I have time to build something else."
Lynn Krom’s winning project in the creative category is just that, unique in many ways. It is an excellent example of what you can build when you think outside the box...literally. 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 portable sawmill. He used his sawmill to cut nearly all the wood he used to build the outhouse, a total of 300 board feet cut from aspen and maple. Before building the outhouse, Lynn went through a thorough design study to make sure a circular stave design was what he wanted. He started by building a quarter size model to figure out the best way to make the long compound angle tapers on the staves in addition to how to join the roof and wall together. After the mini outhouse was complete, he moved on to building a 24-sided stool out of maple to use in the full size outhouse. Now that he had a little experience with 24-sided construction, Lynn was confident this was what he what he wanted to do, and he started construction on the outhouse, a process that took about two months to complete. The first step was to create the plywood floor. He built a jig for his circular saw to help accurately make the 24 cuts needed to attach the walls. Next was the six foot junction ring to join the walls of the roof. Since Lynn was constructing the outhouse at his home and would have to haul it to his cabin once it was completed, he build it on a trailer to save himself the trouble of loading it after it was completed. He bolted the outhouse floor to the trailer and created a temporary support to hold the junction ring in place. This setup made installing the wall staves much easier. The process of cutting aspen into the staves was a challenge that required precise work since just one small error on each of the 24 pieces would add up to one big error when it was all put together. But with two other 24-sided constructions under his belt, Lynn successfully completed this task. The final piece of construction was the center roof vent, which was also a 24-sided cylinder. To fit around the conical roof, the shingles were hand cut from roll roofing. After Lynn and his son hauled the outhouse to the cabin and moved it from the trailer to its pit and foundation, they added vinyl flooring and the stool, and it was finally 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 a Wood-Mizer LT28 portable 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 LT40 Super Hydraulic. 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 LT40HD Super. “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 portable sawmill 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!"
To satisfy his aunt’s request for a greenhouse to be built, Mike Guglielmo decided to put his own funky twist on the project. After five weeks and 248 man hours,
Mike’s “Funky Greenhouse” was completed. Using his LT15 portable sawmill equipped with SilverTip bandsaw blades, Mike sawed 100% of the 733 board feet of lumber needed for the 9’ x 11’ structure. Eastern white pine along with salvaged old windows and doors were used in the building construction. “Reclaiming,
scraping, sanding, reglazing, and washing the doors and windows was not my cup of tea until I got to use them,” said Mike. “When they were all installed is when I felt the satisfaction of a restorer.” To build the structure, Mike started with 6” x 6” pieces for the foundation and red bricks for the floor. After that he used 4” x 4” posts for the corners, and filled the rest of the walls with the reclaimed doors and windows. Mike used a variety of lumber sizes for the ridge board, rafters, and purlins while using “wormy white pine” for the live edge potting table inside the greenhouse. Mike said, “The ability to saw any size and quality lumber that I needed, without the hassle of a lumber yard or big box store,” was a very helpful feature of his Wood-Mizer mill. The comment Mike hears most about this project is the unique and detailed use of shelves on the outside walls. “I love my Wood- Mizer LT15,” said Mike. “It allows me to saw the lumber I want and to build whatever I want. I am only limited by my own ability.”
Thoughts of an expanding family had the walls closing in on Ross and Joslin Bennett of Henniker, 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 number one requirement for their new home was that it had to be large enough for a family of three. One more important factor that went into the planning process was the desire for the couple to be able to build something together on family land. With requirements met and plans approved, the couple, along with their friends at Daystar Builders, began the daunting task of building their new 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 using the Wood-Mizer LT15 portable sawmill. “Even though this is one of Wood-Mizer’s smaller models it was amazing what just the two of us were able to accomplish,” said Ross, speaking specifically of the dependability and portability of the LT15 mill. Sawing over 75% of the wood used in this build, the couple estimated the savings from using the Wood-Mizer mill 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. According to Joslin, they were still finishing the upstairs trim work just one week before the birth of their daughter. “We knew we had to wrap up the work on the house when our midwives came to visit,” she said. When asked about their feelings on the completion of their home, the couple responded, “The feeling of bringing our new daughter into the home we built for her was breathtaking.”
A two-time Personal Best Contest winner, taking 1st Place in 2013 for a large barn, Nicholas’ prize winning project this year is a 36’ x 40’ post and beam monitor barn. This style was constructed with roots in designs used to create Vermont’s barns 150+ years ago. According to Nicholas, the 3,000 square foot structure required about 19,000 board feet of sawn lumber, all of it milled on the Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill Nicholas’ business, Spooner’s Mill, relies on day in and day out. The ability to mill 100% of the hemlock, ash, oak, and cherry posts, beams, boards, pegs and splines needed to construct the barn allowed Nicholas to estimate a total savings of about $10,000 for the project.
For most fathers, to have a daughter is to have a princess. From the moment she enters this world she can make it a brighter place with her kindness, sincerity and wisdom. The fathers who have these little wonders permanently affixed in their heart find that no request or dreamed up idea is impossible. In Bluffton, South Carolina, one princess counted on her father, Hank Carroll, for a truly amazing creation. The queen sized, 4 poster, Rapunzel Castle Bed is one of a kind. As Hank told us, “I always wanted a nice bed for my daughter. I thought the castles and fairy tale theme would be perfect. The Rapunzel story about her hair coming down from the castle with the prince climbing worked well with the waviness in the wood carving.” Using reclaimed heart pine, and his Wood-Mizer LT40 portable sawmill, Hank made 60" x 80" bed in just over a year. Working by himself, Hank cut approximately 100 board feet on his mill. And just what was so helpful about the mill for such a project? As Hank shares, “[it was] Being able to custom cut a beam with heave figure to bring out the best grain pattern in the wood.” He used a variety of construction methods to create this stunning bed. Traditional joinery, mortise and tenon, hand carving with some
jigs and fixtures for some of the round corner posts were all utilized. The labor of love resulted in a savings of 40-50% and an astounding, unique creation for his princess to call her very own. Once the bed was completed, Hank was able to step back and reflect on such an undertaking. He muses, “[The bed is] one of my favorite completed furniture pieces. It was very satisfying to find a reclaimed figured heart pine beam and being able to cut it to maximize the figure’s impact in the finished piece.” Sometimes the oldest, most well known concepts can become the very best source of inspiration. Now Hank can rest easy knowing his daughter will have an enduring backdrop to her royal dreams. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to breathe to life something new. For one man, all he had to do was tune in to his princess, dream up a goal and let the adoration of his daughter fuel him in his quest.
After seeing the beauty of the wood inside a large maple log, David Poston from Rock Hill, South Carolina decided to build his very own coffee table to showcase the unique characteristics of the slab in his home. David milled all 30 board feet of maple needed for the project on his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill and says the most useful part of his sawmill was “without a doubt, the hydraulics. This was a huge log.” To construct the 2’ wide, 5’ long, 1 ½’ high table in just three days, David used nothing more than glue, wooden screws, dowels, and the live edge maple slab. From sawing to finish, the project took a total of three years in order to kiln dry the maple for use as interior furniture. While obtaining the maple log for free, David said he saved nearly $800 total on the project. 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?’” David said. As for his sawmill’s role, David says, “My LT40 is not just a bandmill, but a family member. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
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 portable 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”.
With a passion for sawmilling and helping others, Dan Conder accepted the challenge of building a barn for Nick Roudebush, a Wesleyan University pottery instructor in need of a studio for his students. After harvesting and bucking dead white ash trees for the project, Dan began milling two years before construction in order to have the weathered and aged wood Nick wanted for the interior. “Getting all the wood for free allowed Nick to complete the studio sooner,” said Dan. “He was very thrifty in repurposing materials.” Dan’s Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill with RazorTip bandsaw blades was used to cut 99% of the 10,000 to 15,000 board feet of white ash needed for the project and he estimated saving $40,000 by milling his own lumber. When it was time to frame and side the barn, Dan received help from Mike, Grant, and Mitch House along with JR and Nick Roudebush. After two years, the 1,350-square-foot barn was completed. The finished studio is 24’ x 36’ with a 12’ x 24’ foot loft and an attached garage that is 12’ x 18’. Dan said the mill’s portability and ease of use helped him handle a large volume of logs that were in several locations during the project. “This exceeded my expectations,” said Dan. “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.”