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 >>
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.”
For years David Dove had been eyeing a neighbors’ Wood-Mizer LT15 portable sawmill, but unfortunately for David, his neighbor wouldn’t sell. He had all but given up when out of the blue the 74-year-old neighbor called and asked if he wanted to buy it and of course David jumped on it. At the same time David had been yearning for the Wood- Mizer his daughter Kirsten, as many 12 year old girls, had her heart set on owning her own horse. Kirsten had been wanting her own horse for as long as she could remember, but every time she would ask for one her dad would say, “I don’t know, maybe someday.” READ MORE >>
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 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.
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.
Surrounded by beautiful trees and nature, the ranch features not only a Christ-centered atmosphere, but also all the accommodations needed for teenagers to have an amazing summer camp experience. Highlights of the camp’s facilities include comfortable cabins, a prayer tabernacle, snack bar and gift shop, as well as many recreational areas including a gym, rock wall, a pool, playground, and sports areas. While the family run camp spent the past 40 years focused on providing places to make the campers’ experience excellent and rewarding, their office for the business side of the ranch was badly deteriorated. As a way to celebrate his parents’ 40th anniversary of owning and running their Christian ranch, Luke Bishop set out to build them a new 684-square-foot office.
Using his Wood-Mizer LT35 Hydraulic portable sawmill with DoubleHard blades Luke sawed around 4,000 board feet of yellow pine from their property for not only the conventional framing, trusses, and beams, but also for the interior walls, ceilings and accent areas. The front door is surrounded by beautiful pine shakes that were made using the mill’s shingle/lapsider attachment.
When asked how long his gift and labor of love took, Luke explained that it was a nine month process and that he had help from volunteers to set the trusses as well as plane, sand, and finish the interior boards. He also shared that the mill’s hydraulics “made a major difference in his one man cutting operation.” Luke continued, “I am blown away that all of the materials came from the sawmill with the exception of the dry wall and metal.” The camp’s new office appraised for nearly five times what the family invested to build it. If that alone wasn’t enough satisfaction, Luke looks at the project with a warm and rewarding feeling and says that he “loves it and can’t wait to start another one.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
After completing three large projects with his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Peter Legere felt confident in his own ability along with the capabilities of his sawmill to take on his largest project to date. In 8 months, a 2,300-square-foot storage barn was completed using approximately 8,000 board feet of white pine and red oak all milled on Peter’s LT15 sawmill equipped with RazorTip bandsaw blades. By sawing 100% of his own lumber for the barn, Peter estimates he saved $10,000 on the project. “Besides the fact that my wife calls me a woodchuck, I have owned 2 LT15s,” said Peter. “After purchasing 10 wooded acres, I knew I wanted another LT15. The size, ease of use, and quality made it a no-brainer.”
With logs ready to saw and a love for building, 70-year-old Kent Mitchell decided to build a new barn with his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill on his 80-acre Vermont property. Kent sawed 90% of the 7,000 board feet of spruce, fir and white pine on his mill for the project and estimates he saved $6,000 by doing so. Constructed over three months using standard wood frame, the 860 square foot “Mitchell Barn” has two sections at 16’x 36’ and 12’ x 34’ and includes
a roomy loft. The exterior is board and batten, except the front of the barn which is made from clapboard siding. “The building is entirely built of lumber logged on our land and milled on my mill, except for the front which is sheathed with plywood and clapboarded with materials from a previous project,” said Kent. With help from carpenter and close friend, Ron, Kent completed yet another project with lumber from his property. “I love my sawmill,” said Kent. “Over the years, I have built a storage building for my son, a barn in Maine, and have helped neighbors and friends saw logs they had a particular desire to use.” Kent also has plenty of Wood-Mizer sawn lumber in his own home including white-pine siding, cherry stair treads, banisters, vanity tops, cabinets, along with a maple kitchen island and butcher block top made with wood from his property. “Everywhere I walk in the house includes something I made with the help of the Wood-Mizer,” said Kent. “And boy it feels good!”
Timber frame structures are known for their big, heavy, dramatic designs and David Watters knows how to accentuate their beauty, boldness, and efficiency. For one of his recent projects, David worked with a client to build a full, heavy, four-story timber frame home using traditional mortise and tenon joinery. Located on a stunning piece of property in Indiana, this home qualifies as a passive house which means it meets rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency and has a reduced ecological footprint. Through its design elements of orientation, solar gain, and extremely well insulated panel wall structure, this home can be heated and cooled on a small, mini-split air system similar to a hotel unit. The home is a special showcase piece for David’s business, The Beamery, because it boasts all the unique and early construction methods of timber frame with a modern twist on efficiency and design. Built using bald cypress, this residence has 4,479 square feet. From the initial meeting to completion, the project took a few years because ample time was given for planning and financing. The fabrication and erection of the frame took David and his crew about two months. Using Wood-Mizer’s compact, powerhouse LT15 sawmill, David sawed 90% of the wood needed and shared that the mill while “small but mighty, was invaluable” on the fabrication of this job. Additionally, the MP100 Molder/Planer attachment was “essential in providing a smooth timber surface that the client desired,” continued David. “This versatile machine [LT15] has been a real value and money maker for our company.” The Beamery is enjoying the outstanding reaction by the owners, friends, family and new clients who have toured the home. David concludes that this project “proves that timber frame homes can be a great choice for building and thanks to our Wood-Mizer we were able to build it.”
Building homes, particularly log homes, is something Kylan Williams from Tygh Valley, Oregon has been doing for the last twenty years and has become quite an expert. However, Ky says this winning project was the most fun, challenging, and gratifying home he has ever built. After dismantling a 600-square-foot log cabin built in 1892, Ky salvaged the original logs and used timber from the property to add 2,100 square feet to the structure. The owner of the property, Becky Nelson, works for the forest service and loves nature, so salvaging as much of the original cabin as possible was very important to her. “I was personally interested because of the scope of creativity this project allowed,” said Ky. “I do lots of creative projects using my sawmill far more than just producing lumber products. This project afforded the opportunity for almost everything I use it for.” Ky and his two son-in-laws, Travis and Levi, milled all the logs, floor joists, framing lumber, flooring siding, rafters, roof sheathing, facia, trim and cabinets on his Wood-Mizer LT40 portable sawmill fitted with RazorTip bandsaw blades. The 2,700-square-foot home required over 25,000 board feet of ponderosa pine, douglas fir, white fir, and lodge pole. Ky estimates he saved over $50,000 on the overall project from salvaging logs and milling his own lumber. After working on the home for nearly two years, Ky feels very proud of what he has accomplished. “Everyone that sees this home thinks it is amazing,” he said. “I put my heart into all of it.”
After building many homes for others throughout the past 30 years, Thomas Thomas was inspired to finally build a home of his own on his small farm in
a quiet waterfront community in Washington State. Thomas knew that his Wood-Mizer LT28 portable sawmill, and help of family and friends, was going to be the ticket to completing the project on a tight budget. “This home is my final house,” said Thomas. “My concept was to build a very well designed, detailed, and efficient home that would stand the test of time.” Post and beam was used for the main structure, while standard framing was used for the interior. Many old school methods that Thomas had learned over the years in building homes were used in the extensive cabinetry throughout the home. “My family helped in all phases of post and beam framing,” said Thomas. “I could not have done this without them.” The siding, countertops, paneling, door frames and other miscellaneous items were all milled on the LT28 using cedar, spruce, and mesquite and saving Thomas an estimated $20,000 in materials alone. “This would not have been possible without my well used Wood-Mizer LT28 mill, and my wife - she’s a trooper,” said Thomas. Thomas milled 85% of the 9,000 board feet of lumber on his LT28 to complete his 1,520-square-foot home in just 16 months. “My friends and family are amazed at the amount of detail and quality workmanship of this home,” said Thomas. “This was a huge project due to the amount of detail. I am glad and relieved it is now done.” When asked if Thomas would be retiring his LT28 sawmill now that he has built his final home he replied, “Oh no, I plan to convert it to a stationary mill and keep using it.”
When a customer asked Scott Brockway if he could make a sugar shack out of his trees, Scott not only “hit the sweet spot” with a wonderful project, he scored with a Wood-Mizer Personal Best award. Scott’s winning project was a timber frame styled 16’ x 24’ New England sugar house that took three months to complete. For the project, Scott milled 95% of the 1,850 board feet of white pine, spruce, and red pine on his Wood-Mizer LT50 portable sawmill with SilverTip bandsaw blades. According to Scott, his ability to utilize trees harvested from the customer’s land to mill siding, trim, posts, beams, and truss material saved his customer about $6,500 for the complete project. “I built the trusses in my shop,” Scott explains. “I used mechanical fasteners to hold the timbers together, built the post frame, set the trusses with the help of an excavator, then installed the roof, siding, vents and side doors.” Scott, the owner of Berkshire Wood Products says his mill’s Accuset 2 was an important feature enabling him to get the most yield from a tree. “I feel very satisfied to know that my Wood-Mizer was a great investment for my business,” Scott said. “I am one of only a few builders around that could have done this project using standing trees on the customer’s property to build a completed sugar shack. People who see it seem to be impressed that I was able to mill all the lumber and then build it.”
The Joe Gibbs Youth for Tomorrow prayer pavilion was in need of a stage where they could hold church concerts and plays put on by the children. Russell Martin and project manager Willie Washington were more than happy to be a part of the project that included a 14’ x 20’ stage and back wall made from dawn redwood, three custom cut 12’ oak crosses and 30 slabs that measured in at 3’ x 22’ x 12’ for bench seating. Russell used his Wood- Mizer LT70 sawmill with DoubleHard bandsaw blades to cut 85% of the 3,500 board feet of dawn redwood and oak for the project, all while saving thousands of dollars in the process. Russell was originally asked to help make only slab seating, but once the foundation witnessed what the mill was capable of, the project quickly decided to add on the stage with back wall and rustic crosses. “The LT70 allowed us to cut anything we needed for this project and allowed us to grow the project into what it [has] become,” said Russell. The project, which was divided up into a three step process took two months to complete and has received a great response from everyone who has seen it. “[I am] proud, to see an idea on paper, then to see it now is truly amazing. Everyone who has seen it has said wow,” said Russell. “I am very happy to take these trees off of the construction site, mill them, and build projects like this. I love my LT70.”
Working in the family business at the wood yards at age 14, Tyler Verdery is no stranger to working with wood. With his Wood-Mizer LT40 portable sawmill along with southern yellow pine and eastern red cedar logs ready to saw, he knew he had to finally get started on his own timber frame project.Tyler and his sons were able to mill 100% of the 2,700 board feet on their LT40 sawmill and used all mortise and tenon joints with wooden pegs and no nails in the octagonal post and beam
timber frame structure. When the 32 foot diameter, 900-square foot pavilion was finished, Tyler and his family were all able admire the beauty of the wood, joinery, and artistry of the patterns. “Our family will enjoy this timber frame pavilion for generations,” he said.
When a tornado tragically struck the Talladega National Forest in 2013 leaving a path of fallen pines in its wake, Mark Garner jumped at the opportunity to repurpose these trees into something beautiful. The pines, a part of the Pinhoti Trail on Cheaha Mountain, were up for bid and as the highest bidder, Mark Garner was able to take the trees home. “We had the lake lot already but the opportunity to save these trees and turn them into a cabin was the inspiration to get us to start building,” Mark said. Using his Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill, Mark began building his dream cabin on Lake Wedowee in Randolph County, Alabama. With the help of family, this 1,764-square-foot log cabin was completed in just 18 months. Using the Wood-Mizer sawmill to cut 75% of the salvaged wood, Mark saved around $37,000 on the overall project. For construction, the tongue and groove method was applied to a majority of the wood throughout the cabin, as well as stick framing. Mark says everyone loves the completed project and are amazed they turned logs into a cabin. “My Wood-
Mizer is a hobby for me that I never would have thought would produce a cabin or the memories it has with family,” said Mark. “I bought it to make lumber for the woodworking I enjoy but never imagined being able to do this with it. We enjoyed salvaging and sawing the logs as much as we enjoy the cabin.”
Looking for a way to show their appreciation to teachers and staff at Mount Academy High School, seniors from the graduating class of 2015 decided to make trophy cabinets as a departing gift. Inspired by their enthusiasm, Loren Snavely sawed 120 board feet of red oak on his Wood-Mizer LT40HD portable sawmill equipped with RazorTip bandsaw blades and donated the lumber for the project. Using glued up panels and dovetail joints, the students created two beautiful trophy cabinets that measured 4 feet wide, 6 feet high, and 2 feet deep in just three months. Loren says this was a very worthwhile hands-on project for the students to accomplish. The cabinets will provide plenty of room for past and future trophies and awards, but the students involved in the cabinet project will always have their teamwork and achievement proudly displayed at the school. The staff of the high school was completely blown away by the surprise cabinets, which will be cherished for many years by the entire staff and student body. Loren says, “There is something about a project like this seeing it [created] from Wood- Mizer sawmill to finished cabinet that goes way beyond the project. These kids will never forget the sense of accomplishment, teamwork and fulfillment they got out of doing this for their entire school. These cabinets will be there for years to come.”
Kentucky farmer, pastor, and carpenter, John Hubbard had always wanted a place for family and friends to seek refuge from the everyday business of life, free of charge. When southern pine beetles destroyed pine trees on his property, John saw a perfect opportunity to salvage these dead and dying trees to make his dream a reality. “I didn’t want this wood to go to waste,” John said. Read More >>
In 2012, Florida landmark and fifth oldest tree in the world, “The Senator,” was destroyed in an arson fire. Artisans like Robert Hughes of Geneva, Florida sprang into action to preserve history. “I contacted Seminole County authorities after the fire and helped them realize something should be done to preserve the history of the historic old tree,” Robert recalls. “With the help of friends and other artisans we were able to put together a historic tree rescue project; a three year endeavor of love and dedication to woodworking and the preservation of the Senator Tree.” Robert’s Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic portable sawmill played a vital part in the preservation project, especially, he says, because with thin kerf milling more of the old and valuable wood could be turned into lumber rather than sawdust. In addition to a large picture frame, museum table, and guitar, the projects created with the salvaged wood are ongoing. For their efforts in saving the remnants of one of earth’s largest Cypress trees for future generations, Robert and a number of fellow artisans were honored in June by Florida’s Seminole County Commissioners. “For me, the Senator Tree Restoration has been the greatest honor and challenge I have ever had,” Robert says. “I am both a woodworker and a sawyer. Both skills were necessary to complete this project. I feel like many more generations will be able to appreciate the artwork from the Senator Tree because I was able to bring the two skills together.” See more projects from Robert Hughes>>
This museum bench was crafted from 3,500 year-old salvaged wood by woodworker and artisan Robert Hughes. See more projects from The Senator Tree and read Robert's story>>
By using his Wood-Mizer LT15 portable sawmill, Stan Dixon helps students with disabilities create their own original art. “The Wheels of Friendship project is working with students with disabilities to create paintings using the wheels of their wheelchair as a paintbrush,” said Stan. “The project allows all students to be included in the project regardless of their disability.” After milling 850 board feet of salvaged white pine, spruce, and red oak logs from Hurricane Sandy for the project, Stan donated the lumber to the Wheels of Friendship project. Students from Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School (BAVTS) and nonprofit organization Mikaylas Voice constructed twenty large picture frames and easels to display the original paintings along with benches, chairs and a SkillsUSA display using the donated lumber. The end results have been life changing. Three students from BAVTS each won a $10,000 scholarship to the Pennsylvania School of Technology through state and national SkillsUSA competitions. The paintings have also caught the attention of the local news station, several art exhibits, and are even on display at the Pennsylvania State Capital. Stan Dixon is very proud of his involvement with the ongoing program and says, “It is amazing to see the reaction on the student’s face when you deliver the final painting. The paintings are awesome and the kids’ reactions are priceless.”
For more information on this project, visit www.mikaylasvoice.org