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.
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”.