By Rusty McCombs, Wood-Mizer Sawyer
In 1991, I focused on a small advertisement in the back of a Popular Mechanics magazine. “Turn Your Logs into Valuable Lumber, Own a Wood-Mizer”. The ad appealed to me because my dad Charlie and brother Scott conducted a small scale part-time logging business and flat timber prices meant they were all but giving logs away. Also, Scott and I had just recently purchased adjacent tracts of unimproved land and we wished to develop homes and outbuildings on the properties utilizing our own timber.
Laying out persuasive arguments of what great things we could accomplish with a personal sawmill, I talked the other two into purchasing a Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill. The new bandmill arrived and we three greenhorns immediately began showing everyone what we didn’t know about sawing lumber.
Feeding the mill with free logs collected from the by-product of roadwork, lot clearings, tree surgeon work, and storm damage helped tremendously in keeping production prices down. We took in custom sawmill work and sold enough lumber to fully pay for the Wood-Mizer and all of the peripheral equipment that enhances a sawmill operation.
While the LT40 was trailer mounted, we quickly recognized the advantages of being under a roof for sawmill operations. After a year of sawing under open skies, a shed was erected to serve as the base for sawmilling. In the new building, sawing on a rainy or a blistering sun day became a piece of cake.
With the sawmill as an inspiration, Scott and I attended a three week long timber framing school in northern Georgia. New found knowledge and the Wood-Mizer’s ability to produce accurately cut timber allowed us to construct a variety of timber frame structures.
In a quarter of a century our Wood-Mizer LT40 has provided the materials for a multitude of personal projects including homes, sawmill shed, equipment repair shops, livestock barns, piers, storage buildings, hunting cabins, gazebos, garden structures, great rooms, hunting blinds, hay barns, play sets, decks, firewood sheds, beehives, furniture, cabinets, blacksmith shed, bridges, covered porches, cattle catch pens, trailer decking, and thousands of feet of wood pasture fencing. We are not through with the LT40 yet, as more outbuildings and homes are in the planning. Without the Wood-Mizer sawmill most of the things that comprise our lifestyles would not exist!
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