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Author Topic: what prompted you to start sawing?  (Read 6018 times)

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Offline Tim

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what prompted you to start sawing?
« on: April 12, 2003, 05:23:06 am »
I was currious to know what the motivation was to enter into the wonderful world of making bigger wood into smaller wood was for you folks.

For me it was two things; When I was finished with college a few years ago, I was working a construction job. During the course of 2 years with this organization, I realized that my attitude was too poor to spend the next 45 years working for someone else. It was sawing or starve. I bought my mill from my father and that was the start.

The other reason was that I wanted a drill sharpener. After 11 years I still don't have one. I'm thinking that I'll buy one when I decide to pack it in.
Eastern White Cedar Shingles

Offline Captain

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2003, 05:37:44 am »
We moved to another state for reasons of employment 7 years ago.  My wife is an avid equestrian, and always kept her horse at her aunt's horse farm.  It was convenient 20 miles away. Not that handy when you are 200 miles away.  

We bought a 7 acre lot of 120 year growth, abandoned farmland (Eastern White Pine, Oak, Beech, Hemlock)  The house was contracted due to necessity and speed.  I immediately began clearing for the barn.  To make a long story short, we contracted the lumber for the barn sawn and I caught the bug.  *DanG sawdust.  Now I'm so busy custom milling, the barn isn't even finished yet ::)....need to take a month off from milling this summer to build some exterior doors and paint.  

Captain

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2003, 06:19:25 am »
What prompted you to start sawing?

Stacking lumber and watching the sawyer grin at me. ;D

I started working in a commercial mill right out of High school. I lied about my age as you had to be 18 to work there and I needed a job. (Not a very good way to enter the work force) I worked like a dog for two weeks stacking and doing everything I could. I worked through every break to get caught up. at the end of that two weeks I went to the boss and told him I had something to tell him. He said "Your not going to quit on me are you, your doing a great job". I said no, and then told him I had lied to him.
He went from concern to anger and explained all the trouble that potentially could have happened and told me that if I had not have worked as hard he would have fired me on the spot and if I ever lied again I would be.  I never did.  

During this time the obvious became apparent. ;D The sawyer made more money then everybody and looked like he had a less taxing job. I started asking the owner with a week of almost being fired if I could learn to saw. Within a month I was in training and within a year I replaced the sawyer fulltime. That was in 1979 and 1980. Been doing it ever since other then a few stints working in the woods when business was poor and the mills shut down.  I left that first mill in 1984 when it closed and started working the next day as sawyer where I am now.

Have never drew an unemployment check or been out of work in all that time.
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Offline Neil_B

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2003, 06:44:34 am »
Bin doing it for a few years off and on with another sawyer. Caught the bug as well. Was a shift foreman at a mining company and was sick and tired of the managment BS so I resigned and took this on as a business. Well trying to anyway.
Timberwolf / TimberPro sawmill, Woodmizer edger, both with Kubota diesels. '92 Massey Ferguson 50H backhoe, '92 Ford F450 with 14' dump/ flatbed and of course an '88 GMC 3500 pickup.

Offline Ed_K

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2003, 07:41:14 am »
One reason was seeing a lot of good wood going to cordwood.
next was a need for lumber around the farm.
plus its one more way to keep busy when I can't log.

and I love seeing whats inside  ;D.
Ed K
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2003, 08:30:31 am »
Got hooked the very first time I saw a woodmizer LT40HD at the northeast loggers expo in springfield mass.  took a few years till I bought one but thats what started me.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2003, 11:30:24 am »
I started getting interested in woodworking my senior year of college.  My dad had a planer and some other woodworking equipment he didn't use anymore, and a couple thousand bd.ft. of lumber out back (I used to play on the lumber stacks as a child).  Naturally I was always looking for inexpensive lumber, and unusual stuff as well.  One day at work a few years ago a co-worker said he was out cutting firewood in back of a house that was being constructed.  He thought I should go look at this one log.  Went out there to find a nice cherry tree that was lying  there, along with about a dozen nice logs from the same tree (some were rather short, though).  The contractor said I could have them, otherwise he would burn it  :o    I had another sawmill cut this up for me, but then I realized that there were so many people that were just dicing stuff like this up for firewood, or taking it to the dump.  After talking with a tree service, he said he would give me some logs.  I was still pondering taking out a loan for the mill....then the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers happened.  Made me really think that we may not be around much longer, you never know.  A month later I had my mill  ;D    

This is a pic of the butt log from the cherry tree...the lumber is stacked out back in a shed.  Sure will make a nice kitchen  ;)



Offline Tom

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2003, 12:30:22 pm »
I've always felt an intimacy for trees and wood for some reason.  Might be in the genes.

I saw people buy a building lot, cut all the trees down, move a mobile home on there and in a couple or three months have store-bought wood stacked for a deck. ???

That looked dumb to me and I decided I would try to change it.
extinct

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2003, 02:51:37 pm »
I also think it's great to know where the lumber came from.  I salvaged some other cherry trees just south of State College when I first got my mill.  It is now being made into a hutch for someone living on the other side of SC.  Now I just have to get into the shop and complete the thing  ::)

Offline ElectricAl

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2003, 06:53:31 pm »
During the winter of 1992 I was working for $6.15 per hour. I had a college degree in communications and was 2 class short of a second degree in business management.
I was quite displeased with job outlooks.
One Sunday after church I was talking to a full time Furniture builder. He was quite despondent over some logs he had sawn at a local circular sawmill. {Thick and thin}

He said, "What this area needs is a guy with a portable sawmill"
I asked him "how do you move a sawmill"


The next day he stopped by our house with a
1989 Wood-Mizer brochure.

In May of 1993 we owned a New 1993 LT40HDG24, a new Stihl 021, and a new Dixie cant hook. ;D

Our first log was a standing dead 26" Bur Oak. We had just spent $20,000 and was making thick and thin lumber just like the $500 circular saw 5 miles down the road. ???

We butchered a couple logs before figuring out,
Fresher is better.  ;)


ElectricAl

Linda and I custom saw NHLA Grade Lumber, do retail sales, and provide Kiln Services full time.

Offline isawlogs

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2003, 09:52:36 pm »
  In my case it was always a matter of cutting wood , lenght wise with the chainsaw at first( needed cash) Then 12 years as journeyman IronWorker  on high rise steel stucturs then bought the mill and never looked back been sawing since ...that was in 93 and the mill is still with me so are my stihl saws....(well the replacement saws the originals where needed by others with the rest of the tools in the shop, but thats another story...)
making sawdust  8)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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biziedizie

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2003, 10:12:59 pm »
isawlogs where did you do high steel? I did it for about a year in Toronto when I lost everything, and I mean everything when I was 22. If I told you what my net worth was back then you wouldn't believe me!
 I remember being up 20 stories and seeing the city and how small the people and cars were below me. It was a very cool way of life and the guys were all great as we all cared about each other.
 I still get to be up that high but now I'm inside the buildings working.

     Steve

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2003, 08:39:22 am »
My family background is carpenters and farmers.  None of them are really inside jobs.  After college, I had a hard time finding forestry work, so eventually hooked up with a sawmill.  That's where I got more of an education.

I started out stacking lumber, went to scaling logs, then to mill foreman, and finally procurement forester.  Then went into business as a consulting forester.  The recession of '83 pretty well did us in, since no one was paying their bills.

Went to subcontract for a local logger.  I'd saw in his mill, if he bought a mill.  He bought the equipment and supplied the labor.  I put it in and learned how to saw.  

Since then, we've put 5 different mills in (1 burnt due to lightning).  I still subcontract and do other consulting work.  The relationship works real well.  I get a higher pay than most since I get paid by production.  They get a quality product that attracts buyers (job security).  I get no hassles from my clients and very few headaches when I go home at night.  

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Offline dail_h

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2003, 11:56:41 am »
   Odl gent in the neighborhood that used to take me fishing,and let me work on his farm had an old Moffet circle mill.It cut thick and thin, anyway when I was 16 he let me saw some with him standing by,I aint never looked back.Wanting a bandsaw,but still enjoy sawing on a manual handset mill.There is nothing like the sounds andsights of those old mills,the slap of flat belts,the shudder of the frictions when you pull on the lever,the song of the saw when it bites into a log,the bellow of the engine when the load takes up.SHOOT,I wata go saw,and it's Sunday
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2003, 01:49:16 pm »
I guess I was more likely than not, born into it as opposed to falling into the forest for the trees.  My father had owned a few large mills about the time I was born and had opted out of them and the truck business to set u a retail lumber yeard East of Portland, Oregon, on what had been a 7 acre raspberry field in 1949.  He first built a house on a parcel near where the company building would stand.  I was 4-5 years old and would stand and watch the whole thing being built.  That is where it began  It also, would travel with my ffather to the 23+ mills he bought lumber from and get to ride on the old fashoned straddel lumber carriers.   At one mill some of the guys would race to where My fathe would park his truck to see who got to take me for a ride first.  Wow, what excitement.  I eventually got a college degree or two in education and then needed to supplement my income.  Tha began with falling and cutting timber for firewood.,  I often would product 100 plus cords a year and teach ful time.   Like many of us in the woods work we get older and more tired quicker.  This entiled some change of didrction.  I married a large tree farm and felt it was better to stay here that live in a two cabin tent as we had been doing for two years, off and on.  I then saw a Mobile Dimension after three years of researching  :P and looking at various types of mills. I then decided to sell a rental and buy the mill.  8) I got all of my money back within the first 3 or so years and did not have to
live in a tent to boot.  The rest is history, I guess,  I now have two MD mills and a very large Head Rig. 8)  
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2003, 09:41:06 pm »
  Biziedizie
Local 711 out of Montréal, mostly worked in Québec but did some work in and around Ottawa. Did the steel all trough this province , last job was up in James Bay at LG2A as welder on gates and doors for the water spillway.That was back in 91.Pulled my withdrawl card in 93 and bought the LT40HD24 and like I said never looked back....
Stihl making sawdust...  ;)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline Geoff

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2003, 10:03:13 pm »
How did I start?

1)  Too stupid to know any better
2)  Won a million dollars and figured it'd be a good way to spend it
3)  My wife wanted me out of the house

Oops...none of those are true.  Actually, it's been 12 years with the portable mills and I just can't let it go.  The smell of sawdust and my customers keep me coming back for more.  It's been great for us over the years, especially to build a business over time and watch it grow!

There's not a day that goes by that I don't learn something or see something I never seen before.  At 33, I figure I'm 1/3 done my career in sawing!

Geoff

biziedizie

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2003, 10:56:39 pm »
I met a girl that lives in Powell River B.C and started dating her and she lived on the ocean and was right beside the fair grounds.
 I was out late one night and didn't know that the fair was on the next day and I woke up a little hung over. Well what kept giving me a headache was this buzzing sound that I've never heard before so I thought I would go down there and check it out. I got around a corner of a building and saw two Wood Mizers sawing and that was it! Just seeing these machines cutting logs was all it took to make me want one. I couldn't believe that a mill could do what they were doing and it was a bonus that they let me make a few passes. At the end of the show they spent some time talking to me and I was impressed with the customer treatment they provide, still am.
 After 3 years of research I bought a Norwood for the cost reasons but when I'm ready to upgrade I will be buying a WM as I'm impressed with their product.
 I still need to learn alot about obtaining logs and things like that but I'm having fun and not going broke by being smart and listening to all the good advice that's out there.
 I bought the mill to build my own house as I know from being in construction that materials are expensive. I want a place in the woods so that me and my little guy have a place that we can call our own and make our bond stronger then it already is.
 I think that down the road the sawmill business will make me money but as I very well know any new start up takes alot of time and alot of thinking.
 Hmmm now I feel like sawing a log! Might have to take my new solar powered deck lights up to the mill. :)

   Steve

Offline Oregon_Sawyer

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2003, 11:51:47 pm »
When I was born, My father was a minister and a logger.  Dad logged all of my life.  He used to tell story's about working in a sawmill during WWII.  And at one time he had a "portable mill” a small stationary on skids that they would yard onto a lowboy to move.  I was too young to remember his mill.  But, Dad took me out with him in the woods with him on spring breaks from school as early as the fourth grade.  Dad started doing timber management in the early 50's before most loggers even knew what that meant.  We logged and managed private timber and tried to set the tree farms up for perpetual yield.  Around the time I was 14 I saw a portable mill powered by a VW engine.  I had wanted a mill ever since.

7 years ago I bought a 48-acre piece of property from my father to build a house on.  It had some merchantable timber on it and I decided to have it cut for my house.  

About a year later I went to a log home show a saw a WM mill.  I had the money, desire, and the excuse of building a house.  Not to long after that I started cutting logs with a WM LT40.  I love making sawdust.  I still don't have the house built but am cutting the last pieces this spring.  I have cut over 400,000 ft of lumber for others and myself.

It’s depressing if I don't get to cut something every week.  I drive truck 4 days a week (regular pay, benefits and pension).  I should be able to retire from driving in about 8 years.  I expect to have a full time mill running by then.  Currently I am specializing in Western Red Cedar and special cut Douglas fir lumber.
Sawing with a WM since 98. LT 70 42hp Kubota walk behind. 518 Skidder. Ramey Log Loader. Serious part-timer. Western Red Cedar and Doug Fir.  Teamster Truck Driver 4 days a week.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: what prompted you to start sawing?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2003, 12:11:55 pm »
We've been asked this question a number of times so I wrote it down and linked it to our website.

How we got started in the sawmill business
Wood-Mizer LT40HDE25 Super 25hp 3ph with Command Control and Accuset.
Sawing since '94