Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Saw Mill

Black Walnut / Live  Edge
When I was a young teenager, my Pop harvested some black oak logs for a barn we were building.  We hauled those logs to the local sawmill to be cut into 2x12s for the barn loft floor.  I'd never seen a sawmill before and I was amazed by this incredible machine!

This old school mill had a huge circular blade that moved through the logs as easily as a knife through cake.  The carriage rotated the logs as the operator pulled and pushed on various levers.  Today I'd say it was a Steam Punk machine :)

Most intriguing to me was seeing the operator riding the carriage.  Wow!  That's who I wanted to be when I grew up.  What a cool job the sawyer has!
Elm / Book Matche

I never did get to be "that guy" who rides the sawmill carriage.  But I did get to operate a sawmill or two.  In fact, I now own the legendary (and terrifying) Alaskan Sawmill as well as an awesome Woodmizer LT-15 band sawmill.

  Milling is more of a necessity than a business for me.  I need heavy slabs for the benches and murals I sometimes carve.  High quality slabs are so expensive that it's simply cheaper, and easier, to own a mill and make my own.
Blued Pine / Book Matched

"Easier" means I don't have to make phone calls, drive to various suppliers, and plan ahead to source the materials.  I just have to mill logs as they present themselves and store the slabs until I find a use for them.  It's actually hard work but much more satisfying than trying to find what someone else might have on hand...

There's a learning curve and milling has it's own vocabulary too. It's all worth the effort and I believe that for some young  man, I have become "that guy". ;)
Fireplace Mantle from customers log


Austrian Pine

Sycamore / Quarter Sawn
Sycamore  on the Woodmizer

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