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The Making of Milling Memories

Portable Sawmill Service and Lumber-Making: What Does it Take?

portable sawmill serviceI suppose it’s a combination of things: the milling itself must go well for starters.  I have written fairly extensively on the preparations necessary, and the further from home you are, the more important is that preparation. I have written about the customer’s part in “How to Find and Work With a Local Sawmill Service.”  I have written about my preparations, in “The Quarter-Sawing Process, and Problems, Oh No!,” and in “Portable Sawmill Service Load-Out.”  You might say those preparations are necessary, but not sufficient, in the creation of a truly memorable experience.  Which brings us to the complement to preparation, the thing that in combination with preparation is sufficient for creation of the truly memorable.  That thing is People. Read more

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Wood-Mizer Rodent Infestation

Wood-Mizer Rodent Infestation: Background

Wood-Mizer LT40 from right side

View of Wood-Mizer LT40 from right side, black engine cover top in background

Mice!  I’m sure they are necessary to the ecosystem, but damn can they do some damage.  I would venture a guess that most Wood-Mizer sawmills are stored outside; the LT40 is 26 feet long, so to get it under cover normally involves a pretty substantial structure of some sort.  There are fabric covers, and we bought them all.  Three can be in place when towing the Wood-Mizer; covers for the operator controls, the de-barker, and the engine.  Then, there is a large cover that will protect whole carriage, including the engine, de-barker, feed motor, movable blade guide including its motor and drive, drive and idle blade wheels, mast, and a few other bits that don’t come to mind at the moment.  The downside of the large cover is that it can only be used when the portable sawmill is stationary.  A problem with all of these covers, but especially the engine cover and the large cover, is that mice also love cover!  I have repaired numerous mouse holes in the engine and large covers.  Of course mice seem to love gnawing on wiring as well.  There is really no place for the mice to go under the operator controls cover, or the de-barker cover.  So then, what’s a guy to do? Read more

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Portable Sawmill Service Load-Out

portable sawmill primal woods

Preparing For Portable Sawmill Service Work

The key word here, is portable.  Which is to say, you are some distance from the usual support systems of a typical stationary sawmill.  You may not have access to your full suite of tools; on weekends technical support from the manufacturer of your portable sawmill may or may not be available.  And as the Sawyer time is not on your side.  Downtime is the enemy, and everything must be done to prevent it, and respond to it if Murphy shows up.  So, what exactly does that entail? Read more

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Epic Day Milling Black Walnut

Portable Sawmill Service Challenges and Rewards

portable sawmill service

The Challenges | Portable Sawmill Service

Fortunately, the challenges at the start of this portable sawmill service work were surmountable, and were surmounted.  As well, these lows led to the resulting high of this great day in La Porte, Indiana, with the Janas family. Read more

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How to Find and Work With a Local Sawmill Service

Using a Local Sawmill Service: How-To

Sawmill Service Primary Equipment: Wood-Mizer LT40-HDG35

Sawmill Service Primary Equipment: Wood-Mizer LT40-HDG35

Finding and Contacting a Sawmill Service Provider

I ask every customer the simple question, “how did you find our sawmill service?”  A majority of the time, the customer has started with an on-line search.  Take your pick, Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.  Next up on the hit parade, referrals from past customers.  Reach out, either on-line, or to your friends and neighbors, or both.  There are industry websites that might also prove useful in your search; Wood-Mizer’s Find a Local Sawyer, and portablesawmill.info are two such sites. Read more

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The Quarter-Sawing Process, and Problems, Oh No!

The best image found representing the process being documented. “Steps taken to quarter saw a log, a quarter sawn log and a quarter sawn board (clockwise from top left).” Image attribution: https://www.domain.com.au/news/diy-working-with-timber-at-home-20120322-1vllr/

The first step towards improving any process, is to understand the current state of the process, and in my opinion formally documenting that process in words and pictures is a solid foundation for improvement efforts.  It’s important to keep in mind that this process is not the “be all and end all” just because it is documented; it is though the process currently in use. Read more