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Author Topic: Gittin' started...  (Read 4087 times)

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Gittin' started...
« on: January 17, 2009, 05:08:43 PM »
Thought it would be interestin' to know how and when(age) evry'n got into millwerk. Like to hear from y'all.

Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 06:47:07 PM »
I started running a Wood-Mizer on my 30th birthday. 8)
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 09:05:22 PM »
My first milling experience was back when I was a youngen. One grandfather was a blacksmith and the other ran a sawmill. Therefore, I followed both paths. The first time I logged my own logs and had them milled then and built picnic tables was back when I was in school.
I lived in to towns where the sawmill was the only employment, and when the market went down the mills shut down one they moved the houses out and the only sign there was a town is a hunk of concrete that the headrig set on. The other the town is all boarded up. Last time I was there, there was one set of tracks at the post office and one set of tracks at the cemetery. After I finished a twelve year stint in the military I went to work for the big mills for a long time. This is my third year owning my own mill.
Backwoods Custom Milling Inc.
100% portable. . Oregons largest portable sawmill service, serving all of Oregon, from our Backwoods to yours..sawing since 1991

Offline arj

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 09:28:36 PM »
When i was a young guy working on local farms I loved going to get lumber
at the saw mill. As I got older got lumber for my own projects, sold some logs
to the mill. Became friendly with the owner (sawer) and would go on many a
saturday morning, have coffee and listen to his stories of the old days.Didn`t
start sawing untill I retired at 62. I am pretty new at this, my "hobby" has gotten
out of control, but I love it. I still saw mostly at my convenance, and don`t
promise more than I can do easily. Thanks to all the guys here I`ve learn alot
in a short time. Still got alot more ot learn.

Offline Toolman

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009, 09:48:46 PM »
My grandfather had a Frick circle mill growing up. I would help him, cutting the slabs, and stacking boards. He did'nt make a living doing it, but he made good side cash doing it. He ran it for 36 yrs. I was in the service when his heart problems started and he decided to sell the mill. He sold it to an Amish guy over in Franklin County. The took everything. They disassembled the building, Mill and even hauled off the slab wood laying around. I visited the Amish guy 2 yrs later and it was like being back at grandpas place. Everything was set up identical to what he had. They are making a living with that old mill to this day. I bought a TK 1220 when I was 31 yrs old. Grandpa passed away 6 months later. He loved helping me with my bandsaw mill. This was all new to him. I have since sold that and bought a Turner Hydraulic mill and love it!! I wish grandpa was still around to hang out and help. I credit him for my interest in sawing. My childhood memories of hanging around his old Frick are priceless. I remember hanging around under the sawdust conveyer with a bucket and tonka trucks playing on the sawdust pile. That was awesome to me!!
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" (Thomas Jefferson)

Offline VT

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 11:56:31 PM »
Dad is a Master Wood butcher  :D
He made a table like a camera lens for the bank of HSBC, they removed windows on the top floor to lift up and slide in. Vancouver BC 1993 era.

Never had the bug till seeing me waste trees for firewood. Now looking for a diesel Woodmizer ..
OK , here it comes, Been helping for 2 months , tailing /offbearing, pushing broom /shovel / cutting slabs for fire wood ETC. Dec 10-12th i ran the 40 hyd extend bed for cuttin WOOD  :o... No good wood go's to waste !!

Instructor loads a ceder log just small enough for the max cut of 28"( guessing here) to remove the bark and slab.
Now clean and semi square , he wants 1x3's x 17' (log is 17 long) I'm cuttin / workin the mill , HE'S tailing and keeping a BIG eye on the newbee /want-2-be . Did i sweat , and don't frigg up , be cool , listen , watch , stop the blade B4 going back , DANG , it looked easy !!!

I cut 3 logs that day , nothing broke , but i was wore out..
Got lots of 1x3's for ?? got me , i did as i was told .
Let me see , .65432 of a century plus  paying ahead , but - minus being a ^%$ kid . So im even..


Offline Captain

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 05:58:34 AM »
My neighbor was a millwright for LANE when I was growing up, so I saw a few saws when tagging with him on Saturdays, etc.  I started sawing with a chainsaw mill at 29 years old and with a swingmill at 32 years old.  Always have had a passion for the circle mills.



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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2009, 07:03:53 AM »
Guess I should put my 2 cents in also. I got into millin' right out of high school and bin' at her ever since. Like most,  start out in the lumber yard then moved inside doin' various jobs. started runnin' the old handset in '85(Oxford), the Cardinal in '99. Took a long time to git over the matotony of sittin' all day pushin' buttons. Kinda' miss usin' the old handset, guess that's the reason why I want to set up my own at the woodlot. It'll just be a partime hobby(?),

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2009, 07:23:56 AM »
Always a wood cutter,built my first circle mill in the early eighties,when I was fourty something.Built a bandmill ,now back to circle ,my milling retirement is up to the grim reaper.As a kid my first chainsaw was an old Lombard that would overheat the coil and quit but sill better than a cross cut.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline timberfaller390

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2009, 07:46:23 AM »
Been cuttin' trees all my life, been sawing lumber about 6 months
Appalachian Hardwoods Lumber and Logging Co.
Peavine Valley Farms
Three Notch Forge Farrier Service
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IHC 500 dozer
John Deere 440 ICD dozer

Offline ErikC

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2009, 11:17:05 AM »
 Dad worked in mills when I was growing up, and we cut wood all the time for us. He still has an old granberg mill that we never use. I bought the Peterson when I was 22 or 23 and dad was as excited as me about it. The first logs I cut with it were at his house. I guess when you grow up around this stuff you just can't stay clear of it.
Peterson 8" with 33' tracks, JCB 1550 4x4 loader backhoe, several stihl chainsaws

Offline tyb525

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2009, 11:55:51 AM »
I've cut firewood with my family for as long as I can remember, and now have a small chainsaw mill for limited milling. A bandmill is in my future  :)
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline SCSawyer

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2009, 01:53:09 PM »
My too cents,
I grew with an old frick handset that my grandpa ran, started sawing on his mill as a teen and have never stopped ,was the sawyer for a local mill for two years but run mine in the evenings and on weekends for my self,  I love it and will do it till the end I suppose . 8)

Silas S. Roberts , Bluff Mtn. Timber

Offline pineywoods

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 02:37:36 PM »
When I retired in 1998, I seriously considered building a chainsaw mill. Then a friend bought a manual WM LT40 to saw lumber for his retirement home. I started offbearing for him, and I really got the sawdust bug. In 1999, my wife inherited her grandparents old farm and we moved there, right down the road from the friend with the woodmizer. So there I sit with 200 acres of timber and no mill. Wife wanted to update the old farmhouse, so I quickly acquired a chainsaw, log trailer and tractor. Started swapping logs for mill time. This went on for a couple of years until friend decided the mizer was wore out and bought a new one. It only had 4000 hrs on it. I traded him out of the old mill and moved it to my backyard. Since then I have completely re-built and upgraded. Swapped out the 18 hp Briggs for a 27 hp kawasiki, added home made hydraulics, dust blower and a remote control system. Bought a bigger tractor with fel and forks, bigger chain saw and a planer. Built a solar powered dry kiln. I have good enough retirement that I don't have to depend on the mill for income, so I saw when I want to, mostly specialty sawing. The mill just turned over 7000 hrs and is still going strong..I discovered this place a couple years ago thanks to an article in the woodmizer magazine by Bibby and Tom. I've had the good fortune to personally met several of the regulars here, and look forward to meeting many more. Life is good  8) 8)
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
100k bd ft club.Charter member of The Grumpy old Men

Offline pasbuild

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2009, 04:39:23 PM »
I was working in the woods, building houses and sawing lumber with my
 uncle when I was thirteen, got my first circle mill when I was twenty two. I was going to be the next premiere log home builder ::) didn't take long to realize that sawing and building were both full time jobs so I stuck with the building, did that for twenty six years.
I'm on my third mill now and saw for myself mainly as a hobby.
If it can't be nailed or glued then screw it

Offline woodrat

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2009, 08:35:40 PM »
I sold my house in the city in 1995, and wanted to build a boat and a cabin somewhere. I used some of the proceeds from the house to buy a brand new, non-hydraulic Woodmizer, thinking I would just be cutting a little lumber for myself. I was 30 years old, and I had done a little bit of woodwork and carpentry, but never had had anything to do with sawmills. Fortunately, I did have a lot of mechanical experience. I ended up doing full time custom cutting for almost nine years, and part time/intermittently for the last five. I've helped build a lot of houses, but still haven't built one for myself, and I still haven't built a boat yet either, although I have built a couple of kayaks.

If I had known what I was getting into, I sure would have bought the hydraulic mill right off the bat. I finally sold the manual mill in 2003 and replaced it with a used 1996 LT40HD.  - lumber and sawmilling, blog, links, kayaking

Offline Oregon_Sawyer

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2009, 01:49:38 AM »
When I was 12 I was picking strawberries and pole beans.  One night Dad said I wasn't making enough to pay for my lunch and thought I would be worth more to him on his logging site.  So in 1966 I was paid 100.00 per month to help Dad.  Don't know if I was worth it :D.

Dad had worked in sawmills in Yamhill County, Oregon during WWII and he had a portable mill in the late 50's that he took to Walla Walla, Wa.  So I had heard about sawmills all my youth.

I saw my first mobile dimension mill when I was about 15.  I knew then that someday I would have a portable mill.

At the ripe old age of 18 I begin to drive log truck.  One of the mills I delivered to I would have to wait to unload and could get up and watch the head rig.  I loved to watch and didn't mind to wait for my truck to be unloaded.

When I was 19 the mill we were hauling to went on strike.  So my Dad leased an old mill that wasn't running.  We repaired the log dump and pond.  We took all our logs in there for the year and in the winter we fired up the old mill and ran the logs through.

It was an old circle mill with an adjustable vertical edger on the head rig.   It was my job to pull the entire green chain.  This would have been impossible for one person except that mill used air to run everything and as it had been setting for a long time the were partly rotten.  So the green chain would pile up and then they would blow an air line.  Just as I would get caught up they would have it repaired and running again.  I loved that job that winter.

Jump to 1998.  Bought a 50 acre tree farm from my Dad.  My wife and I decided to build a log home.  FINALLY I had an excuse to buy a sawmill.   So at the age of 44 I bought a Woodmizer.  I cut for a lot of people in trade for the lumber I needed for the house.  It took 5 years part-time, about 100,000 bd ft a year.  During this time I upgraded to an LT 70.  After building the house I ran the mill for another couple years.  I then sold it to one of my customers.  He is cutting full time and is busy all the time.  He only lives down the road from me so I can borrow it back when I need it.

Sometimes I go to a friends oak mill and help them.  I trade my labor for firewood as our log home is heated by radiant heat from an outside wood furnace.

I thought that the mill was going to be my retirement job.  Maybe I will get another or just help the people I know who have one.

Sawdust is in the blood.
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 Meadows Miller

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2009, 07:06:19 AM »

Been doing it since i could walk  ;) :D dad started taking me to the mill at 18 months old somthing my late grandmother said he would regret  ;) :D :D and it didnt take me long to start wandering the mile down to the mill from home under my own steam ( mum use to lock me in the house but couldent figure out how i was getting out id stashed my verry own window winder n wait till she was in the shower   ;) ;D Open window get out and take my winder with me and head to the mill strait to the office first and pick up my earmuffs from puppa then over to the mill shed where they had given me my very own seat where i could sit and watch everything from the headrig to the greenchain  ;D ;) :D :D ;D 8) )
I wasnt much use till about 4  :D then i started cleaning up the yard around the Hrig carring the short slabs to the large bin just outside and sweeping around the mill strapping pacs the  did this till about 6 when i got to do the fun things like tail out on the Stick bench/planermoulder and the docking  saws and operate the Trash Drop gate to the chipper washing the Logging equip Trucks and trailers with the preasure washer on my own  ;D ;D 8) I could drive a loader and forklift at around 9  ;D I hung around the mill untill my grandfather went into recivership andsold the mill when i was 11 I had been there pretty much every day after school and on saterdays it cut me up a little bit for awhile  :) ::) :'(
after that I started hanging around with my 60 yo cousin doing bushwork cutting Fwood, posts , sawing and tailing out on his  Hmade portable sawmill It was the first time id been a sawyer cutting 1x2 fence droppers  8) And Working with dad more often  doing log building work that was about the time that dad built the first mill for me to mill timber on  i was home schooled from yr 7 to 10 finnished that when i was 13 yo  ;D ;D 8) And started building fulltime with Dad as an App and became an = partener in the buisness by 15 and upgraded from the Csm to my first bandmill the same year   ;D 8) from 11 to 18 i also worked at night hand loading trucks with Fwood ,Hay and sorted truck loads of Beer orders 3 to 6 nights aweek and w/ends for 3 local transport companys 
Dad and i left building in 00,01 and put the buisness into volatay liqadation due to a bad run that started with a deliqent acc ,our insurance co going B/rupt , and not being able to get insurance at reasonable rate it went up 10 fold overnight  :) :o ::) so we just decided to cut our losses  ;)
Thats when i got into milling fulltime running other mills and doing subcontract Sawing /consultency and management all over Aust for 6 years then went back into buisness for myself a couple of years ago and havent looked back ;) ;D ;D 8) 8)

Reguards Chris
4TH Generation Timbergetter

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2009, 08:04:16 AM »
Was a full time school teacher selling firewood on the side for fun money.  Went to the NE forest exposition in 1993 and watched an LT 40 HD in amazement.

Found a 93 mill used in 95 and bought it.

Now, retired teacher(03) with HD 40, blue ox, chevy c4500, and payeur forester.
soon to become log concentration yard.
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 Chuck White

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Re: Gittin' started...
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2009, 05:33:03 PM »

I started out, once in a while helping my FIL.  This all started in 2004 I think! About 3/4 the way through the saw season, his tailer left for other things and he couldn't get anyone to help him.
He has a 1992 Wood-Mizer LT40G18 manual mill.
I learned by watching what he was doing as I was tailing and also by asking questions.
Seems I caught on quite easily.  During the second year, he would let me operate once in a while and he'd tail it.
The 3rd year, my wife and I took on saw jobs with his mill for the whole season.
The 4th year, (last year) we found an 1995 LT40HDG24, actually it found us.  We bought our mill from "petefrombearswamp".
Last year we sawed a little over 70,000 bf and are already looking at around 50,000 bf for this year.
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.

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