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Author Topic: Coming full circle  (Read 944 times)

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Offline TxTIG

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Coming full circle
« on: December 01, 2021, 05:33:47 PM »
Wanted to say thank you for accepting me into the forum!  Am a new member and just about ready to come full circle back into the world of sawmilling.  Mid 1980's I was a pipe fitter for the gas utility and needed some logs milled.  They were quite large and I didn't have the means to take them to the stationary mill.  Saw an ad in the paper for a fellow that came on site with a portable mill. Had him come out to the house and got my logs cut into some lumber that I could use in woodworking.  

Later that year I heard that he had quit custom sawing to work on his door making business.  Talked with my wife and decided to buy a Woodmizer LT30 so I could cut our own lumber and do some custom work.  It was only a 4 week wait (not like the 75 weeks I have to wait now) until the mill was ready.  Thru word of mouth I was custom cutting every weekend and the mill was paid for in 9 months.  Decided to upgrade to the LT40 with hydraulic log loader and rapidly paid for it.  At this time I also bought a solar kiln to custom dry customer and my own lumber.

I was into year 6 working at the utility with no job upgrades for years as the company was struggling with poor upper management decisions and when people retired they did not replace them.  Although I was making decent money and had the sawmill booked 4 months in advance I decided to pursue a life long dream, to become an airline pilot.  The money I had made with the sawmill gave me the freedom to quit my job and financed my schooling.  

I got all my ratings and flight time but never made it to the major airlines (I didn't have a college degree) so I found my way into corporate aviation.  I've had a good run and been all over the world in my job, but the downside to corporate aviation is when money is tight at the corporation the first thing cut is the airplane and I've been thru 4 different operations since 1996.  Although I've saved for retirement (401K) due to losing a year every time I have to start a new job and an expensive divorce where the ex received 50% of my 401K, my retirement plan is to keep working after I turn 65 and can no longer be pilot in command for International travel.   

 Luckily I'm in good health (so far) and enjoy being productive.  During my corporate years I've been fortunate to have had plenty of time away from work and expanded my skillset.  Up until the divorce I had several pieces of heavy equipment (Excavator, dozer, backhoe, lowboy) and would clear land, dig stock tanks, roads etc. but that had to be sold and I don't feel like taking on huge debt to buy more equipment.  I took evening classes at the community college and learned HVAC work, eventually passing my master mechanical contractor license exams in 1996 and still hold my contractor license but getting up in hot attics in the Texas summers is less and less appealing to me as I get older.  Additionally now there is an air conditioner supply shortage and the only contractors who are able to get equipment are the large outfits who buy hundreds of thousands of $ every year.  

Ordered my Woodmizer mill in August with delivery time estimate of 75 weeks.  If it takes longer I'm patient as I can't go full time anyway for 3 more years when the govt. declares I'm too old.  Adding some vintage photos ofme 30+ years ago.  Thirty years ago I'd look up at the contrails wishing I was up there and now I look down wanting to be out there sawing some wood.  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Southside

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2021, 05:41:34 PM »
Welcome to the Forum. That's an awesome history story you have there. Would enjoy hearing more about what you fly and where to, heck you have time before the mill arrives right?  ;D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Online mike_belben

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2021, 06:39:59 PM »
Welcome aboard.  Your kubota 30 years ago is still newer than mine today!   :D
Isaiah 63:10

Online trimguy

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2021, 07:34:13 PM »
Welcome !

Online Nebraska

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 07:59:08 AM »
Welcome, I have a son following the aviation route so I'm interested in your flying stories as well.

Offline samandothers

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 09:07:20 AM »
Congrats on your order!  Welcome to the forum and back to sawing.

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2021, 12:09:19 PM »
Welcome to the FF (Forestry Forum). Its a good place to hangout and learn some stuff too. Good to have you onboard 👍
Trying harder everyday.

Online HemlockKing

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2021, 12:17:28 PM »
Welcome to the forum! Thanks for sharing the pictures, we like pictures. 
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
Milton Friedman

Offline barbender

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2021, 01:35:30 PM »
Welcome! Cool story, except the divorce...those are tough on the assets😬 Although I am not inclined this way myself, you will find others here that can't sit still and have tons of energy for multiple pursuits😊 Can't wait to see the new mill!👍🏻👍🏻
Too many irons in the fire

Offline TxTIG

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2021, 01:42:24 PM »
Welcome, I have a son following the aviation route so I'm interested in your flying stories as well.
Now is the best time in decades to get into aviation.  When I first started there was always talk about a pilot shortage but it never materialized until just about 3 years ago.  Before the shortage to get hired at American Airlines you needed to pass an extreme physical exam akin to an astronaut physical.  They are so short now that they are taking people from their commuter airline partners.  Best advise I can offer is get hired asap since seniority is everything at the airlines.  

Offline TxTIG

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2021, 02:06:43 PM »
Welcome! Cool story, except the divorce...those are tough on the assets😬 Although I am not inclined this way myself, you will find others here that can't sit still and have tons of energy for multiple pursuits😊 Can't wait to see the new mill!👍🏻👍🏻
I really enjoy doing all kinds of mechanical work and feel I have pretty good hand-eye coordination.  My issue is that I never could force myself into taking college courses that had nothing to do with what I liked to do...run equipment and make things.  

Three years ago I built a CNC plasma rig and powder coating setup that I've had some success making metal items and selling them.  Unfortunately my steel prices have gone from $50/sheet (14gauge) to over $165 and I'm at a price point where instead of converting 90% of leads into sales I'm under 40%.  

Pics are the machine in action and my main product - aviation related weathervanes.


 




 




 

 




 


Online HemlockKing

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2021, 02:15:08 PM »
Well done TIG. 
A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
Milton Friedman

Offline TxTIG

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2021, 02:19:47 PM »
Welcome to the Forum. That's an awesome history story you have there. Would enjoy hearing more about what you fly and where to, heck you have time before the mill arrives right?  ;D
The flying career has been good to me and I've done things I could have never afforded to do except for the job.  At the job before this one we would go to Europe every 6 weeks, I'd airline my wife to where we were going and have a paid vacation except for her meals.  Between Europe trips we'd go to Tamarindo Costa Rica where the boss had an estate and spend a week there.  The owner unfortunately ran into money problems and had to sell the airplane so that Job ended.  The outfit I work for now mainly goes to the Phoenix area, Lost Wages (Las Vegas), Houston, Kansas City and New Orleans.  The mill is still over a year out if everything is on schedule, have some folks at the airport already talking to me about cutting wood so hopefully I'll be busy once it gets here.  Gray airplane is the one I fly now.  Wife went with us on a test flight.  It's a Challenger 605 and the white one is the one we flew previously.  Boss is pretty smart as we sold the white one for over $2MM than he bought it for.


 


 


 

Online Southside

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2021, 03:09:32 PM »
Well I guess that beats flying a cargo plane out of Hong Kong full of rubber dog poop.  :D
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2021, 08:07:26 PM »
Pretty cool things you have done and have going on. Tell us a little more about the powder coating setup you did 👍

Offline TxTIG

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2021, 07:59:41 PM »
Pretty cool things you have done and have going on. Tell us a little more about the powder coating setup you did 👍
I started out just painting my metal work but as the temps dropped it took forever for items to dry.  I was also spending a lot on solvent to clean the gun + the smell and mess.  Started out with a basic powder gun from Redline and baked the parts in an old oven.  Pretty soon I was getting requests for large logos for gates and building decorations that could not be baked in a kitchen oven.  
Searched the internet for ideas on powder coating forums and made a 4 x 4 x 6 oven.  (about the biggest to economically use electric heaters).  When I started doing candies and illusion colors and more intricate pieces the Redline didn't cut it due to the inability to control the microamps and Kva accurately.  On multiple coats the powder wouldn't stick and I'd get areas of back ionization and faraday cage.  
Bought a better gun (GEMA) and was able to powdercoat everything that was giving me problems.  

Offline azmtnman

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Re: Coming full circle
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2021, 09:50:46 PM »
Well I guess that beats flying a cargo plane out of Hong Kong full of rubber dog poop.  :D
Negative Ghostrider! The pattern is full. :D :D :D :D
1983 LT 30, 1990 Kubota L3750DT, 2006 Polaris 500 EFI, '03 Dodge D2500 Cummins powered 4X4 long-bed crew cab, 1961 Ford backhoe, Stihl MS250, MS311 and MS661--I cut trees for my boss who was a Jewish carpenter!


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