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Author Topic: Took my mill to the flea market  (Read 1768 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Took my mill to the flea market
« on: September 09, 2019, 09:50:50 PM »
   I did a demo at our nearby airport for our USDA team on Saturday and decided to just leave it hooked up for my trip to our big local flea market the next day. I unloaded the tools and bands and just took one band to show how it worked. I did not take any logs or plan on doing any sawing although it would have been a good place for a show. I loaded 8 primitive benches and a handful of assorted wood cookies, crates and pieces to show and hopefully sell. I got a spot on the opposite side of the road from the main flea market but within a couple of feet of the main drag and highly visible. It, along with a couple of Lichtenburg engraved benches and slabs, was a great eye catcher and I had lots of people come over to look and talk. Lots wanted to talk about the Lictenburg work after they got over. Many wanted to know if I was selling the mill. I told most "Everything is for sale but if you buy this mill it will cost you enough I will have a new one just like it next week." (Actually I'd probably have moved up a model or two for a little wider cut. ;))

 I gave out a lot of business cards, sold a few walnut slabs and cookies and had several people who talked like they will call me in the near future - time will tell about that. One math teacher at our local HS was telling her friend about the time I brought the mill to the school and she took her class out to watch and we talked about how we used it to emphasize math usage in everyday use. I told her I had repeated my offer but our local school admin would not get off their duff to bring me back. She said she would go talk to them and help champion another visit. We will see. I enjoyed the last trip and would love to return.

  Anyway, taking the mill out in public seems to be great advertising tool. It is a natural eye-catcher and people love to see and talk about them and I was able to discuss the features and abilities. I am sure an actual sawing demo, where you can safely do it, is even better.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 08:45:47 AM »
   Just following up to see if others had any experience taking their mill out in public as advertising? If so please relate your experiences.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 10:13:58 AM »
I haven't yet and I'm interested in doing so.  So I'm watching this thread for ideas.  I've been asked to do a demo for a combined Forest Service and Agriculture Extension Service event but nothing definite.  
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 10:44:59 AM »
I have done several public demonstrations, usually for college/university settings, or for the Kansas Forest Service.  I dropped by HD one day, on the way home from a mobile appointment and parked well out in the lot (mill and truck are 50' long, doesn't fit in most spaces).  There was a small crowd around the mill when I came out a few minutes later.  Spent about 20 minutes talking and handing out cards/brochures.  Same thing happened when I met my wife for breakfast at Perkins one Saturday morning, before continuing on to a mobile appointment.  Unlike areas further east, seeing a portable sawmill on the road is quite unusual around here.

I have one coming up on October 9th for the KFS.  It will be about a 2 hour haul each way for me, north of Manhattan, Ks..  I am current president of the Kansas Forestry Association and we co-sponsor field days with KFS.  Turn out is usually 75-100 people.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 10:55:34 AM »
I am just a hobby guy, but our scout troop sponcers a winter camporee called camp Alaska in Feb. each year.  teams compete for awards, and we demo the mill, log splitter and make lump charcoal.  we also feature a particular ks tree with info and quiz the young men about their knowledge.  both leaders and scouts enjoy it.  We are always a favorite, with shotgun shooting a close second.



 

usual attendance 200 to 300.



 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2019, 11:38:29 AM »
I haven't yet and I'm interested in doing so.  So I'm watching this thread for ideas.  I've been asked to do a demo for a combined Forest Service and Agriculture Extension Service event but nothing definite.  
Ted,

  I would jump all over that. The hard part about the demos for me is getting the logs to the site then getting rid of the slabs and sawdust because of the extra trips involved. With a demo like you are describing the Sponsor should be able to provide the logs - the USDA folks did for me and even tailgunned for me. For scouts and schools and such they should provide the logs and do the clean up and you can leave them the lumber for their projects. The last one I did at the school I ended up removing the slabs and lumber. The sawdust just went over the hill.

@doc henderson - Such a demo and lumber for projects sounds like a great Eagle Scout project to me. Have you suggested that to any of your scouts? I am sure an enterprising young Eagle Scout candidate could come up with a structure needed by the community then find someone with logs, maybe from a tree service or such, and get a sawmiller to do a demo then use the lumber to build their end project.
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2019, 12:03:56 PM »
i have been involved directly with about 5 projects including my son Williams.



 

 

 



 

we make some 1/4 ich cuts then wood goes to the "branding iron station"  so everyone takes home a gift.  log splitter in back ground.  our town name is Ketchikan, Alaska.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2019, 02:05:50 PM »
I've found that around here, if I saw within sight of a road, some will stop to watch for a while, and some will want me to saw for them!

Roadside sawing can/will generate sawjobs!
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2019, 11:30:04 PM »
   Yeah, I have that happen but unfortunately I can't pick where to set up and am often on the back side of the customers hay field  out of sight of anyone else. A couple months back I sawed near a country road and had 5-6 guests who were friends of the customer stop by. All but one guy who was older than dirt actually helped and I never had to wait for someone to remove the boards as soon as they were cut. It was mostly 8' hemlock 2X4s followed by some wide 6/4 RO slabs. I really enjoyed that bunch. I keep business cards in my truck and a couple in my wallet and give them out. As long as it is friends of the customer there is usually not a problem although they probably do slow us down a bit and you really have to keep your eyes open for safety issues.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online Peter Drouin

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 06:59:59 AM »
I have done a bunch of fairs.


 

 

 

 

 
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 07:07:51 AM »
I did a fair with a friend who does chainsaw milling, for about 5 years.  Fun but too much work for the return.  Getting logs there, cleaning up were the hard issues. 

I like the idea of pulling the mill into a flea market but around here I'd be hard pressed to imagine just showing up and putting out a sign. Always on someone's property or if not, on the road, I'd feel I needed permission. 
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 08:23:45 AM »
Quote
I've found that around here, if I saw within sight of a road, some will stop to watch for a while, and some will want me to saw for them!

Roadside sawing can/will generate sawjobs!
x2, I do most of my sawing along side a state highway, and having neatly stacked and stickered lumber out front for sale is good advertising to. I do sometimes get motorcycles stopping in though, I haven't had one buy lumber yet. :D
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 08:55:08 AM »
Peter,

  I can see the hassle. For me to do a show if I provide the logs involves at least 3 trips. 1. Take the logs over and drop them off and return home. 2. Return with the mill and take it home after sawing. 3. Return and get the lumber and take it home. If I am lucky I can get the slabs on at the same time or there is a place I can leave them. For a sponsored show/demo if the sponsor brings the logs and takes the lumber all I have to do is bring the mill and take it home afterwards.

I did a fair with a friend who does chainsaw milling, for about 5 years.  Fun but too much work for the return.  Getting logs there, cleaning up were the hard issues.

I like the idea of pulling the mill into a flea market but around here I'd be hard pressed to imagine just showing up and putting out a sign. Always on someone's property or if not, on the road, I'd feel I needed permission.
TT,

   Sounds like you had a similar experience bringing logs and removing boards and slabs and cleanup.

    I don't understand the comment about showing up and putting out a sign? What is hard about that? The flea market owner is happy to get the lot fee and attention you bring. I brought some benches and small wood pieces for sale and stuck a price list on the side of my truck and plenty of business cards on the bench, along with the door signs on my truck, and mostly just gave out cards and talked and showed how the mill worked - I never cranked it, I just toggled the various hydraulics functions and sometimes turned the switch on and showed how the Simple Set worked for those who were a little more savvy than the average rubberneck.

   Sawing at the flea market may be possible but I'd have to pick the right spot so as not to bother the other vendors and be in a safe location. I may try to do a demo there if someone nearby has logs. They will get free sawing and I will get advertising. We have a young friend with logs close by but I don't think he has a good means to transport them and the residue.
Howard Green
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 12:38:43 PM »
I guess Im not familiar with flea markets. Would like to hear more about how the ones people are familiar with work. I mean, I know when I see one I can stop and go looking,  usually for old tools etc., but not in the context of being there with a sawmill.
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 01:49:00 PM »
TT,

   Don't know how they run flea markets in your area and I assume we are not talking about yard sales which are usually single or multiple families setting up at their home. Our flea markets are open air affairs in a big lot with plenty of parking. Many vendors have canopies they set up mostly for shade. If it rains most folks leave or just don't bother to come set up. Many more permanent vendors have box type trailer or trucks and often rent the same spot all summer. Others just assemble their crafts or clean out their garages and bring them to the flea market for better visibility. The flea market owners charge a fee -around here it is typically $10-$15 for a spot big enough for truck and/or a truck and trailer. Some flea markets charge a fee for shoppers to come visit, others just charge the sellers.

   Two weeks ago I went with my son to the town of Hillsville VA to a huge semi-annual flea market they have there on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. The town charges a permit fee of $35 or more based on the lot size to every vendor and there are thousands of vendors set up in multiple lots. The town makes a fortune on vendors coming from 4-5 states (Maybe more - I talked with one vendor I had seen there before who comes up from Ala) and from parking, etc. My son goes down and buys and sells guns and gun parts, military memorabilia, etc. My granddaughter goes down for a caramel apple, funnel cakes, donuts and chicken on a stick. :D I look at tools and look for ideas on wood products. I bought a factory Remington rifle case from a lady for $1 and five minutes later a gun dealer offered me $20 for it but I kept it as it fits my deer rifle. I found one guy selling Adirondack style chairs made from contractor wheelbarrow tubs. Not my thing but he had about sold out when I met him (I found his sister is from our town and had made my door signs for me recently - small world.) 

   Anyway, most of our flea markets have no problem allowing someone to bring a sawmill or similar piece of equipment to show off and the local crowd is a very good target audience for my kind of mobile sawing services.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 04:12:32 PM »
I have been asked to bring my mill to a local Fall Festival in a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I have to get some logs down there.  I hope it is cooler by then.  

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 06:00:05 PM »
TT,

   Don't know how they run flea markets in your area and I assume we are not talking about yard sales which are usually single or multiple families setting up at their home. Our flea markets are open air affairs in a big lot with plenty of parking. Many vendors have canopies they set up mostly for shade. If it rains most folks leave or just don't bother to come set up. Many more permanent vendors have box type trailer or trucks and often rent the same spot all summer. Others just assemble their crafts or clean out their garages and bring them to the flea market for better visibility. The flea market owners charge a fee -around here it is typically $10-$15 for a spot big enough for truck and/or a truck and trailer. Some flea markets charge a fee for shoppers to come visit, others just charge the sellers.

   Two weeks ago I went with my son to the town of Hillsville VA to a huge semi-annual flea market they have there on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. The town charges a permit fee of $35 or more based on the lot size to every vendor and there are thousands of vendors set up in multiple lots. The town makes a fortune on vendors coming from 4-5 states (Maybe more - I talked with one vendor I had seen there before who comes up from Ala) and from parking, etc. My son goes down and buys and sells guns and gun parts, military memorabilia, etc. My granddaughter goes down for a caramel apple, funnel cakes, donuts and chicken on a stick. :D I look at tools and look for ideas on wood products. I bought a factory Remington rifle case from a lady for $1 and five minutes later a gun dealer offered me $20 for it but I kept it as it fits my deer rifle. I found one guy selling Adirondack style chairs made from contractor wheelbarrow tubs. Not my thing but he had about sold out when I met him (I found his sister is from our town and had made my door signs for me recently - small world.)

   Anyway, most of our flea markets have no problem allowing someone to bring a sawmill or similar piece of equipment to show off and the local crowd is a very good target audience for my kind of mobile sawing services.
Thanks for the explanation. In my travels Ive seen these. Probably some in my state but not that I remember. Probably more common some places than others.
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 06:07:09 PM »
In some areas theyre called swap meets. 

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 09:27:43 PM »
I have seen one like that before. None common in this area. I have to travel an hour to find one of any size.
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2019, 07:20:09 AM »
TT,

   Don't know how they run flea markets in your area and I assume we are not talking about yard sales which are usually single or multiple families setting up at their home. Our flea markets are open air affairs in a big lot with plenty of parking. Many vendors have canopies they set up mostly for shade. If it rains most folks leave or just don't bother to come set up. Many more permanent vendors have box type trailer or trucks and often rent the same spot all summer. Others just assemble their crafts or clean out their garages and bring them to the flea market for better visibility. The flea market owners charge a fee -around here it is typically $10-$15 for a spot big enough for truck and/or a truck and trailer. Some flea markets charge a fee for shoppers to come visit, others just charge the sellers.

   Two weeks ago I went with my son to the town of Hillsville VA to a huge semi-annual flea market they have there on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. The town charges a permit fee of $35 or more based on the lot size to every vendor and there are thousands of vendors set up in multiple lots. The town makes a fortune on vendors coming from 4-5 states (Maybe more - I talked with one vendor I had seen there before who comes up from Ala) and from parking, etc. My son goes down and buys and sells guns and gun parts, military memorabilia, etc. My granddaughter goes down for a caramel apple, funnel cakes, donuts and chicken on a stick. :D I look at tools and look for ideas on wood products. I bought a factory Remington rifle case from a lady for $1 and five minutes later a gun dealer offered me $20 for it but I kept it as it fits my deer rifle. I found one guy selling Adirondack style chairs made from contractor wheelbarrow tubs. Not my thing but he had about sold out when I met him (I found his sister is from our town and had made my door signs for me recently - small world.)

   Anyway, most of our flea markets have no problem allowing someone to bring a sawmill or similar piece of equipment to show off and the local crowd is a very good target audience for my kind of mobile sawing services.
Thanks for the explanation. In my travels Ive seen these. Probably some in my state but not that I remember. Probably more common some places than others.
I am so smart with Google as my brain! https://www.connecticutmag.com/style-design/best-flea-markets-in-connecticut-for-rare-finds-great-bargains/article_cdb6b553-0cad-55ba-9850-61177b344928.html
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2019, 09:10:17 AM »
   I figured they were in every state in some form or fashion.They can be very profitable and fun. You can find good deals at them (and you can find real junk) but you need to know what you are looking at. A common trend showing around here is a sort of indoor flea market where the owner takes a big old empty building and divides it into booths and rents them. The seller sets up their own display and marks their wares and the owner of the market sells them and takes a commission (I think) for selling and sends the balance to the seller. Sometimes these places will accept items for sale on consignment. I know there is a TV program called Flea Market flip where they have a contest and contestants buy items and repurpose them into something else then sell them with the one with the most profit winning. 

   The outdoor Flea Markets here often have people selling bringing in big items like mowers and farm equipment and such. Gun and knives are big sellers around here with people often trading them for others. Some people make various crafts, some pretty tacky IMHO, but people buy them. Our flea markets are the place to go find tool handles and such as there are vendors with every handle imaginable. The large numbers of varied sellers attracts customers and sight-seers. BTW - dickering is almost mandatory and prices are always negotiable with trades entertained. :D It is real common for many of us to go to sell at a Flea market and come home with more than we left with.

   The atmosphere around our flea markets here encourages the kind of people who are often interested in buying rough wood and wood products or having their logs sawed into lumber. 
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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2019, 05:03:02 PM »
TT,

   Don't know how they run flea markets in your area and I assume we are not talking about yard sales which are usually single or multiple families setting up at their home. Our flea markets are open air affairs in a big lot with plenty of parking. Many vendors have canopies they set up mostly for shade. If it rains most folks leave or just don't bother to come set up. Many more permanent vendors have box type trailer or trucks and often rent the same spot all summer. Others just assemble their crafts or clean out their garages and bring them to the flea market for better visibility. The flea market owners charge a fee -around here it is typically $10-$15 for a spot big enough for truck and/or a truck and trailer. Some flea markets charge a fee for shoppers to come visit, others just charge the sellers.

   Two weeks ago I went with my son to the town of Hillsville VA to a huge semi-annual flea market they have there on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend. The town charges a permit fee of $35 or more based on the lot size to every vendor and there are thousands of vendors set up in multiple lots. The town makes a fortune on vendors coming from 4-5 states (Maybe more - I talked with one vendor I had seen there before who comes up from Ala) and from parking, etc. My son goes down and buys and sells guns and gun parts, military memorabilia, etc. My granddaughter goes down for a caramel apple, funnel cakes, donuts and chicken on a stick. :D I look at tools and look for ideas on wood products. I bought a factory Remington rifle case from a lady for $1 and five minutes later a gun dealer offered me $20 for it but I kept it as it fits my deer rifle. I found one guy selling Adirondack style chairs made from contractor wheelbarrow tubs. Not my thing but he had about sold out when I met him (I found his sister is from our town and had made my door signs for me recently - small world.)

   Anyway, most of our flea markets have no problem allowing someone to bring a sawmill or similar piece of equipment to show off and the local crowd is a very good target audience for my kind of mobile sawing services.
Thanks for the explanation. In my travels Ive seen these. Probably some in my state but not that I remember. Probably more common some places than others.
I am so smart with Google as my brain! https://www.connecticutmag.com/style-design/best-flea-markets-in-connecticut-for-rare-finds-great-bargains/article_cdb6b553-0cad-55ba-9850-61177b344928.html
Thanks for that. All are 1-2 hr away but one.  Looks like something to go to for entertainment sometime and to find out more.  
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide,  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2019, 08:49:31 PM »
TT,

   This may be a sign your area is open for a new high class Flea market and this is your opportunity to size the moment. I see a career change in to works here. Good luck and if you get rich send 5% to Jeff and half the rest to me. :D :D :D 
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2019, 11:25:02 PM »
Youre scaring my cat. 🙀
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide,  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Took my mill to the flea market
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2019, 11:09:49 AM »
   What does that mean? He won't listen to you? I've got news - he didn't listen to you before. My vet had a sign in her office "Dogs come when called. Cats say Leave a Message."

  I can see it now "Grand opening of the Mystic Connecticut Scardy Cat Flea Market. Come one - come all. Shop, sell and sightsee. Bring money."
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"


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