Sawmill Open Again

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Peanut

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This mill is down the road from my house. a neighbor built and ran it during the 80's, into the 90's then went out of business. Around 2010 his son opened it for a few months. I did a lot of electrical patching and repairing for him to get it running. I really disliked doing baling wire and duct tape repair work but the son had no capital for this venture. But we'd known each other since we were kids... what the heck, so I helped him out.

A few weeks ago a guy named "Bear" bought the property and opened up a sawmill again. He has some capital, at least the electrical work was all redone properly, modern safety precautions added. He started cutting last Friday.

I went down for a visit today, checked things out. They had a big D-6 cat redoing truck lanes and reshaping parts of the property. This afternoon they started cutting 8x8 tulip poplar beams.

Saw Mill 010821 (1) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (2) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (3) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (4) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (5) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (6) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (7) sm.JPGSaw Mill 010821 (8) sm.JPG
 

Peanut

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I'm glad to see someone running it, a good thing. Funny, the "son" I mentioned above stopped by while I was there. I hadn't seen him since he went out of business. He was also happy to see it running again.

He walked up to shake my hand and I said "damn, we got old!" He laughed. We had a hay hauling business when we were teenagers, he didn't even have a drivers license. There were 4 of us, I was the only one with a license. We'd contract with farmers to move hay from the field to their barns (square bales).
 
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elkhound

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i drive by a place ever so often...its only a field now being mowed and in corner by the road theres a long little hump,barely visible.its where the old guy had mill set up.it was an old O Frick sawmill. he was a one man show but i bought lumber from him back in early 80's. hes dead and gone and i wonder how many even think or know about the mill even being there.

i was out with my dad awhile back and he pointed a place out to me.its a concrete section on a crek. he said the guy had a small grist mill set up there. he told about my great grandfather carrying a sack of corn or wheat on his back walking to it and carrying it back as well. he died in 1961 (born in 1876 or 78)and i didnt get to meet him. i got to meet and actually be around 3 of my great grandparents till i was double digit age and more.
 

angie_nrs

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We used to have lots of small mills around our area. We still have some, but many have gone under. Although, now it seems would be an excellent time to get a mill back on track. We went to Home Depot recently and they want around $26 for a single board of plywood. :oops: We got the same thing a couple years ago for around $7 for inside walls on a barn. Wow! Am I ever glad we did that project sooner rather than later. I hear lumber prices are crazy high now too.

I wish the best of luck to your friends Peanut. Running a mill is no easy task, but hopefully it will be worth it to them.
 

hiwall

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The mill near our place has been in business for about a hundred years in the same family. Nice people. They were getting to the point of closing down a couple years ago because they were basically just making enough for wages. This year they are extremely busy. Constant running of the mill with log trucks delivering and trucks hauling away sawed lumber. I hope this will keep them them going for a while. Makes me smile when I see the full trucks going past.
 

Meerkat

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I'm glad to see someone running it, a good thing. Funny, the "son" I mentioned above stopped by while I was there. I hadn't seen him since he went out of business. He was also happy to see it running again.

He walked up to shake my hand and I said "damn, we got old!" He laughed. We had a hay hauling business when we were teenagers, he didn't even have a drivers license. There were 4 of us, I was the only one with a license. We'd contract with farmers to move hay from the field to their barns (square bales).
Those were the days my friend.:thumbs::dancing:
 

Meerkat

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i drive by a place ever so often...its only a field now being mowed and in corner by the road theres a long little hump,barely visible.its where the old guy had mill set up.it was an old O Frick sawmill. he was a one man show but i bought lumber from him back in early 80's. hes dead and gone and i wonder how many even think or know about the mill even being there.

i was out with my dad awhile back and he pointed a place out to me.its a concrete section on a crek. he said the guy had a small grist mill set up there. he told about my great grandfather carrying a sack of corn or wheat on his back walking to it and carrying it back as well. he died in 1961 (born in 1876 or 78)and i didnt get to meet him. i got to meet and actually be around 3 of my great grandparents till i was double digit age and more.
My granddad was born in mid 1800s. His oldest daughter died week before 100th BDay about 25 yr ago.
We had a mill 'Cockrans Mill' in N. Ga, bootlegg lived on same dirt road.
 

elkhound

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My granddad was born in mid 1800s. His oldest daughter died week before 100th BDay about 25 yr ago.
We had a mill 'Cockrans Mill' in N. Ga, bootlegg lived on same dirt road.

my grandmother just died in july at 99years old....i been lucky...3 of my grandparents lived into their 90's.
 

phideaux

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I love it when a small business thrives.

About 30 minutes from my house is 2 sawmills ,side by side , in Amish country.
I love just stopping and talking to those guys .
I get lots of drops from them for firewood.

They run year round .

Jim
 

Peanut

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I have a cousin, for many years he and his brother operated their dads logging business. He then sold out to his brother and switched to a full time cattle operation.

But, he bought a large portable sawmill. His brother did a little swamp logging from time to time and cut a lot of cypress. He'd buy the cypress logs and turn them into cypress siding for homes. He did well..

The portable sawmill was a handy thing. He didn't even have to haul the logs. His brother would skid the logs out to a loading ground where they were cut then hauled out on flatbeds as siding.
 
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Alaskajohn

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The lumber market should be wide open with all the shortages. If they can keep cost in check and produce a good product, they should do well.
 

Caribou

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Neighbour has a sawmill. It is a small one that will only deal with one log in the system at a time. Perhaps I can have him cut some lumber for me next summer. Lumber prices are rather high now.
 

Bacpacker

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That's a great thing to see. With all the issues with lumber right now, hopefully we'll see more of that.

DH has even become enamored with the idea of a portable sawmill....
I'm giving serious thought to getting a smaller Wood Miser. But I want one that will do larger diameter logs. My parents place has LARGE tulip poplars on a good 2 acres. Some I'm sure are 30" or more at the stump. They were good size when we moved there in 1968. It would be worth the cost of the mill and a barn to store the lumber in to cut a timber frame home and large timber frame barn from.

Most of the older circular mills around here are no longer running. Most of the operators got old and died off, no one picked it up from them. One old guy lived up the road when I was growing up. He'd sell us 1000 board feet for $75.
 

Peanut

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Speaking of sawmills! I stopped by my uncle's chicken houses. His son had set up a one man sawmill beside it. I didn't know, no one tells me anything.

He said he could cut 23" diameter logs. I sold him a couple red oak logs for the next time he has an order and needs some. In fact it may be for me, just pay him for milling. I have a corral to repair and I need a couple of stalls in my pole barn for livestock.

Also, he asked me if I could help him out from time to time. He has a highschool kid to works 3 afternoons a week (unreliable). Well, it’ll give me something to do this winter. My cousin is also a contractor, is currently building several houses and can't be there all the time.

So I told him to call when he needs help. Sometimes he needs someone there when people pick up orders or drop off a load of logs. Won't be the first time I've unloaded a log truck.

 Saw mill 1 a.JPG Saw mill 3 a.JPG
 
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Peanut

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I stopped by the sawmill. I needed some slats. For those who may not know, slats are odd strips of wood cut from the edges of lumber. They are usually turned into chipper wood. But this sawmill doesn't have a chipper yet. They are usually free but I always offer to pay the sawmill guy something.

All I needed were a few pieces to make a temporary partition in my pole barn. To keep the horses and the calf separate this winter allowing all of them to eat hay under a roof.

"Bear" the boss told me to get boards from the "neighbors pile". He has a stack of boards, ea are 4" to 12" wide and 12ft long. These boards are one step above slats, decent boards but with bad edges or ends. Most are oak, some poplar, hickory and assorted.

He wouldn't even let me pay something, said "This is just for my neighbors" "anytime you need a few boards come and get them here." Ain't gonna have to tell me twice!

So I loaded 15 boards, half 8-10" wide, the rest 4-5". Enough for my partitions and a few replacement boards for the corral, might make a couple feed troughs.

I need to go back for some of the end pieces from beams. Some were 16"x16". They make great bracing when working on large equipment.

The first pic is the neighbors stack at the sawmill. The last pic is in my barn. Lets see, just had the roof on the shop replaced so I have 30 pieces of quality used tin 13ft long... And now have some free lumber, gonna have to think on this a while.

Barn lumber 4a .JPG


Barn lumber 1a .JPGBarn lumber 2a .JPGBarn lumber 3a .JPG

Barn stack 1a .JPG
 

Spikedriver

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There isn't much for sawmills in my area. (Iowa doesn't have very many trees) My dad's farm has a ton of old maple trees and a lot of them need to be cleared out. I wish I could get somebody to come in and cut them, the family would probably just let them have the wood. But soft maple isn't good for much, not many people would want it. When we cut one down, we usually just saw it into chunks and give it away for bonfires and campfire wood...
 

Peanut

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A sawmill is handy to have as a neighbor. My whole life there has been a mill a couple miles down the road. If you farm you always need a few boards for this or that.

When this guy opened up I made a point to stop and be neighborly. Even turned him onto a track of timber that can't be seen from any road and told him who owned it... Now I have lumber for projects.
 
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