After semi-retiring from fine furniture making, Gregg Turk decided to try out a new job: being Santa. However, when children saw Gregg’s Santa persona, they would ask, “Santa, where is your sleigh?” With help from his LT40, Gregg sawed 100% of the yellow and tulip poplar needed for Santa’s sleigh. Gregg worked on building the sleigh eight to ten hours a day and spent his evening designing the parts he would build next. Gregg considers his sleigh the culmination of more than 35 years of woodworking and the best project he has ever undertaken. His Wood-Mizer sawmill allowed him to work with high grade material that he never could have purchased at a lumber yard and gave him the flexibility he need in sizing his material. As Gregg says, “The combination of being a woodworker, a Santa, and owning a Wood-Mizer sawmill allows you to be able to build anything you can imagine!”
"When I retired, I needed a project to satisfy my creative spirit and to keep me physically active,” said Mike. “All my life I wanted to build my own home, and as I always loved construction, and woodwork in particular, this was the perfect dream project." It took more than three years for Mike Collier to build his 2,800-square-foot dream home. "I cut 80% of the wood which equated to more than 25,000 board feet for this project," said Mike. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Mike estimated saving around $40,000 on lumber while using mostly local wood to build his water front, lodge-style home on Gambier Island near Vancouver. "Given that the island was only boat accessible, I have a great feeling of accomplishment that I was able to do this," said Mike. "The house could only be built because of my Wood-Mizer sawmill."
Wanting to build something special for his family, Nicholas Spooner was hired to construct a barn for his brother Chris and wife Aimee after they bought a new home in Piermont, New Hampshire. "Chris wanted to incorporate lumber from all three of the properties he owned to build this project," said Nicholas. "The white pine sideing and ash pegs were harvested from his property in Piermont where the barn was to be built. The one long, red pine post our late grandfather planted, completed the requirement for property number two." The third piece was from Chris and Nicholas Spooner's grandmother's estate, a perfect cherry tree for spline joints in the building. Using his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic sawmill, Nicholas sawed approximately 33,000 board feet of lumber for the new barn. After a few years of construction, the 3,960-square-foot structure was completed. Nicholas estimated he saved $18,000 on the project and 99% of the wood needed for the barn was sawed on his Wood-Mizer sawmill. On August 25, 2012, a plaque to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spooner's Grandfather's birth was mounted to the red pine he had planted and the building was dedicated to him. "Thanks to all who helped make my dreams a reality," said Nicholas. "I couldn't have done it without all of your support and family spirit."
David Weyler is in the process of starting his own winery in Kentucky, and after three months of work and an LT28 sawmill, he was able to add to that goal with a wine bar pavilion constructed from cedar timber frame. He says, “People are coming from all over…They love it!” The rock fireplace has a built-in firewood stacking area and a grill, and also doubles as a retaining wall. Large flagstones give the floor an extra special look, and the bar is built from 80 board feet of hickory. David estimates he saved $20,000 by sawing the 1,000 board feet of lumber needed for the pavilion. “The Wood-Mizer purchase was hands down the best investment we made in our farm. It has returned the original investment over six times in six years and this is without doing any commercial sawing. We have rebuilt several barns, two houses, a garage, fences, and recently the wine pavilion. It has enabled us to improve the value of our assets as well as create a profitable business off our land without doing traditional farming.”
At age 65, Richard Cloutier's carpentry workshop is the project of his lifetime. Richard used his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic to cut 100% of the white pine needed for the workshop. In just eight weeks, with help from family, Richard completed the 30' x 20' workshop with 12' x 30' side additions for a total of 920 square feet. Richard's LT40 Hydraulic gave him the ability to create two 10' x 12' x 20' beams, which he used to finish the inside of the shop along with a tongue and groove of pine boards for wall finishing. Richard estimates he saved $20,000 by sawing the 5,000 board feet of white pine on his LT40 Hydraulic. In addition to his personal creativity, Richard says his inspiration came from magazines, including past winners of the Personal Best Contest in The Wood-Mizer Way. It is fitting that his lifetime project may also inspire other Wood-Mizer owners to start their own dream projects.
With his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic, Justin Metcalf’s design-as-you-go grist mill became a reality. "This has been a dream since I was a boy,” said Justin. “Grist mills have always been a great interest to me, as I am a 4th generation miller.” The grist mill was created with 8,500 board feet of hemlock to make up the framing, floors, siding, trim, beams, and grinding mill parts. Additionally, 600 feet of cypress was used to construct the water wheel, 400 board feet of yellow locust adding to the beams, exterior stairs, door locks and latches, and 500 board feet of chestnut oak for the water wheel carriage. Justin sawed 95% of the 10,000 board feet of lumber needed for the project on his Wood-Mizer sawmill. “This would not have been possible, it would not exist, if not for my sawmill,” said Justin. “My sawmill made it possible to fulfill a dream!”
Wanting a cabin on her property, Joe Vardenega’s mother-in-law used a roll of string, stakes and measuring tape to lay out the building plans. “My mother-in-law asked me to draw up the plan as she explained and we [began] working on the cabin throughout the summer and on the weekend as we had time,” said Joe. Before the project could resume in the spring with the start of good weather, Joe’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. “We worked all-hands-on-deck, but she passed away five short weeks after her diagnosis,” said Joe. In just one year’s time and only a few months after his mother-in-law’s passing, the project was finished. Joe used the word “bittersweet” to describe the feeling of seeing the finished cabin. Joe estimated that by using his Wood-Mizer LT35, he saved close to $10,000 and was able to cut more than 90% of the 4,000 board feet of ponderosa pine and juniper needed for the project. The end result was a picture perfect, 392-square-foot, 14’ x 20’ cabin, complete with a loft and covered porch. “Unfortunately [my mother-in-law] did not get to see the finished product,” said Joe. The family currently enjoys spending time in the cabin and will continue to honor it in her memory for years to come.
"My main reason for buying a Wood-Mizer was to build a hunting cabin. However, I became side-tracked and built a playhouse, barn, chicken coops, picnic tables, benches, tomato stakes and more," said Warren Candee. Once Warren was able to use his lumber for residential structure building, he decided it was time to build that hunting cabin he always wanted. With his LT40 Hydraulic, two years and 22,000 board feet later, Warren completed his cabin. "I am amazed! The project turned out so much better than I expected. With the Wood-Mizer on site, the jobs involved were easier than I had expected, and overall, more efficient," he said.
"I enjoy making maple syrup but it can be difficult when trying to do it entirely outside,” said Robert Gondar. “I had always wanted a comfortable and warm sugarhouse and with a little prodding from my grandchildren, the dream turned into a reality.” With his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Robert sawed 100% of the 3,734 board feet needed for the 512-square-foot sugarhouse. Robert estimated saving $2,240 by sawing all the tamarac, spruce, fir, and eastern white cedar for the project. “It was a true sense of accomplishment that wouldn't have been affordable without having my own wood lot and a Wood-Mizer,” he said. “I was finally able to boil my sap from an outdoor barrel evaporator to a nice and comfortable building. Many friends and neighbors joined me during the sap season to make it an enjoyable and tasty winter."
Wanting to remodel his 100-year-old kitchen, Chris Becker used his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic to saw 800 board feet of lumber and estimated he saved $10,000 by sawing his own lumber. The type of wood that Chris used for the flooring in the kitchen included black walnut, English walnut, cherry, hard maple, soft maple, hickory, spalted copper beech, and white oak. The upper cabinet boxes and shelves are made out of poplar. The faces of the cabinets and the drawers were quarter sawn copper beech. The framing lumber for the breakfast bar was spruce. Rough cut pine, spruce and hemlock were used in the framing and siding to modify a window and two doorways. The breakfast bar top was made from a live edge slab of catsura. After eight months of remodeling, Chris reflected on the project, “An absolute JOY! Everything came together perfectly!” Chris not only used his LT40 Hydraulic to mill the lumber, but also to straighten the edges of the boards. He utilized his mill to flatten out the live edge slab he used for his breakfast bar before running it through a drum sander. Chris said, “Being able to trim a few boards at a time saved a lot of time and decreased the waste.”
“I always wanted a nice bed for my daughter,” said Hank Carroll. “I thought castles and a fairy tale theme would be perfect.” Using his Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill, Hank sawed 100% of the 100 board feet of reclaimed heart pine for the 60” x 80” Rapunzel Castle Bed. Hank said his mill was most helpful in, “Being able to custom cut a beam with heave figure to bring out the best grain pattern in the wood.” To create the one-of-a-kind bed, Hank used a variety of construction methods such as traditional joinery, mortise and tenon, and hand carving with jigs and fixtures for some of the round corner posts. Hank estimates he saved close to 50% of the cost of materials by milling his own lumber for the project. “The bed is one of my favorite furniture pieces,” said Hank. “It was very satisfying to find a reclaimed figured heart pine beam and cut it to maximize the figure’s impact in the finished piece.”
When several tornadoes came through Alabama, it left a trail of downed trees. Not wanting to see this resource go to waste, Robin Graham purchased a Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill and began milling the logs into usable lumber. Two years after milling the wood to dry, Robin started construction on a boathouse using about 3,600 board feet of white oaks, cedar and cherry. In eight months, Robin had built a boathouse measuring 32’ x 30’ with an 18’ x 20’ upper deck and 140’ of walkways and stairs leading to the water. Robin estimated he saved about $20,000 by using his LT15. “Being able to design the boathouse, then cut, mill, and prepare the wood has provided a great sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment,” said Robin.