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.
Inspired by a steam engine design in his grandfather’s mechanic’s book from 1900, Bob Harbrige decided to build a fully-functioning, wooden air engine. Using his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, Bob sawed 30 board feet of hickory, white oak and black cherry for the 39” x 20” x 19” machine. “The engine has been used to run a small generator powering LED lights,” said Bob. “It has a three inch bore and a six inch stroke and works on approximately four psi of air pressure created by a vacuum.” The intricate work that went into the four month project makes plenty of use out of quarter sawn materials from Bob’s Wood-Mizer sawmill.
When traveling abroad, Bob Brothen was inspired to bring something back. “On a visit to my grandfather’s home in Norway I saw buildings constructed by my great grandfather in the 1880’s. The ability to saw lumber to build in that style inspired us to plan a building that would emulate his work.” With the use of his Wood-Mizer LT10, and some help from his brother and son, Bob created his 924 square foot barn over the course of one fall and two summers. Bob was sure to stay true to his inspired design. “We used a type of timber frame construction, board and batten siding, extended floor joists, dormers, and wide board flooring similar to what my great grandfather might have done. The trim and color is old Norway inspired. I felt that we produced something that will last not only because of the solid wood construction but because its unique character will be worth preserving,” said Bob. “In a world where so much is manufactured and mass produced, a unique building using unique materials always seems to generate interest.” For this project, Bob, his son, and his brother, were able to cut 6,000 board feet of pine and poplar in a little over 60 hours, spread over five weekends. “When we purchased the LT10 sawmill, we planned to saw only specialty lumber for small projects. We soon learned that our Wood-Mizer has the capability to go well beyond our initial expectations.”
“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.”
Looking for a place to live in Alaska while working for the Kingdom Air Corps Aviation Ministry, Harry Lippert built his own cabin with help from his Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic. With it, he sawed more than 5,500 board feet of white spruce for the 18’ x 28’ cabin in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska. Harry spent two summers building his two-story 756-square-foot cabin with a 180-square-foot deck overlooking the Talkeetna Mountain Range. Harry estimates he was able to save approximately $5,000 by sawing 95% of the lumber needed for his cabin on his LT40 Hydraulic. “I am very satisfied with the way the cabin turned out, and with the way it looks,” said Harry. When asked which feature of the LT40 Hydraulic helped the most with this project, Harry answered, “Just having the ability to cut lumber on site was a big help.”
Thoughts of an expanding family had the walls closing in on Ross and Joslin Bennett of New Hampshire. Realizing their current space wasn’t large enough for any new additions to their family, the Bennetts started outlining a plan for building themselves a new, more family friendly home. The plans called for a 1,350-square-foot, two-story home built on a 700-square-foot unfinished basement. During the build, approximately 20,000 board feet of eastern white pine was cut with their Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill. “Even though this was one of Wood-Mizer’s smaller models, it was amazing what just the two of us were able to accomplish,” said Ross. Sawing over 75% of the wood used in the build, the couple estimated their savings from using their Wood-Mizer at approximately $25,000. Two years after the start of the project, and just one week before Joslin’s due date, the house was finally completed. When asked about the completion of their home, the couple responded, “The feeling of bringing our new daughter into the home we built for her was breathtaking.”
During the course of three and a half years, Richard and Sharon Maki used their Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill to expand a 600-square-foot cabin into a beautiful 2,100-square-foot family home."We needed a place to live, as our daughter, husband and two boys moved to Montana and were living with us. We decided everyone needed more space," said Richard. With the exception of the stairway support fir, all of the wood used for the cabin was taken from standing, dead trees on the Maki's property. "This project was quite an undertaking, but [our LT15] performed extremely well." After seeing their finished cabin, Richard and Sharon said, "It was a great feeling of accomplishment. We are happy to have a unique and rustic home to live in."
Gary Allison used his Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill to find an excellent use of space on his property as well as ause for logs that would’ve otherwise gone to waste. As Gary’s family expanded, his house was becoming a little too small for entertaining and hosting family gatherings. Wife his wife’s encouragement, they decided to create an outdoor space for the whole family to spent time together. The resulting project is a roomy 14’ x 21’ gazebo. All 1,750 board feet of the lumber Gary needed came from deodar cedar logs he salvaged from an urban forest. These logs were destined for the landfill, but Gary was able to use his Wood-Mizer LT40 to transform them into beautiful lumber for the posts, rafters, headers, railing, ballisters, and roof decking. Because of the sawmill’s accuracy of cut and minimal waste, he was able to maximize the amount of wood he yielded from the logs and estimated he saved $3,500 by using his Wood-Mizer sawmill. “I was relieved to have it done,” said Gary. “I’m happy it came together as I envisioned it.”
With the help of his two sons and his Wood-Mizer LT70 mill, Craig Forman converted his current porch into a larger, (16' x 24') more usable space. The rafters were extended for the roof using oak boards to sandwich the original beam, eliminating the need for a post in the middle of the new porch. Red cedar was used for the beautiful new railings around the porch and cedar was also used for the uprights. The rafters, beams and floor joists were all made from southern yellow pine, and slabs of cedar and beech were cut to make the new benches. Approximately 1,400 board feet was cut with the Wood-Mizer during the week-long project. Craig said he could not put a price on how much he saved by using his Wood-Mizer mill, but “without my Wood-Mizer, I could not get the cedar lumber. Everything except 5/4 deck boards were cut on the mill.” With the addition of his great grandmother’s rocking chair and his grandparents' leather bottom straight back chairs, the new porch has finally become the comfortable family outdoor space that he had imagined. “It’s a nice feeling to be able to provide something beautiful and functional for my family,” Craig said.