By Jacob Mooney
Just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, Sandy Crook has retired from his full time arborist business to spend more time with what he really enjoys, seeing timber turned into final products. With his full complement of Wood-Mizer sawmills and new MP360 planer/moulder, he can do everything in-house.
For 17 years, Sandy ran a successful arborist business in Scotland. Now he’s ready to settle down, and his version of ‘retirement’ is building his own house among the rolling green hills west of Edinburgh, while investing in more Wood-Mizer equipment.
“I had built up my range of equipment, forestry mulchers, chippers, grinders, stump grinders…but after reaching a certain age, it started to hurt, and bureaucracy kicked in as well.” Sandy laughs, reflecting on his arborist career. “It was just too much and it wasn’t enjoyable anymore. So I sold a lot of my equipment and instead bought sawmills to focus on doing what I enjoy.”
Sandy has a LT40 portable sawmill, plus a WM1000 wide capacity sawmill, which was the first of its kind in Scotland. “The WM1000 is for breaking down large timber to make table tops and furniture,” Sandy shares. “And I have an LT40 that’s mobile to be able to go onsite, whether for contract milling or just milling for myself. And just recently I’ve bought a MP360 Planer/Moulder from Wood-Mizer.”
The MP360 planes and moulds boards on all four sides at once - a necessary step in producing finished wood products from rough sawn lumber. This ability to plane and mould timber was previously missing from Sandy’s workshop. “I was starting to make tables, and I had customers looking for tongue-in-groove and such,” Sandy shares. “I looked around and did a lot of research on the internet, and the MP360 covered everything - all the bases I needed.”
One of the main reasons that Sandy was attracted to the MP360 was for its ease of use and its flexibility to handle different kinds of moulding projects in large or small quantities. “I don’t want to spend half a day adjusting the machine to do half an hour’s cutting,” Sandy says. “With the MP360, I can be moulding big timber one minute, and then be making tongue-in-groove the next. It’s a ten minute job to switch out a couple of knives. Its ease of use and compactness make it a very user-friendly machine.”
Now with his planer/moulder in place in the workshop, he can handle just about any custom timber projects that come his way. “Customers come into the yard and pick a log,” Sandy says. “I personally felled them all, so I know the history of each one. I put it on the WM1000, and break it down into cants. Then I resaw it on the LT40, and finally I put it through the planer/moulder to their specification. By having it all in-house, the MP360 planer/moulder will help me diversify into a much larger market. I fell trees and I produce a finished product.”
Sandy is planning to build a house next to his current workshop and equipment barn. The MP360 will be put to good use throughout the build.
“I’m also going to be building a house on site, so I can do my own design, I can do my own skirting boards [baseboards] and basically the whole interior design,” Sandy shares. “My house is going to be unique inside. Just about everything is going to be wood - tables, skirting boards, railings, staircases. And I have a lot of elm, so probably elm floorboards. Running my tree surgeon [arborist] business I’ve managed to collect some unique hardwoods, which I intend to use the WM1000 to break down, plus using the LT40 and MP360 moulder/planer.”
Categories: Success Stories, Dream Projects, Custom Sawing
Tags: Headrig, LT40, Sawmill, WM1000, BMS500, MP360, Planer/Moulders