Wood Glote, I love free wood...

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Project by HalDougherty posted 12-29-2010 10:37 PM 3052 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s not high quality wood, and it wasn’t free… But, I’m not going to waste a resource. I removed a bag of drywall screws that were holding everything together. Several 1×4’s, and a few 1×6’s plus 3 sheets of 1/4” construction grade plywood and a big 2×4 pine pallet were protecting my new saw! I’m going to put this lumber in my lumber shed to use for building a solar kiln.

This has been both a great month and a terrible month. I have to replace a heat pump, a transmission in my vehicle, and several other unplanned bills. I’ve been working for a long time to get a sawmill to mill my own gunstock blanks and other high quailty walnut, maple and cherry lumber. I got the Timberking 1220 manual mill for several reasons. It was less than 1/2 the price of the automatic mills. It might be a cheeper mill, but it’s got a 33” throat and the blade opening is 28.5”. The 25 HP engine should make it easy to cut big slabs for tables and benches. If I’d spent more money and bought the bigger mill, I would have to be in the lumber business 100%. I can spend 1/4 of my time making lumber for my products and home projects and won’t feel too bad letting the mill sit the rest of the time.

I’m parked under one of the big sugar maples in my yard. Tomorrow I’m hooking a big rope around a limb and hoisting the sawmill head and driving the base out from under it, just like hanging a horse thief back in the old west. When I buy a bigger mill, I hope to have enough money to afford a fork lift of some kind for moving logs, lumber and unloading my sawmills! Right now I’m just getting along as best I can.

My shop and house are in the background. One reason I bought the mill is to make poplar siding to replace the rotten siding that’s on it now. I don’t want plastic siding. This old farmhouse was built almost 100 years ago and at the time it was built it was a showplace. It was built by Dr. A.D. Miller and inside the home has lots of deluxe features. 10’ ceilings, french doors leading to the dining room, a built in china cabinet in the dining room, 4 huge walk in closets in the upstairs bedrooms, all hardwood trim, hardwood floors and it was wired for electricity when it was built. It was allowed to run down and I hope to restore it to the original beauty it had when it was built. This springs project is to make enough siding to cover the house from poplar logs. Next year’s project is to make flooring. It will take 3200 bft of flooring to replace all the floors. I started refinishing them several years ago, but they were in such poor shape, I stopped. On the back side of the property, there are several big white oaks that will make great quarter sawn floors. If you’ve got some walnut, cherry or maple logs that are cluttering up your place, bring ‘em down! I’ll find some place to put them!

-- Hal, Tennessee

12 comments so far

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 12-29-2010 10:46 PM

Hal, you’ve got the right idea. “Honey, yeah I’ll put new siding on the house for ya. Let me go pick up a sawmill, then I’ll get right on it.”. WW Rule #1 “Each significant projects requires a significant tool.”. Nice… :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 2999 days

#2 posted 12-29-2010 11:02 PM

Hal, CONGRATS on the new saw mill AND the wood!

Rance, that is how I got a new chop saw. “Sure darlin’, I’ll put new base boards in the living room!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2801 days

#3 posted 12-29-2010 11:13 PM

Cool move on the sawmill! :) I agree with you, wood siding is WAYYY better than vinyl. I tore the vinyl off of my house- actually it was aluminum, and then repainted the orignal clapboards that were in great shape and had no paint left on it so no scraping was needed. :) One day I will fix the soffi and fascia too. And get new windows.. and…...............

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 12-29-2010 11:14 PM

Congrats on the new mill. I have no doubt it will be one of your best investments.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 2970 days

#5 posted 12-30-2010 01:36 AM

Now, you’re not supposed to be more excited about the packaging than the saw, ya know :)

hahaha, hope that saw does good things for you!

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View STL's profile


68 posts in 2795 days

#6 posted 12-30-2010 04:06 AM

Congratulations Hal! I’m glad it has arrived-you’ll be sawing before you know it! That’s a beautiful house, too.

There’s nothing like sawing in the wintertime to get your blood pumping-I love it! Nice bonus with the crate lumber, too! What a way to start off the new year!

-- Dan Siggers, Alabama,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#7 posted 12-30-2010 05:38 AM

Looks good from here Hal. Too bad yoiu aren’t a bit closer. I have some maple that looks like it is dying form Mt St. Helens ash problems. One of the neighbors who is in the biz told me it isn’t worth hauling to the mill right now. sounds like you have your work cut out for you:-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#8 posted 12-30-2010 05:41 AM

BTW. You can get forks for a small farm style tractor. That would be handy for bringing the logs in too.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 12-30-2010 11:58 AM

The only reason I want the new siding is…. I’M FREEZING! It was 19 degrees here last night and the wind is whistling through the house. The only thing between me and the weather is 1” of rotten poplar siding, something that was supposed to be insulation way back in 1911, some lathing and some plaster. Nope, no drywall here. You screw anything in the wall and apes or kids can swing from it without anything getting loose. Next winter I’m going to have the walls full of insulation, tyvek home wrap and new siding. I may have to worry about radon gas, carbon monoxide, or something else, but I won’t have to sleep in a sleeping bag to keep my feet warm. The lowest contractors estimate to paint this house was $4500. And then I’d have just rotten siding with pretty paint for 6 months or so. The estimates to replace the siding with new wood siding was between 20,000 and 30,000 depending on the type of wood, finish and who was doing the estimate. Buying a sawmill and a truck load of logs will be much cheeper. Tomorrows task is to finish assembling the mill, test it and build a jig to raise up one edge 1/2” so I can make tapered siding. Oh, That’s my afternoon task. I’m going deer hunting in the morning.

Rivergirl, drive to Tennessee in a few months and I’ll fix you up with some slabs for your projects. My new mill is 33 1/2” between the supports and the saw opening is 28 1/2” so I’ll be making some big slabs too.

TopamaxSurvivor, my mill is portable, but not that portable… LOL I checked the map for your location and I’d love to come out and mill some big leaf maple. As for the price of maple being down at the mill and not worth anything, that’s because the furniture industry is gone. Like Elvis, it’s left the building and won’t be back anytime soon. Maple still worth everything it always has been for your own use. I’m sure there’s a portable sawmill near you that you could hire for not a lot of money to cut up some of your trees. Around here the usual charge is $250 a thousand. I measure the worth of my wood by what the products I make from them will bring. So, one rustic bench or two gunstocks pays for 1000 bft of lumber. I did a quick search for quilted maple on e-bay and quickly found one gunstock blank on a buy it now of $425. It’s beautiful, what kind of maple do you have on your property? I’m searching for UGLY logs. You know the kind with twisted trunks, or knots, or gnarly bumps all over them. The kind loggers leave in the woods! Or even the beatle eaten logs with black streaks all through it. Ambrosia maple makes fantastic gunstocks. It looks like a natural desert camo.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#10 posted 12-31-2010 12:01 AM

We call it big leaf, but I do not know the specific name. There are a lot of varieties of maple. A friend of mine who built muzzle loading rifles for a living told me the maple here was too soft for stocks. I burned cords of it back in the 80s before I was really had time to pursue woodworking. I have always been interested, but it was too low on my totem pole until many of the other things have gone away for various reasons. One thing for sure, if I live to to be 150, I’ll never run out of interesting things to pursue :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3200 days

#11 posted 12-31-2010 01:16 AM

Big leaf maple is softer than sugar maple, but it’s still as hard as walnut or cherry. A lot of curly maple is soft maple and it makes beautiful gunstocks. I wish I had a lot of it.

Have you seen the movie “Bucket List”? Make a list of things you want to do and start doing them. One of my major goals was to sail across the Atlantic ocean and in 2001, I helped sail a 30’ sailboat from Boston to the Azores. My next goal is to do it again in my boat.

I got the sawmill off the trailer, and the first two sections fitted. Now I have to move it from under the maple tree to my back yard where I have the log deck set up. I’m impressed with the quality of the mill’s construction and the overall design. Tomorrow is another day and it should be set up and sawing logs.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#12 posted 12-31-2010 01:58 AM

No, I haven’t seen it. Is it a good one? The biggest issue is migraine control; i work form there :-(( My gotta do list is pretty well done, I just have too many interests; everything between astronomy to woodworking ;-))

I am not sure why Ted said it was too soft to make good stocks. Maybe because of the petite wrists and fore ends on many ML rifles?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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