Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wood-Mizer Announces New Dealer in Florida

Pro Sawyer Dealer Chad Cordwin (left) with Wood-Mizer National Sales Manager Dave Mann.
Wood-Mizer is pleased to announce the opening of a new sales center for small mills located in Reddick, Florida. Cordwin Custom Sawmill, owned by Chad Cordwin, will join Wood-Mizer’s growing distribution network as the 22nd sales center located within the United States and Canada.

A Wood-Mizer owner for nearly two decades, Chad Cordwin will become the company’s first Pro Sawyer Dealer. Chad became a member of Wood-Mizer’s elite group of approved sawyers, the Pro Sawyer Network, which enabled him to list his business on Wood-Mizer’s online custom sawyer directory – a resource for those looking for a sawyer to saw their own lumber. 
Cordwin Custom Sawmill in Reddick, FL

During the application process, Cordwin Custom Sawmill’s success made Wood-Mizer take notice. This, along with an appealing Florida location, enabled Wood-Mizer to begin a partnership with Cordwin Custom Sawmill and establish the first ever Pro Sawyer Dealer.

Cordwin Custom Sawmill will offer Wood-Mizer LT10 and LT15 sawmills, blades, and provide demonstrations of Chad’s Wood-Mizer LT70 Hydraulic sawmill and EG200 twin blade edger. 

“Chad’s sawing experience and knowledge of Wood-Mizer products factored in the decision to add Cordwin Custom Sawmill as a new sales center in Florida,” said Wood-Mizer National Sales Manager Dave Mann. “We are looking forward to his contributions to the company and I’d like to welcome him to Wood-Mizer’s growing network of dealers.” 

Wood-Mizer will host the Grand Opening for the Florida Pro Sawyer Dealer on Saturday, April 26th, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Cordwin Custom Sawmill located at 7900 W. Highway 316 in Reddick, Florida. The four hour event will include sawmill demonstrations of Wood-Mizer’s LT40 Hydraulic, LT35 and LT15 sawmills and give those who attend the opportunity to speak with Chad and expert sawmill consultants.

Welcome to the team Chad!

For more information on Cordwin Custom Sawmill, call Chad at 352.591.3642 or email at 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sawing in the Alaskan Wilderness

The Talaheim Lodge
Mark Miller is the founder and owner of the Talaheim Lodge located 80 miles west of Anchorage, Alaska. After purchasing his Wood-Mizer LT10 in 2006, Mark has built five buildings and added flooring and furniture to the existing buildings on the property. Read Mark’s story below, in his own words.

Sawing in the Alaskan Wilderness

By Mark Miller

Aerial view of The Talaheim Lodge

In 1976, my youthful dream started to unfold as I began building my remote fishing and hunting lodge (The Talaheim Lodge) in the wilderness of Alaska. Most of the state can’t be reached by road, so many Alaskan fishing lodges, like mine, have to be reached by either helicopter or plane. Everything from a toothpick to a gallon of gasoline has to be flown in to our site.

During those younger days we built stockade log construction by utilizing local timbers. Large cargo, single engine aircrafts on skis are expensive to charter, so most of my lumber was cut on-site with a chainsaw mill. That first crude building was built from logs and chainsaw cut lumber and went up like a kid building a tree fort. For the next 30 years, I used a chainsaw to cut as much lumber as possible in order to keep costs down when building miles away from roads. We only averaged about a board an hour but most of our lumber didn’t have to be flown in, saving us money.

Skidding logs by snowmobile
All our logs are skidded to our site by snowmobile in March and April when the snow is deep and settled. Everything out here comes by air except our snow machines that we drive out in the winter (a 50-mile journey from the nearest road system). In 2006, I purchased a very large wide-tracked snowmobile, which was capable of pulling in much larger logs than I was able to in the past. Glaring at my log deck of about 100, 12’ long and 16” diameter logs, I suddenly started to tense up thinking about all that back breaking chainsaw milling I would have to do.

Log deck, sorted by length
Cutting timber with chainsaws is slow, tedious and a backbreaking chore from being bent over for long periods of time. Not to mention chainsaws burn up gallons of fuel and oil, and the 3/8” wide kerf produce piles of sawdust that could be used as lumber. There had to be a better way.

Shortly after, I found a Wood-Mizer LT10 sawmill featured in a local outdoor magazine. It caught my eye as it was light and could easily fit onto a ski plane. The local Wood-Mizer dealer (100 miles away) had one on display that I could try. Seeing the mill in action secured the sale.

Mark and his Wood-Mizer LT10
After the snow left, we had a running Wood-Mizer mill in one day and a friend and I cut those 100 logs into lumber in about five days. With my LT10 and a small tractor rigged with a forklift attachment, we weren’t just in the fishing business, we were also in the lumber business.

My mill paid for itself in the first season with savings on lumber cut on site instead of flying it in. Most of our timbers are cut and used “green” with the exception of our hardwood cuts.  We cut primarily slow growth spruce for building and “house dry” birch for flooring.

Mark sawing on his LT10
I highly recommend the Wood-Mizer LT10 or LT15 for remote fly in sites like mine.  Both these mills will cut large amounts of lumber for large construction jobs. Four years into milling, I upgraded from a 7 HP to a 10 HP engine for my LT10 which made great lumber even quicker. Now I can cut a 10’ long, 8” wide board in 17 seconds!

Since having the LT10, I’ve built five new buildings from three-sided logs and timbers cut from our mill and cut in excess of 40,000 board foot. The mill has saved me thousands of dollars on lumber and has allowed me to cut huge beautiful beams that would be impossible to fly out. I’ve had great factory and local Wood-Mizer support from Anchorage, Alaska and with about all my buildings completed for my lifetime, I am now focusing on the fun stuff like birch flooring and birch and spruce furniture!

Mark's home built with lumber all cut on his LT10
Fishing guide's shack made from lumber cut on
Mark's LT10
I still love living in the wilderness and building with materials I’ve gathered locally. Today I manage with my Wood-Mizer LT10 sawmill, a tractor with a front-end lift, and snow machines capable of bringing in large logs over the snow. Not only do I save money, but also I enjoy working the land. Robert Service once wrote, “that it’s not the gold we seek, but the seeking of it”. For the past 38 years, my fishing lodge has given me the opportunity of “living off the land” in the Alaskan wilderness.

Good Fishing,

Mark Miller

Inside of the fishing guide's shack

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The How-To of Winter Sawing

Tough winter weather is here, but that doesn’t mean you have to put the “freeze” on sawing. In fact, you still have time to get your sawmill out and blades ready for these cold conditions. Also keep in mind that after a long winter like this year, logs will remain frozen or partially frozen well into spring in certain areas, so these tips will still apply.

Follow these winter sawing tips to successfully saw frozen logs
1. Lower the Blade Hook Angle – Have you been using the standard 10 degree profile? If so look at the 9 degree profile for lower horsepower engines and small diameter logs (under 14”). If your mill has higher horsepower (over 25) and you’re sawing large diameter logs or wider cuts, look to the 4 degree and Turbo 7 for high performance. These profiles utilize a taller tooth with deeper gullets that are capable of pushing the sawdust out of the cut, resulting in less sawdust on your lumber.

2. Blade Thickness – Thicker blades typically bring better performance, especially in frozen wood. If you have been using .042 try bumping up to the .045 blade. And if you have been using the .045 and have a 25+ horsepower engine, the .055 will bring you more accuracy and higher feed rates.

3. Blade Width – Narrow blades can have less resistance and clean out  frozen sawdust more productively. Try a 1-1/4” blade over a 1-1/2” wide blade in the winter. This can be important especially with higher horsepower engines.

4. Lubrication – While lubrication is not always necessary in winter, if you experience build-up on the teeth or sides of the band this can affect performance, life between sharpenings, and overall flex life. Common additives can include water, our LubeMizer additive, Pine-Sol, Vegetable Oils, and be sure to add windshield washer fluid, or antifreeze to the water.

Winter sawing can bring out the most demands for your sawmill. As always, keep your mill well maintained, aligned properly and covered. Freezing rain, ice and snow build up will slow down your warm-up process and can affect the life of your mill. For the best results, keep your feed rates consistent and monitor your lumber as it comes off the mill for quality. Also remember that keeping your blade in the log and sawing is just as important as how fast you are sawing.
Wood-Mizer offers blades to meet every type of wood cutting application for every season.
For more advice or recommendations, visit or talk to a blades specialist at 800.522.5760.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Couple Creates Eternal Timber with Wood-Mizer LT70

“Building it right to last forever” is what the British Columbia based Eternal Timber and Design is all about. Eternal Timber offers a variety of wood furnishings and architectural elements that are all handcrafted and custom made. Eternal Timber makes everything from beds and dining tables to exterior structures by utilizing a Wood-Mizer LT70 to turn their douglas fir trees into usable lumber for whatever project they need.
Douglas fir fence post cut by Shawn Wiebe and his Wood-Mizer LT70 HD sawmill

Lake shore outdoor dwelling with sofa and loveseat
Shawn Wiebe, the “heart and
soul” of Eternal Timber and Design, began his love for woodworking at a young age and has been building and
framing homes since he graduated high school. Since the first makeup vanity table he made for his mother more than 20 years ago, Shawn continues to create one-of-a-kind pieces for any project that comes his

Lake shore patio

Shawn and his wife and business partner Carlee, entered multiple projects into the 2013 Wood- Mizer Personal Best Contest which included a fireplace mantel, town entry gate and even a tree house for Shawn next to fence post Lake shore outdoor dwelling their daughters while they worked on remodeling their own home. Whether the project is for business or personal use, Eternal Timber and Design always begins with a douglas fir and a Wood-Mizer.

For more information about Eternal Timber and Design, visit: or connect on Facebook. To see all of Eternal Timber and Design’s 2013 Personal Best projects, visit:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wood-Mizer LT15 Helps Build 'True' South Carolina Business

Corey Airington, owner of True South Builders, built this coffee table out of a whiskey barrel
From old southern heirlooms to whiskey barrel furnishings, Corey Airington and his Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill do it all. Inspired by the love of making anything unique and historical, Corey established the Jefferson, South Carolina based True South Builders in 2008 and has since provided personally handcrafted woodworking products to the public. True South Builders has a mission, “To create unique woodwork in the ways of the craftsmen of the past to make each piece seem like it came from the pages of a history book.”

Whiskey barrel sawn on a Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill

True South Builders offers wood products from keepsake boxes to pine siding and has recently completed a farmhouse table, fireplace mantel, colonial garden shed and even a restoration of a sharecropper’s home. Corey submitted these projects and more in the 2013 Wood-Mizer Personal Best Contest staying true to historical farm and plantation architecture found from the “back roads of the South Carolina low country.”

Corey said the versatility of his Wood- Mizer LT15 is pivotal for the wide variety of products he makes. “The ability to make my own lumber, including studs, rafters, roof sheathing and clapboards for more structure based jobs is very important for my business,” Corey said. When talking about a project where he transformed a whiskey barrel into a beautiful coffee table, Corey said, “I just couldn’t believe I had created something so unique with the help of my Wood-Mizer.”
Whiskey barrel coffee table

For more information about Corey and True South Builders, visit: or connect on Facebook. To see all of Corey’s 2013 Personal Best projects, visit:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Preserving History with Cooper's Shed

By repurposing beams from Gronauer Lock once located on the Wabash and Erie Canal near New Haven, Indiana, Peter Cooper is preserving history in order to demonstrate some of his own. 

White oak beams from Gronauer Lock

The white oak beams from Gronauer Lock are dated as far back as 1837 and will be used to build Cooper’s Shed in the Pioneer Village at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Peter and his son will build the 10’ X 12’ shed in the traditional timber frame construction style, the same method that was used to build Gronauer Lock on the canal more than 175 years ago. With help from sawyer, Greg Baire and a Wood-Mizer LT50, these aged beams were precisely cut and turned into usable lumber for Cooper's Shed.

Peter Cooper (left) and Greg Baire talking about their next cut

In order to keep as much history of the original beams in place, Peter chose a Wood-Mizer to minimize as much log waste as he could. He said, "I knew that Wood-Mizer could cut the logs to the size I needed with minimal waste. I wanted to keep as much as the old hand hewed part of the log as I could and as much of the original log that I could. That's why I chose Wood-Mizer."

Greg Baire re-purposing 175 year old beams for Cooper's Shed

In the Pioneer Village, Peter Cooper will use Cooper’s Shed  to demonstrate the history of “coopering” which is the traditional method of making wooden staves and bounding them together to build barrels, baskets and tubs among other items. The construction of the shed will take place during 2014 and will be nearing completion around the time of Indiana State Fair in August. Stay tuned for updates!

For a brief history of Gronauer Lock, read 'A Lock on History' by Craig Leonard here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Getting Your Lumber Grade Stamped

Anyone contemplating producing lumber for construction should follow these steps before sawing.

1) Check with your local city, county, and/or state building code office to find out the exact requirements in your area. Requirements and the level of enforcement vary. Don’t be satisfied until you have seen the rules yourself. Keep a copy for future reference.

2) Purchase the softwood grading rules book that applies to the species of lumber you’ll be using. Thoroughly review the pertinent parts of the book to make sure you understand what the standards apply.

3) Once you have a written plan on how to proceed, contact the appropriate softwood lumber grading agency to discuss your plan with them and to make certain that your lumber will meet all of the requirements, such as thickness, widths, and lengths, moisture content, and required other items. Checking out all of the details before sawing can save time and wasted materials. (If going the self-certification route, make sure your certification is up-to-date)

4) Saw and dry your lumber according to your specific plan.

5) Schedule a visit with the lumber inspector, make sure you have enough time for his visit, and your area is
properly laid out for inspection. Make certain any documentation is prepared and available should the inspector ask for it.

As part of a structure, each piece of lumber carries a certain amount of load. Softwood grades for dimension and timbers have been established according to engineering methods that determine how much load each piece is capable of supporting. When a building is inspected, the inspector will look for a grade stamp on the lumber. This grade stamp is the only way for the inspector to determine if the lumber used in the structure is acceptable. The grade stamp is extremely important to building inspectors, as it is required by all building codes. The code is usually enforced at the county level, where a building permit is required before any construction can begin. The building can be rejected if the lumber is not grade stamped. The level of code enforcement can vary by county, however a lack of enforcement does not mean you can disregard building codes. Be certain to check with your county building inspector and permits office to determine exactly what is required. Past experiences may not predict future expectations. There may be some state and local exceptions when the lumber is produced and used for one’s own building projects.

Example grade stamp showing Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) as the agency, the grade as No. 1, kiln-dried (KD) to 19 percent moisture content, heat treated (HT), and producing mill lumber 406. The species is not given but implied as SPIB deals exclusively with Southern Pine lumber.

Producers of small quantities of softwood or hardwood lumber to be used in construction can call for a “certificate inspection.” When a certificate inspection is requested, the grading agency will arrange for their first available or nearest inspector to travel to the location of the lumber. The lumber is grade-stamped, and a certificate is issued in regards to the inspection. The lumber is then eligible to be used in building construction. The owner of the lumber should be prepared to turn and move the boards for the inspector. Also, presorting the lumber by widths and lengths is important. Additional sorting by estimated grade will further speed up the process. The lumber may be rough or surfaced. Lumber having moisture content in excess of 19 percent will be marked “S-GRN.” Air-dried lumber or that with a moisture content of less than 19 percent will be stamped “S-DRY.” Sawyers should be certain that they follow the size requirements set forth by the rule writing agencies for different species. In order to finish to the sizes required, lumber must be cut oversized to allow for shrinkage during drying, planing, and sawing variation.

In most of North America, using your own lumber for construction material is an option available to you, and in some places, it is actually encouraged and rewarded. We hope that this short introduction to the topic has given you some good direction to finding out how to go about it in your own area. Rules can change, so ten years from now, when you pull out this article again to reference, the bottom line will still apply: Find out what your local requirements are, and abide by them!

For current rule writing and grading agency lists:
American Lumber Standard Committee

Canadian Lumber Standards
Accreditation Board