Logs into Lumber into Cabin
The Working Forest FALL #1 2012
Operating a small sawmill is a dream for many people. For Gerald Robertson of Angus, Ontario, it is reality. After having a local sawyer cut beams for a log cabin he was building, Gerald was hooked. Noting his interest, the sawyer let him take the controls of his Norwood portable sawmill to see how easy it was to convert logs into lumber. Under his supervision, Gerald cut the beams that would later become the cabin.
After putting pencil to paper to look at the practical side of owning a sawmill, Gerald determined that it is a worthwhile investment. He had the timber and he had the projects. All he needed was to find the right sawmill. A search of sawmills and their features brought him back to the same Norwood mill that he had first used. “I looked at other sawmills, and a lot of them just looked wimpy compared to the Norwood,” he recalls. Gerald visited Norwood’s Canadian warehouse and showroom in Muskoka, Ontario and bought one on the spot.
His Norwood sawmill arrived on a shipping pallet a few days after he ordered it. By the next week, he was ready to slice up his first log.Gerald drives a truck for a living and cuts lumber on his portable bandmill evenings and weekends. He notes that the mill has a very quick learning curve. In fact, with the pile of lumber stacked outside the mill, and the confidence with which he runs it, it would be easy to assume that he is a full-time sawyer.
As he shows off his cabin, Gerald comments on its construction. “All the logs, beams, roofing and flooring came from logs I cut and milled from my own bush,” he says proudly. He continues, “I milled two sides of the logs flat for the cabin walls and they fit perfectly.” He becomes evenmore enthusiastic as he points out the ash flooring, the framing for the upstairs loft, and the detail on the window trim. “ I couldn’t afford a cabin like this without my Norwood sawmill, ” he exclaims.
What’s next? Gerald’s wife has a few ideas for some furniture and cabinets for their home, and some neighbors want him to cut some lumber for them. Asked whether he thinks about running his sawmill full-time, he just smiles and says, “I enjoy running my Norwood part-time and I intend to keep on enjoying it.”