Part two of the Amish sawmill operation.

by J. Kevin K ‎08-11-2010 09:57 AM - edited ‎08-11-2010 10:07 AM

This hot spring we had sure was a precursor to this summer's weather, wasn't it?  Thirteen 90 degree days here in NE OH, so far, which is pretty hot for us.  Hope some of you guys were able to build your solar kilns, and get them running.  It's been a good year for them. Now, let's get back into the woods with my Amish friends.


I shot this picture on the way back to the truck. This is the road that the horses gave me a ride on as they went to the  landing.  These woods were so wet that this road was more like a causeway. 




After the horse team brought me to the landing, I met with Paul, and paid him.  Everyone was on break, so I was able to get some pictures.  Remember, as I stated in previous blogs, the Amish do not like their pictures taken.  From the back is okay, but not their faces. 


 Below is the mill of death they were running at the landing.  The operator was an old guy of about 25!





Watch your feet.  Stumble over something here, and you will cut something off that you might need. Below is  a close-up of the blade.  Smaller than  what you find in a more permanent sawmill set-up.









Below is the power plant that is running the mill.































Not sure how big their engine is, but my other Amish friend runs a 50hp Duetz diesel on his "fixed" sawmill.  Their sawmill, and this one above are relatively quiet as they have mufflers in place.  A lot of the Amish pull the mufflers off as they feel they get better engine performance without them.  Of course most are pretty close to deaf, so not sure what they think they are gaining.  We had a mufflerless Amish sawmill that was running in the woods here that was 5 miles from my house, and I could hear their mill running plainly.  I went up to talk to the guys to see if they had found any figured lumber in the 50 acres that they were logging (they hadn't), and you pretty much had to yell at them as their hearing was shot.  Not to mention it is extremely annoying for all of us living within a seven mile radius to listen to their mill running all day long.  You can hear it even inside the house with the windows closed!


Here are some logs that are on the deck awaiting their turn to be cut:




Two young guys with some log peavies roll them down to the mill operator.  The logs are cut into lumber, then they are passed to another guy that edges them, and then off to a couple of teenaged guys that stack them into bunks where they wait to be graded. See below:




This follows the same procedure as the first blog I wrote titled "In the beginning".



I found this image below  as a sad sight the last time I was there in June.  Here are some veneer logs marked, and on their way to...., guess where?  If you guessed China, you are right:




Even the Amish foreman, Lester, couldn't believe it.  Like he said: "It is hard to believe that they can pay to have these trucked to the east coast, pay again to have them shipped half way around the world, make something, pay to ship the finished product back, and it still cheaper than the wood products that we make here in NE OH".  Lester added, "And you know the really sad part Kevin?  The Chinese pay more for our veneer logs than the American veneer buyers"  It's a tough thing to drive through Youngstown Ohio and see the empty factories, and all of the people struggling there, but we are better off, aren't we?


Next blog we will finish up on this Amish sawmill operation.  I have some nice pictures of the woods before it was logged, and after.  Also, they started on the front part of the woods the last time I was there, so we have some pictures of that as well.


Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your summer. I also like reading your  comments, so keep them coming!


Kevin Koski

Curly Maple Wood

Dry Kiln owner/operator



by onemor4u
on ‎09-23-2010 09:14 AM

As long as we have a pro socialist government striving cut America down a notch and make us a part of a global economy this will continue.  America has lost over 5 million middle class jobs in the last few years and is still doing so.

by Merl Baldwin
on ‎09-23-2010 01:30 PM

Forget the middle class jobs.  What about the millions of factory and mill workers that have been displaced by NAFTA and the Chinese.  If you don't  keep the lower income jobs then those people will just be on welfare.  Sad to see entire small towns go under due to the largest employers closing down and moving their operations to China or Mexico.

by mcgtr
on ‎09-24-2010 07:46 AM

"only nixon could go to china"

ancient Vulcan proverb.


by tben461
on ‎09-24-2010 11:15 AM

Sorry, onemor4u, it's capitalism and not socialism that's driving the jobs out of America. Sacrifice anything for the bottom line, that's capitalism.

by Don Eby
on ‎09-26-2010 06:47 AM

And I thought this was a woodworking forum!

by stuff126
on ‎10-11-2010 05:03 AM

Wake up! It's a few government "officials" that are taxing our business' out of existance!


That does look like a death trap. But with some guards that unit could be made a lot safer.

on ‎01-13-2011 02:33 PM

Interestingly, there is a higher rate of hereditary deafness among the Amish than there is in the "English" community. I wonder if these guys happened to be partially deaf to begin with, which would help explain their cavalier attitude towards hearing protection.


I happen to be profoundly deaf myself (from disease in infancy), and don't bother with hearing protection myself since there's nothing left to lose anyway.

by buildwithwood
on ‎01-13-2011 04:35 PM

On the subject of the China market; who thinks that the Chinese are buying these logs, I bet that it's some scum bag right here from the US, that just load these logs onto boats, and before they get out of sight they are being turned into inferior products and never see China! Of course they are being processed by chinese at, probbably  $3 per day, instead of a living wage that is needed to live here in the dictatorial US of A!!!


by ondpeg
on ‎11-18-2012 05:20 AM

The old mill should be replaced with a bandsawing operation. That alone would save many board feet of lumber. Would soon pay for itself if sawing figured wood.

by kenshelton18
on ‎01-13-2015 01:11 PM

This re.inds me of when I was a teenagef. My daddy had a mill similar here they call them "Packers old sawmills"  I tailed the saw and run the edger.  Good memories think God they are memories.  Thanks for the story and pics

Ken "Pa Pa" Shelton