Can you remember when you were in your teens and enjoying a stress-free life? No debts, still in high school hanging out with friends and working part-time jobs so you would have spending money? Did you envision yourself owning a sawmill with plans to become a very successful sawyer?
For the past few years, a 17-year-old sawyer from New Brunswick, Max Smith, has been learning the craft of sawing lumber on an entry-level manual sawmill. As his passion grew, so did his desire to upgrade his sawmill. So, Max contacted the Wood-Mizer Associate Sales Centre for Eastern Canada and placed a deposit for an LT35 Hydraulic portable sawmill.
Now, in grade 11, Max received the phone call he had been waiting for. The LT35 Hydraulic sawmill he ordered had arrived with a pending date of delivery. However, now Max had a choice. He could stick with his originally planned LT35 Hydraulic or take an LT40 Super Hydraulic, with an upgraded diesel engine and more advanced hydraulic log handling that had become available. You guessed it, Max brought home the LT40 Super Hydraulic portable sawmill.
For the past few years, I have enjoyed helping new sawyers by providing hands-on training following the purchase of their sawmills here in the Maritimes. As I arrived at Max’s sawmill set up, I was expecting to see a shiny new mill just waiting to be turned on. Instead, I saw a large pile of cut offs, cedar logs waiting to be milled, 300+ 4” x 4”x 8’ cedar posts and a large pile of cedar chips. As I introduced myself to Max, I couldn’t help but notice the new sawmill already had 24 hours on the meter. Remember, I was here for initial training!
After walking through safety protocols around the sawmill, maintenance tips, sawing tips, and the benefits of hydraulics, it was time to observe the young sawyer at the controls. It was evident his experience on his previous mill had prepared him for a higher production sawmill. Already his command of the hydraulics was advanced for a first-time sawyer. His knowledge of the Accuset setworks was remarkable as he was engaged with each cut, with minimal waste.
Max’s father, Chris explained that Max has had an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood. With numerous customers on a waiting list for his lumber, landscapers also are now dropping by to purchase cedar mulch in bulk from a very young, but wise businessman. Although Max has only had his mill a few short weeks and is already planning to add a double board edger, moulder/planer, and perhaps down the road, a wood kiln.
Max has also been an inspiration to his life-long friend, 16-year-old Hudson Glennie. It was a real experience witnessing these two in action. Hudson keeps the sawmill fed with cedar logs by operating a mini excavator. He too, is the one who pulls the cuts off and stacks the lumber. They start their days off at sunrise and work until the job is done. Seeing these two young men working together in a controlled and safe environment was impressive and a true blessing for me. Wood-Mizer has gained an incredible sawyer to the family. Both Max and Hudson are an inspiration to the youth of today who are thinking of becoming sawyers.
Wishing Max and Hudson both continued friendship and great success for years to come with your new sawmill and your vision for the future. Dream Big!