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Capturing History: A Passion for Pioneer Cabins

Wood-Mizer Mill Makes Lumber to Restore Cabins

By Bill Marquis
Date Posted: 8/1/2007

“I have been restoring and preserving historic cabins since I was a young boy. I actually worked on my first one when I was nine years old. For the last 25 years I have been doing it full time; working on 3-4 cabins a year. You could say that it is my passion.

Recently the city of Irving (Home of the Dallas Cowboys) asked me to build a replica of an 1841 cabin to be a learning center in a new, downtown park. Now, I normally just restore old ones, but they didn’t have one to restore because the original cabin burned in the 50’s. I first refused the project, but I met the head man and he made me one of those offers you just couldn’t refuse.

So I began work on the 2 room, Dog Trot cabin that features a breeze way in the middle with a 16’ x 16’ room on both ends, each with a chimney. The cabin is 16’ x 42’ and has 672 square feet. I cut all 51,256 board feet of white oak on my LT40 Super Hydraulic. I processed 168 post oak logs on my mill and made every piece including over 1,800 wooden pegs that were used to put the cabin together. There is not one piece of wood in this cabin that was not cut on my sawmill. I did it all with my Wood-Mizer and Bobcat – the whole thing. It took me 10 months and I was pleased with how it turned out.

Before I bought my Wood-Mizer, I hired another Wood-Mizer owner to saw for me. He did a great job, but I had to move the material twice and I was using him so much that I realized I could easily pay for my own. So I bought my own mill in 2002 and use it for all my projects, now.

With my mill, I can saw off both sides of the log within a ˝ inch of the thickness I need. Then I hand-hew the log to get the same look. I used to hand-hew the logs and loose all the material I chipped off to make it flat on two sides. I ended up wasting a lot of good wood. Since I bought my Wood-Mizer, I can use the material I was wasting to make shingles and other building materials. I couldn’t do my job without my Wood-Mizer. The Wood-Mizer blades work out great for me, too. I use your 4 degree blade because 99% of what I cut is Oak. I never use anything else.”


Editor’s Note: The preceding is paid advertorial submitted by Wood-Mizer.


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