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A collection of stories and articles about Wood-Mizer sawmills in use around the world, new business ideas, and available market niches in the wood industry

Wood-Mizer in Denmark

Wood-Mizer in Denmark Twelve per cent of Denmark's 43,000 km2 is wooded, mostly by deciduous trees few of which are of any age. One-third of the country consists of 443 named islands, 72 of which are populated. Disproportionately, there are 190 Wood-Mizer sawyers in Denmark, each having about 27.3 km2 of woodland at their disposal. Brian Jensen, working for 13 years with Wood-Mizer in Denmark has sold 180 of them and has followed the development of the company and its products from the start. His history is both typical and individual, like that of many Wood-Mizer sawyers. Yet his life and experience with and through Wood-Mizer is exceptional, especially when he charts it in his own words….

"I started in the forest over 30 years ago and sawing wood fascinated me from the beginning.

"A friend and myself considered starting a sawmill in a barn with a second-hand machine but the idea never bore fruit. So I worked with a forestry firm called Hedeselskabet and it seemed that anything else would remain a dream until about 20 years ago we visited a major forestry fair. There I came upon a Wood-Mizer sawmill for the first time.

"It was an LT40 and I was impressed by the capacity and performance of such a relatively small machine. It was equipped with hydraulics and cut logs of up to two tonnes and 90cm diameter. It didn't involve the operator in particularly hard work and I felt like being in the middle of my dream. Richard Vivers demonstrated the mill and I talked to him at length. Later he sent me a catalogue and a video which I watched time and again because I simply couldn't get the saw out of my mind.

"I was aware that Richard and his wife Madeleine planned a week's Wood-Mizer tour of Denmark and Richard asked me to help organise it and to accompany them. This was a novel experience for me; a journey around my own country with bacon and eggs for breakfast! I identified locations for presentations, organised wood and lived with them in a big horse box which had been nicely equipped. Socially, the tour was enjoyable but I was particularly impressed by how the sawmill was demonstrated. I was sold. At the end of the week I bought the first Danish Wood-Mizer.

"It was delivered in January 1990 and I worked a lot with it in parallel with my work in the woods. A mobile sawmill was something rather special in those days and several newspapers wrote about me and my mill. Orders came in from all over Denmark. I even visited an island which involved a three-hour ferry trip.

"About six years later the then Danish Wood-Mizer representative retired and, at an annual sawyers’ meeting in Germany, Klaus Longmuss manager of the German branch, asked me if I could imagine representing Wood-Mizer in Denmark. I had many orders to handle at the time, had no fear of yet more sawmills and thought: why not?

"In 1996, I considered the merits of the LT40 Superdiesel mill which I had seen in Germany and regarded as revolutionary. However, since, there have been many more revolutions and I am as convinced as ever of Wood-Mizer’s quality and performance.

"Typical Danish LT15 and LT20 customers are people who want to build their own house or community facilities, farmers and pensioners who want to stay active. Companies and contractors usually use machines in the LT70 series, either in mobile or in stationary mode with remote controls. Many sawyers started with a mobile unit and settled at a convenient location once they had established a steady clientele. After my time as a mobile contract sawyer, I cut profiled beams on an LT70 Remote mill for some years for Douglas A/S th
e timber frame house builder.

"Customers and people interested in a Wood-Mizer product telephone me at any time. So I can take orders or make appointments with people who would like to have a look at a special type of machine. Technical support is available nearly all the time and in particularly difficult situations I pay a visit to customers. When we still cannot solve the problem, we get support from the technicians in Schletau, where the German branch is located.

"I would say that Wood-Mizer has not only changed my life – Wood-Mizer is my life. Over the years I have grown to know what is possible with wood and I know that a sawmill is always the genesis. Wood without a Wood-Mizer would never be the same for me. Only one’s imagination sets the limit", concludes Brian Jensen.

The standard of living in Denmark is amongst the highest in Europe and although GDP contracted 1.1% in 2008 and 5.3% in 2009 her fiscal position remains amongst the strongest in the EU. Without massive natural resources she relies almost entirely on human resources. Hence the determined, inventive and tolerant nature of her people. Brian Jensen is a true Dane and Wood-Mizer has benefited from his stewardship of its Danish affairs.

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