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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

After disaster
Small-scale sawmilling creates opportunities from fallen trees

After disaster
Late 2013 brought some severe weather through Europe, resulting in large numbers of fallen timber. According to the UK Forestry Commision, 10 million trees were estimated to have fallen in the strong winds in late October. According to a press release from the Dansk Forestry Association Skovforening, the storms in late 2013 resulted in 1,080,000 m3 of fallen trees in Danish private and communal forests, making last year the 5th worst year on record for storm damage to Danish forests. As the clean-up process continues, some land and forest owners may have difficulty selling their fallen trees for a fair price.

Several common solutions are available – selling the timber to a local logging company or large sawmill, cutting less valuable trees into firewood, and perhaps even processing the trees into wood chips. However, with a mobile sawmill, several additional options open up to landowners who can sell the finished lumber or use it for their own needs.

Instead of having to transport your trees yourself or hire a logging company, a mobile sawmill service can bring a sawmill to you, and produce high quality lumber which you can use or sell.

Alex Gingell is a farmer who started a sawmill business after his private land was affected by a storm
When a large storm system swept through Great Britain in 1987, it left scores of trees down across Alex Gingell’s 100-hectare farm. He attempted to sell the trees to the sawmill companies around him. He found that with so many of his neighbours selling their trees, the sawmills were unwilling to pay good prices for the logs, so Alex hired a local mobile sawmill service to come and cut them for him. Alex sold the finished lumber to local builders and made a better profit altogether. That was the beginning of Alex Gingell’s own career as a sawmiller. He now owns two Wood-Mizer sawmills, and runs a small-scale local sawmill while continuing to farm.

William Testa is a mobile sawmill operator who has enjoyed steady employment since the 1989 storm that flattened more than 4,000,000m3 trees in France. Towing the 1.8-tonne LT70 sawmill behind his truck, he was able to set up right at the place where landowners had stacked logs. Having sawn the logs into the exact sizes requested, he would reconnect the sawmill to his truck and drive to the next anxious customer. "I am impressed by the sawmill’s quality of cut and easy manoeuvrability to my customers’ log piles," he says.

The entry-level Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill enables users to saw their own wood affordably
During the months following a large storm, mobile sawmill operators can be very busy meeting the demand for their services. Many landowners find that it is worth the initial investment to acquire a sawmill for their own immediate and future use, as there are quite affordable entry-level models available on the market.

A young driving instructor from Lithuania, Rolandos Piatrusis never dreamed of becoming involved in wood production. However, two years ago, a violent storm levelled 150-200 m3 of timber in his family’s 16-hectare forest. With the timber on the ground, Rolandos began looking for someone who could help mitigate their disaster.

"Our first thought was local sawmills in the area, but it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. The sawmills we called were extremely busy and lead-time was six months. Also, they were not interested in buying our logs unless we delivered them ourselves, meaning additional expense for us," shares Rolandos. Thus he began entertaining the idea of purchasing his own sawmill to process the timber himself.

As a result of his intensive research into the available sawmills on the market, Rolandos ordered a Wood-Mizer LT15 sawmill, which arrived in the summer of 2011. With the sawmill finally in place, Rolandos lost no further time and in three w
Paul Herndon with his LT40 sawmill that uses hydraulics to load, turn and clamp logs
eeks he completed sawing all the felled trees. As he sold the lumber, he found there existed a local market niche for custom lumber, and is now working his small sawmill part-time for extra money.

All the way from the state of Idaho in the United States, Paul Herndon was starting to build a house when his land was hit by a storm. "We had a major windstorm that took down some sizable trees. I decided I wanted to produce all my own interior wood, cabinetry, and everything else. Having a LT40 Hydraulic sawmill gave me a great opportunity to save money on my own home by using the beautiful wood that grows on the property."

For more information on forestry issues, visit www.skovforeningen.dk. For more information about mobile sawmills, visit www.woodmizer.dk.
UK Forestry Commision press release
Danish Forestry Association press release

Articles by Country
Denmark, Lithuania, United Kingdom
This article was published in the 'Wood-Mizer Today' company newsletter.

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