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Wood-Mizer Debuts LT50 Production Mill: 25th Anniversary Tour Successfully Opens
Wood-Mizer on Tour: Wood-Mizer kicks off a 17-stop tour across the U.S. and Canada to mark its 25th anniversary; company offers sawmill demonstrations, educational workshops and more at each stop.
By Chaille Brindley
Date Posted: 4/1/2007
Wood-Mizer kicked off its 25th Anniversary Tour in northern Carolina, and the Enterprise staff was there. Although it was a cold winter day, nearly 300 people showed up for the event. Current customers as well as those thinking about getting in the sawmill business came to see how Wood-Mizer products could help them achieve their dreams.
The Wood-Mizer tour features 17 live events scattered across North America. It’s not too late to attend a live event. See the schedule to find the closest event to you. The Grand Finale is scheduled for October 13, 2007 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Hands-on technical sessions and demonstrations as well as a good time of food and fellowship made the event very memorable.
Live workshops gave visitors ideas and solutions to consider as they try to make the most out of the wood they cut. Topics included: log size and its impact on production, quarter/rift sawing, best board sawing techniques, dimensional sawing and stress relief, custom sawing site layout and pricing options, and Wood-Mizer blade process, profiles and applications.
Talking about the event, Lane Carter of Cypress Creek Millworks said, “I learned a bit about quarter sawing – more dollars for your cut.” Lane bought an LT40 last June, and it has worked great for him. Lane said, “I looked at other mills and decided that Wood-Mizer is the best on the market. And their service is second to none.”
Based on the questions asked, it was clear that the Carolina audience included both novices and seasoned professionals. Wood-Mizer staff demonstrated various attachments and models. They showed how to use the Lathe-Mizer with the Tenon Kit to make wood bed frames. The event closed with a customer panel, local prize drawing, live entertainment and a reception.
Wood-Mizer unveiled some new products on the tour. Most notably was the LT50, a high production machine capable of handling heavy logs. It has some of the best features of the LT40 and the LT70 in one model. The LT50 features full hydraulic log handling controls. It combines a bi-directional chain turner and vertical side supports.
According to Wood-Mizer, the chain works twice as fast as a typical steel claw turner and will move in either direction. The LT50 comes with a 51 HP CAT Diesel engine. Wood-Mizer claims the unit can produce up to 650 board feet per hour.
Options include a command control operator station, which gives sawyers easy access to all hydraulic controls and cutting function. This package also comes with the Accuset® setworks and AutoClutch option. An on-board debarker and twin blade edger can be added to allow customers even more production options.
Wood-Mizer debuted new hydro static controls for the LT40 at the Carolina event. And the company demonstrated a new test project that it believes could revolutionize the wood fiber market. The Enterprise and TimberLine will be the first, independent trade magazines to cover this product launch later this year.
Through the years, Wood-Mizer has sold more portable sawmills than all the other manufacturers combined. It has helped develop the market for portable sawmills. And as a result, many of their customers are fiercely loyal to the company. Many of these people had interesting stories as well as a deep passion for wood products.
Casper Tart of Cypress Creek Millworks talked about how his father sold lumber to the army in the 1920s. What it took 40 men to do back then can be done by only a few people today. He said that his father sold rail cars of lumber to the army during the war for $4.75 per thousand board feet.
One man I met at the event was Robert Shinn of Concord, N.C. He bought his first Wood-Mizer mill 20 years ago. And it would be hard to forget Robert because he was well up in years and was at the age that many men would be thinking about retiring and taking it easy. Not Robert. He is much heartier than most senior citizens.
Robert said that the thing he loves the most about custom sawing is that it was an activity he could do with his father, Ralph. Until recently Ralph, who is now 90, worked right alongside his son on a manual mill. Not only were these men sawing timber, they were doing it with very little automation.
Recently, Robert bought a hydraulic LT40 unit. He said that he upgraded to a newer model because it eliminated a whole lot of labor. Ralph operated the remote controls up until sometime last year according to Robert.
Robert pointed to outstanding customer service as the reason why he bought a second mill from Wood-Mizer. He said, “The thing that I like about Wood-Mizer is its service. If I had a problem, I would call the 800# and talk with a technician who would help me fix it on the spot.”
Robert operates a construction company that clears utility right of ways. He uses a Wood-Mizer mill for custom sawing trees from his own land and property that his company clears. His story echoes why Wood-Mizer has been successful. It pioneered a market that emerged at the time and offered top quality service. That explains why so many people showed up on a cold day in early February to learn about sawing, celebrate Wood-Mizer and dream about the future. Wood-Mizer’s slogan for the tour is “Making Dreams Come True.” It appears to be more than just a saying for many who point to Wood-Mizer as a key reason to why they have gotten so much out of the portable sawmill experience.Page 1 Page 2