Category 3: Large Barns & Garages


Sawyer: Nicholas Spooner
Location: West Topsham, Vermont
Equipment: LT40 HD

Project Dimensions: 32' X 40' X 38’, 3,960 sq ft
99% of lumber cut on the mill: 33,000 BF
Estimated Savings: $18,000
Wood Species Used: Hemlock, White Pine, Red Pine, Ash, Cherry

FIRST PLACE - Where There's a Mill, There's a Way

In 2006, James “Bucky” Spooner and his wife, Georgiana, purchased a Wood-Mizer LT40 Hydraulic mill for their son, Nicholas, to operate and provide lumber for family building projects. Nicholas, while attending college and trying to find his place in life, soon started to take a serious interest in building. He was particularly interested in the classical styling of the timber frame structures found in the family’s hometown of Topsham, Vermont and throughout the entire New England area. Armed with the desire to build and a Wood-Mizer mill, all Nicholas needed now was a chance.

This chance came shortly after his brother Chris, and wife Aimee bought a new home in Piermont, New Hampshire. Immediately after they bought the property, Chris began talking about the need for a barn on their new homestead. After much discussion and several practice projects between the two brothers, Chris made the decision to hire Nicholas to build the barn. In the fall of 2009, they began clearing five acres of land to make way for the 32' x 40' x 38' high, three-story structure. With the help of Spooner Construction, the land was cleared and the foundation poured for the barn basement. With a mountain of hemlock their uncle, Bruce Cameron, had cut from a neighboring town, they were ready to begin their “building extravaganza.”

Ultimately, five different types of wood was used in the project, and approximately 33,000 board feet of wood was cut using the mill. The estimated savings was $18,000 and 99% of the wood needed for the barn was cut on his Wood-Mizer. “Chris wanted to incorporate lumber from all three of the properties he owned to build this project. The white pine siding and ash pegs were harvested from his property in Piermont, where the barn was to be erected. The one long, red pine post our late grandfather (George Hodge) planted completed the requirement for property number two," said Nicholas.

"The only piece of property remaining was one owned by Chris and myself that we purchased off our Grandmother June Spooner’s estate, where the milling and notching of the timber frame was taking place. We could have settled for the workmanship happening there but that was not enough, so I decided to incorporate two cherry spline joints in the building. Wouldn’t you know, on that piece of land there was a perfect cherry tree to use for these 3' x 8' splines,” said Nicholas. 

In July of 2011, with contributions from numerous family members, the framing of the barn was completed. A barn raising party was held and close to a hundred friends and family came to enjoy the feat. In the next few months, the 3,960-square-foot structure could be called complete. On August 25, 2012, a plaque to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their Grandfather’s birth was mounted to the red pine he had planted and the building was dedicated to him. “The tree was perfect, as if Grandpa had cut it for us and laid it there at our feet for us to find and use for this magnificent project,” said Nicholas. “Thanks to all who helped make my dreams a reality! I couldn’t have done it without ALL of your support and family ‘spirit’.”







Sawyer: Richard Cloutier
Location: L'Ange-Gardien, PQ
Equipment: LT40 Hydraulic 

Project Dimensions: 30' X 20' main; 12' X 30' side additions, 920 sq ft 
100% of lumber cut on the mill: 5,000 BF  
Estimated Savings: $20,000
Wood Species Used: White Pine

SECOND PLACE - A Carpenter's Dream Workshop

Richard Cloutier’s project is a special one. At age 65, his carpentry workshop is the project of his lifetime. What made this project even more special for Richard was that it was a family project. A long weekend with the family got construction off to a good start, and with friends and local help, the workshop was completed in just eight weeks.

Richard used his LT40 Hydraulic to cut 100% of the white pine logs for the workshop. The workshop includes a shed for wood storage as well as an area to keep his sawmill out of the snow during the winter. The main workshop is 30' x 20' with 12' x 30' side additions for a total of 920 square feet. He did the framing with 2' x 6' walls covered in 12" pine boards and battens. Richard’s LT40 Hydraulic gave him the ability to create two 10' x 12' x 20' beams, which he used to finish the inside of the shop, along with a tongue groove of pine boards for wall finishing. The walls were assembled on the floor, and Richard’s helpers raised them up. A tractor helped put the 20' pin beams in place.

In addition to his personal creativity, Richard says his inspiration came from magazines, including past winners of the Personal Best Contest in The Wood-Mizer Way. It is fitting that his lifetime project is now also in the pages of a magazine to inspire other Wood-Mizer owners to start their own dream projects.








Sawyer: Ralph Klein
Location: Scottsville, Virginia
Equipment: LT15

Project Dimensions: 38' X 28', 1,456 sq ft
92% of lumber cut on the mill: 650 BF 
Estimated Savings: $4,000
Wood Species Used: Virginia Pine, White & Red Oak, Poplar

THIRD PLACE - Dairy Barn Adventures

"We began our adventures in dairy farming four years ago with one jersey cow and her calf so that our granddaughter could have fresh milk. As the number of grandchildren increased, so did our dairy herd. To accommodate our growing need for barn space, I began to work on a dairy barn. Two years later it was finally completed."

Ralph praised the "durability and dependability" of his LT15 and said, "I am so thankful to have finished this project, hope I have time to build something else."








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