Category 7: For the Good of Others


  Sawyer: Lynn Davis
Location: Brookhaven, Mississippi
Equipment: LT40 Super Hydraulic

Project Dimensions: 16' X 24', 384 sq ft 
75% of lumber cut on the mill: 2,875 BF
Estimated Savings: $4,000
Wood Species Used: Southern Yellow Pine, Yellow Poplar

FIRST PLACE - Began with an Idea, and a Wood-Mizer

Brookhaven, Mississippi local, Lynn Davis is an active member of the Macedonia Baptist Church. When fellow church members became involved in a food mission that would help the small community near War, West Virginia, Lynn knew just what to do. He would take his LT40 Super Hydraulic on the 11-hour journey and help build a 400-square-foot food distribution center to be used to sort, shelve, and fulfill the community’s mission to feed the hungry.

A building schedule was established, everyone marked their calendars, and a few days before their departure, the lumber was
loaded onto a trailer. They formed a small caravan, drove through the night to Knoxville, Tennessee, where they spent the night at a local campground. The next day, they experienced a vehicle mechanical failure on the interstate and but arrived at the destination that Sunday afternoon just in time for church service.

The work began early Monday morning, setting the foundation pads, blocks, and sills. With the volunteers’ help, Lynn sawed out 2" x 12" boards for the floor joists and 2" x 4" and 2" x 6" boards in southern yellow pine for the studs, roof trusses, and lathing. Also used were 1" x 12" boards and 1" x 4" boards cut out of yellow poplar for the siding. Next it was floor joists and then plywood subflooring. This gave them a level building platform on which to lie out and construct the roofing trusses. With these trusses completed and set aside, they could begin the stud wall construction.

Once the necessary permits had been secured, the electrical wiring was completed. Soon after, the roof trusses were raised. Meanwhile, the windows and door had been installed, and purlings had been placed so that the yellow poplar board and batten siding could be installed. The walls and ceiling were insulated and fluorescent lighting strips were hung. OSB was used as wall paneling and the ceiling was sheathed with plywood. A ramp was built so that a dolly could be used when unloading food. “As a side note, a miscalculation had been made and we lacked having two pieces of roofing. The local building supply store had only two pieces of green roofing. They were the wrong color, but longer and extended over the doorway and ramp. We took that as a good sign,” Lynn said. 

Lynn and his fellow volunteers camped in an old churchyard; they enjoyed meals that their wives cooked and served each day, and shared the fellowship of others. It ended Friday, when they could finally pause and admire the fruits of their week’s work. With the building completed, it was dedicated, and the keys ceremoniously passed hands.”

“The project had begun with an idea, and a Wood-Mizer. It continued with a group of volunteers traveling to a location 740 miles away hauling a load of lumber and a dream,” Lynn said “Our journey home was filled with the satisfaction of knowing that we had indeed helped a group of people that we did not know to somehow have a better life.”








  Sawyer: Robert Gondar
Location: West Burke, Vermont
Equipment: LT15

Project Dimensions: 6’ X 8’, 48 sq ft
100% of lumber cut on the mill: 725 BF 
Estimated Savings: $435
Wood Species Used: Spruce/Fir, Eastern White Cedar

SECOND PLACE - To Give is To Receive

Charity is defined as: an organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need. Robert Gondar of West Burke, Vermont is the director of the board for the Northeast Kingdom Habitat for Humanity. He cooked up a plan at a meeting to raise needed money for the prestigious charity. A shed would be constructed using local wood and an original design. The fundraiser would be in the form of a raffle. The resulting raffle shed measured in at 6' x 8' with a total of 48 square feet. All 725 board feet were milled on the LT15, saving the group nearly $450.

The shed was constructed with spruce and fir for the framing, floor deck and roof deck. Eastern white cedar was used for the skids, the siding and all the trim pieces on the door and window.

Robert shares how the fundraiser was organized. “Once the project was completed, posters were made describing the shed as well as the financial benefit to the Habitat’s building fund. After completion it was
transported to farmers markets, area fairs and area parades. Thankfully it received a lot of publicity and was a highly successful fundraiser.” Robert’s appreciation for the LT15 is evident in his testimonial on the helpfulness of the mill. “I have
completed many projects from the mill and don’t know how I would exist without a Wood-Mizer. I am almost 70 and although most of the operation is manual, it is very easy and simple to use. I have not suffered any down time due to failures...I have a machine design background, so I appreciate the mechanics of this machine. The best feature is its accurate up and down positioning.”

The milling only took three days, and with an additional day for set up, the volunteers were able to complete the project swiftly. Thanks to using wood from Robert’s property and the mill, the asphalt roof and the window were the only two items purchased. “There was a sense of accomplishment from the volunteer group knowing that income generated from the shed will go towards the next housing h in the Northeast Kingdom.” The raffle shed was a full success, and for those wondering, Nancy Wallace of Barnet, Vermont is the winner of this inspirational project.






Sawyer: Boyd Flynt
Location: Powder Springs, Georgia
Equipment: LT40 Super

Project Dimensions: 9' X 15'
99% of lumber cut on the mill: 250 BF 
Estimated Savings: $1,000-$2,000
Wood Species Used: Poplar, Pine, Oak

THIRD PLACE - Blown Away

"I was asked by my church to create a cockpit for the children to play in at Vacation Bible School. I felt God wanted me to build the children a biplane instead. The night the plane was set up in the sanctuary, we already had 40 children waiting in line to play in the airplane. The next day we had calls from 20 churches to use the airplane for their VBS. After taking the plane to multiple churches, we estimated that over 800 children got to play in the airplane. I can't count the number of stories associated with this plane that showed God's glory."

Boyd praised the performance of his LT40 Super as a big help in completing his project. "I have always been amazed at the accuracy of my sawmill. That aspect helped greatly in milling the wood for this project. When I tell people about that the airplane started as a poplar log, that I cut and milled, they are truly amazed, even my wife said she was 'blown away'."






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