Category 8: Unusual & Unique


  Sawyer: Lynn Krom
Location: Bay City, Michigan
Equipment: LT15

Project Dimensions: 4' diameter, 24-sided outhouse
95% of lumber cut on the mill: 300 BF
Estimated Savings: $400
Wood Species Used: Aspen, Maple

FIRST PLACE - Outside the Box

Lynn Krom’s winning project in the unique category is just that, unique in many ways. It is an excellent example of what you can build when you think outside the box...literally. Tired of building practical but boring rectangular structures, Lynn decided to take things up a few notches and create a building with 24 sides. The old outhouse at his cabin in northern Michigan was falling apart, and he wanted to replace it with something different. As Lynn points out, “A small special purpose building can be a little different and still be practical.” A big help in cutting the different sizes and shapes he needed was his Wood- Mizer LT15. He used his sawmill to cut nearly all the wood he used to build the outhouse, a total of 300 board feet cut from aspen and maple.

Before building the outhouse, Lynn went through a thorough design study to make sure a circular stave design was what he wanted. He started by building a quarter size model to figure out the best way to make the long compound angle tapers on the staves in addition to how to join the roof and wall together. After the mini outhouse was complete, he moved on to building a 24-sided stool out of maple to use in the full size outhouse. Now that he had a little experience with 24-sided construction, Lynn was confident this was what he what he wanted to do, and he started construction on the outhouse, a process that took about two months to complete.

The first step was to create the plywood floor. He built a jig for his circular saw to help accurately make the 24 cuts needed to attach the walls. Next was the six foot junction ring to join the walls of the roof. Since Lynn was constructing the outhouse at his home and would have to haul it to his cabin once it was completed, he build it on a trailer to save himself the trouble of loading it after it was completed.

He bolted the outhouse floor to the trailer and created a temporary support to hold the junction ring in place. This setup made installing the wall staves much easier. The process of cutting aspen into the staves was a challenge that required precise work since just one small error on each of the 24 pieces would add up to one big error when it was all put together. But with two other 24-sided constructions under his belt, Lynn successfully completed this task. The final piece of construction was the center roof vent, which was also a 24-sided cylinder. To fit around the conical roof, the shingles were hand cut from roll roofing. After Lynn and his son hauled the outhouse to the cabin and moved it from the trailer to its pit and foundation, they added vinyl flooring and the stool, and it was finally ready for business. Lynn calls his outhouse the most pleasant he’s ever had the pleasure of using.








Sawyer: Bob Harbrige
Location: Commodore, Pennsylvania
Equipment: LT15

Project Dimensions: 39" X 20" X 19"
100% of lumber cut on the mill: 30 BF 
Estimated Savings: $110
Wood Species Used: Hickory, White Oak, Black Cherry

SECOND PLACE - The Machine of Inspiration

Inspiration can strike at any time, whether you seek it out or not. Some of the best inspiration can come from family, and for Bob Harbrige, an Engineering Handbook (Mechanics’ Pocket Memoranda, 6th edition) from 1900, which belonged to Bob’s grandfather, depicted a simple design for a stationary steam engine. After some time, that steam engine design transformed into a completed, fully functioning, Wooden Air Engine.

The machine measures in at 39" x 20" x 19" and was constructed using a Wood-Mizer LT15. Over the course of four months, Bob used hickory, white oak and black cherry totaling an approximation of 30 board feet. The machine is designed as a decorator item and, as Bob shares, “This engine has been used to run a small generator powering LED lights. It has a three inch bore and a six inch stroke and works on approximately
four psi of air pressure created by a vacuum.”

The detail of the air engine is stunning and the work that went into the four month project is so detailed. “The engine block was made of 1.5" quarter sawn black cherry blocks glued together crossgrained. The center of the block was drilled for a three inch PVC pipe used as a cylinder sleeve. It has a hickory piston with a black cherry quarter sawn piston rod. A wood lathe was used to form the crankshaft, flywheel spokes, flywheel hub, pulley, reverser handle, roller wheel on reverser, piston rod, slide valve rod, piston, spacers on crankshaft and feet for base. Three pieces of 3/16 planed quarter sawn black cherry were glued together crossgrained to make plywood sheets. These were used for the reverser piston slide, block glide, slide valve slide, block guide and slide valve port plate. The air chest was made from quarter sawn black cherry and has a Lexan window to view the slide valve operation. The base was constructed from eight 1.5" x 3.5" cherry boards glued together and held with 4 bolts. The plaque on the front was made from quarter sawn oak with custom decals. The eccentric straps, connecting rod, crankshaft journals, main bearing blocking and valve guide bases were all made from quarter sawn black cherry.”






Sawyer: John Baker/William Dorsey
Location: Ayden, North Carolina
Equipment: LT40 Super Hydraulic

Project Dimensions: 56" X 22" X 17.5"
100% of lumber cut on the mill: 25 BF 
Estimated Savings: Priceless
Wood Species Used: Black Walnut, Maple, Black Cherry, Mahogany
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THIRD PLACE (TIE) - Dorsey Originals

Excerpt from Dorsey Originals: The Origin. "When a friend challenged William Dorsey to create a coffee table that resembled a skateboard, a legacy was born. What began as a simple friendly bet lead Dorsey to create a world class line of functional art."

"Having access and the ability to mill spalted lumber and veneer cannot be over emphasized on a custom project like this. A perfect match of veneer and solid lumber is a cinch if they originate from the same stock. I could not have completed [this project] without a Wood-Mizer." Upon seeing his finished table, William was "speechless."

William now operates a business called Dorsey Originals in which he specializes in creating "exclusive action sports furniture."






Sawyer: Steven Brown
Location: Stafford, Virginia
Equipment: LT28

Project Dimensions: 60" press, 16" bucket diameter, 22" X 22" table top
100% of lumber cut on the mill: 27 BF 
Completion Time: 50-55 hours 
Wood Species Used: Oak

THIRD PLACE (TIE) - A Father's Day Gift

After seeing an antique grape press, Steven thought it would be cool to make one that was fully functional as a fathers day gift for his dad. "There are hand carved grape leaves and vines on the table top. The drain spout is sloped to allow the juice to drain into the juice bucket with a waffle pattern on the bottom of the press for better juicing." Steven said the portability of his LT28 was very helpful during the project. "I am extremely happy with the way it turned out." Steven's beautiful father's day gift will be enjoyed for years to come. 
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