Our Adventures at the Fair with Our Sawmill
Just some rambling stories so you get to know where I come from
I thought I would chronicle the week at the fair last year.
My wife and I decided about 25 years ago to give back by moving the Mill to the Wilson County Fair for nine days and just saw. This started when a boy came with his father to pick up lumber looked at his dad and stated “I thought 2X4s came from Walmart”
We made a call and were told to come on. The first years were with a non-Hydraulic LT40, Then a Super LT 40, and now LT70 all WOODMIZER.
The first problem we found was that since at that time I worked public work also I would leave work and go straight to the fair. We weren’t flush with money “It’s called raising kids” so Mom started cooking my supper right there at the fair. That grew into a full firebox and other Vendors enjoying a home-cooked meal.
In 2002 we had established that we would be there so people that don’t live near us would bring logs to the fair so some years I did not even need to bring Logs. I started sawing on Friday at the start and noticed that the POW WOW Trade community that sold next to us was having a horrible time with no sales. We had friends there that were wonderful artisans but had not sold anything. Mom and I decided that this year we were a little better off. Instead of having a little paycheck for demonstrating we would put everything back into the food and at least our friends would eat. The more I cut the more she cooked, at one evening she fed over 70 people. Oh, by the way, this was the year after 911 and yes people were still affected. At the end of that year, we had still had and had cemented on-going friendships.
So, for a start here is what has to happen
1 Get a fair support kit from WOODMIZER. This is a blessing because they will give you a bundle of log scales that allows you to teach people what is in a tree. I spend a lot of time just talking to people about what are their options with one too many trees on their property.
2 Understand that WOODMIZER has a program that will reward you if you talk to someone and they buy a mill. I have been talking to people in the thousands and yes, they bought mills but being at the fair has never brought me a referral. I didn’t start this for that and I am OK with it.
3 One of the best things about the fair is I am there to demonstrate not run production. That is a blessing and yes, I get pleasure in putting a little boy or girl on my lap and let them saw a board out. August is normally 95 degrees and when I give the child the board to go home and make a birdhouse for some reason the father isn’t happy hours later when the child won’t let him sit the board down and come back for it.
Moving the mill means at least six trips 38 miles to the fair. This is my give back and I am not worried about the economics of it.
- Move the mill out of the shed (This means that the annual of a complete clean-up will happen.
- Wash the mill
- Collect Logs
- Gather what you need for the mill to run for a week
- Gather cooking stuff (This will probably take until Sunday to get everything there)
- Don’t forget to bring the Mill Head yes that has happened
- Move your support machinery
Speaking of support machinery, I have been blessed with one of the best Skid Steer operators in what started as a 10-year-old daughter. She would haul the garbage out with the Bobcat. The old-timers operate a circular Mill one Saturday. They would have my Daughter Wendy move logs for them. They would later have her move them back just to watch her operate the Bobcat.
Now that it is Thursday and the mill is up for Friday evening take stock and go get what you forgot, you have to understand that the mill operation at home did not stop and customers have to be taken care of and planning for the week done.
This year I have to add poplar in the mix for three jobs at home that did not get finished in time. That means haul poplar 38 miles to cut then haul it back home for the customer. It is just part of the experience and before you tell me that I am going to lose money, not just break even and enjoy watching little one sees sawdust played in.