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Kat and Kevin Yares

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Happy Camper

Kat has been urging me to write a few articles for this site and the weather as it is this morning, 3:50 am, raining nicely and the coffee is hot.  First a short background about me. Since 1990, I have been involved in the world of automated machinery. Whether relay or computer controlled, shop serviced or home built, I have made our living from machines. Now I am looking forward to retirement at the age of 45. Of course, my idea of retirement is working with and milling logs, so go figure. The hardest work a body can find and I am lucky enough to be with a wonderful woman just as crazy as I am!

The Oscar 36 manual mill from Hud-Son is by hands down one of the sturdiest frames out there on the market place. No, this is not a plug, just the truth. When Kat and I began the research for this mill we looked at all aspects. Cost of course was a decision but for me was the overall construction and simplicity of the design. Second to none was the service aspect of the company; Hud-Son definitely comes through on their part for this.

We were in the middle of our third batch of logs on the log beams when things started to happen.  The blade began a tell tale wave through the last cut. I knew we had just put a fresh blade on the carousel a few logs before and we had hit no metal in the logs.  Stopping the engine and upon closer inspection there it was, we had shelled a guide block bearing. Not all to thrilled with the thought of having to quit for the day I went to the shop and found a compatible bearing to finish up the few remaining logs for the weekend.

Well, here it was about two o'clock in the afternoon and we were finished for the day. I decided to give Hud-Son a call and see about the warranty on the bearings.  Little did I believe that anyone would be there on a Saturday to receive a call? Little did I know about the service from Hud-Son? The fellow on the other end took my information and within an hour the service manger returned my call. By the end of the week the replacement bearings were in the mailbox, at no charge.

Enclosed in the package with the bearings was a new catalog from Hud-Son.  As I was leafing through the well-taken pictures and descriptions of the machines, I came across their "Why Hud-Son is the right choice" page.  Under the warranty section they state, "We do not hide behind the small print".  I have been involved with too many various vendors in the past that did hide behind this small print. These vendors cost me a lot of money when I was out on my own trying to earn a dollar for my growing family.  Never did I believe that my retirement job would have such a committed company as Hud-Son behind it. As you can tell I am one happy camper with the events of one small radial bearing being shelled.

Another interesting incident occurred last week as Kat and I had just finished sawing and stacking the latest addition to our growing lumber yard. Our neighbor Hugh, who had been a sawyer for the past 60 years stopped by for the first time to see our new mill.  He simply walked up on the deck gave the carriage a push, looked back down at the pine deck, tapped his foot and smiled.  "Smooth" was all he said.  Right then, Kat and I both knew Oscar just pasted the test.

Hugh took a seat on the deck picked up a block of wood and began to whittle. His hand moved to the deck again and asked. "Oak decking isn't it?"

"No" we answered at the same time. "Just pine."

"Feels like oak, nice boards."

Hugh went on for the next hour and half talking about sawing, stories of the past. The sun was shining; the air was as clean as the sky was blue. I looked over to Kat and gave her the biggest grin I could muster.  I'm crazy. I know, but one very happy camper.

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