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Kat and Kevin Yares

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Part 1:  Why a Sawmill?

I suppose the decision to buy a sawmill came from three different lines of thinking, both by myself and my better half.  As we were sitting in our living room, again talking about how much weight the overflowing, wall to wall bookshelves were putting on the floor, we began once more discussing adding on to the house.

Our first idea had been to build an addition onto the back of the house.  Like most things we do, we stood behind the house and tried to envision a larger space.  We came up with a two (well, really three) story structure.  The bottom floor would be a celler/root celler space where we could not only put foodstuffs, but also include an indoor utility room which could house a water system.  Second story would be a library and my office.  The third could be hubby's studio, where he could play with recordings and film.

Then we got realistic and thought of the cost.  Whoa, by the time Kevin had the addition drawn up in the CAD program, we realized we were talking close to twenty thousand dollars, just in material costs.  TOO MUCH!

Time to sit down and rethink.  Okay, we have both the upstairs and downstairs porch.  We always planned to close the upstairs porch off and make it another room.  That could be our offices and then he could take over the small bedroom we're using as an office now as his studio.

The library, we could close off the downstairs porch, reinforce the floor and have double the bookshelf space we have now.  Okay, maybe now we had an affordable plan.  That was, until we priced wood.  We were going to have to think about this some more.

The second train of thought that led into this decision was the managing of the timber we have on our fifteen acres.  Bugs and disease had already destroyed all of our red oaks a couple of years ago.  But we still had white oak and hickory.  Problem was/is much of that was planted too close together to allow for healthy growth.  Combine that with all the loblolly pines growing on the property sucking up all the available moisture and you have a bad situation getting worse with every foot the pine trees grew.  We knew the pine had to go.

Now, me being me, I wanted my husband home full time.  His working full time off the homestead (and nights at that) does not allow us the time to accomplish everything we want to do with the place.  So, while I can earn a modest amount of money writing content for other folk's websites, we needed a source of income that could replace his full time job.

Enter thoughts of a sawmill.  One, it's something Kevin has always wanted to do.  Two, no one else in our area is doing it.  Three, we solve the problem of what to do with the loblolly pines and have more than enough lumber to do the remodling we want to do to the house, plus have enough left over to construct a summer kitchen and several animal sheds around the property.

So we began looking at the possibilites.  We checked prices of sawmills.  Kevin wanted a bandsaw mill and after hearing some of the horror stories of bell saws, I had to agree.  We counted the loblollys just in the front yard and were amazed at how much standing pine we actually had.  Even if we never cut a board for anyone but ourselves, the mill would pay for itself by providing the lumber we needed for our projects.

We talked for over a week, both getting excited about what this idea could do to fill all three thought lines.  We decided to go for it.  After all, the one thing no one can say about us is that we are not willing to take a chance.  So on October 29th, we signed the papers for our brand new Oscar 36 from Hud-Son Forest Equipment.

Now we both had a lot of learning to be done before the mill would arrive at the end of November. Not to mention, dirt work that would have to be done to create a permanent place for the mill.

Do we know it's going to be a lot of hard work?  You bet we do.  Hard work, while it terrifies our children, has never bothered us much. After all, there is nothing more gratifying than coming inside at the end of the day and being able to look outside and see the results of your labors.  Talk about instant gratification.

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