I had the opportunity to visit a sawmill last week. When I found out I would be going, I instantly had visions of strong, bearded men in red flannel. Some were even using those big hand saws, the ones with a hunky man on each end, sawing the huge tree in half. Some had chain saws. But not the good looking ones. Just the wimps. Wouldn’t that be an exciting day?!
Well, this sawmill was nothing like the one I pictured in my head. Instead, it was an 18° morning and I was wrapped up like an arctic fox. There were no men running around in flannel, but I did met Bucky Black, tree enthusiast, wood worker, and owner. Like most residents here in Boone, Bucky has a fascinating life story to tell. He was a former professional chef and on his resume you can find employers such as the Neverland Ranch. Wow. After leaving the kitchen, Bucky found his passion in wood working and now owns his very own sawmill.
The sawmill is situated WAY back in the woods. There are big trees and small trees, trees waiting to be cut, trees laying in boards, stumps, wood chips, and wood scraps everywhere. The central focus, the saw.
The process is very methodical, very precise. Moving the tree from point A to point B is no easy task. It takes measuring and a ton of pre-planning as to how a tree may roll or fall. As Bucky says, “We must listen to what the tree is telling us.” Goosebumps. I wrote that down.
The actual sawing process is about as interesting as watching paint dry. The saw has to move very, VERY slow and steady through the tree. I’m certain it is much more fun for the operator than for the bystander now peppered in saw dust.
But the end result is worth the wait. A beautifully cut tree, exposing natural artwork only Mother Nature can paint.
What was my absolute favorite part about the sawmill?
The chickens!!!!! I don’t think the feeling was mutual.
(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)