Well hello there wonderful BYC community! I am back on this site after a long time, and I now am a Homesteader Wife! I have posted a little bit on here about our chicken coop, and our other various animals. I made a brief introduction, but now I want to go a little bit deeper into our homestead life!
My husband and I partnered with a family friend to invest in a new Norwood LM29 sawmill. Not only will this be helping us to build our cabin, but it also will become our business and most of our income. All of the lumber will be cut from our homestead, and then milled by my husband, his brother, and myself.
Our first order is going to be for our preacher, as a great start. He has been paying way too much at a local lumber yard, and is going to help us get started with a large order that will be the finishing touches on his corn crib. He is an heirloom corn farmer, and is constructing a corn crib to dry and store all of it, then mill it, after harvesting. What is so amazing, is that my husband has been helping build it! We made a trade for services around his farm, in order to get an old tractor that we now use to haul our logs from the woods. Next year, this tractor will be helping us get started in planting our own heirloom corn and watermelons!
ANYWHO- so now this homesteader couple is piecing together a huge 1000lb+ sawmill by ourselves, and boy is it frustrating! I just want to show you all some photos, tell you our experience with this mill, and invite you to join us as we mill local lumber!
The sawmill was brought in from New York to Alabama by way of 18-wheeler/tractor trailer delivery. We had to meet them at the end of our road, and load the boxes in the back of two small trucks to bring it back to the house. The delivery company made sure to mention that we had to unload it ourselves- so as the truck driver handed us packages from the back, we were walking them over and loading them into our truck beds. 19 boxes later, we drove back to the house! VERY.....VERY HEAVY.
The beginning steps involved getting the HUGE book of instructions out, and assembling the rail/track that the bandsaw mill would slide down. This was pretty easy to begin with, even adding on the two bed extensions that made this able to hold 20 foot logs:
The hard part came in lifting this sucker up and making sure every single part was level. It has leveling legs that come with it, for extra support, but this definitely was all time consuming. My husband's strength was surely helpful in lifting and adjusting it all. Finally, after it was all level and screwed down into the boards it sat on, all the bolts had to be tightened. Then, the braces and the log dog that all hold it in to place were added.
So this final picture leaves us with today's hard work- adding on the carriage and pulley system to lift the saw up and down, adjusting heights for what size board you want to cut! This was DIFFICULT. In the process of assembling the carriage system, two of the bolt heads broke off. Needless to say, I have photographed it and have them saved until we are completely finished assembling, in order to report back to the company and let them know what flaws/troubles we had.
All in all, this part took us about 6 hours to work on. And I admit I wasn't much help today, having a pretty cruddy migraine. My husband got upset too when the bolts broke while tightening them down. Slowly but surely, though, it is coming together.
Mind you, this picture doesn't have the entire day's finished product to it. This is just what we had by lunchtime.
I just wanted, again, to put a little information out there on our experiences with this sawmill, and how it is to work with this huge piece of equipment (well, huge to me... ) So far, the Norwood company has been extremely helpful, even in honoring a discounted price after the promotion had ended. They even sent a very nifty "Norwood Owner's Edition" baseball cap with the mill!
I am so excited to continue sharing our story with you! Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this over. We are so blessed to have friends and family supporting us in this homestead journey, and thankful each day to God for providing opportunities like this to us, even when we have so very little in our pockets. I cannot tell you how much He has blessed our lives over the years.
"Pray without ceasing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:17
God bless each and every one of you- and may your families, your animals, and your crops all grow healthy and strong!