Sawyer Showcase: God's Country Live Edge Wood Milling
God's Country Live Edge Wood Milling
A Sawyer's Retirement Journey
When Karl retired last summer, he got to spend a lot more quality time with the ones he loves - including his HM126 portable sawmill. He began milling ovals and rounds which he decided to post on Facebook Marketplace. People loved them, especially brides. They made beautiful wedding centrepieces and welcome signs. As the rounds became more popular, he took on larger projects.
One was for the Rainbow Routes Association, a not-for-profit that encourages the residents of Sudbury to be healthier and connect with nature as they promote the local urban trails. The Sudbury Rainbow Roots Walk used 250 of his smaller rounds as medals for their participants who completed a 30km hike. Karl is always happy to support a good cause. He was then approached by local schools asking him to donate small rounds made of Ash for them to paint at Thanksgiving. The kids had a ton of fun making handprint turkeys on them. His love and support for the community has also landed him an invite to the Sudbury Home Show this year.
From Hobbyist to Helper
Although he still considers his milling a hobby, Karl has lots of customers interested in his work. A friend reached out and offered to make Karl a business logo for his mill, so he came up with the name "God's Country Live Edge Wood Milling". Karl mills some of the prettiest live edge slabs you'll ever see and always has lots of lumber to choose from for his clients. When he invested in a Woodland Mills Sharpener and Tooth Setter to renew his own blades, sawyers from all over started asking him to sharpen and set their blades, as well. Restoring blades is now a popular service he can offer his fellow sawyers.
Karl works out of his home in Northern Ontario. He may not have the biggest yard, but he certainly takes advantage of every bit of space he has. It is hard to pass by his house without picking up on the fact that Karl has a passion for wood milling. All over his property are neat piles of lumber. He built a shelter where his HM126 sits, beautifully maintained and regularly cleaned. Beside the mill, leaning against the walls of his garage, is an ever-changing assortment of gorgeous live edge slabs. One thing is certain, there is always something nice to see over at Karl's.
Waste Not, Want Not
Karl does not like waste. He does his best to use every bit of the logs he mills. Some of the leftover pieces are put aside for local artists to come and pick through for free. The pieces with too much texture or holes throughout are perfect for his police buddies who enjoy doing resin pours as a pastime - a hobby Karl is sure he will one day get into. Some of the leftover pieces from cutting live-edge slabs are quite small. Karl uses these to make Charcuterie boards in a variety of shapes and styles to give out to friends and family, even adding a free one to a customer's order now and then.
With the amount that Karl mills, he needs a constant supply of logs. He is fortunate enough to have a beautiful 100-acre property on Manitoulin Island where he has thousands of trees to choose from. For now, his HM126 is the perfect size to tackle the logs he mills, but one day he hopes to add an HM130MAX to his inventory.
Project Close to the Heart
Karl doesn't just mill lumber to sell, he also makes all the lumber for his own projects. Right now, he and his wife are building an off-grid cabin on their Manitoulin Island acreage a little over 2 hours from their home. The two wanted a cabin where they could spend vacations and weekends living a simple life. Karl didn't like the idea of having to pay for hydro, but it would be handy to have power on the property for when the grandkids come up. The solutions? Solar generators to power the whole cabin. He built an outhouse and an outdoor shower heated by a fire pit, for those creature comforts. There are 2 natural springs on the property where he can source water. The cabin is winterized, although Karl is no stranger to the cold, often caught milling in below-freezing temperatures.
Inside the cozy cabin is a beautiful loft with Cedar railings and White Pine shiplap for the bedroom walls. All of the wood is sourced from his property and milled on the HM126.
Karl has been able to make a big impact with his mill. Not only with his family, but to the community, and the customers who lovingly call him by his nickname "Karlos Ameigos". He is always there to help where he can, giving tips and advice to anyone who asks. It's clear to those around him that he loves what he does. Thanks for sharing your story, Karl!