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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Another Sawmill and a Short story About a Great Friend

    A very good friend of mine now nearing his mid-80's expressed his desire to have his favorite old circular saw mill live at my house..... I found myself befriended by Sam a number of years back while doing the HVAC at a new sewer treatment plant next to his property where this and a few other mills, and a number of old tractors are stored.

    A fellow never knows where a smile along with a greeting and the offer of a handshake will lead him.I have subsequently spent many an hour after work just visiting with Sam sitting on a bucket down at the property or up at his house relaxing in the swing.

    I don't think a kinder man nor a truer friend has drawn a least not in front of me anyway. Such an inspiration of determination and honesty would characterize him in a nutshell.

    Not a day goes by that he is not working on one of his 20 some-odd tractors ranging from a reasonably rare Le-Roi Tractair to a common A/C C or Ford 8n. I've stopped by on occasions in the numbing cold all the way to the searing heat of the midwestern summers to find him wrenching away or welding on a trailer frame or even working on a part for one of the sawmills.

    This is the cab assembly, otherwise known as the "husk" of the mill containing the main shaft and arbor for the blade as well as the reduction pullys for the fore and aft movement of the carriage and saw dust removal.

    On the few times I've stopped by and not found him busy it was because of a head cold here and there or maybe a doctors visit for himself or his wonderful wife of many, many years. This past winter, however we found that he was in fact not indestructible as previously thought. Picking up a repaired tire from a local tire shop, Sam slipped while reaching for the runaway tire rolling down the drive, fell and broke his hip.

    This, the first of three loads being transported contain the carriage with three head blocks, the main shaft and miscellaneous parts including the model T rear end adapted to flat belt drive for the dust elevator.

    I asked him if I could impose on his knowledge in milling for help in setting this machine back up and tuning it to saw correctly. With the typical huge smile and serveral rapid nods of his head the answer was a resounding yes.

    One of the cool things about this mill is the power unit. It's a 3-71 Detroit two stroke diesel. Knowing it hadn't run in a few years, before we loaded it up a battery was wrestled from the back of his truck, set in place and cranked over for about 10 seconds. The old gal came to life with the typical banshee scream of the two stroke Detroit !!

    Sam, with a satisfying smile spent some time showing some idiosyncrasies of the motor and its operation before shutting it down to coast to a stop.

    Due to the proximity of the mill with the Meramec River, the power unit had been removed and set on higher ground a few years back when flood waters were threatening.

    Now, all you "tie-down police" please take note: The chains and binders have the power unit securely bound to the trailer and the nylon ratcheting tie-down is merely lending support to the fuel tank on the opposite side.

    There's still more to come, but time won't allow right now.

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim in NC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Colfax, NC
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
    Neat story Wendell. Sam sounds like a truly inspirational friend. Are you gonna install the mill near the oven so you can conveniently keep the cooking fires going with the lumber scraps????
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads." Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    While you got it on the trailer you should drop it off at my place.
    1950 Allis Chalmers WD w/ 2 bottom plow
    1942 Farmall M with 4 row cultivator
    1972 John Deere 110 w/ blade
    1960 John Deere 45 combine
    1970 Cub Cadet 154 lo boy
    Free ain't cheap.

  4. #4
    Moderator Ernie N Ky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Clark County Kentucky
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Great story, the sawmill will definitely be in good hands!
    Ernie N Ky

    Ford 8N
    Case VAC
    Farmall H
    Sears Custom 7

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