GRANDMA RAN A LUMBER MILL

THUMBS UP for do-it-yourslf sawyers all across America...like Hank Dimuzio and his TimberKing 2000!

THUMBS UP for do-it-yourslf sawyers all across America…like Hank Dimuzio and his TimberKing 2000!

“I was an emergency physician in Vermont for 33 years. Now I’m retired and I work at farming, logging, and sawing lumber with my TimberKing 2000. My wife, Rhonda, is a nurse-educator at a large Vermont hospital and my ‘right hand gal Friday!’

Hank has what many consider the perfect set up: a homestead with a lot of land including acres and acres of forest, plenty of hands-on projects to do, and a TimberKing sawmill to help him.

Hank has what many consider the perfect set up: a homestead with a lot of land including acres and acres of forest, plenty of hands-on projects to do, and a TimberKing sawmill to help him.

Grandma ran a lumber mill

I’d had some sawing experience because my family was involved in sawing generations ago. My mother’s side owned a lumber mill in Philadelphia generations ago. They made doors, sashes, cabinets, and more. After my grandfather died, my mother and grandmother ran the mill themselves! So I guess there’s wood in my blood somewhere.

In 1992, I skidded out oak logs, pine, ash, soft maple, cherry, basswood and more, and helped a friend saw them on his sawmill. That gave us 8,000 board feet of hardwood, all stickered.

Natural catastrophe was a D-I-Y opportunity

We had major wind storms in 2009 and 2010 – winds up to 112 mph. Storms took down trees, tore down buildings, and really made a mess. On top of that, our 1700’s farmhouse needed a lot of work, too. We really had to do something to rebuild but how could we do it? Well, we had 62 acres of woodland in Vermont and another 375 in nearby New York. I figured it was time to get a sawmill. I was retired by then and bought a TimberKing 2000 sawmill in 2013 to build, repair, and replace our farm’s buildings.

Here's Hank strapping down two 24' beams he sawed out with his TimberKing. The vehicle? "THE BEAST" is Hank's 1988 dump pickup.

Here’s Hank strapping down two 24′ beams he sawed out with his TimberKing. The vehicle? “THE BEAST” is Hank’s 1988 dump pickup.

We definitely wanted full hydraulics

I looked at mills and I liked TimberKing’s design with its 4-post head and full hydraulics. The design’s simple and the mill is easy to use. We aren’t sawing for income so we figured the 2000 would be big enough for our needs. And we definitely wanted its full hydraulics. We have tractors to skid logs and get them on the TimberKing’s hydraulic log loaders. After that, it’s just sawing and lifting the boards off. It’s easy and fun.

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The 2000 is rated to handle logs up to 21’ but to redo our farmhouse, I needed 2, 24’ x 14” x 8” beams. The 2000 TimberKing’s hydraulic command post swings out of the way so we could just feed 24’ logs right through the mill and turn them into beautiful, 24’ hemlock beams.

Hank and Rhonda built their home addition like old-time Vermonters did, with handsome post and beam construction. And they did it themselves.

Hank and Rhonda built their home addition like old-time Vermonters did, with handsome post and beam construction. And they did it themselves.

We sawed out all our beams of pine, hemlock, and some oak. We make the timber frame, raised it, closed it in, and we’re now living in it. We used red oak boards from the sawing we did in 1990 as flooring. So our ceilings are cherry, beams are pine and hemlock, and floors are oak. I told my wife the project would take two years — that turned into four and it’s still partially under construction. I’ve got a very patient wife!

Hank and Rhonda raise Fallow deer. This one's one of their breeding males. Rhonda named him Owen.

Hank and Rhonda raise Fallow deer. Here’s one of their breeding males. Rhonda named him Owen.

LedgEnd Farm – 252 acres, 400 head of deer

Together, Rhonda and I raise a herd of 350 to 400 Fallow deer on our 252 acre farm, LedgEnd Farm. These deer were native to northern Europe and Persia. They’re spotted with large antlers like a moose and they’re very tasty! This is a meat business; we sell venison mostly in Vermont, directly to restaurants, general stores, and the public. All by word of mouth.

Rhonda's putting hemlock and pine ceiling beams in place in their 24' x 14' addition. Today, the downstairs is finished off while the upstairs is still a work in progress.

Seated in what will be the upstairs of their new 24′ x 14′ home addition, Rhonda’s putting hemlock and pine ceiling beams in place. Today, the downstairs is finished off while the upstairs is still a work in progress.

Hank’ll never have to buy lumber again

I’m still busy sawing wood for my farm buildings. I’m concentrating on trim to finish the inside of the farmhouse. In the next couple of years, I plan to saw lumber to restore our barns and build a garage. As I said, we raise deer and they’re very hard on structures, fences, pens, and so on. They rub against them and rub their antlers on

Meet Hank Dimuzio and Rhonda Roberts - sawyers, deer farmers, and TimberKing owners from Vermont!

Meet Hank Dimuzio and Rhonda Roberts – sawyers, deer farmers, and TimberKing owners from Vermont!

them. I constantly have to replace boards. It’s really nice to know I can take trees – even those that are only good for firewood — and turn them into lumber I can use around the farm. And I don’t have to buy wood at the lumberyard!

I recommend TimberKing to others who’re interested in sawing. I’d encourage them to visit sawmill owners to see how they work. And they should decide if they’d saw for business or pleasure, think who their customers would be, and put together a business plan.

I’m very happy with my TimberKing. For us, it is the right size and having full hydraulics is great. If I were sawing for a living, I’d probably go bigger but for what we need this is just right. And sawing’s a lot of fun!”

— Hank Dimuzio and Rhonda Roberts, TimberKing 2000 owners, LedgEnd Farm, Middlebury, Vermont

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