Tom The Sawyer
Portable Sawmill Service
Eudora, Kansas  (816) 896-5170

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Who is Tom The Sawyer?

The quick answer is, my name is Tom and I am a sawyer... Tom The Sawyer

I have been a woodworker for more than 50 years.  I always preferred to use nice wood for my projects but the cost of hardwood lumber seemed pretty high.  About 30 years ago I had the chance to salvage a couple of small cottonwood logs and started looking for a sawmill.   Some mills wouldn't bother with a small quantity of logs, others wouldn't touch "residential logs" (yard trees, urban timber, etc.) due to the potential for metal in the logs.  Finally, I found a small circular mill operation that agreed to saw my logs.  The big old blade at that mill had a very wide kerf and a lot of my cottonwood ended up as sawdust on the floor of the mill but the resulting boards became a writing desk for my daughter and I have been looking for logs ever since.

Salvaging logs from storm damage or construction sites (I don't remember if they called it "urban timber" back in the 80s), I quickly learned that sawing with a bandsaw mill preserved more of that precious resource.  I was always on the lookout for someone willing to saw my logs.  I would load the logs on a small trailer by hand and haul them home.  When I had enough logs to make the trip worthwhile, I would haul them to a bandsaw mill.  If I was very fortunate, I might find a portable bandsaw mill that would come to my home and we would mill the logs in my driveway.  As a member of the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild, I even did a couple of programs on small scale harvesting of local logs, milling, and air-drying "Urban Lumber."

In 2009, I retired after 31 years in law enforcement and started looking for a portable sawmill.  I bought a Timberking B-20 bandsaw mill in the Fall of 2009 and started custom milling in the Spring of 2010.  I still look forward to opening every log.  They are like presents, sometimes you get socks, sometimes you get the neatest thing ever!

Being retired enables me to have my own business doing something I really enjoy.  I don't have 'business hours' as such.  I don't work every day but I will work any day of the week.  All of my milling is done by appointment - either at my home or at the client's site.  Weekend appointments fill up more quickly, it is easier for my clients to find friends to help.  Weather conditions may restrict when I will mill.  Running a sawmill in the mud, snow, bitter cold or extreme heat is no fun and I want your milling day to be a positive experience (and, did I mention, I am retired).

Whether you have a big pile of logs, or perhaps just a sentimental tree that you want to preserve as an heirloom, I will do what I can to get the most suitable boards from your logs.
How I got started with urban logs...
  1. Harvesting
    This walnut was debris in a flooded creek. Loaded on a small trailer with a cant hook, pulled home with my Honda Civic station wagon - about as simple as you can get.
  2. Stockpiling
    Unloaded at home, the ends were painted and an appointment scheduled for milling. About 1990.
  3. Milling Day
    Milling Day
    Sawyer Jerry would bring his manual, portable mill to my home and we would turn my logs into valuable lumber, sawdust, and scrap.
  4. Furniture to-be
    Furniture to-be
    Several hundred board feet of walnut lumber, stacked in my garage to air dry.