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Specialty Sawing Business Pays Off For 80-Year Old

Glen DePorter bought a secondhand portable Kasco bandsaw mill to cut wood for his beehives nearly 16 years ago. Today, the Tennessee sawyer has people coming from as far away as Minnesota and Kansas with loads of specialty wood they want him to run through his mill.
  "You have to work out your little niche; you can't compete with the big sawmills," says DePorter, soon to be 80 years old. "Just put the word out that you saw lathe stock or wood for rustic furniture, and you'll have a business. You'll be amazed how many people have a few logs they want sawed."
  His bandsaw is a simple manual Kasco Saw II. The only powered mechanism on it raises and lowers the band head and powers the saw. Although the saw can be equipped with a second electric motor to move the log carriage back and forth into the blade, DePorter prefers a manual feed.
  Although he originally bought the saw for his own use, he quickly developed a list of customers in the local area where there is a strong woodcraft industry. Customers include five dulcimer makers and a man that orders blocks of wood, which he turns into solid wood footballs on his lathe. The football maker will buy 5,000 to 6,000 board feet of lumber for footballs each year. Specialty jobs have also included sawing steps for a government building in Atlanta, Ga. and cutting out a solid wood shaft for a refurbished historic gristmill.
  "It was 24-in. diameter with 16 faces of 3 3/4 in. each," recalls DePorter. "This little saw did it. It can handle pretty much anything that comes along up to a 36-in. diameter."
  DePorter gives a lot of credit for his sawing success to Kasco. When he first bought the bandsaw mill, it didn't work. When he called the company, he was invited up to see a working model. Once there, he was able to identify some missing parts. The owner gave him pointers on setting it up and running it, including how to sharpen the blade. Once home, he soon had it running.
  While he once had a helper and has sawn up to 3,000 board feet per day, he has since cut back. Today he cuts 800 to 1,000 board feet in a day.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Glen DePorter, 229 Myers Hollow Road, Seymour, Tenn. 37865 (ph 865 453-9708).


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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4