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ARKANSAWYER SAWMILL Inc.

Listing #115   Listed on: 03/26/2008

WOODWEB Content Editor, Ted Cushman, Interviewed ARKANSAWYER SAWMILL Inc. in June, 2008.

David Barnes, better known by his working handle "Arky," interrupted his education at engineering school in 2001 to start a custom sawmill operation in the Ozarks of Arkansas, and hasn’t looked back ever since. Starting with a portable Woodmizer bandmill and his truck, Arky’s operation now boasts a stationary Woodmizer in an open-sided shelter, a Morgan scragg mill, a Nyle dehumidifier kiln, a planer and a moulder. That sets Arky up to custom mill all kinds of lumber and produce kiln-dried lumber or custom mouldings on demand.

These days, says Arky, the wood comes to him. "When I started out, I was driving all over a 150-mile radius to saw on site — Memphis, Little Rock, Springfield, all over. But I haven’t traveled like that in a while.” Instead, he saws logs of all descriptions brought in by local landowners who may have a specific end use in mind, from framing timbers to furniture to gunstocks. Located on a main road, the Arkansawyer mill gets noticed without having to advertise. "I’m on the only highway between two towns. The road runs east and west. You can’t go north and south. And so everybody has to come by me."

Continue Reading about ARKANSAWYER SAWMILL Inc.

 
LT40 Saw Shed

 
Company Name:   ARKANSAWYER SAWMILL Inc.
Contact Name:   ARKANSAWYER
Location:   Flippin, AR  72634
Year Founded:   2001
Sq. Footage:   2,500
Employees:   5
Gross Sales:   N/A
Website:   www.arkansawyer.net

Product Specialties:
    Flooring
    Hardwood Lumber
    Logs
    Milled Lumber / Lumber for construction
    Softwood Lumber
    Wood Waste

Service Specialties:

Sawmill Equipment:
    Sawmills: Stationary - WoodMizer
    Moulders - Logosol
    Kilns - Nyle
    Planers - Grizzly
    Scraggs - Morgan



Viewer Comments:

Posted By: mike     [09/09/2008]
I like your mill setup and that's similar to what want I work five days a week. Do you work on Saturdays? I live in south Arkansas and would like to watch your mill run.


Posted By: mike     [09/10/2008]
Thanks for the reply I'm probably going to be put on four 10's soon so I will be off on Fridays. I would rather watch your mill run with a full crew wide open if ya know what I mean. I ran a tie mill here at home for a couple years and as you already know it's hard to get the full picture without watching a mill run in full stride. Plus I would hate to miss a day of hunting or fishing or mess up one of yours. I'll call u to see when we can work a day out. Thanks.


Posted By: Doug     [12/29/2008]
I'd like to learn more about how you got your start. I have a homemade (bare-bones) bandsaw and am just west of Paragould. I'm using the wood cleared from my house site for some applications building my new house but don't have acess to a kiln and can only cut 13' logs right now.


Posted By: Paul Asahel Coover     [02/10/2009]
I have recently purchased aTimber King 1600. I'm at the begining. How can I get into your "101". Thanks Paul A Coover (479) 236-6322


Posted By: Jason Sikes     [08/04/2010]
Hello Arky,
I just started up my business south cental Missoui. I would like to get with you some time and pick you brain. My number is (417) 522-4724
Thanks for your time,
Jason Sikes
J Custom Sawmill


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Company Description Continued

Arky also buys mixed tractor-trailer loads from loggers. "What I get is what’s called the clean-up from the end of the run. They’ll go in and cut out a tract of timber, and they sell the softwood to big production sawmills outside my area. But when they get done, they might have a walnut, and a cherry, and a gum, and an ash, and a couple nice oaks and a few pines and cedars. They put these leftover logs all on one truck and they bring them to me." Big mills in his area either saw dimension lumber or oak flooring, he says, "but I saw everything. We can kiln-dry it ourselves, and we make flooring, trim — everything."

Including framing lumber and ship-lap board siding, the mill saws around 15,000 board feet of lumber a week. The Nyle kiln takes a week or two to dry 3,000 board feet of sawn boards, depending on species, and the moulder and planer can machine about 2,000 feet of mouldings. "And we do erect timber frames too. We do two or three of those a year — outbuildings, barns, and homes."

The variety keeps life interesting. "I don’t ever do the same thing for more than a couple days in a row." And the variety of wood gives Arky an eye for the grain and figure that’s hiding inside a log. "I had some fellows from a gun club come by with pieces of a dead walnut tree to saw up for gun stocks. And when I looked at the logs and told them what they would find inside, they thought I had X-Ray vision."

For anyone else who’s interested in starting up their own small custom sawmill, Arky offers what he calls "Arky 101." "People who want to buy a sawmill will come in here and work beside me for a few days. Some of them, I never hear from them again and they never buy a sawmill. They go away saying, ‘That guy’s crazy and this is the stupidest business in the world.’" But other sawmillers benefit from the experience. "I had a guy and his nephew come in and spend two days sawing on my mill, and I explained what we were doing and why, and when they went back to their own mill and started applying it, they said their production doubled and the grade of their wood quadrupled. It does make a difference how you do things."

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