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Mike Papke's Portable Sawmilling

Listing #244   Listed on: 09/16/2009

WOODWEB Content Editor, Brett Hagstrom, Interviewed Mike Papke in September 2009.

Mike Papke is a busy guy. When he’s not working at Ford Motor Company as a tool and die maker, he is running his own sawmill. Recently he’s been very busy trying to keep up with orders for his mill. Mike says that he is improving at “learning to accept only as many logs as he can cut”, while still maintaining steady business.

Mike has been involved with woodworking throughout his life and ten years ago was building his own kitchen cupboards. A few years ago he cut firewood on his neighbor’s property and after taking note of some nice logs, he became interested in purchasing a sawmill. Mike’s model of choice was a TimberKing and after plenty of research he drove to Kansas City, Missouri to purchase the mill. He has owned the mill for nearly two years and loves it.

Continue Reading about Mike Papke's Portable Sawmilling

TimberKing Sawmill

  TimberKing Sawmill Front

  WNY Hardwoods Sawmill Back

  WNY Hardwoods Sawmill Weather Shelter

  2,000 Board Foot Solar Kiln – Polycarbonate Panels

  2,000 Board Foot Solar Kiln – Side View

  2,000 Board Foot Solar Kiln – Side View

  2,000 Board Foot Solar Kiln – First Load

  2,000 Board Foot Solar Kiln

  Air Dried Spalted Soft Maple

  Red Pine Cut to Order

  Hemlock Cut to Order

  Larch Lumber In Stock and Cut to Order

Company Name:   Mike Papke's Portable Sawmilling
Contact Name:   Mike Papke
Location:   Strykersville, NY  14145
Year Founded:   2008
Sq. Footage:   0
Employees:   1
Gross Sales:   N/A

Product Specialties:
    Hardwood Lumber
    Milled Lumber / Lumber for construction
    Other Wood Products
    Softwood Lumber
    Wood Components
    Wood Waste

Service Specialties:
    Custom Sawing
    Kiln Drying

Sawmill Equipment:
    Sawmills: Portable - TimberKing B20
    Kilns - Custom Engineered 2,000 Board Foot Solar

Viewer Comments:

Posted By: Alex Fullmer     [10/25/2009]
Hey Mike, do you have any picts of your solar kiln? I would really like to see the design you chose as we are looking at putting one up here at Fullmer's Wood Supply in TN.

Posted By: ron shapiro     [10/01/2010]
I have a nice 40 foot black walnut and I need it cut. Can you do it and what should it cost?

Posted By: myles     [12/08/2010]
Nice solar kiln. Do you have plans or did you just use your own design? Is it possible to get a copy of the drawings as a guide? I need to get cracking on a kiln.

Posted By: Joe Higgins     [05/25/2014]
I like the desine of your kline. I would like to get a copy of your kline. Could you send me a copy Email. Thank you and happy cuting. My phone # is 419-957-9784

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Company Description Continued

Mike started his business selling softwoods for barn siding and structural lumber. He also started as a portable business and worked around half a dozen to a dozen jobs a year. He is now home based and works one or two portable jobs a year.

Mike acquires logs from his neighbor who lives about five miles away. His neighbor sells them for very reasonable prices and conveniently drops them off at Mike’s mill. Mike usually purchases larch, spalted maple, hickory, black walnut, and veneer grade elm. Mike mentions that he always tries to have a variety of lumber on hand.

Mike mentions that he did a lot of reading and research before purchasing his TimberKing B-20. He says that the technical support and warranty has worked out very well for him. Mike also has a 1972 International 656 65hp hydro tractor with a bucket, back blade, and forks to help move logs around.

Mike says to “make sure you have a lot of room for equipment” when considering the layout for a sawmill. He has five acres of land and has plans to build a large open air building to store his lumber. He currently air dries lumber in his 30x40 barn and will soon be using his 2000 board foot capacity kiln. Mike just completed construction of a solar kiln and says that the information he used when building it came from WOODWEB.

Mike typically has about 3000-4000 board feet of logs on hand including 2000 board feet of cherry, 1000 board feet of black walnut and plenty of hemlock and larch.

During the end of summer and start of fall, a lot of woodworkers order hardwoods. Mike charges by the hour when he is on the road and charges by the board foot at his mill.

Mike’s customer base includes anyone located within a two hour driving range, or about 120 miles. Mike says that he is about 45 minutes from Buffalo, Rochester, and Niagara Falls so he maintains a solid customer base from those areas. He has also had a customer from Ontario, Canada and California. Mike delivers on a limited basis and when he does deliver, it is to steady customers and customers who live nearby.Mike Papke’s Portable Sawmilling & Specialty Hardwoods of Western New York (WNY) uses a TimberKing mill for precise cuts. We offer specialty hardwoods as well as portable milling services.

For more information, e-mail or call 716.604.8761.

We recently completed a custom-engineered 2,000 bf. solar kiln. More photos and current inventory can be found by visiting

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