Raven Farm SawmillListing #312 Listed on: 05/22/2010
WOODWEB Content Editor, Brett Hagstrom, Interviewed Kelvin Potter in March 2014.
As a kid Kelvin Potter garnered an interest in woodworking observing and helping his grandfather build furniture in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he especially enjoyed helping his grandfather build birdhouses. Kelvin’s enjoyment of woodworking continued in middle school and high school where he participated in as many woodshop classes as possible.
Before Kelvin left for college, his grandfather passed away. After Kelvin graduated college with a teaching degree, it didn’t take him long to venture back to his woodworking roots, doing remodels and built-in projects for homes. While completing remodels and built-ins Kelvin began taking on projects for himself, including coffee tables and armoires. Although his woodworking interest was high, his lumber budget was low, and he mentions that some of the coffee tables and armoires he built were constructed with milled 2x4 stock from a local lumberyard.
Kelvin was able to get by with the milled 2x4 stock, but wanted to work with higher quality lumber. He started salvaging logs locally and bringing them to a sawmill near his home. After a couple of batches of lumber were sawn, Kelvin realized that the mill was not very accurate, so he then hired a local person with a Wood-Mizer mill to saw the stockpile of logs that had been accumulating.
Cutting big dead white oak
ripping big white oak to load and quarter saw. Got some nice 18
Lumber from big white oak log
Another large white oak recovery. Took two cranes to set in truck. Notice the blue stain from metal? Reason why they are called Urban waste logs!
Log arch for fetching single logs
Air drying in the yard before going in the Nyle kiln
Recently slabbed american elm log. Alaskan mill with 6' bar