Chris Wesolowski of Anchorage, Alaska is a bush pilot and his expertise in this area has come in handy in getting portable sawmills to remote places. Read his story!
“Hi, my name is Chris Wesolowski and I represent Logosol in the State of Alaska. As you will see, Alaska presents some interesting logistical problems that I am here to help with. With Alaska being so far from the Lower 48 many customers also like the fact that they have someone local to get in touch with if they have any questions about the product they have purchased. I really enjoy meeting and talking to new potential lumber cutters in Alaska. I bet many of you did not even think that there were trees this far North. My wife Vickie and I live between Anchorage, a modern large city, and a homestead that is 70 air miles Northwest of Anchorage. It is about 45 miles from the nearest road and power line. When we leave to go into Anchorage, we have an electric fence around the house to keep the black and grizzly bears from breaking into our home.
As you can imagine the cost of transporting anything is very costly. I figure that as a rule of thumb you can just about double the cost of lumber by the time you get it to our homestead. I needed to buy a saw mill, but did not want a band mill, as they were fairly expensive and the blades were hard to sharpen, especially in the bush. I saw a ad for Logosol and purchased one of the early mills Logosol USA was selling in the US. It was the M5 and after flying it out to our home, tied under our small plane, I put it together and cut the first board in my life. I was so impressed with the engineering and workmanship that I started talking to Logosol about letting me sell these mills up here in Alaska. These sawmills are just the mill for taking out into the remote wilderness and cutting lots of inexpensive, beautiful lumber.
One project paid the mill
As soon as the M7 came out I sold my M5 and upgraded and have used my mill every summer since. My neighbor on the homestead about 3 miles away (3 air miles of course) had a very nice circular saw mill he had been using for several years. As soon as he cut a few logs on my mill he asked if I could get him an M7 and his circular mill has not been used since. The last big project I did with my mill was to cut all the lumber, except OSB siding, for a two story 16×32 foot shop. I cut all structural lumber including rafters and 1 inch flooring for the entire building. I paid for my mill with just this one project as lumber is expensive and as I said the transportation even more so. I have sold Logosol sawmills all over Alaska.
There are about three of them above the Arctic Circle, and three of them south of Juneau on the Alaska Panhandle and many, many in between. Some of the owners above the Arctic Circle don’t have trees growing near them so they pull large drift logs from the river in the summer time that wash down from a hundred miles away and cut these into lumber. One or two of the guys in Southeast Alaska take their mills out on trailers pulled by four wheelers at low tide and cut up large logs that had washed up on the ocean beach. I think that at times they may even get some exotic woods washed up by the Japanese Current.