The Sawmill

    A Sawmill is a machine used to saw logs into boards. It is made up of a saw blade, a carriage and a track. The carriage is pulled along the track past the blade. The log is held on the carriage by head blocks which move the log out in the path of the blade so it can cut off the board. When the log is moved in this direction, the distance moved past the blade path determines the width or thickness of the board.

    The first boards manufactured in the colonies were sawed over pits. One person stood beneath and another above the log at the end of a two man saw.

    Sawmills first appeared in the United States in Maine and Virginia between 1608 and 1620.

    The earliest sawmills were powered by a water wheel. In about 1830 steam power began to replace water power. In the 20th century many mills began using gasoline and diesel engines. Today many sawmills are powered by electricity.

    The sawmill we have here at the Show was built sometime before 1900 by the Aultman Taylor Company. It is different from most sawmills in that the carriage which holds the log is moved back and forth on the track by a rack and pinion gear. Most sawmill carriages are moved by a cable wrapped around a winding drum.

The sawmill was bought by the club in 1968. It was owned by Harry Ross the father of John Ross who is the sawyer on this sawmill today.

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