Access to wood wasn’t a problem, as local arborists were discarding thousands of dollars of hardwood daily, and paying landfills to dump it! So Greg offered to take wood off their hands. Now they gladly donate their maple, black locust, apple, oak, fir, madrona, walnut, cherry, and birch trees to this veteran woodworker.
In the early part of his new hobby, Greg was using an Alaskan chainsaw mill to make dimensional lumber, to ensure that all the logs he was given were not wasted. “I used to not be able to sleep, thinking that so many good trees were being buried in the city dump,” he said.
He was collecting so many trees that he needed a faster and more efficient way of milling lumber. Greg visited people who owned many different brands of portable sawmills before he found the one he wanted, and when he did, he knew straight away. “One look at the Peterson indicated that it was built better than the others”, Greg said.
Being the original inventors of the commercial swingblade portable sawmill, Petersons are known worldwide as being innovators in their field and they give a lot of credit to their customers for that. “We really listen to our customers,” said Mill Specialist and Designer Chris Browne. “Each miller has their own requirements, which is why we custom build our mills to suit the buyer’s needs”.
Greg Gianas can attest to Peterson’s value of customer feedback. “The support staff don’t make me feel stupid when I ask questions or ask for help. I’ve communicated with several of the staff, who all had the same characteristics; honesty, humility, detail oriented, and open to other people’s thoughts and opinions.”
Greg now owns a Peterson 8” 24hp WPF (Winch Production Frame) sawmill and runs it at his suburban property in a nine-foot wide space between his neighbour’s house and Greg’s storage shed. “People in my neighbourhood see the Peterson mill and think it’s a rig for a hot air balloon and ask me if they can go for a ride, seriously!”
The WPF comes standard with a Lo/Lo track set-up, meaning the logs are loaded over the top of the track. Never one to follow the crowd though, Greg loads his logs through one end of the mill using log arches and a portable winch – he has to – he has no room either side!
The carriage of the WPF can be raised or lowered using one manual winch, or with the touch of a button as Greg does with his optional Electric Winch. “I like the mill because I can take it anywhere I want, and do all of the work myself. Having the electric winch saves a lot of unneeded walking, which is a concern because of a bad leg.”
Being in such close proximity to his neighbours, one would think he would have people complaining about the 24hp petrol mill but Greg says, “I give my neighbours bowls and firewood and only cut when they’re not home, so they’re glad I have the mill.”
With the 8” blade’s ability to easily double cut to a 16” wide board, Greg can cut the large pieces he needs for turning his plates and bowls. Having the versatility to cut almost any dimension he wants, Greg has recently built two decks and roofs from lumber cut with his mill, while getting ready to make tables for commercial use and flooring for his home.
When asked if he was happy with his experience with the New Zealand based company, woodworker Greg stated, “The only thing I’m disappointed about, is that everyone who doesn’t want to waste trees, doesn’t have a Peterson mill.”
Greg’s business ‘Sacred Woods’ is based in Redmond, WA, and all profits from the sale of his handmade bowls, boxes, lamps and tables go toward providing vocational tools for war victims in Vietnam and American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.