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Inside Peterson’s – A peek into the factory


quality definition portable sawmilling

The Peterson factory team are totally in control of exactly how your sawmill is built. That’s because they weld, drill, build, assemble, test and clean every single sawmill before it leaves the factory here at Peterson HQ in Rotorua, New Zealand.

It’s becoming more common these days to see “drop shippers” or “suppliers” rather than “manufacturers”. Suppliers that order many of their parts from China or other countries in bulk run container lots, who assemble a portion of their products and then affix a “made locally” label. “Assembly” is not the same as “manufacture” and that’s not the Peterson way.

You can tell that Peterson sawmills are manufactured here because they are welded rather than being bolted together. That makes a huge difference to the strength, accuracy and lifespan of a sawmill.

Peterson sawmills lead the market in build quality, innovation, reliability, “life-of-mill” customer service and reputation. We also offer a range of models, sizes and functions to suit individual customer requirements, rather than the “one model fits all” approach that some other brands employ. We custom build sawmills to each customer order, right here at our New Zealand factory.

We don’t aim for the budget end of the market with cheap components and “bolt together” kit set sawmills. We don’t use plastic guards and apart from the Junior Peterson, all our sawmill frames are welded stainless steel and aluminium.

factory welding sawmill high quality

factory welding sawmill high quality

sawmill welding seams close up

sawmill welding seams close up

These beautiful, high quality welds are the work of our two full-time welders, Pat Teinaki and Tai Apo. Pat and Tai each bring well over ten years of experience to the welding table. Peterson sees their quality employees as an extension of their brand, and keeps the right people long term. Pat has been with the company for over 20 years, and Tai had a short stint away, but the bond is strong – here’s a newspaper article with her from 2010.

Both of these classy welders were originally interned and trained by our very first aircraft welder, and the skill and presentation lives on. Their skills go into creating every sawmill frame, track support, cant hook and re-tipping jig. If it’s welded, they’ve made it. Building custom made sawmills is teamwork and, going by the positive feedback, the Peterson team seems to be doing a great job.

It’s not just the welds which are finished to a high standard. All aspects of each finished sawmill are double-checked and have to pass stringent quality checks before leaving the Rotorua factory. No one ever regretted buying quality and perhaps that is one of the reasons we sell so many sawmills. Many “other brand” sawmill owners have swapped their mill for a Peterson. To date, we’re not aware of any Peterson owners selling to buy a Wood-Mizer, Turbosaw, Lucas Mill, D&L, Mahoe or other sawmill.

sawmill welding seams close up

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