Tag: Tom The Sawyer

Watch Tom The Sawyer Transform an Urban Honey Locust Log

Tom Hogard, a.k.a.,Tom The Sawyer, strikes again with another wonderful video documenting the milling of an urban tree into high-valued wood products. This time Hogard shows the milling of a honey locust tree destined to be used for custom live-edge tables. Hogard not only videos the entire milling process, he effectively uses removed from the Kansas City, KS, area to point out key processes and considerations of the log’s transformation.

Hogard said he shot the video preparing for a wood utilization program hosted by of the Missouri Department of Conservation, Kansas Forest Service and Bridging the Gap. It’s well worth a look!



And the Most Viewed Urban Wood Stories of 2017 Are…

The following articles garnered the most page views during 2017 from visitors to Illinoisurbanwood.org.

1 Book Chronicles Urban ‘Tree to Table’ Movement

2 Rescued Wood: Habitat for Humanity Wisconsin’s Unique Answer to the EAB Problem

3 Photo Gallery: Color Point Greenhouse Operations

4. First Release: Urban Wood User’s Resource Guide

5 Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Seeks Businesses for Wood Heating Study

Video: Be a Smart Ash, Denver!

Indiana Tree Service Branches Out into Custom Urban Wood Furniture

Video: Milling a Huge Burr Oak with a Chainsaw Mill

Chicago’s Sister City Has an Urban Wood Brother in Sawmill Sid

10 ISTC Open House Offers a Look at Heating with Wood Waste

View Top 10 posts of 2016.


The big news in this month’s Illinois Urban Wood Update is that UrbanWoodNetwork.org is live and serving as a beacon to urge all who visit – municipal mangers, arborists, sawyers, lumber sellers, woodworkers, designers and more – to “Join the Movement.”

Urban Wood Network’s mission manifold: “to inform, collaborate, and connect to build business and consumer confidence in the urban wood industry. Whether you are looking to expand your existing model or want to start a new business dedicated to urban wood, click here to see how we can help you be successful.”

The website’s launch represents a collaboration of the wood utilization teams of the four states participating in the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle project funded by the U.S. Forest Service: Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

This is only phase one. Websites are created to change with the times. The Urban Wood Network welcomes and encourages your feedback to make the site more valuable and relevant.

Also featured in the July Update is a pair of worth-a-look videos:
First, watch how Tom Hogard, a.k.a. Tom The Sawyer found a solution to milling a 5,000-pound burr oak log that was way too big for his portable sawmill to handle.

Then, watch and listen to the urban wood “elevator pitch” succinctly uttered by Sean O’Brien, owner of Pacific Coast Lumber.

Finally, kudos to our brethren in Virginia for organizing the Mid-Atlantic Urban Wood Conference set for Aug. 15-16 in Richmond, VA. It’s great to see so many exciting urban wood activities springing up all over the nation.

Until next time, don’t forget to share your urban wood news!

Enjoy the issue.

Rich Christianson
Communications Director
Illinois Wood Utilization Team


Video: Milling a Huge Burr Oak with a Chainsaw Mill

Tom Hogard, a.k.a. Tom the Sawyer of Eudora, KS, wasn’t sure what to do at first with a huge burr oak log left in his driveway in August 2015 by a tree service friend, “thinking he was doing me a big favor.”

How huge? Hogard estimated that the log was 3 to 4 feet in diameter, 11 feet long and weighed 5,000 pounds.

“This log was too big for my mill,” he said. “It laid here for almost two years. Clients would look at it, trying to figure how to use it. There were only three solutions: cut it up for firewood (which I resist); quarter it with a chainsaw and mill the quarters (with the irregular shape and all of the knots, it would be a nightmare); or chainsaw mill it into slabs – expecting either rot and decay, or fantastic grain patterns. ”

He ultimately decided to take his chances with the latter option, He called Dog Holler Custom Slabbing of Lecompton, KS, .to cut the log into slabs with a chainsaw mill. The timing couldn’t be better as a customer, who had been contacted by an interior designer who had previously specified one of his slab tables, needed at least three more.

Hogard said the video of the log being sawn that follows was edited from about a 3.5-hour process.

Learn more about Tom the Sawyer at TomTheSawyer.net.


Video: Tom The Sawyer Mills Black Walnut for Figure



Tom Hogard, aka Tom The Sawyer, of Eudora, KS, has been milling trees cultivated from the urban forest for many years.

In the accompanying video, Hogard demonstrates how to maximize the figure of logs with “flaws” including sweep or crotches.

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