In early July David & Priscilla Van Giesen, Ben & Char Alexander, and Helen & Dan Beeman went to Houston, Mo to visit Jack Watson’s Sawmill and shop. Jack & Kay, along with Bill & Judith Jetton, met us at Miller’s Grill in Houston. (Bill Jetton lives “just down the road” from Jack’s place) We had a great lunch and talked for way too long but finally decided to get up and go visit Jack’s shop. At this point Char, Priscilla, Kay and Judith decided to go shopping at a several local junk shops.
We followed Jack out to his house in the country near Houston. He’s got a nice acreage sitting on a hill with good views. The first thing we checked out was the sawmill. It’s a large gas powered computer driven mill and even has an automatic log loader on one side. Practically everything can be done by the operator from the control panel. One the log is loaded Jack set the thickness of the first cut which would take off the outer layer of bark. After the first cut the log is rolled, and a second bark cut is made, then the 3rd and 4th sides are done leaving a square log on the machine. If dimensional lumber is wanted Jack sets the thickness of the boards to be cut, presses start and the mill cuts the first board. For second and subsequent cuts he just returns the machine to the starting point and presses start. The machine automatically cuts the desired thickness until the log is done. If Jack wants large square cuts to put on his lathe he just pulls the squared log out and cuts the desired length.
Then we walked over to Jack’s shop and got to look over all of his shop tools. A nice lathe was the center piece of his shop. We stood around and talked “woodturning” for quite a while before the shoppers returned from “junking”. Much to our relief they didn’t buy much.
Kay invited us into her home for coffee and cookies (and brownies, and other good stuff!). Again we talked woodturning and more before we embarked for home. A great visit with great hosts! Thanks to Jack and Kay and Bill and Judith!
Jack Watson's Sawmill