Tauranga sawmill the best in show

By David Porter

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Factory manager Richard Summerell (left), second in charge Dean Williamson and owner Jake Peterson. Photo/supplied
Factory manager Richard Summerell (left), second in charge Dean Williamson and owner Jake Peterson. Photo/supplied

Jake Peterson founded Spectrum Innovations, which trades as Turbo Sawmill, in 2007 with the support of his father, Carl.

The two worked together to design and build The Gladiator swing-blade sawmill, utilising Carl's inverted "T" concept to offer a clean, open access portable sawmill. In 2013, they launched the Warrior, an automated chainsaw/small engine-driven sawmill.

Jake Peterson, who was taking part in his first Shoot-Out, said he went back and forth on whether to put a manual or an automated machine into the demo.

"In the end, I chose the automated system because you just stand there and operate the machine without raising a sweat," he said, noting manually operated sawmills achieve higher board-foot (bf) rates.

Although the Independent Sawmill and Woodlot Magazine reported the Warrior had slightly missed its scaled yield, Mr Peterson said the sawmill had cut at a rate of 531bf (or 1.3cm of sawn timber) an hour, with only 32bf miscuts (the equivalent of about two boards incorrectly sized or produced with too much bark on their edge).

And, after checking the past records of all automated similar circular machines that had entered the Shoot-Out, Mr Peterson said the Warrior's performance was the best reported for an automated machine in the competition.

Mr Peterson said they had not pushed the saw anywhere near its limits and chose to saw as casually as would be the case during a standard day's milling.

His main goal at the Shoot-Out was to show the crowd what it was like to mill with the Warrior all day."We can do what we did all day without breaking a sweat, and that's the difference," said Mr Peterson, who plans to enter a manual mill "just to prove a point", next time.

The Independent Sawmill and Woodlot Magazine said that "in fact, much of the time Jake seemed quite relaxed."
Turbo Sawmill - like Petersons - sells the majority of its production abroad.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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