Turning storm damage into lumber - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Turning storm damage into lumber


One Eastern Iowa company helps people get use out of fallen trees.

A 40 horsepower diesel motor powers the blade on Kevin Bacon's portable sawmill.

"We can make anything from big slabs for a mantle to a log house," Bacon said.

He and his wife Theresa own Woodchuck Sawmill & Lumber LLC. They said losing a tree can have a whole new purpose.

"They can recycle their own wood and use their own product, versus going out and buying it," Theresa Bacon said. "It's even worth a lot of money. They could resell it to the right buyers. You know, there's buyers out there all the time looking for good lumber."

These two would know about reusing trees. Last week's storm hit close to home.

"Landed just right, it landed between the two buildings," Theresa Bacon said, standing beside a giant pine tree that blew over in straight-line winds, right between two structures on their property.

"You have a tree that took 200 years to grow and it's cut up for firewood. It's an awful waste," Kevin Bacon said. He is a woodworker who has turned many trees into pieces of furniture.

Whether the wood is for firewood or something finer, such as a cedar chest, the Bacons bring their sawmill to the trees, avoiding the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle and crossing county lines with logs.

"That is a concern, you know," Theresa Bacon said. "There is all kinds of diseases for all kinds of lumber, and, you know, we are conscious of that."

Kevin Bacon can take a log from start to glossy finish, such as the floor and cabinets in his kitchen.

They also own a kiln, which Bacon built himself, that can dry logs in about 30 days, compared to the one to two years it takes to simply air-dry logs.

When it comes to cleaning up fallen trees after a storm, for Bacon, at least, it's pretty cut and dry.

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