Brothers Satisfy Woodworking Passion with Timbery Sawmill

  • By timberysales
  • 25 Jan, 2017
Bob and Ken Snyder with their M100 portable sawmill
Bob and Ken Snyder with their Timbery M100 portable sawmill.
Twin brothers Bob and Ken Snyder have been passionate about woodworking throughout their entire lives. Beginning the craft at a young age, the Snyder’s particularly enjoy the creative process in turning lumber into toys, furniture, crafts, and other products they make to sell, give away, or keep for the enjoyment of themselves and their families. With their expertise in crafting a wide variety of toys including trains, 3D puzzles, and space crafts, it is fitting that the New Jersey natives converted an outdoor playground structure to house the Timbery M100 portable band sawmill they use to mill their own lumber for their woodworking projects. Likening the playground set up to a different kind of man cave, Bob says, “It’s like an outdoors man compound, friends come over to watch us saw logs and they end up enjoying our mill as much as we do!”

Bob and Ken began working with wood more than 40 years ago, responding to the influences of their father, Richard. “Dad always said that hard work is the best thing for you,” Bob says. “We were selling light bulbs at seven [years old] and using our dad’s basement workshop to make toys to sell when we were twelve.” According to Bob, their grandfather Earle also had a formative influence on the two men’s lives. Earle was a toy maker himself so many of the toys the boys made were based on patterns their grandfather had developed and much of what the boys learned about crafting wood and designing new wood products came under Earle’s mentorship. As the two learned more they began to expand their efforts, developing their own designs and making more elaborate toys.
five foot train donated to Storybook Land
At age fifteen, Bob and Ken Snyder made a five foot train engine and donated it to Storybook Land in Atlantic City, NJ.
One of the problems the young men ran up against was the high cost of lumber, costs that seemed to steadily increase to the point where it was difficult to sell a product in order to produce a profit. A partial solution came from urban sourced trees in that homeowners would call their father to remove a tree that either needed to be taken down or had fallen down. “We’d load up in a Pontiac station wagon and head out to get the wood,” Bob remembers. “Some of the logs would be taken to a nearby sawmill and cut into lumber with the rest going into firewood. The lumber was stored in our attic until it was dry enough to use, approximately one year per one inch of thickness. I still have some of the lumber we cut back in those days waiting for just the right project.”

As the boys entered their late teens and early twenties, woodworking took a back seat as college, family, and careers suddenly came to focus in the twins lives, but Bob says the craft was never completely absent from their lives. Children’s cribs, high chairs, toys, and furniture for personal use and gifts took the place of wood projects made for sale as the twins took up their respective careers. Now at age 54, Bob and Ken have begun to build and market wood products driven by their lifelong woodworking passion and Bob’s purchase of a Timbery M100 personal sawmill. “My Timbery is the best $4,000 I ever spent,” he exclaims. “Sawmilling is like a natural therapy for me, it calms the mind but it’s exciting at the same time. The sawmill allows me to do things I couldn’t do before.”
Playground turned into a sawing operation
Snyder's Timbery M100 Sawmill
The Snyder’s Timbery M100 portable sawmill allows them to cut any species of logs into any dimension for woodworking projects.
Timbery’s M100 sawmill is an entry-level machine used by woodworkers throughout the world who want to expand their creativity and material control in their projects. With the ability to saw logs up to 26” in diameter, the Timbery sawmill allows woodworkers to cut any species of logs into any dimension and grain pattern they want for project creation. By sawing their own custom lumber instead of buying materials at a big box store, the Snyder’s have saved money on lumber costs and increased their ability to work with any type of wood they desire.
Lumber stacks in a shed
Bob and Ken can make creative and unique projects by sawing material with the logs natural character in mind.
The Snyder’s Timbery sawmill also plays into Bob’s plans to turn his hobby into a viable business in the future as retirement nears. “Right now I’m in the middle between a hobby and a business,” he says. “When I retire I intend to expand the business into about a six hour per day enterprise. Without the sawmill I’m not sure I could afford to sell my work due to the cost of lumber. Economically the sawmill opens up a whole new world of opportunity.”
Snyder woodoworking sign
Bob plans to do more sawmilling and woodworking after retirement.
In addition to expanded business potential, Bob says the Timbery sawmill allows him to explore his passion for wood to a much greater extent than would be possible without the mill. “To me sawmilling is not work,” he explains. “It’s a pleasure. People will call up and tell me they have a tree for me because they don’t want to see that tree just turned into firewood and they know I’ll use it well. People want their trees to come back to life. It’s exciting to them and it’s exciting to me when everything comes together and I’m able to make something for the very person who gave me the tree.”
Custom wood toys
Original toys crafted by Bob and Ken Snyder.
From a personal standpoint Bob says one of the most important things his sawmill brings to the table is, “The freedom to become the artist you want to be. When you cut your own wood you’re not limited to anything, anywhere,” he explains. “You can discover the character of the wood as you cut to preserve irregularities in the wood and then use those irregularities in a creative way. While you’re cutting you can be thinking about what you might create with the board or block you’re cutting even though it might be a year or two of drying time until you can explore that vision.”
Sapce craft wood toys
Unique space craft toys built by the Snyder brothers.
Bob points to blue oak as an example of how his mill allows him to explore his vision for a piece of wood. “Years ago someone drove a nail into an oak tree,” he says. “Over time that nail turns the wood blue. That wood is unique to me. With my mill I can cut to preserve the character of what some other people might consider to be a flaw and then turn the wood into a truly unusual work.”
Wooden toy trains
The Snyder brothers have been building wooden toy train engines for more than 40 years.
To the Snyder brothers, woodworking is a passion with an intimate connection to the wood crafting heritage passed down to them by their father and their grandfather. Ownership of a sawmill has opened up a whole new world of opportunity to explore and expand on that heritage. “People say we sound like ambassadors for sawmilling,” he says, “And that’s true. Our sawmill allows us to realize our passion and vision for the wood we love to work with and we enjoy sharing that story with people.”

Timbery Sawmills

By timberysales 21 Jun, 2017
As retirement nears for Edward “Dee” Farmer, the Clayton, North Carolina law enforcement officer and hobby farmer plans to continue serving his community by turning logs into valuable lumber. “I am seeing trees in my neighborhood being cut and carried away to landfills or cut into firewood and I began to think I could take wasted trees and turn them into something more useful,” said Dee. “That is when I started researching for my sawmill.”
  
During his childhood, Dee developed lifelong interests in horticulture and forestry that he plans to continue pursuing in his retirement years. “Growing up on my grandmother’s farm in Western North Carolina as a young child I would visit and watch a sawmill that was set up on her farm,” shared Dee. “A family friend owned and ran the sawmill. He used a horse to drag selected logs to the mill. I would sit on a nearby tree stump and watch the cart go back and forth turning logs into lumber. I guess this is where the seed was sown.”
By timberysales 14 Mar, 2017
Bruce McEwen of Renaissance Furniture Restoration has a variety of interests, a broad skill set, and an always inquiring mind. In Foresters Falls, Ontario, Bruce runs a hobby farm, works as a professional sheep shearer, restores treasured pieces of furniture, creates unique furniture, and operates a portable band sawmill service in the small towns and rural areas of Ontario’s famed Whitewater region. Bruce says he comes by his versatility naturally. While growing up on a dairy farm, Bruce learned from both his mom and his dad who was a skilled engineer serving in WWII. “He was super handy, just great at solving problems,” Bruce remembers. “I built many things with my dad from wagons to fences to out buildings. I learned from him that the ability to fix things is a gift. It’s a gift I have to use and I am so grateful for the chance I have to do useful and rewarding work.”

By timberysales 25 Jan, 2017
Twin brothers Bob and Ken Snyder have been passionate about woodworking throughout their entire lives. Beginning the craft at a young age, the Snyder’s particularly enjoy the creative process in turning lumber into toys, furniture, crafts, and other products they make to sell, give away, or keep for the enjoyment of themselves and their families. With their expertise in crafting a wide variety of toys including trains, 3D puzzles, and space crafts, it is fitting that the New Jersey natives converted an outdoor playground structure to house the Timbery M100 portable band sawmill they use to mill their own lumber for their woodworking projects. Likening the playground set up to a different kind of man cave, Bob says, “It’s like an outdoors man compound, friends come over to watch us saw logs and they end up enjoying our mill as much as we do!”

Bob and Ken began working with wood more than 40 years ago, responding to the influences of their father, Richard. “Dad always said that hard work is the best thing for you,” Bob says. “We were selling light bulbs at seven [years old] and using our dad’s basement workshop to make toys to sell when we were twelve.” According to Bob, their grandfather Earle also had a formative influence on the two men’s lives. Earle was a toy maker himself so many of the toys the boys made were based on patterns their grandfather had developed and much of what the boys learned about crafting wood and designing new wood products came under Earle’s mentorship. As the two learned more they began to expand their efforts, developing their own designs and making more elaborate toys.

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