Where do you get a 80′ wooden mast? – Hull-Oakes Sawmill

>>> Where do you get a 80′ wooden mast? – Hull-Oakes Sawmill

I found this link just fascinating… never thought about it, but there are very few sawmills still operating that can cut long timber. The mill at Hull-Oakes Lumber is one of them. Steam powered and operating for much of the last century, their mill is now on the National List of Historic Places.

Check out the article with lots of pictures of some fascinating equipment. Adding to my interest, my Grandfather owned a sawmill, which my Dad worked at growing up. Smaller than this operation, but the method of operation was the same.

Hull-Oakes Lumber is the last steam-powered commerical saw mill in the country, and they’re one of the few mills capable of cutting large timbers up to 85′ long. The mill has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1996. Large long timbers are still used in railroad trestles, the restoration of historic structures, and for the spars and masts of ships. By coincidence, the day I arrived the mill was cutting an 80 ft. long timber for the restoration of the C.A. Thayer, an early 20th century three-masted schooner used to transport lumber along the West Coast.

Syphon Mate – simpler can be better

>>> Syphon Mate – simpler can be better

In the overly complex world of today, everything has to be powered and complicated. I have an old air mattress we use with the occasional guest/kid sleeping over or something. It has a integrated foot pump. You may get a bit of exercise in your leg, but you’ll soon have a nice bed, no matter if the power is out or what.

You can’t seem to buy one now… they all have to have a battery powered "blower". And when you need that bed, you can guarantee the batteries are dead.


So, with that kind of background and mindset, I really liked the looks of the Syphon Mate. A design that dates back 50 years or so, and apparently only one moving part, you put one end in the liquid, shake the other end until the tube is full, and syphon away. And all for less than $10. That just makes sense.

Free Classes in Minneapolis

Take Advantage of DIY’s Daily Lineup of Skills Classes DIY’s Skills Classes are coming to the Minneapolis Boat Show – and the price is right.

DIY will offer hour-long classes throughout the day, every day of the show, which runs from Jan. 20 to 23. You can check out one of them or all of them – and they are FREE with your ticket to the show.

With topics like canvas repair, engine maintenance, how to install a new battery and how to detail your boat, each class offers a demonstration and the chance to ask your questions.

The classes in Minneapolis are part of a Full Lineup of Skills Classes in places like Chicago and Miami during January and February.

From diesel maintenance and electrical troubleshooting to sailboat rigging, DIY’s classes offer an opportunity for boaters to learn essential skills in a single afternoon – and at a price that won’t sink you.

Check the show Minneapolis Boat Show website for a full schedule – and then come join us. We hope to see you there.

World’s First Aircraft Carrier – Pictures

>>> World’s First Aircraft Carrier – Pictures

We think of modern aircraft carriers and the incredible power and grace of those ships, but often don’t think about the early days of naval aviation.

In late 1910 and early 1911 the first takeoffs and landings onboard ships were successfully performed. This article has some interesting pictures of the USS Birmingham, considered to be the world’s first aircraft carrier.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Some are already there, and some are still waiting for it, but we just hit midnight here on the east coast.

Hope everybody had a great 2010 and will have an even better 2011.