Monday, September 28, 2020
It was predestined that Robbie Jordaan should be
born Kimberley, the diamond capital of the world.
His birthplace shaped his lifelong passion for
working with hard materials like concrete and timber. His large frame and
strength made it easier to bend stubborn materials into the products that he imagined.
Rob tried his hand at a few professions after being
schooled in Botswana and South Africa. But a company that made furniture from
railway sleepers that his Dad had started held Rob’s attention.
Railway sleepers are typically cut from rock-hard
timbers to make them resistant to insect attack and damage from the weather.
Rob’s grit and his talent to shape furniture from
these diamond-hard timber species was the start of his lifelong passion for
Rob Jordaan with his sawmill in the Botswana bush.
Sawing the sleepers into boards saw Rob trading
cross-border with a farmer in the Marico district of South Africa’s North-West
There a water-cooled circular saw split the sleepers
into boards that Rob turned into bar counters, heavy-dimensioned rustic
furniture, and bespoke pieces for customers.
Rob’s dream to cut his timber remained, a heavy slab
of concrete that he cut at a construction job making him think again how to cut
the diamond-hard logs from Botswana into sawn timber?
The grains of a leadwood log after being sliced in two.
Visits to sawmill suppliers in South Africa did not
help too. He was given many choices, all of it very expensive given what he
wanted to cut. His budget also remained small.
A small but tough and very affordable sawmill
manufactured by a Wood-Mizer subsidiary caught his eye. He finally had the
sawmill to cut and unlock the beauty from the heavy and dense grains of
Rob modified his sawmill to make it portable for him to cut wherever the logs are..
With sawmill in place and his construction job
adding to his pocket, Rob could now produce the sawn timber needed for custom
The Wood-Mizer sawmill did not disappoint either,
the 9 HP petrol engine cutting logs with 400 – 500 mm diameters. The largest leadwood Rob has
cut measured 600 mm in diameter and 2,9 m in length.
“The trick to cut them is to cut very slowly
and with a lot of water to keep the blade lubricated,” Rob says.
A superb coffee table with heavy wrought-iron base.
Finding the logs for sawn timber is a tough job.
Farmers and landowners contact Rob to remove heavy
logs that have stood rooted for decades. Some have been set on fire to remove
His love for nature stops him from taking down trees
that are alive. This makes his job to cut the heavy and dry timber into boards
even more difficult.
A live-edge slab cut by Rob makes a dining room table fit for a king.
“I’m using an entry-level Wood-Mizer product to do
the job that much bigger machines are made to do.
“Despite its size, and regular use over several
years, the Wood-Mizer mill stands up to the job, regular maintenance and using
the right blades from Wood-Mizer ensuring that it boxes far above its weight,”
Another little giant
The recent introduction of Wood-Mizer’s LX25 and
LX50 allows for the same and bigger performance than Rob’s current mill.
Wood-Mizer’s LX25 is a very affordable sawmilling solution for sawmillers with dreams like Rob Jordaan’s.
With a 660 mm log diameter, 558 mm wide cut and 3,7
m log length, the Wood-Mizer LX25 packs a heavy punch with a large-in-class
It offers a 9,5 HP petrol engine for sawmillers that
need more performance.
Several additional features like an adjustable blade
guide arm, easy blade engage, auto-locking sawhead, quick-set log clamps, 4
quick-set side supports, adds further value to the LX25.
This, together with a very affordable price tag,
makes the Wood-Mizer’s LX25 a very attractive option for sawmillers with dreams
Welcome to the Newsroom for Wood-Mizer Africa!
Here you will discover how Wood-Mizer sawmill owners worldwide are actively growing local economies by processing wood more sustainably and profitably.
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