The huge pile of sawdust usually gives a visual clue that you have found an Amish sawmill. These are very common in an Amish community. Many are under contract with the English and have cranes, bulldozers, and other heavy machinery that the Amish hire the English to drive and operate. They don't see this as a contradiction as these are made for work and do not transport people and the operation in their lifting capacity is done by hydraulic motors. Most of the Amish sawmills are diesel powered engines that turn the saws. We will explain some of the specifics in the rest of this page.
Things to consider when buying Amish cut lumber directly from Amish Sawmills:
Wood choices for Amish Sawmills
The most common trees to have cut are pine and cedar. The Amish love these woods along with cypress wood. You will see some oak and walnut in some mills and hickory wood will have a season where it is cut and sold for cabinets. Cedar and cypress woods are mainly used in furniture making and decorative items. Some hardwoods like oaks and walnut are used in cutting boards and kitchen blocks of various kinds. When cutting for us English people, they tend to rough cut boards to be finished somewhere else.
It is not uncommon to see stacks of wood sitting out front waiting on a semi truck to load and deliver it to the next place. For smaller mills who only cut the trees and saw them into nominal boards will have the same sizes in their stacks while the better mills will have several sizes and types to stack up.
Amish Sawmill Blade Types
Blade types will differ between sawmills but the hydraulic bandsaw style is the type we see more of in the Amish sawmills today. They use diesel engines to power the belts on the pulley wheels that turn the blade. Since they can't use electricity in old order Amish communities they modify the mechanism to use the engine. The Amish see the piston as an arm that does the lifting and therefore an engine does not break their ordnung. Of course they also seem to leave safety to chance as we have seldom seen the Amish use safety glasses or gloves while working. Kids are also given jobs to clear the scrap wood away from the saw and burn them.
To contract or custom cut
Many people have found it difficult to get woods from the Amish sawmills nowadays. There are several mills who are contracted to english companies who will not allow them to sell to the public. The Amish seem to comply as this also means heavy machinery will join them with english drivers to aid in the cutting process. High volume means semi trucks will be in and out with logs coming in and boards going out. The Amish who want their own mills will need to focus on customers with orders that are smaller and longer in lead times. Both have their merit and target market in mind. In many of the Amish sawmills we visited there were both kinds represented. Several of the custom shops had wood they only sold to each other as the Amish furniture makers needed cedar and cypress to make things out of. During the fall and winter months they would be hard at work making items for the spring when the english would be looking for furniture and patio chairs to buy.
So what is the difference between the Amish lumber and a general store?
To be honest there isn't really much cost savings between the lumber stores and the Amish sawmills at the end of the day. Since we were only able to get wood from the custom mills the price was only slightly cheaper from the Amish. The woods were green and you had to get them from their mill in your own truck. The kiln dried and treated lumber from our three hometown lumber yards seemed to be the better way to go if you had a project that needed good wood. Does this mean that we don't want people buying wood from the Amish? No it doesn't, the Amish know exactly how much their competition charges and places their prices just under it. Many people assume they are always way cheaper that your local store but this isn't always the case. If you are building a barn a chicken coop or something that doesn't need the wood to be pressure treated and kiln dried for straightness then the Amish wood will work just fine and the rough cut lumber with it's larger size may work better!
Lumber Yard Pros and Cons
One person's "con" is another person's "pro" so each project criteria will dictate which side would be better than the other. Since each job requirement may determine which lumber yard would best suit your needs we just lay out a few common differences in each buying decision. The cowboy looking hat = Amish while the hard hat = English
We believe you can't go wrong with either sawmill if you have a clever plan and realistic expectations. Material needs for luthiers, pipe makers, and other crafters need woods from advanced mills who fall outside of the sawmills explained in this page. We featured the construction woods needed for common building projects where the structure and covering can be bought from those who supply building materials. We hope we helped you with your decision on what each sawmill and lumber yard can do to help you with your project.
Here are a few locally owned places in Lawrence County that serve the building material supply.
Parkes Lumber Company
Since 1896 the Parkes family have been servicing the needs of Lawrence County builders with materials. From the sawmill to the storefront the construction projects that need expert supplies and logistics can count on Parkes Lumber Company to deliver in every way!
H.B. Brink & Co
The historic H.B. Brink & Co was one of the first places you would see as you stepped off the train on Depot Street. This place has the old charm of a building materials store that used rail to carry things to be unloaded. There isn't a website so we included their phone number!
Augustin Lumber Company
The German people who moved up from Alabama built Loretto Tennessee and kept on going! Today Augustin Lumber Company continues the legacy of supplying builders with the materials needed to complete their projects.
We have more outdoor sports than we do inside sports. Let's divide team sports up with parallel sports. A parallel sport is one that is played the same, no matter how many players there are. So if you like golf, tennis, motorcycle and atv, or bicycle sports then we have the place you will love! We have both ball golf and disc golf courses and plenty of places to ride your ATV on wooded trails and jumping hills! We also have archery and gun ranges where you can take your best shot and be on target!
Our outdoor activities webpage is where you can find all of our listings of outdoor activity in Lawrence county! This directory explains our top places for outdoor recreation! The button below takes you to the outdoor page so click the button and get started on planning your trip itinerary with these outdoor activities in mind!
Indoor activities are essential for inclimate weather and nightlife recreation! We have bowling, pool, axe throwing. Yes! axe throwing at Kick Axe in Loretto is a very popular destination for those wanting to throw axes and try to get out of an escape house where they lock you up as a group inside a group of rooms where you must use clues in order to find the key to get out! We also have Crockett Theater where you can see shows and live concerts performances! If movies are your interest then Crockett Cinemas are here to give you the best viewing experience with all the snacks and foods you would expect from a working movie theater!
Click the link button below to see our indoor activities webpage! We have collected all the best indoor places in Lawrence county to help you add these places to your plans or itinerary for your stay! The Amish don't offer any kind of nightlife so we want to bring you options to make sure you can enhance your vacation with a few indoor activities!
Area Woods and Watersports
We have many awesome rivers and lakes in Lawrence county. Visitors come from all over to participate in our great tubing and kayak adventures. There are three great places for fun on the water. Each place we feature opens around May and close labor day weekend. The water temperatures are a bit cold before May and after August. Crockett Shoals Tubing Company is our pick for kids 10 and under as the water is very shallow and the tubes have a bottom so you can't slide out into the water. If a child does fall out of the tube, it is only a foot deep in most places so they just have to stand up. Upa Creek kayak rentals have both tubes, canoes and kayaks and offer different drop off locations according to how long you want to float. Upa Creek is right beside a great restaurant called the Taco Shack if you want to eat after a long float. Double G canoe and kayak rental is for the person who wants a good long float with great scenery. They can even facilitate wheelchairs and other needs for those with disabilities. At Double G they can offer the longest float and the most unique way of putting the kayak in the water!
All of these places and more are featured on our webpage that is devoted to woods and watersports. Please see our detailed guide for more information on seeing which places best fit your needs for a day in the woods or out on the water!
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We (The Amish of Ethridge) does not guarantee the accuracy of the links it shares as the URL may be changed without warning from the original location. We also do not represent any business listed above or the Amish Community we share. Anyone who consumes our content and acts on what they perceive, is doing so of their own volition. We built our website and trails to show our visitors possibilities to include in their itinerary to experience on their vacation.