Millwright Gia Carrozzi recycles timber into specialty pieces
(Excerpts and pictures from Kurt Glaeseman's article in Timber West Journal)
"When Gia Carrozzi was thirteen years old, she already knew she wanted to live and work in Northern California's lumber-rich Humbolt County. What she didn't know was that one day, through her True Cut Custom Milling Company, she'd be operating a set of portable sawmills, offering consulting advice to other portable mill owners and providing top-end specialty slabs and beams. In 1996 she took her dad to the Redwood Regional Logging Conference to show him a Lucas Mill demonstation. They liked what they saw, and they purchased one from Bailey's in Laytonville, California. "Bailey's, " says Carrozzi, "helped me to get going, taught and showed me, and ere instrumental in getting my name out. Owning the largest slabber made by Lucas enabled me to mill pieces 76 inches wide by 24 inches long." These were used as bars or table tops, and she did a special piece that was 76 inches wide by 12 inches thick and 22 feet long...designed as a fireplace mantel for the lodge at PALCO (Pacific Lumber Company at Scotia).
In addition to the Lucas Dedicated Slabber, Carozzi has a Linn Lumber Model 2600A (the largest of their band-mills) and a Mobile Dimension Sawmill, built with the biggest track with a 14 foot endstand, so she can work with a 25 foot long, eight foot diameter log. The Linn Lumber 2600A is the newest of the three pieces. "I'm just getting it dialed in for the big stuff," says Carozzi. "It is built to cut 55 inches wide and 48 inches on the vertical, so I can put a 4 foot log in the mill and have room to maneuver and roll it."
Much of the lumber Carrozzi mills is genuine old growth, neglected pieces found in out-of-the-way places. "I don't like to use the word 'salvage,'" laughs Carrozzi, "but rather 'recyclable.' Our parks are loaded with usable remnants. Often the parks have no money, but they do have a viable product that can be harvested without destroying the ambiance of the pristine forest....I do anything, not just big pieces. One guy wants nothing larger than 12 foot by 36 inches. I took the slabber and the Lucas Mill for one week and cut 2,400 feet of wood for a new home...door and window trim, cabinets, and shelves."
In her spare time, Carrozzi makes and stockpiles lumber to refinish her own log home....At her place outside Fieldbrook (nearArcata), she has plenty of auxiliary equipment: a Gale skidster 010, a John Deere 110 backhoe, a Case W20 loader, and a 15,000 pound Clark 125-B forklift. "I do a lot of this work by myself," she says, "but I do need one other person for the bandmill...I'm trying to stay simple, Carrozzi claims. "I want to offer long beams, custom slabs, and custom cutting. I'm not into planing or dry kilning. Other folks are set up to do that. What I like is being able to take a junk stump and turn it into a beautiful product. I just want to mill."
The Lucas slabber
We contacted Gia about this article and she replied, "Thank You for emailing me. I so enjoy talking to fellow saw-millers. I will be featured in another magazine called Sawmill Woodlot Mag. I will be doing that interview in April. I just returned home with my 4th mill. I bought a Baker Blue Streak and also a cooks edger. I love making wood and well it's cool when I can meet folks like yourselves. Please stay in touch. I will be adding many more things to my web site. Take Care and "Happy Sawing. Gia"
Gia Carrozzi's True Cut Custom Milling Company website where she can be reached. Her entire story can be read in the January-February 2009 issue of Timber West Journal of Logging & Sawmilling .