A Visit to Sturgeon’s Mill, a Steam-powered Lumber Mill

Sturgeon's MillSturgeon’s Mill is a steam-powered sawmill in northern California. I had the privilege of seeing it running recently. The next demonstration dates are Sept 20 & 21 and Oct 18 & 19. If you have any cause to be near Sebastopol, California on those dates, I highly recommend a visit.

Sturgeon's Mill

The first thing they did was pull the logs in with a winch.

Sturgeon's Mill

They were then rolled onto a trolley cart and then wedged in place against a ratcheting brace.

Sturgeon's Mill

The whole cart is rolled in front of the massive saw blades to square it up. Once they were trimmed of their bark, they headed into another lovely set of blades to be cut into boards, but my camera batteries died before I could get any more pictures.

There is much more to see, like a vintage forklift, a log carrier, and lots and lots of awesome hand tools. The smell of the place was an absolutely wonderful mixture of oil and sawdust. Definitely worth a trip!

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4 thoughts on “A Visit to Sturgeon’s Mill, a Steam-powered Lumber Mill

  1. Man I am so jealous. I have been to that mill- but it was not a demo day. But just standing close to the blades you get a real sense of how easy it was to lose a finger or two!!! They are HUGE.

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  2. Methinks an LED throwie, even with a very, very powerful rare earth magnet, would not last long on the side of one of those circular blades. But I doubt that these mill hands have tried the experiment.

  3. Looks like an interesting place to visit. A nice look into the past! Funny to see all the dangerous equipment with no safety mechanisms.

    1. Something obviously dangerous like giant spinning blades has at least one built-in safety mechanism: it automatically generates a healthy dose of respect for the machine! And the operator positions were clearly well planned so that the operators could see and communicate easily with each other. Sometimes things like safety guards make us careless, but that is not an option here.

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