Dave Malcomson is standing beside the Wood-Mizer. Courtesy Photo

SPENCERVILLE – Retirement can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, you have reached a time in your career when you can claim to have put in your time as far as working goes.

On the other hand, keeping healthy becomes a priority and having something meaningful to do every day becomes more important than ever.

One recent retiree, Dave Malcomson of Spencerville decided he would embark on a new career when he retired from the world of retail and founded Malwood Sawmills in Spencerville.

“I was looking for something that would keep me physically fit and keep me active,” said Malcomson.

He remembered the concept of the sawmill came to life in May of 2020. By August the mill was up and running.

Malwood Sawmills operates as a workshop and on-site milling operation.

Using their state-of-the-art equipment, the mill can mill, dry or finish wood either at a worksite or in your respective woodlot.

For many, starting up a sawmill business in retirement would be a daunting choice, but for Malcomson it was a natural choice and a great decision.

“My dad was a carpenter and I always had an affinity for working with wood,” said Malcomson.

Malwood specializes in wall coverings, flooring slats, and specialty wood products sought after by custom cabinetry makers.

Malcomson started his sawmill on his wife’s homestead. “We started this right on the farm.”

The mill has taken off and now employs 15 people. There is lots of work to be done.

Malcomson said his raw materials come from across the region from Mountain to Ottawa, North Augusta and White Lake, Renfrew and Alexandria.

The wood the mill works with comes from different suppliers and woodlots. “My wood comes from different suppliers,” he said.

Malwood is equipped to do just about whatever anyone would need.

Whether you are a contractor, experienced wood worker or a beginner, Malwood staff can help.

“We are one of only four sawmills in Canada that have the largest mobile saw made in North America,” said Malcomson.

The sawmill uses the Wood-Mizer LT 70. It has a four-cylinder 55 HP diesel engine and is designed for mass production. The Wood-Mizer configuration has the capacity to load four or five logs on its 12 Log Deck. Employees standing at a podium, load the logs onto the mill deck and the fully automated/hydraulic mill goes to work.

Malwood uses the Wood-Mizer Mp360 Planer/Moulder as its finishing mill and it is able to produce:

  • siding and panelling
  • tongue and groove
  • v-joint
  • shiplap
  • wainscoting
  • decking
  • dimensional lumber
  • specialty products for cabinetry

The modern, advanced Wood-Mizer Kiln, the KD 250, can dry between 4,000 and 6,000 board feet at a time.

While from time to time the sawmill will work with someone who has wood to be milled for a special project, the bulk of their work involves loggers who are clearing out woodlots and want the wood milled.

There is a long list of the different kinds of jobs the sawmill is designed to do.

“We can mill a log that is up to 36 inches in diameter,” said Malcomson.

He said he once had a customer who wanted wood for his wagon. He needed a plank 18 feet long and a foot high. “It was made out of ash, so we had a special ash log brought in at 20 feet.”

Understanding what different kinds of trees are like is important.

“You have to understand that each one is a little different in how you cut it.”

Having a career in retail, Malcomson feels it is not too different from what he is doing now.

He said, “I am still in retail but now I am retailing wood.”

“We take the lumber in and we can give you a rough cut and make you a beautiful piece of wood,” he explained.

For all the do-it-yourselfers out there who are considering building a deck this summer, Malwood has all the deck lumber you will need.

The sawmill is working on increasing its storage facilities. When they have them, they will be able to offer wood flooring and wall coverings to its customers.

They also sell kindling, wood chips, wood shavings and sawdust.

He believes the decision to start up a sawmill was the right one for his retirement. It keeps him fit and mentally active.

For more information about the Malwood Sawmills go to: https://malwoodsawmills.ca/ or call 613 884 9457. They are located at 3609 County Rd. 21 Spencerville, Ontario.