Special Trees – Special Home

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John Fischer’s LT 15 Cuts for a Dream

When a couple has been married for 30 years, they have been through a lot together; from raising kids to approaching retirement and everything in between. According to John and Janet Fischer, building a home together was a high point in their life journey.
About six years ago, the Fischers purchased land from John’s father so they could build a log home on the property he grew up on. “When I was little, I told my parents that I wanted to build a log home back on our land. It took us five years and is a dream come true,” comments John.
The picturesque home is located on 123 acres in north-central Wisconsin. It is 2,200 square feet with a walk out basement that features rustic stonework. In addition, the exterior of the home is enhanced with a wrap-around porch on one side and a patio-style deck on the other. The many windows reflect the beautiful woods surrounding the home.
The woodland area supplied John with the majority of the timber he needed to get the home started. He imagines that some of the trees were planted by his father as a kid. They counted the rings for some of the pine trees used and they were 65-70 years old. Building a home is certainly a memorable experience and using special trees makes it even more unforgettable.
John and Janet have a soft spot for giving trees a second life. Knowing this, John’s nephews, who are loggers, would call him to buy beautiful logs at paper mill prices to save them from being ground into paper. John also purchased trees from neighbors and made sure they knew he was using them as a significant part of his home. “I invited them to come over and see how their tree will live on in our home. It means a lot to them to see a beautiful tree used in a way that can be appreciated,” says John.
A total of 8,000 board feet of Red and White Pine was cut on his LT15G15 which he purchased in May 2000 specifically for this project. He purchased an extra bed extension and was able to cut up to 17 feet, 8 inches. The mill sawed the half-log exterior material, interior trim and exposed beams along with tongue and groove carsiding used for the ceilings and as wall paneling. The mill also cut 2,000 board feet of hemlock for the floor joists and wall studs.
The home has three main structural beams, also known as wall ties, that are 32 feet long. John was able to cut the extra length by borrowing bed extensions that his cousin has for his LT15. “It was great; I would just go over to his house to use his bed extensions. If we hooked them all together, we could cut 43 feet.” One of the beams came from a tree that was at John’s old school yard. They were clearing that area at the time and John talked to a logger and was able to get a special tree. “It was one that I played around and probably climbed on or even fell off.” Continuing, John said, “It was great to save that tree from the paper mill and use it in our home.”
John and Janet decided to use half logs, rather than full, because they did not want to worry about problems with water pipes, doors, and windows when the logs settled. However, the couple didn’t want to sacrifice the finished look of round log ends. So, John used his Wood-Mizer mill and sawed half of the log; stopping with two feet on the end and brought the blade back. He constructed a jig for his chainsaw that allowed him to cut a 45 degree angle at the end of the log; leaving the last two feet full. Using the tapered ends, he was able to tuck them behind the full ends giving them the look of full logs. “When you have a Wood-Mizer, you can do so many different things – things you can’t buy at a lumber yard. The options are limitless,” comments John.
The Wood-Mizer cut 90 percent of the lumber for the Fischer home. John estimates that they saved well over $100,000 by using their LT15 and doing much of the work themselves. John had help from his wife, daughter, son, as well as his cousin. They hired a crew for framing, cabinets, plumbing, electrical and for the HVAC.
“The house is a dream come true. Different books I have read have compared it to climbing the ultimate mountain, but that doesn’t take five years. I have a great sense of accomplishment,” exclaims John.
During the building process, John held a fulltime job as a Sheriff’s Lieutenant. He only had one woodworking class in high school and the rest he learned from reading books and talking with other people. While his wife was leaving in the morning for her job at the school, he would get up early and go over and work on the house until he had to go work the second shift. Many times he would even go over after he got home from his job and work until after midnight. The next day, he would do the same thing again.
Janet shared their story about building the house as a tribute to her husband’s hard work and dedication. “He built me such a beautiful home and I wanted to honor him,” explains Janet. An even better honor may come in the years ahead. Their daughter, Kate, who helped with building the house, dreams of having her wedding at their homestead because she loves the house so much. “Our house is full of so many wonderful memories already, but her wedding would be a cherished event,” says Janet.
Editors Note: The preceding is paid advertorial submitted by Wood-Mizer.