Peterson Portable Sawmills

Peterson Portable Sawmills made a commitment to optimising mill efficiency and maximising the potential of logs which led to forging strong partnerships with local woodturners and woodworking professionals. One such collaboration introduced the company to Pete.

With 25 years of experience in wood processing, Pete’s foray into woodturning commenced when he received a lathe from a local woodturners club as a gesture of gratitude for providing timber slabs used for countertops. Though the lathe initially sat idle in his shed for a year, Pete eventually embraced woodturning in 2014 and has since been dedicated to the craft, sourcing timber through working with Chris at Peterson’s.

“As soon as milled timber started coming off logs, I realised woodturners and woodworkers would utilise more of a log if it was milled instead of chopped up with a chainsaw,” remembered Chris. “Parts of the log previously used only for firewood could become saleable timber and slabs or turned into woodturning blanks – the firewood became the off product instead of the main selling piece.”

Pete’s foray into woodturning commenced in 2014, and he’s since been dedicated to the craft. Image: Peterson Portable Sawmills


Pete’s association with Peterson’s traces back over two decades to when he delivered a large gum log – gifted by the local council – to the factory. It was unloaded with a 30-ton crane and milled into garden sleepers – lots of them!

“Being portable is such a blessing!” said the craftsman. “Both woodworking and woodturning, you need wood, lots of wood.

“Sawmilling provides builders, joiners, cabinetmakers, woodworkers and woodturners with locally sourced timber, which I have.”

Since working with Peterson’s, Pete has been able to utilise test mills for processing logs and to deploy portable mills to access timber that cannot be transported to the factory. He actively participates in woodworking events like the New Zealand National Wood Skills Competition, where he not only demonstrates his woodworking prowess, but also champions Peterson’s mills.

“The yield from small or large logs is impressive,” he said. “Their speed and reliability, the training and after-sales service is world class. Assisting at their open days I have seen the interest and amazement people get from watching a Peterson in action, and what we are able to produce during the milling process.
“Woodturners who have experienced a Peterson in action often comment that they should have bought one years ago!”

Woodturners and woodworkers use more of a milled log than one chopped up with a chainsaw. Firewood becomes the off product instead of the main selling piece. Image: Peterson Portable Sawmills

Learn more

Pete’s story highlights the symbiotic relationship between woodturners and sawyers. For the staff at Peterson Portable Sawmills it’s a privilege to see Peterson mills transform ordinary logs into extraordinary works of art.

If you have any questions about how woodworkers and sawyers can work together, and to find out more about Peterson Portable Sawmills, log on to

Image: Peterson Portable Sawmills



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