Questions for Will Malloff:

  • What is the state of your innovative sawmill in which you take the saw into the woods instead of bringing the logs to a sawmill?
  • How widespread is your invention being used in North America and around the world?
  • Moreover, what is specifically unique about your current craft of woodworking?
  • And what specifically are you creating and selling?
  • If you have a working website, it will be useful as well?
From: "Will Malloff" <>, January 11, 2007

Hello Koozma,

Your operation paper was fascinating and a little scary to read. How wonderful medical science is today.

After I had my heart attack in 1985, I designed and built a rowing dory (like you will see on my web site) and was able to row my way to good health. After 9 months of rowing almost every day of the week for 5 or 6 hours my heart specialist told me that my treadmill tests showed that my heart was way above average for a man my age.

The weather here is bright, cold and sunny after a brief 2-day snowfall.

I am delighted that you are interested in promoting my work on your web site. In the early 60's I invented, patented and assigned the world's first ripping chain to the manufacturer of the Alaska Chainsaw mill for proposed royalty payments for chain sales. But too soon I learned that a patent is not really protection but a license for litigation.

In 1970 I started homesteading on a small remote coastal island. The buildings that I needed to construct required lumber, so I bought out my Alaska chain sawmill and soon realized that my patented ripping chain was only a small bit better than using a regular cross cutting chain. As necessity is the mother of invention I see to and invented the still ultimate ripping chain and made it public for all to share through the publication of my first book "Chainsaw Lumber Making" in 1982. It took 12 years to sell the first printing of 20K, so the publisher did not reprint it.

A few years ago I was told that more than 250K had been sold around the world and they are still quite popular.

In the there are many references to "Chainsaw Lumber Making" as being the bible of chainsaw millers. The out of print book now sells for 65 to 195 dollars U.S. available through dealers like In the site I have even been called the king of chainsaw milling. The book cost me 24K to produce for which I got 19K back in royalties. As the demand seems so high I would like to sell the rights to reprint but no luck so far.

My reader feedback was so heartening that I became inspired to continue inventing at the stump sawmills to help promote ecological timber harvesting throughout the world.

After I successfully completed inventing, building and test proving a series of ultra-light micro sawmill I made them public for all to share only to learn that it was illegal to mill lumber in almost every country. The logs must first be moved out of the forest to be milled. Dr. Joseph Tozzi of the Tropical Dry Forest Research Center in San Jose, Costa Rica advised me that Will Malloff walk-about chainsaw mills were illegal in 5 Central and South American countries.

After I invented the ripping chain in the early 60's I was able to efficiently mill wide thick slabs for my dream that was to be able to build fine single slab art furniture. Since then I have overcome most of the problems such as warping and checking in using thick wide slabs which are some of the reasons for using veneer, small boards and laminates in most furniture seen today.

Now I design and build fine useful single and butterflyed single slab furniture that will surely last for many generations of proud use from my precious stock of very rare California walnut (Claro, English and Bastogne) that I have milled, specially cured, air dried, fumigated, dehumidified and aged more than 20 years.

The sales of my work so far has been limited mostly to family and a few friends. Gallery sales have been unsuccessful as they want 35% to 50% and more. I am not willing to give my work away because of the time and cost it takes to do it well or fine.

At this time I have more than 20 successfully built prototypes of my one of a a kind that I would like to sell. Finding sales would get me out of the poverty offered by my small pension as well as allow me to produce some DIY books about the results of my research and development to build fine single slab furnishings.

When my internet provider failed I could not afford a new web site, but a fine woodworker friend told me that when he Googled "Will Malloff" he found that my site was still up and being hosted by NISA. How nice of them. He also said that he and other fine woodworkers thought that my work was so very much better than world famous George Nakashima. Wow.

With love your friend,
Will Malloff
Alert Bay, BC

Note: Bill's book is listed on nearly 200 websites. In August 1999 he was a speaker at the Slocan Valley FLOW Conference, which presents his bibliography:

Will Malloff, noted author of Chain Saw Lumber Making and creator of the Alaska chainsaw mill has been researching and developing added value tools and technology for the past 20 years. He developed a series of new ultra light micro saw mills that are capable of harvesting trees of any diameter at the stump with minimal ecological impact. Through continued research on fine woodworking technology Malloff has created many unique examples of value-added furniture. He has also done extensive research in tropical hardwood harvesting, working in the Cook islands and Papa New Guinea, developing a coconut mill for coconut logs, a eucalyptus tension mill and reinventing a pit saw that uses 40% of the usually required energy. Malloff's gerneral appraoch is to make things affordable and 'do-it-yourself'.

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