Meet the millers

Clark Family Milling

Photo courtesy of the Clark family

The Clark family history is one of hardworking folks skilled in various trades, like mechanics and carpentry, Karyl Clark told the CN&R. But last year marked a first, when her son, Trenton, asked if she and her husband, Kenneth, wanted to launch a mobile wood milling business. It was quite the head-scratcher for the DMV and insurance companies, she said. It took them from September 2018, when they purchased the mill, till March 2019 to get everything ready to roll. Since then, the Cohasset family has drummed up interest across the region. First, the father-son duo visit an interested client for a free consultation, then they bring the mill and complete the work on-site. Karyl, who spoke with the CN&R about the family venture, primarily takes care of the paperwork and financial side of things. Visit Clark Family Milling on Facebook, email or call 343-0794 or 774-7431 to find out more.

What services do you provide?

Clark Family Milling offers on-site milling of clients’ downed trees. They have to be ready to mill, meaning they’ve had all the limbs removed, and they have to be in a site that the mill can get to. [We do] custom sizes, custom orders. And the wood is then stacked and stickered to dry for [clients’] personal projects. An example is a wood shed. Another client wanted it for siding. Then [we’ve] had a client that had a large piece of Cohasset oak. This client is a cabinet builder and he wanted … specific sizes and [a] specific thickness for cabinet doors.

Why get into milling?

Collectively, our foothill communities and our forests are seeing this increased amount of dead trees, and what do you do with them? It was an answer to a problem that presented itself. I think that a portable milling business emboldens people to the idea that there are more opportunities. Trent looks at a log and he sees a table, he sees cabinets, he sees framings, he sees children’s blocks painted. Someone else looks at a log and sees firewood. Someone else looks at that log and sees trash. Someone else looks at that log and sees a burden. My sister lost her home in the [Camp] fire, and has gone through that [feeling of], “What do we do with this?” This is an outlet.

What do you enjoy about running a family business?

We all get along really well. It’s that opportunity to spend time together in a productive way that we don’t get if we all just go our separate ways. Our grandson [Ryan], who is 8, looks forward to the day that he will be able to drive [the mill] down the road and use it, too. And he is a good little worker. He helps move the sawdust … which is a valuable product also, for gardens, for worm bins. And looking towards the future, the comments are always made when Ryan is with them [that], “Someday you could be doing this.”