You need this unconventional-sawbuck if you harvest and/or prepare firewood

sawbuckIt’s an astonishing invention and you are going to want one. At the annual meeting of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, I met brothers Charles Buzzell of Milo and Harold Buzzell of Smithfield, who had a booth at the event to promote several of Charlie’s products including the sawbuck. Both are retired but refuse to quit working.

Charles’ business is now Poly-Engineering and Harold’s is Crimson Maple Woodworking. Both are creative and engaging. Charles had a career as a teacher and leader of national education organizations, and Harold spent his career in Navy submarines protecting our country. Both are very friendly guys who I enjoyed visiting with.

Sometime later I’ll tell you about some of their other products, but today let’s look at the Sawbuck, or what they call it, the Unconventional Sawbuck. It’s amazing, giving you a solid platform for holding a cradle full of 4 foot logs for chain sawing. Because the logs are stacked, two cuts with the chain saw gives you three piles of wood, and you don’t have to bend over to pick them up! As the Buzzells note, “No bending! Less fatigue! Greater Safety!”

“Because it has features that benefit you,” say the Buzzells, “you’ll work smarter and safer.” What are those features, you ask? – No measuring, no bending, no kick-back, two cuts equal three bundles of firebox length. It folds up for storage and is extraordinarily sturdy and durable. It saves time-on-task and works with tree length logs as well as whole trees.

Their “Unconventional-Sawbuck” instruction book takes you through all the phases of constructing the sawbuck, from buying or making the pieces to assembling the finished product to using it. There is also a lot of good information about the harvesting process. To purchase the book, which costs just $19.95, go to, type “Unconventional-Sawbuck” in the search box, and click on the highlighted words “Unconventional-Sawbuck-Firewood Harvesting Manual.”

Here’s what one satisfied customer had to say recently:

Hi Charles. I met you at the SWOAM event this past Wednesday and purchased your Unconventional-Sawbuck manual. I must give you kudos for putting together a manual that surpasses any other I have ever seen. Very enjoyable to read and wished that all would follow your format. I am planning on building your sawbuck and use it from here on. (I am in need of replacing my “conventional” sawbuck anyway.) – Dave Probert

If you have questions, Charles would love to hear from you, either by phone at 207-943-5564 or email

You can even purchase the sawbuck in kit form with a copy of the manual which includes a wonderful and easy-to-understand series of color photos to show you how to assemble and use the sawbuck. For the kit and book, contact Harold Buzzell: for pricing and delivery information.

More About Charles

I loved the way Charles introduces himself in the book and I want to share that with you. Here it is.

I’m writing this manual as an 83-year-old firewood harvester with a history of back pain. Because of that history, I designed this unconventional sawbuck and an unconventional harvesting process that enables me to work “smarter and safer.”

I’m able to harvest four cord annually, even though I generally work alone, because of this sawbuck and a process that I have honed over the last 20 years here in Milo, Maine. I’m lazy, so my strategy has been, “work smarter and safer, not harder and foolishly.”

I’m a former teacher (junior high, high school, and college) with a Doctorate that focuses on the “Art and Science of Teaching and Learning” and this manual is an expression of that focus. I’m a passionate inventor (three U.S. patents and over 100 non-patented ideas), who looks for smarter and safer ways to do things and this sawbuck, and the harvesting process that uses it, is reflective of that passion.

I’m an iconoclast, that is, I challenge conventional wisdom. In this Manual, I challenge the way firewood is currently harvested.

I’m the current “steward” of the family farm and its small woodlot. I’m a writer, lecturer, researcher, whose extensive travel required by my previous jobs (including U.S. Associate Commissioner of Education in Washington D.C. and CEO of the American Vocational Association in Arlington, Virginia) convinced me that we’re all “stewards” of this earth and need to cherish, protect, and preserve, even in small ways, our sustainable natural resources, especially our forests.

Well said, Charles!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.