Lumberjacks set to entertain at Port Gamble's Old Mill Days

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by ROBERTA ROMERO / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 1:00 PM

PORT GAMBLE, Wash. -- The canvas is ice, the tool a chainsaw. The end result this time is a rooster.

This is just one of the live demonstrations and competitive events at Port Gamble's Old Mills Days.

"I started out carving wood with a chain saw and then turned to ice," said ice carver Jason Smathers.

Smathers takes about 20 minutes to carve out the rooster -- its icy beak pointing to the sky, ready to crow.

With ice chips still clinging to his hair, Smathers said, "It's cold working with ice and you have to be careful becuase it can break easily, but I love doing this!"

This is the 9th year for the Old Mills Days. It started out with just a few events and a small group of competitors. Now it has grown to more than 100 loggers participating with 10,000 spectators.

Brandon Sirguy is a competitor, he can saw and chop logs in under 20 seconds.

"Most of these competitive events are still the same exact things that they were doing a hundred years ago," Sirguy said.

Sirguy pulls out one of his most important tools, an axe so sharp, he can use the blade to shave off hair from his arm. "The things we do can be dangerous, but we are well trained, and know what we're doing," he said.

A lot of people love to come for the "hot" saw competition.

"These really aren't tools you can use in the forest, they're hopped up engines made to design," said Nick Thomas.

Thomas' hot saw weighs 400 lbs and has an engine that roars when it's on. "They're loud, and they're fast," Thomas said. "We can slice off an end of a log in less than a second!"

The Old Mills Days starts Friday at 3:00pm and will continue through Sunday.

Here's a link with schedules and directions: http://www.oldmilldays.com/

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