The chainsaw man: Heimann plans to launch museum, workshop in Dike

Robert Maharry

When Mark Heimann tells people about his passion, he admits that he gets a few funny looks at first. But you’d be surprised, he adds, how many kindred spirits are out there.
“Most of the time people say, ‘I don’t know anybody else who has that hobby,’” he said. “But from time to time, I’ll mention it to somebody, and they’ll say ‘Oh, you need to go see (someone they know).’”
Heimann, who moved to Dike 40 years ago and still calls it home today, has amassed a collection of 350 chainsaws—primarily the McCulloch brand—and looks for differences between makes and models that only an expert could possibly notice. Sometime in the near future, he plans to move them out of his garage and into a new museum at the corner of State and Main Street to show off what he has and teach youngsters who are interested in woodcutting and woodworking.
After a stint as a shop teacher, Heimann went to briefly work at John Deere and then Roskamp in Waterloo from 1982 until his retirement in April—to “pay the bills and put food on the table,” as he tells it—and bought a new Johnsrud saw that would end up lasting him over 25 years. When it finally failed in the early 2000s, he went on the Internet, at the time still an emerging phenomenon, to look for assistance with fixing it, and Heimann discovered a community of enthusiasts.
“It reminded me (that) ‘You used to have McCulloch saws,’” he said. “It just got to the point where I had a little time, I had a little bit of disposable income, and I wanted to get a saw like I used to have.” 
There are practical applications as well. The Heimanns use firewood for heating, and their son Josh is now a cabinetmaker with Birch Cabinets in Waterloo.
“We always cut wood growing up... I picked up a saw when I was 12 or 14 years old,” Josh said. “(Dad) was always there to answer questions if I had any issues.” 
Read the full story in this week's Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here. 

The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
Fax: 1-800-340-0805

Mid-America Publishing

This newspaper is part of the Mid-America Publishing Family. Please visit for more information.