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Moraska Saw & Supply dates back to the ‘70s

Jordan Beck | Daily Press Moraska Saw & Supply owner and founder Jim Moraska shows off a display of items his business sells and repairs. The display was set up in Moraska Saw & Supply’s booth at the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo in Escanaba last week.

Editor’s note: The Daily Press features a profile of an area business each week. This week’s featured business is Moraska Saw & Supply of the Powers-Spalding area.

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By Jordan Beck

jbeck@dailypress.net

POWERS — While many of the businesses present at the 74th Annual Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo in Escanaba last week came from outside of the area, others were visiting from much closer to home. One business in the latter category was Moraska Saw & Supply of Powers, which sells and repairs saws and supplies for sawmills and filing rooms.

Jim Moraska, owner and founder of Moraska Saw & Supply, said his business was established in 1974.

Before then, Moraska had studied at Michigan Technological University’s Ford Center in the hopes of getting started in the forestry industry. However, he decided against it due to a lack of local forestry jobs at the time.

“All the jobs were basically down south,” he said.

Instead, he entered a nine-month saw filing course and worked at a sawmill and a saw shop after graduating. He then returned to Michigan Tech to teach the saw filing course himself.

Later, Moraska decided to go into business on his own. Originally, his business only worked on wide band saws. However, to meet his customers’ needs, it soon started expanding into work on circular saws, knife sharpening and carbide saw repair.

Moraska said business has been “awesome” for Moraska Saw & Supply recently. The company’s most popular services include narrow band saw and wide band saw repair, large and small diameter circular saw repair, and knife sharpening.

“Our repair work is what keeps us in business,” he said.

Today, Moraska Saw & Supply has a total of seven employees. Moraska said this is a significantly higher number of employees than the business started out with.

“I started by myself — I was a one-horse show,” he said.

He hired another employee and built a bigger shop about five years after the business got started. In the late ’80s, Moraska bought a larger building in Powers; then, he hired more people and began doing more work.

Moraska Saw & Supply had a booth in the Ruth Butler Building at this year’s Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo, which took place Sept. 5-7.

“We’ve had a booth at the logging congress … for 40 years, I’m thinking,” Moraska said.

The focus of the event has shifted somewhat over the years, Moraska said. He went on to say that, while attendees once focused on buying and selling products, the expo now serves as an opportunity for people to network and trade knowledge about products.

“It’s a learning experience,” he said.

Looking towards the future, Moraska said he does not plan to make any major changes to Moraska Saw & Supply.

“I guess it would be just running the business until I’m unable to,” he said of his plans going forward.

Moraska also said he is confident in the business’ “very capable employees” to keep things going after he leaves.

To learn more about Moraska Saw & Supply, visit www.moraskasaw.com.

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