Sawmill tour


I went over to Hull Forrest Products and took a tour of the facility. It was a very interesting hour+ tour from tree coming in the front door to boards going out the back door.
Most interesting was watching the mill cut the tree, taking off just enough to expose what will be a good board on the next cut, then the saw returning to make that cut. Damned fast. It was a 40' long double sided blade that takes a 1/4" kerf.
The flatsawn board then go to the grader. This is a $900,000 machine that takes the image of the board, determines the best way to cut the sides give the size, grade, the dollar value, board feet, and then sends it through the saw. I asked about accuracy compared to hand grading. He said that test they ran with the trained professional graders are about equal, but the human cannot do 15 boards per minute.
After cutting off the better outside board, the inner core is sent to another machine where it is cut for lower grades for furniture frames, pallets, whatever.
They sell green as well as dried lumber. Their kilns each hold 220,000 board feet and take about 31 days to dry a batch to 7%. It is the regraded (they remove any splits, etc) bundled, stored, shipped (much to export).
The heat for the kilns as well as the buildings is from steam generated in a sawdust fired boiler.
Overall, a very interesting morning.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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...snip...
Cool Edwin. I've been to a few small mills over the years but have never seen a large scale production. Did you get pics?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Well of course I though of that! Pulling away down the driveway.
I mentioned he bandsaw blades. They change them daily after 8 hours of cutting and sharpen them. The room for sharpening and repairing blades is about the size of my shop and keeps two guys busy. Blades are about $1000 each.
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On Sat, 08 Oct 2005 20:31:42 +0000, Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Was this a scheduled tour, or did you just drop in? Sounds like a project we all could get into; arrange a tour of one's local sawmill, post a notice on the wreck, see who shows up.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
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This weekend and next, all the communities in northeast CT have walking tours, nature talks, festivals, art shows, etc. This was a one day open house. Normally, they do not work on Saturday, but they worked today in exchange for a long weekend in November. Good PR with the community, educational for anyone that went.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

And if you are REALLY interested in "How They Did It", there's a video of the last Steam powered sawmill in California. Sturgeon's sawmill:
http://www.ablehobby.com/sturgeons_sawmill.htm
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