Associated Pallet, Inc. | Industrial Drying & Sterilization | Premium Hardwoods, Inc. | Timber Program
The lumber manufacturing process
Transporting & storing the logs
   
Logs are transported from nearby counties to the sawmill. Formerly, logs were taken to mills by railway or were floated downstream in river drives. Today most logs are transported by large trucks. Mechanical loaders at the woods lift the logs onto the trucks.

Logs are stored on a log yard at the mill before being sawn. The logs are sorted by size or species and are bar coded for inventory control. A large log inventory is required to ensure the ability to supply customers with quality hardwood lumber throughout the year. Fifteen acres of land holds approximately 30,000 logs. Water is pumped from a two acre lake onto the logs to control insects and prevent staining of the wood. Volvo and CAT wheel loaders are used to move logs and lumber on the log yard. The operators are trained in log identification to sort and stack for each length.
 





Logs are loaded onto the infeed deck to the debarker. The operator debarks one log at a time, trying to remove the outer bark without damaging the wood fibers. All of the removed bark is conveyed into a bin that is sold for mulch. After the log is debarked, it is sent through a metal detector. If metal is detected, the log is automatically sent to the exit deck to prevent damage to the saws. Logs without metal are sent to the headrig bandsaw. Those logs that were sent to the exit deck are rechecked with a handheld metal detector. If possible, the metal is removed from the log.

 
Sawing the logs
   



As the log enters the headrig bandsaw it is viewed with a computerized scanner to determine the log's length and diameter and to determine the first cut of the log.
 

The log is turned 90 degrees each time a board is cut from the full length of the log. The sawyer has the capability to saw the log down completely, or it can be sent to the resaw. This process is designed to speed production and to save wood from being wasted.
 

As the board enters the resaw, the turner operator is trained to position the cant (log) to yield the highest grade of lumber possible. The resaw operator determines the board thickness and directs the boards to the edger, trimmer or back to the resaw for a second cut. This machine compliments the headsaw to achieve grade yield and production out of the logs/cants.
 
As the lumber enters the edger, the operator uses laser-lights to position the board and square up the edges. The operator is trained to know grades and how to edge the lumber accordingly.

The trimmer receives all production that comes through the mill. The operator is trained to use the drop-down multi-saw trimmer to remove unusable sections of lumber and trim the boards to uniform lengths to achieve the highest grade possible. The trimmer can handle boards up to 8 1/4" thick and 16' long. Trimmed lumber is sent to the inspection deck.


 
Inspecting the lumber
   
The lumber inspector receives the lumber at the inspection deck after it has been trimmed. He determines the lumber grade of each board by NHLA (National Hardwood Lumber Association) hardwood grading rules and marks it accordingly. Each mark represents a different market or use for that grade. Lumber is marketed to various industries depending on its grade.
Example:
FAS-1F is used in mouldings and furniture
1Com is used in cabinets and plank flooring
2C-3A are used in flooring and panels
Below grade lumber is used in pallet production.


 

Preparing for shipment
   
Inspected lumber is sorted by length and grade and stacked on carts in the stacking area. Full bundles of lumber are banded with steel strapping, painted to identify grade and later shipped to the customer. The lumber is then used for manufacturing furniture, flooring and homes.
 
The entire log is used
   
Slabs, edge strips, and end-trim pieces are conveyed by the Patz System to the chipper and cut into small wood chips. Sawdust and wood chips are sold to regional paper mills and used to manufacture fine paper and cardboard backing products. At Premium Hardwoods, no part of the original log is wasted.  
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