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Author Topic: Old saw mill terms  (Read 908 times)

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Offline mecrr

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Old saw mill terms
« on: March 08, 2019, 05:57:09 PM »
I am a hospice volunteer who is working with a fellow who is 102. He started working in a saw mill at 14 in coastal Oregon. He says he was a "re-sauyer" or resawer (hard to understand what he is saying often, so I am not sure I am spelling what he is saying) who fixed them and was never our of work eventually being transferred to Richmond California where he retired. 

I am trying to find out what he did to help with my conversations with him. So any suggestions as to what a "re-sauer" or "re-soyer" will be greatly appreciated.

David
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Offline DPatton

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 06:06:36 PM »
David,

You are a real gentleman. Bless you for taking such a caring interest in your patient. There are many experts on this site that Iím sure will soon be along to help you with your question. God bless.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 06:29:07 PM »
David,

I believe he was probably operating the "Re-saw" which is a secondary sawmill that is used to further break down material. The head saw would be the first blade to break down a log and is operated by the "Sawyer" from there an "edger man" would see lumber that needed to have the sides cleaned up or the Re-saw would be used say to break down a 2" thick piece of lumber into two 1" thick pieces, thus freeing up the head saw from making an additional pass at the log increasing efficiency and production.

Many of the same processes and terms are used today, especially with smaller operations like those used by many here on the Forum. My father in law's father was an "edger man" in eastern Oregon and would have been around the age of the gentleman you are caring for. 

Jim
 
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Online Don P

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 06:54:06 PM »
Like Southside said, a resawyer is a person who operates a resaw. Typically a headsaw is a large circle blade that breaks down the log into a squared up cant. It has a wider kerf, the bite width of the tooth, but can take more abuse. The cant then progresses to a resaw, usually a bandsaw with narrower kerf that breaks it down into lumber or boards.
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Offline Dana Stanley

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 07:21:51 PM »
If he said "who fixes them" did he resaw boards that warped while drying or were damaged in the process?
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 09:12:51 PM »
Get him started on the guys on the green chain . That was where everyone started some never made it to lunch break .
Lots of story's about green chain guys . that's where he probably started .
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 09:28:30 PM »
David, you are a true gentleman. A close friend is a hospice volunteer, it takes a special person with a huge heart. I had to laugh at the comment from Gearbox, I worked on a green chain. I made it past lunch the first day, actually stayed until they went on strike over a trivial issue a few weeks later.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline JRWoodchuck

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 09:49:03 PM »
Southside what town in Eastern Oregon did he work? Do you know which mill? Im in Baker City which is pretty Eastern Oregon. At the height of things I think there were 3 or 4 good sized mills in Baker alone which is a town of 10,000. 
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Offline Southside

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 09:50:27 PM »
Lakeview. Not sure what the mill was called back then. 
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Offline mecrr

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 10:34:56 PM »
I will visit my "friend" again on Tuesday and get the name of his mill and location as well as further stories. 
Thanks all for explaining re-sawer. He talked about being in demand for his skills with the re-saw as when his mill went out on strike, he always had work as other mills would hire him while the strike was taking place to work their re-saw.
David
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2019, 06:18:57 AM »
mecrr,nice of you to care about him to learn to talk to hm. Maybe when I get old someone like you will be there to care about me. My hat is off to you.
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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2019, 08:34:01 AM »
A resaw operator who could fix or set up a saw and cut for grade was and still is a valuable asset for any mill . The resaw cut the bulk of the lumber and especially in hardwood needed to keep track of which face of the squared cant to cut from in order to get the best possible grade of lumber, I  learned a lot about sawing on the resaw.
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Offline mecrr

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 03:38:34 PM »
Well, I got some more information, although based on photo of the mill and all the workers (my "friend" was not too alert today. Hearing aids broken and other folks in the room from his church trying to talk about members of the congregation.

Anyway, he began working at the Winchester Bay Lumber Co. in Reeds Port Oregon. Photo was taken in 1933 when he was. He was born in 1913 and began working at the mill when he was 14, so he is about 20 in the photo. 

His first job was working in the "box factory," I assume as a stacker. And, on the last visit he mentioned his being with the mill workers who where all "recruited" to fight a major forrest fire. He said he wasn't 16 at the time but still went and they wouldn't let him fight the fire, but he was allowed to carry water to the folks inside the fire zone, so much for OSHA and child labor.

Hopefully he will be more alert lather this week when I visit him so if all goes well, more to come.
David
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Offline Southside

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Re: Old saw mill terms
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2019, 03:52:22 PM »
David -

I am sure the odds are beyond comprehension but ask him if he ever knew a George Young.  He was my FIL's father.  I got some more info he actually was from northern California and worked in mills there, moved north into western Oregon mills, more towards the Lava Bed park which was actually family land at one point many moons ago, and was recruited to come to Lakeview to work in the mill there as he was a sought after edger man, that was around WWII.  There were several mills and one or two Box Factories in Lakeview at the time as well.    Oh - and OSHA didn't come into being until 1970
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.


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