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Author Topic: Keep it neat  (Read 2514 times)

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Offline Tom

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Keep it neat
« on: February 06, 2002, 05:19:23 PM »
I'm not generally a very neat, put-everything-in-its-place, person but my sawmill has made me appreciate neatness in that environment.

Slabs are the "trash" that result form making the boards.  I have learned that they must me stacked as precisely as the lumber.  If you don't, then you wil have a pick-up-stick mess in a very short while that is almost impossible to clean up or move.  Some of my off-bearers will just throw the slab on a pile at the head of the mill even though I ask them to be neat.  In 3 or 4 hours, they are unable to walk around the mill, there is no more room for slabs,  The tractor can't move them and I have to shut down while the mess is cleaned up.

If the slabs are stacked neatly and tightly on top of a chain, then the chain can be wrapped around the pile, hooked to a tractor or truck and pulled to a remote area on occasion.  Of course, you don't won't it to build to big or there will be too much weight.

If a Slab pile is stacked neatly and tightly, you can run your chainsaw through the pile at a 90 degree angle to the slabs and quickly create piles of fire box sized firewood.

Yes,  there are folks who can make a mess out of the stack of lumber as well.

I've seen it stacked without any regard to width, length or thickness.  Man, talk about a mess to count up at the end of the day !   Not to mention the difficulty in sorting the lumber to sticker it.  Believe it or not I have seen the same folks do this over and over again.  Won't they ever learn?

Lumber is best stacked close to the mill in segregated stacks containing same dimensions.  If placed on 4x4's or the like, then forks can be used to move the stacks.  This makes tallying very easy and the customer and the sawyer can easily see the production and how closely it follows the Saw-bill.

Sometimes, when space is limited, a layer may contain 1x12's,  2-1x6's, 3-1x4's, 1-1x8 and 1=1x4 or any combination of widths as long as the layer is all the same thickness.  

Stacks done this way can be jammed up against the next stack with inventory for billing purposes measuring the board footage in the entire stack(s) of lumber with no requard as to the individual pieces.  W"xH"xL' divided by 12

Have you ever had to stack different lengths together?  Say that you have a stack of 2x4's with lengths of 8', 12' in the same stack.

Count everything from the front of the stack where you have tried to keep it even.  100 pieces?  Well these are all 8' long, so the footage is 533 Board feet.  Now go to the back of the stack.  Hmmm bunch of sticks sticking out beyond the 8' mark.  Count them........36.  Well you could say that you had 36-12 footers but I say I have 36-4 footers.  That's 96 more feet to add to the 533, so, the entire stack has 629 board feet,

Yes it is difficult, but not as difficult as trying to count individual pieces and wondering if you have counted something twice.  

If you are in good control of the off-bearing then this would probably not happen, but sometimes things get out of hand and several different lengths end up in the same stack.  This is a good way to keep from getting confused because you count everything up to a certain length, then everything in the next encrement and then everything in the next encrement, etc, treating each encrement as its own length.


Offline JoeyLowe

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Re: Keep it neat
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2002, 08:20:20 PM »
Hear...Hear Tom!

That is great advice.  I'm a neat freak. (or so says my wife)  Besides, if the lumber is stacked neatly, then the perceived value to the owner increases or so I think.  By the way, I am still very new to custom milling and I appreciate the tip on using the chain.  Makes great sense!
Joey Lowe

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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Keep it neat
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2002, 09:25:14 PM »
  I use a jig for the larger pieces of material that are scraps.  Once it is full I will place the forks into  2" x 6" tubing. pick up the jig and move to the woodpile.  The jig is set up so I can cut 16" wood or 32" wood.  I cut at the appropriate location for the lenght I want and end with a 1/4 of a cord.  I then lift the jig and dump.   The tubing is attatched as a hinge on the oposite side from the frok entry point and the whole thing dumps like the bucket for the loader.  The whole process takes about 10 minutes to complete.  The real small pieces go into a small 51 Chev pick-up box trailer and is usually run though my chipper.  That takes about twenty minutes to process and equals approximately a 1/2 yard  which sells for $10 a yard.
Frank Pender

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