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Author Topic: Where I worked 10 years ago.  (Read 2596 times)

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Offline Okrafarmer

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Where I worked 10 years ago.
« on: August 26, 2010, 12:16:31 AM »
Here is a link to Hancock Lumber's website and there is a neat video you can watch to see a 5 minute demonstration of one of their mills in Maine, including the huge gang saw.

http://www.hancocklumber.com/sawmill/Sawmills

I worked for them for about 3-4 months in 2000, as a temp worker. I'm not affiliated with them now in any way, I'm not trying to sell anything, I just came across their website and found the video neat and it brought back memories.

This is what you're competing against, boys, both in quantity and quality, as well as marketing, etc.

They only mill and market EWP from what I understand, that's all we ever milled while I was there.

I did various newby tasks while I was there, but one of my favorites was pressure washing the logs as they went into the mill-- the kind of detail-oriented work I prefer. Unfortunately it was winter and very cold-- pressure washing under those conditions is miserable-- thankfully I'd get only one 2-hour shift at that per day then be rotated to something else before I could freeze solid. I only got to do that a few times-- usually it was pulling finished boards off the line, which inflamed my tendinitis, or packing shaving bags in semi-trailers.
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Operating a 2020 Woodmizer LT35 hydraulic for Wagner Farms, Dacusville, SC

Offline weisyboy

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 05:21:17 AM »
blody amazing.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 06:22:34 AM »
Okra,I used to hunt with their head sawyer up around Harrison Me. that was about 46 years ago.If I recall circular mill then,sawyer rode the carriage. Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline paul case

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 08:51:41 AM »
me ,competing with them? i dont think so. i think i send them the customers that i dont want to deal with.pc
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline WDH

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2010, 09:46:11 AM »
Excellent video.  That is the way it is done at high volume.  I have worked in the Industry for 32 years, and it amazes me how efficient the big guys are.  At the high volume southern pine mills, and I mean the big ones, a log is processed every 6 to 7 seconds.  Yes, I said 6 to 7 seconds  :).  But, there is no attempt to cut for grade, just volume.  It is all cookie cutter.  Production is limited to what you can dry, so production rates revolve around the kiln capacity.  The biggest mills produce in excess of 200 million BF per year.

The lesson here, as has been pointed out, is that a small operation cannot compete head to head on the same terms and markets with these guys.  The key, as so many of you here have successfully shown, is to focus on the real customer (not the Big Box Store of Lumber Yard) to give them what they want when they want, and to supply them with what they can't get elsewhere. 

Also, as so many of you have pointed out in other posts, if you are new and think that you want to run a sawmill for a living, then you better have a good business plan, a reliable supply of logs, and niche or specialty markets to seperate you from the mega-producers. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline sandhills

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2010, 10:51:44 AM »
Neat video!  thanks for sharing that, I've never seen a gang saw before, that things something else.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2010, 11:27:10 AM »
Wow!

That is some operation.

Thanks for posting.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG25 Kohler - Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2010, 10:30:08 PM »
a few dasys ago i was all out of fuel for my lt 40 but, i had a can of race fule 114octane dump that in the ol saw stood back and danG i cut wood jus like that there eger!
 what amazes me is the smart minds over time that developd these types of machines.
 
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline Planman1954

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 10:46:17 PM »
In the mid seventies, I took a tour of the redwood sawmill in the company town of Scotia, California. I was reminded of it in this video. The 6' diameter redwood logs came off the mill pond and were made to rotate while a high pressure water debarker ran along those huge logs. It was something to witness from the walkway located pretty close alongside. The band saw teeth had to be about 3" each and the blade more than a foot wide and about 35' long. The track moved at about 30 mph holding those huge logs. It was amazing....must have been...I was about 25 years old, and I still remember it! There was a room upstairs that some poor soul was in all day sharpening the blades. I was able to go by there again about 15 years ago, and it was no longer in production. It is a nice memory for me now. Thanks for the link!
Norwood Lumbermate 2000 / Solar Dry Kiln /1943 Ford 9n tractor

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 11:06:32 PM »
If I recall, the mill in Pittsfield could only take the EWP up to 36". That is as big as it "typically" gets up there, although I have seen at least two that were over 60."
No matter how conventional wisdom may fly in the face of radical thought, it's still the most popular type.

Operating a 2020 Woodmizer LT35 hydraulic for Wagner Farms, Dacusville, SC

Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Where I worked 10 years ago.
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2010, 02:26:07 AM »
Even as fast as that mill is, there are several that can out produce it here in the county I live in. Replace the primary brake down with a pair of double cut bandsaw’s along with an overhead carriage, or just stick a set of single cut quads in its place. The newness edger was only running 3 saws and can be fitted with 5 moveable saws and duel positioners. The barked could be up graded to an A-8, which is faster and leaves a much smother log. The list goes on. There lumber sizes seem to be real close to there finished sizes, minimizing waist. It takes a lot to keep a mill like that at full production, and most need to stay close to full production to keep the bankers happy. The big mills have there place the same as these little mills do. Nevertheless, the little mills can learn a lot from the big mills. Efficiency, accuracy, production and safety all add to the bottom line. About the only reason that someone has not installed an optimizing scanner, or saw deviation detector on a woodmizer or other small mill is the cost. Although duel log turners and clamps would be doable, and a relatively inexpensive up grade to boot. As the technology that they are using in the big mills, becomes cost affective, you are seeing it used more and more on some of the mills like LT-300, and Select mills. The accuset-2 is a good example of that. The idea had been in use for many years, then the accuset was designed for the woodmizer mills and was latter up graded with more advanced hardware.
Thanks for posting the link to the video.   
Backwoods Custom Milling Inc.
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