During production, a planer mill operator orients a blank before sending it into the planer to maximize quality. Mill operators are experts at removing defects found during this planing process.
For example, if a board had 3/8 of an inch of wane or damage on one edge, but is otherwise clear, it can still be made into a fantastic piece of flooring. The planer must cut the tongue side of the waney portion of the board. Should the mill operator run the piece the other direction and cut the groove on that waney side of the board, the piece would be worthless.
On the outfeed side of the planer, an experienced grader scrutinizes each board. At this time the grader decides whether enough defects can be removed to make this piece a quality Marks Lumber trim free flooring product.
Depending on the outcome of this test, the piece will either go into a bunk to be end-matched for orders or into #3 grade and sold "as is." These less-than-perfect pieces are ideal for the more rough installations.
Planer operators check for moisture and measure flooring to make sure it meets the profile specifications. Technicians check these pieces at regular intervals during a run to ensure a quality product.
Often these same operators will be the ones putting your order together, so they know that Marks Lumber cannot have any "surprises" in specified orders for materials. Therefore, this stage of processing must perfect all products.
All of these processing steps might seem like it would take all day to run one stick of flooring, but the expert operators at Marks Lumber clip right along. On a good day, the planer mill can produce around 20,000 linear feet of circle-sawn flooring.
The next phase in the Marks Lumber flooring manufacturing process is optimizing the material for 100% usability and end-matching to the order. These two tasks complete with just one step, which we will cover in another post
Attention to detail during the planing process is one reason you can be confident that your Marks Lumber manufactured flooring will be a beautiful addition to your home or business!
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