Blog

Sawing Specialty Lumber Products

Aug 11, 17

This is the second in the continuing series on how Montana Logs are harvested and then top-quality wood products manufactured. In the previous post, “The Art of Selecting the Right Log for the Right Wood Product”, we discussed how important it is to harvest timber in a responsible, sustainable fashion and touched on how to use those resources in an intelligent and efficient manner.

This blog post will provide an overview of how the Marks Lumber sawmill team optimizes the Grown-in-Montana wood fiber they purchase to manufacture Made-In-Montana specialty products.

Concepts of Sawing Logs

When logs come into the sawmill, some are ideal stock to make boards or to make “blanks” which are boards that will be planed into finished products such as flooring. Other logs are ideal for other products such as timbers. It is up to the head sawyer to coordinate with the log yard team to recognize a log's best potential. Sometimes we even label logs with what we are hoping to cut out of them.

To optimize the use of a log, many of the best logs are chosen to create structural, appearance grade timbers with the side lumber from these logs often making great blanks for flooring.  Other times we are running the mill primarily to make flooring blanks selecting good solid logs, but they may have 1 noticeable defect that can be removed. When the sawyers are producing the best board that a log will give them we say they are “cutting for grade”.

Fun Fact: The first cut a sawyer makes on a log at Marks Lumber is to flatten the best (clearest) face of a log. With that log 'opened up' the sawyer now decides how to proceed to get maximum yield from the log.

Getting optimal yield out of the wood fiber we purchase is obviously critical to Marks Lumbers survival, and it is critical to our customers as well. Recognizing optimal situations for logs allows Marks Lumber to offer a wide variety of very high-quality timber products at very economical pricing.  Operators at all stages of mill production must pay attention and communicate with the rest of their team to operate effectively and efficiently.

Another way to optimize the use of a log is to cut blanks for the flooring mill on the head rig as 2-inch boards or “cants” that are sent to a bandsaw to be split. This process minimizes waste, while still allowing Marks Lumber to produce true circle sawn material.  Mill hands must always be aware of the circle sawn face to protect it throughout the milling process.

Sawing Summary

Manufacturing top quality, appearance grade lumber is a sometimes challenging, but fulfilling vocation. It takes more care and expertise than first meets the eye. The Marks Lumber mill crew appreciates the opportunity to utilize their skills in optimizing log use so they can supply your Grown-In-Montana, Made-In-Montana specialty lumber products which include circle-sawn flooring, sidings, timbers, and more.

 

Read Similar Blog Posts:

Previous Post: The Art of Selecting the Right Log for the Right Wood Product
Next Post: Marks Lumber’s Process for Drying and Grading Lumber



Other Posts

17
Jan

Georgetown Lake Cabin

Post-and-Beam Project Spotlight Justin and Megan Brunell approached Marks Lumber about building a dream cabin near Georgetown Lake, Montana. Justin, a...

~ View Now ~
09
Jan

Douglas Fir Log Prices Are High, Will Likely Go Higher

Western US Log Inventory is Low Demand for Timber Products is High Marks Lumber has had a fantastic 2017, and we are looking forward to providing high...

~ View Now ~
02
Jan

Buffalo Joes Eatery & Saloon, Dupuyer MT

On your way to Glacier Park, via US Route 89, stop in Dupuyer Montana for a bite to eat. Buffalo Joe’s Eatery and Saloon is right on Main Street. T...

~ View Now ~