Timber Processing’s April issue spotlights Rough & Ready Lumber as it seeks self-sufficient power and extra drying capacity with its new cogeneration plant. An independent sawmill operation takes measures to balance soft markets and company needs. Also, high technology is a given at Bowater’s newest sawmill in Thunder Bay, but there is much more that sets it apart.
Paper and packing company MeadWestvaco Corp. plans to sell 300,000 acres of Southern forestland as part of a restructuring plan. The timberland includes 145,000 acres in Georgia, 82,000 acres in Alabama, and 63,000 acres in West Virginia. MeadWestvaco expects to complete the sales later this year.
Decades ago, Rough & Ready Lumber cut large logs like most other mills, but in the years since its founding in 1922, the mill has evolved from large to small logs, yet now is operating as a large log niche and high-grade lumber producer, running dual mills and processing both Douglas fir and ponderosa and sugar pine logs.
Consensus shows that mill operations have been taking measures to counter slumping lumber markets. At Griffin Lumber Co., these measures include a reduced production load. “We stop production once we reach 1MMBF each week,” says company President Billy Griffin. Nonetheless, Griffin, 55, predicts they’ll easily produce 50MMBF in 2007. Fully 75% of production is 5⁄4x6 decking with the remainder being dimension, from 2x4 up to 2x12; 5⁄4x4 decking, and boards from 1x4 to 1x6.
Nearly 87% of sawmill managerial personnel responding to a recent energy survey indicate their operations are actively looking for ways to reduce energy costs, and 70% of this group have made it a “management priority.”
Once upon a time, in a land of surging lumber prices and record housing starts, just about every pulp & paper executive thought he was a sawmiller. Hire a consultant, contract a turnkey supplier to build an optimized mill, push the big red button that says “start,” and you’re making money and cheap chips faster than you can say over-capacity.
Morbark, Inc. is celebrating 50 years of manufacturing industrial equipment this year. The Winn, Mich.-based company began as a small blacksmith shop and grew under the leadership of Norval Morey, a logger and sawmiller who introduced a portable pulpwood debarker.
Designtek announces the launch of its DT Gibs cutter head system for planers. Mill owners will enjoy a 40-100% increase in the number of knives available to them when they retrofit their existing planer heads. The system uses standard industry knife steel mounted in a patented design which maximizes the number of knives in any given cutting circle.