Timber Processing’s June issue features Bowater’s Albertville Sawmill in north Alabama, which is showing strong recovery numbers thanks to a curve-sawing gang and a sharp chain retrofit. PJ Lumber uses custom-built saws to create a niche market for fixed-width hardwood lumber. Also, a former frontier town, Clarksville, Tennessee, thrives on new age industry and outlook.
Weyerhaeuser and Coast Mountain Hardwoods Inc. have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore. Under terms of the settlement, Weyerhaeuser will pay $14 million before taxes with no admission of liability. The lawsuit sought damages for alleged monopolization of alder sawlog and finished lumber markets, and fraud.
Plant Manager Al Wiggins acknowledges that Bowater’s Albertville Sawmill has usually been a follower rather than a leader when it comes to installing new technology. That is, Bowater has preferred to let other mills work out the kinks before bringing the technology into its southern pine lumber operation here.
As 59-year-old Al Wiggins talks about changeover in the treated lumber market, from CCA preservatives to various alternative chemicals, and the phasing out of CCA treated lumber for residential use as of the beginning of this year, I have a difficult time keeping up, mainly because I am trying to place Al Wiggins, “In some ways the treated issue helped toward the end of last year,” says the soft-spoken Wiggins.
Driving down St. Stephens Road in the warehouse district of Prichard, a suburb of the port city of Mobile, you wouldn’t expect to find the headquarters of an international corporation. But that’s exactly where Fred Wilson, John Brock and Joe Kelly, owners of PJ Lumber Co., have situated their hardwood lumber exporting operation.
Nestled amongst the hardwoods that guard the Cumberland River lies this city named for Revolutionary War leader General George Rogers Clark. The city was incorporated in 1785, Tennessee’s first. Today, Clarksville touts itself as the “Gateway to the New South,” proudly boasting a young workforce, high tech and cutting edge industry, Austin Peay State University and Fort Campbell, home to the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division “Screaming Eagles.”
Sawmilling has certainly changed over the years, but one fact of lumber production remains: When a mill finds a quality, reliable piece of equipment that’s cost-effective over the long-run, without increasing maintenance costs or lessening output quality, there’s no real reason to replace it. Also, many mills, looking for lower-cost alternatives to shiny new iron, scour the industry looking for used equipment that finds a new life in a mill expansion or machine replacement.
In the wood industries a significant amount of electricity and thermal energy is consumed in producing the finished products. Electricity is generally used to operate machineries while thermal energy, in the form of steam, hot oil or hot air, is utilized for processing and drying of the product. As part of the manufacturing process, wood residue in the form of bark, wood shavings and sawdust is produced.