Timber Processing’s June issue spotlights how Gregory Wood Products is breathing easier following a challenging startup of a unique new hardwood/softwood sawmill in Hickory, NC. Sawmillers are looking for ways to combat rising energy costs in three main areas: transportation, on-site fuel and mill floor electricity usage.
“He was for all of East Texas. He was our guardian angel.” That’s how Jack Sweeny, CEO of Temple-Inland Forest Products Corp., summed up the life and impact of Arthur Temple, Jr., the former chairman of Temple-Inland, who died at age 86 on April 12 in Lufkin, Tex. Temple, born April 8, 1920 in Texarkana, Ark., was the grandson of T.L.L. Temple, founder of Southern Pine Lumber Co. Temple’s career began with Southern Pine Lumber as a bookkeeper, and in 1948 he became manager of the Diboll operations.
Gregory Wood Products, which started production in October 2005 after a year of construction, is the newest addition to the family company headed by second generation owner Cecil Gregory. The original Gregory mill, G&G Lumber in Union Grove, was built in 1974. Gregory Cherokee Wood in Blacksburg, SC was built in 1993 and joined the Gregory company when it was purchased by G&G Lumber in 1998.
North America’s current energy price crunch, in everything from gas and diesel fuel to natural gas and electricity, may lack the dynamic photo ops of blocks-long gas lines from 30 years ago, but the average sawmill owner or manager has a much more unnerving visual: The rising percentage of energy costs as a component of lumber manufacturing on each monthly financial statement.
If you’re in the sawmill business, you may have had this nightmare. You decide to put in new sawmill and planer mill lines and after much deliberation you go with a turnkey supplier. But almost from the beginning, you sense that the supplier doesn’t quite have its ducks in a row. The supplier doesn’t have a strong direct presence during construction. Its subcontractor in charge of construction seems to be fighting for drawings. Equipment shipments aren’t orderly.
The inventor of the Walking Floor is dead. Raymond Keith Foster, founder of Keith Manufacturing Co., inventor of the company’s Walking Floor self-unloading system and overall great innovator, died in Madras, Ore. on April 15. He was 83.
Southern Forest Products Assn. recognized seven member mills as recipients of the 2005 Sawmill Safety Award. The award is based on occupational injury and illness reports, member-submitted information on total employee hours worked and the number of recordable cases.
The B6000 Briquetter from Briquetting Systems and Nielsen AG can produce high-value firelogs of varying sizes, as well as smaller, puck-shaped briquettes and a wide range of fuel products. Unit can produce commercial fuel products or consumer firelogs in large or small quantities. Briquet density is in the 40 lbs. per cu. ft. range, which reduces storage, handling and trucking costs while maximizing fuel values.