Timber Processing’s May issue reports on the new sawmill upgrade that Slocan completed just before Canfor Corp. bought Slocan Forest Products in Quesnel, BC. Mill town sawmill holds to traditions and work ethics of times past while also meeting the needs of the future.
Robert (Bob) E. Chapman, longtime sawmill equipment innovator and most recently the founder of Optimil Machinery, died March 20 in Surrey, BC. He was 69. Much of Chapman’s work in the lumber machinery industry was in the 1950s ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s for the Canadian-Car Pacific Div. of Hawker Siddeley Canada, including leadership roles in research and development, engineering and marketing.
Everyone at the former Slocan Forest Products’ mill here has seen major changes over the past few months, including new ownership, and a substantial rebuild that stretches from one end of the mill to the other. The Quesnel mill was part of a $700 million (Can.) deal that saw Vancouver-based Canfor Corp. take over the assets of Slocan Forest Products, creating a lumber and pulp and paper producer with annual sales in excess of $3 billion.
The whistle blows. People spill out into the crisp morning sunshine as Marsh Lumber Co.’s 125 employees take their morning break. The sound conjures up images of yesteryear when mill towns abounded and everybody set their watches by the town’s largest employer. The fact that watches are now powered by quartz crystals doesn’t keep folks here from depending on that whistle to mark the progress of their day.
Instead of less than 2 billion BF of timber harvested annually on national forests, these forests should be providing as much as 20 billion BF annually, according to Duane Vaagen, President of Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co. of Colville, Wash. Vaagen gave the keynote speech at the Wood Technology Clinic & Show held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, March 17-19.
Everyone is concerned over the current high cost of timber. I am sure that even those who have stumpage to sell are as concerned for timber’s long range markets as we are for its current cost, because prices as we know them today can only lead to substitution of other commodities for many wood products. You might logically ask, if the seller of stumpage is concerned over timber’s future markets, why doesn’t he ease off on prices a bit?
Wood-Mizer Products is proving its versatility with an array of products on display at the Richmond EXPO. Wood-Mizer will bring numerous portable band sawmills, ranging from hobbyist needs to professional, high-production hydraulic mills such as the LT70 sawmill which features bi-directional chain log turner and an optional remote operator station that increases the sawyer’s ability to attain the best grade possible.
Inovec introduces the WaneMaster G3. Scanning system has high speed laser scanners, transverse or linear, with 0.02" accuracy. Optimizing system operates on Windows XP and has 3D graphics, web-based user interface, ethernet/modem connections, dimension/random width sawing and advanced diagnostic and simulation tools. Control system is Allen-Bradley PLC/5 or ControlLogix software.