Timber Processing’s October issue spotlights Keadle Lumber Enterprises, which has entered the era of multi-optimization southern pine sawmilling with an expansion at its complex in Thomaston, Georgia. Mill approaches to project design, engineering, fabrication and installation reflect a variety of operating philosophies. Also, a history of timber prosperity began over a century ago for a small mill town in Alaska.
A radical environmental group has claimed responsibility for an August 11 fire that caused $700,000 damage to a U.S. Forest Service research office in Irvine, Warren County, Pa. Earth Liberation Front has sent an e-mail to the Warren Times Observer saying it targeted the 40-year-old federal Forest Sciences Laboratory building in response to timber sales, oil drilling and “greed driven manipulation of nature” in the Allegheny National Forest.
Since 1998 Keadle Lumber Enterprises has invested close to $10 million building a modern sawmill beside and over its existing ’70s vintage southern pine mill. The project converted the former mill’s two circle saw headrigs to bandmill breakdowns and introduced optimized technology for the first time here. All machine centers through the trim saw have been replaced.
Undertaking any sawmill construction, expansion or renovation project—no matter if it’s a greenfield facility or single machine replacement—requires a big commitment from management and employees alike. In addition to the capital outlays and nuts and bolts installation, considerations such as downtime, new responsibilities and training must all be negotiated and planned.
It’s a small Southern town, 68 miles due south of Little Rock, with Arkansas Highway 8 and U.S. Highway 79 as thoroughfares. The homes are quaint, some well preserved from an earlier era, others nestled in the shade of massive pines. Downtown hosts a series of historical buildings, most in current use, housing offices and an assortment of shops. Other antique buildings are in various stages of restoration.
These days everybody thinks they’re sawing small logs. But Tembec sawmill superintendent Robert Ritchie knows small logs. Ritchie, a seasoned sawmiller with experience in various forest regions, helps run Tembec’s recently upgraded 10 ft. mill here. Logs at the two-line mill average under 4.5 in. at the butt, while the small log line takes only logs from 2.8 to 4 in. at the top.
Autolog’s fir and spruce kiln optimizer system is designed to separate fir and spruce boards in 2 categories to optimize the schedules at the dry kiln. The system is based on a chemical reaction, which causes the wood to turn blue for fir (high pH) and to turn yellow-green for any other species (low pH). A solution called SAPTEK is applied automatically on the ends of the pieces that require sorting.