Timber Processing’s October issue reports on how Comact/Hi-Tech gives Rex Lumber what it wants at a new southern pine lumber plant on an old site in Graceville, Florida. Family lineage helps to preserve independent sawmills, and the U.S. wood furniture industry could be on the brink of disaster or on the verge of greatness.
Logger Sherm Anderson, owner of Sun Mountain Logging in Deer Lodge, Mont., has signed a letter of intent to purchase Louisiana-Pacific’s sawmill and fingerjoint operation in Deer Lodge. Upon expected completion of the deal, the operation will be called Sun Mountain Lumber Co. Anderson, known for his community activism, has long expressed an interest in acquiring the sawmill.
When owner Finley McRae and General Manager Arthur Wilson sat down to design a new high speed, small log sawmill here, their overriding goal was to be able to stay competitive during the hard times and to run as lean as possible. The result is a mill that pushes the envelope on speed, throughput and efficiency. McRae purchased the bankrupt 60 acre mill site/operation in the fall of 2001, and re-named it Rex Lumber LLC in deference to its original name, when McRae’s grandfather first built a hardwood mill here.
Before railroads crisscrossed the nation, the family-owned sawmill was the local lumber market. Homesteaders and business owners naturally bought from the mill closest to them. Once railroads ran through towns to link cities and started moving commodities, a true competitive market for lumber dawned on the horizon. Over the years, as forest products companies sprouted and grew, some independent mills bowed out as competition pressure increased while others were absorbed by enterprising lumber companies.
During the past decade, the wood household furniture industry has lost approximately one-third of its market share to imports. The problem is spreading to other wood-based industries, such as kitchen cabinets, upholstered furniture and wood office furniture. In this publication, we discuss benchmarking activities undertaken to provide a basis for comparing the U.S. wood furniture industry with the best in the world.
Rebuilding a mill after fire is never easy. When you’re a small independent family mill with limited access to capital and facing some of the toughest markets in years, it’s harder still. Yet that’s exactly what Régis Lemay and son Mario accomplished with the August 2002 startup of a simple, optimized single-line sawmill. Scierie P.H. Lemay is a family-owned and operated softwood lumber manufacturer with its head office in St-Francois-de-Sales; the new mill is in L’Ascension.
Weyerhaeuser Co. has purchased Lumber Track business software from Progressive Solutions Inc. of Richmond, BC for 88 facilities in its wood products sector. Lumber Track will be implemented at the following Weyerhaeuser wood products businesses: Softwood Lumber, Engineered Panel, BC Coastal, Southern Plywood, Western Plywood and Veneer and Northwest Hardwood.
Inx-Systems has released multisensory OptiGrader edger 2-1⁄2 scanner/optimizer that combines a high-density true-color top/bottom scan for knots, stains, decay and other defects with high-resolution geometric scan for wane and profile. The company reports that OptiGrader users gain 5-20% higher value recovery compared to conventional laser-based profile-only optimizers.