MARCH 2020

Cover: Edwards Wood Products Gets New Sawmill Going

Edwards Wood Products (EWP), founded in 1969 by Carroll Edwards, began as a small pallet manufacturer in an abandoned chicken house in Marshville, North Carolina.

Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Associate Editor, Timber Processing

Inside This Issue

The Issues: What Is An Encoder Anyway?

We’ve been having some fun with sawmill terminology lately. We always do when we hire a new editor fresh out of college, who has been a sportswriter, and who is much more familiar with terms like three-point shot than three-dimensional scanning. Read more

  • Endowment Picks Pete Madden
  • Endless Purchases UK’s BSW Group
  • Brazil, China Under The Gun
  • Forest Industry Supporters Rally
  • Washington Hit With Lawsuits
  • R-Y Juggles Lumber Outport
  • Weyerhaeuser Sells Montana Land
Passing The Torch

FOREST, Mississippi – The Gaddis family has turned over a new leaf. After more than 50 years as a lumber re-manufacturer, last October they sold King Lumber to Lincoln Companies, a parent company that accumulates diversified operations in the wood and wood fiber industries.

Article by Patrick Dunning, Associate Editor, Timber Processing

Early Look: Timber Processing & Energy Expo

Several companies have signed on to exhibit at the Timber Processing & Energy Expo to be held September 30 to October 2 at the Portland Exposition Center in Portland, Oregon. Exhibit space is still available. Contact Fred Kurpiel: [email protected] or Dianne Sullivan: [email protected] 

Machinery Row
  • Norra Timber Adding USNR Edger System
  • Training Center Works For Sennebogen
  • Södra Investing In Värö Sawmill
  • Carolina Mill Goes With Cortex Upgrade
  • Carbotech Names Project Manager
  • Wright Joins Wagner Meters
  • Tigercat Teams With Bejac Corp.
  • Maxam Expands Customer Service Team
  • One Stop Trading In Shanghai
No Wasted Motion At Pole Facility

When the 830 M-T log handler reached the end of its six-year lease term with 22,000 service hours, Stella-Jones Inc. Plant Manager Darrin Vigue did his due diligence to choose its replacement. But in the end, Vigue returned to the machine that had served him so well for the previous six years.

Article by Sennebogen


Editor’s Note: The following companies were invited to send in editorial profiles of their products and technologies related to the log merchandising area of the sawmill. They are also advertising in this month’s issue.

  • Autolog
  • Carbotech
  • Comact (BID Group)
  • JoeScan
  • Linden
  • Mebor
  • Metal Detectors Inc.
  • Microtec
  • Porter Engineering
  • Precision Husky
  • Progress Industries
  • Telco Sensors
  • West Coast Industrial Systems
  • Timber Automation
At Large
  • Boise Annouces Personnel Moves
  • UK Port Expands For Timber Trade
  • Former Hardwood Leader Passes
  • Forest History Group Has New NC Facility
  • Louisiana Forest Festival Set For April
  • Log A Load Breaks $2 Million in 2019

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Going With Pine

Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Associate Editor, Timber Processing


Edwards Wood Products (EWP), founded in 1969 by Carroll Edwards, began as a small pallet manufacturer in an abandoned chicken house in Marshville, NC. Beginning at age 9, Jeff Edwards worked after school, swept the floors, stacked lumber at the turntable and learned the ropes. By the time he finished high school, Edwards knew his future was in the family business.

He says he never looked back after joining the business full-time. Working alongside his father as the company grew at an impressive clip was thrilling—adding its second sawmill in 1989, then three acquisitions before another greenfield startup in 2018—and knowing he’s kept his family’s business thriving for more than 50 years has been a source of real pride, especially now that his dad has passed.

Careful consideration of location has been a factor for continued growth. Edwards has mills spread across North Carolina and one in South Carolina, because procurement has always been a challenge. Not necessarily because of competition for hardwood, but mainly because of the large-scale pine operations in the region. Spreading mills out a bit helps take pressure off a tight procurement radius.

He’s a stone’s throw from some of the biggest single site pine sawmills in the country. EWP owns about 35,000 acres of timberland, mainly pine plantations, and it is not always cost effective to truck to the company’s new pine mill. Sometimes it makes more sense to sell pine logs off Edwards’ own timberlands to markets that are closer.

Edwards’ portfolio, which includes three scragg mills, two chip mills, five hardwood grade mills and the new pine mill, consumes around 350 loads of wood daily.

One of the driving factors in every single decision Edwards has made for the business has been how to get the highest and best use, while also being strategic in location of acquisitions of both land and sawmills. Those moves benefitted greatly in 2017, when he first began seriously planning a pine and mixed hardwood alternating sawmill designed to feed the company’s pallet operations —all of course driven by Edwards noticing that the market demand for kiln dried pine pallets was increasing, and his pallet operations were geared mainly for hardwoods.

When I was thinking about the location of the new mill, I did substantial research before I made the decision to start the project. I would have preferred to locate the new mill on property beside one of our existing mills in Peachland, NC, but from a procurement standpoint I felt, in the long run, we would be better off in the Laurinburg area,” Edwards says.

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