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New Sawmill Is Planned For Near Forks

He’s back. Phil Johnson, who was one of the principals and helped to build sawmill operations called Lewis County Forest Products in Winlock, Wash. and Mason County Forest Products in Shelton, Wash., is in the sawmill development business again with Spencer Forest Products and its proposed softwood sawmill in Forks, Wash. The sawmill will be built off Highway 101 near the Hoh River, about 20 miles south of Forks, at the site of the former Allen Logging Co. mill operation, with Spencer FP recently purchasing 138 mostly forested acres in the vicinity.

Johnson made a name for himself building and operating sawmills with used equipment. Timber Processing magazine featured both of his previous sawmills, which called upon Johnson’s “used equipment formula” supported by his sawmill equipment mechanical skills, timber procurement connections and lumber marketing experience.

Once again the majority of equipment in the mill will be used. Production of Douglas fir and hemlock dried lumber is anticipated at 100MMBF annually on a single shift.

Construction is expected to start almost immediately at the site, which has a usable mill building. Startup is planned for the final quarter of this year.

Johnson clarifies, “I am not an owner. At my age I don’t want the responsibility. The fun is building them!”

Green end machinery will include a 44 in. A2 Nicholson debarker, 17° tilted USNR 42 in. carriage, 7 ft. L&B tilted hi-strain bandmill, 6 ft. twin L&B horizontal resaw, USNR 4×42 optimized board edger, USNR 6 in. top arbor 42 in. gang saw, 39 bin sorter, Lunden stacker, MPM controls and optimization, while the planer mill has a Kimwood planer, Newnes trimmer, 49 bin sorter and Newnes stacker. Dry kilns will be Coe.

Florida-based Spencer FP owner Ralph Spencer was the owner of Ohio-based Mulch Manufacturing, one of the largest mulch manufacturers in the U.S. and which sold to National Storm Recovery in 2020.

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