Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Editor, Timber Processing November 2022
I very clearly remember a dinner I had with one of my favorite engineers from the West Coast after a day on the sawmill show floor many, many years ago. After a few cocktails (don’t all stories get good once you hear “after a few cocktails”?) and some advice on how I was screwing up my kid’s chance at learning how to ride a bike because I didn’t bend the training wheels, and instead unscrewed them, we started talking shop. Now of course, he was tight lipped about basically everything because of those pesky NDAs everyone signs and engineer/client privilege—which I am not sure is a thing or not separate from an NDA, but I am claiming it as one. So, he starts talking to me about this hairbrained scheme someone came to him with. It involved a lot of plexiglass and things that would have made OSHA shudder.
Now, this scheme, to my knowledge at least, didn’t make it past a first meeting, but I recently thought about it. Not because I thought it was a good idea per se, but because it was just so…out there. Or at least it seemed to be at the time. Sort of like in 2016 at the Timber Processing & Energy Expo when Joey Nelson was flying a drone inside the Portland Expo Center. It was a little bit mysterious and a little bit cool and a little just out there. I’ve always thought Joey was cool, but in 2016, flying drones inside was still on the cutting-edge of cool. And a few old geezers probably thought the drone was a little bit nuts.
What does all this have to do with each other? Well, for the 2022 edition of the Timber Processing & Energy Expo the editorial trio of Dan Shell, Rich Donnell and everyone’s favorite (and only) lady editor Jessica Johnson did daily recap videos on YouTube. And it was a little bit out there—at least for us. Not because the three of us haven’t been covering this industry for a collective like eight decades, but because I wanted to step outside of the box and film videos on the show floor. I didn’t want to wait until the next issue to discuss all the amazing things we saw, heard, and did at TP&EE 22.
Now, I realize YouTube videos aren’t exactly putting a man on Mars, but for our staff, it kind of was. But just like everyone else, we’re having to teach ourselves new ways to do things. We sent emails (you can subscribe here): with a lot of colors and pictures and graphics leading up to the industry’s biggest gathering on the West Coast. We were active on social media. TP&EE went as digital as we could, while still remaining true to our in-person roots.
Now that I have certainly oversold these videos, click on over to YouTube and check out all the coverage we are offering to supplement the dedicated review elsewhere in this issue. It was great to hug so many friends from far and wide over the course of the show. Thanks to these videos we can all reminisce, until we see you all again in 2024. I am sure there will be more innovations and automations made that will have us all waiting with bated breath to see how the trio of Shell, Donnell and Johnson cover it all in their Daily Round Up.
Vaagen Thanks Support For Midway Sawmill
The outpouring of support for Vaagen Fibre Canada’s Midway, BC sawmill, upon the early January Vaagen family announcement of the mill’s impending closure, was substantial, but apparently hasn’t changed the disappointing outcome, at least for now. The Vaagen family, whose Vaagen Brothers Lumber headquarters and sawmill is in Colville, Wash., announced on…
Mercer Gains Mass Timber Contract
Mercer International Inc. reported it has signed its first major mass timber project contract with a large consumer products retailer. The project, which is composed of cross-laminated timber panels, glue-laminated beams and connector elements, is expected to utilize four months of capacity at Mercer’s Spokane, Wash. facility on a one-shift basis over the course of 2023…
U.S. Housing Starts Rebound In February
U.S. housing starts brushed off a sluggish January and reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.45 million in February, up 9.8% over January. Single-family starts were 830,000, a percent above January, while multi-family (five units or more) were at 608,000, up a whopping 24% over January. The uptick in February broke a four-consecutive monthly decline for the combined starts…
Cooper Machine Partners With EWD
Cooper Machine Co., a long-established manufacturer of quality sawmill equipment located in Wadley, Ga., announced that it is partnering with German-based sawmill machine manufacturer EWD Sagetechnik. Cooper Machine has been offering equipment for sawmill, pallet, and post and pole mills since 1965. The company is in its third generation of successful management…
Canfor DeRidder Has Log Cranes In Place
Fulghum Industries, Inc. reports the commission of two recently installed 170 ft. 45-ton log cranes for Canfor. The cranes will be feeding the new $160 million sawmill at DeRidder, La…
New Pellet Mill Entices Area Sawmills
Some Georgia sawmills will have a new market for their byproducts as Spectrum Energy Georgia LLC plans to begin construction this summer of the largest industrial wood pellet facility in the world at Adel, Ga. and expects to commission the plant 12 months later, or summer of 2024. The plant will operate at the site of an idled particleboard facility. The plant will have the ability to receive and process all forms of biomass, including sawmill residues (chips, sawdust and shavings), pulpwood, top wood, and in-woods chips…
Find Us On Social
The monthly Timber Processing Industry Newsletter reaches over 4,000 mill owners and supervisors.
Timber Processing is delivered 10 times per year to subscribers who represent sawmill ownership, management and supervisory personnel and corporate executives. Subscriptions are FREE to qualified individuals.
Complete the online form so we can direct you to the appropriate Sales Representative.