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RE: [MedievalSawdust] quality of wood

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  • Nicholas Russon
    The reason that most lumber is rip-sawn is that it’s cheap to do. You can take a log and run it through a commercial bandsaw like salami through a
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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      The reason that most lumber is rip-sawn is that it’s cheap to do.  You can take a log and run it through a commercial bandsaw like salami through a deli-slicer.  There’s almost no labor cost AND you get to use about 80% of the log.
       
      Quarter sawn timber has to be re-positioned on the saw for each cut, and the labor costs go up about 500% (that last number is a guess).  Riven timber, on the other hand, throws away about 60% of the log.  (In my own limited experience.)
      Actually, I had the opportunity to have dinner my boss on my last trip to her office (in the southern US), and afterwards, we visited her husband's design shop. He designs and builds precision laser measurement and control devices for lumber mills. Any mill larger than your local Wood-Mizer owner may already have automated equipment which allows them to do all sorts of amazing things with logs. The log is measured every (mumble) of a millimeter and the cutting is optimized to get the very most possible useful lumber from every log.
      For any mill using equipment like this (it's expensive stuff, but makes a huge difference in the amount of wasted wood), there's almost no difference in labour costs between doing flatsawn and quartersawn wood. There is still more waste from quartersawn, so it'll still be more economical for mills to produce flatsawn wood over quartersawn wood, but the cost differences will be much lower than for  mills which don't use this equipment.
      Regards,
      Nicholas
      Ealdormere (Ontario, Canada)


      Nicholas Russon
      nrusson@... or nicholas.russon@...

      Weblog at http://www.bolditalic.com/quotulatiousness
      Quotes site at http://www.quotulatiousness.ca
    • Bill McNutt
      Anybody think there s the remotest chance on this side of the river Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an industry that let
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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        Anybody think there’s the remotest chance on this side of the river Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an industry that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown down by Mt. St. Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the price of hardwood?

         

        Will the Bitter Cynic

         


        For any mill using equipment like this (it's expensive stuff, but makes a huge difference in the amount of wasted wood), there's almost no difference in labour costs between doing flatsawn and quartersawn wood. There is still more waste from quartersawn, so it'll still be more economical for mills to produce flatsawn wood over quartersawn wood, but the cost differences will be much lower than for  mills which don't use this equipment.

      • AlbionWood
        Hardwoods, blown down by Mt. St. Helens? Pretty sure that was mostly pine & fir. And IIRC there were some pretty good reasons not to go in and liquidate all
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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          Hardwoods, blown down by Mt. St. Helens? Pretty sure that was mostly
          pine & fir. And IIRC there were some pretty good reasons not to go in
          and liquidate all that standing dead timber, though there was also a lot
          of argument about it.

          Still, point taken - the (US) industry is not particularly interested in
          low prices. The sordid business with Canada (over softwood prices) is
          proof enough, if anybody doubted it.

          What those fancy computer-optimized, laser-guided mills do is get
          (barely) usable lumber from smaller-diameter logs. You should see the
          pecker-poles filling trucks out here right now... some of them they
          might get a few 2x4s out of, but they are still worth cutting & hauling.
          That means a shorter cut cycle, maybe 35-40 years instead of 45-50. That
          means more revenue. It's not a forest, it's a crop, and the sooner you
          get it to market the better.

          Timber companies are selling land like crazy. Wonder what that means?

          Colin
          Another Bitter Cynic

          Bill McNutt wrote:
          >
          > Anybody think there’s the remotest chance on this side of the river
          > Styx of the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with
          > an industry that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown
          > down by Mt. St. Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the
          > price of hardwood?
          >
          > Will the Bitter Cynic
          >
        • Ralph Lindberg
          ... Styx of ... industry ... Collin is correct in that there was little hardwood. Most of the wood was Doug Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Although, there
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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            --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...> wrote:
            >
            > Anybody think there's the remotest chance on this side of the river
            Styx of
            > the savings in labor cost being passed on to the consumer with an
            industry
            > that let tens of thousands of acres of hardwoods blown down by Mt. St.
            > Helens ROT rather than processes it and reduce the price of hardwood?
            >
            Collin is correct in that there was little hardwood. Most of the
            wood was Doug Fir, Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. Although, there was
            some bottom land with Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder also.
            But as to the rest, bunkem. All of the land owned by the timber co's
            (mostly Weyerhaeuser) was harvested for the blow-down. I watched truck
            after truck come out of the blow-down area. Then I watched as they
            replanted the land (most of the blow-down area was privately owned).
            Now, if you are talking about the blast-zone, ie the area right
            below the mountain, out towards Spirit Lake. That wood was never
            recovered. Much of it was buried under a few hundred feet of dirt.
            Some of the rest was blown unto the "new" Spirit Lake, were it was
            left to rot (it also formed one of the richest lakes in marine life,
            completely lacking in fish to eat any of it). But then this part of
            the land is now inside the National Monument.

            In point of fact, the Tacoma Dome roof is Mt Saint Helen's
            blow-down. All of that was Douglas Fir and Hemlock. The Red Cedar has
            always been to valuable to toss. The alder was probably all left to
            rot, although I'll bet the Big Leaf Maple was selectively harvested
            (just like it is now, at up to $600/bd-ft for the best quilted Maple,
            they ain't gona waste that)

            I've been skiing, hiking, and camping in that land for many years.
            In fact I was there last week.

            To return to some semblance of SCA, the major eruption happened on
            AnTir's May Coronet Tourney (we were still a Principality then). Only
            I skipped it, as I was building my house that year.

            TTFN
            Ralg
            AnTir
          • Ralph Lindberg
            ... hauling. ... That ... In the 1980 s and 90 s; Plum Creek Lumber (the timber arm of Burlington Northern rail) published in their circular to stock holders
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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              --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, AlbionWood <albionwood@...> wrote:
              >
              > ...
              >
              > What those fancy computer-optimized, laser-guided mills do is get
              > (barely) usable lumber from smaller-diameter logs. You should see the
              > pecker-poles filling trucks out here right now... some of them they
              > might get a few 2x4s out of, but they are still worth cutting &
              hauling.
              > That means a shorter cut cycle, maybe 35-40 years instead of 45-50.
              That
              > means more revenue. It's not a forest, it's a crop, and the sooner you
              > get it to market the better.
              >
              In the 1980's and 90's; Plum Creek Lumber (the timber arm of
              Burlington Northern rail) published in their circular to stock holders
              that they were "getting along" in their harvests, by cutting at 3 to 4
              times sustained yield. Which means that in "X" number of years, they
              will have no lumber to harvest.

              > Timber companies are selling land like crazy. Wonder what that means?
              >
              That their land has more value in homes then in lumber.

              Interesting, Weyerhaeuser has an interesting solution to this issue.
              They are selling large lots (5 to 20 acre) of their timber land
              near(er) major towns to people that want to put large trophy homes on.
              Only, Weyerhauser is retaining the timber rights.

              To return this to SCA, my barony (Dragons Laire), hosts many of
              it's larger events in a "company town" (Port Gamble WA), ie one owned
              outright by a timber company (Pope and Talbert). They are actually
              much easier to deal with then most government agencies.

              TTFN
              Ralg
              AnTir
            • AlbionWood
              Ralg, Thanks for setting us straight about that. I only remember a lot of hand-wringing over the issue at the time, and there seems to be a persistent myth
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 3, 2006
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                Ralg,

                Thanks for setting us straight about that. I only remember a lot of
                hand-wringing over the issue at the time, and there seems to be a
                persistent myth that the Libruls made everybody leave that timber to rot.

                Cheers,
                Colin
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