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RE: [MedievalSawdust] quality of wood

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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