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Weyerhaeuser Lumber is on the cutting edge

February 4th 2013 in Wood Products - #lumber

Many people think that sawmills are “old school” – that we make lumber the good old fashioned way, like the picture shown above. Well, even though we’ve been in the business for over 100 years, we are anything but “old school”.

Weyerhaeuser’s lumber business is constantly improving – in safety, quality and innovation. We invest in research, upgrade our mills with modern manufacturing equipment and develop new procedures and techniques to solve customer problems. Most importantly, we have the people and know-how to make it all come together.

Keep checking in regularly as Neal and I provide you with insights into our lumber products, business and industry.

By the way, can you guess the year the picture was taken?

The answer: 1938.

This picture shows a log on a headrig at a Weyerhaeuser mill. In a headrig operation, a log is loaded onto a carriage which sits on rails. The carriage with the log is driven past the bandsaw (you can see the bandsaw at the right edge of the log) which cuts boards (or “flitches”) off the side of the log.

In 1938, the operator to the left was called the “setter” – he and the operator in the back right would sit on the carriage as it drove back and forth past the saw. The operator in the back right was responsible for moving the log toward the saw before the next cut. The two “off-bearers” – on the photographer’s side of the log – were responsible for getting the flitches wide-face-down on the rollcase.

So here are a couple of things to think about… What safety issues can you see? How much of the log would be wasted in this process? (hint: note the size of the flitch on the rollcase)

We had some pretty good guesses on the year the picture was taken – thanks for your comments. In my next blog, I’ll include a picture from the SAME MILL – as it looks today (Feel free to guess the mill location too – you’ll find a list of our mills by using the WYfinder and selecting “Manufacturing Facilities”).