Saturday, October 17, 2015

Walking Weekend: Hull Forestry

First walk of the day was Hull Forestry in Pomfret at 9am. They put on a nice show, with foresters and other employees leading groups of about ten at a time. Mill doesn't normally run on Saturday...wonder if they were paying time-and-a-half or had given the guys off Columbus Day in trade. Hull employs about 75 at the mill, with another 60 contractors year round working the woods and trucking. They also have another mill in Quebec just across the Vermont line.
If I remember the figures about right, the log deck holds 60,000 board-feet and they process 20,000 board feet per day.
Queued for debarking.

The logs are barcoded when graded in the yard, and the 'puters in the mill route the higher grades to the band saw and the lower grades to the circular saw. The bar code labels are plastic, with plastic staples, and get chewed up by the saws as they work through the mill:
Saw sharpening room...kind of puts my files to shame!

This guy's job is to make sure the boards are lined up "curved" side up -- the lasers scan the boards to determine the optimum cutting pattern to maximize production and adjust the saws appropriately. This section of the mill is set up to keep lumber continuously circulating -- after passing through a saw if further cuts are needed it is sent back around automatically, rather than finishing cutting a board at one time which would be considerably slower as you pulled the board back and set up another cut.

In the background is the grinder for the clean wood scraps coming out of the mill.

This stuff is primarily sold to institutions in Vermont and Northern Massachusetts for heating.

Their own facility the heat (particularly the kilns) with sawdust:

Walnut waiting to be processed before being shipped to a customer in California:

Makin' floorin':

The double-banded bundles are destined for shipment overseas. They put a layer of polystyrene balls down on the bottom of shipping containers which allows them to easily push the bundles into the containers.

Kilns that hold 240,000 board feet -- so I'm calculating lumber stays in about 20 days on average.

Lumber being inspected and re-graded after coming out of the kiln:

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