the club went on an outing to Sierra Pacific Lumber Mill on Aug 21st. We assembled in their boardroom and had a talk by Mark our docent. An interesting facts: Did you know at the beginning of the 20th century the tree density in Sierra forests was 150 trees per acre and now there are 500 per acre. And we wonder why there are so many forest fires…
The tour started by going to where the incoming logs are first cut. Computers figure out the most optimum way of cutting the log and the saws goes to work. When the planks are produced they are scanned into the computer and tracked through the process. Lasers are used to scan for dimensions and the computer decides what to do with the wood.
We were shown the on site power station which generates power for the Mill and more. It is fed by wood chips. Excess power is fed back into the PGE system.
Once cut, the wood is dried in ovens. Cedar wood takes 5 times longer to dry than normal pine.
Each plank is photographed on each side to count knots and is graded accordingly. This takes place at a breathtaking pace automatically.
The final product is taken off site by both road and rail.
Great Tour and thanks to our docent Mark!
see everyone on the next tour