Monday, January 19, 2009

Making the most of our timber resource.

We and other resource managers work hard to regenerate and grow high quality timber products. The commitment to good stewardship does not end there, however. Harvesting and utilization of the harvested timber products must be performed with a commitment to making the most of our precious resources.


There are multiple steps in the process of turning timber into useable products. The basic steps are listed in the order in which they are performed:


Felling of the tree.

Cutting the tree to length.

Sorting the cut tree sections (into saw logs, pulpwood, and firewood).

From there the process varies for the different products. This post describes the process of turning logs into plywood veneer faces. This process includes the following steps:


Trucking of saw logs from the forest to the Rajala Mill in Bigfork, MN.

Sawing the logs into "flitches" - sawn boards with rough edges.

Transport to the Rajala veneer plant in Deer River, MN.

Steaming of the flitches to soften the fibers.

Slicing the flitches to into thin veneers (thickness varies from 1/42" to 1/8" depending on use)

Drying, grading, and clipping of the veneers.


The clipped veneers are sold as is, or further processed into sheets called "Faces" which are ready to be applied to plywood cores for use in high end cabinetry, furniture, doors, and architectural millwork.


The following brief video shows the various steps in the process of making high end sliced veneer faces.



The veneer process is an important part of Rajala Companies' commitment to maximizing the value and utilization of our local forest resources. It is the only process of its kind in Minnesota.

2 comments:

Eli Sagor said...

John, this video is fantastic. I hope we'll see more! This is a side of natural resources that few woodland owners (or others) ever have a chance to see. It's also an excellent example of turning MN wood into world class, top-quality products.

I've added a link to the MyMinnesotaWoods news feed.

John Rajala said...

Thanks for the encouragement... I'll definately post further informaton about producing and marketing MN forest products.