I thought you might enjoy these images of the steps in the process of manufacturing White Pine veneer.
Harvest area with many White Pines left to grow even bigger, and provide an abundant seed source for natural regeneration. Note that the cleared areas around the mature trees have been scarified by use of a small bulldozer to prepare the seed bed.
Veneer quality White Pine log being sawn into veneer slicer boards at the historic Rajala Mill in Bigfork, MN. Notice the large diameter, uniform shape, and absence of knots in this log.
White Pine veneer boards, also known as "flitches" being sliced to 1/8" thickness on the Marunaka slicer at the Rajala Veneer mill in Deer River, MN. The veneer coming up the belt conveyor to the right has just been sliced off the bottom of the board which is exiting the machine. The board continues around and will be repeatedly sliced until all that is left is the "backer board".
The veneer slices from the individual boards are stacked together so that they can be matched as needed later in the process. The slicer operator measures the thickness of the veneer regularly to ensure proper thickness to within .002".
Veneers exiting the screen drier. Moisture content is very important. If the veneer is too wet, it may continue to shrink after our customer has used it in a finished product... not good. If it is too dry, it will be brittle and hard to work.
After drying, the veneers will be sorted, clipped to size, and shipped to customers for use in the finest finished wood products. These products include windows, doors, and plywood.
It takes the combined efforts of the Rajala forestry, logging, sawmill, and veneer mills to produce veneers to the exact specifications of our customers - beginning with the growing of the trees. Our "yield" of finished veneers from trees is very high because of the training and knowledge of all employees in the forestry and manufacturing processes. High yield is a major component of Sustainability. Given the struggle that the lake states has faced in "bringing back the White Pine", we feel that this effort is an absolute requirement in return for the privilege of continuing to harvest and use this wonderful and historic species.
Speaking of "Bringing Back the White Pine", you may be interested in the book that my father wrote on the subject.