SAWMILL AND LUMBER PREPARATION
OTW operates a Wood-Mizer LT35 sawmill. Wood-Mizer sawmills are considered the best bandmilll on the market for harvesting logs into lumber. This mills is portable and has the added hydraulics for log handling. With it's thin kerf blade it can produce top quality boards with little waste.
We try to saw every log on the sawmill to reach its full potential for width and grade/figure. My favorite wood to saw is Black Walnut. It's like Christmas when you open up a Walnut log, the surprise inside is always a treat for the sawyer. We focus mostly on hardwoods and saw very little softwoods. When dealing with Red/White Oak Timber we always try to quarter saw the
boards if the log fits the criteria for that type of sawing.
After the boards are harvested from the logs they are placed on stickers for air drying. I like to get the boards down below 20% MC before moving them on to the next step of the process. Once the lower moisture content has been achieved
they are then put inside of our dry kiln. We use a Wood-Mizer Dry Kiln for our wood drying/sterilization processes here at the sawmill. The kiln uses high heat and a dehumidification/compressor system to extract the water from the lumber. This process is very effective and does not cause the wood to defect or loose color. Other forms of drying using steam, boilers etc cause the wood to loose its natural color/grain pattern.
At the end of the drying process the lumber is sterilized in the kiln. This is done by heating the kiln up to 150 degrees F for 24 hours. By doing this process the wood is heated up internally to 133 degrees F in which results of the killing of all present insects/bugs/larva etc. By doing this the worry for later infestation in your wood is avoided.