Building materials like timber have to be high quality to ensure long-term durability. Before wood can be used for construction, it must first be processed. This involves several steps, starting in the forest and ending with a sturdy product that’s ready for use. Knowing what goes on behind the scenes allows you to make better choices when you’re in the market for first-rate lumber for your next project.
5 Steps in Processing Timber
Making timber starts with felling, or the process of cutting down individual trees in the forest. Loggers only fell mature trees to prevent unsustainable deforestation. Felling is mostly done during the winter when trees have lower moisture content.
A gas-powered chainsaw is used to cut down the tree, making precise slices near the base to control the direction of the fall. When harvesting felled trees, companies utilize machines like skidders and self-propelled yarders for level and steep terrains, respectively.
After harvesting, the limbs are trimmed, and the logs are sawed into shorter lengths. Sometimes, the cut logs are stored in a clearing to let some of the internal moisture evaporate, making them lighter and less expensive to transport.
2. Debarking & Bucking
After felling, loggers transport the logs to the processing site for debarking. Sharp-toothed grinding wheels are often used to remove the outer bark of the trees. Sometimes, high-pressure water jets take the bark off as the log rotates. After, the debarked materials are trimmed into predetermined lengths using a bucking saw.
3. Rough Sawing & Resawing
Logs have varying diameters, making it challenging for timber processors to estimate the number of wood pieces they can make. During rough sawing, optical sensors scan the log and produce a cutting pattern for maximum output.
Loggers trim uneven edges to make the materials straighter for subsequent cuts. The large pieces are then recut using band saws for a better finish. Loggers remove the rough edges on the boards by grinding them with a chipper.
Seasoning is another term for drying out wood products. Manufacturers use this step to ensure that the building materials don’t decay and lose shape over time.
Wood with high water content is especially prone to warping or deforming as the moisture seeps away. Aside from air-drying, kiln-drying is the other technique that results in lower moisture content.
At every stage of processing, timber is checked for visible defects. Pieces that fail quality-control standards are recycled and reused for other wood-based products.
During grading, the quality inspection is stricter. Wood process workers stamp a grade on each piece of lumber before bundling them with similarly rated products.
When you need high-quality timber for your project, turn to H & H Truss & Supply, the leading supplier of building materials in Clarksville, AR. For over three decades, they’ve supplied an impressive selection of construction materials, including lumber and wood trusses, to contractors throughout the area. Visit them online or call (479) 754-4999 to request a quote on building materials.