Off To The Hardwood Mill!
I recently took a trip to pick up a batch of freshly cut oak cants for our next building mock-up. Because cants aren’t available in a typical home improvement store, I had to go right to the source: the sawmill. I took our big UT Motor pool truck down to Seymour, TN and paid the East Tennessee Wood Products Company, Inc. a visit.
The visit had been delayed for about two weeks because of the ice and snow, and by the looks of the lumber yard I’m glad we waited. (I’ll make send my apologies to the UT Motopool employees who had to clean up all the mud in the truck, I’m sorry!)
Ronald, Mark, and Randy Dixon, the sawmill’s owners and operators, were a great help in humoring us with such a small order. Randy, who was driving that ridiculously huge machine, helped to flawlessly maneuver the 16’ cants on our 10’ bed. The wood weighed the truck bed down so much that I didn’t think I’d be able to make it out of the yard!
This research can have a profound impact on these small, owner operated sawmills, who make up the majority of sawmills in the US hardwood industry. Creating value added solutions for these low grade byproducts means that these ‘mom and pop’ sawmills could draw in more revenue with no change to their typical operations.
Hopefully these 25 cants should hold us over for a while, now we have some building to do!