Portable Saw Mill Demonstration

Gainesville, FL – Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dr. Mark Clark from the University of Florida IFAS Department will be attending Millhopper Montessori School’s woodworking summer camp and we will be using a WoodMizer portable sawmill to cut a pine log into rough cut boards.  He will talk about different types of cuts through the log (plain-sawn, rift-sawn and quarter-sawn), different terms used for rough cut pieces of wood, (slab, flitch, cant) and show them how the rough cut lumber is “sticker” stacked to air dry.  This demonstration will give the young carpenters a much better understanding and appreciation for how trees become lumber.

He will also be covering “How do trees become lumber?”

Aside from the incredible processes that allow plants to turn sunlight, carbon dioxide, water and soil nutrients into wood; the transformation of wood into usable lumber is another pretty remarkable accomplishment.  For trees to become usable lumber the tree first needs to be cut into logs, the logs need to be cut into rough boards, the rough boards need to be dried and then the dried boards need to be milled to final dimension before they can be used in a building or to build a table.  Most of this process happens in giant sawmills out of sight and out of mind (like most things these days).  Over the last century most of the process of turning trees into lumber has become highly industrialized and most of the local sawmills have disappeared.  As a result of fewer sawmills, choices in building materials and value placed on natural resources,  many trees that are cut to clear land or taken down in urban areas don’t find their way to a mill and instead are burned on site, hauled to a landfill, chipped for mulch or turned into firewood.  However, with the development of small portable sawmills some of these trees are finding their way into unique and personalized lumber.

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