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Wood Products
How Wood is Processed
Hardwood Sawmill Field Trip
You can click on the pictures on this page to get a closer look.

Converting logs into boards is a pretty simple process that involves cutting boards from logs, squaring up the edges, and cutting the boards to the right length. This is done by hand in some parts of the world, but most of the lumber is produced in modern sawmills with lots of machinery. Let's take a trip through a hardwood sawmill and see how boards are made from trees...


Logs are brought to a sawmill on log trucks. Then logs are unloaded, sorted by species and grade, and stored in a log yard.


Logs are then brought to the debarker deck, where the bark is removed. The bark is removed because it is dirty and dulls saw blades! The individual logs are then conveyed to the log loader/turner.



Next is what is called the "primary breakdown". This is where the log is positioned on a moving carriage and passed through a single-edge band saw.


Then the log is cut into boards and cants or large timbers.



The next steps are called "secondary breakdown". This is where the boards are edged, or cut to width, and trimmed to length. Boards go to edger saws, which cut edges off and square up sides.


Cants go to gang saws which cut the large timber into boards, some of these boards come back around to the edger saws.


Edged boards then go to trimmer saws, which trim them to the correct lengths.


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