‘Cautious Optimism’ as the Timber Industry Moves Forward

By Molly Priddy
Flathead Beacon
October 25, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COLUMBIA FALLS — The pieces of wood aren’t large in comparison to the rest of the timber and lumber stacking up at F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co.’s mill, but the 1-by-2 strips represent a new upgrade in efficiency and safety here.  Fitted between stacks of freshly cut lumber, these pieces of wood, called “stickers,” evenly separate the planks as they’re piled up to head into a kiln. The lumber is stacked high and on rails, ready to move into a silver square of a building that runs heated air through the planks at 140 to 170 degrees, depending on the type of wood, in order to pull out moisture before the lumber is used. It’s all part of the process, has been for a long time, but those little pieces of wood separating the lumber used to be inserted by hand, according to Chuck Roady, manager at Stoltze. Now, there’s a machine to do the work, eliminating the fear of crushed fingers and adding a level of efficiency to the process.

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