Logging and Trucking

The experienced and trained staff at Kendrick Forest Products purchases standing timbers within a 100 mile radius of our milling operation, and will occasionally travel as far as 200 miles for exceptional trees. The staff logging crews are FISTA trained, and fully insured for their safety, as well as, the landowners piece of mind.

Sawmill

The sawmill is a multifaceted operation that takes many talented and dedicated staff to produce product to fit the needs of the customer.

At Kendrick Forest Products we put our employees first, and they in turn put our customers first. Each operation in our milling facility requires a unique set of skills and dedication to detail. Let’s take a tour…

Debarker

The first step in the mill is the Debarker, this machine removes the bark from the log, and sends it through the metal detector.

The bark that is removed is transferred by conveyor overhead to the rotochopper, where it is ground for landscaping, and boiler fuel.

File Room

The File Room is key to keeping things running smoothly and meeting our production goals. Our filers have been “lean” trained and practice preventative maintenance as opposed to repair. They keep the mill equipment in top running order and the saws sharpened and ready to go by keeping their tools and equipment clean, labeled, and in order.

Each species of log is unique and therefore each saw is unique and ground specifically for that species. The saw filers at Kendrick Forest Products care about their product and it shows.

Head Rig Saw

The Head Rig Saw is responsible for the primary breakdown of the log. It opens the faces of the log by removing the smallest amount of slab wood possible while generating an open face that will yield the best value of the log. The carriage and the saw sit at a 17 degree slant to allow for easy rolling of the log which allows for quicker positioning of the log and lower overall costs to our customers.

Line Bar Saw

The Line Bar Resaw produces 90% of the lumber in the mill. The line bar passes the squared log (cant), that has just come from the Head Rig Saw, around in a merry-go-round style taking a board off at each pass.

Our sawyer is key to our operation. He is making split second quality decisions.

The sawyer is responsible for:
Increasing the value in the log by making clear lumber.
Orientates the log so that the clearest side of the log is on the correct side of the saw.
Setting the thickness of the piece by moving the side fence in or out.

Edger

The edger operator is responsible for cleaning up the side of the boards. The computerized edger has parameters regarding how much wane (bark) is allowed and what amount of edge waste is allowed to remain on the board.

Tie Stacker

We installed an automated tie stacker in 2016. This machine automatically stacks ties into bundles so our employees do not need to move them by hand.

Grading

Six KFP employees on staff have lumber inspection training from the National Hardwood Lumber Association in Memphis, Tennessee. They give the utmost care in providing product that meets the needs of our customers from around the world.

In addition to that, KFP also provides short course inspection education for machine operators to ensure your product is properly manufactured.

Kendrick Forest Products proudly operates under the National Hardwood Lumber Association’s Facility Grade Certification Program. Many mills say their lumber is on-grade, but the Grade Certification Program designation shows proof of Kendrick’s commitment to providing the lumber quality the grading rules require. Does your current hardwood supplier operate under the Certification Program?

Steaming

This steamer was installed in the fall of 2011. It is fueled by a biomass system that burns sawdust to create electricity. Walnut lumber goes into the steamer, prior to drying. Notice in the pictures that the green walnut is a combination of both light and dark wood. Steaming allows for the deep dark color to bleed through all the lumber.

Walnut lumber goes into the steamer as soon as possible after being sawn and before kiln drying. We have 2 steamers for a total steaming capacity of 50,000bf. They are fueled by a biomass system that burns sawdust to create electricity. Notice in the pictures that the green walnut is a combination of both light and dark wood. Steaming allows for the deep dark color of the heartwood to bleed through into the sapwood making for a more uniformed color product. Walnut remains in the steamer for four days. After it is steamed it goes to the stick building to be prepared for drying.

Drying

Drying lumber at Kendrick Forest Products involves a series of steps:
Green lumber is placed on “sticks” in our stick building.
After being placed on “sticks” lumber is moved to one of our T-sheds until space is available in the kilns.
When space is available the lumber is moved to the kilns to dry.

Sticking

Before lumber can be dried it needs to be put on sticks. At the sticking machine we put sticks in between each layer to allow air to flow thru.

The green lumber is brought from the mill to the stick building. At the stick building it is loaded on a conveyor and moves to our stick machine. The lumber is raised up and one layer at a time falls off the stack onto to the stick machine conveyor. It moves ahead to the end of the conveyor where sticks are added by hand. Different species require different styles of sticks and different spacing intervals. This is repeated until the entire pack is on sticks. The stuck pack then follows a conveyor to the loading area where it is moved by lift to one of our T-Sheds.

It is important that the sticks are laid straight to prevent damage to the lumber in the piles.

After drying, lumber is taken off the sticks and packaged for shipment using the same machine that was used to put the sticks in.

T-Sheds

Lumber typically sits on sticks anywhere from two days to 28 days. The longer it sits on the sticks the less time it will need to spend in the dry kilns, however, if it sits too long discoloration and damage will occur.

We are taking advantage of the NE Iowa winds to do a large portion of our drying with free wind that is blowing through this region. By doing this we are able to reduce the amount of time the lumber needs to be in the dry kiln aided by the boiler. This allows us to dry more lumber at a lower cost.

The T sheds are a part of our drying process that provide protection from the elements while at the same time are set up to allow the wind to wick away moisture in the wood.

Kilns

Lumber is put in the dry kilns where it will remain under close supervision during the drying process. The kilns are equipped with reversible fans which move the air in and out of the kilns to allow for the constant air movement that improves the quality of product after drying.

The lumber requires daily monitoring, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Every species and thickness has its own “recipe” for fan speeds and temperature changes.

Dry Line

After the kiln drying process our lumber is processed through our dryline. The lumber is taken off of drying sticks and either kept rough or surfaced through our Newman 282 planer depending the order.