January through March 2000 - Issue No. 156
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Gorman Brothers Lumber Westbank, B. C.

Gorman Brothers Lumber of Westbank, B.C. is a prime example of a company that is doing what it takes to remain competitive in the marketplace. They are constantly fine tuning the machine centers and exploring new innovations in the industry in order to maintain their ability to offer the consumer a high quality product.

Gorman Brothers
Bill Brown, filing room Charge Hand, sharpens a 65" (1.65 M) cut-off saw with Jumbo "R" inserted teeth on a No.17 Armstrong Sharpener.

Recent improvements include replacing their circular headrig with a new band mill, a side-grinding program for their band saws and an automated leveling program for their edger saws.

In order to provide a sharper saw for their band mill, they bought an Armstrong Equalizer at an auction in Oregon. Head filer John Hebert reports that smoother sawn lumber, less deviation and reduced target sizes are some of the benefits they have realized since they started side-grinding their swage tooth band saws.

"Automatic Leveling reduced our bench time 50%"

Programs implemented in the filing room include the addition of an Armstrong circle saw Leveler. This machine was brought on line in August 1999. Since then, the filing room staff has achieved a 50% reduction in the time spent leveling their circle saws. When you take into consideration that 60 to 80 round saws pass through the file room per shift, the benefits of reducing anvil time becomes obvious.

According to John Hebert, the filing room staff has always done a great job of putting up their saws. By utilizing the circle saw Leveler to complement their filers’ work, they now have the ability to "finish" the saws, eliminating all the small deviations, especially on the thinner plates. "With a flatter saw going into the edgers, we are seeing significantly less sawing deviation and a 30% reduction in guide wear", explains John Hebert.

Gorman Brothers
Circle saw filer Rob Gorman controls the Armstrong automatic leveler through a touch screen. A detailed graph of each saw’s condition is displayed on this same screen as the saw is leveled. Gorman has reduced their leveling time by 50% and reduced guide wear 30% since the Armstrong Leveler was installed.

The Gorman Brothers’ mill employs 230 people on three shifts and produces 400,000 board feet (940 Cubic Meters) of lumber per day. They’re running a 6’(1.8 Meters) McDonough Headrig with variable frequency drive. The band mill has only been in place since August of 1999, replacing a circular headrig and is running very well according to John.

Since Gorman Brothers is strictly a 1" board mill, it is imperative that the sawing deviation be kept at an absolute minimum (+/- .015" or 0.38 mm). Wood flows in a variety of cant sizes to the gang saws. These include a 12" (300 mm) double arbor Ukiah, an 8" (200 mm) single arbor Ukiah, and a 4" (100 mm) single arbor Ukiah. A Newnes shifting edger maximizes lumber from the opening cut(s).

Gorman Brothers
Band saw Benchman Steve Favel adjusts vertical head travel on a No.4 Armstrong sharpener to clean up the gullets.

John Hebert started in the saw filing trade 18 years ago at the mill which has since become Louisiana Pacific in Malakwa, B.C. He trained under his brother, Randy, and other knowledgeable head filers who helped him get started. He has worked in several reman plants, six large B.C. sawmills, and even operated his own saw shop in Calgary, Alberta for two years.

John is proud to have had the honor of serving on the Executive Committee of the B.C Saw Filer’s Association since 1991. John served as Director from ‘91 to ‘95 and has spent the last four years serving as the Secretary/Treasurer. That organization will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in April of 2000.


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