|January through March 2000 - Issue No. 156|
Established in late 1997, the mill has already made a reputation for itself worldwide.
Head filer, Ben, says "Our customers are extremely loyal because of the beauty of our
product. We literally struggle to meet the demand for our product." Customers include
cabinet makers, furniture manufacturers, flooring companies, and pallet manufacturers for
the produce industry.
The filing room consists almost entirely of Armstrong equipment AUTOTIP, SidePro, band saw Leveler, No. 4 band saw sharpener, No. 25 circle saw sharpener, TrueSizer and circle saw bench. Ben credits Terry Rismoen, Vice President of Maintenance, and Steve Bergerson of Cascade Southern Saw in Milwaukie, Oregon with selecting most of the equipment for the filing room.
The daily production of the mill varies greatly by species and diameter of the wood being sawn. With the introduction of variable pitch band saws in the past year, the mill has seen both increases in feed speed, as well as a decrease in saw deviation.
Washington Alder is one of the progressive hardwood mills that Stellite tips its saws. Of the AUTOTIP, Ben says "It gives us longer life to our round saws with greater ease and efficiency in tipping ". Don Swyers does most of the tipping and the maintenance on the AUTOTIP. Prior to purchasing the AUTOTIP, Ben had used one at Cascade Southern Saw and received quite a bit of training there. Once installed at the mill, hands-on training has added to their expertise.
The SidePro was already in the filing room when Ben came to the mill. Having used other side grinders at previous mills, Ben says that the SidePro is "hands down the best". Its consistent grinding abilities and compact design make it a plus for filing rooms where space is a consideration.
A notable return on investment that Ben sees is the addition of a second TrueSizer. "Weve been able to eliminate two steps to our fitting process by using one side grinder to rough in the tooth and the other to finish grind. The TrueSizers give us a beautiful finish on our lumber."
Armstrong salutes the filing crew at Washington Alder on their success. Our special thanks to Ben Madden, Jr. and his entire filing crew for their help in preparing this article and taking the photographs.