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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Johnson

Moss Sawmill from a College Intern's POV

By Allison Deckard

Wood is perhaps one of the most basic, central materials still used to this day. From the construction and furnishing of homes, transportation, and manufacturing into other products, wood is a primary component to almost all things. But where does the process begin? Here at Moss Sawmill, the first step is getting the logs themselves. If possible the timber is bought independently then contractors are hired to log it. All timber will be mature, to ensure that new and younger saplings are able to grow. After the lumber arrives at the sawmill, the logs are calculated by the size and grade. Then it is dispersed among the property and separated according to the species of wood. When the log cutting schedule is finished for the week, the next part of the process begins. From this point, the scheduled log will be sent into the sawmill to be processed. There are different stages the log has to go through to get from tree to a board. The logs have to first get debarked. In this stage, the log will enter a machine that rotates which helps to completely strip all of the bark. The next step is cutting the logs into boards, which is done by banded saw blades to help with efficiency. From here, depending on the quality, the log will be turned into wood boards, wood chips, or wood pallets. The boards are sent separately to the lumber sorter/grader, which is where the wood will get graded for a second time. The wood will then be separated into bins according to the grade. When the bin is full, the boards are stacked and banded together. All of the board's information can be found on an attached paper and a spray painted grade on the side. It is then transported to a sister company, called GF Hardwoods, to be further processed. Some great aspects of Moss Sawmill is that every single piece of the log is used. Remember that debarker I mentioned at the beginning of the tree to board process? The bark trimmed at this stage is sent over to an additional sister company, named Barky Beaver, where the bark will be produced into mulch and potting soil! Wood chips are also sent to be made into playground surfacing or bedding for livestock. You know all of that saw dust coming from the cutting stages of the log? This is also sent over to GF Hardwoods to be used as fuel in the dry kilns. Getting to tour this establishment was such a beneficial and educational experience for me. Not only are there so many important aspects to the process, but also so many more products being produced. I never would have known or understood the major benefits coming from these productions. I’m so pleased to be able to share my experience at Moss Sawmill with you. I hope that by reading this, others will now understand the actuality of producing a wood board, along with the hardwork and dedication it takes from both owners and workers for the sawmill to be successful. For more information visit and

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