A Day at the Clatskanie Mill

A day away from the farm recently became a unique learning experience.

Since we do our own logging, even though it is small scale in regard to full-time logging operations, we had the opportunity to attend a Log Scaling Workshop in Clatskanie. Along with 80 other loggers, buckers, haulers and landowners, we reviewed logs set out in the log sorting yard and discussed the unique properties of each log and how the mill would cut the timber into useable log products.

Scalers are the workers who check each log as it enters the mill and scales it for the amount of board feet and quality. During the workshop, several scalers described issues with the logs that would dock the log making it less valuable to the mill and the quality of the end products they would produce. Several mill workers were also on hand to describe how the log would be cut once it was in the mill for optimum product and minimum waste.

This was an interactive workshop. Members of the group would swarm around each log as it was being examined for defects, and view scars, spots of punk, spangles, bear scrapes, knots, and timber bound pieces while checking both ends of the log for clues about quantity and quality of each piece.

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