January/February 2021 Hardwood Matters

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H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S January/February 2021



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CONTENTS January/February 2021 • Issue 219



feature 12 The Real American Hardwood Coalition by The RAHC Board of Directors



TOP POST OF THE MONTH at facebook.com/NHLAOfficial Can you believe that the NHLA Inspector Training School began in this building? So many talented students have graduated from ITS and have gone on to do amazing things in the hardwood lumber industry!

7 Accolades 8 Education Spotlight Congratulations to the

Graduates of the 193rd Class

10 Member Spotlight Smith Sawmill Service


16 Industry Insight It All Starts Here

by Bob Pope

18 Rules Corner The Definition of Sound


Follow us

reader services 4 6 20 22

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Cutting Explained by Chief Dana Spessert

President’s Message CEO’s Message Educational Calendar Job Board

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H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S T H E VO I C E O F T H E H A R DWO O D I N D U ST RY National Hardwood Lumber Association PO Box 34518 • Memphis, TN 38184-0518 901-377-1818 • 901-382-6419 (fax) info@nhla.com • www.nhla.com

THE MISSION OF NH LA To serve NHLA Members engaged in the commerce of North American hardwood lumber by: maintaining order, structure and ethics in the changing global hardwood marketplace; providing unique member services; promoting North American hardwood lumber and advocating the interest of the hardwood community in public/private policy issues; and providing a platform for networking opportunities.


IBC Pike Lumber Company, Inc. BC 3

Rossi Group


Jeff Wirkkala Hardwood Industries, Inc. President

Bucky Pescaglia Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Inc. Unique Services

Jon Syre Cascade Hardwood, LLC Vice President

Ray White Harold White Lumber Inc. Rules

Darwin Murray McClain Forest Products Past President 2018-2020

Joe Pryor Oaks Unlimited Industry Advocacy & Promotion

NHLA STAFF Amanda Boutwell Marketing and Communications Manager Lorna D. Christie CEO



TMX Shipping Tropical Forest Products



Julia Ganey Member Relations Manager

Burt Craig Matson Lumber Company Membership

John Hester Director of Membership and Business Development Renee Hornsby Director of Marketing/ Communications Jens Lodholm Data Administration Specialist

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Rob Cabral Upper Canada Forest Products, Ltd. Promotion & Advocacy Dennis Mann Baillie Lumber Co. Convention Scott Cummings Cummings Lumber Company, Inc. Inspection Services

Roman Matyushchenko ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education

Bruce Horner Abenaki Timber Corp. ITS/Continuing Education

Vicky Quiñones Simms Membership Development Manager

George Swaner Swaner Hardwood Communications & Marketing

Melissa Ellis Smith Graphic Designer Dana Spessert Chief Inspector


Stephanie VanDystadt DV Hardwoods, Inc. Membership & Networking

Desirée Freeman Controller

Carol McElya Inspector Training School Administrator

For advertising contact: John Hester, Director of Membership and Business Development at j.hester@nhla.com or 901-399-7558 or Vicky Simms, Membership Development Manager at v.simms@nhla.com or 901-399-7557

Rich Solano Pike Lumber Company, Inc. Structure

Joe Snyder Fitzpatrick & Weller, Inc. Rules

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See the forest through the trees The RossiGroup has been helping customers navigate the global hardwoods industry for almost a century. We have raised the bar with our new state-of-the-art Emporium Mill and kiln facilities, our long-term supply agreements, and our uniquely personal brand of customer service. We deliver a world class selection of hardwoods – including the gold standard in cherry – all sorted, milled and dried to tolerances, consistencies, and yields that were not even possible five years ago.

Visit us www.rossilumber.com or call 860-632-3505




t the end of each year, many of us stop to reflect on what happened in the past year and then go through a goal setting process for the new year. It is hard to know what to think about 2020. It was a most unique year. We had the best first quarter in over a decade for our company, and then April was the worst month in our near 40-year history! Our government rescued many of us with the PPP, but today many businesses are still suffering from decisions made to minimize the transmission of Covid–19. Unfortunately, many of these struggling businesses will not survive. Hopefully, the first half of 2021 will be about a vaccine and putting the Coronavirus in our rearview mirrors. Feedback from polling our members the past few years told us, our most important industry goal is to create a meaningful promotion program as soon as possible. Most of you know the history of our prior attempts to do so. For many of you, “Check-off” is a “bad” word. A lot of effort was invested by our industry leaders, and we ended up with a goose egg instead of millions of dollars to invest in promotion. Keeping our goal in mind, the industry associations have been working together on promotion and have spawned “The Real American Hardwood Promotion” (RAHP). This is our latest attempt to create a meaningful Hardwood Promotion Program. I recently have been briefed on the progress. What I am hearing is very exciting. It is outstanding that we have built the promotion coalition from over 25 different industry associations.

Some of you may be familiar with best-selling author Jim Collins’s books, “Built to Last “and “Good to Great.” In “Built to Last,” there is a chapter called Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Collins gives the example of such a goal in President Kennedy’s statement on May 25th, 1961. “That this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” Wow! I was just short of 6 years old when that statement was made. No one in our small town even had a color TV


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set, and we were going to attempt to land a man on the moon! On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and was returned safely to earth eight days later. Today, I have heard it said that there is more computing power in a single I-phone than was available to use in the Apollo 11 mission. What a great accomplishment! Collins explains that this goal was clear and concise, but more than that, paraphrasing slightly, “it engaged our nation and grabbed at our inner being. Everyone got the goal with no additional explanation.” I think we need to create a similar goal for our promotion program. We need a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ that states what our industry needs to accomplish and grabs at our inner being. We do not have the funding of NASA. We will need to motivate our members to contribute the funds. I believe industry members will generously give if there is a goal that is attainable and motivating. I will encourage the leadership of the RAHPC to develop a goal that will motivate our members to participate in a Promotion Plan and funding model that will create success. In closing, I offer each of you a thought to ponder. We just went through the biggest part of an election season. It is evident that more Americans than in the past have less tolerance for accepting people who think differently than they do. Spend a bit of time pondering how diversity and differences between people can make our country a better place to live. Best wishes for your continued health and success. May God bless you, your families, and your businesses in 2021.

Jeff Wirkkala, NHLA President Hardwood Industries, Inc.

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021 is finally here, and the NHLA Management team and staff are already hard at work executing the Operational Plans we developed last fall. So, there is no better time to update everyone on what’s “New in the New Year” at NHLA.

I am pleased to report that members are showing interest in sending students to our newly introduced 8-week Inspector Training School class and are busy booking their exhibit space for our next IN PERSON convention in Palm Beach in October. Inspection work is also gradually increasing, and membership retention is higher than in previous years. Most importantly, the industry seems to be entering into recovery mode. We are also focused on expanding our educational value portfolio to supplement the operational focus of the programs introduced in 2020. First on the agenda will be new ed sessions focused on business management issues, including sales. And of course, our in-house NHLA Short Courses taught by our highly skilled National Inspectors will continue. Expect new surveys from NHLA to ensure we are developing customized educational solutions tailored to your business needs. Success or failure in our industry often depends on how well sawmill operations are managed. In 2019 NHLA introduced its Yield Analysis/Quality Control programs to help members identify the operational issues that can cost sawmills well over $400,000 annually. NHLA recently introduced a new pricing model for the program to reflect the size of each mill reviewed. In this article, I have provided just a small sampling of the activity taking place at NHLA designed to help our members prosper. I am blessed to work with a management team with the skills and commitment to do just that. John Hester, who is the Director of Member and Business Development, is another NHLA veteran. He is responsible for providing our members with the opportunity to increase their visibility with existing and potential customers at our Convention and other events. He is the man to contact if you are interested in


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advertising and sponsorships as well. Equally important is his work with our National Inspectors to recruit new members. He can be contacted at 901-399-7558 or j.hester@nhla.com. As Director of NHLA’s Marketing Communications Team, Renee Hornsby is responsible for developing and implementing all of NHLA’s communications strategies. She also manages all facets of the NHLA convention experience for our members. Renee’s work is always evolving, making her work even more complicated. She has a big job, but somehow, she always pulls it off seamlessly. Renee can be contacted at r.hornsby@nhla.com. Desiree Freeman is Director of Finance and Human Resources at NHLA. Her previous business experience with for-profit companies brings a unique and effective perspective to her work. All who know her agree she is a creative and effective financial strategist and plays a critical role working with the Board Finance Committee in managing NHLA finances. Her work as a Human Resources Director has also been vital in retaining key staff. Chief Dana Spessert serves as the head of Inspection Services and the Inspector Training School. For the past several years, Dana, working with the NHLA Inspector Training School and Inspection Services Committee, has focused on developing new or enhancing existing innovative solutions to members’ quality control challenges and educational needs. Dana also serves as a global ambassador for NHLA, having traveled to numerous countries with AHEC to discuss the NHLA Rules. Dana can be reached at d.spessert@nhla.com.

Lorna D. Christie, NHLA CEO l.christie@nhla.com

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Milestone Members


Welcome New Members (Quarter 4 - 2020)


NEWMAN MACHINE COMPANY, INC. Sustaining | January2020 PENNSYLVANIA HARDWOODS COMPANY Active U1 | January2020 WAGNER METERS Sustaining | January2020 WORLEY LUMBER COMPANY, INC. Active U1 | December 2019 YORK CASKET CO. Associate | January2020



CARL ROSENBERRY & SONS LUMBER, INC. Active U1 | January 1971

ACTIVE U1 MEMBERS Accord Lumber Company, LLC, Hilliard, OH Anglo American Hardwoods Inc., Naples, FL Bear Lumber and Tie LLC, Berry, AL Native Lumber LLC, Holyoke, MA Owen County Hardwoods LLC, Owenton, KY Timber Ridge Sawmill LLC, Versailles, MO Trott Lumber Co. Inc., Shelbyville, TN The Woodsman of VA LLC, Rustburg, VA ASSOCIATE MEMBERS PRS Guitars LP, Stevensville, MD SUSTAINING MEMBERS Live Oak Bank, Wilmington, NC Vecoplan, Archdale, NC

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1

Module 1: Two weeks of hands-on training. Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks hands-on training and final testing at NHLA headquarters.

MARCH 15-26, 2021 NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN

NHLA . . . WHERE HARDWOOD LUMBER INSPECTORS ARE MADE! To register call 901-399-7563 or visit nhla.com/education W W W. N H L A .C O M

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Congratulations to the Graduates of the 193rd Class of the NHLA Inspector Training School

Seated Row (L-R): Sean D. Powell, Roman Matyushchenko (Instructor), Benjamin Nicholas Todd Standing Row (L-R): Michael Andrew Snider, Austin Andrew Wuesten


he National Hardwood Lumber Association celebrated the graduation of the 193rd class of the Inspector Training School on Friday, November 20, 2020. Four students completed the 12-week traditional program. Dana Spessert, NHLA Chief Inspector and ITS Dean of Education, welcomed and thanked the families, friends, and employers who supported the students during their time away from home. Gary Snider, a graduate from ITS Class #96 in July of 1988, gave the keynote address. He congratulated the graduates and challenged


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them to take what you’ve learned at NHLA Inspector Training School and apply it in an industry at a company where you can not only make a difference but where you can grow as an individual. Gary Snider’s son, Michael Andrew Snider, was elected class president. He spoke to his fellow students during the ceremony saying, “My grandfather built an amazing career through the lessons he learned at NHLA Inspector Training School, and he laid the foundation for my father and my uncle to come here and also build great careers. I have no words to explain how proud I feel that I’ve been able to carry on the legacy of being a lumber inspector W W W. N H L A .C O M

My grandfather built an amazing career through the lessons he learned at NHLA Inspector Training School, and he laid the foundation for my father and my uncle to come here and also build great careers. I have no words to explain how proud I feel that I’ve been able to carry on the legacy of being a lumber inspector and being trained by the great minds at this School.”

and being trained by the great minds at this School. I hope that one day I can give back to the NHLA all the things it has given my family and me over the course of the past three generations on Snider.” GRADUATES OF THE 193RD CLASS WERE: • Sean Powell, sponsored by B&B Sawmill • Michael Andrew Snider, Independent • Nick Todd, T.J. Moss Lumber • Austin Wuesten, Superior Hardwood, LLC Roman Matyushchenko presented the individual achievement awards. Outstanding individual awards recipients were as follows: • Michael Andrew Snider, ITS Educational Foundation Award for Highest Overall Average • Benjamin Nicholas Todd, Howard Hanlon Award for Second Highest Overall Average • Michael Andrew Snider, Westside Hardwood Club Award for Highest Board Run Average • Sean D. Powell, NHLA Award for Best Attitude/Citizenship • Austin Andrew Wuesten, Lumberman’s Club of Memphis Most Improved Award • Michael Andrew Snider, Willard Scholarship Award Enrollment is now open for the 195th class, which begins at NHLA headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 14, 2021. To enroll or learn more about the program, please visit www.nhla.com. W W W. N H L A .C O M

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Smith Sawmill Service Dedicated. Compassionate. Successful.


Left to Right: Dustin Norris, Debra Smith, Paul Smith, and Michael Smith

ost of us are familiar with the story of a rock band starting in their parent’s garage and going on to be a massive success in the music industry. Smith Sawmill Service is like those rock bands. Officially, Smith Sawmill Service began 30 years ago, in 1990. But in reality, it started much sooner. Founder Paul Smith, a third generation saw filer, began his career as a child when his father would put an upturned coke bottle crate on the floor so Paul could reach the saw.

Paul’s childhood taught him the value of his profession. In the ‘70s, Paul was in high school and needed to earn some extra money, so he did what most teenagers do. He got a part-time job. But unlike most teenagers, he didn’t just get one part-time job; he got three! Paul recalls, “I worked at three local sawmills. Each mill paid me $100 a week to keep their circle saws hammered and their tools in good shape. Between those three jobs, I would earn over $300


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a week—while in high school!” In today’s economy, that is about $1,400 a week (accounting for inflation). “People said I earned more than my teachers because I always drove a new car, and I had a boat and all kinds of stuff. It was an exciting way to grow up.” By 1990, Paul decided to start his own saw shop in his parent’s tiny two-car garage. Working in such a small place had its challenges, W W W. N H L A .C O M

“ We are fortunate to have exceptional employees. Everybody is willing to do their part. Our employees show us true dedication, and they want the customer to be happy.” — Paul Smith Paul Smith as a teenager and today.

with Paul remembering “We had to raise the garage door to be able to operate our knife grinder. It was very primitive. But I started small and just kept adding on. My dad helped me a lot.” After Paul’s mother passed away, his father found a small shop in Timpson, Texas. It was about 50 by 75 feet, but it included the house that sat behind the shop. He wanted Paul to purchase the shop, but Paul was hesitant. “That’s when my father told me, ‘No. You buy this. I’ll live in the house in the back and watch after everything. If you can’t make the monthly payment, just let me know, and I’ll make it for you.’ So, I purchased it, and thank goodness he never had to make a payment, though I think he paid the water bill for about 20 years. After that, we kept growing, adding on here and there until we finally purchased our Shreveport facility about three years ago.” Smith Sawmill Service has two facilities, one in Texas (headquarters) and the second in Louisiana. Each facility has different capabilities. In Texas, they have circle saws up to 30 inches, narrowband saws, a full machine shop, and a fabrication shop. In Louisiana, they have circle saws that are over 30 inches, large diameter round saws, and a knife grinding center where they sharpen chipper knives. Most successful business have something special that results in success. For Smith Sawmill Service, it is their employees. Paul says, “We are fortunate to have exceptional employees. Everybody is willing to do their part. Our employees show us true dedication, and they want the customer to be happy. We check and double-check everything. Every employee is pushing on another one to do better.” COVID-19 didn’t spare Smith Sawmill Service, it forced them to do things differently. Paul was grateful they were deemed an essential business; saying it probably saved the company, “At one point the governor of Texas set up checkpoints coming in and out of the state and we had to have letters in our vehicles proving we were an essential business. We hold inventory in both locations, so there is a lot of traveling between Texas and Shreveport. It was a challenge to keep both places operational.” W W W. N H L A .C O M

Smith Sawmill Service made some significant changes to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. They hired new employees to clean the shops constantly. They separated staff into two shifts and provided everyone with their own cleaning supplies and masks. They even built a new narrowband saw department because the old department was so small, people had to work shoulder to shoulder. Now they are 10-20 feet apart. Finally, they had their outside sales team stop making personal visits and instead allowed orders to be phoned in and delivered. Paul is proud to be a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, saying, “There is nothing more exciting or more rewarding than working with colleagues that have the same goal as you, and NHLA provides that. They also bring us new customers. I’ve had quite a few new customers call me and say, ‘Hey, I see you’re a member of NHLA. Make sure to send one of your salespeople over to us; we want to try to do some business with you.’ That’s happened more than just a few times. I like that NHLA helps advocate on for us in Washington. I work in a small town; I don’t have time to worry about talking to my representatives. NHLA gives us a loud voice that gets through to lawmakers in a way we could never do by ourselves.” The fourth generation has already joined in the family business. Paul’s son, Michael Smith has taken the helm and Paul is proud to credit the growth of Smith Sawmill Service to him. It could be said that Smith Sawmill Service was born to be a success, slowly growing into who they are today. But there is no denying that the company was born from dedication, compassion for the industry, and a father’s will to see his son succeed.

You can get in touch with Smith Sawmill Service online at www.sawmill.shop. The Texas office can be reached at 1-800-598-6344. The Louisiana office can be reached at 318-227-1695. J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S |



eal American Hardwood is a material that has meaning. That has history. That is uniquely beautiful, warm, and one of a kind, as though touched by nature’s fingerprint. It’s the most beautiful building product out there, the one that other imitation products strive to be. It pulls everything together just by being itself. It’s simple in its ingredients, and it’s strong and durable at its core. It’s a powerful display of the wonder of nature. Hardwood is pure – grown with purpose and naturally renewing. Hardwood is authentic, without even having to try. It’s just built that way, naturally.



he American hardwood industry has a powerful story to tell. From the beauty, desirability, and lifetime value of the products to the history of the industry, the small family business focus, the sustainability of our raw material, and the environmental and health benefits of using hardwood. THE TIME IS NOW To secure our industry’s future, we must unite toward a common goal. The Real American Hardwood Coalition was launched in 2019 as an industry association-led effort to meet the imperative goals of increasing markets and sales of Real American Hardwood, celebrating the sustainability of hardwood goods, generating new products, and improving overall industry stability. The campaign focuses on driving consumer demand, knowing that our entire industry supply chain will benefit as consumers increasingly select Real American Hardwood products. WHAT CONSUMERS WANT From extensive consumer research, we have learned much about what consumers, including homeowners, renovators, builders, designers, and architects, want when they select building products.

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Appearance, durability, and value are the most important factors for potential hardwood consumers. Sustainability and natural are additional important factors that tip the decision toward hardwoods at the final stage of the process. Unfortunately, consumers don’t always know the benefits of choosing hardwood. The great news is hardwood ticks all these boxes, and consumers are open to learning. Our research also showed that there are three keys to winning consumers over to hardwood. Our promotion campaign must connect with consumers early in their decision-making process when they are thinking and dreaming about the possibilities. Our products’ look and feel must connect with their emotions and carry through to the final moment when they make their selection. Hardwood must be everywhere – in stores, online, in print, on social media, on television – to keep our products front and center from the idea stage to final payment. HOW WE MAKE THE SALE With industry association and company support, the RAHC will execute a comprehensive marketing campaign to drive consumers to

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choose Real American Hardwood products. We will start by launching a $500,000 campaign that includes: • Paid Social Media: When consumers start gathering ideas and inspiration, we’ll show them how Real American Hardwood products can meet their needs regardless of their style and budget using Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outreach. In time, we’ll be able to send them directly from social channels to industry member sites or retailers to buy. • Paid Search: When consumers search the internet for remodeling ideas, furniture, and building materials, we’ll make sure Real American Hardwood information sites and products appear at the top of the search list, and consumers can quickly reach our industry member websites. • Media Relations: Consumers use both online and print media to gather ideas, inspiration, and information for their projects. We’ll place stories that help them see how Real American Hardwoods meets their décor, lifestyle, and budget.


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• RealAmericanHardwood.com: We’ll create a digital hub that acts as a destination for paid search and social campaigns to provide consumers more ways to consider Real American Hardwood, including selection and care. This site will also include a section for industry partners to access campaign assets such as logos, advertisements, and promotional concepts. In-Store Promotion: Long before making a purchase, consumers use retailers (large and small) for information gathering. We’ll make available signage for in-store use to help consumers find Real American Hardwood products and compare their benefits versus competitors. Obviously, with greater funding, we can expand the program’s impact. We intend to build on success in the first year, growing interest, excitement, engagement, and, yes, funding. With additional funding in the $750,000-$1.2 M range, we can grow our effort by expanding our social and search reach, adding content to RealAmericanHardwood.com, creating in-store displays, and developing partnerships with social media influencers.

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• Build a connection to the campaign online – link your company website and social media platforms to RealAmericanHardwood.com and follow the campaign’s social channels • Use Real American Hardwood content to strengthen your company’s website and social media. SUPPORT FUNDING EFFORTS The RAHC is seeking the financial support for the national campaign from regional and national industry trade groups and associations, hardwood and hardwood plywood producers, distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers. Support for the Real American Hardwood promotion campaign is voluntary, and we encourage all members of the industry to participate at any level they are able. Suggested annual contributions range from $600-6,000.

TOGETHER WE ALL GROW The RAHC comprises more than 25 national, regional, and state associations representing all hardwood producing states. Together, we are a strong, unbeatable team! The Real American Hardwood campaign maximizes impact when every member of the industry participates – from lumber mills to manufacturers to associations. We will need everyone to be a part of the effort! USE THE REAL AMERICAN HARDWOOD LOGO • Include the RAH logo on advertising, packaging, point of sale materials, and even invoices and business cards to support your brand. W W W. N H L A .C O M

You can learn more about the RAHC at RealAmericanHardwood.com or contact us at hardwoodpromotion@gmail.com. We are excited about the future and are excited to have you join us!

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IT ALL STARTS HERE by BOB POPE, SII Dry Kilns, Northeast Regional Sales


f you received a bill in the mail for lumber degrade would you pay attention? Of course you would, but unfortunately, it does not work that way. As soon as a log is sawn into lumber, you create the opportunity to lose value and footage that you will never get back. There is good news,

though – you can take proactive steps to minimize lumber degrade and improve your bottom line. Start with the basics – uniform stacking and stickering will produce a better product. Make sure that your stickers are a uniform thickness and that they are aligned vertically and appropriately spaced. For most thickness and specie combinations, stickers placed 2’ OC work well, although, for some material, you will see improvements with 1’ OC sticker spacing. Once you have that accomplished, make sure the bolsters are placed in line with the stickers, so the weight of the lumber piles are evenly distributed. Remember to end coat your piles with a quality end coating product as soon as the material is cut and stacked. Prioritize the stacking schedule to make sure all white woods and stain prone items are on sticks quickly. Once your packages are ready to go, the best way to maintain the quality is to immediately put them in a controlled environment.


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This works great if you have banks of kilns available, but then reality sets in - most likely, you will be putting your lumber “somewhere” to build or “stage” your next kiln charge. Your choice of where to put it will impact your lumber quality and your bottom line. A good start for many facilities is a well-designed air drying yard using pile covers and/or weights; however, you are still exposed to the weather. T-sheds provide protection from the elements, and the addition of mesh fabric curtains give you a basic, versatile option. Fan sheds are an economical way to remove moisture from the lumber

and maintain a high-quality product and great for your white woods because they remove surface moisture, which causes “coffee” stain and discoloration. Predryers such as the SII Cross Flow design system will help you reduce the moisture content uniformly and effectively. The result will be a product going into the kiln with a lower starting moisture content, which translates into improved kiln productivity. With a consistent focus on the yard and lumber ahead of the kiln, you will put the best material possible in your next charge. While you will always have some degrade due to the nature of wood, it is possible to reduce degrade using these tools. Even a 1% reduction in degrade will have a significant impact on profitability. Do you have a question or topic for a future column? Please send your questions and comments to us at kilninfo@siidrykilns.com.

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SAVE THE DATE Get excited and make your plans to join us in September, as we Turn the Tide with Innovation! Join us at the Palm County Convention Center in West Palm Beach Florida – September 22-24, 2021. Registration will open in early spring. Visit www.nhla.com/convention to learn more.

Attend the NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase to Learn from industry experts, Network with producers, buyers, suppliers, and thought leaders, Find vendors and suppliers specific to your company’s needs. And do this all from one location, location, location!

Showcase your products and services to NHLA members and the hardwood industry at large.

Exhibit Booth sales are NOW OPEN. Visit www.nhla.com/convention to reserve your booth today! John Hester, Director of Membership and Business Development at j.hester@nhla.com Vicky Simms, Membership Development Manager at v.simms@nhla.com

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The Definition of Sound Cutting Explained by Chief Inspector Dana Spessert


s seasoned hardwood lumber inspectors, sometimes we can forget the complexity of how the NHLA Rules are written. When I have the opportunity to work with the Inspector Training School students and other seasoned inspectors, it brings to light some of the more confusing NHLA Grading Rules. This month, I would like to explain the definition of a Sound Cutting. As written in the 2019 version of the NHLA Rules Book on page 10, paragraph 31, under the heading of Sound Cutting, it states: “A cutting free from rot, pith, shake and wane. Texture is not considered. It will admit sound knots, bird pecks, stain, streaks or their equivalent, season checks not materially impairing the strength of a cutting, pin, shot and spot worm holes. Other holes 1/4” or larger are admitted but shall be limited as follows: one 1/4” in average diameter in each cutting of less than 12 units; two 1/4” or one 1/2” to each 12 units and on one side only of a cutting.” I believe the first three sentences of this definition to be mostly free of doubt as to how to interpret the meaning. Most of the confusion comes when applying the “other holes” section of the definition in the 4th sentence.

EXAMPLE 12 units up to 23.999 units – (2) ¼” or (1) ½” hole 24 units up to 35.999 units – (4) ¼” or (2) ½” holes 36 units up to 47.999 units – (6) ¼” or (3) ½” holes Etc. . . . The other thing to watch out for is the last part of the sentence, “and on one side only of a cutting.”, this is not an issue when looking at the backside of a Clear Face Cutting, but can become an issue when grading Sound Cutting grades, such as 2B or 3B Common. NHLA provides a multitude of options for training and education as well as programs for yield improvement. The Industry Services team is here to help our members in any way we can. Please reach out to me to discuss ways we can help you strengthen your business and improve your company for the future. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at 901-399-7551 or by email at d.spessert@nhla.com.

“Other holes 1/4” or larger are admitted but shall be limited as follows: one 1/4” in average diameter in each cutting of less than 12 units; two 1/4” or one 1/2” to each 12 units and on one side only of a cutting.” Most questions center around the number of ¼” holes allowed in the Cuttings larger than 12 units. I believe this is best explained with examples.

EXAMPLE A board has 2 Sound Cuttings; the first cutting has 11 ¾ C.U., this cutting would be allowed to have one - ¼” hole or unsound knot. The second cutting has 25 ¼ C.U., this cutting would be allowed to have four - ¼” or two - ½” holes or unsound knots. The definition states that for “each” 12 units, you are allowed two – ¼” holes or one – ½” hole, this cutting has multiples of 12 (24 +), it would allow for double the amount.


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LET THE INDUSTRY SERVICES TEAM HELP YOU MAKE MORE MONEY OUT OF WHAT YOU ALREADY PRODUCE! n Did you know that 0.010 in lumber thickness can cost you 1% in recoverable yield? n Did you know under or over feeding saws can result in high lumber thickness variations, costing you money? n Did you know over trimming can lead to loss of yield?

NHLA can find areas to improve the value from the logs to the lumber produced in a Sawmill AND we can identify areas to improve the value from green lumber to kiln dried lumber in a Drying Operation! HOW CAN WE DO THIS? By evaluating and measuring all areas impacted by personnel, machinery or technology. CONTACT NHLA CHIEF INSPECTOR TO SCHEDULE YOUR EVALUATION TODAY! We can help you make more money out of what you already produce. Call 901-399-7551 or Email d.spessert@nhla.com




Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.


Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education


Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

14-August 6 New Program

Venue: Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. Millersburg, OH

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, Associate Dean of the Inspector Training School

Instructor: Mark Depp, NHLA National Inspector


Instructor: Mark Depp, NHLA National Inspector


Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN

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Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks hands-on training and final testing at NHLA headquarters.


Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: WV Wood Technology Center Elkins, WV


Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.


Inspector Training School 195th Class

Traditional 8-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education W W W. N H L A .C O M


At the time of publication, these educational courses are being offered. However, due to the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic please visit nhla.com for the latest information or call NHLA headquarters at 901-377-1818 to confirm that these courses are taking place.






30-Sept. 1

29-Dec. 10

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

13-Nov. 5 New Program

Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks handson training and final testing at NHLA headquarters. Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education

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Inspector Training School 196th Class

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Traditional 8-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, Associate Dean of the Inspector Training School

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Memphis, TN Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks handson training and final testing at NHLA headquarters. Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education

J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S |


NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit www.nhla.com/industry-services/job-board.

KILN OPERATOR APPRENTICE HAWKEYE FOREST PRODUCTS Hawkeye Forest Products in Trempealeau, WI location is seeking to hire a Kiln Operator Apprentice. This position is a full-time opportunity, working for a world-class hardwood lumber manufacturer. The main responsibility of this role is to learn the process of drying lumber in a kiln, measuring and tracking the moisture content, and how to operate and maintain various drying and steaming apparatus. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in the lumber industry to learn a highly-skilled aspect of production. Responsibilities • Learn how to control dry kilns to dry lumber to specified moisture content: Measures moisture content of lumber preparatory to drying, using a moisture meter, or cuts, weighs, and places lumber samples in curing oven. Weighs the samples again periodically as they are drying to determine the rate and percentage of moisture reduction. • Work alongside managers to understand the ins and out of the kiln-dried lumber process. • Gain knowledge of reading recording gauges and weighing lumber samples periodically during the drying process and readjusts temperature and humidity controls to regulate moisture reduction rate and avoid damage to lumber. • Learn to measure the moisture content of lumber at the completion of the drying cycle, using a moisture meter, to ensure that the specified amount of moisture has been removed. • Understand how to monitor the quality of drying utilizing kiln samples

• Attention to detail and outstanding organizational skills. • Excellent communication skills Salary & Benefits Full-Time Hours • Competitive Pay • Full Plan of Benefits How to Apply Send your resume to: LLandahl@baillie.com Hawkeye Forest Products 23830 4th Street | Franklin, PA 16323 716-575-5221 | www.hawkeye.workbrightats.com HARDWOOD LUMBER GRADER/INSPECTOR SUPERIOR KILNS - A MIDWEST HARDWOOD CORPORATION Superior Kilns is seeking a hardwood lumber grader/inspector. This is a great opportunity for an individual with prior lumber grading experience. This individual would be grading dry hardwood lumber with an emphasis on quality assurance. This is a full-time opportunity. Skills & Experience Required • Graduate of NHLA Inspector Training School or equivalent experience. • Ability to accurately apply NHLA rules while grading. • A minimum of 1-year of experience grading kiln-dried domestic lumber. • Experience and ability to work in a fast-paced manufacturing environment with a focus on safety and quality

Skills & Experience Required • Desire to learn about and be part of the lumber industry.

Salary & Benefits Competitive Pay • Benefits package including medical, 401K, paid vacation and paid holidays. You could also be eligible for relocation expenses.

• Previous experience as an equipment operator using a forklift or similar machine preferred.

How to Apply Send your resume to: juliefischer@midwesthardwood.com

• Willingness to work in an outside environment.

Superior Kilns - A Midwest Hardwood Corporation 606 Hwy 77 E | Mellen, WI 54546 715-762-5600

• Willingness to work overtime. • Excellent math and measuring skills


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NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit www.nhla.com/industry-services/job-board.

HARDWOOD LUMBER GRADER RON JONES HARDWOOD Ron Jones Hardwood is looking for a Lumber Grader. At Ron Jones Lumber we view our Lumber Graders as an integral part of our team. They help us create quality lumber for our clients. They are leaders that control the production line and help manage the manufacturing process. We are a concentration yard that specializes in kiln drying lumber, which means you will be grading already milled green lumber and kiln-dried lumber

VENEER SALESMAN BUSKIRK LUMBER Buskirk Lumber is looking for an experienced veneer salesman for their timber procurement division. This person will be working out of a log yard in Michigan. Will work with domestic and overseas customers selling a variety of different species and specifications.

Skills & Experience Required • Candidates must be able to handle hard labor full time (40 hours a week).

• The ability to coordinate shipments with customers, brokers, truck drivers, etc.

• We are looking for someone with a positive attitude and an ultimate team player. • The right candidate must demonstrate the ability to grade lumber accurately according to NHLA standards. Must have situational awareness to be able to perform their job duties safely around forklifts, trucks, and large machines. • Lead fellow employees. • Help maintain a clean and safe work environment. Salary & Benefits Competitive Wage • Medical Insurance • Dental Insurance • Eye Care Short and long term disability • Profit Sharing • Paid holidays. Additionally, we offer a 401k plan after one year of employment.

Skills & Experience Required • 5+ years of experience in log/veneer sales.

• Must have knowledge of export sales and slicer logs. • Must have familiarity or previous experience working with an inventory software system. Salary & Benefits Buskirk Lumber provides a competitive benefits package that consists of Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance, plus a 401k with matching options. How to Apply Send your resume to: tad@buskirklumber.com Buskirk Lumber 319 Oak Street
 | Freeport, Michigan 49325 616-765-5103 | www.grafbro.com/careers/

How to Apply Send your resume to: Ben@ronjoneshardwood.com Ron Jones Hardwood 192 Howard Street | Franklin, PA 16323
 814-432-8844 | www.ronjoneshardwood.com

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YOU’RE WANTING TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS BETTER. NHLA HAS THE ANSWER. NEED TO FIND A NEW VENDOR FOR A SERVICE OR PRODUCT? Connections to industry specific companies through networking events, online membership directory and a virtual exhibit hall.

WANT TO DISCOVER WAYS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE PROFITABLE? Programs and expertise designed to identify areas of change that can lead to more money in your pocket.

HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT PROCESSES OR BEST PRACTICES? Relevant and industry-specific education and training available in a variety of formats.

NHLA is your connection for ideas, answers and one-on-one professional advice. Give us a call today and let us help you make your business better! www.nhla.com

John Hester, Director of Membership and Business Development at 901-399-7558 or email j.hester@nhla.com.



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