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Title: Influence of edging practices on cutting yields of Alaska birch lumber

Author: Nicholls, David L.; Funck, J.W.; Brunner, C.C.; Reeb, J.E.;

Date: 2009

Source: Forest Products Journal. 59(1/2): 29-34

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Birch lumber is often characterized by a high degree of knots, bark pockets, heartwood, and other features which force sawmill owners to decide whether to edge and trim boards to produce standard grade lumber vs. proprietary grade character-marked lumber. In addition, the edging strategies used with irregularly shaped flitches can greatly influence cut-stock recovery. To investigate this recovery, 143 kiln dried 4/4 birch flitches were obtained from a sawmill in south central Alaska and evaluated by a National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grader, for board grade and lumber tally. Each flitch was, marked by the lumber grader, indicating where the board would be edged to produce NHLA grade lumber in a production setting. The flitches were transported from Alaska to Oregon State University where they were scanned to produce digital board data. These data were then processed with the computer simulation program CORY (Computerized Optimization of Recoverable Yield) to estimate the cut-stock yield for various levels of edging severity and sound feature (character mark) inclusion. Four edging strategies were evaluated, ranging from unedged (least severe) to wane-free (most severe). As expected, cutting area recoveries and cutting yields were reduced as edging severity was increased. In many cases, however, these differences were minimal. Cutting yields for clear parts were 21.1, 23.7, 26.2, and 27.1 percent for wane-free, actual, light, and unedged strategies respectively. Cutting yields for parts that included sound character features increased by more than double to 44.0, 49.0, 52.7, and 54.0 percent for wane-free, actual, light, and unedged strategies, respectively. These results indicate that finding value-added alternatives for this character-marked birch might prove profitable for some Alaskan sawmills that also produce secondary products such as cabinets and furniture or supply cuttings to these manufacturers.

Keywords: Alaska birch, edging, lumber

Publication Notes:

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Nicholls, David L.; Funck, J.W.; Brunner, C.C.; Reeb, J.E. 2009. Influence of edging practices on cutting yields of Alaska birch lumber. Forest Products Journal. 59(1/2): 29-34.


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