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Local sawmills and lumber mills are places that receive logs and cut them. Usually the lumber or wood is cut into boards that are used to build houses and other buildings. There are standard sizes by which a local sawmill follows to make sure the wood cut is the correct size using various machines and chainsaw equipment. As mentioned local saw mills and lumber mills use several different types of equipment to cut wood including chain saws, circular saws, band saws and log gang saws. The circular saw has a disk with teeth all around its edges. A band saw has a hoop made of metal, which is flexible and runs over pulleys. It also has teeth along one edge. The log gang saw is made up of saw blades that are designed separated at different distances. It is framed and oscillates when a log is placed in it. To make sure the lumber is cut evenly, it is sent through the gang saw via pressure rollers. Chainsaws are often done to do finish work. At local sawmills and lumber mills, logs are also placed on conveyor belts when using some saws. The wood must be placed into a new position each time it is cut. This is done by a worker who rides along in a carriage or by the person who is running the saw itself. Some local sawmills use pressured water sprayed in jet form at a very intense pressure to cut wood. This jet stream under great pressure is able to cut lumber as well, if not better than traditional methods. Although the procedure is more involved than the older methods, local sawmills and lumber mills that use it find that less material is wasted and there is no dangerous flammable dust that is the byproduct of sawing the regular way or using traditional equipment. Local sawmills and lumber mills can saw several hundred pieces of wood on a daily basis. Working in these mills takes a highly skilled individual because it can be a very dangerous job working with intricate equipment. Because logs are constantly rolling, they can slip and fall and trap a worker. Local sawmill and lumber mill equipment must also be handled with extreme care and must always be used with safeguards to protect workers from lacerations, and other injuries Companies will often provide protective clothing for workers to wear to protect them from blindness and dust and other chemicals that can affect the skin and respiratory system.
More on Sawmills
Most local sawmill workers must join the Lumber and Sawmill Workers Union. Positions in these companies include the Head Sawyer who operates the saw carriage that sends a log through the teeth of a saw. Head Sawyers are also responsible for picking out the highest grade lumbers. An Edgers job in a local sawmill is to see that boards are produced with parallel sides and they will remove the rounded bark edges a piece of wood comes through a head saw, sometimes using a chainsaw. Graders look at the lumber as it goes by on the conveyor belt, checking for any defects. If there is a split or a knot or an unwanted stain they will pull it of the run. Chain Offbearers remove lumber from the moving conveyor at various points. They also sort, slide and stack lumber into piles. Lumber Handling Equipment Operators or lift operators move logs and finished wood within the local saw mill using a fork lift and log lift. The Millwright is the local sawmill worker who makes sure all equipment is in working order and repair it if it isnt. Finally the general sawmill worker is trained to work any and all positions that need relief. They are the first ones on the job and clean the sawdust and wood bark from the day before. They also oil bearings and check the surfaces of all the equipment. Sometimes they will replace dull saws and inspect chainsaws before being put back into use. Local sawmills and lumber mills with new employees will usually start them out as a sawmill worker and promote them to Chain Offbearer, up to Head Sawyer as time progresses.