Hardwood Workshop Covers Logs to Lumber

Illinois Wood Utilization Team

Dan Cassens prepares to cut a log on a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill.

Illinois Wood UtilizationTeam

Prof. Cassens had an attentive group of students eager to learn more about hardwood properties and markets.

By Rich Christianson

Attaining the most value from hardwood logs, including those harvested from the urban forest, was the running theme of the Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop held Thursday, March 17 at the historic Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, IL.

Prof. Dan Cassens, wood products extension specialist at Purdue University, and owner of Cassens Lumber of West Lafayette, IN, presented a mix of classroom and hands on instruction to an audience mostly made up of sawyers, woodworkers and arborists.

Some of the classroom topics Cassens lectured on included wood quality and characteristics, log scaling, hardwood grading pricing and marketing, optimizing sawing patterns and wood moisture and drying. All of the topics were geared to helping nimble custom wood producers better understand how they can successfully compete in hardwood lumber and product markets.

The classroom exercises were broken up by a mid-day sawmill demonstration. Cassens used a portable Wood-Mizer sawmill to mill logs provided by the DuPage County Forest Preserve into lumber.

The workshop was organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team on the eve of the Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference.