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Thinking AheadĖLetter from Chaille: Finding Treasure in the Garbage
Moments of inspiration are not the sort of thing that you can schedule on your appointment calendar. Bright ideas tend to come when you least expect them. And these jewels of inspiration can be lost forever in the recesses of your mind if you donít write them down in a place where you can retrieve them later.

By Chaille M. Brindley
Date Posted: 9/1/2006

††† You may be wondering why this monthís column features a picture of me dumpster diving. No, I havenít lost my mind. Or at least I donít think so.

††† This monthís picture illustrates the fact that sometimes we throw away something of real value just out of instinct or because we donít want to be bothered. If we knew how valuable the hidden treasure was we would dive in the dumpster to retrieve it.

††† If you have opened this monthís issue and mindlessly threw the accompanying lumber directory into the waste basket, you have made a big mistake. I mean a BIG MISTAKE.

††† Two of the best sawing related plant features in a long time are featured in this yearís Lumber Pages, the only annual pallet lumber directory. You should drop this issue and run and grab it just so that you can be sure to read it.

††† I want to particularly point you to the stories on the new cut-up line at Southland Manufacturing, Bowling Green, Ken. and sawmill at Potomac Supply Corp., Kinsale, Va. Both of these companies are doing things in a different way. While these operations have been covered in the Enterprise before, they have taken some chances with new designs. And you may just want to find out if the gambles by these two companies are paying off.

††† Southland is running one of the new Brewco B-800 resaw systems. This new design has a number of patented features intended to help solve some of the traditional problems associated with horizontal thin-kerf bands. These problems include lumber uniformity, production and sawdust. Brewco addressed all of these issues with its patented floating guides and patented de-duster. The patented floating guide system self-adjusts to the width of each cant. The guides control the blade literally as it enters and exits the wood. The de-duster then directs air right on the cut.

††† Check out the article on page 13 of the Lumber Pages to find out more about this unique solution to some common bandsaw problems.

††† The article on Potomac Supply Corp. covers one of the most unique sawmill designs that I have ever seen. Facing a space problem and wanting greater optimization and control of the primary breakdown area, Potomac did what a number of leading sawmill machinery manufacturers said was impossible. Potomacís unique transverse log breakdown system has helped the company more than double production through its sawmill.

††† Potomac also has a very advanced logistics and barcode tracking system. If you want to learn how to better manage your incoming supply and outgoing production, see the Potomac article on page 6 in the Lumber Pages. The lessons covered in this article may give you just the inspiration that you need to improve your operation today.

††† Of course, the Lumber Pages includes the best resources on the planet to locate quality pallet lumber suppliers. Finding new sources of lumber is always a concern for pallet companies. The directory breaks down the companies by region. Detailed production descriptions let you identify which suppliers provide exactly what you need. You can always search the directory online at www.cutstock.com.

††† The main magazine has a few articles that I want to highlight. If you buy or sell recycled pallets, you need to read the article about the latest pallet scam. A number of recyclers across the country have been scammed by a bogus buyer. The best way to protect your company is to start by reading the article on page 35.

††† If you want to know the latest on how to use small wood to maximize profits, read the article on the Small Wood Conference. It starts on page 42.

††† I keep on hearing from readers about my frequent picture changes in this column. Most of the reader feedback has been positive. Each time I write the column, I come up with a new picture that somehow relates with the theme of the column for that issue. And you never know what is coming next.

††† This monthís photo shoot was not hard to set up. All it required is a little acting. I had to smile while standing in our dumpster. Yes, I do my own stunts. Although the dumpster wasnít completely full, it certainly smelled like it was. I have heard of people making jokes about dirty reporters. But this is ridiculous.

††† While on the topic of mining treasure out of day old garbage, I want to share a simple tip that has helped me preserve many of my greatest business ideas and thoughts. Moments of inspiration are not the sort of thing that you can schedule on your appointment calendar.

††† Bright ideas tend to come when you least expect them. And these jewels of inspiration can be lost forever in the recesses of your mind if you donít write them down in a place where you can retrieve them later. I have a basic text file where I write down all the business ideas and other things that just come to me. This repository helps me keep track of these ideas.

††† I always love to hear from readers. If you have a bright insight to share about the industry or a good story idea, please feel free to e-mail me at chaille@ireporting.com.








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