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Golden State Lumber Adds Package Cross-Cut Saw: L-M Equipment (US) Verticut Provides Accurate, Fast Cutting
Golden State Lumber: California company adds an L-M Equipment cross-cut package saw for accurate, fast cutting of I-joists, studs, beams and other material.
By Diane M. Calabrese
Date Posted: 9/1/2007
STOCKTON, California — Engineered wood is an immense part of the product line at Golden State Lumber. So much so that it now has a new, dedicated 19,000-square-foot facility for cutting.
The free-span building that houses the company’s wood cutting operations was built with equipment upgrades in mind. This summer, Golden State Lumber installed an L-M Equipment Co. (U.S.) Verticut 2000 package saw system at its facility in Stockton, Calif. The company uses it to cut I-joists, studs, beams and other material.
“The L-M Verticut will enable Golden State Lumber to cut more lumber product faster,” said company millwright Paulo Martinez. One operator keys in a cutting list, and the machine makes the specified cuts automatically. The programmable features of the Verticut not only enhance accuracy but reduce cutting time.
For example, the L-M Verticut will cut a unit of joists or studs with a precision end-trimming (PET) tolerance of +/- 1/32-inch in only a couple of minutes, noted Paulo.
L-M Equipment customized the Verticut system with an extra-long carriage that travels 70 feet, enabling the company to cut very long I-joists. Until Golden State added its new building with the L-M Verticut, the company primarily used chain saws for cutting extra long joists, which monopolized labor and time.
The L-M Verticut is designed for endurance yet, “It’s fairly simple and easy to maintain,” said Paulo. There are “not too many delicate or intricate parts.” In all, it is “a pretty rugged machine.”
Paulo played a key role in Golden State’s decision to invest in a unit saw. The more that Paulo and Golden State general manager Larry Janes —who were involved in the selection process — learned about the L-M package saw system, the more they liked.
With complete in-house metal fabrication capabilities, the Golden State Lumber staff worked collaboratively with L-M to customize the design of the Verticut. The Golden State staff fabricated a waste conveyor and modified the Verticut with an electric drive.
Engineered wood products, such as roof trusses and I-joists, are commonly used in residential and even commercial construction. They can be engineered and manufactured to meet building code requirements. They also are more efficient and easier to assemble on the construction site than traditional ‘stick built’ framing, which requires the use of larger dimension lumber than the individual components in a truss, for example.
Golden State Lumber purchases lumber and engineered wood products from companies like Weyerhaeuser and Trus Joist, which is a Weyerhaeuser business. (In 2006, Golden State Lumber earned the Trus Joist Dealer of the Year Designation; TimberStrand® is the glued, laminated strand, engineered wood product from Trus Joist.)
Golden State Lumber also buys plywood and Douglas fir lumber directly from mills and through brokers. “We buy rough six-by and up and smooth dimensional lumber,” said Paulo. On request, redwood and cedar species are purchased for customers.
At Golden State Lumber, engineered wood refers specifically to glued, laminated wood. It does not include plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), rim board or siding, all of which are technically considered by the APA-The Engineered Wood Association to be engineered wood products.
Golden State Lumber was started by Glen Nobmann, the father of current owner Lee Nobmann, in 1954. The business has always been focused on supplying lumber products for building and construction. The company has never manufactured pre-cut pallet stock or pallets. However, with the fluctuations in the housing industry, the company is very interested in other wood products, including pallet stock.
Golden State Lumber sells not only to the homebuilding industry but also to industrial and utility markets. Headquartered in Petaluma, Calif., just north of San Francisco Bay, it has four other locations besides Stockton with a sales office in American Canyon and yards in Newark, San Rafael and Brisbane, which is called Sierra Point Lumber.
Stockton, 53 miles east of Oakland, is home to 250,000 people. Founded as a trading center during the Gold rush, today it is a crossroads for produce grown in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. It is also a deepwater port thanks to the San Joaquin River.
Golden State Lumber’s 80-acre Stockton location has been operating since 2003. The facility contains a lumber milling facility, a wall panel assembly plant and a plywood warehouse.
The wall panel plant assembles wall sections with automated equipment. The pre-fabricated panels speed assembly at construction jobs because contractors only need to put them in place and fasten them to the floor and to other adjoining panels.
The planer mill is equipped with a Stetson-Ross four sided planer for surfacing lumber. The mill is also equipped with three resaws — a Stenner, Kockums, and Turner – for remanufacturing lumber.
The other shop, which primarily makes industrial wood products for packaging, is equipped with two Grecon Ditmer optimizing saws that cut material up to 6x12.
Golden State Lumber buys saw blades from local suppliers, Acme Saw and Bay Area Saw, which also provide blade sharpening service.
Products shipped from Golden State Lumber are strapped with metal or plastic bands that are applied manually. The company has a fleet of trucks, emblazoned with the Golden State Lumber logo, to make deliveries. Occasionally, contract haulers are called into service in response to delivery demand. To simplify logistics, the company has a loop through its multiple facilities that trucks follow each day to move materials and products internally.
Golden State Lumber focuses on lumber remanufacturing. The company sells kiln-dried and heat-treated lumber products; it buys kiln-dried lumber and contracts with another company to provide heat-treating.
The company supplies residual material – scrap wood and sawdust – to other businesses.
Among the other products sold by Golden State Lumber are ‘green’ framing, siding, insulation, moulding, doors and windows, hardware other building materials. Its inventory of more than 16,000 items represents one of the largest building material stocks in the nation. Over the years, the company has endeavored to emerge as a single source supplier for building contractors. Golden State Lumber also puts a strong emphasis on product quality.
Paulo has worked for Golden State Lumber for the past five years; he worked for the company earlier and has worked 15 years with Golden State in all.
When he talked with Pallet Enterprise in early August, Paulo was the only person trained to operate the new L-M Verticut system. Two other employees were being trained under his guidance.
The operator of the L-M Verticut can use a laser light sight or digital readout to position the bundle of lumber prior to cutting. Then, the operator activates the saw or can manually run it from the carriage. After the cut is completed, the saw returns to its home position and shuts down automatically. From a remote location, the operator activates the lift to open the kerf. After raising the saw, the package is removed and replaced so the cycle can begin again.
The L-M Verticut system provides quick, accurate cutting of material in volume amounts. The machine can accurately cross-cut entire bundles or packages of lumber or other material at one time. Accuracy is extremely important, Paulo noted, because of the cost and availability of raw material.
Engineered wood products and I-joists have gained favor in the last decade in the construction industry. For example, I-joists provide greater consistency and uniformity and simplify the installation of joist hangers and other hardware. Laminated wood products can be engineered and stress tested to meet performance criteria, and adhesives can be tested, too. According to the Wood I-Joist Manufacturers Association, the number of linear feet of I-joists produced annually increased more than three-fold between 1994 and 2004.
L-M Equipment Co. has been in business since 1946. Based in Portland, Ore., the company specializes in cross-cut package saws. The Verticut 2000-M comes standard with safety guarding, operator platform, Stellite inlaid saw bar, automatic chain bar oiling, package alignment stands, and a hydraulically-powered saw bar. Standard models are available for 16-foot and 20-foot packages. Options include laser light saw guide, modular package end squeeze, modular even-ending system, automatic strapping system, modular infeed-outfeed decks, electronic length measurement with digital readout and powered carriage positioning. L-M Equipment also manufactures portable yard saws, high speed chop saws, deck saws and log splitters.
Paulo said he enjoys being part of such a multi-layered industry. “It changes all the time,” he said. “It’s always a challenge.”
(For questions, call Paulo Martinez at (707) 326-4672.)