The Milling Process

If you have followed Larch Wood on Facebook or Instagram you probably have seen our video posts of “From the Floor Friday” showing close ups of the different steps in making our end grain cutting boards.

Below is a link to a video available on our website that shows the whole process.

How to Make a Larch Wood Cutting Board

This is also another more up to date video of our process made by Wood-Mizer.

End Grain Cutting Boards Made In Cape Breton, Canada

If you have had the opportunity to visit our factory in Cape Breton you may have taken a tour of the shop. These are all great ways to see what we do here at Larch wood.

The Milling Process:

In our “From the Floor Fridays” we have not included this first  important step of the milling of the larch logs.

Our electric Wood-Mizer mill is located across the road from the factory. It is a two man team that feeds and operates the Wood-Mizer LT 40 sawmill. At certain times of the year the yard is full of logs ready to be processed. Our mill is inside a building with large doors that can be closed when in operation for reasons such as keeping the noise to a minimum for the surrounding neighbours, and also to keep the heat in and cold weather out.

We purchase logs from local contractors and wood lot owners. We send out log specs to our harvesters and wood lot owners. We want to make sure there is no rot or split and damaged wood. We require that each log not be less then 8″ diameter inside the bark at the smallest end and that they be a minimum of 100 inches long. The logs are loaded on the deck beside the mill with a front end loader. Everyone who uses this machine must be certified. Safety first!

Once the log has been placed on the deck, the main operator places the log on the mill, turns it until it is straight and eyes it up so he can get the maximum amount of wood from it. He saws the log into different widths of lumber  4″, 6″ and 8″. All our wood is milled to 1 3/16th inches thick. Anything that is trimmed off because it is not suitable for our use gets set aside as slab wood that we use to heat our own building and or sell to our locals.

The main operator’s assistant places the logs on the deck using a front end loader. As the log gets sawed into lumber he takes each board, one at a time, and trims both ends to 98″and places them on a set of skids. Any ends that that are trimmed off and not suitable for our use get set aside to be sold as kindling. Once he has a row of boards placed on the skids he places stickers, thin strips of wood, cross wise to create a space between rows. This allows airflow between the rows in the drying process. The assistant piles 22 rows of lumber to make a lift. It takes 24 lifts to fill the kiln. They both work together to move the lift outside so it can air dry before being fork lifted  into the kiln across the road in the main building.

Larch Wood is lucky to have a very skilled team working the sawmill. They have been involved on many aspects of the cutting board production processes, so they fully understand the quality of milling we require to produce our boards.