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How Timber Gets from Forests to Your Local Hardware Store

We all know where most of our important products come from, but the process they take to get there are something of a mystery. We know, for example that the lengths of timber we see in hardware stores and building material warehouses come from trees that grow in forests. But how does this happen? TWK Agri explains the basic five step process of timber production.

Five Stages of The Timber Process

The production of timber follows a basic five-step process from forest to retail. The timber process is as follows:

Read our blog for more information on South Africa’s timber industry.

1. Felling

Firstly, individual trees are cut down when they are ready for harvesting This is called felling. Forestry workers inspect trees on a regular basis, marking trees that are ready for felling. The fellers usually go to work in winter, when trees are dryer. Sustainable forestry standards demand that each felled tree is replaced with a sapling.

2. Storing/ Transporting

The raw logs from the forest are then stored in a clearing until they are ready to be transported to a mill. This also allows them to dry out even more. A timber truck then picks them up and carries them to a processing site, such as a sawmill or paper mill.

3. Debarking And Cutting

At the sawmill, the logs are debarked, bucket and cut to the required length. They are then cut into boards, using bandsaws and circular saws. This process, called conversion, includes a rough stage, known as breaking down, which involves rough sawing. The second stage is more refined and precise, and involves planning and further machining.

4. Seasoning

Once the boards are cut to size, they are left to dry out even further. At this stage, the wood still contains a considerable amount of moisture, which needs to be shed before the planks are ready for market.

5. Preparing For Market

Once the planks are dry, they are ready to be made into marketable products, such as standard-sized boards, doors, furniture components, etc. Fire or rot-resistance treatments are done at this stage. Once all modifications are made, the timber is ready to ship to retail outlets.

Learn More About Timber Industry At TWK

Learn more about the timber and bark industries, as well as other agricultural products and sub sectors in South Africa, at TWK. Contact us for more information.

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