Several new additions are now a part of the big Nacogdoches, Texas, sawmill of Frost Lumber Industries, it was found by THE GULF COAST LUMBERMAN visitors, on a recent trip to the mill. Improved methods of handling green lumber so that it is not necessary to load it on dollies, an enlarged power plant and many other minor improvements are now a part of the Nacogdoches mill.
The sawmill, equipped with two bands, a double edger and piano trimmer, cuts both Pine and Hardwoods, and the entire operation is planned with an eye to cutting handling costs to the bone. A new moving chain has been added at the back end of the mill, so that two-inch pieces are transferred from the green chain to this new conveyer which carries the pieces to the resaw. Edgings and slabs also drop onto the conveyer where they are run through a ripsaw to get the largest amount of clear wood from each slab.
Where the average sawmill uses from eight to fifteen lumber sorters on the green chain, Frost uses one. This is made possible by their ingeniously designed, automatic edge drop sorter.
When the lumber comes off the end of the chain, one man sorts the lumber by putting it in the proper slot. Live rollers carry it to the kiln stacking shed where it automatically drops down to be loaded on kiln cars. Six Moore kilns dry all No. 2 and better stock.
The giant planing department of the mill makes everything from beautiful No. 1 close grained dimension to ladder rungs, handles and toy-making materials.
In order to increase production to take care of increased sales, Frost has built two new water tube boilers of 350 horsepower each. These new boilers increase the speed of the carriages around 15 per cent, which adds materially to the amount of lumber which can be produced by the mill. The boilers are unusual in that they do not have any grate. Instead, air is blown onto the burning fuel which is forced up through the tubes. These boilers were installed the first of this year.
One of the most beautiful lumber products manufactured at the Nacogdoches mill is Frost's packaged trim, which comes in Southern Pine and Red Gum. Each package contains the required pieces cut to fit, so that installation is a matter of a few moments and a few nails.
One of the most unusual machines in the lumber finishing department is the automatic end-matched flooring machine. The stock, already matched on the sides, moves into this machine on live belts. A tongue is immediately cut on one end, then the rollers whisk the tongued pieces to the other side of the machine where the other end is grooved. This is all done in the wink of an eye.
Since the major part of the Nacogdoches operation has been covered in THE GULF COAST LUMBERMAN in earlier issues, it will not be necessary to go into further detail about this vast lumber manufacturing plant. However, it is well to note that the offices are headed by Mr. Wirth Whited, vice president, and plant operations are under the direction of C. J. Woodward, superintendent. Sales for this mill and for the other eight Frost operations are handled in the general sales office at Shreveport, which is under the able management of John L. Avery.