Part of the sawing process. Meira Bienstock

BETHEL — When circling the back of Hancock Lumber’s Bethel Sawmill on a free tour September 17, one can see three different piles of clean paper chips.

One patch is sent to go on and make paper, another pile of sawdust is made into pellets and used for animal bedding, and the last pile of bark mulch which will be used for fuel. Nothing goes to waste here, every bit of wood is used.

Everything is done deliberately and precisely. Each tree trunk, which is sourced from an outside company, ends up being cut into 1x6x12 (and once it’s shaven down, it’s ¾ x 5 ½ x12 precisely). Before it goes through the plane, the split logs are checked for any defaults that might trap it inside the machine.

If the log is splintered or warped, someone will use a circular saw to saw it apart. It also goes through the Lucidyne auto-grader which organizes the logs so they are all the same size.

The boards are priced and put on the market. There is a survey done by Random Lengths, and based off of its numbers, Hancock prices theirs at a competitive price.

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