Building materials like timber, often used to make roof trusses, need to be of a very high quality to make sure that they last a lifetime. Before wood can be used to build trusses, it first needs to be processed. This has a few steps, beginning in the forest where they grow, and ending as a durable product. Knowing what happens to the wood before you buy it can allow you to make better choices when starting a project.
At Aber Roof Truss, we are PEFC certified and participate in the sustainable management of timber forests across 36 countries, which combined is 264 million hectares of forest. We always recycle 100% of our waste materials and also actively encourage suppliers to change to our environmentally friendly principles.
The 5 steps in processing timber:
The process begins with felling, which is essentially cutting down the trees. Workers only cut down the mature trees so that they are not carrying out unsustainable deforestation. Felling is usually done in the winter as the trees will have a lower moisture content at this time.
A chainsaw will be used to cut down the trees, making slices at the base which determines the position the tree will fall. After harvesting, the trees are trimmed and logs are sawed. The cut logs are often stored in a forest clearing so the moisture can evaporate, making them weigh less for cheaper transportation.
- Debarking and Bucking
After the felling process, the logs are taken to a processing site to have the bark removed. Sharp-toothed wheels or high-pressure jets are used for this. They are then sawed into predetermined lengths.
- Rough Sawing and Re-sawing
Natural logs will all have different diameters, this makes it challenging for processors to calculate the number of wood pieces they can provide. Whilst they rough saw the logs an optical sensor scans, creating a cutting pattern for each log, which provides the optimum output.
Seasoning is a term used for drying out wooden products. This is a very important step for manufacturers, as it stops the products of the wood from decaying and losing shape over time.
Wood which has a very high water content is more prone to warping and deforming as the water escapes from it. Air drying or kiln drying is used to lower the moisture content.
At every stage of processing timber, it is checked for any defects. Pieces which do not pass the quality control are then recycled and reused to create other wood-based products.
During the final grading step, the inspection of the quality of wood is even stricter. Workers decide on a grade to give the wood and bundle it with other pieces of a similar grade.