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Hedstrom Lumber Mill Tour

by Tyler

Before leaving Grand Marais this morning, we went on a tour of Hedstrom Lumber Mill. The wood for our timber frame was cut there (white pine harvested from northern Minnesota). I really had no idea what to expect, and consequently, I was completely blown away. If I recall correctly, we learned that they process fifty million board-feet of lumber a year. Oh, and they are a small operation!

Hedstrom Lumber Mill Safety Record Sign Hedstrom Lumber Mill Debarking a Tree Hedstrom Lumber Mill Hedstrom Lumber Mill Saw Hedstrom Lumber Mill Saw Hedstrom Lumber Mill Saw DO NOT ENTER: Authorized Personnel Only

I sincerely cannot imagine a worse hell for trees. Honestly, the mill could easily have been the set of a horror film. I forgot my sound recorder, so I was unable to document the unholy roaring and gnashing of the giant machinery as it chewed through multi-ton trees, slicing and dicing them with all the apparent ease of a paper shredder mincing a post-it note. I have a whole new respect for the embodied energy present in a stack of dimensional lumber.

NOTICE: Safety Glasses Required Beyond This Point Hedstrom Lumber Saw Sharpening Hedstrom Lumber Saw Sharpening Hedstrom Lumber Mill Buttons Hedstrom Lumber Mill Hedstrom Lumber Employee Grading Boards Lumber Yard Stamp

It's obvious that the last nine days wouldn't have been possible without the mill (nor would quite a lot of things), but I can't help but find myself drawn to the idea of building our next house in the roundwood timber framing style. Hopefully we'll be skilled enough to give it a go using trees on our own property in a few years!

Lumber in a Kiln Stacks of Lumber