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Sunday, April 12, 2009

HOM: Temperate?

"Temperate" really wasn't the word for environment of the deck and vat area. With no graveyard shift on the Green End, the mill was pretty cool when the day shift came in. By the time we got in at 1700, the combination of sun and steam heat made things quite tropical. Even with the big doors open and fans going, that area was roasting hot and very humid. In winter, it wasn't so bad, but the 100% humidity really showed when the big outside doors were opened so a load of core could go out. That whole end of the mill went into a whiteout. Instant fog, that dissipated slowly. When you stepped outside, you chilled instantly. Summertime heat meant you drank a lot of water and sweated profusely. My clothes never got a crusty as they did while I was working in the fog of cement dust at GC, but they were always damp. One nice thing, though, was that the odor of the fresh cut wood clung to your clothes. I mentioned before that the waitresses at Finnegan's made Laird blush when they told him they liked the way he smelled. Of course, I never teased him about that. The noise was always pretty bad too, both loud and constant, and when the horn over the deck blew for the millwright or to signal breaks it made my ears hurt. The powers-that-be made me happy when they moved the horn away from the deck. When I got home at night, I had to put my feet up. Jumping down onto the concrete floors every little while all night was hard on them, no matter what shoes I wore. Bec always told people that "Daddy works in the logs." Some days it felt more like the logs worked on me. ----- Some definitions I have overlooked:
  • "Green End": The part of the mill where fresh-from-the-woods logs are turned into veneer. The steps were: barker, block saw, vat, infeed, lathe, clipper, green chain.
  • "Dry End": The part of the mill where veneer is turned into plywood by drying, laying out, gluing, pressing & trimming.
The veneer went from the green chain in the Green End to the dryers, which are the beginning of the Dry End. Since I never worked in that part of the mill, I can't enumerate the processes there. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)