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September-October 2016
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Welcome and thank you for viewing McShan Lumber Company's bi-monthly newsletter, the McShan Plane Dealer.    We welcome suggestions and new additions to our mailing list.  If you know of anyone that would be interested in the McShan Plane Dealer please use the "forward to a friend" option at the bottom of the newsletter.
Archived Plane Dealers can be viewed on our website newsletter page:  newsletter archive

Boiler Outage at McShan Lumber limits production.
The boiler firebox exposed for repair

  If a wood fired boiler is the heart and soul of a sawmill that steam dries their lumber as we do then we recently suffered something of a heart attack here at McShan Lumber.  While fully recovered now with our boiler back online and firing away it is only after some extensive repairs that cost us considerable downtime and expense.  During a scheduled outage for furnace repairs during our annual July 4 shutdown week we discovered that there was much more repair needed than we expected and the one week of planned downtime eventually extended out to three weeks.  The fire box or "cell" had to be completely demolished and rebuilt with new steel structure and new refractory.  Despite rumors I have heard there was no damage to the boiler itself and the work was confined to the combustion part of the system.  We were fortunate to have a good inventory of rough dry inventory to keep our two planer mills running at capacity during the outage but having our sawmill down for three weeks will inevitably lead to some shortages of certain items in the coming weeks as we work to replenish supply.  Please know that we are doing everything possible to get that supply back up so that we can properly serve our customers and truly regret inconvenience this may cause in the meantime.  

100+ degree heat index welcomed the Egyptian delegation to McShan, Alabama.
Egyptian Lumbermen visit McShan Lumber

Two delegations from Egypt have completed an extensive two-week tour of the U.S. lumber industry. Fifteen importers and furniture manufacturers along with a USDA representative from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, want to learn more about American lumber grading systems, how sawtimber is procured, as well as wood preservation processes. The tour includes visits to the Southeast and to New England. This activity was made possible under the Cochran Fellowship Program.

The Cochran Fellowship Program is a USDA sponsored short term training to enhance the delegates' technical knowledge and understanding of U.S. forest products.

On August 18-19, 2016 their itinerary included two full days exploring Southern Pine manufacturing and treating facilities in Alabama and Georgia. First stop was the McShan Lumber mill in McShan, Alabama. The delegation expressed interests in Southern Pine for doors, windows and molding.

The program continued with a second group to mill tours of Eastern White Pine Lumber in Maine.

Contractor fired, construction halted over non code compliant lumber.

The developer of Hello Apartments, a 172-unit complex in Golden Valley, Minneapolis that was supposed to be completed in December fired its contractor after executives said they weren't confident about a plan to replace framing lumber that didn't meet fire code.

A change in treated lumber standards - again
The American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) has announced new standards where above ground treated lumber should be used and new recommendations mandating ground-contact lumber in projects not in contact with the ground. The new guidelines spell out specific standards for sealing penetrated and cut edges.

Product Spotlight
1X4 #3 S4S                  



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SFI and PEFC chain of custody certification available.



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View a Virtual Pack Inspection here!


Call Dina Fuller or Dusti Pritchett for tally, prices.  1-800 882 3712




Employee Spotlight:     
Larry Pruitt

W e're sawyers, lumber graders, machine operators, mill-wrights, lift drivers and more-but we're also real people who are really fun to work with. Meet some of the people who make McShan Lumber happen and learn more about who we are and what we do all day.  A family-owned and operated sawmill, McShan Lumber operates as an extended 'family,' with employees who have worked here for 10, 20, 30 years and more. McShan Lumber's Employee Spotlight Program recognizes these standout employees who are the face of our company and industry in their communities.

Larry Pruitt

For 26 years Larry "Mr. Larry" Pruitt has been a fixture at McShan Lumber Company. 
A quiet and dignified gentleman Larry began work here in 1990 as a stick layer on our green lumber stacker and he enjoyed reminiscing about that old stacker when we talked for this story. It was an ancient and well worn piece of machinery that required a little bit of magic to keep in operation which Larry did after moving from stick layer to stacker operator. We joked that we were afraid to grease or lubricate it for fear that it would fall apart! Today Larry is proud to be in charge of a state of the art automatic computer controlled self sticking MOCO lumber stacker and he alone does the work of what before required three people. Larry enjoys the work though and the feeling of accomplishment he gets at the end of a productive day. 

Larry and Joyce, his wife of 37 years have three grown sons and live nearby in Ethelsville, AL. He enjoys fishing when he can find the time but he is also an active member of Shelter of Love Church of God and has been the pastor there for the past nine years. 
Favorite food? Chicken and dumplings like a true southerner.

Heavy Metal disaster
Talk to enough sawyers and you'll find truly incredible stories of what they've encountered in saw logs: car parts, gears, agricultural implements, and metal fence posts. It only takes one hidden nail to destroy a band saw blade and waste valuable time and money. Mill downtime, excess saw maintenance, and the danger to employees all make hitting metal in the log very dangerous and expensive. Just after the de-barking process, every log at McShan Lumber goes through a metal detector to identify logs that need to be inspected. However, the detector is not 100%. Below are a few items we've collected over the years.
An old hoe, railroad spikes, arrow broadhead and bullets, fence post, deer hunter's screw-in step, and a 12" nail.

A Red-Cockaded Woodpecker nesting box. The timber was cut from the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi. The woodpecker colony was no longer active.

Porcelain insulators   date back to before the Civil War for telegraph wires and power distribution due to its greater strength and surface resistance.

Pickens County, Alabama 4-H Forestry team in National Championship 
Pickens County, Alabama 4-H Forestry team

The Pickens County Forestry Team represented Alabama at the National Forestry Invitational July 31-August 4 in Weston, West Virginia. The local team won the 2014 National Championship but placed out of the top three this year. The purpose of the Invitational is to develop an appreciation for the importance of conserving forestland as a source of products, benefits, and services necessary for quality living.  McShan Lumber supports the 4-H team through participation in our local forestry planning committee.  We congratulate the team for their hard work and for winning the Alabama State title for the second year in a row!
Letters from Alabama
Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) was an English-born zoologist, naturalist, and scientific illustrator. He came to Alabama in 1838, where he taught the children of plantation owners near present-day Pleasant Hill, in the cotton-growing region of Dallas County. 

During his stay at Pleasant Hill, Gosse carefully recorded his observations of animal and plant life, the surrounding forests, plantation life, and common events in the everyday lives of the people. He published his experiences as a series of articles, or letters, in the English magazine The Home Friend in 1855, and later in book form as Letters from Alabama in 1859.

In May 1838, Gosse arrived by schooner at the Port of Mobile. While onboard the steamboat Farmer, making his way up the Alabama River to Claiborne, he met Judge Reuben Saffold, former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Saffold owned a plantation farther upriver near King's Landing, at Pleasant Hill in Dallas County. Saffold offered Gosse a one-year contract to teach at a log schoolhouse that he and neighboring planters were in the process of building. Gosse accepted the position and taught there until the end of December. 

This McShan Plane Dealer series will feature excerpts from his writings.

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Quotes about the South

1.   "Everyone in the South has no time for reading because they are all too busy writing." 
William Faulkner

2.   "You can say a lot of bad things about Alabama, but you can't say that Alabamans as a people are duly afraid of deep fryers."
John Green, Looking for Alaska

3.  "Southern women see no contradiction in mixing strength with gentleness."-Sharon McKern

4.   "I've barely said five words to you. What indication could you possibly have that I am a Yankee?"
"Well, we could start with the words 'what indication.' Someone from south of the Mason-Dixon would have said, 'Who the hell are you calling a Yankee?' Then we would have fought."
Jana Deleon

5.   "Louie brought his new girlfriend over, and the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly."
Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias

6.  Maybe we've been brainwashed by 130 years of Yankee history, but Southern identity now has more to do with food, accents, manners, music than the Confederate past. It's something that's open to both races, a variety of ethnic groups and people who move here. John Shelton Reed

7.   "Trees down south have a difference to them, a subtle, slinking movement, mile by mile- a gracefulness, a swagger. Lanky trees stretching out their wiry thin, Spanish moss-covered branches, moss that sways and beckons ... come here, come here, it says."
Suzanne Palmieri, The Witch of Belladonna Bay

8.  Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the U.S. to Europe's wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. John Shelton Reed

9.   "No, I'm from the South, remember? We get snow when we've done something to upset God, which we don't do very often."
Autumn Jordon, Perfect

10.   "My parents won't let me have a motorcycle, but they give me all the guns I want. I asked them for a motorcycle last Christmas and they told me I'd only kill myself. They got me this twelve-gauge instead."
Scott Thompson
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McShan Lumber Company | |
11180 Hwy 82  P.O. Box 27
Mc Shan, AL 35471