You’re invited to view an online tour showing the process of transforming timber into lumber. The step-by-step photo tour includes information to help illustrate what goes into making boards for building homes or businesses. If you would like to schedule a tour in person for yourself, school, or organization, please call us at (406) 677-2201. We look forward to hearing from you!

Forest Management And Lumber Sales Pyramid Mountain Lumber
Xletourneau And Truck
  • Pyramid Mountain Lumber uses 35 to 40 truckloads of log supply a day
  • $12 Million is spent on raw material a year, which includes stumpage, logging and hauling
  • Last year we provided over 200 woods jobs
Xhog Fuel Pile
  • The outer layer of the log, the bark, is removed from the log
  • The bark, called Hog Fuel, is sold for Beauty Bark in landscaping and we use it internally as a fuel source to run our boilers which provide steam for our dry kilns and heat our plant
  • All bark is removed from logs before they enter the sawmill
  • Once a log has been debarked, it enters the sawmill
  • Larger logs, 12" and bigger, go through the headrig side of the sawmill
  • A 7' saw cuts the round log into a 2 or 4 sided cant
  • The remaining product is made into chips which is sold to the local pulp plant to make liner board
  • The sawdust is separated from the chips and sold to a medium density fiber board mill
  • This machine saws approximately 400 logs per shift
  • Logs that are less than 12" are processed into cants in the twin band
  • This 5' band saw can cut two sides of the log simultaneously
  • This machine processes approximately 3000-4000 logs per shift
  • Once a log is made into a cant, it travels via a conveyor to a machine that cuts it into boards
  • Cants from the headrig and twin band are run through a scanner at the Gang Optimizer
  • Every 3" is scanned, including the arc of the log
  • This creates a profile of every cant
  • A computer program is used to determine the maximum value and volume of each cant and the sawing solution
  • Lumber values are input into the program
  • Once a log has been profiled, the information is sent to the Gang Saw where it will be cut into board
Xgang Optmizer
  • There are 78 circle saws that cut cants into boards based on the profile from the Gang Optimizer
  • Each saw is spaced either 1" or 2" apart, depending on the desired product
  • This machine rotates with the curve of the cant and cuts it into straight boards
  • The boards are then put on a conveyor and sent to the edger
  • The Board Edger is fully optimized
  • Each board is scanned to determine the largest piece of finished lumber it can make
  • This information is sent to the saw and is adjusted for each board
  • This machine center can process 15,000 pieces of lumber per shift
  • This machine center is also fully optimized
  • Every board that has been edged, is again scanned every 3", length, width and thickness
  • It is looking for a "seen defect" and makes a decision on how to eliminate any defect which improves the lumber grade, therefore the lumber value
  • Once it is scanned, the machine then makes the decision to trim one or both ends and process as presented, send it back to the edger (if too much wane), send it back to the resaw (if too thick), or cut board into two boards (one with no defect, and the other to be re-edged).
Sorter Pyramid Mountain Lumber
  • Once a board has made it through the trimmer, it travels to the sorter
  • Boards are sorted by length, width and thickness behind the trimmer and dropped in the appropriate bin
  • When a bin has reached its capacity, it is then "dumped" and moved to the stacker where the boards are stacked and stickered for air flow
  • The stickered units are then ready for the dry kiln
  • Stickered lumber units are placed on rail car tracks and rolled into the double doored dry kilns
  • Here, under steam, lumber will be dried to a moisture content suitable for surfacing lumber
  • Drying can take from 24 hours to 72 hours depending on the size and species of the lumber
  • Industry grade rules require moisture content 10-19%, depending on product
  • Once lumber has been dried, it is then sent to the planer where it will be finished surfaced
  • It is surfaced to exact measurements
  • The material that is planed off is called shavings and is sold as bi-product
Xgrading Table
  • Lumber that has been planed is sent to the Grading Table
  • Certified Lumber Graders manually "grade" each board according to American lumber standard rules
Xplaner Lug Loader
  • Once the boards have been graded, they are presented for trimming
  • The trimmerman reads the grade mark and knows how to trim and which end to trim
Xdry Chain
  • The last stop for a board is the dry chain
  • Finished lumber is manually stacked into bunks and then steel banded
  • If a bunk of lumber is not paper wrapped, it is then moved to the lumber yard
  • "Higher grade lumber is sent to the paper wrap station, and then stored in a lumber shed or in the lumber yard
  • The moulder remanufactures planed lx6 and 1x8 boards into value added products such as: tongue and groove paneling for ceilings, floors and walls, as well as a variety of exterior sidings.
Xshaving Bins
  • Shavings, material shaved off lumber that has been through the planer is put into bins that can be easily dumped into open top cargo trucks
  • This material is made into medium density fiberboard

We can handle any of your wholesale lumber or forest management needs!

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