Causey Engineering has three Lumber and Wood Industry Experts. One is a mechanical engineer, one industrial, and the other forestry. They have hands on experience in log yards, sawmills, planner mills, remanufacturing, plywood, OSB, particleboard, and boiler houses, nationwide, and some international.

As indicated in the Forestry and Logging sections, lumber varies by region. There are several major sets of grading rules to suit each region, and some variations in manufacturing.  Some major lumber producing states with approved OSHA Plans have well developed regulations to assist the expert as he discerns how to apply these standards to assist the trier of fact. 

But the expert will also remember that lumber is a natural product, one with varying characteristics, no two boards are identical.  This extensive knowledge and experience in the lumber and wood industry is available now in a Causey Associate trained in Forensic Engineering work to support your case.

The pictures below represent some of the specific types of work and processes in this industry.

Conveyors are segregated into unit handling, or bulk handling, and there are many details to get right for each to function.




Plants handling solids often have storage bins, conveyors, slides, stackers, unstackers, singulators, machining centers, sensors, dust collectors, and computerized control systems.



Logs peel easier if they are heated and moisturized.  In the west a plywood block vault like this is used.  In the south, yellow pine is submerged in a special vat of hot water.



Autoclave treating cylinder at a wood preserving plant with a load about to go in.

The banding came apart on this unit of timber - and the timbers fell on the operator.




Front end loaders of all sizes abound in industry, often with special attachments to adapt it for its tasks.




Form follows function is so very true in any industry, i.e. the design must be tailored to the need for a particular Saw Mill.  Plants handling solids need suitable equipment, metallurgy or plastic parts to withstand wear, temperature and abuse.



Most logs are usually tapered, neither straight, nor round.  Nowadays, scanners and computers automatically control the equipment which holds and cuts the logs for greatest value.

The bark is burned to make steam for the kilns or an electrical generator.



The cants are held for straight cuts with the aid of tilted re-saws and vee-roller conveyors.




Sawmills are innovative, robust, and complicated.




Veneer is peeled from logs, and then laid in cross-ways direction for extra strength.  But building panels are made several ways, each with certain appeal.





Utility Poles:

The National Electrical Code, Rule 214 deals with inspection of lines. 

Edison Electric Institute deals with frequency based on frost-free days.  This may be every 3 years in the South.

OSHA deals with inspecting a pole before climbing.




This picture of a wood utility pole shows a little bit of the center is not rotted.

A whole variety of fungi may have attached it.  Part of the Heart Wood may not be fully rotted - as seen in a piece cut with a saw.

Why was heart wood cut?  The pith center is in this piece, and growth rings can be seen. Normally no rot 4 feet up - too dry to support fungi.  Fungi are most active when the temperature is between 40F and 140F, and the wood is moist, but below 90% moisture.  Therefore, fungi usually attach wood poles at ground level, and work up and down from there.  Here is shows that the sapwood is rotted.