every hour and make note of why
they’re discarding every piece of
wood during this time period.
For this to be effective, they do
need some prior training, but
once trained, they can be an
important quality improvement
force. For each piece during the
time period, have them note if
the problem is due to a “
natural” wood factor, is due to poor
sawmilling, is due to poor drying,
is due to poor moisture control,
is due to poor machining or is
related to operator and management issues. At the end of the
day, you’ll have a pretty good idea
of what the employees feel is the
basic problem with wood quality.
Managers should ask
Managers might ask themselves,
in addition to the above items,
if poor yield is related to poor
operator judgment due to poor
vision, poor lighting, overworking, uncomfortable working
conditions (cold, for example) or
I think I’ve said it before, but
a very good training tool is to
have a large display board in the
lunch room that shows accept-
able and unacceptable defects
and also gives the reason (such
as drying defect) for such defects
occurring. Along with this defect
board, have another board with
dollar values attached to piece of
scrap and to acceptable pieces.
It’s surprising how many people
don’t know that a small piece of
wood 2 inches wide and 24 inches
long is often worth 60 cents or
If they knew, maybe they’d
think twice about throwing it
away or wasting so much wood. ;
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Gene Wengert, “The Wood Doctor,”
has been training people in efficient use
of wood for 35 years. He is extension
specialist emeritus at the University of