Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 29, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Aston University’s wooden car wins design award at Shell Eco-Marathon

Wired.co.uk
May 28, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Birmingham’s Aston University has taken home an eco-design award for the wooden and cardboard car it entered into Shell’s Eco-Marathon. Team Shelly, which focused on sustainable driving, created a vehicle which runs on hydrogen and has bioresin tyres infused with hessian fibres. Its car can be entirely flat-packed for delivery, and the wood is Forestry-Commission-approved.

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Business & Politics

Forest Products Industry Welcomes Back to Work Legislation to End CP Rail Worker Strike

Press release
Forest Products Association of Canada
May 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today welcomed the government’s action to move forward on back to work legislation to bring to an end the ongoing strike by CP’s freight conductors and switching yard employees. The industry encouraged all parliamentarians to support this legislation to prevent further disruption to the economy. “The forest products industry is one of Canada’s single largest users of freight rail services, annually shipping millions of tonnes of finished product,” said Catherine Cobden, President and CEO of FPAC.

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B.C. Liberals’ inaction hurting mills: CEO

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
May 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The head of Catalyst Paper believes the provincial government could have done more to help the company stay afloat. Catalyst CEO Kevin Clarke has suggested that lack of government help for his struggling company may have contributed to the defeat of a restructuring plan last week. Clarke raised the point in a letter to Premier Christy Clark in advance of a meeting today between Catalyst and provincial officials. The future of the company and its three coastal pulp and paper mills is up in the air after the narrow vote against the plan.

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Millions at stake for mill retirees

Pensioners want new round of restructuring that gives them vote, will lose $115 million in Catalyst sale
Alberni Valley Times
May 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst is obligated to take another shot at restructuring before pursuing any possible sale, says Gary McCaig who represents the Catalyst Salaried Employees and Pensioners group. …He said because of concessions made by so many of the stakeholders, among which are current employees, municipalities and his group, that the company’s credibility is at stake if it decides not to pursue another round of restructuring.  “I don’t think it’s too strong to say that we have been betrayed by Catalyst,” McCaig said. “We, and other stakeholders, acted in good faith and made concessions with the understanding the company would make their best effort.”

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BC mill hit by fatal explosion reopens for 6 weeks

Canadian Press
May 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A lumber mill in northern B.C. that was hit by a deadly explosion last month has temporarily reopened for six weeks… Greg Stewart of Sinclar Group, which owns the mill, says 22 of Lakeland’s 150 workers will return to the facility’s planer mill for six weeks to process inventory that was ready before the mill explosion. Stewart says beyond that, the company hasn’t yet made a decision about whether to rebuild the damaged parts of the mill, but he says several factors including the mill’s workers and the local fibre supply weigh in favour of rebuilding.

Also carried by
Lakeland Planer Workers put in First Shift by Opinion 250 News
Prince George Mill reopens a month after deadly explosion killed two workers in second story from the Canadian Press

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Tembec resumes operations at excavation site in Temiscaming following the discovery of historical human remains

Stockhouse
May 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tembec today resumed its excavation activities at its site in Temiscaming following the discovery of human skulls. Excavation work is proceeding according to an archeological research permit… and are being conducted under the supervision of Montreal-based firm Arkéos, whose anthropologists are renowned experts… Following the conclusion of this process, the Police determined that the human remains were historical and non-criminal in nature. Historical documents indicate that a church and a cemetery were located within the Temiscaming site as far back as 1891.

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Slow growth in German softwood lumber prices

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
May 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

No fundamental upswing was noticeable on the German softwood lumber market by the beginning of May. In spite of a still reduced pace of cutting activity, many businesses have so far been unable to achieve a satisfactory degree of capacity utilisation. In the last two to three weeks, producers have had to reduce or in some cases even completely cut the shifts they had planned for the bank holiday owing to sluggish receipts of orders. 

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Ikea Products Made From 600-Year-Old Trees

Inter Press Service
May 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

STOCKHOLM – The home furnishing giant Ikea, founded in Sweden in 1943, is facing heavy criticism for the logging and clear-cutting of old-growth forests in the north of Russian Karelia by its wholly owned subsidiary Swedwood. According to leading environmental organisations, such logging is destroying ancient and unique forests that have a high conservation value. Wood is by far the primary raw material in Ikea’s products. Roughly 60 percent of the products stocked in the multinational’s 300 department stores around the world contain wood in any form. For years, the company has used the “We Love Wood” slogan to promote the fact that Ikea only uses wood obtained in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable way.  But recent reports and studies prove that this proclamation is a myth. 

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Global trade of lumber up 25 percent the past two years and signs of better times ahead for the lumber industry

WebWire (press release)
May 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

After a sharp decline in global demand for lumber in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the global recession, global trade of softwood lumber increased an estimated 25 percent over the past two years. In 2011, trade reached just over 90 million m3, which is still substantially below “pre-financial crises” levels. China, Japan, Spain and South Korea saw the biggest rise in import volume between 2010 and 2011. However, not all markets improved last year and major importer such as the US, the UK, Italy, France and Egypt reduced imports by between 5-10 percent year-over-year.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New Urbanists debate merits of glass towers

Defenders of highrises say the building form defines Vancouver’s downtown neighbourhoods
Vancouver Sun
May 28, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West
One of the godfathers of the New Urbanism movement charged that highrises, especially Vancouver’s ubiquitous glass towers, are a fundamental mistake and an assault against human scale… Recent building code changes that allow wood-frame construction for buildings as high as six storeys are likely to soon spur development of this form of density along many of Vancouver’s arterial corridors. While today we argue about whether highrises are good or bad, a few years from now we might be arguing whether mid-rise buildings achieve enough density to make efficient use of land.

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LEED Bashing: Plastic People Join The Lumber Industry in Trying To Get The Feds To Drop LEED

Treehugger
May 28, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

TreeHugger has covered how the Sustainable Forest Initiative is trying to gut LEED by getting the Federal Government to drop it. Now the Plastics industry is piling on, worried about LEED 2012’s imagined restrictions on PVC. A “bi-partisan” group of congressmen have written a letter to the GSA about LEED.

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York Bridge Concepts, Inc. Completes a Tree-level Timber Pedestrian Bridge with Safety as a Top Priority

A timber pedestrian bridge was chosen to add an architectural element
DigitalJournal.com (press release)
May 29, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

York Bridge Concepts (YBC) recently completed Wellstar’s 160-foot timber pedestrian bridge for their community hospice at Kennesaw Mountain in Marietta, Georgia… This timber pedestrian bridge was built with the environment in mind, using YBC’s deck-level construction method — building from the bridge itself. During this process, as much work as possible is done from the bridge deck, literally reducing the “footprint” of the bridge, protecting the surrounding environment.

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Forestry

No wonder people call walk in forest ‘spiritual’

Vancouver Sun (blog)
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Science is giving support to West Coast Canadians who say they prefer walking in the forest to going to church, synagogue or temple. A new study shows that a stroll through the woods truly is good for your emotional health. People who say they’re “spiritual but not religious” will have even more reason to do so after they get their hands on a new study of people with depression, which describes the positive effects of what the Japanese call “forest bathing.”

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Forest fire sparked by campers

Toronto Sun
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Careless campers are believed to be responsible for a 2,500 hectare fire which has put Kirkland Lake in a state of emergency. Kirkland Lake Ontario Provincial Police and the ministry of natural resources are asking for the public’s help to identify anyone who was in the area of Elsie Lake, also known as Beatrice Lake, in the three days prior to May 20 when the fire broke out.

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South Island’s caterpillar population explodes

Vancouver Sun
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The branches of fruit trees on southern Vancouver Island are alive with western tent caterpillars, as the tiny insects enjoy a population boom. It’s a peak year for the insects, which hatch from web “tents” high in trees, then proceed to make breakfast, lunch and dinner out of succulent green leaves. Judith Myers, a University of B.C. entomologist who studies the rise and fall of western tent caterpillar populations, says the Gulf Islands and southern Vancouver Island are experiencing a population explosion of the bugs.

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Northwest Fire Centre investigates three fires

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC government press release
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SMITHERS – Three fires that the Northwest Fire Centre recently responded to in the Terrace area are now under investigation by compliance and enforcement officers from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. These fires are suspected to be human-caused and may have been deliberately set. The RCMP has been advised and the incidents will be referred to the RCMP if warranted.

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BC workers continue to be exposed to damaging noise

WorkSafeBC says hearing damage can be prevented, but files keep coming
Vancouver Sun
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

.. Peter Sprout of Campbell River spent 33 years heaving a chainsaw on the job and says he doesn’t know many lifelong fallers who don’t have some hearing loss… The difference now is that the rigid earmuffs he used have improved and everyone uses them. He recently started work with the B.C. Forest Safety Council in Nanaimo and says fallers are probably more protected than other workers because the deafening whine of a chainsaw is a well-known, well-tested hazard. “We’re taking measures to mitigate it, but maybe a logging truck driver isn’t.

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B.C. firefighting personnel no longer headed to Ontario

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC government press release
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

KAMLOOPS – Further to the information bulletin issued earlier today, the Province of Ontario has cancelled its request for additional B.C. firefighting crews that were to be deployed on Wednesday, May 30.

Bulletin released early yesterday More BC wildfire personnel head to Ontario

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Current forest fires already double last year’s numbers

CBC.ca
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario – Summer hasn’t even officially started yet, but the cost of fighting forest fires is starting to add up. The Ministry of Natural Resources reports there have already been nearly 400 wildfires in Ontario this year. An average year sees slightly more than 200 fires.

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Northern Ontario residents eager to return home as rain dampens forest fires

Globe and Mail
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

More residents are being allowed back home after rain dampened forest fires in northeastern Ontario. Officials say the chief of Mattagami First Nation is allowing residents to return home today. A steady drizzle Sunday brought relief to communities battling massive forest fires… But despite the rain, hundreds of residents in Timmins, about 140 kilometres to the northwest, are still barred from their homes, cottages and campsites.

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Lumber industry depending on new owner for Grand Falls mill

NTV Canada
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

VIDEO STORY – It’s not just job-hunters hoping for a new buyer to take over the shuttered Grand Falls mill. The province’s Lumber Producers Association says the entire industry is depending on it. NTV’s Colleen Lewis reports.


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Solicitor General Agrees Ninth Circuit Was Wrong

Forest Industry Network
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) agreed with the Solicitor General’s (SG) conclusion that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals erred in its NEDC v. Brown ruling but expressed disappointment that the SG chose not to defend EPA’s 35-year policy on forest roads before the U.S. Supreme Court. The SG stated in his brief instead that “the complex regulatory issues can be addressed more definitively and in a more nuanced fashion by Congress and [EPA].” “Everybody now agrees the Ninth Circuit was wrong to unilaterally change the rules on forest roads contrary to EPA’s policy,” said Dave Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO. “It is disappointing and a bit puzzling that the Solicitor General would reach that conclusion, supported by twenty-six attorneys general, and then not pursue Supreme Court review.

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EPA seeks to ease rules on muddy runoff from logging roads

Seattle Times
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Obama administration wants to change the rules applying to stormwater running off logging roads, blunting a landmark court ruling that found the muddy water running into salmon streams and reservoirs should be regulated like industrial pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed notice Wednesday in the Federal Register proposing to revise stormwater regulations to say hundreds of thousands of miles of logging roads on private and public lands nationwide don’t need the same kinds of permits that factories must get.

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Lessons learned in 2008 shape fire preparation in Shasta County

Record-Searchlight
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four years after the catastrophic summer of 2008, fire officials say the brush is drying out and another season is already under way. Technology has advanced and some of the lessons of that year’s lightning fires have led to significant changes in policy and communication. But the forests remain loaded with fuel and most plans for addressing the issue in a broader way are still in their early stages.

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DNR Stewardship Forester receives top award

WDNR Ear to the Ground blog
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DNR Stewardship Forester Mike Nystrom was recently named Tree Farm Inspector of the Year by the Washington State Tree Farm Program at its annual awards program in Spokane. …The award recognizes the inspector who performed the most certification inspections in the past year. Mike was selected for the top honor from nearly 100 volunteer inspectors statewide.  Mike is widely known among peers and clients for his exceptional dedication and willingness to go the extra mile to help Washington’s family forest owners.

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Sierra Conservancy funds on course for Auburn-area forest health

City of Auburn, Placer Land Trust projects up for Sierra Nevada Conservancy board OK
Auburn Journal
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

AUBURN CA – Healthy forest efforts in the Auburn area are in line for nearly half a million dollars in grant funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. The two projects that will be recommended by staff for funding approval at the Auburn-based conservancy’s board meeting next month are for Placer Land Trust forest management on a Bear River preserve and Auburn Fire Department shaded fuel break efforts along the American River canyon.

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Sequoia smog damaging pines, redwood seedlings

Atlanta Journal Constitution
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The Sierra Nevada forest that is home to the biggest and oldest living things on earth — the giant Sequoia redwoods — also suffers a dubious distinction. It has the worst air pollution of any national park in the country. Mountaintops that should offer awe-inspiring views of California’s geologic grandeur often are muddled by a disorienting gray soup of smog. “Ozone levels here are comparable to urban settings such as LA,” said Emily Schrepf of the nonprofit advocacy group the National Park Conservation Association as she beheld the diminished view. 

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Crews reforesting burned areas of Bitterroot National Forest

The Missoulian
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VICTOR – There’s a cold west wind blowing through this patch of white skeletons – lodgepole and larch killed years ago when fire burned through Gash Creek. Bitterroot National Forest silviculturist Corinne Anderson is using her long-bladed shovel as a walking stick Friday morning as she navigates the steep hillside covered in a fresh skiff of snow. Her eyes are scanning the ground looking for tiny trees that have managed to naturally take root. She’s not finding many inside this portion of the old fire. “It’s too far from the seed wall,” she said. “The nearest live trees are way up the hill.”

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New ticks spread across Southeast, diseases rise

Charlotte Observer
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. In the trees and grasses of the South, there are a growing number of unwanted visitors that at best are an itchy nuisance and at worst can carry debilitating diseases: Ticks. Public health officials say that numbers of reported cases of diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are not yet alarming and have not yet shown a definitive trend upward from a national perspective. But they do worry that more ticks means more of a risk that those diseases will spike.

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Saving the Woodpecker: A Texas Oil Billionaire Rebuilds a Forest

StateImpact Texas
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

One Texas oil and gas billionaire is getting special recognition for what he has done to help a little bird. The Sand County Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department picked the Cook’s Branch Nature Conservancy for the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award, the state’s highest honor for habitat management and wildlife conservation on private land. The conservancy is part of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.

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Driver unaware as logs fall off truck

Northern Advocate
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand – A truck driver oblivious to large pine logs falling off a trailer on to State Highway 1 yesterday copped an instant fine for having an insecure load. Police said if a log had smashed into another vehicle the consequences could have been horrific. Fortunately no one was injured… An industry rule stipulates that the chains holding logs in place must touch each of the logs on the outside of the load.

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Logging in tropical forests: not all is lost

Forests Blog, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
CIFOR Blog
May 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BOGOR, Indonesia – As tropical forests give way to cities, roads and soybean fields, what’s left behind is a collage of forest remnants and ‘secondary’ forests that regrow after agricultural lands are abandoned. While protecting primary forests will always be essential for tropical conservation, these mosaic landscapes do retain a substantial proportion of forest species, even where forest products are extracted. 

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Amazon in danger as Brazil moves forward with bill, critics say

Los Angeles Times
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SAO PAULO, Brazil — The Brazilian government is pressing forward with controversial legislation that critics say will lead to widespread destruction of the Amazon rain forest. After months of heated discussion, President Dilma Rousseff on Monday presented a final version of the bill that was heavily influenced by the country’s powerful agricultural lobby. The update to the country’s 1965 Forestry Code would reduce both the amount of vegetation landowners must preserve and the future penalties paid for those who currently flout environmental laws. 

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The latest threat to the Amazon: Steel trade’s hunger for charcoal sees thousands of trees felled to feed the motor industry

Amazing photography in this story
Daily Mail
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Amazon rainforest is facing threats from more than just logging for hard woods or for space for farming. These pictures show clandestine ovens used to make charcoal from wood cut illegally from the forests in Goianesia, in Brazil’s Para State. The ovens are lined up along the PA150 highway, one of the main routes used to transport illegal charcoal to smelters producing pig iron in the nearby city of Maraba.

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Juhani Karvonen Honoured with ‘2012 Opinion Leader in Forestry’ Title

Reuters
May 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Juhani Karvonen, Executive Director of the Finnish Forest Association, has been honoured with the title ‘2012 Opinion Leader in Forestry’. According to the jury, Mr Karvonen successfully manages the Finnish Forest Association whose members consist of a wide variety of persons engaged in forestry, from oritenteerers to the forest industry. The Forestry Association has created a framework within which parties with varying perspectives can discuss forests and their use.  

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Classic Design Meets Fuel-efficient Power

RedOrbit
May 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In a classic case of old turns new, the somewhat ironically named Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR) announced last week plans to create the world’s first and only carbon-neutral, high-speed locomotive by modifying a classic 1937 locomotive with new, bio-fuel burning engines… When the transformation is complete, the 1937 locomotive will be powered by biocoal, a coal-like, woody plant material. Called “torrefied biomass,” this biocoal is created by an energy-efficient processing of cellulosic biomass, according to CleanTechnica.

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A Carbon Life Cycle Analysis of Wood Pellets

CENNATEC
May 28, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A joint research project by The Alliance for Green Heat and VU University Amsterdam shows that heating with wood pellets can emit about one tenth the carbon as heating with oil and one sixth the carbon if heating with natural gas… The most compelling conclusions are that wood pellets can be a very low carbon source of heat, if certain conditions are satisfied. These conditions concern rigorous sustainable harvesting, distance of shipping, and mode of production.

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General

Crews use explosives to fell trees

The Spokesman Review
May 29, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States, US West

ELLISTON, Mont. – A day’s worth of logging took place in less than a second on a hillside above Hahn Creek… The decision to blast instead of saw has lots of factors. Wednesday’s project took out 37 trees with a crew of five working about 2 hours. It would take a single chain saw operator about 10 hours to do the same job, given the steep terrain and lack of maneuvering room for more co-workers. So the labor costs are roughly equal, although explosives make an added supply expense.

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Cutting edge

Sneak peek at what goes into making a building industry staple
Ottawa Citizen
May 28, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

Every new home built and renovation that’s happened in Canada over the last 40 years is made with lumber cut using carbide saw blades. They’re a universal part of the building scene, yet they’re also under-appreciated… Tool manufacturers usually keep their industrial processes secret, though not always. Last month I spent most of a day touring one of the world’s newest saw blade manufacturing plants in Udine, Italy.

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