An unusually snowy winter makes working outdoors at Longleaf’s Berwick, ME reclaimed lumber mill more or less fun, depending on your personality type.
This winter, coastal New England has been dealt a long, cold, and snowy card. At our reclaimed lumber mill in Berwick, ME, the winter makes day-to-day life particularly challenging. Tools break, machines shut down, and crucial mechanical elements freeze or contract to inoperability. Then, on top of mechanical frustrations, comes the physical discomfort of working in the cold. Most of our de-nailing, bandmilling, and maintenance work is done outdoors.
When the winter is particularly snowy, we spend a good deal of time moving the fluff around our yard, where most of our raw lumber is stored. It seems that every time we uncover a stack of white oak hand-hewn beams for milling, next Monday’s blizzard puts them under another foot of the white stuff.
Because of the problems presented by a yard covered in five feet of snow, our lead times do expand. Simple tasks, like moving a skid of finished lumber from the warehouse to our truck, takes twice as long. The kiln is slower. Each morning we spend hours moving snow.
That being said, we work hard every day to deliver a high-quality finished product on schedule. The snow might slow us down, but it won’t stop us.